Feminism means different things to different people. Some people hate the entire concept of feminism, and I honestly think it is either because they don’t understand what feminism is about, or they simply hate the idea of women playing roles in society that are not associated with traditional “female roles”. The first time I heard of the word feminist was in 2015 in a song by Beyonce’ featuring Ngozi Adichie Chimamanda. I heard the words:

“feminist, a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes”.

These words resonated with me, and I knew I was a feminist. From that day on, I called myself a feminist. Being a feminist to me means standing up for the rights of women and cheering for women in a world that constantly tells them that they are not good enough. Feminism to me is about saying, do not dictate to me what I can be. Do not dictate to me how I should behave. Do not tell me what I should feel. Do not limit me. Do not use my gender to compartmentalize me.

Feminism to me is about saying; DO NOT take away my CHOICE and my CHANCE. Some people feel that we no longer need feminism because women can now vote, work and receive the same pay as men. But I think such is an ignorant statement. Such a statement ignores the fact that these are not the only injustices that women have had to face in a world that discriminates against them. The statement undermines the discriminations that women and girls still face every day, because of their gender. It ignores the fact that there are countries where young girls are forced into marriages with older men. These young girls’ freedom of choice and the right to education are taken away from them. Their childhood is taken away from them. Are we supposed to forget about these little girls simply because it is not occurring in our own country? How blissful is such ignorance when young girls are suffering?

I feel that the word feminist receives more criticism than praise. Feminists are often called man-hating, angry women who complain a lot. Since when is calling out patriarchy man-hating? Since when is speaking out against the injustices you face, complaining a lot? Feminists are angry because of the injustices that women have had to face and are still facing. To me, the word carries my freedom, my voice, my choice, and my chance.

To me, the word feminist is a term that describes exactly what I stand for.

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