Being a feminist can feel like a burden. In fact, it has added more value to my life than any other principle I hold.
Recently the “Who Needs Feminism?” tumblr was set up in response to a similarly-named meme by women who didn’t understand feminism very well. These women posted pictures of themselves holding up paper bearing such words of wisdom as “I need feminism because I love being a victim!” and “I need feminism because I hate equality!” (Paraphrased, but might actually be real.) “Who Needs Feminism?” has done a great job highlighting the problems we still face in a world that does not yet address the imbalances faced by marginalised people, including women. Feminists help to ensure these problems are recognised, the first step to the eventual goal of getting them fixed.
I’ve been struggling with the fact that being a feminist blogger means that the vast majority of what you write about is, by necessity, unpleasant. I’ve caught myself searching for blog topic ideas through newspaper misery, comment rage, anecdotes of injustice, all of which yield essential, worthy posts that can effect real change – but few of which I feel qualified to write about. It can get a little overwhelming.
I’m not going to make that kind of post today. Instead I’d like to talk about the specific positive impact that being a feminist has on your life.
Yes, I need feminism. We all do. But I also LIKE feminism, and I LOVE being a feminist.
When in the middle of a heated discussion with a friend or family member being a feminist can feel like a burden. In fact, it has added more value to my life than any other principle I hold, and I don’t appreciate or celebrate that nearly enough.
I love being a feminist because it instantly connects me to a community of people I like, respect and have fun with.
I love being a feminist because it has given me the vocabulary and context to tear apart and neutralise concepts like “bitch” and “slut” that used to make me feel bad.
I love being a feminist because sometimes, when I stand up for what I believe in, unexpected people thank me afterwards for saying what they could not.
I could go on and on, but I’d rather hear from you about the positive impact being a feminist has had on your life. Why do you love being a feminist? Please comment with your experiences!
Image is of a small, 3D, red heart shape with a smiley face on it is held up in front of a blurred background of trees against a blue sky. Image by fauxto_digit, shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.