My feminism looks like anger to you.
I hear it all the time. “Feminists are angry, miserable women. Women are so unhappy now, they didn’t used to be, feminism is a joke”
And you’re wrong.
My feminism is happiness. I am so happy to be in a place in my life where my voice is heard, not only to other people, but to myself.
My feminism is loud. Honestly, that’s what throws a lot of people who aren’t used to – or don’t approve of – a woman who speaks with no apology in her voice, who takes up space, who won’t back down in the name of coddling toxicity.
My feminism is liberation. It took me to this point in my adult life to be free of the expectations of those who do not matter, i.e misogynists, racists, gaslighters, and anyone else who wishes to silence me due to their own fear of my strength. I won’t be silenced. I’m done letting you.
My feminism is inclusive, gathering into my heart – and my fight – everyone who fights the same fight for justice and equality for women, cis-born and otherwise, non-binary, black, white, brown, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, Pagan, and every other identity you can imagine, every beautiful, amazing color of our rainbow that needs feminism and thrives when embraced by their allies the way I do…or in their own way. It’s inclusive to those who can’t fight. And even those who don’t want to fight because my feminism and my fight does not end with those who agree with me. My feminism isn’t just my own.
My feminism is trepidation. Trepidation when looking around at our current political climate and how, regardless of the progress we have made in my mother’s lifetime, let alone MY lifetime, and how many people who hold dangerous amounts of power want to turn back the clock to a time where we “know our place”.
My feminism is anger. So sometimes you’re right, absolutely correct, goddamn straight I’m angry when I see people lobbying to harm my loved ones because of their own ignorance and misplaced fear. How can I not be angry sometimes?
My feminism is hope. I am hopeful, when looking around me and seeing more and more women realize that they have a voice, and I am hopeful when I see them using it…tentatively at first, and then with the confidence they’ve always yearned to have…or at least display.
My feminism is beauty. We are coming together in unprecedented numbers and it’s goddamn beautiful to bear witness to.
My feminism is frustration. Because it’s 2017 for crying out loud, and I’m still having to explain why feminism is necessary…when the people who are pushing back against equality for all genders, races, and every other facet of humanity that they can’t identify with and refuse to empathize with are the poster children for the explanation I’m giving of why feminism is even “a thing”.
My feminism is proud. Proud of my sisters who are fighting alongside me, who have broken through barriers and continue to fight their way towards equal footing for themselves, their daughters, and their granddaughters. Proud of my brothers who are also fighting alongside me because they don’t fear gender equality, and those who are teaching their sons the same. Because they know that equality is vital. Because they don’t feel a desire to fight for dominance in a world that’s always handed it to them. Because they don’t don’t need it.
My feminism is peace. Because, at the end of the day, a day where I can feel every emotion I’ve described above with what we’re wading through on a daily basis, I need peace. And I find it. In our victories and our progress that, despite it all, we are still making.
My feminism is important. Because, again, it’s not just my own. It’s my daughter’s, my granddaughter’s, my friends’ who don’t quite have that will to fight. It looks like anger to you, and sometimes that might be accurate. But it’s one facet. It’s not the one to focus on when the reality of feminism is happiness, liberation, inclusiveness, pride, beauty, and everything else you can imagine, because, again, my feminism isn’t just my own, and I don’t speak for everyone.
But I will speak up. And I will be loud.