Please don’t misunderstand.
I don’t think I started calling myself a feminist until a year or so ago. I mean, I’ve always been one, insomuch as I’ve always been aware of and hated the gender injustice and inequality happening all around me, but I never fully identified with the word feminist until fairly recently.
As with everything else in this godforsaken world, people love to draw their own conclusions and make assumptions about what it means to be a feminist. A lot of people believe that feminists hate men, don’t shave their legs and have bra-burning soirees on the regular. And if I have to hear one more time about how women want equality until it’s time to jump into a fucking lifeboat, I will scream my fool head off.
First, it’s important to understand and recognize that feminists are all different, so when I speak about my experiences and tell you my opinions, it may not be true for another feminist. It’s not a radical concept, but a lot of people seem to miss it. One more time: I am not speaking for all feminists. I am only speaking for me, Kristen V. Lastname.
Here’s what I think.
- I don’t think women are better than men. I don’t hate men. In fact, I quite like men and even agreed to marry one.
- I don’t have hairy legs (well, right now I do, but it’s the winter time and you can’t expect me to shave my legs in the winter time, silly).
- I don’t hate it when a man holds a door open for me. I think that’s just politeness, and I’d do the same for him.
- I don’t think penises are ugly.
- I have never burned a bra, but I have to admit it sounds kinda fun.
- I do hate high heels, but that’s because they’re insanely uncomfortable and ain’t nobody got time for that.
- I think any woman who has proven herself capable should be allowed to fight in combat.
- I think any 5th grade girl who has proven herself capable should be allowed to play football in the boys’ league.
- I hate the way girls are inundated with pink princesses and dollhouses from the day they are born while boys are conditioned to play with Legos and Transformers that prime them for careers in architecture and engineering.
- I hate that women are expected to take their husband’s name when they get married.
- I hate that women are still only earning $0.77 to a man’s dollar, and I don’t think that number is going to increase until women have access to affordable reproductive care in every state and are able to decide for themselves if, when and how they become mothers.
- I hate the terms feminazi, slut, whore, cunt and bitch.
- But more than anything, I hate it when I mention any one of the above and I’m met with a blank stare, a laugh, a hand-wave, an eye-roll or an “Oh, you’re just overreacting.”
One common perception of feminists is that we’re angry. I’ll give ‘em that one. I am pretty angry. I think I’ve earned it, though.