From October 22-26, The Wanderer Online is participating in the “Who Needs Feminism?” Call to Action Week, which you can read more about here. Throughout the week, we’ll be posting 2-4 articles per day where writers answer the question “I need feminism because…” If you’re interested in writing something, please send us your piece at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind that you are totally allowed and encouraged to write anonymously, if that works better for you.
1. Because asking for equal pay, wanting the rights to my own body, and feeling gross when people catcall at me doesn’t make me “a man-hating, bra-burning, whiny liberal”.
2. Because I’m not upset because I’m on my period – I’m upset because you’re upsetting me.
3. Because I want to have a Ph.D. and be a mother.
4. Because I constantly need to defend the fact that I can be recognized as equal to men, without necessarily being the same as them.
5. Because I want my brothers to see women as people, not as video hos.
6. Because men can cry without being “little girls”. And because I can cry for reasons other than being “a crazy emotional woman”.
7. Because people too often assume that feminism is just a way to justify a woman’s sexual experiences.
8. Because I can’t cook to save my life, and am notoriously messy. Let’s face it, if a women’s worth was determined solely by her domestic ability, I’d be in serious trouble. Also, because my dad stayed home with me growing up without compromising his masculinity.
9. Because I’ll always find some way to even the tab, but I like it when guys offer to pay. And yes, because I’m not ashamed to be a sucker for when a guy offers to carry my books for me. (Is there anything sexier than a man using his strength to cart tomes of knowledge across campus? I think not.)
10. Because some people still use “boys will be boys” to explain inappropriate behaviour, and believe what they’re saying.
11. Because there are places in the world in which women are still not recognized – legally or culturally – as full citizens, or indeed, as fully autonomous individuals.
12. Because people say things like “that midterm totally raped me,” without even considering the possibility that the person they are talking to has been sexually assaulted and that the inconvenience of a midterm has absolutely nothing in common with the feeling of his weight on top of me.
13. Because it was during the day, I wasn’t drunk, and I was wearing a cardigan. More importantly, even if I had been drunk, in heels and a short skirt at night, I wouldn’t have been “asking for it”.
14. Because I think that it demeans men to portray them as oversexed animals who need women to dress a certain way as a safety precaution, because the sign of a tank top or the faintest outline of breasts might lead a man into a raping frenzy.
15. Because I used to see the guy who sexually assaulted me on campus, and could never stop myself from feeling dirty or running away.
16. Because it took me a year and a half of therapy before I could let anyone touch me again without breaking down. And because there is no good time in a budding relationship to say “It’s not that I don’t want to be physically intimate with you, it’s just that right now I don’t think I can.”
17. Because despite everything that’s happened, feminism helps me to believe that I am going to be okay.