I am a modern woman. I have a job, I earn a paycheck. I go where I want, when I want. My money, my life, is mine to do with as I please. I’m in a committed relationship but unafraid to venture out by myself or with a friend. I am a feminist.
We need feminism, because once upon a time women felt so trapped that they went to the extremes of using a metal clothes hanger as a form of abortion. We need feminism because even now, I see in my grandmother the fear of being alone, without a man around. We need feminism, because the society that told women not so long ago that they couldn’t vote hasn’t changed much, and still has a long way to go. We need feminism because our children deserve better. My daughters deserve fair and equal treatment, as do my sons. We need feminism because, though they are not the enemy here, men shouldn’t be taught that their behavior can be excused because they “couldn’t control themselves,” especially in regards to sexual and physical violence.
My feminism isn’t about being a victim. It isn’t about blaming men for everything. Sometimes, understanding is all we need. Men can’t help us better the world if they don’t understand the problem to begin with, and we can’t explain it if we’re too busy finger pointing.
My daughters, my sons, will have a choice about who they want to be in this world. When my husband threatens to bring out the gun when our baby girl goes on her first date, he isn’t implying that she is property or that she can’t take care of herself. Gods willing, we’ll raise her better than that. No, he is implying that our girl is strong, but mess with her and not only will you have her wrath, but her family’s to deal with as well.
The men in my life recognize that women are strong and can handle themselves, but Bear and his family are determined that I learn how to protect myself. Not because they think less of my capabilities, but because they want to make sure I can take care of myself and move through the world with confidence and independence.
I’ve been blessed with good men in my life, who respect me and my capabilities, but not all women are as fortunate. We still need feminism. Maybe we always will. The problems are still there. Sexism still exists. Rape culture exists. Feminism is but a tiny part of the conversation to end it, so my sons and daughters can both walk down the street without fear of harassment or violence.