Updated: May 25, 2019
I've never really thought of myself as a feminist, up until recently.
Female empowerment is something i've believed in for as long as I can remember. But the label of 'feminist' has always scared me a bit. I don't know an awful lot about feminism, speaking up about current issues can be daunting and feminists often get a lot of stick. It was actually my Dad who told me he thought I was a feminist and i think he's right. So, i'm going to own that title from now on.
I've been listening to a lot of podcasts about feminism recently and having discussions with my friends. It made me realise that feminism is still such a taboo subject and the feminist stereotype is what comes to mind for a lot of people. But to me feminism doesn't have to mean shouting it from the roof tops, refusing to shave my legs and being an activist for every topic. There is no right or wrong way to be a feminist.
To me, feminism means campaigning to bring women together where we would often be pitted against one other. Supporting each others goals and being each others cheerleaders. Standing up for things that I believe in and educating myself when my knowledge falls short. Being a shoulder to cry on and offering advice. It means breaking the mould and doing the unthinkable. Supporting my competition and learning from them. Debating in a friendly way but also accepting when I'm wrong. Working on being a better version of myself. Making mistakes and learning from them and having an open mind.
Most importantly, it means bringing my son up to understand that women and men are equals. Helping him discover who he wants to be, without limitations. Teaching him about emotions, toxic masculinity and that feminism isn't just about women's rights but his rights too.
Being a feminist doesn't mean I hate men or that I can't enjoy make-up, wear pink and care about my looks. To me its about embracing my femininity but also being confident in making choices that are right for me and my family. Being kind to everyone but without taking any shit.
I wanted to write this blog for anyone who might be confused with what feminism actually means. I want to open it up and show that being a feminist doesn't have to be daunting and scary, it can be as much or as little as you want it to be. From simply believing in yourself as a woman, to shouting about it and being a fully fledged activist.
I would love to hear about what feminism means to you, if you would like to contribute to this discussion as a guest blogger please contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org