I AM A FEMINIST
“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economic
equality of all genders, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class,
religion, ability and sexual orientation.”
I am a feminist because I am too scared to walk alone at night.
I am a feminist because I got lined up in a classroom in order
of who had the nicest arse, aged thirteen, by all the boys in the class.
I am a feminist because everyone asks me if I’m feeling OK on
the days I don’t wear makeup.
I am a feminist because a man I was managing was paid the same as me.
I am a feminist because every girl I know was sexually harassed
before the age of sixteen.
I am a feminist because women write insightful and beautiful
books about relationships and they’re labelled chick lit. I am a feminist
because men write insightful and beautiful books about relationships and get
longlisted for the Booker prize.
I am a feminist because 50% of the films nominated for Best
Picture Academy Awards did not pass the simple Bechdel test.
I am a feminist because whenever I watch a movie, music video,
or open a magazine, I feel instantly insecure about my body.
I am a feminist because my two-year-old niece pointed to a
picture of a blue hat in a book and said, “Boy’s hat”.
I am a feminist because I am regularly interrupted by men
whenever I dare to open my mouth.
I am a feminist because when I do mixed-sex school visits, the
girls never, ever put their hand up to ask a question. But, when it’s just
girls, we usually have to leave extra time for questions.
I am a feminist because I feel I need to hide my tampon up my
sleeve on the way to the toilet.
I am a feminist because teenage boys come up to me at events
and ask if they’re “allowed” to read my books.
I am a feminist for all the boys I supported, working at a
charity, who would rather harm themselves than cry.
I am a feminist because my wonderful, caring, brilliant
feminist father has still never cleaned a toilet in his life.
I am a feminist because this is only the tip of it. The tip of
it in my privileged, first-world, pale-skinned, straight, fully-abled
I am feminist for all the women for whom it is unimaginably
harder than it is for me.
I am a feminist because I am angry and exhausted and terrified
and frustrated and confused. And even though it’s so much harder to fight, so
much easier to roll over, I am a feminist because… how can you not be a
I am a feminist for all the things I’m damaged by that I don’t
want to share here today.
I am a feminist. And I’m not saying that to make you feel
guilty and defensive. I’m not saying that because I think you’re a bad person.
I’m not saying that because I hate half of the human population and want them
I am saying that because I believe every human being should
have an equal shot at a healthy and happy life, no matter what body they are
born into. And that’s not going to happen unless we fight, unless we speak up,
unless we occasionally make people feel uncomfortable, unless we – at the very
freaking least – TRY.
That’s why #IAmAFeminist. Now, how about you?