Yes, I am a Feminist.


Today is International Women’s Day and despite the fact that there are many many writers and speakers who have talked about this subject in a better and smarter way than I ever could, I need to get some stuff off of my chest.

1. Feminist is not a bad word.

Just the other day I sat down to try and talk to my mom about feminism and why some women refuse to identify as such. “I don’t understand why a woman wouldn’t want gender equality,” I said. To my surprise, she didn’t agree. Instead, fear and caution clouded her eyes, and she simply said, “some people don’t believe in that stuff.” That stuff? But why? Who in their right mind doesn’t want gender equality? Or is it the word itself?

In my family, I think it’s the word, the label. I was raised by strong women, taught to never take shit from anyone, especially men, but yet I was never taught about feminism. Rather, that word was used to describe angry women who constantly yelled about politics, alienating themselves from all of the “normal” people who just dealt with the world and didn’t complain.

2. I am angry.

I was finally, gradually, introduced to feminism and what it means over the past ten years. Part of my awareness of it was brought about when I came out as lesbian. In the early days I was shocked by the things men would say, do, assume, when they found out I was gay. It was as if the fact that I’m attracted to women was a personal affront to their own life and ego, and I wanted to know why.
So I read and studied and listened to women who were smarter than me, who understood what I was just beginning to really see, and I learned. I’m still learning, honestly, which I think is something that never really stops. But when you start to become aware of the ways in which women are oppressed or taught to feel or perceive themselves, and how damn fragile some men’s egos are, you become more aware of sexism and its presence in your day to day life. You also become aware of the pressure to just let sexist jokes and comments slide at the risk of sounding like an angry feminist that hates men.
But that’s the thing….I AM angry. Not all the time of course, but when something keeps happening to you over and over again and you start to see not only how it has affected you and your life, but those of the women and young girls around you, it’s frustrating.     We aren’t angry, hateful, people. But we’re pissed off that we still have to fight this shit, that we, somehow, still aren’t equal to men in so many ways.

Oh and by the way, your racist, sexist, misogynistic, ignorant, homophobic, ableist, jokes aren’t fucking funny.

3. I will keep fighting.

Many of the people around me have noticed the change in me over the past few years as I’ve become more aware of the world around me and the issues facing women. I think it really came into view for them after the election last year, and their reactions to me have been varied. Some are okay with it, willing to talk about things, but others have told me to keep quiet about those things, that people shouldn’t discuss politics or equal rights with each other. To be honest, it’s made me self conscious about it sometimes. I feel like by just bringing up the subject or adding to a conversation that’s already happening, that I am living up to what their idea of an angry feminist is. I can see that they don’t understand why I just can’t let it go and deal with it. Or why I can’t just be more like them. I don’t miss the cautionary, condescending look they throw my way when one of the subjects is broached.

But I’ve never been that person to just conform. Despite being soft spoken, introverted, and awkward as hell, I’ve also always been full of fire and passion. I don’t want to be like them. I don’t want to be quiet and sit back and hope that one day it all changes, especially when it has an impact on my life every single day. It changes when we start talking about it, when we don’t let those sexist comments or jokes pass us by unchecked. It changes when we fight and make ourselves heard and demand to be treated with the respect we deserve.

So maybe some of the people don’t like me as much anymore, but if they only liked me when I was quiet and uniformed, then maybe I need to evaluate our relationship.

Living with your bro as an adult…

Most of you know that I’m staying with my brother for a couple of months until the big move to ATX. We get along fairly well but I think it’s been at least 11 years since we slept under the same roof. Also in the house is our friend, Tyler, a guy we both know from work. It’s a full house but there’s plenty of room and it’s been a nice change from living alone.

Here’s a pic of a brother to show you what kind of maniac I’m living with. Yes, that is his real face. *meow*
We all get along but sometimes things get interesting…
Here’s an example of how our days generally go….

8:00am: House is silent. Seriously, everyone here is childless and under the age of 30…therefore, no one is awake this damn early.

An accurate representation of what’s usually happening in my room with my cat, Toast.

11:00am: Tyler is still asleep (what a bum). Cameron’s in the garage smoking and drinking coffee because he thinks it makes him more of an adult. I sneak Cameron’s dog into my room and try to convince her to love me more than him.

12:00pm: Lunchtime..or breakfast depending on how you look at it. For the guys: frozen pizza and/or pizza rolls. For me: a sandwich. Cameron says something vaguely misogynistic in an effort to make me mad. Tyler encourages him. I flip them both off.

1:00pm: Cameron “plays game.” Seriously, that’s what he calls it. Whatever, he plays on his xbox before work and argues with my manager, our mutual friend, on speakerphone about whether or not “bike life” is a stupid thing to tattoo on your body (hint: it is). Tyler’s in his room and I’m on the couch reading a book and making fun of Cameron’s gaming character.

3:00pm: Cameron leaves for work. I saran wrap his toilet seat as revenge for his ongoing sexist attitude. Nothing teaches you to be nicer to people than peeing on yourself…Ghandi said that, I think.

5:00pm: I also eat the rest of Cameron’s Cheez-its for good measure and give his dog an extra treat to reinforce the idea that I am way better than my brother. I think it’s working. Then I leave for work.

1:00am: I get home first, feed the cats, and make some dinner. Cameron gets home next, goes upstairs, uses the bathroom, and finds the saran wrap. There’s a lot of yelling on his part, but I can’t stop laughing. He gets all grumpy and goes upstairs to take a shower. I sit on the couch and watch Dance Moms with my dinner.

1:45am: Cameron comes back downstairs and I force him to watch the rest of Dance Moms while he complains the entire time. I throw a pizza roll at his head. It makes contact. His dog eats it and comes to sit next to me. Operation steal his dog is a success.

A dramatic reenactment of Cameron being hit with a pizza roll

2:00am: Cameron makes his own damn pizza rolls because my projectile weapon make him hungry. We turn on It’s not always Sunny in Philadelphia and hang out until someone gets too tired to stay awake. At some point during the show, Tyler leans over the balcony on the second floor and tosses his rent down to Cameron…in singles…

So, as you can see, things are going pretty well!