I would consider myself to be quite young. I'm still in high school, so I only have a small taste of what the real world is like. And I know that. But that doesn't mean that I don't have beliefs. It doesn't mean that I am not passionate and that I don't have the right to "fight the system". About one year ago I labeled myself a feminist. " A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes". To this day I will argue respectfully with anyone who believes that women should not have equal rights to men, anyone who believes there is only one type of women, anyone who believes men have no fault in sexual assault, anyone who believes women deserve to earn less than men, anyone who wants to argue with me about my rights.

Image removed

Now I won't go around asking everyone what their take is simply to start an argument and to judge my peers. And I was previously thinking about writing this article, not thinking that anyone would read it nor care for it. But recently something sparked my attention. I was scrolling through youtube as I love to do, and in my suggested, there was a video labeled "Feminist smackdown". Now being naive I clicked on the video thinking that I would see some powerful feminists proving their point and defending themselves. I was mistaken. This video consisted of men, so-called "shutting down" women. It began with an Australian woman in what looked like to be a courtroom, talking to a man in the stands. And this man was doing what is explained by the word "mansplaining". And the definition of this word, a real word might I add, is " a man explaining something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing." This woman, a woman of political power might I add was being subjected to by the man in the stands. And rightfully so she called him on it. This man responded so hatefully, so hostilely, I was nothing less but shook. He accuses her of reverse sexism and was aggravated by the word mansplaining. This man repeated his argument that by using a word that had the word 'man' in it and that indicates him negatively, that she was being sexist. When in reality all this woman was doing, was expressing her feelings toward a man that she felt was condescending her.

The video went on to show clips of feminist rallies where women will stand on a stage and preach about how society needs to change. They would also show clips of celebrity feminists who were speaking about their passion whilst being memed or being made fun of. And even a woman talking on a news station about her thoughts on feminism, and in this case, the male host was being extremely rude, and hostile, while all the woman was doing was speaking factually. Now the reason why I'm writing about this is that I was so unbelievably triggered by this. The comments on these videos were absolutely disgusting. Talking about killing feminists, and how they are just dumb girls. Men are really loving this stuff, and it just made me really angry. But part of me believes that these men are this way because they don't understand what feminism is, and what feminists fight for.

So here I go, please do not hate on me or correct me as I am simply explaining MY thoughts on what feminism is.

Image removed

Feminism to me is fighting for the rights of women. Men are still subjected to norms, they still have an image to live up to. But men have always no matter their appearance been put in a place of power because of their gender. In the past men have been the bosses, they have been the working husbands that are supposed to come home to their wife with dinner made and the house cleaned. Now times have changed, women are in power now too, and we have a voice to fight for our rights. But women still earn less than men in some fields for an equal amount of work. Women are more likely to be victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. Women are looked at as less because biologically we are usually built smaller than men, which lead society to believe that we were not as smart and therefore couldn't do equal work to men. Being a feminist doesn't mean that you hate all men and that we are crazy people who want to watch men fail. We are simply people who have been subjected to an oppression and wish to see a change. We protest the same as others do when they believe in something and want to see change. We live our lives normally just like you. But there is a problem, feminists shouldn't be a word to judge, it should be a word to be proud of. Women are fighting for their right because there is a systematic oppression that needs to change. Women have to live in fear because that is just the norm. Women try not to walk alone, or at all at night or even during the day. if you are walking alone it's suggested to be fully covered and wearing something sensible as to run away from danger. Women are known to carry pepper spray or even rape whistles for protection. If you are a woman and you go out at night alone, or even with other female friends, you aren't brave, you're crazy. You risk your safety. We are taught to: never leave your drink unattended at a party or in public, never take a drink from strangers or be unconscious of your surroundings, use the buddy system when going to the bathroom, and so much more. If you are a feminist, you are fighting to stop these norms. We believe that if we tell girls this it will protect them, but that is simply not the case. There have been so many victims of sexual assault and other horrendous crimes, women are not the problem. Feminists fight for the right for women to not have to live in fear. For the right to be accepted as any color, shape, or size. For the right to be equal, and more.

A lot of men also like to pull the card of reverse sexism, or women overreacting and most of the time that simply isn't the case. In one of the videos, I watched a man watching one of the catcalling in New York videos. And was calling on the makers for including the men that said things like "You look nice today", and things like "I like your dress". He explained how women have started overreacting because they just assume all comments made towards them by men are intended rudely or masochistically. Women have been being catcalled for generations, some cases include a man following them, or touching them, asking for their number or continuing to pry at them although they walk away. Women live in fear because if they choose to pay attention to these comments, they might lead to something unwanted. Again with the systematic oppression, women have always lived in fear because although it was a nice compliment, you begin to assume that every comment made is a dangerous one, and that is the way it is. And men who believe that women are pulling reverse sexism with this, that's naive. And please don't take it the wrong way if a women tells you you're mansplaining, or being sexist. If she is telling you that, think about what you've said. If once you've thought it over you still believe you've done nothing wrong, then argue your point, because women much like every other person on the planet are not right all the time. But if you believe that there is no point to feminism, that's where you are wrong. Feminists fight for their right, but also fight for men. There was a movement that didn't get much attention but still happened. Where women were/are fighting to stop the norm for men. Appreciating the dad bod, and not judging men for crying. Basically stopping body shaming men, and allowing them to show their emotion without being perceived as weak. Feminists aren't only for women, they fight for "social, political and economic equality of the sexes".

I don't hate men, I just hate the stigma around what a feminist is. Please don't hate me for this article, I just really needed to express my opinion, and hopefully clear things up for some people.