Uhh-ohh, another feminist rant. Brace yourselves!
With the UN’s launch of the #HeForShe campaign featuring Emma Watson as the agency’s Goodwill Ambassador, I thought it appropriate for me to tell my story as a Twenty-First Century woman. I have been lucky to have grown up in a family in which gender equality has been modeled for me. My mom, aunts, and grandmothers are some of the strongest and most successful women I know.
My mom has a post-secondary degree and has always been the breadwinner for my family. My grandmother fought her way out of poverty, provided for four children in the midst of an alcoholic husband, and now owns two houses. One of my cousins runs her local board of elections. The list goes on and on! However, the concept of gender equality in my family doesn’t stop with strong women and their accomplishments; it has been promoted by the men as well. My father has no problem doing dishes or laundry while my mom does yard-work. My parents have always made monumental decisions together, and they assured me that, had they had a son, they would have raised him completely the same as they have raised my baby sister and I.
As I fall asleep each night, I thank God for the home life in which I grew up. I feel extremely blessed yet deeply saddened that women and girls around the world have not been given the same opportunities as me. While pondering the countless issues that women and men face today thanks to gender inequality, I have come up with a list of 18 reasons why I, whole-heartedly, identify as a feminist. As you read through them, please know that I had to abbreviate this list immensely as feminism is an issue I could talk about for days.
- My girlfriends and I should be able to go dancing without worrying about some sleezy guys slow grinding on us and then calling us profane names for not acquiescing to their ridiculous sexual pursuits. We should also be able to go out without having to take a male with us in order to feel safe.
- I should be able to walk at my local park without being stared at or cat-called by a creepy guy from across the parking lot (fyi, this happens in the middle of the day).
- Because dress codes are almost always more strict for women, teaching them at young ages that their bodies are shameful.
- Because men cannot speak up about their feelings or sentiments for fear of seeming weak.
- Because men are taught that smart women immaculate them.
- Because, when I was an RA at my university, some of the residents I encountered respected my male coworkers more than they did me.
- Because, in 2012, women made $0.77 for every $1.00 men made.
- Because victims of sexual assault are often blamed for the atrocities committed against them.
- Because sexual assault against men is often seen as less violating or less traumatizing than sexual assault against women.
- Because women make up roughly half of the U.S. population, yet only hold 90 of the 535 seats in Congress; a mere 18.5%.
- Because Fox News identified “PMS” as a reason that the United States should not have a female president.
- Because men being shirtless has been normalized while a woman nursing her child in public is seen as obscene or offensive.
- Because females are condemned for their number of sexual partners while men are glorified (unrelated note: does anyone celebrate monogamy anymore?!).
- Because “feminist” is still a dirty f-word.
- Because I want to raise my future children in a world full of opportunity for them, regardless of their gender.
- Because having the capability to give birth and nurture a child should not be synonymous with gender inferiority.
- Because one different chromosome should not dictate my value as a human being.
- Because Jesus came to save the world, not just men. If I have a right to His grace just like all the world’s male population, I should be good enough to share other rights too.
Note: This video contains some offensive language and a view graphic frames, however, I thought its message outweighed those things.
Emma Watson is my #WCW all day every day! Too bad there are not more celebrity role models like her!