Anyone that knows me knows that I am a generally progressive person. I am a big believer in community and fiercely and relentlessly loving your neighbor. This phrase has been coined as a Christian phrase since it is found in the bible that we are to love our neighbors. As someone with a complicated relationship with religion I want to reclaim this phrase to create better and safer communities.
For me, loving my neighbor means authentically and truly listening, fighting and advocating for vulnerable groups, and pouring love into your community. I am a humanist, I believe that that as humans we are individually and collectively connected with value and agency. Above all else though, I am a feminist. I believe in the inherent equality of ALL human beings. Feminism has gotten a bad rap over the years. Truthfully, modern feminism is actually starting to become what feminism is—the idea that the sexes are equal and deserve to be treated as such. Feminism is for everyone. To create a better world for all, we need to be feminists.
To me, feminism is creating a better world for every person regardless of gender. I want to be paid the same as my male peers. I want women and men to feel comfortable to report sexual assaults. I want to be able to feel safe in the places that I go. I want to feel comfortable walking alone. I want to know that I won’t be dismissed because I am a woman. I want to be treated as a strong, intelligent, human being whose experiences are valid and heard. But most importantly, feminism is about ALL women, across the spectrum, across class, across race, etc.
As a white passing woman my experience with feminism is so incredibly, vastly, different than women of color or different status. I know that I am not a perfect feminist, I know I still hold biases that harm people who are different than me. I know that I have centered myself in spaces that are not mine to be had. As women and femmes, we are all connected by this deeply rooted flaw in our system that creates prevalent sexism that we see in spaces every day. I am working everyday to be better and undo these biases I have that harm those who I am called to love.
Feminism is so incredibly important to me. I am a proud feminist and I always will be. But I also know that I need to be doing the work to make space for those who are more vulnerable than me. Those whose stories are so powerful and devastating. I need to make space for them at the table and sometimes remove myself from the conversation.
Optical allyship is something I always struggle with. I never want to be that person that talks big talk but does not walk the walk. Allyship is not something you are, it is something you do. Actively working to lift the voices of others is not something you get a damn cookie for and you shouldn’t want one. You should be doing it because you know it is the right thing to do. I want to change the world. And I know that I will never be perfect at that, but I will be committed and relentless in my journey. I will never be a perfect woman, a perfect feminist, a perfect ally, but I am committed to serve my community, to learn and listen, and to make mistakes and apologize and own my actions even when they are wrong. I am also committed to having hard conversations with my peers about feminism. Instead of turning my head when I see something, I am going to say something.
This tribute to feminism is more about my feelings than the history or the movement of Feminism. Feminism is definitely my favorite F word and I am so happy that I can openly talk about this. If you are able, please donate to women who are doing meaningful work! Many women who do revolutionary work are ones who do it often for free or for a limited cost. Supporting these women through their Patreon accounts, or even Venmo, Cash app, or Paypal not only lessens their financial burden but helps support the work that will change the world.
Some of my favorite women on the internet right now are:
-Rachel Cargle- (rachel.cargle) https://www.gofundme.com/rachelcargle -Layla Saad- (laylafsaad) -Lachrista Greco- (theguerillafeminist)