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.

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