Oooouuuu…..the scary F word. It’s alright I used to be scared too, or maybe turned off is a better way of expressing it. Whenever I would hear that word my body would cringe, it made me so very uncomfortable. I never really cared to wonder why it did. It just did. I thought feminists were radical, loud, mean, mean angry women. If I heard someone say they were a feminist, I immediately felt intimidated, and was sure not to say too much with fear they might attack me and make a huge scene of it.

I feel ashamed that I ever felt that way. I also feel really disappointed that those stereotypes trump the real package of what feminism consists of. It’s so beautiful that now whenever I hear that someone is a feminist, a dorky smile arises on my face. I knew that feminism was about women, what I wrongly assumed was that it was about women being in power, but not in the equality way. Which might be due to the Spice Girls.

Little did I know, that I was an active feminist as a younger girl. I can’t quite recall whether the saying “Girls Rule, Boys Drool” came before or after the Spice Girls explosion but I vividly remember loudly and proudly supporting it. It was programmed into me, it didn’t matter if girls weren’t aloud on the basketball team in grade school, I went to try outs anyways, hey! It got us a girls basketball team. I didn’t care if girls were suppose to wear skirts, dresses or tight jeans, I felt more comfortable in colored sweatpants and baggy t-shirts with sayings like, “Talk to the Hand!” And if any little boys were to say I couldn’t do something because I was a girl, I’d prove them wrong. It didn’t make sense to me that boys thought girls weren’t capable of doing everything they could, and I enjoyed proving them wrong. Maybe a little too much.

I don’t know what happened to that little feminist, I assume hormones happened. Not because of hormones but because of how society makes woman feel about them. A lot of chaos happens to a little girl in the transformation of becoming a woman. Those damn teenage years, wow, am I glad those are over. To say it’s a roller coaster ride is an understatement. Not only are all these crazy emotions flying all over the place but we are too distracted to take note of the changes. You’ve got the media telling us to lose weight, but not too much weight, wear makeup but not too much makeup, how to dress or not dress, what to say or what not to say, who to be and who not to be, and the biggest one of them all, boys! Then we have the pressures from boys, and all the issues that creates. We also have to keep our grades in check, be committed to our extracircular activities, “deal” with our parents, have social life, avoid drama, etc. Point is there is a lot of changes going on, and we have to grow up (but still aren’t treated as adults) much quicker than we are ready to.  Not to say that teenage boys don’t have issues either but we live in a man’s world, so us females are forced to live in a very belittling state. From there on we struggle. We struggle with finding our voice, having our voice heard, and being taken seriously. But I’ll get more in depth with all of this as time goes on.

As a “born again” feminist I hope to gain a clearer understanding of the truth. By learning about the history of how women were treated to how they are treated in this day in age, the correct use of vocabulary (which I tend to struggle with), and how to right the wrong. It’s not going to be an easy process, and thus far it hasn’t been. Conditioning is hard to break but I think with each day we get a little closer. A problem I have is remembering that males are a huge part of this, and if they aren’t aware of their actions, or willing to consider them it’s going to take all of us women to unite and work as the strong team we are capable of being to create this change. Which I believe is possible, “other” women are not the enemy. Just remember that.


***Funny thing I must share: While writing this my male dog Axel was attempting his hop onto the bed, he sometimes has many failed attempts before a success, Ella, my female dog, hears this, alert, she sticks her head out of the blanket and stares at him. He stares back. He looks over at me, let’s a monster burp out, then hops onto the bed no problem and pounces on Ella to wrestle with. Ohhhh boys.

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