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I'm Not, But I Am (Feminism)

I'm Not, But I Am (Feminism)
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In today's world - or possibly how its always been - one does not get to decide what they are and are not. Society does. Even then, society is split with qualifications of what it is as if life were a job application. That isn't how things work and I'll tell you why. 
Only you can define you.


That's right, I said it. The world is a judgmental place and you'll go through a lot of it trying to figure out where you fit in. I'm 26 years old and still don't think "fitting in" is something that is normal. 

One hot topic issue is feminism and how its defined. Forget that women should have a say so in their own bodies and voices, or that should be created equally. Believe it or not, there are still many women out there that think women are treated equally and are paid the same as a man. Facts are shunned as myths even when presented everywhere. (1)

Of course the gender pay gap is an issue and it goes even deeper when it comes to women of color or other descents. Unequal pay is only the beginning of the trove of issues women face under oppression, even more obvious against other women. I have often seen the mindset "It doesn't happen to me, I'm happy with my freedoms, people should just suck it up". And that is exactly how we avoid progress.
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I can't be a feminist because I chose to stay at home with my child and because I am happy in the role as a housewife. Because in society's eyes, I did not aspire to be anything great, to become a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a scientist. No, I decided to be a mentor, a leader, a follower, a lover, and a mother. That's not to say that my choice invalidates any other woman's path in life and that was supposed to be the point of this movement. (2)

Women are often coined specific terms that sting in my ears to highlight uneducated responses. If a woman speaks up for herself, she's a bitch. If she is raped, she is a whore or she was asking for it. If she shows her flesh, she is a slut. Nothing screams ignorance more than name calling. Its sad that we are still separating genders instead of recognizing what they are - human. 

Consent is an issue, and that is sickening considering if I tell my child "No, you may not touch the cookies in the cookie jar." No form of that statement should tell my child that they may touch a cookie. Its a simple phrase that we are taught from a very young age: "NO MEANS NO!" when they ask for another toy. We are still in a country where rape is considered a minor crime as we have witnessed with an unconscious woman who was raped and her abuser received little to no punishment. 1 in 6 women have encountered some form of sexual assault in their lifetime. (3) I am just another statistic. I cannot be a feminist because I am a whore.
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About 1 in 10 men have encountered some form of sexual assault. (3). That's not including 21% trans-gendered people who encounter of sexual assault. (3) Instead of teaching people what rape is, what no means, and how not to rape someone, we are too busy teaching people how to not get raped then shoving victim blame if it happens.

Sex education is also severely lacking in the states, and this is just another point to make for the feminist movement. This should benefit everyone as a whole - including health care and reproductive rights. (4)

There are women who choose to not have a child, but are labeled as prudes. There are women that want to have multiple children and they are considered whores and many other unspeakable names. Its also a skirted issue for abortion and pro-life, pro-choice crowd. I cannot be a feminist because I am pro-choice. I cannot be a feminist because I had an epidural. Because I formula fed after failing at breast feeding. Because I went with disposable diapers and because I became weak to the postpartum. 
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What women choose to do and not to do with their bodies - its not empowering so they say. Men walk around topless but its slutty for a woman to do the same. A woman poses nude in a magazine and she is shamed for not being classy enough, or not being lady like. We live in a society where people think its funny and its okay to place hash-marks on another human being for their gender, their weight, their looks, their accents.... but its not. Its not okay. 

No matter the religion that you try to place blame on, or the upbringing of your parents, or society standards, the truth lies in the fact that people cannot accept blame. 

I am not a feminist because I refuse to put down another human being. I am not a feminist because I include men in the struggle for equality. (5) I am not a feminist because I include transgender and non-binary people in their struggles that end up the exact same as a cis-woman. (5) 

So by standards outlined here and I am sure that there are plenty more out there not even touched on in this ranting article, I am not a feminist because I speak these things with an open mind. I am not a feminist because I don't wear pretty dresses all of the time or high heels. I am not a feminist because I do or because I don't amount to the beauty standards set forth among women every single day.

I am not a feminist....


But I am.


*Please make sure to check out the Image Source links for more information on topics as well!*
(1) Pay Gap
(1) Pay Gap
(1) Pay Gap

(2) Feminist Movement
(2) Feminist Movement
(2) Feminist Movement

(3) Sexual Assault Statistics

(4) Reproductive Rights Movement
(4) Reproductive Rights Movement
(4) Reproductive Rights Movement

(5) Feminism for Men
(5) Feminism for Transgender and Non-Binary
(5) Feminism for Transgender

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