I’m a terrible feminist.
As a teenager, mum asked me if I was a feminist, and I replied with a laugh.
“Nope, I think all women belong in the kitchen.”
I must have been joking. Mum certainly didn’t appreciate my humour. I was only 14 or 15, my idea of feminism formed by the high schools kids around me. To me, feminism meant that women were better than everyone else, and men should be torn down. This is not an idea that I appreciate.
Ten years later, I’m surrounded by strong, informed women who share their thoughts and opinions, strengths and weaknesses, pride and bias. I’m seeing so many different sides of the world, even more so with the numerous empowering social movements spanning my social media. Sure, sometimes it can appear as complaints, pointing fingers or placing blame, but that’s because it’s difficult to understand the power we have and the power we deserve.
I now think of myself as a ‘woke feminist’.
The time between high school and now was a learning process in which I began to call myself a feminist, but I remained unexposed to what it truly meant.
Now, I see the inequality.
I see how disturbingly common it is for women to experience rape and/or sexual assault, and I see the reactions to men like Terry Crews who come forward with the same allegations but get treated like they’re seeking fame and publicity.
I see the wage gap, the lack of female characters with depth and the bland ideal of masculinity.
I see movies and TV shows that reinforce the problematic subjects and practices which made me confused about feminism in the first place.
For so long I’ve seen men and women as equal – I saw what I wanted to see. And learning that that isn’t true is genuinely painful. I want our society to get better. I need it to get better.
And I hope more people start waking up to their own feminism.