html> Breathe Easy: Like A Girl

Like A Girl



      I have never given my strength a label, I have never given my appreciation for my own gender a title.. but after sticking up for my own beliefs in a recent discussion, I was given the title of an "angry feminist.” I paused, and let it sink in for a second. I hadn’t said anything rude, I hadn’t shouted, I simply stated facts- why was I being called an angry feminist? So I replied, “well, maybe I am a feminist, but I am certainly not angry about it…” To which this person went off on a tangent…“You actually call yourself a feminist??? YOU MUST HATE MEN!!”… Yeah.. that is it, I mean disregard the fact that I was sitting at lunch with the opposite sex during that moment? Interesting that when females call themselves feminists, they immediately get told they MUST HATE men, but when a man assaults a woman or goes on a killing spree targeted at just females, he is simply “mentally unwell" and it has nothing to do with him hating the female gender as a whole. Then the tangent continued, “YOU CALL YOURSELF A FEMINIST? SO you don’t shave your legs?” Yup, for sure.. super hairy, because that is exactly what sticking up for my own gender comes down to. “But I am a man that doesnt treat women that way.” Ok? would you like me to applaud? I wasn’t aware that I needed to praise someone who treats another person with decency. I wasn’t aware that I should give you a cookie because you DON’T rape/assault/ or degrade women? I am sorry that you feel the need to turn the tables around to say “WELL NOT ALL MEN” because the discussion of what millions of women deal with, makes you uncomfortable. Alright, I am being harsh, but if I have to hear one more “I don’t treat women that way” come out of another guys mouth, all the while sporting his favorite “make me a sandwich” t-shirt… I may scream. And trust me, I know this isn’t all men, but why is that even becoming a discussion? No one is saying all men… we are simply saying there is a larger problem at bay… one that needs to be addressed. 
         Somewhere, between all of the cold hard facts, people seem to think I have became  a cold hard feminist. After reading statistics… after seeing the degradation of women, I definitely did fall that much more protective of my own gender. I became that much more confident in my own intelligence, in my own strength, so much so that I will never allow someone to speak down to me because of it, but I am not angry. 
          Think about this, 3,073 people killed in terror attacks in the US, 2,002 US troops killed in Afghanistan, 4,486 US troops killed in Iraq (bless all of them, always in my thoughts… troops are the absolute strongest people I have ever encountered, and I never want their heroism to be downplayed) and, 11,766 American women killed by their husbands or boyfriends…(figures from 2001 to 2012) more than the above categories combined- that is a problem. So no, feminism isn’t about hating men… although it becomes hard not fear them when you read the above statistics, feminism isn’t about not shaving… because that is just well, ridiculous. Feminism is about something much more than that. Its about the fact that I shouldn’t have received pepper spray as a freshman going off to college… its about the fact that I shouldn’t ever hear what I should do to AVOID getting raped, no, instead… we should be teaching people NOT to rape. I shouldn’t have to wonder… “should I walk alone through campus… is my outfit to risky?” And I should never be told, “well if you dress like that you are asking for it..” I am not sorry if what I am wearing affects someone in such a strong way they can’t control themselves. I AM NEVER ASKING FOR IT, NO FEMALE IS EVER ASKING FOR IT. It is simple, I just believe in social, political and economic equality of the sexes… so therefore, I am a feminist. Maybe you have a different definition- but that is mine. 
I love men, some of my best friends are men, I’ve dated wonderful men, but I am still a feminist
I shave my legs, as my choice, I wear high heels to show them off, and guess what… I am still a feminist. 
And if you haven’t watched this yet… do so,… because “like a girl” should never be an insult.
      I watched my sister fight for her life, and then I watched as she lost the battle and the life drifted from her eyes... I donated a kidney to my other sister after watching her sit on dialysis three times a week, fighting once again, for her life.. then a week later I started classes again to make sure I stayed on track in school. I have found the light at the end of the tunnel, and have remained as strong as humanly possible despite the factors against me... so if that's what it means to do something "like a girl" then I am damn proud to be a girl. 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,