#IAmAFeminist

 

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Feminist is not a dirty word. Being a feminist does not mean I think lesser of men. Being a feminist means that I am nineteen years old, female, and I’ve been catcalled, sneered at and laughed at, groped on the street, groped at school, harassed, belittled, boxed into a glass elevator (the list goes on….) and all before I’ve really hit adulthood. So here I am, writing this blog post, to let you all know that I am 100%, officially, over this shit.

Earlier today, the fab Holly Bourne (@holly_bourneYA) launched her #IAmAFeminist Twitter campaign alongside her publishers, Usborne. After starting it all off with a badass Tumblr post explaining why she’s a feminist, she handed it over to Twitter to share their reasonings. I thought it were only apt I get involved, so here’s my story:

I am a feminist because less than an hour ago I had to hear the word ‘girl’ being used as a synonym for ‘useless’ yet again. I am a feminist because the frequency in which this happens is insurmountable, and beyond damaging to young girls’ confidence.

I am a feminist because film producers are incapable of believing girls like superhero movies and action films, that girls like gore and horror too. I am a feminist because the overwhelming majority of white, middle-class men I see on the screen is ridiculously disproportionate to the multi-cultural society I see around me. Which, by the way, is home to just as many women as men.

I am a feminist because I am told I need to be beach body ready, as if me having a body and being at a beach isn’t ‘ready’ enough. I am a feminist because I say “sorry” when it’s not necessary, because I move out of the way of men in my path, because I give up the arm rest for him, and I need to stop these bad habits because I am as deserving of space, time, and energy as he.

I am a feminist because the UK has its second ever female Prime Minister, the US is on its way to electing its first female President, and national newspapers are still writing headlines like these. I am a feminist because not a single serious article has ever been written about the colour of David Cameron’s suit or President Obama’s hair cut.

I am a feminist because I was groped in school on numerous occasions by boys my age, my peers, and I didn’t think to say anything. I am a feminist because I saw the same thing happening to girls around me as early as seven. I am a feminist because we need to end our silence on these matters and we need to end them now.

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I am a feminist because I live in the first world, and live a fairly privileged life, but not everyone is afforded that luxury. I am feminist because 92% of married Egyptian women aged between 15-49 have been subjected to FGM despite it being illegal in their country. I am a feminist because the average age these girls were mutilated was 10.5 years old, because these girls were never given control over their own bodies, because these children were subjected to such horrors before they’d even started puberty.

I am a feminist because boys matter too. I am a feminist because in 2013 8 out of 10 suicides were committed by men, because men are told to bottle up their emotions, to not cry, because it is ‘unmanly’. I am a feminist because we are all human and emotions make us so.

I am a feminist because trans people and intersex people and genderqueer people and non-conforming people matter as much as girls and boys do. I am a feminist because being a trans woman of colour is probably one of the most dangerous things to be, and that is not okay.

I am a feminist because this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is barely any of it.

These kinds of things are not okay. We need to teach young girls (indeed – all girls) to stand up and speak up, to take a stance. We need to teach them that it is okay to be a bitch or to be bossy or to be anything a boy is because there are no distinctive cognitive differences between men and women, other than the ones society put there. And we need to do the same for boys – because they deserve to cry too.

If you haven’t read Holly Bourne’s What’s a Girl Gotta Do? yet I would strongly recommend it (my review will be up on its official release day next Monday). We all need a little Lottie in our life. This summer I’m really trying to expand my feminist reading and Holly’s book has definitely been a highlight to that, and for that I thank her so much. I thank her for being brave enough to put the Spinster Club series out in the world and not giving a damn about the trolls on Twitter. I thank her for starting this hashtag (and getting it trending #1 in the UK!!). These books are far too important to be pushed aside or forgotten about. Feminism is far too important to be pushed aside or ridiculed.

Please, world, stop brushing off modern feminism. We really, really need it.

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21 thoughts on “#IAmAFeminist

  1. Ashleigh

    I loved this ❤ I joined the hashtag too and within seconds had people "debating" with me, basically telling me I'm wrong and I should prove my facts (which is very hard to do in a 140 character tweet). I had someone purposefully writing things to me to provoke me because is specifically said I didn't like it, and someone else belittling my opinions, yet when I pointed that out they said all feminist turn themselves into "victims", which is far from what I (or any of us) are doing. And all I could think was "these people are just proving my reasons, really". It's tiring to keep defending ourselves, and I bet if we said the same thing but didn't include the word "feminism", no one would argue. But I'm so happy for posts like this, to know that no matter how many people argue with us, there's plenty of us here still fighting for everyone ❤

    I bought What A Girl Gotta Do the other day (YESS for early releases!) and will be reading it…possibly next week? I love Holly Bourne and her books, so I can't wait to get right into it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sammie @ booksandbiros

    Yes. Yes to absolutely everything you’ve written, which was so eloquent and on point and a joy to read (a sad one, but still a joy). I was following the chat today as well, and it sickens me that people can be so blind and so righteous and so aggressive about the word feminism and the thought behind it. Awesome post! X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bookmark Chronicles

    I love this beyond words! I was actually about to write a post because I started tweeting with the hashtag and immediately was attacked by people who think I “hate men” And when I tried to explain what feminism actually was they completely ignored what I was saying and kept bashing it. Wonderful post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica

      saw so many wonderful people being attacked by misogynists after tweeting today!! absolutely horrible. one guy asked me if I hated men and I told him no, and neither does feminism. honestly I have seen zero misandrists in the #IAmAFeminist hashtag but I have seen more misogynists than I can count… and they wonder why we’re still demanding equality. I’d be interested in reading your post when it goes up!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Anxiety Chronicles

    Very empowering! So many people have a misconception about the word Feminism and Feminists as a whole! I really love your post. I’m a feminist for many of the same reasons you are and most importantly because my son will be raised to learn how to treat a woman and he will learn how to express himself without fear of being called “less then a man”. He will learn its perfectly fine to defend people in need and be a voice for other feminists <3.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Im Sorry But...

    you go girl! “Being a feminist does not mean I think lesser of men” SO TRUE. I got in an argument with a guy the other day. He rolled his eyes and said “UGH you’re not a feminist are you?” to which I replied “Um yah, I am. Being a feminist means I believe men and women should have equal rights, so everyone should be a feminist”. Ugh, it is a dirty word but I think strides are being taken to destigmatize it! Great post! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. themakingofmeg

    I agree with everything you said! We need to change people’s opinions on feminism, it is not a dirty word! Feminism not only helps women, it empowers everyone! Thank you for this great post!

    Like

  7. Lily

    Amazing post! We need more people like you in this world! Empowering everyone should never be considered wrong! You may have inspired me to write a post of my own!

    Liked by 1 person

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