Why it’s Cool to be a Feminist

Let’s be real – when you hear the word “feminist,” people like to run as far away as possible.

I’ve realized lately that ever since I’ve come out as a feminist blogger, guys don’t really hit me up anymore. Straight guys, to be specific. For the past week, I kept thinking why no guys would talk to me. I’m single, I’m not terribly ugly, and I’m a fun person with good vibes. What’s not to love?!

Then it hit me. I plaster the word “feminist” on all my social media outlets. And that’s my Achilles’ heel.

This compelled me to write a piece explaining myself and all the other feminists out there. We get a bad rep because people truly just don’t know what we do and why we do it. People just see the crazy, irrational, angry personas and think, “Oh hell naw, I ain’t getting near that.” Well, you SHOULD want to get near us. We’re compassionate, loving people who believe in equality for all.

Feminism means believing in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. (Straight up quoted that from Beyonce’s album. See, even Queen Bey knows what’s up!) That’s ALL it is. It means recognizing the power structures that exist in our society and challenging them to create structures that support everyone of all backgrounds. It means believing that anyone regardless of sex, gender, religion, and ethnicity deserve an equal chance to pursue happiness and liberty.

So, if YOU believe that, then voila! You’re a feminist! Yay, welcome to the club! And don’t be scared; you should be fucking proud to say you believe in equality.

I hear often from people that they don’t like the word “feminist” and prefer to be called “humanist” or “equalist.” Here’s why that’s toxic in itself. Humanism is rooted from the European Enlightenment. That is, privileged white European men sought to remake humans of the New World in their own image. (Messina-Dysert, 2013). Basically, it’s founded on patriarchal values that ignore all other gender and ethnic based injustices. Equalists, or egalitarianism, is rooted from the French and means that everyone should be of equal status. It means all humans should be treated equally and have equal opportunities. While that sounds fantastic and it is ultimately what we feminists want, it really dances around the belief that there IS gender inequality in the world. What that says to me is you don’t understand how patriarchy works. Egalitarianism and feminism go hand and hand, but feminism addresses that there IS an inequality that needs to be fixed. By saying you’re egalitarian, you deny that there’s any injustice going on. And real talk, that’s bullshit.

Feminism isn’t about hating men and stripping them of every ounce of power they have. It’s about allowing everyone else who isn’t a White male a chance at being treated with respect and equality. So yes, feminism does have the bias of women’s rights, but look at the history of this country – of this WORLD. Really, really look at it. If you still don’t see anything wrong, then I suggest you slap yourself. Because that’s some fucked up shit.

The fact that people don’t even want to be called “feminine” is toxic. It perpetuates this notion that displaying any sort of feminine characteristic is degrading and you should be ashamed of it. Are you starting to catch my drift? It’s not about “ermahgerd, women just want to be dominant and powerful! Onoz, what about teh mens!?” Well, what about them? They’ve had their story told over and over again. They’ve had their story told in history books, in literature, in movies,  in comic books, in politics, and in the media.

So again, I ask you, what about them?

It’s an unfair advantage they have and it has to stop. These existing power structures need to be dismantled in order to obtain an egalitarian culture.  It’s a long battle, but we can’t just give up. If we give up, we let all the strong women who dedicated their whole lives to advocating change die in vain. Their efforts can’t go unnoticed.

And if you’re a White male reading this and thinking, “Well, how the hell does this effect me? I’m totally on the winning side here.”

Indeed you are. This. my friends, is what we call White Privilege. It’s been debated a lot in the academic and media forums because of Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang’s essay that Time republished. If you’re white, you benefit from these existing power structures. That’s it. It’s a fact. No one would want to make this up. Trust me, we have better things to do with our time than sit here and make up concepts that put us colored people at a disadvantage.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that being a feminist means you’re a lovely human being that truly has good morals and beliefs. And I think that’s fucking awesome and cool.

It’s cool to be a feminist. I think women who are empowered by their knowledge of the world is so amazing. Guys, don’t be afraid of that. As Iggy Azalea said, “You should want a bad bitch like this.”

I’m a feminist because I believe in living in a world where my hard work and efforts will grant me the same success that a man’s would. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where terrorists won’t kidnap a bunch of girls and threaten them because they don’t believe women should have the right to an education. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where my daughters won’t be accused of being a slut if she expresses her sexuality in a way that doesn’t fit in a conventional mold.

It’s 2014. It’s time we make some changes around here.

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Fellow Females: Stop Being a Bitch to Other Females.

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From one female to another (or whatever gender you identify with) I have one question for you: Why the fuck are we so mean to one another?

I’ll be honest with you guys. Ever since I was young, I’ve always been involved with heavily female influenced groups, such as studio dance teams, cheer, sorority, and more. Hanging out with other females is something I’m very used to, and because of this experience, I can talk quite open and honestly about what I like to call “Girl Culture.”

Here’s my personal anecdote for your reading pleasure: On my twitter account, I like to post videos and blog posts from other authors because I like to share content. One time I posted an article from the website Jezebel and one of my twitter followers replied to my tweet to share her disapproval of the article. Now I don’t expect everyone in the world to have the same opinions and that’s completely fine. We all come from different backgrounds and were raised in different cultures with different influences. But this person felt the need to really make her case about why this article truly sucked.

I didn’t write the article; I merely just posted it. But the way she was coming at me turned into a personal attack. How? I don’t fucking know! One minute we were discussing the article and the next minute she’s calling me selfish. Um, yeah. That accelerated faster than a naive horny teenage couples’ first sexual encounter.

What did I learn from this experience? Well, now this person thinks they have me all figured out and probably dislike who they think I am. After this all went down, I had a hard time figuring out why someone would get so fired up and throw personal insults at me… over someone else’s article. But you know what? I’ve learned that the people who resort to personal attacks show a pretty immature side to their character. If people are okay with putting themselves out there like that, then to each their own. Like I said, we were all brought up differently. My parents taught me to always handle every conflict with my dignity still in tact.

It’s funny how we’re just socially constructed to hate on each other. If you’re one of those people who say it’s a “natural” thing that females just hate on each other, then please slap yourself and get a grip on reality. Gender is a socially constructed phenomenon. We’re taught at birth on how we should behave, which includes teaching females to be insecure about themselves and hate on other females.

Listen up ladies. It’s hard enough as it is being an oppressed gender and having to adhere to the social norms in a patriarchal society. Can we all just take a moment and think about how we’re acting against one another?

It’s one thing to not agree with someone’s upbringing and lifestyle. There’s people I’ve met in my life where I don’t agree with their personal values and ethics, but I never outright lashed out at them because I didn’t like how she was looking at me or didn’t like how great her ass looks in those jeans that I like. It’s normal to have a preference over who you want to hang out with. The difference between that and straight up hating on someone is that you’re not wasting your breath and energy hating on someone.

So let’s try to practice how to be nice, EVERYONE. (this includes every gender.) Stop being an asshole. The holidays are here and people just forget about what really matters. Getting the BEST presents for your loved ones by throwing bitch fits at the mall is not what matters.

Think about it.