Why I’m a Feminist

I’m not a feminist because I want to create some matriarchal society that treats men like pieces of meat.

I’m a feminist because I know what it’s like to be a woman in a patriarchal society where my body is treated like a piece of meat.

I know what it’s like to have my heart rate pick up when I see a man across the street from me when I’m walking home alone at night.
I know what it’s like to look at the news and see a woman killed for turning down a date, and wondering if it could have been me.
I know what it’s like to be told that my main purpose in life is not to follow my dreams, but to become a wife and mother.
I know what it’s like to live in a society where my value is based on the men I’m connected to–because I’m somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, somebody’s niece, but not my own.
I know what it’s like to be harassed on the street by grown men when I was a pubescent 13-year-old.
I know what it’s like to be told that my tank top with straps only two fingers wide (instead of three) is a distraction.
I know what it’s like to have my heart sink when I hear that twelve women’s testimonies against a man still aren’t enough to convince the public that he just might be guilty.
Or to hear that a man’s career is more important than the fact that he brutalized a woman.
And to know that the first question after an assault will always be asking what I was wearing, what I was drinking, and where I was, as if my actions were an invitation to have crimes committed against me.
I know what it’s like to be told that all of this, all of my experiences, all of OUR experiences, are only “isolated anecdotes.”

You may call me a whiny crybaby who just wants an excuse to free bleed in public or stop shaving, but as long as all of the things I have said are still true–for me and for all women everywhere–I will ALWAYS be a feminist.

10 Things Your Cashier Wants You To Know

  1. No, it won’t charge you twice. If your card doesn’t go through, and I ask you to try swiping it again, it won’t charge you twice. The point is that it didn’t go through. That’s why I’m asking you to swipe it again, because it didn’t charge you.
  2. Don’t be embarrassed. If you need to buy condoms, tampons, or adult diapers, don’t feel you have to go to self-checkout. We don’t care that you’re buying those things; it’s literally our job to scan your stuff. I’ve never once thought poorly of someone for anything they’ve bought.
  3. The “if it doesn’t scan, it must be free” joke isn’t that funny. I laughed the first time, and after that…well, I have to fake the retail laugh.
  4. Telling me what the discount on the radishes is won’t help me. All produce has a code on it, and we need that in order to ring it up. If I’m searching for the PLU sticker on your obscure type of apple, telling me “they’re 2 for a dollar” really won’t help me. I can’t memorize all the discounts in the store, and the discount won’t tell me what the item’s PLU is anyway.
  5. Don’t blame me for how expensive your order is. It’s not my decision how things are priced, nor did I decide for you what to buy. You decided to buy what you did, and I can’t take the price down because you shot your budget.
  6. Don’t touch me. This isn’t common, but I have had customers grab my hand and use it to bag their own stuff. My hand. Please, don’t touch me or anyone without permission.
  7. Bag your stuff if you’re going to complain about how long it’s taking. When I don’t have a bagger, I have to do two jobs at once. It’s going to take a little bit longer. If you want to speed things up, bag your own stuff while I scan. It makes both of our lives easier.
  8. Be patient. Sometimes there are technical difficulties, or it’s an especially crowded day. Stuff happens, and I’m doing my best to get you out of the store as quickly and efficiently as possible. Complaining at me won’t make it go any faster.
  9. I’m not flirting with you. It’s my job to be friendly and laugh at your jokes, even if they’re not funny. Me smiling at you doesn’t mean I want you in my bed.
  10. Be nice. Honestly, just be a decent person and show basic respect. Cashiers are human. My feet and shoulders hurt, I’m hungry, and I need to pee. Sorry if I make a mistake; I will fix it for you. Please don’t yell at me. You don’t have to make constant small talk if you don’t feel like it, but you really should exhibit human decency. I’m doing my best.

Will I Ever Be?

When I was eight, I used to go to sleep praying, “God, please help me to be somebody famous like George Washington.” By famous, I meant influential; I just didn’t quite have the vocabulary to express it. Little me wanted to grow up to be somebody.

That hasn’t changed. I want my life to be good for something; I want to die with a legacy. Unfortunately, life doesn’t really seem to work that way. Most people spend their entire existence watering their grass and chatting over a white picket fence, and then they die as just another John or Jane Doe–and as the Does they will forever remain. Will I ever change someone’s life? I want to be the reason someone is the way they are. I want to know that I’ve done something, that I’ve been someone.

Will I ever be someone?