Ready for a shock?
I identify as a feminist.
Before y’all get worried – no, I’m not going to burn my bras and run around topless. I’m not going to yell and stomp my high heels at a man who kindly decides to open a door for me. And I’m not going to support a woman running for any office just for the fact that she’s a she.
I don’t sound like much of a feminist, do I? I’m not angry. Well. I am, but not at the individuals who are too small to cut down an entire sex on their own.
I’m angry at the entire body of people (men and women) who have developed a society that objectifies women and young girls. I’m angry at the world that has cruelly stressed that a woman’s worth is based on her physical body, the size of her chest, the products she uses in her hair, the powders and gels she uses on her face, or her ability to bear children and run a home.
I’m angry that there are women who can’t walk down the street without being taunted and tormented by men who see them, not as people with thoughts and opinions and ambitions, but as cattle-like beings who were placed on this earth for purpose of being a plaything for men.
I’m angry that a straight forward and simple “no” isn’t a good answer when a woman is asked out on a date with a man, because there has to be some excuse in order to save his ego.
I’m angry that women are payed less and harassed more and in danger of being drugged and raped and even killed because there are people out there who believe we’re objects. That we’re incapable of being independent because we’re the “weaker sex”.
I don’t care about a fight for “equality”. I really don’t care whether it’s a man or a woman in an office, or even that women aren’t considered qualified for some jobs or even hobbies simply because they’re women.
I care that we’re slut shamed for wearing a tank top and shorts to school on a hot day or gazed at disapprovingly for developing muscles that sharpen our bodies, bodies that should, apparently, stay soft and gentle and weak.
A couple of weeks ago at the wednesday night youth service, a friend of mine said that strong girls “intimidate” him.
Girls who are physically strong scare him.
It didn’t just make angry. It infuriated me.
I’ve been taught all of my life that women are the weaker sex. Keep our elbows in, sit with our ankles crossed. We have to be more conscious of how our bodies are presented than boys do, because we’re responsible for their thoughts and actions, as well as our own. We have to keep quiet and take up less room and be careful not to offend, because it’s a direct blow to his manhood if a woman dares to speak up for herself. He’s at risk of feeling inferior if a woman tries to act like anything less than an insipid mouse, scurrying behind the scenes so as not to draw attention to herself.
I call bullshit.
There isn’t anything, anywhere that says I can’t be strong. There isn’t anything, anywhere, that says I can’t be intelligent, that I can’t be independent or brave or wise just because I’m a girl.
But being strong and independent and brave and wise doesn’t mean suppressing gentleness and kindness and other characteristics generally associated with women.
It isn’t all or nothing and I just feel like the world needs to understand that.