Being a feminist requires an evolution of self. It’s not all pink hats, high fives, and martinis.
I say that with all of the love and kindness in my heart. Not to belittle anyone, not to make anyone feel bad about where they are in their own journey - because I love pink hats and high fives and martinis. And, some of my favorite feminist moments have been with the combination of all three: pink hats, high fives, and martinis.
But that is nowhere near the end of the experience as a feminist.
I’ve been a feminist my entire life. My dad is a feminist, my mom is a feminist. Recently, I learned the word (feminist) that matched my beliefs, self-assigned it and started on my journey as the founder of a feminist web publication and what a ride it has been.
Endless Questions/Self Reflection
Being a feminist makes me question the things around me and myself.
I am in a continual cycle of questioning words, actions and motives around me. And, importantly, I spend a whole lot of time questioning my own words, actions, and motives.
I don’t always like what I see.
The reality of (as much as I hate using this term) ‘being woke’ is once you open your eyes to something, you can’t close them and go back to blissful ignorance.
The more I learn and grow the more I see subtle (and not so subtle) sexism and racism in the people around me. I hear it in their words, I see it in their actions and it weighs on me.
I notice things in myself. I catch myself reacting to something or saying something and I will have to stop and check myself. That type of self-reflection is brutal and it doesn’t always come at a convenient time. It certainly doesn’t always come before I’ve let something ugly escape my mouth and have to publicly apologize for my lapse in evolution.
Real honestly, I notice myself being ugly to other women. I think this is partly out of habit (assuming women are all bitches) and jealousy (if you have something I don’t we are competitors). I’ve been working on it diligently - so if you hear me say community over competition, I might be saying it for you or I might be saying it to remind me.
I See How People Look at Me
I was already on the border of being ‘that girl’ and now that I added unashamed feminist to my list of undesirable traits, I’m losing a lot of people who I thought would be with me for life.
And it’s sad. Losing people from my life makes me sad.
But, you know what else? I’m evolving.
I’m happier. I sleep at night. I am not stressed like I was.
I. Am. Not. Holding. Back … it feels so good, so whole.
Bonus, life has started to reward me with people who think and feel like I do. The women and men around me challenge me, they bring new ideas, they challenge my beliefs, and they hold me accountable for being the person I say I am.
I am noticing that for every person I am too much for, someone else comes along that I don’t embarrass, appall or scare - I am holding onto that.
This evolution of thought and values is making me a better feminist. More importantly, it’s making me a better human.