How I Became a Feminist

It’s my birthday so I’m going to talk about myself.  HA.  But seriously though, there’s nothing I’d like to do more than tell you all how I became the confident, proud, bold, FEMINIST, twenty year old that I am today.  It took a while, but I finally made it!

You’d never believe it, but before I came to college, I blatantly told people silly things like, “I am not a feminist” and, “Ehh, I don’t really believe in feminism.”  Nope, I didn’t just say “Mmmm, I don’t really know much about it.”  No- I outwardly expressed how much I was “not a feminist.”  To be completely honest, I associated feminism with a girl that I did not like who always got offended when a boy kiddingly said “go make me a sandwich.” I just didn’t think it was that big of a deal (I still don’t get offended by it really; you have to choose your battles wisely).

To be even more honest, I was a senior in high school who thought she was on top of the world and knew everything but actually didn’t know shit.

And then I came to COLLEGE!  I got shut down when I acted like I knew things that I was actually ignorant about, for which I’m grateful.  Not many people had actually done that to me before.  That’s when I first learned that it’s crucial to start dialogues and feel comfortable discussing important topics with people.  Starting school at JMU was like jumping into a magical portal of knowledge that made my eyes open to the worlds of misogyny and patriarchal living.  Yippee!

This is me! On my birthday and celebrating being a feminist! Photo: Olivia Adams
This is me! On my birthday and celebrating being a feminist!
Photo by: Olivia Adams

I joined the Individual Events/Speech team here at JMU, and I began making friends with people who were actually informed about the world.  They studied gender and actually did research about the disparity between the sexes.  I admired them and was inspired by them.

So, I started doing my own research!  I learned more about the income inequality between genders, which before I thought was just a myth. (PSA- it’s not).  I learned more about rape culture and ways that I, the raging feminist I am, even perpetuate it by accident.  I became more self-aware of privilege, intersectionality, and ways that I could be a critical democrat.

It has been a wild journey, but I’m proud of where I am today.  There’s always more to learn, obviously.  More articles to read, speeches to listen to, classes to take.  Accepting that is part of the process, really. I encourage you all to keep exploring resources of information to better expand upon your knowledge of feminism, but also expand upon your knowledge of how you identify yourself.  We could always use some more feminism in this world.

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