#GirlPower: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A FEMINIST || The article about the Women’s March in Portugal, Porto, that I wrote, had a lot of views, so this is a sign that something is bubbling in the air.
On this note, I decided to talk about something that is deeply connected to this March, Feminism. I know, some of you are already rolling your eyes, as far back as you can, but bear with me. You might want to read the whole article.
Also available in Portuguese (PT)
I have been a feminist all my life. I remember, at 12 years old, being in the car with my mom, dad, and auntie, where I was told: “With an attitude like that you will never find a man that wants you.” You might ask yourselves: “What did you say, that was so farfetched that your parents and auntie would say that to you?” Well, I don’t want you to guess so, here comes the Bomb: “I want a boyfriend that does 50% of the cleaning of the house, and I do 50% of the cleaning of the house.” Shocker, right?! I was told that men don’t want to clean after themselves, and that when they marry they want someone to take care of the chores around the house. I wasn’t having any of that. I wanted equality at 12!
Nowadays, I have achieved my goal. I have a fantastic partner of 13 years, that treats me with kindness and respect, and surprise surprise, does 50% of the chores around the house.
Only last year, I actually “announced” (facebook, and other social media), that I am a Feminist. Boy oh boy, was I clueless about what was going to happen next.
You see, the definition of the word is: “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” Oxford Dictionaries. Since the dawn of time, women have been in disadvantage in terms of rights. It is a well- known fact. And Feminism, is a movement to balance the equation, to give women equal rights to men. But somehow, this plain and simple explanation is not enough in todays world and it is important to understand why.
There are several articles that you can check online about the subject, but I think a personal point of view makes things more, well, personal.
RELATED: Women’s March Portugal, Porto
Before I assumed myself as a feminist, I had several conversations about the subject. And normally they were pretty straightforward and even exciting. But everything changed when I said, that I was one. All of the sudden, I had people saying: “I will not talk to you about that because you are a feminist”; “Here you are and your feminist agenda”; “Why don’t you define yourself as an equalitarian, or humanist?”; “Are you like those feminazis?”; “Why do you want to be superior to men?”
At the beginning, I used to lash out, go crazy! “How can people not understand a simple definition?” And then I realised the many implications of accepting a society where men and women are equal. You see, there are people that believe that if women are equal, they will have the power to treat men the same way as men have been treating women since the dawn of time. And for some that is scary.
At this time and age, there is also a fear of opening horizons and understanding that the Feminism is not just about White women, it includes, as I saw in a sign at the Women’s March: “Protect: Black, Muslim, Latino, Asian, Disabled,Trans, Fat, Poor Women”, and any other person that identifies themselves as a woman. And more than ever, these are the women that need our support.
So you see, don’t be offended when you see a feminist, ask her/him (yes, people that identify as male are more than welcome), what are their views, and maybe, just maybe, you might be able to understand the essence of being a feminist. It is a beautiful thing and so necessary in a world where men are still dictating the rules about our body (abortion), there is still a wage gap, many countries don’t allow women to take financial and even emotional decisions without the consent of a man.
What it means to be a Feminist? To have a heart that is big enough to include everybody, to wake up everyday and decide that no matter the insults you will get you do not give up on fighting for the one’s in need whomever they are, to explain yourself a million times and to have your values questioned all the time, to be patient but above all to be kind and loving. That is a Feminist.
So join the ride fellow humans, because although the road will be bumpy, we, fighting for equal rights, will not give up!