Yes, I am a Feminist

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be offensive, nor is it written with the intent to marginalize or stereotype. It is simply one woman’s thoughts on equality, and an effort to challenge misinformation. My intention is to unite, not to divide.

Writing this post is terrifying, for so many reasons. I worry it will offend. I worry it will alienate. I worry my words will not fully convey how passionate I am about the search for equality. But, I feel it is an important conversation. And so, I am doing something I have told others to do in the past. And that is to use my voice, not matter how scary that may be, to highlight an important issue.

Feminist.

To many people, it’s a dirty word. It’s synonymous with man-hating, with extremism, with frightening females storming cities in offensive headwear.

And my question is why? Why has a term that, for many, has its basis in equality for all become a word that is not only feared, but despised?

I think that, perhaps, this all stems from one simple (yet so complex) reason–misunderstanding. So I am here to try to add my voice to those seeking to be understood.

I am a feminist.

I am also:

  • A wife– to a man. And when I say man, I mean alpha male.
  • A former stay-at-home mom
  • Employed in a traditionally predominantly female profession
  • Someone who likes shopping–a little too much sometimes.
  • Obsessed with my hair. Someone who wears make-up…likes getting her nails done…wears a bra and the occasional dress–someone who likes to feel pretty.

I am not:

  • A man-hater.
  • A political extremist.
  • Someone who believes feminism only applies to middle class, white women.
  • Okay with the shaming of other women (or men, or the undecided, for that matter).
  • Oblivious to the absurd expectations that exist for men.

None of these things makes me anything more or less than my ideology. Because what my ideology is centered on is choice and equality.

An important distinction I believe should be made is one I came across in a Forbes article on feminism. And that is the distinction between equal and same. I know that men and women are different. I am not advocating for a movement that says we should be the same, because simply due to our biology, we are not. What I am advocating for is a movement that provides equal opportunities for people no matter their gender, skin color, sexual preference, etc. I don’t want to be thought of as “less-than”, and I don’t want to be sexualized just because of who I am. I do want to be valued based on my intellect, my creativity, my work. I want to be given the chance to prove to you what I can and can’t do based on my own personal strengths and weaknesses.

Feminist is not just a social political label for me. It is a part of who I am, as a woman, as a human being. I have functioned beneath the title of “Mommy’s little feminist” for as long as I can remember. I believe in the equality of human beings. I believe in raising a strong, independent daughter, despite functioning within a society that continues, for some reason, to fear strong, independent women.

Yes. I am a feminist. And I hope, after reading this, you understand why.

Cheylyn

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