The spark of feminism began early, as a simple “that’s not fair.” That spark smouldered for a few years, buried by lies and lipgloss.
Later feminism came as a form of pain relief. It stopped the pain and the sadness as an ultimately liberating tonic.
Then my world exploded and it became about the anger, the need to revolt.
Technically I could take my white, middle class privilege and strut out the door. I could pretend to be heterosexual and perform femininity until my time as a feminist is forgotten (the memory brought out to be polished every Christmas by a mocking family). In reality that has become impossible. Beyond selfish reasons and self care, feminism is about 3.4 billion people who are oppressed under patriarchy. It is about acknowledging our foremothers and creating a better world for our granddaughters. Feminism is about the living breathing women around me. It is about a world without rape, without the gender binary.
As a feminist I’m not going to dispute how women label themselves. I understand why some people might want to distance themselves with the racist, classist and ultimately unprogressive elements of the feminist movement. When people say feminist is about equality, I don’t see it as being equal with where man is right now. I see it as creating a world where all people are equal, regardless of genitalia. That world would not look anything like the world we have now.