A friend posted an open question on Facebook last week—do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?
I said yes, because I believe in equal rights. But the question also got me thinking (as it was meant to do)—am I really a feminist? Why do we need feminism?
Because we live in a society where going without makeup in public will cause people to tell a woman she is brave. Really? Because that's not brave. It's not brave to be yourself. Well, maybe sometimes it is. For instance, Malala Yousafzai. That woman is brave for just being herself because being herself nearly got her killed. But she endeavors to be herself still, and to fight. That's brave.
Being yourself should not be an act of bravery. Every person in our country should be allowed to be his or herself... but sometimes, for some people, it does feel like bravery. Too often, it's this way for women.
And that's why I'm a feminist.
As long as this is a thing—where women should be made to feel like they're brave for expressing opinions or not wearing a mask, I'll be a feminist.
And as long as I live in a world where the dictates of society teach my daughter how to protect herself from rape but don't impress upon my son the importance of treating women as people and not rapeable objects, I will continue to be a feminist.
As long as there is a pay gap between men and women when all other factors are equal, I will be a feminist.
Feminism is something that impacts us all—regardless of race or gender or age or religious affiliation. We should all be proud to stand up and support one another, whether we call it feminism or just being a good human being.