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Friday, November 19, 2010

So, WHY am I a feminist?!

My fav t-shirt!

Would it be incorrect to say I am a feminist by birth? Maybe, but that's what I feel like. But then again, I think I kind of grew into it too. So, it was like one of those traits that you've always had in you but it needs a little jostling to come out in the open.

It's hard to put down in words how I came to be a feminist. I did play with Barbie dolls, sewed clothes and organised wedding ceremonies for them. But then I also remember shooting aliens, hitting trolls and winning over princesses in video games. I think this is what did it for me - though I was given Barbie dolls to play with, I also got cars and monsters and video games. It was all about being fluid and finding myself on my own.

So firstly, it was luck - I was fortunate to have been born in a home that gave me choice and reason. But then not everyone who thinks he/she was/is given choice and reason is a feminist. That I started identifying strongly with women's rights movement would be attributed to the small town in India that I was born and raised up in. That town instilled a constructive anger in me - the feminist anger.

I went on to read Women's Studies for my Bachelors in India and Gender Studies for my Masters in London. So, if I really think about it, I have been calling myself a feminist only for the last five to seven years. But I feel like I have been a feminist all my life.

Now I am interested to know what is it that made you a feminist - maybe a grandmother who participated in the suffragette movement, maybe a moment of revelation of the gross inequality between men and women the world over, maybe instinct? Spread the word!


  1. Anytime I think about it, in my memories I can't find the exact moment in which I realized I was a feminist. I think it's because it was not a sudden revelation, but a long, silent evolution. Like a seed that slowly finds its way out of the ground and grows into a beautiful flower.
    I think I am a feminist because, since I was a teenager, I felt suffocated by the sexism of italian society. I felt uncomfortable about prescribed roles and predetermined choices, while I felt profound admiration for all those women who had lived unconventional lives. I became a feminist because I wanted to have full control of my body, my sexuality and my freedom. I am feminist because I hate that my sex - which is AWESOME - is still cause of discrimination if I want to do a certain job or pursue an unusual ambition. I defend feminism because I despise violence, and I hate being afraid anytime I come back home at late night or travel alone just because someone can rape me. I am a feminist because I strongly believe we all have the right to choose what we want be in our life, and we should have equal access to the opportunities to dream our dreams. There are so many reasons why I am feminist taht I can't really understand who is not...

  2. I am a feminist because I was born female, and have a brain. My brain is my best feature, and being told, however jokingly, to, "hide it and show your legs," just did not sit well with me.

    I come from a line of strong women in non-typical careers, on my mother's side. My grandmother was a nurse in the military, in World War 1. My mother was a scientist. So while it was clear that having a family and kids was an option, (else, I would not be here, myself) there was never any expectation in my family that it was the only option for a woman. We were all three, me, my sister and younger brother, expected to graduate college and pursue careers, and we did.

    I had a sense that unequal treatment was unfair from a very young age, and becoming a feminist was part of finding my own voice and speaking out against unfair treatment, in order to work for change, and better ways of living.

  3. P.S. Murrday is my LiveJournal name - this is Peg commenting, here.

  4. Valentina, love the way you've penned it down! You've made what I was trying to say sound much more clear and beautiful! So true - "There are so many reasons why I am feminist that I can't really understand who is not..."
    Thank you so much!

  5. Peg, wow, that's really interesting to know, you have a great lineage behind you. Absolutely love the first few lines, especially "I am a feminist because I was born female and have a brain", that comes out so strong. Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

  6. I turned into one out of protest at the chauvinistic rubbish I was constantly exposed to from certain members of my community. I've been battling against such elements ever since.

    I'm a shock to the system for many. Especially through my blog www.wordplayblog.co.uk That's just the way I like it!

  7. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing this with us!