Why I’m a Feminist (26/365)

Telling people you’re a feminist is one of those things that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is. It comes with all these weird preconceived notions that you’re somehow a bar burning man hating super mega feminist, and that you’ll break the patriarchy by growing your body hair. When in reality it’s just wanting equal treatment and opportunities for all genders.

It even says this in the definition of feminism, it’s “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

So nothing about hating men, burning bras and running around wanting women to rule the world. So where does this idea come from? – the man made media of course. They only choose to highlight these cases so the stereotype lives on and feminism becomes a movement of secrecy. Well in the past, it’s gained a lot of momentum again in the third wave movement which is honestly amazing since it addresses equality in its purity.

Yes female empowerment tends to be the focus, but it’s not the only focus, so before you think ‘what about men’, calm yourselves.

Also if in response to women’s tales of abuse and sexism your first thought is ‘men get this too/what about men’ – you’re directly part of the problem as you’re discrediting a woman’s experience, and therefore part of the problem.

Patriarchy hurts us all, it sucks, and it needs to be smashed.

So now on to why I’m a feminist, as an African woman living in the UK it’s an interesting one. I’ve kind of always been a feminist without really understanding what it was, I was always screaming for equal rights as an infant, and whenever I noticed I was treated differently to my older brother my immediate response was to question it.

Through my experiences a lot of questionable and problematic things happen, and growing up I was having none of it, so here’s a lovely compilation of why I am a proud feminist!

  1. Because I was made to clean the house at the age of 6 while my older brother was encouraged to chill.
  2. Because I’ve been told ‘girls can’t <insert activity’ my whole life.
  3. Because when guys are labelled as a boss for taking charged, I’m labelled as a bitch.
  4. Because growing up everyone focused on my marriage prospects, but my brothers job prospects.
  5. Because for many people the idea of having a girl scares them.
  6. Because every girl experiences sexual harassment – yes, every single girl has a story.
  7. Because the toy section for girls is filled with babies and cooking instruments, and boys section has action toys and building sets to encourage hand eye co-ordination skills.
  8. Because even at the age of 25, I still get asked when will I get married, like it’s my duty to do it.
  9. Because women’s voices are silenced.
  10. Because I am more likely to be interrupted then heard.
  11. Because even as a child my outfits were policed, instead of the men staring at me.
  12. Because every woman is taught how to not be raped, but men are not taught how to rape.
  13. Because men are taught to be strong, and not taught that its ok to be weak.
  14. Because men are given the pressures of being the provider, instead of learning to be in a healthy partnership.
  15. Because most relationships we grew up watching in tv and film are toxic and people practice this in real life.
  16. Because women of some cultures are taught to be everyones emotional rock, and told to stuff down their own emotions.
  17. Because domestic violence is a thing and its not reported.
  18. Because young girls are given the pressures of submitting to arranged/forced marriages.
  19. Because walking around at night time is terrifying.
  20. Because my opinions are immediately disregarded, and I’ve been in a room where a man has repeated what I stated, and was respected for it.
  21. Because people assume women are emotional, and men are houses of logic and reason.
  22. Because there are still articles surrounding the ‘first female’ ‘first woman of colour’ in certain fields, and its 2019.
  23. Because feminine traits are seen as a weakness.

There’s 23 reasons and to be perfectly honest I could write 100 easily and still not be done. But for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, I’ve narrowed it down to what popped up in my head immediately.

What are your reasons for being a feminist?

All images are from Unsplash

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