Why I’m a Feminist

I am a feminist.

That’s not hard for me to say because I believe in it. I believe that all men and women should have equal rights, in fact everyone should have equal rights regardless of faith, gender, sexuality or race and everything between those lines.

There is a common misconception today that men can’t or shouldn’t be feminists, but if i’m honest I think it’s men that need feminism most in this country. Toxic masculinity is a problem, whoever said that men can’t cry, men can’t show emotions and men can’t be the victim.

Well, why not? Why do we find it so important that all women remain victims and all men remain predators? That stereotype is the most dangerous. Women can sexually harass, men can too. Believe him, believe her. Believe everyone. And here we are again – equality. Equality for all, which just so happens to be the definition of feminism.

This is why I respect those who make a difference so much.Not only do they put their own opinions out for others to tear apart, they put their neck on the line. Saying unpopular opinions or stating uncomfortable facts does not always go well. To name a few:

Laura Bates – the founder of the website and movement ‘Everyday Sexism Project’. Who after this has woken up to “brutally graphic rape threat[s]” and decided from then onto focus on ending “the things that normalise the treatment of women and second-class citizens” such as catcalling and workplace harassment. On the anniversary of the project, Bates stated that “in five years, I have learned that the problem is immense, but the will to fight it is greater still”.

Another inspiration is Jameela Jamil, British actor, activist and founder of the ‘I Weigh’ movement on instagram, where people come together “to feel valuable and see how amazing [they] are, and look beyond the flesh on [their] bones”, not to weigh ourselves through our bodies but through our achievements.

And finally, Scarlett Curtis the curator of the amazing book ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, and Other Lies’. Scarlett is an amazing activist and journalist who when she was 18, describing her blog as being for “Baking and depression, crafts and anxiety, make up and eating disorders. Sounds fun, right?” Scarlett aims to normalise conversations about mental health, particularly with teenagers. Today, she has teamed up with ‘Girl Up’ to produce an amazing fundraising book (yes, the same one I keep talking about) which you should absolutely read.

This is not a definitive list of women, these are some notable movements that I think everyone should get involved in. I am continually inspired by different people every day, and will continue to be for a long time.

There is not one absolute definition of the word ‘feminist’, it varies for everyone. Some people believe being a feminist is defying every expectation of femininity. But the truth (for me, at least) is you can be a feminine feminist. You can want to be sexy and you definitely don’t have to hate every man you see, in fact I would discourage that.

All in all, feminism is everyone’s fight. If you’re not fighting, you’re not doing anyone a favour. Male, female, black, white – you have a duty to your fellow man, and I call it feminism.

– Libby Monroe, Class of 2019