Why I’m A Feminist

feminist

fe-mə-nist\ noun or adjective
  1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

  2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

When I was younger, I fed into the stereotypes of a feminist. I thought they were strong-willed women who hated men and bras equally. As a young girl, unaware of the real definition of feminism, I didn’t want to be part of a “radical group.”

As I got older, I ignored what the media and misogynist’s depiction of a feminist looked like. I found that a feminist wasn’t just one particular person or action. I found the true definition was represented at the Women’s March on Saturday, January 21, 2017.

According to USA Today, over 2.5 million people participated in marches from around the world. Cities like New York, Boston, Berlin and even continents like Antarctica came out to support.

632342302-0
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images (Posted by Vox Media)

Everyone came together to protest against Donald Trump’s previous comments on women’s rights, LGBTQ+ issues, reproductive rights, xenophobia and so much more. In the United States alone, it was the largest inaugural protest in U.S. history.

There were so many powerful images that made me hopeful for this country as well as many activists, celebrities and more that came out to speak out on injustice. As written in Refinery29, Kerry Washington stated:

“When you go back home tonight… and you feel like ‘Wow, there is an agenda at work to make me feel like I don’t matter, because I’m a woman my voice doesn’t matter, because I’m a person of color my voice doesn’t matter, because I’m an immigrant, because I’m a member of the LGBTQ community, because I’m an old person, because I’m a young person… because I have a fucking voice, I don’t matter.’ You matter.”

However, the Women’s March came and gone, and I sit here wondering what I can do to help. What can I do to make a difference?

So here’s what I want to do:

  1. Volunteer

I want the chance to volunteer to help women in any way. In high school, I had the opportunity to volunteer at a women’s shelter and spend time with the children living there. I would love to have the chance to make a difference in my community again.

2. Donate

I’ll be the first to admit how skeptical I am when it comes to donating. We all have the mindset that donating is good, but we never actually take the time to dig into our wallets and give money. We spend more time making excuses and creating questions.

I want to donate to organizations like Planned Parenthood (which is on it’s way to being defunded by the government) to further help women get the help that they need.

Aside from organizations, there are other ways to donate to causes that you’re passionate about. I came across a woman name Noëlle Santos that wants to build the only bookstore in the Bronx. Can you imagine that in one borough there’s 1.4 million people and no outlet for people to buy books? She is currently raising money to make her goal come true. I would love to donate a small amount to make a dent in her dream.


3. Be Informed

Always stay on top of issues that you care about. I took the first step in signing up for news and updates of the NYC chapter of the Women’s March. I won’t miss a thing and I have the chance to join on any future actions in my community. There are plenty of resources where you can keep informed on changes or issues in your own communities.

This list can go on and on, but I found this post from Bustle that list 100 ways to fight back in the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency helpful. For example, #62 states:

Create a platform to share your views. Start a blog, a YouTube channel, a magazine, or any platform you feel comfortable using.

I didn’t participate in the Women’s March, but I had the opportunity to attend brunch with 40+ women and discuss topics stemming from politics to pop culture. I never felt more inspired than I did on Sunday.

Not only did it give me a chance to step out my comfort zone, but I was able to speak with women of all ages, backgrounds, careers, etc. I was surrounded by women that look like me and dealt with similar struggles. I listened to their stories and I was able to voice my own. I shared information that I never even shared with my own family and friends. I’m now apart of a group that makes me strong and helps me realize who I am.

So yes, I’m a feminist.

I’m a feminist because I believe that every woman should have the opportunity to strive for greatness. I believe every woman should have the opportunity to march for what they believe in and I believe that women should have access to health, education and ALL rights.

Also I’m a feminist who fights for the injustice of ALL women:

Women Of Color

Trans Women

Women with Disabilities

Undocumented Women

LGBTQA+ Women

Women Of All Classes

And the list goes on…

Being a feminist shouldn’t just be beneficial for yourself, but for everyone around you.

Featured image credit to @obeygiant@ernestoyerena and @jessicasabogal

Advertisements

Author: chelseacandelario

Chelsea Candelario is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor's degree in journalism. In the fall, she will be attending City College for a master's in public relations. Currently, she's a freelance writer looking for an opportunity to write and incorporate social media along with her writing. She strives to make a difference in her community through her passion for providing news and culture.

11 thoughts on “Why I’m A Feminist”

  1. Great job Chelsea, I enjoyed your post. I currently work at a shelter in the Bronx and I would love to have you come volunteer with our kids. I am really proud of you.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s