Disclaimer: I will probably irritate someone reading this, but I need to be honest.
I never considered myself a feminist, until being a part of ShoutOut!. Now I would say I am a feminist, but it’s not something I would shout from the mountain tops. And no, it’s not because I’m embarrassed or ashamed; it’s because that’s not how I see myself or how I would describe myself.
I am a 19-year-old, white, middle class, working, educated women in the United States of America with tattoos, piercings, and a smart mouth. I come from an immigrant mother and a native-born American father, who work their asses off to give my brothers and me better than what they had. I have seen the poor side of the coin not knowing where we are going to get money for groceries and the side of the coin where I can have whatever I want. Look at me and you’ll see the white woman with tattoos and piercings. There is more to me than anyone will ever know.
I’ve learned a lot this semester and have been exposed to so many new, amazing ideas and people. I knew I wanted to take this class when Sarah asked but I didn’t realize what kind of insight I would gain from my fellow classmates; I thank you for that. This being said I don’t see eye to eye with 90% of what my classmates do, and this showed when I didn’t participate in discussions during class. I lean to the opposite side of my classmates politically especially when it comes to the 2ndAmendment. Hate me all you want, but I will never give up my right to own guns. Now do I believe we should have access to all types, no. Tell me I’m falling to the patriarchy; I don’t really care.
Speaking of the patriarchy, we discussed marriage in term of the patriarchy this semester and I literally lost my mind that day. Just because I want my father to give me away at my wedding and to be bound to a man doesn’t mean I’m any less of a feminist. I want my father to give me away because I’m his mini-me and I don’t see it as him giving me to my future husband. My future husband will be my equal. We will do things together; I won’t obey him. And as for having kids when was that ever a crime, I didn’t realize that because I wanted to have kids before I was 30 meant that I was submitting to the patriarchy’s idea that women need to start popping out children once they are married.
I think this is one problem with feminism, it always assumes that women do the things we do because of the system of patriarchy in our society. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I haven’t let a man control me in a long time and yeah, I learned the hard way. I was in an abusive relationship where my ex thought he had control over my every decision. I let him tell me I was going to be a housewife and nothing else and I was fine with it at the time. But now I couldn’t even think about being a housewife. It took me leaving that relationship behind and growing into myself to realize this. And now I’m seeing someone who laughed and said “You’re not going to be a housewife. You can do so much more with your life and ours than sitting at home cleaning.”
We also talked about how feminists need to unite under one solid cause or definition. This is ridiculous, though. No one believes or thinks the same thing. So, to think that every single feminist is going to have the same definition of feminism is such a contradiction. We want women and other minorities to be proud of their differences and not be afraid to be themselves and have their own thoughts about things. But then, we go and say that feminism has to be one specific thing in order to be heard by the masses.
If you ask me, who cares what other people think? Go live your life the way you want to and if society or other feminists don’t like it screw them. They can leave the same way they came if they don’t like what you have to say.
So, I don’t regret taking this class, but I do regret how long it took me to finally express how I feel about these things. And I know I’m doing this behind a computer screen but hey at least I’m doing it.