A Plea.

I’ll be not the first, not the last, but rather one of many (seriously. A staggering amount of people agree) to say this: this election, and our options, suck. And it really is pretty disheartening, because it’s my first year to vote. My strong-willed, fiercely opinionated heart has been looking forward to November 2016 pretty much ever since I found out that this election coincided with my eighteenth birthday. But these are our options, and now it feels wildly traitorous to my spirit, morals, and conscience to vote for either candidate. My vote will never belong to Trump. Never, never, never. However, I also find it hard to wave the white flag I vowed I would never boast, which is what I would essentially be doing in voting for Hillary Clinton, who I starkly swore not to support in March as I put a #FeelTheBern t-shirt in my online shopping cart.

It isn’t an easy time to be an American right now. Even further into the issue at hand is the fact that no matter who you’re rooting for (or quietly voting for, with a tinge of shame,) this nation is torn between two polar opposites. Seriously, just about the only things our candidates have in common is that they’re both white and they hate each other. No matter what happens here, half the nation will be severely disappointed. And when people are disappointed with their country, they aren’t quite apt to come together to make change for the greater good.

So what do we do? Do we hang our heads and suck it up, voting for a candidate we truly don’t like, but dislike less than the other one? Do we vote third-party?  Do we write in “Mom?” In all honesty, I don’t know. But I do know this: it has never been so important that we do vote. PLEASE.

Don’t vote for him because he’s a business man. Don’t vote for her because she’s a woman. Don’t not vote for her because she’s a woman. Vote consciously for who you believe is really, truly best.

But, remember this: the right to vote is one that has been fought for tirelessly by a plethora of minorities for AGES. (White) women, we haven’t even had suffrage for a whole century yet. Please, do not neglect the right women before us fought so hard for. Please do not squander what generations of women before us could only dream of. And please, vote for someone who values your gender as a whole. All of us, women. All. Of. Us.

Seriously though, y’all. Vote.

A Review.

For my review of another related blog, I decided to take a slightly alternative route — rather than review another pro-feminism blog, why not one with a completely opposite premise?

Women against feminism. Wowza. What a topic.

Disclaimer: I will admit that I was inspired by the parody twitter account of the same topic, which is pretty hilarious, really.

I must admit that reading through some of the points made on this blog thoroughly ruffled my feathers. How do you people still not get it? I just can’t understand how grown women can not grasp the simple idea that no, feminism is not about hating men, it’s not about trying to be the supreme gender, it’s not about wanting to have more than men have.

It’s about wanting to have the freedom to choose what to do with our bodies. It’s about wanting to take back terms — like “bad bitch” — meant to degrade and destroy us, and reform them into tools of empowerment. It’s about choosing how to live our lives, in a way that suits and liberates us.

And that’s when it hit me.

What kind of feminist would I be to preach about wanting women to have the choice to live as they please, but only if it aligns with my beliefs? Not everyone is going to agree with me. Not everyone is going to see a feminist mindset as the right one. Who am I to tell people that what they believe is wrong? Is it inherently hurting someone that these women don’t agree with me? Sure, it’d be ideal if everyone saw feminism for what it truly is, and far less frustrating, but at the end of the day it is all a matter of beliefs and values. It’s what makes life what it is: not everyone will agree, and it’s better off that way.

I know it’d be easy to critique how ridiculous the themes of this blog seem to me, how completely and wholeheartedly I disagree, but that simply isn’t right. I have to give the benefit of the doubt here, and reaffirm that just because it isn’t what I believe to be right and true, it doesn’t mean I can discredit what others believe. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn, and I still struggle with it constantly. But I know it’s a core principle of what I believe, and to slam the choices of how other women decide what is best for them simply betrays that principle. I guess what I’m saying here is that even if you disagree with feminism, we’re still fighting for you — and all of womanhood, among humanity, alike.

 

Youth and Feminism

I was fifteen when I first learned what feminism really was, and subsequently declared myself an advocate for it. My understanding and perception of the movement has grown and evolved since then, as any belief should, but one thing that holds true is that this is one of my core, fundamental beliefs. This is not a passing phase due to my young age and naivete. This isn’t a poor judgment call that I still haven’t grown out of. This is something that I earnestly attempt to defend and demonstrate in each of my endeavors. In the least cliche, movie-esque whiny emo kid way… this isn’t a phase. It’s who I really am.

However, many beg to differ. People view me as too young to genuinely understand anything about the world and its inner workings. I’m judged as somebody who doesn’t have the experience to have any say about life at large. But I feel like that only strengthens my case. I have not yet allowed myself to be jaded and thrown by how cruel the world can be. I still have the drive to not allow myself to be defeated, to not let the world beat me down. With my youth comes the desire to reform the society I inhabit. I know exactly what I believe to be right, just, and true, and I apply that in my methods of reformation. This is a courage and determination that often times withers with age. But I am still young enough to possess such passion, yet old enough to understand what I must do with it. In the words of civil rights leader John Lewis, as well as on behalf of my generation that I have seen to harbor the same burning desire to simply make the world better… “if not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

To my fellow young feminists, please allow me to offer a word of advice. Those who are against and older than us will try to break us. They will use our youth as a reason to discredit us. They will refuse to take us seriously until we have grayed and lost our passion. But I beg of you, do not ever let this passion for justice die. Do not let the world change you. Instead, change it. And to those who don’t believe we can — just watch us.