“I’m Surprised You’re a Feminist”

I remember the first time I was called a feminist…actually, I was accused of being a feminist.  I was in my early 20s and was just starting my TV news career…and really just getting a tiny glimpse of what was to come. I was defending a story idea when a male colleague looked at me in disgust and said, “What you’re a feminist and hate men now??”

I thought wait what?? I’m not that kind of feminist…wait…no. I was a ball of confusion.

Fast-forward to present day…I received a message from an individual who said they were surprised that I was a feminist. He went on to say “I thought you were someone who could see both sides. I guess I was wrong.”

Sigh.

Can I cue the eye-roll now?

I am a woman.

I want to be treated equally.

I don’t want to be handed something to fill the “woman quota.”

I want to get what I have earned…not what I am owed for simply being a woman.

I just want a seat at the table like everyone else.

I am PRO-WOMAN.

But that does not make me ANTI-MAN.

I can’t lie…bitterness grew and burned inside of me for a long time. Working in the “boys club” for so long will do that to you.  I did find myself resenting men for awhile because things seem to come so easy for them. When I was at a TV station back east I realized that men were never criticized for their appearance on-air…they could be fat, bald or gray…they could and would wear the same suit for days at a time…they could speak their mind and would be commended for being “leaders”…they were immediately respected as journalists…they were given the hard-news stories first.

I was on the bitter bus.

But I quickly realized that things had to change. It was never my male colleagues’ fault that things came a little easier for them. It was society as a whole. I feel like there has always been this perception that women can work…but maybe we should be in the background a bit. And if we got a high level position…then it’s only because we HAD TO GET it because we’re a woman.

So I use my voice.

I call people out when they criticize my shade of lipstick…my waist-size or my hair. I speak my mind even more and I am called names other than leaders…but I realized I don’t care. If that’s how people see me…that’s on them. I know my real motivation…I know my intentions.

If women are getting raped and murdered by men…I’m going to be THEIR VOICE.  I am going to ask people to stop blaming women for their own murders. This doesn’t mean I am anti-man. I’m anti-psycho person with no soul who thinks they can take whatever they want. If the person behind the crime happens to be a man…then it’s on the individual…not on MEN everywhere.

The moment a woman speaks up…we are labeled. We’re troublemakers…we’re anti-man…we’re too forceful…we’re angry…we’re trying to flip roles at home…we’re trying to overturn time-honored traditions…oh the list goes on.

We’re not trying to take anything from anybody.

We’re not anti-man.

We don’t want to be entitled to anything.

We just want to be heard.

We just want a seat at the table.

We want to be seen eye-to eye.

We want to make the path a little easier for our daughters.

Broken down to its simplest form…that’s what feminism is.

If you don’t believe in all of that…then maybe you’re a sexist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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