I Am a Feminist, Even When I Don’t Say It

A common anti-feminist caricature is of a hippie-looking (I will leave you to interpret that) woman shouting and marching on the steps of Capitol Hill with a picket sign, or wearing a sandwich board with the words “Strong, Independent Woman” written on the front.

I support political activism as much as the next person, but people forget that feminism transcends politics.

I am not a political activist, but feminism describes how I was brought up and how I carry myself everyday.  To me, feminism means:

1.) Respect.

For myself and others.  I expect that others give me the same basic respect I give them.  I don’t like being treated as a prize to be won, or someone to just be used.  I do not appreciate people judging me solely based on the traits I was born with.  Therefore, I make it a point to respect others for who, and not what, they are.

2.) Individual freedom. 

People should have the freedom to choose their own lifestyle, provided they are not hurting anyone.  I appreciate feminism, and other civil rights efforts, for helping us achieve this ideal.

3.) Love!

Okay, I needed a third point.  But it’s true.  As much as I have been hurt by hate, I center my life on what I love.  And trust me, I still know what it is.

So there you have it.  I don’t wear sandwich boards with it written on it.  I don’t tag it on the end of my first date introductions.  I don’t even really talk about it (except for writing about it on the interwebs.)  I just do it.

To fellow community members: Why are you a feminist?  Feel free to share.

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