My best friend, who is a man and strong supporter of women's rights, ask me if I was a feminist.
"I don't know, I guess so"
He was a little shocked. "What do you mean 'you guess so'? You're a woman! You are supposed to be a feminist!"
Being woman can be perceived in two different ways: biologically and through society. There is always going to be a difference between the sexes and that starts with biology. As far as humans are concerned you need a male and female to procreate. The female will carry and nurture the child, and in order to do so her body and her emotional attachments will be adapted differently. There are differences that exist between genders as a result of biology. That is the world we in.
Society, on the other hand, is the world we create. Society tells us how we should look and how we should act. Society tells me that I should wear certain clothes, be a certain weight or wear certain kinds of makeup to be perceived as feminine. But I have always identified more with the biological factors.
I like being a woman and the inherent power that comes with it. And I'm not talking about dressing pretty so he can buy you a drink. That is the opposite of feminism. What I'm talking about is the endurance and fortitude, the physicality of it all. I love my curves and softness. It has nothing to do with makeup and clothing. Those things don't define who I am. When you walk through museums and you look at most nude sculptures of women they look more like me than the models you have been accustomed to seeing. I'm not exactly sure when society decided that a work of art should fall out of favor, but I'm here as proof that good things don't go out of style.
To me being a feminist is about where you put yourself between biology and society without anyone else defining it for you. For example, I love to cook and I believe in the power of a home cooked meal. But I've got goals that are more ambitious than making you a sandwich. My mother, who is the most loving and nurturing person I know loves to tell me that it's not lady like to swear. To which I reply "Well that sounds like bullshit."
Every woman has had to deal with some form of discrimination. Being a feminist allows you to set the terms of your own life, which is a privilege that was offered all to rarely to the women before me.
I remember a college class I had where we were discussing a piece of feminist literature. I was only girl who didn't raise her hand and my curious professor called on me. "What did you think?"
"Honestly, I think it's outdated"
I could feel everyone staring at me.
"I'm sure this piece was important when it was written but we've come so far since then. There is always going to be bias and discrimination but what I have now is the ability and education to fight it. At a certain point it has nothing to do with gender, biology, or society. What ever you are up against is just an obstacle and I have everything I need to move it, get around it, or destroy it."
To my best friend who asked if I was a feminist: "Yes, just not the way you were expecting."
I love who I am. I love that I can take control of my life. I love to be the force they don't see coming. If you are only seeing me a just a woman then you are missing the point. My definition is bigger than that.