Feminism- I am a Feminist

My lovely friend, Tamzin, suggested I wrote about Feminism and what it means to me. It's a very complex thing to write about, but something that is very personal to me.
I first discovered feminism when I was about twelve or thirteen years old. I've grown up in a house where sexism isn't an issue through my family. My mum and dad are both feminists and raised me and my sister on equality. But I think it's only recently as a proud feminist that I've realized as I've got older what's influenced and how I have gotten to a stage in my life where I'm comfortable and not afraid to say my opinions every now and then. I've probably as well just noticed sexism more as I've got older and more mature.
I first identified as a feminist when I was thirteen and was dealing with different things at school. I was given How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran to read by my mum's friend. The whole book was like a bible to me. It was so relatable, everything Caitlin wrote about was so comforting and funny. She wrote about periods, being a teenager and feminism. Which really stood out for me. I remember she wrote a whole chapter on what it's like to discover yourself as a feminist. She said to stand up on a chair and yell it at the top of your lungs. To be proud of it. To shout - I AM A FEMINIST. (Okay, I done it mentally, but it's the thought that counts). I've had many feminism influences, people, films and history - such as Malala Yousafzai, Louise Brealey, a film called Made in Dagenham and of course The Suffragette movement.
There's so many reasons why I am a feminist. Why I am proud of it. I sometimes get stuff online. I've been called a Dyke for it. I've had people trying to making rapes jokes at me to try and get a reaction out of me. I've been called a man-hater and fat which was rather amusing as the man who said that was an obese man in his forties stalking a 16 year old's 152 week old instagram post of a feminist quote. They'll be disappointed to know that is all passes right by me without a second thought. Okay, so I may be that annoying girl in class who stamps on the sexist joke made my people in class. I'll be that person who says 'Why not four strong girls to lift that table?'. I only do it because if these little things are never ever called out on, then it'll build up to become more and more acceptable. If we never questioned Gender Inequality then we'd still be the half of the human race who stay at home to clean and cook and aren't capable of a vote.
For me, Feminism is like an armour that a warrior is proud to wear. Yes, I may be too "opinionated" for people but only because it infuriates me when I see certain shopping or cooking adverts are still being aimed at Mums. It infuriates me when the only good thing an interviewer can ask a woman at an event who's she's wearing. It infuriates me that there's still a pay gap. If infuriates that millions of girls aren't in education. Feminism is getting rid of that inbalance between men and women. It's about getting women the same pay as their male colleagues. It's about getting all those girls an education. It's about eliminating girl hate. It's about getting rid of society's expectations of women having flawless skin, hairless legs, the "perfect" body. There are so many topics to touch on, that are important. On a personal level though, Gender Equality means that I am able to learn and to live happily. To have any career I chose. To be independent. To have opportunities and be able to make my own decisions about my own body and life.
Feminism is not a dirty word. It is a word of empowerment. Being a feminist makes me feel empowered. I once took part in a parade with a group of girls dressed as Land girls with a sign saying "When woman stands up for herself. She stands up for all women" and I had never felt so confident in all my life. To stand united. As suffragettes stood for the vote. And the Dagenham workers for equal pay. Thanks to women who fought for our rights, I walked to celebrate the achievements.
So I leave you with this. Whether you're passionate about getting those millions of girls in an education or you're simply grateful for getting to wear trousers. Go stand on a chair, feel empowered and as Caitlin Moran taught me, yell at the top of your lungs - I AM A FEMINIST!


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