Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why I Love Feminsim

One social issue that I feel most passionate about is women’s rights/feminism. I think this largely is due to the fact that identify as a woman and have used this as a platform to approach other issues of marginalization and oppression. I’ve now been involved in social justice work for a year and half and have learned more than I could ever begin to describe! Both from books and real world experience, I have gained knowledge and insight on oppression, liberation, economics, social constructions, systematic discrimination and intersectionality. But, it all started with feminism.
                I remember so vividly the first moment that I truly realized that there wasn’t equality between men and women. I was in the seventh grade and was reading an interesting book on current events during some free time that we had. I remember reading the line “women are only paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work” and being stunned. My jaw was on the floor…I couldn’t believe that women didn’t get paid as much as men. As we proceeded to switch classes I remember walking down the hallway feeling intense rage seep through every pore on my body. I knew I wanted to, had to, change this. I had to live to see the day that women were true equals.
                Since then, I’ve done a lot of reading on feminist theory. I poured myself into book and learned everything I could about feminism. I have to say, I’ve fallen in love with the movement. From there, I started reading various feminist blogs and critiques of the current movement (both positive and negative). Interestingly, feminism is not how I was first introduced to activism, but it has played an integral part in my understanding of social justice. Feminism was the spark that led me to read other books on racism, sexuality, queer theory, sizeism, ableism and economic privilege. It fostered my own curiosity and led me down the path that I am taking. Feminism is what truly lights my fire and gets me enraged. It’s when I first understood that I am oppressed, but also that I am privileged. Feminism is the issue I care the most about because it has been the domino that has knocked all of the others down. For that, I will be forever grateful. 

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