Feminism—What does it mean? To me?

By Alathia Paris Morgan

The definition of Feminism from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism

  1. “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
  2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”

I continue to have conversations with my family and others about why I’m so set on equal-ness between women and men. Don’t I LIKE men? Liking or hating men is not really the issue for me. I grew up with a dad and a mom, grandparents who loved us and now I have an amazing husband who is also the wonderful dad of three daughters. Don’t I respect him? Absolutely. Do I submit to him? Well that is not something we ever discuss because we are in an equal partnership where submission has no place. Now before anyone runs away screaming let me explain.

At my wedding, (come on we all know the wedding is for the girl), my guy asked to have all the guys wear Converse shoes. Yep and they did. He also wanted to have a few certain songs played that meant a lot to him. There were several who asked why I did that? Was I submitting to him before I even got married? No, he asked and because I loved him it wasn’t even a question of could it be done, but how. I got to pick my dress and shoes and even had my favorite songs played, but that didn’t mean it was only because he let me. It was because he loved me and wanted me to have whatever I wanted. It is a partnership. We do things together. He is there beside me to check my ideas and make sure I’ve got all of my ducks in a row. When he has an idea I try to make it happen. Again, it’s because I love him and want what’s best for him, me and our family.

So because I like men, love my husband, and try to give him things he wants how can I be a feminist?

Aren’t all feminists bra burners? Well if you have ever met me, then you will know that burning my bra would be bad for the “girls”, not liberating.

If I’m a feminist, don’t I want to have equal pay for women and men? Of course I do, but I’m more worried about the safety of women at the moment.

Do I agree with the women’s marches? Absolutely yes!! Do I agree with the p****-hat wears? Hmm. I don’t have one on my head, but does that mean it’s wrong? Nope, just not something I’m doing, but others may certainly go for it. Why?  Because we have been subjected to men touching, looking and assuming that our body parts belong to them. Is it offensive to some people? Yes, but so is having the male anatomy constantly talked about in our work places and thrust into conversations all the time.  Now before you tell me that you don’t hear these kinds of things or a man would never say something like that to you, you might be right, but do you work from home? Are you a church goer? Do you normally have a man as your companion in social circles where other men and women are present?  Just because you have managed to protect yourself doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to women all day, every day. Ah what was that? Do they have laws against sexual harassment? Well of course, but women don’t always have a chance to report it because of the way it will affect their income, or the repercussions of making a report are so much worse than listening to a coworker talking about his anatomy. While I might not have gone about it in the same way, I think it definitely made a point that needs to be made. Men don’t own women’s bodies and it’s time that others take it seriously.

Domestic Violence is one the main reasons that I believe in feminism. Women deserve a chance to be free from harm and their stories not be taken for granted. I have seen and worked with a lot of women over the years, but there was one story that has impacted me so greatly over the years. The woman was telling me her story, about when her husband would come home drunk and beat her every weekend. She took it because she didn’t want him to start on their children, but she told me that every time, “I screamed. I yelled. I could only hope the neighbors could hear and call the cops. I was hoping to be rescued because I didn’t know how to support myself and the kids without him.”

So I am a feminist because I believe in equal rights that will help stop Violence against Women. I am a feminist because I believe a woman should not be taken from her family against her will and sex trafficked. I am a feminist because I believe there are amazing men out there that love and make strong women stronger. I am a feminist so that my daughters can chose who they get to love for themselves.  I am raising strong daughters who have amazingly wonderful women and men role models in their life. We can’t change the world by ourselves, it will take men and women to change things and if that means going to marches or trying to help women leave a dangerous situation, then that is how I will change my portion of the world. Ripples on the water change things in small ways, so begin your own ripple in your own way and help change the world.

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