Hi, my name is Jessica Harrell, and I am a feminist. (Hiiii, Jessica.) As this is my first blog post, I feel as though an introduction not only of myself, but of my feminism as well, is due.
I am a freshman and journalism major at the beautiful Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Even still, despite being here for over a month, saying this simple fact is ridiculously exciting. Here I am, attending the school of my dreams, pursuing my ultimate passion, in one of the best cities in the state; how could I be anything but excited?
Moreover, I am the stereotypical small-town-kid who moved hundreds of miles away from home on little more than a dream and a prayer. My hometown consists of just over 1300 people, and my graduating class was a mere fifty students, all of whom I felt close to because I had grown up with them. Another thing I grew up with was staggering amounts of conservatism and good ol’ rebel flags waving from dirty pickups; as you can infer from this blog’s title, that wasn’t exactly my thing. Situated comfortably in the Bible Belt and Red Vote Territory, Hawkins, Texas is dear to my heart, but it is no place for a bleeding heart liberal hippie like myself. So I fled.
I began identifying myself as a feminist my sophomore year in high school, and haven’t looked back since. Feminism, to me, isn’t a badge one could wear to a rally and shout bare-breasted, “MEN ARE PIGS!” Because they aren’t. Some are. But so are some women. Do you see the issue there? It simply isn’t right to use feminism as a guise to insult an entire gender. Instead, it should be used as a medium to inspire justice, equality, and respect among all identities and backgrounds. Intersectional feminism, my cup of tea in the cafe of beliefs that is life, examines and appreciates the differences between varying races, identities, cultures, religions, etc. and recognizes that what is necessary to ensure equality for one person may be more or less than what is necessary for another.
Originally, I internally debated whether a blog about feminism was a good idea. I know I’m no Neil Armstrong of feminism blogs; this isn’t uncharted territory, by any means. However, I know that feminism is uniquely different to each person who practices it, and I know that my experiences and beliefs deserve to be stated. And so, here I am, doing just that.