It may come as a surprise to you. I am a twenty-something, single, short-haired, bold, and independent female, and yes, I am a feminist. I am studying worship arts/theology and toy with the idea of going to seminary someday. I am a leader within my community both at school and at church. I care deeply about the people I encounter, or at least I try to. I struggle with my self-worth and body-image just like any other twenty-something woman does. I have my own fair share of doubts. I have so many questions about myself, others, and the world. And I am a feminist.
I am a feminist because when I was sixteen, one of my peers in high school thought it was appropriate to grab my inner thigh without my consent and whisper inappropriate song lyrics in my ear.
I am a feminist because when I was in a media class with all boys, the teacher had different standards for me and my abilities because I was a female.
I am a feminist because when I chose to donate eight inches of my hair, people I was once close with told others the real reason why I cut my hair was because I was a lesbian.
I am a feminist because Mother’s Day of 2013, several members of my home church didn’t attend the service because the guest preacher was a woman.
I am a feminist because when I worked at a TV station in St. Paul, I had to work ridiculously hard to show the young female students that their stories were just as important as their male classmates’.
I am a feminist because when my ex-boyfriend put threats on the internet, people asked me what I had been saying to him instead of confronting him on what he was doing.
I am a feminist because after a dear friend of mine was raped, people would say to me “Well, I’ve seen the clothes she wears, so she led him on.”
I am a feminist because when I told a friend I might want to become a pastor someday, she responded “You could just marry someone who wants to be a pastor. That’s pretty much the same thing.”
I am a feminist, and I do not hate men.
I am a feminist, and I support women who choose to stay at home to support their families.
I am a feminist, and I support men who choose to stay at home to support their families.
I am a feminist, and I am not without my faults. I can’t love people perfectly. I don’t always act according to my beliefs. I can still be judgmental, sexist, rude, and hateful. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” I know that I am in the wrong when I act this way.
It is my hope, my prayer, and my dream that someday I won’t have to explain why I’m a feminist. That someday, my daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters will be respected for who they are. Their passions, hobbies, hopes and dreams will be respected and deemed credible because it is what they care about . . . that they won’t be restricted to what they can and can’t do just because they are a woman. I hope that someday the word “feminism” won’t be necessary because it will already be understood and implemented into society.