My history with feminism (or womanism or sisterhood or whatever) is rocky at best, shameful at worst. I’ve been catty and mean. I’ve been cruel and unsympathetic to the plight of others. I’ve been rude and ruined friendships over nothing. I’ve said horrible things to some women just to make others feel better. I’ve shamed women in conversations with men. The worst part is that I really enjoyed it, I boasted about it like it was something to be proud of. I didn’t feel any shame or remorse until I got older and it started to hit me. These women, rightfully, hated me. These men I thought I thought I’d gain favor with by joining in on their misogyny turned around treated me like trash.
Let me be clear: Treating other women like garbage, whether you like them or not, is nothing to be proud of.
Even worse than how I treated other women is how I treated myself. I let men take credit for my accomplishments. I allowed men to speak for me. I wanted attention from men so badly that everything I did as far as how I looked and acted was to appease them. I tried hard to be the “cool girl” re: Gone Girl monologue. I often categorized things as being for men, even simple things like putting together furniture. I doubted what I, and other women, were capable of. Looking back, I’m not proud of how I behaved or what I believed but know I would not be the person I am now without going through that stage.
I’ve created a feminist starter pack, take from it what you want
In a way, I think this blog is a way for me to hold myself accountable. Maybe in a year, or two, or three, I’ll revisit this post and reflect on it. I can’t help but to think of how much more I can do to really ride for my sisters (if you identify as a woman, you are my sister). I am thankful for every woman that has stood by me and given me the space to grow as I’ve learned to do and be better. I am grateful for all of the women I’ve met along the way and for every woman I learn from. The gift of sisterhood is something I will cherish along the way and am so happy to share with my biological sister who, at thirteen, is already more down for the cause than I was in my early twenties.
(Gender justice image from WomensMarch.com)