Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gratituesday: Feminism & International Women's Day

I think it almost goes without saying that I'm a feminist.

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I nearly didn't mention it here, even though it's International Women's Day, because I'm surrounded by so many incredible people who work toward gender equality everyday, through their thoughts, words, and actions.  I know women who are supporting their male partners emotionally and financially, men who help make things better for women every day, and maybe my favorite, women who help raise other women up.  All around me, I see proof of equality, and people who are working to make the world a more compassionate, easier-to-live-in place.  And I want to say how grateful I am for every one of you.  A person like me could not have survived in a different time, and I'm keenly aware of how many people have made it possible for me to not only survive, but actually move forward and exist in exactly the way I want to while doing so.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do so.  I'm a feminist because of every one of you.

And so, maybe I would have mentioned that here, because it's a nice thing to do, and it works well with my Gratituesday trope.  But there's another reason, many other reasons, why I think I need to draw attention to it.  The first is that I live in a bubble.  Even my most conservative friends are sex-positive, and I know a lot of people who have no qualms about letting everyone know they're a feminist.  But, in thinking about it, I do have a lot of acquaintances who've said they don't self-identify as a feminist  or who claim to be "girls who hate girls."  And there's a whole world of people out there who don't understand what it means to say that, that it really and truly is saying they don't believe in equality.  I'm a feminist because they're wrong, and because they can come be feminists with me any time they want.

Outside of my acquaintances, who are all really good people and only a little misguided here, there's an entire world of people who want to take away my rights as a human being because I don't have a penis.  Thousands of people want to take away my right to health care, to make decisions about my own body, to work outside the home, to not be battered inside it.  They want to continue the tradition of cutting women off from access, power, and opportunity.  If this isn't alarming y  I'm a feminist because it just isn't alright that I, and my mother and sister, and my friends, and millions of women across the globe have to live in a world where this is considered acceptable and normal, and carve out lives despite it.

And most of all, I'm a feminist because even with all the obstacles against us, women have done so many amazing things and continue to do amazing things everyday.  So, no matter who already knew it, I just want to say, I'm a feminist with a million other identities, and I'm proud of that.

“In Her Own Words: In Celebration of International Women’s Day 2011″ was created to share and celebrate the experiences of women from many walks of life. All day Tuesday, March 8th Any Other Wedding and One Cat Per Person will feature posts written by a collective of intelligent, passionate and opinionated women bloggers from the United States and the United Kingdom. The conversation begins here, but it does not have to end here. We encourage you to comment and create dialogue as well as visit their respective blogs. Be sure to stop by Any Other Wedding and One Cat Per Person throughout the day to read all of the posts in the series. For more information about International Women’s Day, visit http://www.internationalwomensday.com/.
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4 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful post!
    I too am a feminist through and through :)

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  2. Very well said. Your writing is so clear, articulate and thoughtful. I'm loving it!

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  3. Thanks, guys! You're both too kind!

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  4. Love it! A feminist with a million other identities--so well put.

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