I’m a feminist.
A lot of people turn their nose up at that term these days, but I am.
Am I the type of feminist that wears a vagina costume and goes to every pro-choice rally within 100 miles? No. While I respect these women and their right to do what they want, I like to think of myself as a more moderate version of the term.
This all started in grade school.
I was five or six and my teacher called me bossy and told me that if I wasn’t “nice,” if I didn’t let others tell me what to do, that nobody would want to be friends with me.
I was 11 and my male principal objectified me for wearing a shirt that showed my shoulders when it was 90 degrees outside and the air conditioners weren’t working.
I was 13 and I stopped eating because I didn’t look like the women in magazines or Budweiser commercials.
I was 16 and my doctor laughed at me for saying that I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon someday because it’s “not a job women typically do.”
I was 18 and I was verbally accosted walking to my car after having dinner with my friends at a local bar and grill.
I was 19 and my friend and coworker opened up to me about being raped.
I’m a feminist because child marriages still happen, because more than 200 million women around the world have been subjected to female genital mutilation and because women make up 50.8 percent of the United States population but only 19.8 percent of congress.
I’m a feminist because there are already people sexualizing Millie-Bobby Brown, a 13-year-old actress, because Brock Turner spent just three months behind bars and because women account for 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.
I’m a feminist.
I don’t hate men. I don’t think women are “better” than any other group of people.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m a feminist that wants to have two or three kids and who loves to cook dinner for my loved ones and crochet while watching a good rom-com.
I’m a feminist but I respect women that choose to be housewives and stay-at-home moms. I’m a feminist but I’m not a stuck-up bitch.
I believe in giving a voice to the voiceless, in fighting for equality (not superiority) and in not taking no for an answer.
Click here for last week’s Chat with the Chief focused on back problems.