I am a feminist. I’m not a “kind of feminist” or a “feminist if” or “someone who believes in the idea of feminism”. I am a feminist to the fullest extent of the word. I believe in gender equality and empowering the women who’ve been placed below men for centuries. I am a feminist who believes in fixing the wage gap between men and women, having more female representation in the media, and abolishing rape culture (for starters).
I also love men. One man in particular. I’m married to him, actually. He’s in the United States Army and he’s my definition of perfect. He is a man, and he’s great. Men are great. Men bring things (yes, besides sperm) to the table that are needed in our cultures and our societies. My husband brings logic and calmness to balance out my emotional, passionately charged soul. He is my better half every other day. My dad has been the greatest role model, and has taught me to hold true to my stubborn beliefs.
I am a feminist and I still like men.
That’s a crazy concept for some people to understand; the same people who don’t understand the #YesAllWomen hashtag going viral on Twitter. The critics say us feminists are “throwing pity parties”, “hating on men”, and “trying to make themselves the superior gender”. It has been a struggle for me to keep my fingers from tweeting out some nasty replies.
Feminism exists to create equality. Not to rise women above men, and dethrone them from the pedestals they sit on. Women have been underrepresented, under-appreciated, and devalued throughout history. All we’re trying to do today is to make it a level playing field. To create equality. It’s mind boggling for me when people don’t understand this.
But it’s equally mind boggling for me when my fellow feminists think I’m not representing women well because I got married at 21. Because I decided to move to my husband. Because I took his last name. Because I went in a different direction for my career. Because I chose love.
Apparently, in some women’s eyes, I’m less of a feminist.
I had a girl in college, after I told her I was getting engaged, say to me (and I quote), “Oh wow…well if that’s something that you think actually makes you happy.” She then unfriended me on Facebook that same week. She was an out-an-out advocate for feminist rights and I guess I didn’t meet her ideal standards of a feminist. Ouch.
I’ve stopped taking it to heart. Any negative comments or questions I receive I laugh off. My husband encourages my beliefs, advocates for me to follow any dreams I have, and defends my right for Uncle Sam to do so. I am completely content with my position as a young, married, feminist. I support my husband, my country, and am thankful for my right to advocate for women.
Women, our goal as feminists is to advocate for other women. For all other women. We have enough bullshit to deal with when people hijack the #YesAllWomen hash tag and use provocative language and hateful, degrading comments directed towards feminists. Do we really need to judge one another?
Whether we’re married or single. Whether we’re say-at-home mom’s, CEO’s, or soldiers. Whether we dress provocatively or conservatively, have multiple sexual partners or one. Let’s advocate, encourage, and support one another.
I’m a married feminist, and it’s the best thing ever.