Warning: this post is fueled by caffeine, inability to sleep, and the sound of me ripping my hair out. It’s a little bit different than what I usually blog about, but is something I really needed to let out. I’ll get back to my “normal” blogging soon.
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” – Rebecca West
Yesterday, along with over 5000 other people in my city, I marched. I marched for justice. I marched against misogyny. Against hate. Against rape culture. Against Trump. Today, I stand proudly as a feminist who believes that as long as you have bones in your body and blood pumping through your heart, you are human being. Man, woman, black, white, brown, gay, or straight. WE ARE ALL PEOPLE WORTHY OF GOD’S LOVE.
If you had asked me 10 years ago if I was a feminist, I (embarrassingly) would have said no. Growing up, I was led to believe that feminists were these awful creatures that burned bras, hated the notion of family and femininity, and wanted to run around naked down the street. Christian women were not feminists.
Then I grew up.
You see, there’s this magical thing about working in the real world called seeing things as they really are. Seeing rape victims be asked about the length of their skirt. Knowing that you are being paid less money than a less-qualified male and hearing bs excuses as to why they had to offer him more. Noticing that when a man pushes a team in the work place, he’s a go-getter. When a woman does it, she a bossy bitch. Watching boyfriends and husbands expect their girlfriends/wives to use birth control because they don’t like condoms. Hearing a husband refuse to feed his own toddler because that’s women’s work. Having a college professor warn me to never mention a family or wanting to have one in a job interview. I have even been told women shouldn’t be in politics or management because they get periods and act irrational. Moms don’t belong in the work force because your child is your job.
Worst of all, though, was watching members of my own family talk about another member’s ex girlfriend being a slut because she had sex too young (with him), and no mention of the fact that he had sex “too young” as well. She apparently seduced him and took his virginity, not the other way around. It makes me sick to type it and remember overhearing that conversation.
Anyway, it was slough of events tumbling down like a waterfall that made me realize as a young, working woman, that hey… feminism really is the radical idea that women are people too, and that we should not be the world’s door mat. We are people. We are strong. We have intelligent minds. It’s not radical.
I was a feminist all along and didn’t even know it.
But that’s just it, isn’t it? Feminism is not really radical at all. It’s not radical to ask for equal pay for equal work. It’s not radical to expect the right to have both a child and a career. And it’s sure as hell not radical to expect men to do their fair share of raising children they helped to create.
(Don’t even get me started on rape… it’s not radical to think law enforcement should focus on capturing rapists instead of where you were and what you were wearing. Really, I highly doubt a molested man would be asked if his bulge was too obvious.)
And yet, people astound me. All weekend I have seen people call anti-Trump protesters whiners and babies. You are entitled to your own opinion and who you did or did not vote for is completely your business. No one will deny you that. But what you MUST understand, friends, is that “grab them by the pussy” is a presidential quote now. I understand that it was years ago, and that people make mistakes. However, I have yet to see a true, genuine apology for such remarks. Branding it as locker room talk, or a distraction from real issues, is NOT AN APOLOGY. We, the women of this country, have yet to receive an apology for a blatant glorification of misogyny.
And they wonder why we are angry? Why we protest a man who openly admits to objectifying women?
Wouldn’t you be angry if it was your daughter? How are we supposed to tell our daughters that they are worthwhile, beautiful, and should NEVER tolerate abuse when the President of the United States can “grab them by the pussy” and still be elected?
Throughout all of this, though, I must say the biggest stab to my gut has been that amount of my own fellow Christians who apparently think this was an ok thing to have around. Christ himself stood up for women! For clean women and for “dirty” women. How the religious of this nation are forgetting that is beyond me. I don’t have an explanation – maybe they just don’t care about anyone else. However, I do know this:
We women deserve better. We need to demand better.
Feminism is not a Democrat thing. It’s not a Republican thing. It’s not a Libertarian, or a Green, or Communist, or a Socialist thing. It’s not even a religious thing.
It’s a human thing.