OPINION: Why I am a feminist

Seniors+Melina+Hudak+and+Kendell+Oelschlaeger+march+in+downtown+St.+Louis+at+the+Women%27s+March.
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OPINION: Why I am a feminist

Seniors Melina Hudak and Kendell Oelschlaeger march in downtown St. Louis at the Women's March.

Seniors Melina Hudak and Kendell Oelschlaeger march in downtown St. Louis at the Women's March.

Seniors Melina Hudak and Kendell Oelschlaeger march in downtown St. Louis at the Women's March.

Seniors Melina Hudak and Kendell Oelschlaeger march in downtown St. Louis at the Women's March.

Melina Hudak, Staff Writer

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In school, I was always taught that the way I dressed affect a boy’s education. I was taught that the slight peek of my shoulder was enough to get me sent to the head office. It was much too distracting, because, after all, a boy’s education had to be more important than a girl’s. At least, that was what they were teaching me.

This is why I’m a feminist.

I’m a feminist because it is 2018, and when I talk about how unfair it is that a professional athlete gets to walk away from the accusation of raping a girl without a single ding to their career, I’m some sort of radical that needs to calm down. Because that poor girl’s life will never be the same, but said athlete’s career is perfectly intact.

I’m a feminist because my aunt says things like, “Oh, those feminists, they just need to shave their armpits and get over it.” Because somehow the grooming of my body has something to do with the rights I’m fighting for.

I’m a feminist because people still think you must have a vagina to be considered a woman.

I’m a feminist because when mothers choose to work rather than stay at home with their children, they aren’t doing “enough.”

I’m a feminist because when fathers choose to stay at home with their children rather than work, they somehow aren’t as “manly.”

I’m a feminist because parents still won’t let their sons play with Barbies.

I’m a feminist because young boys are taught that crying is bad. They are told that showing emotion is bad, that it’s better to bottle it up and never feel. If you cry, you’re a girl, and no one wants to be a girl.

I’m a feminist because when my family talks about the Women’s March, they say things like, “What’s protesting going to change?” and “They’re honestly just wasting their time. Nobody’s going to listen to them.” Never mind that the country we are living in found its freedom through protesting. But I suppose that’s okay. It was men protesting then.

There is such a negative connotation surrounding the word “feminist.” The reason behind that is the stereotypical feminist that everyone loves to hate. But all we really want is equality. To be seen the same as a man.

I’m a feminist and I believe that everyone should be able to wear what they want, do what they want and say what they want.

I’m a feminist and I believe that women should be able to do anything men can do.