I am a feminist. That word carries a lot of negative connotations for some, but denotatively it just means that I believe in the equality of all people.
I don’t agree with people who preach that the need for feminism has passed, because I know that it hasn’t. I also disagree with women who argue against feminism because they don’t think they need to be saved — that just isn’t what feminism is about.
I know that until people stop raping each other, feminism will be very necessary. I know that until husbands stop beating their wives, feminism will be relevant.
I also know that feminism isn’t about liberating the women who already have the power to vote — not to say that the right to vote is a signifier of complete equality, because it is definitely not.
Feminism is about saving the estimated 99 percent of Egyptian women who have been sexually harassed in some way. Feminism is about fighting for the women who have taken to social media under the #MeToo movement.
It’s about Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was hanged after killing a would-be rapist in self-defense. Feminism is for the 10-year-old girls getting married off to men they barely know, and the women who get killed by their family members in order to preserve family honor. It’s about women like Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head because she dared to ask for an education as good as her male counterparts’.
I’m a feminist because the guy I was dating assumed that I would quit my job and stay home with the children if we got married. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it shouldn’t be assumed that it’s something I want to do. It shouldn’t even be expected of me that I want to have children — I might, but that’s between me and my future husband.
I do not hate men, and I definitely don’t think I’m better than men. I don’t think I’m more deserving of anything than the guys I work with or sit next to in class. I just think I deserve the right to the same kind of opportunities that they have access to.
While I absolutely do not want to be president, it would be nice to not have my leadership ability be questioned due to the fact that I bleed once a month from my reproductive organs.
I shave my legs pretty regularly, and I wear makeup, too. I’m not hunched over with heavy glasses stuck in my greasy hair (not that there’s anything wrong with not conforming to feminine standards). I am a woman, and I like to wear heels and dresses.
I’m a feminist, and although that might be a dirty word, it’s not something I’m going to stop being because a privileged boy is uncomfortable with me asking for the right to walk back to my dorm at night without having to keep pepper spray on my key ring.
Kaylie McLaughlin is the assistant news editor for the Collegian and a sophomore in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to email@example.com.