Explanation is the foundation of reason. Because of this, here are a few reasons to why I am a feminist:
Number 1: Boys Will Be Boys
When I was maybe twelve or thirteen years old, I thought I would be more interesting or cool if I had more guy friends. At the time, I was already pretty masculine and was in suspicion by my peers of being a lesbian. In fact, it made sense for my standards/social ranking that I did so. Ignorantly, I forgot that I was “hanging out” with four, disgusting, pubescent, hormonal, Jr. High, boys. Literally, all they could think about was sex and this similarity between them made them laugh… Somehow. This was before my feminist outbreak, so I smiled and went along with their immature jokes. After all, they were liked by my classmates. I was not. In a way, I was hoping their popularity or likeliness would rub off on me. Their jokes mainly consisted of sexual positions and ways they could rape me. Yes, they were planning in front of me! They had sickening plans of orgies and picking up other girls. Until a few moments ago, I had no idea that this is verbal harassment. These BOYS verbally abused many girls daily and nothing was ever said, or done about it. They were popular and liked because they were looked at as studs for being sexually interested, and I was quickly pointed out as an “in the closet lesbian” for attempting to join them. Of course, I had not said anything to them regarding the matter. I had no idea. And for that, that is MY first reason for needing feminism.
Number 2: #SorryNotSorry
Instinctively, women are always wrong or guilty. We constantly feel the need to apologize regardless of the situation. We apologize when the plan fails, or when something does not work out. Even if it was not our fault we find ourselves constantly feeling the need to take credit or the blame. In a matter of fact, we are expected to do so in society. If we do not apologize there will stand an awkwardness that, for some reason, is and never will be filled by our male counterparts. Just the other day, I asked my sister why she was apologizing after confessing to her boyfriend that she did not want to attend his house that day. She replied with a simple, “I don’t know. Because it’s polite.” We have been raised to know our manners, but we have failed to learn how to distinguish them between gender rolls in today’s society. Which brings me to my next point:
Number 3: My Right to Deny
As the recessive sex, I find myself hesitant and uncomfortable to deny my male counterparts. I know I have the power to do so, I just find myself feeling rude. I find myself not wanting to disappoint a male and not wanting to make him upset. We have been brainwashed as women, to fear our male counterparts in a way that we obey them. In a way, the patriarchy society is still among us because most places of authority are male dominated. On top of that, we apologize when we do not fulfill a male’s expectations. As women we may be allowed in the workplace, but we are not allowed to govern it.
Number 4: Consent isn’t always enough
The summer before seventh grade year was a time of confusion for me. I had a boyfriend, but I was far too young and naive to know how to control the relationship/situation and tell him his guidelines. (No, informing your partner of your boundaries is not controlling. It is very important for a successful relationship.) He was older than me and was more mature than I was. Three years prior to that summer, he begged me to kiss him. It was my first kiss and I felt nervous on what to do. I did not want to kiss him because I did not like him romantically. I thought having a boyfriend meant you just hung out with them a lot. I did not feel that I had another option with kissing him because after I tried to deny him, he began to beg. He would not stop. So I gave in. By the time this summer arrived, he wanted more than a kiss. He wanted me to have sex with him. I tried to explain that I was not ready and all he understood was no genital intercourse. Once again, I did not feel like I could say no. He made me take my clothes off, and he touched my breasts. Luckily, we were caught and he could not continue. Yes, he did have consent. But no, he did not respect my decision. He should have been more thoughtful and open to the idea of him not getting his way. He took advantage of my innocence. Regardless of the minimal activity, I kept this to myself for a very long time. I did not tell anybody until I was a freshman in high school and still have not told more than two people. (My parents are not one or either of them.)