I am not an expert in this field, although I hope to be. I may sound or seem as though I have lots of knowledge behind the topic of feminism, and I do hope to have infinite amount of knowledge so that one day I can inspire and influence the best in us. But I have come to a realization that my experience of being female in this subjective world explicitly connects me to the topic of feminism because 1) I identify as one (which you should all consider doing as well, if you support equal rights of the sexes); and 2) I proudly wear my gender on my sleeves.
What most frequently happens after I identify as feminist is that people are curious as to why I am one. Or people begin to take a defensive stance, which in turn makes me feel as though I have to explain myself. It is the unnecessary pickiness targeting feminism that prolongs achieving 100% success in equal rights of the sexes. Feminism is what it is, and the fact that people remain to be afraid to extend a hand of support reveals a sad reflection of the slow progress the world is willing to allow for women’s rights.
Are there times that I feel as though I am pressured to speak less? Do I feel like I am writing too much? Yes. Of course! Such deconstruction of self-confidence exists everyday to everyone. It is how we learn to stand for what we believe in and it is how we learn to survive cruelty that tries to leave us voiceless. As Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character says in the gif below, the fight for equal rights will never end until all the goals are met. “I know by the time I’m gone, women will have the vote,” the quote reads, “they’ll have equal education and rights over their own bodies.” Although more countries have now extended voting rights to women, we are still lacking representation in other fields such as education and politics. Check out what real people believe are lacking in women’s rights here: http://www.heforshe.org/en.
It must be emphasized that whatever reason you have in supporting gender equality, or however you define gender equality, let that be the motivation in improving the state “equality” is in. Believe that your voice matters. For example, because you are male in a predominantly female conversation does not make you invisible; rather, it will make you stand out more. That is why we need to hear you, that is why we need to hear everyone and anyone who wants to participate in this movement. Feminism, at least in my book, encourages rather than silences. Here are some very insightful quotes from Emma Watson’s HeforShe campaign speech:
I would say that Emma Watson is correct in stating that feminism has become a topic that discourages people to join. Feminism now seems to wear a cover that shouts “Exclusion: Unless Female”. This is definitely not the case. I don’t think the movement will go any further than how it is right now until people realize that equal rights of the sexes goes beyond how a word is defined or portrayed. Feminism goes beyond standing up for the rights of women who have been fighting to be heard. It’s about accomplishing equality. It’s as simple as that, but it is also highly difficult of a task to converse with those who have a parochial view of feminism. I have a firm belief that the term “feminism” was invented in order for women to have a platform to stand on.
What I hope to see in the future is less girls getting called to the principal’s office because their skirt or shorts or shirt was too revealing. I hope to see that boys are instructed to respect, not scandalize. I hope that the word “girl” does not have a demeaning value as it does now. I throw like a girl because I am a girl, if it wasn’t obvious (enough to those who can see my appearance). I hope that everyone’s gender or sexual orientation does not become the scapegoat of a problem when progress is needed to be made.
Let me leave you with one final gif: