If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist)

image courtesy Devil Doll

image courtesy Devil Doll

Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.

Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.

Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.

Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow up to be just a pretty girl. Because if I had a dollar for every time I wondered if I was pretty.

Because when they were having problems, my parents went to a therapist. In his office, he kept a wrestling mat for settling arguments. Because my father won.

Because when my parents got a divorce, my mother did not ask for any spousal support. Because she did not want to owe him anything.

Because every day after working overtime painting houses, my mother would cook my brother and me a meal and help us do our homework. Because when I visited my father’s empty mansion I was expected to cook for myself and babysit.

Because my mother was a manual laborer, she’d flex her biceps I’d feel her muscles, hard as wood. Because my mother is the strongest, fiercest person I’ve ever known.

Because I grew up in a house without a man and if groceries were bought, food made, bills paid, walls painted, roof mended, it was all her. Because no matter how hard she worked, she still didn’t make enough to support us.

Because when I was nine, a family friend gave me a kissing lesson. He had a mustache and smelled like sweat and I stood there like a good girl and he told me next time, I had to kiss back.

Because when I told my mother, I never saw him again.

Because we all saw Saturday Night Fever but I don’t remember what I thought about the idea that a woman is either a good girl or a cunt. Because nobody seemed to notice the gang rape scene but they played the record during recess and all the girls would do the hustle while the boys watched from behind a cyclone fence.

Because I can’t remember my teachers or what they taught me and I’m sure they don’t remember me, because I was a quiet and polite girl and didn’t matter. Because if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been interrupted, overlooked, undervalued, or ignored.

Because my friend Shannon’s mother stood at the highway entrance thumbing rides from men to support three kids from different fathers. Because once she took us to the grocery store for dinner and when the cashier told her how much, she cursed and threw the crumpled bills on the counter.

Because Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith and Kate Bush and Kim Gordon. Because The Yellow Wallpaper, The Awakening, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Bell Jar, Fear of Flying, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Because the first time I had sex it was just to get it over with because virginity was as cold and heavy as lead.

Because as an undergrad, I worked for $3.35 per hour and every day as I walked down College Ave. wearing my work uniform, men would pull their cars over and ask me how much. Because if I had a dollar for every would-be rapist I’ve ever met.

Because the first time I fell in love was with a boy with a cocked eyebrow and a Hitler youth haircut who earned himself a thousand dollars by sending a picture of naked me to a men’s magazine.

Because when I was 21, living nowhere, working crap jobs through school, I had an abortion. Because if I didn’t, I might be stuck there forever.

Because I believe you, Anita Hill. Because Monica Lewinsky. Because it wasn’t until 1993 that it became illegal to rape your wife in every state. Because even today, the Equal Rights Amendment has still not become a constitutional reality.

Because I went to school, had a career, and got married. Because if I had a dollar for every time I had to justify my choices, even to myself.

Because no matter how hard I work, I still bring home fifteen cents for every dollar my husband earns. Because if I had a dollar for every hour I’ve worked.

Because when my daughters were born and every day since, I have ridden unfathomable waves of power and love. Because powerlove explodes and sends me blinking and stumbling, arms outstretched. Because my daughters. Because how in the world could such magnificence be overlooked.

Because when my daughter was eleven, a boy at school put his hand on her shoulder and said, “Did you know that 99% of all rapes begin with some kind of casual contact?” Because he said it was a joke.

Because every woman I’ve ever known, no matter how smart and strong and capable, has had to consider exactly how she could live without a man. Because some never find an answer.

Because it’s time to try something different.

*

How about you? I invite you to write your own reasons for why you are (or aren’t) a feminist—in the comments below or link there to your own list of reasons.

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About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.

613 comments

  1. Yours are reasons enough for every woman on the planet to be a feminist. And every man. Thank you for this beautiful, powerful piece.

    • Yay and yes, men too, men included.

    • daviddiamondblog

      all abuse/rape is wrong.(few) male attitudes towards females are harmful. this should stop.

      in respect of this. feminism is the agreement that abuse/rape is wrong and harmful male attitudes should stop.

      is that it? feminism is simply stating that wrong things are wrong. like abuse/rape and harmful outdated attitudes. its got nothing to with being female. and its not a movement.

      its not a substantial enough list of grievances. all abuse/rape is wrong. male or female. outdated unequal male attitudes are wrong.

      no society is in favor of these things. but wrong things happen. male and females do the wrong things. in no culture is it legal to abuse the opposite sex. but people do.

      males mostly need to stop doing things. females don’t have to do anything. the problem is mostly with us. what is feminism exactly trying to achieve revenge?

      i’m sorry but feminism is hate speech. this spreads a message of hate. using shock and fear. rape/abuse is wrong always. male or female. women do not have the exclusive and exhaustive rights to suffering.

      i agree we should act against inequality and unfairness. but that is cultural and educational. otherwise. if it was based on gender then men would always overpower women. but we don’t our societies are getting fairer.

      its got nothing to do with being female. u can be a woman and have an amazing life or it could be a nightmare. what has me being born male have to do with that? what have unborn males done?

  2. Anna, your words, as always, are sparse, direct, and land at home base with undeniable force. I appreciate this post because in recognizing the difference in the way we were raised, I see why I was late to the party. Though I was born more than 10 years ahead of you and raised by a single mom, I did not have the contrast shoved in my face that you had with your father’s expectations and your mother’s dogged survival.

    By contrast, my single mother had the benefit of an inheritance to sustain her. It was a modest sum, but she was able to manage it in such a way that it grew rather than dwindled with each passing year. She bought properties and lived from the rental income. She did not outsource landlord work, but did it herself, with my sister and me as help after school and during the summer. She, too, was said to be a beautiful woman, however, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I could see the beauty behind the force of her will. I remember her bitterness at where men’s eyes drifted as she walked by, and by the whispers of the paranoid married women who feared the presence of a buxom, cosmopolitan, divorcee who arrived in their backwater town in the late 50s. In my childish eyes, my mom was a domineering woman who turned heads not because of her beauty but because she was so damned dramatic about everything.

    I never questioned my own right to do whatever kind of work I could find. Though I couldn’t see myself making a living out of “ideas” or sitting behind an office desk, I grew up knowing that I could do manual work beside anyone, male or female. It is no wonder that I ended up with a blue-collar career in a male dominated (at that time) field. It wasn’t until I returned to college in my late 40s that I was forced to ask the questions that had simply never occurred to me before. Those are the very issues you so beautifully articulate in this post.

    • “In my childish eyes, my mom was a domineering woman who turned heads not because of her beauty but because she was so damned dramatic about everything.” That sentence is full of good stuff I’d like to unpack and fondle and mull over (because it’s beautiful and I’m very nosy). And what were the questions that never occurred to you before, I wonder. Have you ever written about your mother? Thank god for fierce, strong mothers, right? I mean, they’re not all bubbles and confetti but how lucky are we?

      • Have I ever written about my mother? Oh lordy. I have been trying for over 20 years to write a memoir or biography of her life. I can’t get a handle on it. There are, as usual, matters of familial discord and eternal sibling scorn to deal with. In other words, I’m a coward!

        Unpack, fondle, and mull over…you are a gem. And yes, we are blessed to have been raised by strong women. What questions never occurred to me? Questions of inequity. I simply assumed all women were as empowered as my mom appeared to be. Then I went to work in an office full of men and thrived…but to be honest, I was riding on the coat tails of women who had already broken down the outer moat walls. At the time I entered the workforce, my employer was hungry for women to even out the gender statistics. I was pretty ignorant. I just figured as long as I could outwork a man, all was well. It never occurred to me to ask, Why should I feel the NEED to outwork a man?

  3. I love this so very very much, it both brings hope and pride but also heartbreak and despair…and, frankly, that seems to be the story of every strong woman.

    Thank you for writing this, truly, you have given me a gift.

  4. kristijanh

    This is mindblowing. You made me think of all the magnificent women I’ve ever met.

  5. Reblogged this on bahrolwalidin and commented:
    hhhhhh

  6. Beautiful, beautiful post. I see it in my mother daily. Her mother escaped a misogynistic husband and struggled to raise three children as a foreigner in a very racist England in the sixties. A lot of the things you mentioned were true for them, how she worked her fingers to the bone to support her children but t still wasn’t enough. How she came from a life of luxury to a life of drudgery, and yet still managed to make a happy, comfortable home for her children and leave them a sturdy amount of inheritance after she died. How their father did nothing except send them piles of misery.

    I loved this post. I love love love it.

  7. Reblogged this on The Incidental Scribe and commented:
    Very powerful thoughts that need to be shared.

  8. Well written and thank you for the enlightenment.

    I had exactly the opposite mother .. the original Valium doll.

    If I had a dollar for every pill swallowed by her I wold own half the country

    But funny enough it gave me my interest in food (somebody had to feed me) as well as my interest in logic and computers

    Most importantly it gave me a deadly fear of pills. I cannot help but to wonder what could have been?

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

    • Mommy’s little helper. Though she’s not really ill, there’s a little yellow pill, right? Pills scare me, too, and it’s sad that pills were the only way your mom (and thousands of other moms) could “take care of herself” (and so glad that you don’t have to do the same). Thank you for reading.

  9. aqilaqamar

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete and commented:
    “Because my mother was a manual laborer, she’d flex her biceps I’d feel her muscles, hard as wood. Because my mother is the strongest, fiercest person I’ve ever known.”…
    “Because every day after working overtime painting houses, my mother would cook my brother and me a meal and help us do our homework. Because when I visited my father’s empty mansion I was expected to cook for myself and babysit.”
    “Because as an undergrad, I worked for $3.35 per hour and every day as I walked down College Ave. wearing my work uniform, men would pull their cars over and ask me how much. Because if I had a dollar for every would-be rapist I’ve ever met.”
    “Because the first time I fell in love was with a boy with a cocked eyebrow and a Hitler youth haircut who earned himself a thousand dollars by sending a picture of naked me to a men’s magazine.”
    “Because when my daughter was eleven, a boy at school put his hand on her shoulder and said, “Did you know that 99% of all rapes begin with some kind of casual contact?” Because he said it was a joke.”
    “Because every woman I’ve ever known, no matter how smart and strong and capable, has had to consider exactly how she could live without a man. Because some women could never find an answer.

    Because it’s time to try something different.”

    Some facts that you might not know about. Well now you do.

  10. This told the truth on so many levels and was beautifully done.

    I will add, because I was the victim of abuse, many times over.

  11. This epitomises what a real feminist is, I absolutely love this. It seems you have learnt and encountered many things over your life and others will learn to see the world as we both do. #girlpower

  12. Everything you’ve listed here, Anna, has probably been experienced in some form by millions of other women. Thank you for saying it. And please keep on saying it.

  13. because i grew up and was surrounded strong beautiful women who never dug in their true potential
    because my grandmother tells me i need to act like the “lady” of the house
    because they established a timeline for marriage instead of my career
    because I had to teach myself not to smile back at street harassers
    because ex boyfriend told me my dad was a bitch for letting my mom have as much control as she does
    because i had to stop apologizing for taking up space
    because i felt like owed him something for paying for the meal even though it was a terrible date

    Thank You for sharing this beautifully written post!

  14. Because when I was eight coming home from school, an old man smacked my butt as I climbed out of the kombi. Because of all the men there who had witnessed it, my big sister (a teenaged girl still in high school) was the only with the balls to confront the pervert right there to his face.
    Because my mother had been so dependent on my father when they divorced that we struggled to get back on our feet. Because my mother didn’t want anything but custody from the divorce. Because my father didn’t fight her on it. Because she climbed the ranks in the company she started out at working as a nurse. Because she took in her late sister’s two daughters and is still putting them through school and will eventually send them to university. Because they have a father in another country who will only send R 2 000.00 (a guestimated $200) every once in a while. Because his new wife is the one putting pressure on him to talk to his kids. Because his new wife is the one who flew cross-country to meet them in person. Because I email her pictures of the two of them when I can.
    Because there are too many reasons to be a feminist in this world. Because in a perfect world, feminism wouldn’t be necessary.

    • Thank you for pointing to this disconnect: “Because of all the men there who had witnessed it,” “Because his new wife is the one putting pressure on him to talk to his kids.” I have to believe that these men suffer also from this and wish they’d notice, too.

  15. Because you think you’re immune, and then you’re not. Because when it happens right there, beside you, you can cry and you can run, or you can stand. I stand.

  16. Todd

    Great writing Anna. You brought me back in time again. I guess I’m a feminist too. My mom raised us five in the same town and time and with many of the same hard rocks to break as yours. She barely made ends meet for years and we grabbed at the food while it was there. My sisters all earned degrees an have worked all their lives. My grandmother, her sisters and my great grandmother all worked too (GGM was even a suffragette). I’ve always expected that women would do their own thing and be their own person and I can’t imagine trying to lord it over the woman I’m married to. Sometimes I feel I expect too much of her though and I wonder if growing up the only boy in a house of five capable women skewed my perspective. Maybe it’s also why I can’t stand my mother-in-law. She’s a 50’s era princess that won’t work because she thinks she shouldn’t have to. And a cousin-in-law was just (joking) about herself and said she is a housewife aspiring to be a trophy wife. It’s so odd coming from a place where feminism is expected and encountering women who don’t seem to care.

    • Being a capable woman in a sexist world is a Herculean, Sisyphean task, as you know. It’s no wonder some embrace their objecthood. I’m yearning for more balance. Someday, I’d like to be a Warrior Princess partnered with a Poet in a Suit. We’ll take turns earning money and scrubbing the toilet.

  17. hrosson

    because my mother was late coming home from work one night when I was five…. and when she finally came stumbling in through the door, it was with torn clothes, bloodied face and broken soul and body, from what some guys did to her down on the train tracks.
    because from the time I was a six year old child, I was having to protect myself and outsmart the men who were trying to get at me, and instead got at my friends who were not as schooled on these things.
    because just to walk to the store past a certain hour in my neighborhood growing up meant to run all the way

    there and all the way back because there would
    be men in cars slowing down to suggest and try heinous things.

    because in the span of one week when I was a teenager, a man followed me down the sidewalk, even though I was moving fast in the sunshine, and tried to grab me as I was fumbling to unlock my door and move myself to safety. then a few days later some men tried to get me and my friend into their truck as we walked home from a party,shouting, “get them, get them,” like we were wild game and they were hungry. because the next day a man stood naked in his yard for us to see as we walked by. because these stories aren’t even the tip of the iceberg when it come to what men have meant to the violence in my reality.
    because to not be a feminist is just ridiculous, and not an option at all.
    because when I got married I offered my husband the opportunity to take my name.
    because my mother raised three girls by herself, getting $25 a month child support for her first daughter, $125 a month for me, and nothing for my middle sister.
    because my mother taught me to be fierce, and fierce I shall be.
    forever and ever, amen!

  18. KB

    Because my grandmother wouldn’t let my mother learn to cook because then she might be stuck in the kitchen. Because my mother got a degree in accounting and couldn’t get a job as an accountant because “it was a man’s job” . Because she became a corporate officer in industry but thought she should have been president. Because my father didn’t like my mother making more money than he. Because all my life I see men with less ability and more confidence make decisions. Because a random boy called me ugly and I believed it. Because I went into a female profession, nursing: which had enshrined subservience. Because I worked as a dancer in college. Because I learned no doesn’t mean no. Because I became a single mom.

    • Oh, Karin, what a list. I know all about and want to know all about that “enshrined subservience” you mention. Here in this comment and probably in life, these things (ironically, impossibly, magically) make you three dimensional and make me like you more.

  19. Because I am ashamed to be part of a race that doesn’t acknowledge the humanness of both sexes. Because I wanted to be a ballet dancer and I watched male ballet dancers being discriminated against. Because I believe in equality for both sexes.
    I have not been horribly wronged by men like so many other women. But I consider myself a feminist. Because I want equal opportunities. And I want my sister to not need a mirror to know that she is beautiful. And I want my mother to be credited for raising my sister and I. And I don’t want my future children to question their importance based on their sex.

  20. I absloutely loved this post.

    Because if I had a dollar for rape joke I hear before 12o’clock in the morning, I wouldn’t need to work.

    Because it’s always ‘when’ I have kids, and not ‘if’

    Because of the people who tell me feminism is worthless today.

    This post has renewed my confidence that it most definitely isn’t. Thankyou.

  21. I finally got to read this last night and holy f&ck. This is amazing.

    Because my ideas and knowledge shouldn’t be summarily dismissed because I’m a woman.

    Because women should uplift and help one another instead of preening and backbiting and gossiping to be noticed by the (male) boss.

    Because I shouldn’t hear “if you become a single mom you’ll have a hard time attracting another man.” So many things wrong with THAT on so many levels.

    Because my mother spent 18 years in a controlling, emotionally-abusive relationship and only found the strength to leave by having an affair. Because having an affair was the best way she found to leave. Because I didn’t realize that kind of relationship wasn’t normal (he was my stepfather) until the divorce.

    Because my biological father told me that if we weren’t related and he was 20 years younger, that he would have pursued me until I couldn’t do anything but sleep with him. Because he considered that a compliment, and okay to tell his 19 year old daughter meeting him for the first time in 18 years. (We’re no longer in contact.)

    Because my two boys deserve partners who are confident in themselves. They both – boys and future partners – deserve relationships that stand on their own merits, instead of tainted with rape jokes and demeaning comments of relationships past.

    Because my boys deserve to see that a woman can be strong and smart and capable – and if I don’t show them, who will?

    • Oh, Dakota, that part about your biological father. That part!

      I’m so glad you are thinking of these things while you raise your boys. Lucky, lucky boys will have a richer life because of you.

    • Yes, your remark about your father gave me chills,,,,,because my daughter has a father who ‘wooed’ her after I found the strength of desperation to finally leave him after twenty years of being the focus of his sociopathic torments. She was fifteen then and appears to still be wrestling with the fallout of his sadistic charms.

      Because I feel guilty for the fact that he is my children’s father.

      “Because I didn’t realize that kind of relationship wasn’t normal…” Yes.

      Thank you Dakota and girl in the hat.

  22. Reblogged this on The Escape and commented:
    Damn, this post touched my soul! I wanted to add my own reasons, but she already stated what I wanted to say so beautifully:

    “Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow up to be just a pretty girl.

    Because if I had a dollar for every time I wondered if I was pretty.

    Because I grew up in a house without a man and if groceries were bought, food made, bills paid, walls painted, roof mended, it was all her. Because no matter how hard she worked, she still didn’t make enough to support us.

    Because I can’t remember my teachers or what they taught me and I’m sure they don’t remember me, because I was a quiet and polite girl and didn’t matter. Because if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been interrupted, overlooked, undervalued, or ignored.

    Because the first time I had sex it was just to get it over with because virginity was as cold and heavy as lead.

    Because every woman I’ve ever known, no matter how smart and strong and capable, has had to consider exactly how she could live without a man. Because some never find an answer.

    Because it’s time to try something different.”

  23. Reblogged this on Imaginion and commented:
    Just….read it

  24. Because after turning thirty realized it’s not about who you are but who you are not.
    Because feeling uncomfortable that having a certain sexorgans means that you should act and look in a certain way. And that way is not just cultural. It’s political. Goes with men too. For me being a feminist doesn’t mean pro women but pro human.
    Thanks for sharing.

  25. catform

    Reblogged this on Choris Romance• and commented:
    This is just beautiful ♡

  26. Because people still think rapists’ careers should be protected and that girls should stop wearing short skirts if they want to stay safe.

  27. Because my father told me that the only thing I could never “do” was “give up”. And for him, I will forever wanting to support others to ensure they realise what “equality” means.

  28. Reblogged this on docileshe and commented:
    Because I can’t do anything without hearing “You _____ like a girl”

    Because I have to walk on eggshells to not offend a “man’s” ego

    Because I can’t share my opinion without being called a name (including feminist)

    Because idiots try to use ‘feminist’ as an insult

    Because society allows rape jokes

    Because I am me and there’s no changing this strong headed woman

  29. Jess

    I think the part about being interrupted all the time gets me the most, because I’m a talker. I read about a study that showed that in conversation between men and men, they are more polite to each other and take turns. But in a conversation between a man and a woman (or men and women), the man is more likely to interrupt or talk over her or change the subject and direct conversation, and the woman is more likely to ask questions. So I decided that at the next social event I went to I would talk over, interrupt and refuse to show interest by asking questions with any guy who talked to me. But after doing this a few times, no one wanted to talk to me anymore.

    • I’d love to see someone do this on film. You know, how they filmed that woman getting catcalled in NY. They could do one this scenario. I, for one, want to see that!

    • This is really difficult to get your head around as a man. I’ve been reading Teresa Moure, a Spanish feminist and linguistics professor, and it has made me think hard and long about my relationships with the women I work with.
      Because when you think about things and imagine how the other person might be feeling there is a tendency for people to think you are being “girly” and “over-sensitive”. And that goes for women as well as men!
      Hard thinking to come up with a new definition of strength.

      • Yes. A new definition of strength is def. in order. I see it happening.

      • Jess

        I find the whole idea of treating women like audience instead of participants is pretty rife in our culture. Like when I see comedy panel shows that “include” female comedians, what we mainly see is them reacting to the jokes of men on the show. I see them being talked over. I see the hosts misinterpreting an ironic comment from a female guest as a genuine opinion and then she awkwardly has to explain she was making a joke. It’s not that it wasn’t funny, it was just that for some reason a lot of people aren’t prepared for women to be funny or witty.

  30. Great piece. I relate to a lot of what you say about your mother’s strength. One of many reasons I’m a feminist is because I’ve worked with and supervised women and seen how they question and undermine themselves. I feel that I do that a lot less than normal because my mom was the one who ran the house, fixed things when they were broken, and didn’t seem to hesitate in pursuing what was best for her and her family. I had such a strong role model for female leadership that it didn’t seem all that unusual to me, despite the sexism I saw in the wider world.

  31. I am sure she wanted to tell you that you were beautiful,i think she thought you already knew that

  32. Wow. Beautifully written and very powerful. And true. I grew up at the same time you did and have many of the same cultural memories and taboos from childhood and youth. I grew up with a divorced mother who worked very, very hard and never had quite enough money to raise three kids. She also was a beautiful woman and had to deal with all the challenges beautiful women had to face in her era. Our mothers could have been very close friends, or at the least would have understood each other very well. Thank you for this moving and very important post. 🙂

  33. Reblogged this on Cooch Coach Community and commented:
    A lot of these thoughts really spoke to me. The pressures that women put on themself or on other women are great. We must work to fight against those pressures in order to change the world we live in.

  34. Wow…it was truely an article full of pain and of what you had come across in your life. Glad you shared it with us…. loved every line of it 🙂 there is nothing that women cannot do without the help of men is what I believe in and what I want every women to believe!

  35. powerful, thoughtful and beautiful, just like you and your mother.

  36. thesearchforeverything

    Reblogged this on thesearchforeverything and commented:
    Wow I love this

  37. Excellent and interesting. X

  38. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” That’s it. That’s all it is. At least that is all it is for me!

  39. I kept reading this and realized after i finished that I had tears rolling down. So beautifully expressed :’)

  40. This is so beautiful. One of the best things I’ve read in a long long time.

  41. Posts like this remind me every day why I’m a feminist, why we need Anita Sarkeesian and others like her, why we need to speak up for women and all those who are marginalized because they’re the minority, and why just because I’m a man I can’t afford to stand by and watch.

  42. This is powerful . Im just starting my blog, and this really inspired me.

  43. Wow! Powerful post. Thank you

  44. Breathtaking piece, I am a feminist for many reasons, far too many to comment, but this has summed everything beautifully. It’s crazy that when you grow up you see why you loved her unconditionally as a child, and realise how much you respect her as an adult. Again great piece

  45. Feminist because everyday as a kid I watched my mum sacrifice her meal so that we could have enough. Such a nice piece

  46. Reblogged this on chemw's Blog and commented:
    Amazing piece

  47. This is very, very, very moving. Thank you.

  48. Really remarkable. Thank you for sharing this.

  49. Tessa Love

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  50. Because my father said (despite believing I was more intelligent than my brothers) “what sort of degree is that?” When I got my Social Work bachelors. Because my mother never realised his chauvinism until he revealed he would “never get in a plane with a female pilot” when they had been married 30 years. Because rape responses still blow me away. Because of war. Because after all this time I hear young people say things I thought I’d never hear again. Because I respect women such as yourself…great post

  51. Pingback: Taking the Path of Most Resistance: Why Am I a Feminist? | Abstractions of Life

  52. Because my mother was brave enough to walk out of an unhealthy relationship when everyother person wanted her to endure the pain and hurt.

    Beacuse my mother single handedly raised four kids in a very judgemental part of the world.

    Beacuse we are responsible for the life we choose to live, and that life should be a happy, fuffiled and accomplished life no matter what life serves us.

    This is indeed a beautiful piece, very powerful and touching.

  53. A fantastic question to consider, and something I have never thought of answering before. Thank you for inviting us to do so, I posted my answer on my blog: http://wp.me/p3XYX7-jDG (“Taking the Path of Most Resistance: Why Am I a Feminist?”)

    Great piece anyway – and congrats on getting freshly pressed!

  54. Chrissy Layton

    Because I care about myself and have self-esteem (why would anyone NOT be a feminist!)

  55. This post is so powerful and your honest words completely hit the nail on the head! Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve just started a feminist blog as I tried to do a ‘why I’m a feminist’ post and realised I have too much to say for one post so I created a blog for it. Its very early days but feel free to check it out, http://www.fuddledandfeminist.wordpress.com – Its a bit more light hearted right now while I find my feet

  56. Reblogged this on OHEMGINALOVE and commented:
    Because every time I open my own door, carry heavy things or fix something in my home my dad is either surprised or mocks my independence.

    • No! Eyerolling fathers: What are you thinking!!?

      • I have four girls and it is a central theme for me to try and make them think about social norms and how to be their own person. I wrote about it in “Womanist” and “Dadinism” if anyone cares to search it out. Do you watch any Sheryl Sandberg, her TED talk is interesting? The Lean In thing is really good.

  57. Because growing up in low-income housing where being 15 years old and pregnant isn’t as shocking and the father of her child is her uncle who helps her mother with the rent, so she turns a blind eye and the girl is walking around feeling shameful, when it’s not her shame to carry. Because society’s perspectives of us turn us against ourselves. Because I want to create myself, rather than find it …

    Dysfunctionallyfunctionalblog.wordpress.com

  58. I am feminist because my mother was the opposite.

    Because my mother constantly urges me to find a “rich guy” to marry so i never have to work for myself.

    Because my mother has always told me that the man is the head of the household and the woman should do his bidding.

    Because i cant remember my mother ever making a decision. It was always my dad.

    Because my fiancé loves me deeply and supports what i want for myself, and will never deny me my individuality.

    I love my father. But i will never agree with household hierarchy.

    This post is beautiful.

  59. Wow! Well articulated thoughts. That’s a life story with lots of lessons and thoughts to ponder. Good one! We often think we are alone, until we come across other stories.

  60. Reblogged this on The Past in the Present and commented:
    If I had a dollar for all the times I didn’t say anything.

  61. ethelrosa

    Because when I was a child I knew no better than to believe my mother should not argue and that if my father hit her she had asked for it.
    Because I thought all parents were like this when your father came back from the war.
    Because I thought that sex meant love and at fourteen I went in search of love and at seventeen found it in a baby boy.
    Because when my husband died when I was 36 I still believed I needed a man to get me through life.
    Because when I was asked to stand up in Year 12 class at the age of 45 and tell the rest of the class about myself, after making the “brave” decision to go back to school I began by saying ” I am the mother of four beautiful children”
    Because when I read your words they stirred a suffocated scream deep down in my depths that wants to be free.
    And because I will fight for my grandchildren both girls and boys to be erase pink and blue from their palettes.

  62. teen rouge

    brilliant

  63. Because I got a chance to leave my abusive ex and be able to finish college, support myself, and feed my children. Because EVERY woman deserves that chance.

  64. Love this, every bit of it touched me. I love the end when you say no matter how capable, smart or strong we are we still have to consider life without a man.

  65. Because I’m tired of being told to ‘get a sense of humour’ or ‘relax’ when I am groped, or touched inappropriately, ‘it was a joke’ after all.

    Because I don’t ever want my future daughters to have to fight twice as hard as a man to get half as far in life.

    Because I don’t see myself as any different from any man, I am human too. We are all human.

    Because I have so many strong, beautiful, smart women in my life, who inspire me in every way.

    Because my Mum has lost herself and no longer feels like a beautiful person, when that’s all that I see in her. Beauty is so arbitrary and definitely in the eye of the beholder. I am blessed to see it everywhere.

  66. Reblogged this on Poet's Corner and commented:
    Girl in the Hat is a woman who vocalises the incredible journey of every woman, every girl through life in a simple, unassuming way that makes we want to cry out in agreement at her words, then wipe my tears, raise my chin and walk strong.

  67. creamy725

    Reblogged this on My Blog.

  68. thenjuvi

    Reblogged this on Queen-V and commented:
    LOVE YAA ~~~

  69. Hi that was incredible!!

  70. Im new here so please do read my posts.. It will really be an encouragement

  71. Reblogged this on multilingualshades and commented:
    This is so beautifully sad. A woman gives birth to a man and she ends up earning fifteen cents compared to one dollar earned by a man for the same amount of working hours. We cook, we clean, we take care of the kids, we take care of the house, apart from our jobs; we do all sorts of odd jobs out of love and demand nothing in return, but were taken for granted.

    Maybe because everything is taken care of by the women of the house that man is non appreciative. Instead we are named as “weak” because we lack physical strength compared to men. How foolish of society to draw inferences from such a comparison! When emotional and intelligence quotient are much more important for survival. Imagine a person with muscles but no brains!

    Honestly, even physical strength is on our side when the jobs women perform is triple than that of men. It is disgusting to ignore the labour performed by women because it isn’t measured economically.

    We are the ones who are put down, made to be inferior, objectified, named as weak, our only job being to please the opposite gender. We are the ones who are made to hate each other, sexual and rape jokes made to sound funny, and it continues because we remain quiet. It is clear who is without a head. And who will emerge victorious in the end.

    Maybe this is why I’m a feminist. Because I’m fed up of being objectified, of being considered as nothing other than a toy for men to play with, of working hard and seeing the man get the prize in the end for just existing.

  72. Because in the back of his mind, I lost my argument before making it.
    Because women are meant to be loved but not understood.
    Because well, every other thing.
    Thank you for this. This is beautiful.

  73. Amazingly written and very touchy and inspiring♡

  74. Because being a life-long feminist brings me to writers like YOU! Check your email for an excellent invitation, Anna, and best to you!

    Sally

  75. > Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.

    I am a feminist because my mother wanted to paint rather than do more mundane and stressful work (who doesn’t right?) and to achieve this fantasy lifestyle she chose to exploit her looks and become a gold digger…….. but it didn’t work out as she planned.

    > Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.

    I am a feminist because throughout history humans have always remarked upon (and celebrated) beauty in people, gardens, architecture and the paintings. And this is bad.

    > Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

    I am a feminist because I was born at a time when society recognised children needed FULL TIME parental care for at least the first 5 years of their life, unlike now when it has become socially acceptable to put them into ‘day abandonment centres’ under the supervision of minimum wage strangers and subsidised by taxes (mostly taken from men who are the most economically productive sex) and government debt (which those poor abandoned toddlers will be forced to pay back once they’ve grown up and started earning a wage).

    > Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow up to be just a pretty girl.

    I am a feminist because my mother wanted me to develop a personality, intellect and skills that would not start to evaporate at the age of 30 (the way beauty does). She basically didn’t want me to repeat her mistakes.

    > Because if I had a dollar for every time I wondered if I was pretty.

    I am a feminist because, just like the rest of society, I also value beauty. I also recognise the immense privilege which comes with being regarded as beautiful.

    > Because my mother was a manual laborer, she’d flex her biceps I’d feel her muscles, hard as wood. Because my mother is the strongest, fiercest person I’ve ever known.

    I am a feminist because my mother did hard manual work which women usually get men to do, and that made her special. If I am honest I’d have to admit this proves just how special men are for doing that kind of hard work most of the time. But I’m going to be a feminist instead who hates men and does not appreciate men for doing all that hard work that they do. Traditional men’s work only deserves praise and respect if a woman does it (even though giving women ‘special praise’ actually defines women as inferior to men).

    > Because I grew up in a house without a man and if groceries were bought, food made, bills paid, walls painted, roof mended, it was all her. Because no matter how hard she worked, she still didn’t make enough to support us.

    I am a feminist because I realise how necessary men are, and how impossible it is to raise children without the help of men. But I am still going to be a feminist even though feminism lied to women when it told them men were redundant and the modern woman *doesn’t* need men and that marriage was an institution set up to benefit men. It isn’t. Marriage was set up to ensure men signed a contract obligating him to provide resources and protection to women and future children for life, and for most of history women made sure men signed this contract *before* they had sex.

    > Because I can’t remember my teachers or what they taught me and I’m sure they don’t remember me, because I was a quiet and polite girl and didn’t matter. Because if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been interrupted, overlooked, undervalued, or ignored.

    I am a feminist because government schooling sucks.

    > Because Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith and Kate Bush and Kim Gordon. Because The Yellow Wallpaper, The Awakening, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Bell Jar, Fear of Flying, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Our Bodies, Ourselves.

    I am a feminist because of feminist celebrities and books and movies. I can’t actually justify feminist theory with a coherent argument or facts.

    > Because the first time I had sex it was just to get it over with because virginity was as cold and heavy as lead.

    I am a feminist because I was messed up when it came to sex when I was young.

    > Because as an undergrad, I worked for $3.35 per hour and every day as I walked down College Ave. wearing my work uniform, men would pull their cars over and ask me how much. Because if I had a dollar for every would-be rapist I’ve ever met.

    I am a feminist because I view all men as rapists, just like some people are racists because they view all blacks as criminals.

    > Because the first time I fell in love was with a boy with a cocked eyebrow and a Hitler youth haircut who earned himself a thousand dollars by sending a picture of naked me to a men’s magazine.

    I am a feminist because it is generally the females who get to select a male from a wide range of willing male suitors. As a beautiful young woman I was surrounded by an almost infinite range of men wanting to have sex/ a relationship with me from which to make my selection….. and yet I still managed to pick a scoundrel, probably because it flattered my ego when he said he wanted take pictures of me in the nude. Instead of realising I was just repeating my mother’s bad choices when it came to men, I have chosen to become a feminist. This is my way of not taking responsibility. As a feminist I blame men for all of my (and my mother’s) mistakes.

    > Because I believe you, Anita Hill. Because it wasn’t until 1993 that it became illegal to rape your wife in every state. Because even today, the Equal Rights Amendment has still not become a constitutional reality.

    And one day the rape of husbands might also be taken seriously as a crime too …… unless feminists get their way, in which case it won’t.

    > Because I went to school, had a career, and got married. Because if I had a dollar for every time I had to justify my choices, even to myself.

    I am a feminist because I chose a lifestyle for myself which is often sneered at by feminists.

    > Because no matter how hard I work, I still bring home fifteen cents for every dollar my husband earns. Because if I had a dollar for every hour I’ve worked.

    I am a feminist because no matter how much the wage gap myth is refuted with facts and logic, feminists STILL control the media and education system and so keep the myth perpetuated – and in doing so make a lot of women feel bad about themselves and hateful towards men…. but hey, making women feel wretched about their lives is great for the business for feminism!

    > Because when my daughters were born and every day since, I have ridden unfathomable waves of power and love. Because powerlove explodes and sends me blinking and stumbling, arms outstretched. Because my daughters. Because how in the world could such magnificence be overlooked.

    I am a feminist which means I will poison my daughters’ minds with a narrative about men being sociopathic, rapey, oppressors. They will grow up hating, fearing and ridiculing men and will have a massive sense of entitlement and feeling of superiority based purely on the fact they are female. And this will make relationships hard for them. And they will become unhappy as a result. And this will drive them into the arms of the feminist movement. And the circle will be complete.

    > Because when my daughter was eleven, a boy at school put his hand on her shoulder and said, “Did you know that 99% of all rapes begin with some kind of casual contact?” Because he said it was a joke.

    I am a feminist because I don’t understand that humour works by flipping ACCEPTED moral values and social attitudes on their head. I don’t understand that if we really did live in a ‘rape culture’ which accepted rape as normal and acceptable then a rape joke would NOT be funny (or offensive). Homer Simpson falling down a cliff is funny because in reality it would be traumatic, painful and tragic, just like rape. The joke only works because it is making light of a scenario which would be horrific in real life….. just like how rape jokes work. Feminism has convinced me we live in a ‘rape culture’ even though the rape of women is considered the WORST crime in society, and I fell for it and became a feminist. But if someone tried to convince me we lived in a ‘pushing people off a cliff culture’ (a culture which is apathetic about pushing people off cliffs) and they used the Simpsons or Roadrunner as proof I would laugh in their face and tell them they are being an idiot.

    > Because every woman I’ve ever known, no matter how smart and strong and capable, has had to consider exactly how she could live without a man. Because some never find an answer.

    I am a feminist because I’ve realised feminism was lying when it told women they could raise a family without men. But I am STILL going to be a feminist even though I realise feminism is promoting big fat lies which destroy people’s lives (especially the lives of children). Studies show men (fathers) are essential for the development of empathy and self restraint. A father less upbringing is the number one predictor of childhood dysfunction including depression, criminality, unwanted teenage pregnancy, gang culture, dropping out ….. and the overwhelming majority of rapists (male and female) came from single mother households. But screw facts – I’m going to be a feminist anyway.

    > Because it’s time to try something different.

    I am a feminist because I have no sense of moral or social responsibility for the ideologies I support, and I treat the whole thing as if it were a hobby or a fashion statement. Girrrrrl power.

    • katherinejlegry

      Hi there Curiosetta, here’s some good facts for you:
      Mariann Schnall wrote and conducted this interview…
      Jimmy Carter on His New Book Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power

      Since leaving the White House in 1981, Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth President of the United States, has been one of our most active presidents. In 1982 he and his wife Rosyln Carter founded The Carter Center, dedicated to advancing peace and health worldwide. He has authored 28 books and in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

      In his new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, President Carter has focused his attention on what he calls “the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge” of our time – the discrimination and abuse of women and girls. The book reflects his wisdom and perspective having traveled to over 145 countries and been a firsthand witness to a system of discrimination that extends to every nation in which women are routinely deprived of education, healthcare and equal opportunity, “owned” by men, forced to suffer servitude and child marriage, or trapped, along with their children, in cycles of poverty, war and violence. In his groundbreaking book, he also writes about the most shocking and disturbing human right abuses, ranging from the infanticide of millions of newborn girls and selective abortion of female fetuses, female genital mutilation, the global pandemic of rape, including rape being used as a weapon of war, and the worldwide trafficking of women and young girls. The book also covers many timely issues that impact women and girls in the United States, such as the way incidences of sexual assault and rape are treated with relative impunity on some of our most prestigious college campuses as well as in the U.S. military, or the social undercurrent of discrimination that results in fewer promotions, lower pay, and unequal representation in leadership positions in politics and many others sectors of society.

      In A Call to Action, President Carter also examines the deeply ingrained links between the incorrect interpretations of religious texts preaching that men are superior to women in the eyes of God, which is often used to justify the subjugation and abuse of women and girls. (Carter felt so strongly about this issue he left his own church after seventy years — the Southern Baptist Convention – over its decision in 2000 not to allow women pastors, deacons, chaplains, or teachers in seminaries.) He further connects the problem to the world’s glorification of violence, telling me that, “the excessive resort to violence of all kinds plus misinterpretation of biblical scriptures are two of the generic causes.”

      I last interviewed President Carter in 2010 about his involvement in a group called The Elders, who describe themselves as “an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.” The Elders had just announced their Equality for Women & Girls initiative which included calling for “an end to the use of religious and traditional practices to justify and entrench discrimination against women and girls.” President Carter told me, “At their most repugnant, the belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo…It is time we had the courage to challenge these views and set a new course that demands equal rights for women and men, girls and boys.”

      As a woman and a longtime activist for women’s causes, I am heartened and moved by the passion of our former President (now 89 years old) to take on this often neglected issue with such fervor, commitment and comprehensiveness. He represents an important and growing trend of men advocating against violence against women and supporting women’s equality – a long-due recognition that these are not “women’s issues” but crucial human issues that affect and impact us all.

      President Carter believes the suffering of women and girls can be alleviated when individuals take forceful actions, which can impact larger society. In a A Call to Action, President Carter provides 23 recommendations “that can help blaze the road to progress” and encourages people to visit The Carter Center web site to join with him in this effort. As President Carter writes in his book, “My own experiences and the testimony of courageous women from all regions and all major religions have made it clear that there is a pervasive denial of equal rights to more than half of all human beings, and this discrimination results in tangible harm to all of us, male and female. A commitment to universal human rights is desperately needed if humanity is to escape the cycle of war, poverty, and oppression.”

      Marianne Schnall: What inspired you to write this book?

      Jimmy Carter: It’s covered in the book to some degree – we’ve had programs in seventy-nine countries on Earth. And a lot of them have been in the third world, in the most poverty-stricken countries and villages on Earth. And we have seen increasingly the abuse of girls and women in the local families, on the farms, and depriving them of adequate food and health care and education, when they only had one or two children is all they could bear, and one of them was a boy, and one was another boy. And we’ve seen the horrible murder of little girl babies at birth and the abortion of girl fetuses because it was just female.

      And so The Carter Center started about three years ago concentrating on the abuse of girls and women. And we’ve had three international meetings, annually, at The Carter Center. The last one was in June. And we invite women activists from Malaysia and around the world. And we also invite in, lately, religious leaders. But after three years we have just seen how terrible the problem is, much more than I ever had dreamed. And so I decided to write a book and do a promotion schedule like I am doing right now to try to bring these abuses of women and girls to the attention of the public.

      MS: What do you see as some of the most serious problems and issues that women around the world currently face?

      JC: Well, the most horrible is the one I just mentioned to you – you know, we lost maybe 40 million people in the 2nd World War, and we’ve lost four times that many, in this generation, to the murder of little girl babies by their parents. Either after they are born they strangle them, or they kill them when they’re fetuses – now that they have the sonograms available in the poorest communities and they can detect the sex of the baby before it’s born. That is the most horrendous of all.

      The second one is international human trafficking or slavery, which far exceeds whatever it ever was in the nineteenth century out of Africa. And this occurs in our country as well – the state department has to issue now an annual report, and they reported that 800,000 people were sold across international borders last year. And 80% of those were girls being sold into sexual slavery. Atlanta is a key place in America for this slavery because we have the biggest airport on Earth. And a lot of our passage come from the southern hemisphere. So a girl can be bought cheaply. The average price for a girl out of Africa or Latin America is only about $1,000, whereas if you get a girl out of Europe, for instance, she might cost as much as $8,000. So that means that we have a tremendous problem in this country of trafficking or human slavery. And this is worldwide.

      And another thing – this happens in America of course – is a gross abuse of girls on campuses of our great universities, including the most distinguished ones of all. And these are basically unpunished because the college administrators, the presidents and deans, don’t want to bring discredit to their campus by having a girl take legal action that would publicize the rape. So what happens is, and this is all covered in the book, with quoting people who know, is that the boys who are inclined toward rape, when they get on the campus, they very quickly realize they can do it with impunity. So about half of the total rapes on campuses now are done by serial rapists. But they never are punished.

      And you’ve seen a lot of stories recently in the news about the military. A couple years ago in 2012 there were 36,000 cases of sexual abuse in the military units, and only about 300 and something of those have resulted in any punishment, which is about 1 percent.

      So these are the kinds of things that go on, not only in the rich world like ours, but also multiply greatly when you get to a country that might resort to honor killing of girls because when they are raped it is a disgrace to the family, or to other matters of that kind.

      MS: You can almost be in disbelief to hear the extent – what do you see as the roots of the problem in terms of starting to address it?

      JC: There are two generic foundations for it that I describe in the book. One is religion. You know, if a husband is inclined to abuse his wife or if an employer, say if General Motors is inclined to pay its female employees less than a man, at least indirectly or subtly, they derive their conviction that it’s not really a bad thing by the fact that a woman is treated as an inferior person in the great religions. For instance, the Catholic Church doesn’t permit a woman to be a priest or a deacon. And in the Southern Baptist division where I was loyal for seventy years, a woman is deprived of those two opportunities – she can’t be a chaplain in the military, and in the seminaries, that is the higher education systems in the Southern Baptist convention, a woman can’t teach a classroom if a boy student is the class. So when men in secular life, who might be religious or not, see women being treated as secondary in the eyes of God, they assume that it’s OK for them to do it.

      And the other thing is the excessive commitment to violence in this country. We have been involved in more wars, on a bilateral basis, since the United Nations was formed than any other country by far. About thirty different times – I name a few of them in my book. And we also have the only policy in North America or NATO in the advanced world of executing people for crimes. We still have the death penalty in this country and nowhere else that we know about in this world. And we have about seven and a half times as many prisoners in jail right now in America as we had when I was a Governor. And we have about 3,200 people in prison in the United States now for life who have never committed a crime of violence. So the excessive resort to violence of all kinds, plus misinterpretation of biblical scriptures are two of the generic causes.

      MS: Where do you see the entry points for creating change?

      JC: I think first of all – I am not being too subjective about this – I think it’s my writing this book and going out as a former President to talk about it. Because a lot of people are startled, actually, when I give them the facts that are proven, by origins in the book, sources of information, including the U.S. State Department. And I also wrote the Pope a letter, and told Pope Francis that I had met previously with his predecessor, with Pope John Paul II, about these issues. I found him to be very conservative on the issue, but I got a letter from Pope Francis, for instance, that said that he thought that there were a lot of things that are in my book with which he would help, like slavery and prostitution and things of that kind. I didn’t ask him to permit women to be priests in the Catholic Church – that is too big a step to take at once. But he did respond to my letter by saying it is his opinion that in the future women needed to play a much greater role in the Catholic Church itself. Which is very encouraging to me.

      And last week as you may have noticed, he appointed an eight person committee to deal with the abuse of children by priests, and four of those eight were women, which was quite startling. And one of them was a woman who had been abused by a priest when she was a child in a seminary, in a convent.

      So religious leaders and political leaders – and one thing I advocate in the book – I’ve got twenty-three recommendations at the end of the book that deal with all the issues that I’ve talked about, and some that I have not that are still in the book – one of those is to take away from commanding officers in the military any right to obstruct the prosecution of an alleged rapist. Now the commanding officers can block that as you know. And the senator from New York [Senator Kirsten Gillibrand] tried to change that, unsuccessfully, although she did get 55 votes in the Senate, she didn’t get the 60 required. But if our top political leaders, like the President and others would just join in, with her, which they didn’t do, I think we could maybe do that. And we could do away with – or certainly reduce – the level of human trafficking or just trading in slavery that exists on a global basis.

      MS: I have a new book out, What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? Conversations About Women, Leadership and Power, which was inspired by my eight -year-old daughter asking me why there had never been a woman president. Certainly as you’re talking about people in positions of leadership, obviously the numbers of women are so low. Why do you think there are so few women in leadership positions and what do you think we can do to change that inequity?

      JC: Well there the United States is exceptionally culpable. I think we rank about 60th in the world in the percentage of women who occupy political offices at all levels, at the local, state and national level. And on the overall ranking of women compared to men, according to the World Economic Forum – they have been doing this for seven years – the United States ranks 23rd in the world. So twenty-two other countries have a better record on giving women equal rights than men.

      So this is one of the things that we do – when I became President, only three percent of the members of Congress were women. That’s now been increased to about 18 percent, but we still rank below the world average of about 23 percent.

      MS: A lot of times this all gets incorrectly framed as “women’s issues” – why is this important? Why should people care about this issue, and how do you see the status of women as interconnected with other problems that the world faces?

      JC: Well, there is no other even moderately equal abuse than the murder of little baby girls, which I’ve already described – nothing else compares with that, in horror. There is nothing else like that. But there is a pretty good correlation between the overall economic well being of a country and how they treat their women with the right to education, for instance, or the right to jobs. We do fairly well with that in United States – about 57% of our graduates at the Bachelors level and at the PhD level are women now. The students are, not the graduates, but the students in college right now – that’s the latest statistics. But women still get 23% of the pay of an average man, and if you look at the Fortune 500 companies, only about two dozen of them have women CEOs. And at that high level, women get 42% less pay than a man.

      So we still have a long way to go to correct it, and I think the only way for it to be corrected at any realm of abuse is for it to be highly publicized – by me, and by you, and by others, who are aware of the problem.

      MS: I interviewed Patrick Stewart who was promoting a campaign to enlist men in helping stop violence against women, and he talked about how men must be part of the solution. Do you think many of many efforts miss the opportunity to realize that not only do we need to help the survivors of violence, but we also need to address the culture and factors that cause men and boys to commit these acts in the first place?

      JC: One of the things that I have to have as a cautionary factor in my book, which we have learned from experience in the last 35 years – is if we westerners – no matter how well we are received – if we go in to a remote village in Africa and so forth and we begin to preach to them that ,’you need to stop circumcising your girls’, ‘you need to stop letting your little girls who are ten years be married’, and so forth – it’s counterproductive, they have an adverse reaction to it. And that’s why we have been so careful in this book and at The Carter Center to utilize women who come from those regions, and to let them make their own recommendations.

      So in a number of countries like in Liberia, right at this moment – I cover this in my book a little bit – we go into the interior of Liberia, and we get the women leaders to originate these changes themselves, and we stay out of it. We don’t want our folks to go in there and tell them how to run their business. But when others try to do this – and we’ve learned not to do it – it just convinces them we don’t want to have anybody interfere.

      The circumcision of girls or the mutilation of their genitalia is not ordained in the Koran, it’s not promoted by even the husband – this is a crime against girls that are perpetrated by their own mothers, alone, who were circumcised when they were children, and they think it’s a proper thing to do to their little girls. And they are taught that this will decrease their daughters’ enjoyment of the sex act and therefore keep them more chaste and not likely to be impregnated when they become young, unmarried girls. And this has extended now into horrendous circumstances whereby in Egypt, at this moment, almost 90% of all the women who live in Egypt now have been circumcised or have their genitalia mutilated. And they go to extremes – we have had cutters – the women who perform these operations – come to The Carter Center and testify, and some of them have given up their trade to try and end the practice. But also after they cut the little girl and remove the outer parts of her genitalia, they sew the orifice up, so she can only urinate, and then later when she’s a teenager she can menstruate. And then when she gets married, they go back in with the same kind of razor blade and they cut the orifice open so she can have sex with her husband and bear children.

      So this goes on worldwide in some areas. And the United Nations General Assembly have passed two official resolutions condemning it, and some countries passed laws against it, but there are countries in Africa now where 97% of the women, of all ages, women and girls are mutilated.

      MS: When you hear some of facts and statistics, the problem can sound so daunting – do you feel optimistic? Sometimes I feel like people shut down when they hear some of this.

      JC: Well, I think that’s probably true, and you know, I have just been on radio programs and TV programs, I’ve been in Chicago, I’ve been in Washington, I’ve been in New York – and I don’t have any doubt that people shut down and don’t want to listen to it. And I think college presidents don’t want to hear that girls are being abused on their own campuses – I am sure they know it. But instead of dealing with this problem in a corrective way, they call in the girls or have their deans do it, and they say, why don’t we give the boy counseling, if you know who it was, and she’d say, yeah, I know he’s a classmate of mine – and they don’t want it to be a legal issue.

      And you may have seen, or you can look up on the Internet, the abuse of a midshipman at a naval academy, just recently, where three football players raped this female midshipman. And she went through horrendous cross examination in public last August. She was put under twenty one hours of cross examination by the defenders of the football players. And she was asked ‘What kind of underwear did you wear? How many times have you ever kissed a boy in an automobile? Have you had sex before? How wide do you open your mouth when you give oral sex?’ She was asked those questions in public. And then they were all found innocent by the way. And so that sends a signal throughout the US military it’s just a mistake for a girl to report it because her parents will find out and that sort of thing.

      So this is something that could corrected. And I think the President and The Washington Post and The Huffington Post and The New York Times and so forth – I hope that they will not follow my lead, but just take it on their own.

      MS: How can people get involved? What motivation, encouragement and advice would you offer to people in helping create change?

      JC: If you read the final chapter of my book, there are twenty-three specific things that I recommend that a reader of the book can do. And I just mentioned a couple of them – we can support the State Department in its promulgation every year of the incidences of sexual slavery around the world. We can encourage our churches to treat women as equal in the eyes of God. We can get women activists to speak out. We can get college presidents – either to take action against rapists on their campus, or either encourage the US Department of Education to enforce Title IX, which is now being focused on this particular thing. In other words, as a threat, Title IX used to just be designed for sports, that if the university doesn’t correct abuse of girls, the United States government can withhold grants, even for research, if they don’t take action to protect girls. And things of this kind – but you have the whole gamut of them that can be pursued.

      MS: Why are you personally so passionate about this issue?

      JC: Because I think it’s perhaps the most important single issue that I have ever addressed – certainly since I left the White House. Keeping my country at peace and promoting human rights around the world was important when I was president, but nothing has ever effected me more, or convinced me more, that the abuse is horrendous, and that very few people are doing anything about it, and that maybe my voice can convince people to join with us, join with The Carter Center, join with each other and let’s correct some of these most horrendous abuses.
      Join President Carter’s call to action.
      Tell us on our blog how you are working to fight discrimination against and abuse of girls and women in your community, nation, or worldwide.

      In “A Call to Action,” President Carter suggests 23 steps that can help blaze the road to progress:
      1. Encourage women and girls, including those not abused, to speak out more forcefully. It is imperative that those who do speak out are protected from retaliation.

      2. Remind political and religious leaders of the abuses and what they can do to alleviate them.

      3. Encourage these same leaders to become supporters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other U.N. agencies that advance human rights and peace.

      4. Encourage religious and political leaders to relegate warfare and violence to a last resort as a solution to terrorism and national security challenges.

      5. Abandon the death penalty and seek to rehabilitate criminals instead of relying on excessive incarceration, especially for nonviolent offenders.

      6. Marshal the efforts of women officeholders and first ladies, and encourage involvement of prominent civilian women in correcting abuses.

      7. Induce individual nations to elevate the end of human trafficking to a top priority, as they did to end slavery in the nineteenth century.

      Click to collapse text
      8. Help remove commanding officers from control over cases of sexual abuse in the military so that professional prosecutors can take action.

      9. Apply title IX protection for women students and evolve laws and procedures in all nations to reduce the plague of sexual abuse on university campuses.

      10. Include women’s rights specifically in new U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

      11. Expose and condemn infanticide of baby girls and selective abortion of female fetuses.

      12. Explore alternatives to battered women’s shelters, such as installing GPS locators on male abusers, and make police reports of spousal abuse mandatory.

      13. Strengthen U.N. and other legal impediments to ending genital mutilation, child marriage, trafficking, and other abuses of girls and women.

      14. Increase training of midwives and other health workers to provide care at birth.

      15. Help scholars working to clarify religious beliefs on protecting women’s rights and nonviolence, and give activists and practitioners access to such training resources.

      16. Insist that the U.S. Senate ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

      17. Insist that the United States adopt the International Violence Against Women Act.

      18. Encourage more qualified women to seek public office, and support them.

      19. Recruit influential men to assist in gaining equal rights for women.

      20. Adopt the Swedish model by prosecuting pimps, brothel owners, and male customers, not the prostitutes.

      21. Publicize and implement U.N. Security Resolution 1325, which encourages the participation of women in peace efforts.

      22. Publicize and implement U.N. Security Resolution 1820, which condemns the use of sexual violence as a tool of war.

      23. Condemn and outlaw honor killings.

      • >4. Encourage religious and political leaders to relegate warfare and violence to a last resort as a solution to terrorism and national security challenges.

        Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

        Does JC speak out against the war crimes of his own country which have murdered and tortured at least a million men, women and children in the last decade alone and caused more genetic damage from radiation than Hiroshima?

        No.

        Like all war mongering hypocrites JC is only pretending to care about the suffering of brown women to stir up hate, fear and racism back home. Once the public is foaming at the mouth they will vote for the bombing of brown nations by the west…. and the spreading of the empire.

        Like all war strategists and ruling class puppets JC understands human psychology. If you want to motivate group A against group B you tell them group B threatens group A’s women. And if you really want to stir up emotions you tell them group B abuses its own women.

        It’s a trick as old as empire and warfare itself.

        Think of the trillions spent bombing the crap out of these second world nations. That money could have been spent helping them by trading with them.

        Feminism is patriarchy on steroids and that is why you look up to the most violent, psychopathic, powerful Alpha men in society. The men with the most guns and the least morals. These are the men you have identified can provide you (a white woman) with the most free stuff and special treatment – and to hell with everyone else in the world! And in the short term you are right. But marrying the state is no different to marrying the mob. It will all come crashing down eventually at which point you will go running back to ordinary hard working men (men who earn their money instead of stealing it).

        • katherinejlegry

          You are seriously OUT OF LINE Curiosetta…
          Here are more FACTS although you are non learner non listener and bi-stander to rape and assault by way of your denial and attacks here on the author and others.

          Nalestan official video clip 143and (paradise & diverse)

          “All female artists who work in Afghanistan today are risking their lives so that they can pave the way for other women”

          http://observers.france24.com/content/20131125-first-female-afghan-rapper-threats

        • katherinejlegry

          Here’s a link to Independent Lens part one A Path Appears about the problems of sex trafficking. NO LAUGHING ALLOWED, Curiosetta. That’s entirely inappropriate and transgresses the boundaries of abuse and rape survivors.

          http://video.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365387809

          If the link doesn’t connect here is another one:
          http://video.pbs.org/partnerplayer/7WoYs6az61uNTiOCDG3kAQ%3D%3D/?autoplay=false&start=0&end=0&chapterbar=false&topbar=true&endscreen=false

          And here’s more:

          Terrorism; Transgender Discrimination; Domestic Trafficking
          PBS To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe

          Published on Jan 16, 2015
          Terrorism: Why women and girls join terrorist organizations like ISIS. Transgender Discrimination: The policies surrounding discrimination of transgender people. Domestic Trafficking: The story of one survivor of whose sex trafficking was inter-generational. PANEL: Sam Bennett; Darlene Kennedy; Aisha Moodie-Mills; Sabrina Schaeffer

          • In keeping with feminist stereotypes you are using the suffering of women in second and third world countries like a baseball bat to hit people over the head with as part of your own first world feminist victim / SJW derangement.

            If you want to help people in other countries GREAT. But the first step is to stop supporting and cheering the political elite who keep funding their dictators, selling arms to their dictators and dropping bombs on their heads and invading their countries and committing genocide.

            The very people you champion who you think will sort out sex trafficking on your behalf (so you can stay at home and spam people on wordpress) are just as involved in it as any group. Research Cathy O’Brien and listen to what she has to say on the political elite and how they treated her and other women like her.

            Feminists love to run to the Alpha Males in government, the UN and other organisation and fantasise about them running the world for the benefit of women, but this is a huge part of the problem. These men (and their female counterparts) are, for the most part, psychopaths and all feminists are doing is facilitating their evil.

            • katherinejlegry

              I do not operate in stereotypes.

              I never “use” suffering people.

              I’m not advocating dropping bombs. WTF are you going on about? Dang… way to make everything up as you go and run with it, Curiosetta.

              If you watch one of the documentaries I supplied a link to you will see that we start in America with the sex trafficking and how rampant that is. The documentary is called A path appears. It’s in three parts and I don’t think they’ve all aired yet. I only saw the first one on Jan 26. From this series, you can see it’s globally connected as we do business abroad and our own judges and business men buy children and girls at home and abraod. You’ll see how we blame the women and girls and not those men holding power and maintaining corrupt systems.

              I don’t think people are going to sort out my problems. As a voter with my voice and being we the people I am taking responsibility by researching what others are doing and sharing that information so we can formulate solutions. I am under no illusions that we will stop all war and solve world hunger and find a utopia. We do what we can and we let the rest go.

              I do not support dictators. You’ll need to prove that.

              Stop insulting me. Stop name calling and stop laughing. I’m requesting this respectfully. Be respectful.

              By disrespecting me in dialogue, you are blocking unity. That’s not necessary.

              You sound very angry. You are mad at “feminists” and you lump them into one group while pointing fingers at stereotyping.

              I am on your back on a lot of blogs because you are constantly going after rape victims. Remember where we first encountered one another? About the Frat rapes and the college campus stuff? And then again on another site, when we were discussing what Oscar award winning black women were wearing and you wanted to tear down their beauty and indicate them as shallow?

              Well they have a word for people like you:

              TROLL.

              • > I do not operate in stereotypes.

                I said you ARE a stereotype. You are the stereotypical angry feminist who has invested their identity in an incredibly simplistic and divisive world view (ie men are oppressors and women are victims) and you use this narrative to beat everybody else on the head with. You are incapable of listening, or debating or arguing. You just vomit your victim narrative all over the comments sections and when people try to engage with what you write you play the wounded victim while attacking them (passive aggression).

                Saying you “don’t operate in stereotypes” is exactly what a stereotypical angry feminist would say which only makes you even more of a stereotypical angry feminist.

                > I never “use” suffering people.

                You have spent several comments bashing me on the head with other people’s suffering. If you care about sex trafficking do something positive to stop it. Hammering your keyboard achieves nothing. Do you think I am involved in sex trafficking or support it in any way? Why are you attacking me?

                > I’m not advocating dropping bombs.

                You are championing the political elites who drop bombs and are the single biggest cause of death in the middle east at the moment. Just re-read your own comments and you’ll see.

                > Stop insulting me.

                There is a difference between someone being critical of your arguments and assertions and someone personally attacking you.

                Angry feminists either lack the mental prowess to make that distinction or they pretend they can’t so they can avoid debating and play the damsel instead.

                > I am on your back on a lot of blogs because you are constantly going after rape victims.

                Citation needed. If you’re going to make such allegations you need to quote me directly and in full.

                Pointing out that rape allegations on campus need to be handled by due process (innocent until PROVEN guilty) is not ‘going after rape victims’. Some stats show false rape accusations by women against men to account for 40% of rape claims. Who knows what the actual stat is but in any case the recent proposals to treat rape allegations internally on campus and to simply believe all women and assume the men are guilty is utterly insane and a violation of basic human rights.

                > Well they have a word for people like you: TROLL.

                And yet it is YOU who keep posting lengthy and off topic diatribes on the end of MY comments. I think you are projecting a little here (another trait of the stereotypical angry feminist).

                • katherinejlegry

                  Oh you and your poor full comment box…

                  No I’m not dividing the world, Curiosetta. It’s was already polarized by men fighting religious wars.

                  By pointing out what the problems are and admitting they exist I am actually helping heal and unify people. Men are not excluded. I’ve considered their feelings my whole life.

                  It my turn.

                  You feel divided by my legitimate complaints and feelings, so okay. But I am not dividing you.

                  I am not insulting people like you are, for example. Throwing around words like psycho path and stereotype and really not taking any real or sincere time with me…and laughing with your ha ha ha’s… is guarded and snarky.

                  I have the right to be angry. And it’s healthy anger because it leads to action. It’s not for the sake of itself. It’s not to impose unjust punishments. I’m against the torture of girls and women and men and boys.

                  I don’t think women are victims. They are survivors. They are not weak. They’ve been carrying men this long, so obviously they are strong.

                  I am expressing the inequities so that I am not silenced into submission or complicit in my own oppression.

                  If you look at the information on the links I supplied you will see female oppressors too and why that happens, and if you are a woman, of which you are among.

                  You who defend or deny rape are the angry ones. You are here to stop women from being free. They all have different reasons they chose feminism. They have some things in common. You are calling them all angry. You are angry they are not willing to submit to you. You are the victim of your own projections.

                  So ok, we have proven you don’t listen and won’t open to the truth and will fight blow for blow when feeling challenged directly. Great. Good job at unifying the people via your methods. Which is shame and blame. You come here full of hate and you think I’m divisive.

                  The systemic problems don’t allow fair trails. Of course innocent until proven guilty would be great but well heres an example of the current prison system:

                  The Future of Race in America: Michelle Alexander at TEDxColumbus

                  Now I realize it’s about race more specifically and not feminists in particular, but a strong woman is taking it on as a topic and in her work so it’s valid as well as it explains inequity and this applies to women. It’s all interconnected.

                  Interconnection is not divisive.

                  You get another shot to open your CURIOUS mind.

                  • > No I’m not dividing the world, Curiosetta. It’s was already polarized by men fighting religious wars.

                    You are everything you say you are not. As a stereotypical feminist you understand that religious wars are bad so you deny women all agency and responsibility when it comes to religious wars. It’s all men’s fault. Never mind the millions of fanatical religious women out there. Never mind all the women who raise their children to worship some imaginary deity. Never mind all the women who ostracise, ridicule and shame men who refuse to fight in wars. As a feminist you would say al of these women are poor, helpless, oppressed, victims of religious propaganda ….. but you would never classify men as victims of religious propaganda. Men have to take responsibility for their actions – but never women! What a hilariously ridiculous feminist you are. Nobody belittles women and objectifies women more than feminists like you. In your deranged narrative women throughout history have been nothing but ‘acted upon’ objects pushed about by men. That is so insulting to women.

                    > By pointing out what the problems are

                    But you haven’t. At best you point to the symptoms. Religious delusions are caused by indoctrination during early childhood. The violent tendencies which allow for wars to happen are caused by violence suffered in early childhood. A person who suffered no violence or indoctrination before the age of 6 is extremely unlikely to be religious or violent in adult life. Religious indoctrination is mental abuse and violence is physical abuse which scientists have shown causes actual brain damage. Throughout history women have been the greatest influence on children up to the age of 6 and I have NEVER ONCE heard a feminist campaign for mothers to stop hitting their children and stop indoctrinating them with religious superstitions. Feminism condemns men hitting women, but still does not condemn mothers hitting young children. A mother hitting a toddler is the equivalent of a 20ft tall man hitting a woman – an insane abuse of power against a defenceless weakling. The ONLY way to stop war, violence and hatred is to end child abuse.

                    > You feel divided by my legitimate complaints and feelings, so okay. But I am not dividing you.

                    No. I am not talking about my ‘feelings’. I am talking about the arguments and assertions YOU are making. Stereotypical feminists like you try to turn everything into ‘feelings’ to avoid dealing with FACTS and REASON.

                    > Throwing around words like psycho path and stereotype and really not taking any real or sincere time with me…and laughing with your ha ha ha’s… is guarded and snarky.

                    I am not throwing those words around. I made a point of explaining WHY I am used those words. You are welcome to discuss my arguments. I explained WHY I laughed at your support for the political elite. Phrases like ‘throwing around’ are not actual arguments, they are sophistry. You used that phrase to make it seem as if I didn’t present any arguments so you could avoid debating them. Stereotypical feminists resort to sophist tactics like that instead of making rational arguments. So once again you are conforming to the stereotype.

                    > You who defend or deny rape are the angry ones.

                    That is an unfounded claim. At no point have I ever defended or denied rape (whatever that means). That is why you can;t quote me actually saying what you accuse me of saying. This is just your attempt to emotionally shame me. This behaviour conforms to the stereotype of the angry feminist.

                    > You are here to stop women from being free.

                    And again. More shaming attempts. More unfounded claims. No actual arguments.

                    > I have the right to be angry.

                    Nobody has the ‘right’ to be angry. If you are angry about something specific then say what it is.

                    > I don’t think women are victims. They are survivors.

                    That is pretty much the same thing. This doublethink conforms to the stereotype of the angry feminist. You go on about how strong, independent and empowered women are…… while promoting a narrative about women being wretched and oppressed victims because women have no agency and are just ‘acted upon’ objects controlled by men. You can’t have it both ways. If you genuinely think women are full status adults then you have to grant women the agency and responsibility which goes with that – such as being just as responsible for religious wars as men.

                    Ad as for race…. it would be nice if a feminist addressed the fact that black crime is so high because of the lack of fathers in the home. Feminism has for decades told women men are irrelevant (or even a bad influence) on children. But the science actually says the opposite. Children actually learn empathy mostly from the father, and when the father is absent children are much more likely to end up in gangs, committing crimes, having unwanted pregnancies, suffering depression and generally going off the rails. If you factor in fatherless upbringing, black communities are no more criminally inclined than white communities. It is the absence of fathers that are driving up the crime figures. This is one example of how feminism and its promotion of single motherhood has helped to destroy society and wreck the lives of children.

                    But ‘intersectional feminism’ will never address this issue, despite the hard science and statistics because it recognises men as essential for a civilised and peaceful society, and that goes against feminism’s patriarchy theory.

                    • katherinejlegry

                      Good morning Curiosetta… Um… how is it you are concluding that I hold any religious beliefs at all? I mention religious wars and you find the need to rally against imaginary beings? So… what you’re actually saying is that you are an atheist? Because if so, that’s fine… you are still suffering from historical religious wars. I mean they use God as the motivation for the armies but ultimately we all know it’s about land. We are grabbing up oil and land. Empire to empire…

                      Furthermore,
                      How are you concluding that I am denying women’s participation and responsibility?

                      You are not looking at the information I’ve provided via links or reading at all. You are not reading or studying or trying at all with me.

                      I am the imaginary being you have made up because you don’t want to face the reality of rape. Sex trafficking. Abuse. You want a “fair” trial in an inequitable system. An “imaginary” or Fantasy criminal justice system…

                      You are blindly ready to box me in because of the way you hear things. Not what you hear, but HOW you hear and interpret what I am saying.

                      I am working across the board and I happen to be a feminist also.

                      Yes, fathers are needed and men need to raise boys better. That’s not in question. I’m not debating that. Why would you assume that some feminists aren’t working on that component?

                      But if you’re going to blame single mothers and insist on some kind of bizarre “imaginary” version of life where matrimony solves these problems, then you might as well be a man owning his chattel.

                      But I understand what you’re trying to get at. You see the breaking down of the traditional family unit as a bad thing and you see feminists as the reason why the marriages and parenting failed.

                      And of course, I disagree.

                      I know that black communities are not more inclined to crimes. That’s what the link with Michelle Alexander gets at. That black men are incarcerated 5 times more than white men and for the exact same kinds of crimes and yet the actual crime rate has not increased. Only the incarcerate has. Which means the system isn’t just broken, it was always this way and needs to be changed. I am very much at work in this area, because Black Lives Matter to me. Men matter to me.

                      You may stay bitterly discouraged about improving the situations of men and women and you may stay rutted in your thinking, but I got real work to do. I don’t expect to save the planet. But I sure as hell am going to do my part and not sit around blaming strong women or feminists for the problems.

                      I love the feminists! Yeay for paving the way so we could vote and not remain veiled leaving all of our deeds to the credit of our masters.

                      Good for the Iroquois Nation where women lead. Good for the Druid warrior and chieftain women whose men were willing to follow then based on solid leadership and not genitalia. Good for bell hooks, Susan Sontag, and Vicki MacKenzi, Isabelle Eberhardt, and the She-King Hatshepsput, and good for Harvey Milk working for the LGBT communities and who found ways to connect with and find common ground with even the homophobic labor unions and… and… and…

                      Feminists can be mothers, you know. And they can be married to good fathers.

                      We aren’t in the box you see.

                      Feminism doesn’t have a patriarchal “theory”.

                      He’s the system we live in:

                      Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

                      Read this:
                      http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

                      Here’s this link again so you understand me better, should you choose to actually try and not presume:

                      Transgression in Public spaces : a dialogue between bell hooks & arthur java

                      Here’s a great link about mentors by a man:

                      Sal Masekela on Racism in Surfing – The inertia

                      Here are some great female musicians:

                      Amerie -Gotta Work

                      Jill Scott- Hate On Me

                      So… if you take the time to get to know my inspirations, you will see men among them.

                      Addressing the patriarchal, systemic, white supremacy may seem futile or impossible, but why would that stop me?

                      I am an artist. A feminist. A human being.

                      It’s a good day.

      • That is an excellent response.

  76. katherinejlegry

    Your post was inspiring.

    At first I thought I was a feminist because of many similar experiences that you and other people commenting have written about here.

    Now I know I am a feminist because a girl or a woman who writes or is an artist of any kind is not just required to be feminist but is one by nature.

    I thought you might like this video:

  77. Because women should rebuild the system to avoid getting screwed.

  78. Because people look at me like im crazy when I tell them I’m a stay at home wife and enjoy it. Because my husband takes care of me when i dont feel well. Because the idea that inequality is necessity is so engrained in me that I fall victim to believing the lie my weak moments.

    (I’d be honored if you would check out my blog, barelyrebellious.wordpress.com )

  79. Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

    Because I’m 22 and I want to focus on my career for the next years and I’m not thinking about a relationship and family and friends continue to make me understand they think something’s wrong with me, something’s broken.
    Because I have to be careful of how I dress, because I grap my keys as a weapon when I’m going back home when it’s dark.
    Because a dear relative was raped when she was young, because it was a friend that put something in her drink, because he thought it would be normal.
    Because when I will start working and I’ll try to do my best and be competitive I will be a bitch, because if I arrive far I probably slept with the boss.
    Because in 2015 it’s easier but it’s never over. Because if one day I decide I want to be a mum, I want my child to live in a better world.

  80. Because every time i cry out for my rights am reminded am in Africa, because in my continent, women defemd and justify rape, because my sister can’t get the lead management position because men can raise funds better, because i have to pretend to flash my smile to get proper service at the government offices.

  81. The way you write is amazing. Beautiful post!!

  82. mariandblogging

    Reblogged this on Mari and Blogging and commented:
    I loved this one. Refers to many of my family’s confidence and self-belief issues.

  83. blissfulravings

    Reblogged this on blissfulravings.

  84. So many things we overlook today. There are so many things I’VE overlooked. I cannot think of any more reasons than what you’ve written here. I need to be more of a feminist.

  85. daniellecasling

    I am a feminist because I do not want to be told not to show too much skin, or walk home alone in case i am attacked. I do not want to be told it is my fault when im sexually assulted. I do not want to be told im being silly when i say was raped. I do not want to be told that i should stop doing things that arent girly. I want equality. And i want justice. And i want to not have my daughters frightened to walk the streets like i am.

  86. This is my new favorite thing eveeer.

  87. Because when women see how truly wonderful they are, when they see that at a bare minimum they are born at least equal to a man, when they are empowered and value themselves they can empower each other, they can change the world, they can be anything, earn anything, make men happier than they can ever dream of being, bring smiles to childrens faces and teach them the world in a way they will never forget and move mountains. All in a days work. Just one reason.

  88. Reblogged this on where we are and commented:
    This is incredibly powerful and oh so relevant. My reasons:

    Because sex is only counted as sex if the man gets off with no consideration for whether the woman does.

    Because men think (pretend?) it is a compliment to tell me how hot I look as I walk down the street, as I order food, as I do my job. Because it doesn’t matter who I am or what I accomplish, but only how I look. And every time it happens, I feel so angry that I freeze and then feel so guilty for not standing up for myself.

    Because the man who sexually assaulted me years ago continually sends me friend requests on Facebook. But more importantly, because my best friend found me and pushed him off of me just in time. We are strong when we stand together. But I didn’t even think about pressing charges.

    Because I know that I am powerful and intelligent and innovative and dedicated. Because Aletta Jacobs, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Betty Friedan, Maya Angelou, Laci Green, Jade Beall, and Jessica Valenti. But when I was little, all I wanted was to be beautiful, and all my power came only through the number of boys who were interested in me. And even when I started to realize that the game is rigged, I didn’t want to call myself a feminist because feminism was a dirty word.

    Because

    Because now, I do not wish to be beautiful but to be respected. I have embraced my feminism with the recognition that despite what they might say, we are not there yet!

  89. Reblogged this on Madein1991 and commented:
    I think I’d be a millionaire by now..

  90. This was breathtakingly beautiful to read.

  91. Every one thinks that we cant look after areselfs

    Just of who we are

  92. We all deserve more respect

  93. Mine are

    We have lifes and every one thinks they can boss us around

    They think its weird if the girl is taller that the guy
    No its not we deserve respect

    Becuse im tiered of being the stupid one becuse im the girl

    The fact i cant ask the guy i like out becuse thats weird

    Becuse they think that they run are lives

  94. Because my grandparents had four daughters and were always ridiculed for the fact.
    Because all four grew up to be strong independent career women.
    Because my mother never let me fantasise about my wedding.
    Because she pushed me and my sister to stand on our feet at a young age.
    Because of her we are what we are.

  95. CecilianToday

    Reblogged this on I'mpossible Hope-r.

  96. Powerful and moving. Because my husband left after he decided that maintaining a home, raising babies (ages 2 and 4), and being faithful, just wasnt for him. Thanks for your raw and beautiful honesty. Blessings.

  97. Reblogged this on Grad At Home and commented:
    A post that invokes vivid imagery and uses unique storytelling. Definitely made me think about why feminism still matters.

  98. Because at a place I worked for a woman who was in charge had to dress close to something like a high class hooker, and many of the other women seem to have gotten their position by looking provocative.

    Because women should not have to dress like men to be thought of as having an intelligent opinion.

    Because animals are sometimes treated better than women.

    Because my mother is a feminist.

    Because most of the people I have worked for have been men.

    Because most of the men I’ve worked for have not had Feminist values.

    Because a relative lost her job in the 50’s for being pregnant.

    Because there are misogynists.

    Because most crime is committed by men, and most crime against women is through the actions of men.

  99. I just want to print this out and hang it on my wall. Your writing is truly beautiful.

  100. Reblogged this on my simple chronicles and commented:
    Because my mother hated women so she abused me. But I’m too strong to let that ruin my life. I am now preparing for the LSAT and chasing my dream because my mother told me I never could.

  101. emmalouuu

    I couldn’t stop reading this once I started. It feels all very true, and it’s sad how much perception still needs to be changed.

    I feel lucky that I went to a girls’ school with a headteacher who told us to aim high and told us stories about inspirational women. Where I didn’t even conceive of the idea that a boy might be better than me. Where there were both strong male and female adults to look up to, and who encouraged me to do well. I feel even luckier to have a confident, positive mother who I look up to and a Dad who thinks she is the most wonderful person in the world. Like you I am quiet, was sometimes ignored and am still shy as in my mid twenties. But I am proud to say I am a feminist because I see no reason why a man would be better than me, and am quietly determined to try my best, despite any notion that a man has more potential, purely because he is male.

    Perception of the genders needs to be changed on both sides, and there is a move towards educating younger girls and teaching them that they are equal to the boys in their class, but hopefully the positive wave that has occurred over the past couple of years will continue. Thank you for writing about this.

  102. Reblogged this on Cinema Explorer and commented:
    Wow… I’m left speechless at these powerful, heartbreaking words. Equality is something incredibly important to me. To be respected instead of being overlooked, ignored, overpowered and degraded is what I strive for. Please read..

  103. What a wonderful article. I am a feminism because I believe in equality. Thanks for sharing!

  104. Because simply being a student, artist, athlete, daughter, lover, friend, and soul sister is not enough. Because society only sees my value if I “fulfill my duty” and reproduce.

  105. ghostdogblue

    Reblogged this on GhostDogBlue and commented:
    This is a must-read, it is one of the best things I have ever read. Please read this.

  106. ghostdogblue

    Wow. That is easily one of the best things I have ever read. It was incredibly written and so interesting to read, with such a strong message. Thank you for writing this – it is truly amazing.

  107. This made me tear up when I finished reading it. I have a different story but I also have the same story with the same truth. Thank you.

  108. Powerful and beautiful! Wow!

  109. Because if i had a dollar everything i learned from my grandma, who showed me what it was to be independant.

  110. I am proud to be a feminist! your words and story inspire me to aim higher and to keep persevering in everything that I put all my hard work into! I aim to change the world and inspire others to change it with me. ranging from women to people of color to the people of different genders and sex; women like you inspire the world the most!- thank you

  111. I loved this! So much! (So much that I feel compelled to write a response)

    My reasons: At 20 years old, my first boyfriend held me down after refusing to use a condom because he was trying to impregnate me against my will. He did this repeatedly, and when I expressed discomfort with it, his answer was “why? Id take care of you and the baby.” Even though I had expressed that I did not want kids. I did nothing. No lawsuit, didn’t dump him for it….nothing.

    At 23, the night I moved into a duplex with a man I loved, I wound up helplessly drunk, straddled, bawling and pleading on the floor, thinking he was going to kill me. I stayed the 6 month lease with a lock on my bedroom door and a knife under my pillow.

    At 24, I lived with a man who repeatedly told me I would never get the more ambitious job positions I considered. He made more money than I did and owned everything we had. He forced me to decide between a male friend and him.
    Even my best friend says he treated me like a thing rather than a person.

    If I had a dollar for every dumb decision I’ve made regarding men….

  112. katiemac

    Yes. Just, yes.

  113. I always suspected that being a beautiful girl had a down side, but I had no idea to what extent. Thanks for your explanation. Keep up the good work.

  114. This is so beautiful to me, thank you for sharing. I wish I could write like that. Good job👍💕

  115. Because it’s 1:00 in the morning, I’m nursing my daughter, and I’m debating on whether to go back out to the living room to lesson plan or do grad work, and I don’t feel like I can admit that I’m exhausted. Because compared to many women in the world, that exhaustion isn’t anything. Oh, and an Amen to all of your reasons too! (By the way, love your line, “Because how in the world could such magnificence be overlooked.”)

  116. fresh paint

    Because I watched my mother work hard outside the home more than 40 hours a week, then come home and cook and clean, while I watched my dad also work 40 hours a week and sit in his recliner while my mom cooked his dinner and then washed the dishes afterward. I watched him fall asleep after dinner while she came and watched me play basketball or perform in a play.

    Because I watched my grandmother sit at the corner of the “men’s” table at family dinners, so she could be fill their tea glasses when they were not quite empty, as the men gobbled down the dinner in 15 minutes that had taken her about 5 hours to make.

    Because I was told by many dad that I couldn’t play on the local Little League team, because baseball is a boy’s sport, although there were no other sports that girls could sign up for in my town.

    Because I was molested by no less than 4 boys in my family, and by 2 more that were neighbors of those boys, and the one time I was “caught” I was talked to by the boy’s dad and he threatened to tell my parents what a bad girl I was.

  117. Reblogged this on blinded by nostalgia and commented:
    very powerful thoughts

  118. Such a true and powerful post. Made me tear up thinking of the responsibility I have (as my parents gave to me) to bring up my sons and daughter to be feminists too so they can live in a more equal world.

  119. rizwanarizz

    your words speaks to the world…. keep going

  120. Reblogged this on Toni Boddington and commented:
    really touching

  121. Reblogged this on Once I was a doodler and commented:
    Very thought provoking

  122. Reblogged this on allissonharvey and commented:
    Because I was raised by a woman

  123. Reblogged this on Izzy-grabs-life and commented:
    Don’t ask, just listen . . . or in this case, read.

  124. Because of the big stuff you said. And because of the small stuff. That isn’t small.

    Because I could never get an A in Penmanship no matter how hard I tried–my letters were “too small and not slanty enough” according to my teacher–but the boys who wrote teensy-tiny letters got As.

    Because my favorite commercial, for H.O. Farina, told the truth, when Willie said to Wilhelmina that he thought she couldn’t move a big rock ’cause “Hah! You’re a GIRL!”–Then she picked it up and threw it a MILE!!!

    Because I didn’t like girl games and Barbie dolls.

    Because I was suspended for wearing pants to school. And because they wouldn’t let me take shop and learn woodworking, but forced me instead to prepare for my future role by learning about different cuts of steak. And because when my two girlfriends and I forced our way into Auto Mechanics class, the teacher refused the entire year to let us work on a car. And got away with it.

    Because my brother told me once, after hearing me on the phone all afternoon with coworkers and vendors:
    “No WONDER you piss people off: You talk like a man. Nobody likes that from a woman.”

    Because, when my spouse was clearly irritated at me in public, those around clearly assumed I was in the wrong.

    Thank you for your post.

    • Yes—the small things and the big things, they all count. Thank you, Outlier Babe.

      • My goodness. You have actually been working your way down hundreds of comments, replying to each. I am as impressed with your thoughtfulness.

        I made a bitsy post on my own blog from my original comment to you, referring any readers to please read your original (link given). Instead, most of my handful of followers (all wonderful people, BTW) were what I guiltily felt was over-impressed with MY derivative and slapdash post of far flimsier (but still significant, as we know) reasons for feminism.

        Net sum: Sorry (a bit); Thank you (a lot).

        Best luck with keeping up with finger/thumb vigor for the next 450 comment replies : )

  125. Beautiful post. It made me speechless. You are an excellent writer. Keep blogging.

  126. Pingback: How Farina Made Me a Feminist | The Last Half

  127. EastWestBridge

    Reblogged this on EastWestBridge.

  128. Anonymous

    Google
    I don’t really support modern feminism. Of all of those problems, you use the past tense. It’s always “when I was young…” or “in the 1970s…” All these problems are problems of the past. Women can vote, they are very protected against rape (but it’s not perfect) they can work and have the same wages as men and have the same rights as men.

    I think that feminism is no longer needed in a first world country. Many men despise a lot of feminists (of course not all) because huge amount of feminists try to continue feminism, and a lot of them are so mean to men, swearing to them, getting offended when a man asks a woman out, saying that men are useless in society, just look at a lot of the feminists especially on Tumblr. Women and men have equal opportunities but I feel like they sometimes expect equal outcome, and they often expect crazy things that no longer relate to feminism.

    For example, there’s the guy go landed a shuttle on a comet. It took him about ten years to do this amazing feat. Then one day he speaks to journalists and he wears a shirt that his female friend gave him. On his shirt there are half-naked females. It was not the best shirt to wear, I admit but it did not deserve this huge shitstorm it received. a bunch of angry feminists started b*tching at him, and at a conference he apologized cried on live television. Also in the Time poll of the most annoying words of 2014, feminism was winning the poll with over 50% of votes. But feminists started bitching at Time because it pissed them off, so Time removed it.

    As a guy honestly I despise quite a lot of feminists because they treat men so poorly. I have seen a lot of extremely mean and despicable feminists in my life. Not you of course! But a lot.

    • katherinejlegry

      Hey Anonymous… are you a man?
      Because women are not VERY protected from rape at all. We are still fighting for better laws and language currently. Including always facing our rights to our bodies being threatened as the repubilcans gut women’s health and services like planned parenthood.

      If things were in the past like you say, I wouldn’t be posting links above to films and lectures and media that prove millions of us are being raped and sex trafficked and abused globally.

      Your space shuttle program at nasa was discontinued by men. They don’t want to fund science, climate change solutions or face gender equity. So…If there is a “shit storm” coming at you it is of your own making with these people.

      Having no name and speaking about any of this, makes you a person with out a vote.

      Believe it or not, anonymous was a WOMAN in history and she didn’t get the credit for her work. Any time you really see a historical “anonymous” quote, you can bet it was a hardworking woman.

      If you despise a lot of feminists you are only uncomfortable with them. Your comfort zone is being threatened. Your rocket boys made it to the moon on the backs of women everywhere. Without us there is no moon.

      • What? Women are incredibly protected from rape compared to men. Men are raped all the time and nobody bats an eyelid: “it’s not possible for a woman rape a man”, “a man should be in control”, “rape of women is more important”, sounds a hell of a lot like sexism to me. Look at any case of a man raped by a woman compared to the reverse and the sentence is always staggeringly smaller.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2449454/More-men-raped-US-women-including-prison-sexual-abuse.html

        Rape against men often isn’t even acknowledged. If equality is the aim then rape should be condemned against EVERYONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLdElcv5qqc (notice how women are mentioned frequently, but never men, such a wasted opportunity…)

        To make matters worse, rape is portrayed as a male problem, or something that is innately and inherently male, so men are blamed for it and forced to take responsibility when the vast majority have never raped and never will. If an a member of an ethnic minority murdered somebody in your town, would you blame that entire minority? Or would you condemn the individual? Only recently a questionnaire was circulated around a local University campus centred on the issue of rape and how to tackle it. The questionnaire was aimed entirely at females, and asked questions such as: “Should boys be taught not to rape in schools?”.

        40% of all domestic abuse cases are against men, but feminists don’t bat an eyelid, and society thinks women abusing men is funny:

        Men are seen as disposable in society, portrayed as stupid psychotic rapists in the media, and ignored when there is a genuine issue because they should be ‘powerful’ and ‘in-control’ and ‘independent’. And the cherry on top that proves it all?

        Men have consistently higher rates of suicide than women world wide, which you could quite easily argue is due to the double standards in society. The kind of double standards that feminism perpetuates.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences_in_suicide

        I think men have every right to despise feminism and the absolute, two-faced ignorance it encourages.

        It’s time for equality, NOT for feminism.

        • katherinejlegry

          Hey there darlin’

          Equality is different than EQUITY.

          No the laws aren’t in women’s favor.

          But you sure are right about men raping men. It’s really bad how men are treating men and women and children. And the women who help perpetuate such attitudes and abuse are very much a part of the problem. I am as shocked as you are.

          Check this out:

          A warshipis like a city—sprawling, vital, crowded with purposeful men and women. But on a warship, as in a city, there are people who will see you not as their friend or their neighbor but rather as their prey.

          After turning 25, Steve Stovey joined the Navy to see the world: Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Fiji, the Persian Gulf. His first year and a half as a signalman on the USS Gary was “the greatest time of my life,” he says.

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          In late September 1999, Stovey was sailing to Hawaii, where he’d be joined by his father on a Tiger Cruise, a beloved Navy tradition in which family members accompany sailors on the final leg of a deployment. Parents and kids get to see how sailors live and work; they watch the crew test air and sea weapons. The Disney Channel even made a movie about a Tiger Cruise, with Bill Pullman and Hayden Panettiere. The West Coast itinerary is usually Pearl Harbor to San Diego.

          On the morning of September 20, two weeks before the warship was due in port, three men ambushed Stovey in a remote storage area of the ship, where he’d been sent to get supplies. They threw a black hood over his head, strangled and sodomized him, then left him for dead on a stack of boxes. Stovey told no one. He was certain that his attackers, whose faces he hadn’t glimpsed, would kill him if he did. He hid in a bathroom until he could contain his panic and tolerate the pain. Then he quietly returned to his post.

          Stovey says he might have killed himself were it not for his father’s imminent arrival. The timing of the visit was “almost a miracle,” he says. “When I saw him, it was the most safe feeling I’d ever felt in my whole life.”

          Father and son spent the next five days on board ship, almost certainly being watched by the three attackers. “I just kept it inside,” Stovey says in a low voice. “I couldn’t tell him.”

          I.
          “YOU WILL NOT MAKE A NOISE”
          The moment a man enlists in the United States armed forces, his chances of being sexually assaulted increase by a factor of ten. Women, of course, are much more likely to be victims of military sexual trauma (MST), but far fewer of them enlist. In fact, more military men are assaulted than women—nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone. Prior to the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2011, male-on-male-rape victims could actually be discharged for having engaged in homosexual conduct. That’s no longer the case—but the numbers show that men are still afraid to report being sexually assaulted.

          Military culture is built upon a tenuous balance of aggression and obedience. The potential for sexual violence exists whenever there is too much of either. New recruits, stripped of their free will, cannot question authority. A certain kind of officer demands sex from underlings in the same way he demands they pick up his laundry. A certain kind of recruit rapes his peer in a sick mimicry of the power structure: I own you totally. “One of the myths is that the perpetrators identify as gay, which is by and large not the case,” says James Asbrand, a psychologist with the Salt Lake City VA’s PTSD clinical team. “It’s not about the sex. It’s about power and control.”

          To understand this problem and why it persists twenty-two years after the Tailhook scandal, GQ interviewed military officials, mental-health professionals, and policy-makers, as well as twenty-three men who are survivors not only of MST but also of a bureaucracy that has failed to protect them.

          II.
          “HELL NO, I DIDN’T REPORT THIS. WHO WAS I GOING TO REPORT IT TO?”
          An overpowering shame prevents many enlisted men from reporting an assault—a sense that they must somehow be complicit in what has happened to them. Straight men often question their own sexual orientation, while gay men may struggle to find intimacy in relationships because they don’t trust other men (or their own judgment). Telling the secret ruptures families and friendships. So does not telling.

          The rape of a male soldier has a particular symbolism. “In a hypermasculine culture, what’s the worst thing you can do to another man? Force him into what the culture perceives as a feminine role,” says Asbrand of the Salt Lake City VA. “Completely dominate and rape him.”

          But shame isn’t the only reason these men so often say nothing. Another is fear—of physical retaliation, professional ruin, social stigma. Research suggests that the military brass may have conspired to illegally discharge MST victims by falsely diagnosing them with personality disorders. “The military has a systemic personality disorder discharge problem,” write the authors of a 2012 Yale Law School white paper. Between 2001 and 2010, some 31,000 servicepersons were involuntarily discharged for personality disorders. It is likely that in many cases these were sham diagnoses meant to rid the ranks of MST victims. “If they want you to be schizophrenic,” says Trent Smith, an MST survivor currently fighting his discharge from the Air Force, “you’re schizophrenic.” These diagnoses also spare the government the costs of aftercare: The VA considers a personality disorder to be a pre-existing condition, so it won’t cover the expense of treatment for PTSD caused by a sexual assault.

          Above all, MST victims keep quiet because they do not believe their attackers will be punished. And they’re almost certainly right. The conviction rate in MST cases that go to trial is just 7 percent. An estimated 81 percent of male MST victims never report being attacked. Perhaps it should astonish us that any of them do.

          By Jack Fischl October 14, 2014SHARETWEET REBLOG

          Most survivors of rape in the military are men. Men also develop post-traumatic stress disorder from rape at almost twice the rate they do from combat, according to a sobering in-depth report published in GQ last month. The magazine’s in-depth look jump started a long-overdue conversation about an issue the mainstream has long been slow to respond to. The problem? Historically, very few male survivors report their assault, muffling an already egregious epidemic.

          That tradition of silence, however, may be slowly changing, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of courageous survivors and advocates who are breaking down the institutionalized prejudices and macho mentalities that have for too long kept men specifically from coming forward with their assaults.

          Brian Lewis didn’t keep quiet. He is the first male survivor of military sexual trauma ever to testify before Congress and is the current president of Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma.

          Lewis told Mic via email that the stigma around reporting rape comes from the strong pack mentality in the military.

          “Outing a shipmate is tantamount to treason,” Lewis wrote. “Handling these things in-house ‘on the deck plate’ so to speak is the preferred way, and violating this unwritten code can still result in negative unofficial consequences.” For Lewis, this included being ostracized by his command, being assigned duties below his rank and losing his entire support network.

          That stigma is hurting a staggering number of survivors. According to the 2013 Department of Defence and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office Annual Report on Sexual Assault, about 54% of MST victims last year were men. (It is worth noting that while there were more male survivors overall, women were almost six times more likely to be sexually assaulted). That amounts to about 14,000 male victims, a staggering number, though most of us are in the dark about the scope of this problem: An estimated 81% of MST survivors never disclose their assault.

          A culture that prizes stoicism in men and often doesn’t believe that a man can be a victim of rape can shut down the average civilian male survivor of sexual assault needing help. In the military, couple that with an intense stigma against reporting sexual assault, along with a lack of useful resources and strictly enforced stereotypes about masculinity — all of which make it even more daunting for male survivors to seek the justice and support they need to recover.

          Being a victim contradicts stereotypes about masculinity that men have internalized since childhood.

          “The stigma associated with being a man who is sexually assaulted remains so powerful and so pervasive that it is, without doubt, the biggest obstacle that male survivors contend with,” David Lisak, a forensic consultant and board chair of 1in6, a support and recovery organization, told Mic via email.

          Servicemen who report their trauma through official channels not only face retaliation for speaking out among their fellows, they also may become subject to official consequences of disclosure. A superior officer told Lewis not to report his assault to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Lewis was later discharged for having “a personality disorder,” even though a psychiatrist on the naval base in Guam had concluded that Lewis suffered PTSD as a result of a sexual assault.

          Unfortunately, the military has a history of discharging servicemen for personality disorders (31,000 from 2001 to 2010), allegedly to avoid the cost of treating PTSD or traumatic brain injuries. Many of these discharges may have simply been a way of removing MST survivors from the ranks.

          Even when the military listens to male MST survivors, resources are slim.

          “Asking male survivors to report the crime and then not having adequate resources to assist them in beginning recovery is detrimental at best to creating a conducive environment for reporting,” said Lewis. “Why would a male survivor want to report if he is simply going to be told, ‘Take these pills and there’s not much else I can do for you’?”

          There are clearly systemic problems with the way the military handles male MST, but more aggressive change may not come until more people realize how bad the problem is.

          That was from an excerted article in GQ

          And here’s the defense department acknowledgment of the issues in the military times:

          Incidents of rape in military much higher than previously reported
          By Patricia Kime, Staff writer11:06 a.m. EST December 5, 2014

          (Photo: Cliff Owen/The Associated Press)
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          The estimated number of sexual assaults in the U.S. military dropped in 2014 but the number of rapes and violent sexual assaults is significantly higher than previously thought, according to new data released by the Defense Department and the Rand Corp.

          Preliminary findings of an extensive survey of 170,000 troops released Thursday revealed that 20,000 service members said they had experienced at least one incident of unwanted sexual contact in the past year, representing nearly 5 percent of all active-duty women and 1 percent of active-duty men.

          The figures are down from the estimated 26,000 in fiscal 2012, the last year a complete survey was conducted, a drop of more than 23 percent.

          But new survey methodology used by the Rand Corp. found that many of the 20,000 assaults in 2014 were not “unwanted sexual contact” — a phrase the Pentagon uses to describe any incident of unsolicited and unwanted sexual behavior — they were violent, probing acts.

          Nearly half the assaults reported by women and 35 percent reported by men were “penetrative sexual assaults” — crimes that include rape and penetration with an object.

          Using the methodology DoD previously used for surveys, just 29 percent of assaults against women and 11 percent against men in 2014 would have been classified as penetrative sexual assaults.

          The Rand survey generated some controversy earlier this year when some service members complained to the Associated Press about its explicit language and graphic questions on sexual activity.

          But the Pentagon said the survey, which previously had been conducted by DoD but was contracted to Rand this year to improve reporting and ensure objectivity, was more detailed in order to get more accurate results.

          Rand analysts said the higher number of penetrative assaults found in their data may be attributable to troops reporting incidents of assault that the DoD’s methods would have omitted or not counted as sexual, such as hazing.

          Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday released results of a report on sexual assault prepared for President Obama that showed sexual assault reports from active-duty service members rose to 5,983, up 8 percent from 2013. But the number still represents fewer than a third of the total estimated assaults.

          The number of unrestricted reports — on incidents that allow prosecution and courts-martial to proceed — increased as well but by a smaller margin, 6.5 percent.

          Pentagon officials said the increased reports and decrease in number of assaults estimated by the Rand survey show progress is being made in efforts to combat the problem in the ranks.

          “The [reporting] rate has continued to go up. That’s actually good news. Two years ago, we reported that one in eight sexual assaults was reported, today that’s one in four,” Hagel said during a press conference on the report on Thursday.

          At the same time, he said there is “much work to do,” and he outlined steps the department will take to further reduce incidents.

          The Pentagon continues to face pressure from Congress on the issue, with new measures included in the forthcoming fiscal 2015 defense bill that protect victims of sexual assault, allowing them to provide input on how their case should be tried and challenge any discharge or separation from service that may follow an incident of sexual assault, among other protections.

          Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and a bipartisan group of senators on Monday renewed their call to overhaul the military justice system by removing the authority given to a small number of commanding officers to decide whether cases should proceed to courts-martial.

          Gillibrand pressed for her legislation to be included in the defense bill as an amendment but said she would propose it for a stand-alone vote and continue pushing Obama for an executive action on the matter.

          A breakdown of the newly released data for 2014:

          DoD received 5,983 reports of sexual assault, with 4,501 being unrestricted. Less than a third, or 1,482, were “restricted” reports, meaning the victim sought only medical attention and did not want to participate in any investigation and prosecution (although a review of the military services’ reports found 5,982 total reports).
          Of the 2,419 cases in which military commanders had a suspect, legal jurisdiction and a victim willing to assist in an investigation, commanders found sufficient evidence to take disciplinary action in about 1,764 cases, including 1,380 for sexual assault and 384 for misconduct other than sexual assault.
          Of the 1,380 cases that resulted in disciplinary action for sexual assault-related misconduct, 910 went to court-martial, 283 received nonjudicial punishment and 187 were discharged for other reasons.
          The Pentagon altered its method of accounting for the assaults this year, a move some lawmakers have criticized for obscuring whether real change is occurring.

          But the Rand report noted estimates using the standard DoD methods as well as the new format and found that under the traditional method, the fiscal 2014 estimates for assault would have been 19,000.

          The new method indicated 20,000 troops experienced sexual assault, although the numbers still are not concrete because sexual assault is an under-reported crime.

          According to Hagel’s memo to service chiefs, changes will be made in training, education and at installations to improve sexual assault reporting and protect victims including:

          A long-term effort at each installation to customize sexual assault programs to their circumstances and implement them.
          New programs to increase unit leaders’ knowledge and understanding of sexual assault programs to improve their ability to communicate the importance of prevention and response and mitigate retaliation against victims.
          Further enforcement procedures to ensure that victims, witnesses or those who respond to an incident do no feel any consequences, reprisals or retaliation for reporting a sexual assault.
          The new initiatives on curbing retaliation are aimed at addressing a long-standing problem in the Defense Department — that victims often are blamed for reporting crimes, shunned by colleagues, challenged professionally or depicted as having a mental health disorder and discharged.

          The Rand survey found that 62 percent of women who experienced a sexual assault and reported it endured some type of retribution or retaliation — roughly the same number as was reported in 2013.

          Social retaliation accounted for the largest form of perceived retribution, but 32 percent said they faced professional retaliation and 35 percent experienced an adverse administrative event after reporting an incident.

          “We must tackle this difficult problem head on, because, like sexual assault itself, reprisal directly contradicts one of the highest values our military that we protect our brothers and our sisters in uniform,” Hagel said.

          Anu Bhagwati, a Marine Corps veteran and executive director of the Service Women’s Action Network, said the retaliation issue must be addressed to improve reporting and ensure that victims feel supported and secure.

          “We’ve seen number of assaults increase and decrease over time — a little bump here, a little drop there — but the retaliation is a clear indication that the climate still isn’t safe for victims,” Bhagwati said. “Retaliation is a crime under the UCMJ. What’s being done with these people? Are they being punished?”

          According to the Rand survey, the Air Force and Coast Guard had the lowest percentages of reported sexual assaults in 2014 and the Navy and Marine Corps had the highest.

          The Marine Corps reported the highest percentage of sexual assaults against women, with 7.9 percent reporting having endured an assault, while the Navy had the highest for men, 1.5 percent.

          The percent of troops reporting a sexual assault in the other services among women were 4.7 percent of Army soldiers, 6.5 percent of Navy sailors, 2.9 percent of Air Force airmen and 3.0 percent of Coast Guardsmen.

          The percentage of male troops reporting a sexual assault were 1 percent of soldiers, 0.3 percent of airmen, 1.1 percent of Marines and 0.3 percent of Coast Guardsmen.

          The Rand survey further estimated that 26 percent of active-duty women and 7 percent of active-duty men experienced sexual harassment or gender discrimination.

          A complete report on the Rand survey, including information on sexual assault in the National Guard, is expected next year.

          About 800 fewer airmen experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact in 2014 as compared to 2012, said Maj. Gen. Gina Grosso, who heads the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention and response office at the Pentagon. For women, the prevalence of the crime dropped about 25 percent over that time period; for men, it dropped 14 percent.

          Meanwhile, there was an overall 61 percent increase in reporting by airmen, Grosso said. About one out of every four men in the Air Force who experienced a sexual offense came forward; about three out of every five women reported the crime, according to the 2014 data.

          “As encouraged as we are by these facts — that we are reaching a greater percentage of victims — we know each sexual assault is a critical event in the life of our airmen. We still have much work to do,” Grosso said.

          REPORTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT INCREASE
          All services showed a rise in sexual assault reports among active duty personnel, which officials say reflects victims growing confidence in the military system and increased emphasis on fixing the issue in the Defense and Homeland Security departments.
          Service 2013 2014
          Army 2,335 2,525
          Navy 1,057 1,274
          Air Force 1,149 1,328
          Marine Corps 808 855
          Coast Guard 190 254
          Totals 5,539 6,236
          Source: Defense Department

          Please don’t tell me I’m not blinking an eye.

        • katherinejlegry

          Hi bored thoughtful person,
          I reread some of your comments… and
          we do live in a brutal patriarchal society in a brutal patriarchal world and that can not be taught backwards or spun no matter how many facts you believe yourself to be stacking against your generalizations of feminists. I’m not going to go back and forth regarding abuse and rape… As it’s wrong no matter who it’s being done to. I have worked with boys who are victims of abuse and I’m not seeing anyone as disposable… so don’t go there in attitude or accusation. That’s slander.

          It is time for equality… okay…but a status quo is not free from white male privilege… that’s how all of our institutions are structured, so you can’t accurately blame women and say men have it worse because of them. It’s not to say some women aren’t benefiting from the same systems of privilege and can be equally abusive, but these aren’t the majority share holders. Equity, different than equality and which is feminist and pro woman business owner… is about owning our own stories, our histories, healthcare and rights over our own bodies and so that men can not rule our choices. It’s not about our liberty to rape men. It’s about our freedom over our bodies and minds. That may not seem important to you, but the courts are constantly threatening to over turn Roe Vs. Wade. Birth control is political rather than normal healthy family planning.

          So, it is always time for feminism. To remember women’s history and to evolve.

          It’s not about taking over the world or denying our responsibility or getting away with abuse. I want your peace, happiness, and freedom too.

          As for the women who make fun of men and the feminists you despise, they have their reasons for staking strong boundaries and claiming their rage. Just don’t take them personally.

          I won’t bother you with information links to prove or put into competition anybodies suffering… That doesn’t seem productive.

          Being a feminist just means that I am standing against traditional forms of oppression that I have grown up in.

          It’s not meant to alienate you. I don’t even know you so I can’t lump you in with men even when I speak of a patriarchal system. Although, I am aware of your anger as you’ve expressed your valid hatred of feminists or me… so that I am certainly not so trustful of you.

          But I don’t take you personally, and you don’t have to take feminists or me or anybody personally either.

          • “Equality is different than EQUITY”

            And feminism is different to EQUALITY.

            I’m glad you acknowledge that men can also be raped, however you (as well as a large majority of other feminists I have come across) seem to have some sort of one-sided disposition to the situation. You don’t seem to acknowledge that women also rape. Women rape men, and women rape other women. It happens. So suggesting that rape is an inherently male problem is quite frankly “slander” as you put it yourself.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2902598/Ex-Utah-teacher-faces-sexual-assault-charge-revealed-sex-student-17-arrested-affairs-three-teens.html

            Yes, we live in a male dominated society in terms of politics and arguably power; so take that up with the current male ‘dominator’s’ and not the general male population. You’re essentially condemning half the planet for a situation they didn’t create. I find it interesting when I hear rantings about the ‘patriarchy’, but what are you actually doing about it other than ranting? There hasn’t been a significant increase in girls getting into politics, and you can’t force them to either. If they don’t want to then they won’t. You could attempt to argue that “it’s dominated by males so that puts them off”, cool, but there are plenty of other professions and career choices (including influential ones) that are almost entirely female dominated. Girls should not be given an advantage simply because they are a minority in the profession, or because they are considered “oppressed”.

            Interestingly, you actually didn’t bat an eyelid at the other issues I mentioned: assault, misrepresentation of men in the media, ridiculously high male suicide rates in relation to women’s, and societal double standards against men. These are issues, just like women’s issues, but feminism ignores them and since this is about “equality” surely we should be considering everybody’s issues, and not just 50% of them, hmm? I have found that feminism only creates further inequality, since one side of the argument is considered and the other is not.

            It’s easy to blame everything on ‘men’ and use that as a rallying point, because people love to have enemies and it brings them together (which is ludicrously sexist might I add). In my honest opinion, feminism is just another deluded religious gathering: if you’re not a feminist then you’re a heathen, if you don’t agree with us then you’re stupid, we are always right and you are always wrong, patriarchy, patriarchy, patriarchy, enemy, enemy, enemy. Sounds a lot like those religious extremists don’t you think?

            If you have grown up in an oppressive environment/culture then I am sorry to hear that, all I ask is that when you’re trying to fix the problem under the name of “equality”; make sure you do so properly and consider both sides, otherwise you’re just perpetuating the cycle.

            Many of the comments I’ve read here (comments made in the name of ‘equality and ‘feminism’) are extremely hateful towards the general male populace, and unjustifiable so. Many of the comments are hateful towards certain men just because they are men. Forgive me if I’m concerned by this.

            “So, it is always time for equality. To remember history in general and to evolve.” – I fixed it for you.

            • katherinejlegry

              Hmmmm… Yeah your whole “batting an eye” thing is getting pretty ridiculous… Bored Thoughtful person.

              I’m not going to look at your links or consider your feelings. I believe you feel very strongly about your own issues and I encourage you to embark on health and healing among other more suitable support groups for you. It’s okay for you to feel your own specificity and explore those needs.

              Obviously you find feminists unsupportive to your manhood. So look somewhere else for that.

              The bottom line is, you can’t change my mind. I know why I am feminist and it’s enough. There is no real evidence that you can present any of us that will suddenly make the light bulb go on… where we have a collective ah-ha moment of what were we thinking?! Of course we have it better than men! There are no problems!

              You may have valid facts about men, but they do not belong in competition here. You can (as in you do have a choice to) listen to and validate the women’s voices. You can here for some of them why they “hate” and realize they went through a lot. You don’t have to carry it or fight against it. Just hear the deep pain and allow yourself to be quiet with how it might feel. You can find empathy because you understand abuse too.

              But if you CHOOSE to invalidate feminists and call it out as a “deluded religious gathering” and if you choose to make radical thinking a “bad” thing and if you choose to deny the realities, then that’s your problem.

              No one else but yours.

              You didn’t watch the bell hooks arthur jafa lecture I left as a link…

              I’m not a binary thinker… I don’t want your “boxes” and I am still able to be part feminist… so here it is again:

              If you won’t watch it or just want to argue about it… let’s agree not to talk anymore…

              I don’t care if we meet eye to eye at all. I feel very positive about feminism, albeit largely misunderstood.

  129. Liz Kara

    Reblogged this on The Vodka Soda Escapades and commented:
    Because my grandmother had to work the night shift so her family could make ends meet, but was still expected to prepare three meals a day and keep the house clean.

    Because my mother was overlooked when it came to education; my uncle’s future as the bread winner was more important. Because my mother’s worth was finally seen when my uncle dropped out of college, stole the family Volkswagen, and never returned from California.

    Because my mother was fired when her boss tried to make advances on her one night after work. She slapped him.

    Because my mother was ostracized for getting pregnant before she was married; because somebody liked it and failed to put a ring on it.

    Because my mother dressed me in blue, as a baby, people were concerned about my upbringing.

    Because pink’s my favorite color. Everyone sighs, smiles, and pats me on the head: “Of course it is, sweetheart.” Because I’m the stereotypical girl.

    If I had a dollar for every drunk fool, arm outstretched, “stumbling into” and grabbing my chest or ass for “stability,” slurring: “Sorry, beautiful. What’re you drinking tonight?”

    Because “I have a boyfriend” or “I’m not interested” somehow translates to “Please, continue to try and get in my pants.”

    Because a CEO of a company mocked my intelligence, my finances, and my bachelor’s degree in a job interview because of my gender. Before meeting him, his workers described him as fair and a “family man.” They were all male.

    Because a customer, a man the same age as my father, didn’t understand my “sense of dry humor.” He told me to “smile more,” then proceeded to invite me over to his place after my shift for “drinks and a rousing game of strip poker.”

    If I had a dollar for every person offended by my answer to “So, when are you and Magicc going to get married?” Not anytime soon. Because I’m judged for being in my twenties and not ready to “settle down.”

  130. Wow, this is so powerful. Feminism is so important and it devastates me when the media tries to say that we don’t need feminism anymore. Thank you so much for writing this. Everyone, men and women, need to read this and understand the significance of women who have fought, and continue to fight, for equality.

  131. Reblogged this on Humyn and commented:
    This powerful Freshly Pressed post says it better than I ever could. An important read, and I think everyone, men and women, must read this. Feminism is not “a thing of the past.” It is now. It’s you and me. It’s your parents, grandparents, and strangers on the street. Feminism is everywhere. We live and breathe it, and there are enemies fighting against it. Feminism has been misconstrued, but the heart of it is equality. Feminism isn’t a dirty word. What’s dirty is pretending that we don’t need it.

  132. Because I have felt stuck between genders my whole life. I am a girl with some stereotypical male interests so as such, but even when I hang out with my friends who are guys it is still the elephant in the room that I am a girl, that I have to squish down my girl identity just so I can hang out with people who share common interests. Because two of my close friends have been raped, and I have had my drink spiked. Because as a runner I can’t go for a run once the sun goes down and often feel unsafe. The list can go on…

  133. Wow just wow!! I love it!

  134. Reblogged this on The Normz and commented:
    Feminism at its best!

  135. Because I don’t feel the urge to procreate – and I support the choice not to
    Because I have a partner who sees me as his equal (even though he does earn more than I do – Different job area)
    Because I believe a woman should not need a man to feel ‘complete’
    Because No should mean No
    Because everybody’s body is theirs and theirs alone to do with as they see fit, not for another person to cast a vote or decide for them.
    Because I refuse to judge other women based on their looks/physical appearance despite the fact we are taught by society to compete with each other.
    Because I believe in equality
    Because my father walked out on my 15th birthday and left me to pick up the pieces / inform everyone.
    Because I believe that education is a right, not a privilege
    Because I believe in freedom of speech
    Because I put myself through education working jobs where the female boss was the bully
    Because I can … reblog this!

  136. I loved it. Thank you for that…

  137. Reblogged this on femveggeek and commented:
    If I had a pound for each moment I felt like I have to justify myself…. hobbies, children or lack there of, dating, veganism … and a similar view point to If I had a Dollar (why I am a feminist)

  138. Powerful. I’m a feminist because I see what happens to little girls who don’t believe they have choices.

  139. This opened my eyes. I never once contemplated the strength of the women in my life. My mother suffered years of pain in an abusive relationship and I never once endeavoured to put myself in her shoes.
    I believe in equality for everyone (thats why i dont label myself as just a feminist). Nobody in this world should be challenged about something they have no control over such as race, colour, sex. Thank you for this.

  140. The U.S. is closer to equality, but even in 2015, no cigar; women get paid less, and have to work more in areas they’re never paid for anyway. Then again, these days it seems everyone has to work harder for less.

    Some things never change, and some things just get worse. We are all tested.

    Great writing here, girl-in-the-hat.

  141. Pingback: Because, Because, Because (Reasons I Am a Proud Feminist) | Modern Day Artemis

  142. This was an amazing list and an incredibly empowering idea!

    The part about losing your virginity was the most real and accurate description of life as a teenage girl, especially for me and my friends who are currently in college. It really made me sit and think so thank you because no one has ever put that in such concise but hard-hitting words.

    I made my own list but as it was incredibly long I posted it on my blog (I credited you for the idea of course). I would be honored if you or anyone else would check it out.

    Cannot thank you enough for your articulation of the struggles of growing up as a woman.

  143. allthedots

    “Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.”

    I really related to this part in regards to my own mother. My mother was forced to quit her career, which she loved, after she got married to do literally all the chores. She had to cook not just for the family, but for weekly dinner parties. She always did all of the work on her own, and it caused her a lot of stress and illness. She never even enjoyed her own dinner parties because a lot of the guests were not nice to her. I also observed this in the other married women in my community growing up. For the longest time, I sincerely believed that a woman’s happiness ended with marriage, and that it wasn’t a choice, because in my community, kids were taught from a very early age that marriage is their ultimate fate. It took me forever to realize that this was supposed to be a good thing.

  144. Because at the age of 15 my uncle touched me, no defended me and t this day everyone talks to him like it never happened.

  145. Kimmiekimkim

    Because I belive it should be our choice not someone else’s or a set of rules we NEED to follow, because whether she’s a childless CEO or a stay at home mom it is HER choice and we should not judge only support her happiness! Because my son will be a feminist and learn the true meaning of equality!

  146. Reblogged this on and commented:
    I found this on WordPressfreshly pressed and it’s just too good not to share! I think of the”f word,” everyday.

  147. dreamingmyself

    Reblogged this on dreamingmyself and commented:
    this.

  148. dreamingmyself

    You are an amazing, beautiful, strong, woman. Just from reading this piece, you’ve become one of my role models. Thank you so much for this.

    I am a feminist because I am tired of men feeling women should just submit to them, from large matters like household roles and relationships to things like speaking over them and expecting them to quietly shut up. I am tired of men and society in general treating women as walking showcases. I am tired of society deeming women as the sensitive and overemotional childbearer, and men the ambitious and potential-filled heroes. We should be allowed to be able to create any character we choose, regardless of gender. I should be able to get the same pay to feed a family as a man, because I have done the same work, sweat the same sweat, and worked just as hard and even harder to be where I am. It is not just a man’s right, it is a human’s right.

  149. Because when I tell people I don’t want to have kids, they question my sexuality and femininity.

  150. elizabethweaver

    Stunning piece…reminds me of “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid in underlying structure. Such a loving tribute to your mom and all women who struggle with the challenge of living independent fulfilling lives especially in the context of nurturing others. Thank you.

  151. Reblogged this on Nittin' Ninja and commented:
    I was also raised by a single mom in the 60s and 70s who worked her fingers to the bone, but that’s where the similarity ends. A very good essay, one that makes me pause and consider…well, the continued inequities women still suffer.

  152. This is a tough one! But hey, you made it!

  153. This is astonishingly powerful . I’m left speechless.

  154. reneferret1

    Reblogged this on reneferretsays.

  155. imgracen

    You have no idea how you have exuded inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

  156. One word sums this up: Powerful

    Because I, and no other woman, should be afraid to walk home alone.

    Because no is no

    Because rape is never justifiable

    Because even if I’m not married or have children at a certain age, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me

    Because I should be slender and fit for my health, not for beauty

    Because I was made to believe that I only had value if I was pretty

  157. This very powerful… I loved when you stated that your mother never called you pretty and yet if you had a dollar for everything you wondered if you were pretty… that speaks volumes. Please follow me back

  158. This is amazing. I applaud you for defining what true feminism is. Thank you for telling it like it is.

  159. Great post. I love the way you have written this and it is certainly thought provoking. Here are mine:

    Because I was told in school I should wear baggy clothes to hide my big boobs after I complained about a boy trying to grab them.

    Because after working at a job for 5 years I was expected to train a guy who younger than me with no previous job experience at all, but was getting paid more than me because he was male.

    Because even though I earn more than my husband, people try to make me feel bad about working longer hours than he does. He does the school run and I go to work but it’s frowned on by the other mums who say I don’t care enough about my child.

    Because I get told I can’t be a feminist because I choose to wear make up.

    Because I when I was young and out clubbing I never accepted a drink from a stranger (men) at a bar and frequently got called stuck up or a bitch for refusing the offer. (I had no issue with people speaking to me but I don’t need a free drink to chat to you)

    Because even now people expect my 5 year old daughter to be wearing pink, playing with dolls and take dance classes. She can do what she wants not what is expected of her. My sister in law was appalled I bought her a nerf gun and nerf bow set at christmas because it’s a ‘boys toy’.

    I could go on and on but I think I will leave it here for now.

  160. Reblogged this on Brown Mystique and commented:
    This is absolutely amazing. I have to share it.

  161. jijbentliev

    beautiful blog!

  162. I love this so much it’s incredibly amazing

  163. Reblogged this on surimulani and commented:
    I don’t think I am one, but this piece is a beautiful reading…

  164. I love this! Congrats on your Freshly Pressed! Please check out:

    mylifeasmaeganhagan.wordpress.com

  165. Reblogged this on kbeautifulmind and commented:
    This is just amazing!
    Iv’e been inspired will definitely be responding to this blog soon!

  166. Because I saw my dad overcome his pre-learned sexism and accept and appreciate the fact that my mother made more money than him.
    Because my parents accepted my long held “I’ll never get married or have children” Even though I eventually did.
    Because my husband loves to hear my opinions on things.
    Because I was betrayed by a boy I trusted and saw no justice
    Because I saw the same boy do exactly the same thing to another girl a few months after me
    Because I am only invited to tea parties and craft nights instead of video game lan parties and nerf fights
    Because there is more to people than sex organs.
    Because I hate the color pink
    Because my daughter needs to see everyone as an equal
    Because rape prevention doesn’t start with teaching girls to dress less provocatively, but with teaching boys that rape is not ok.
    Because I am female and I enjoy sex, that doesn’t mean that I am a slut.

  167. Because my mother was hard working and strong and beautiful, and was honored by my kind, gracious Daddy, who was always protected us and provided everything we needed, and more–so I know it’s possible for men to be more than the evil, diminished version you described. Because my mom loved being home taking care of us, cooking and cleaning, and never made her role seem anything but a delightful privilege; and because my dad was never demeaning, rude, or condescending about the fact that he brought home the bacon and she fried it up–just to his liking. Because my husband is a lot like my dad, graciously provides for our family, and loves the fact that I stay home with our kids and write (which doesn’t pay much). Because feminists often seem more angry, less happy. Because there seems to be less freedom than ever to stay home and embrace motherhood. Because, when Jesus wanted to show his disciples what true greatness was (after they had been arguing about who was the greatest among them), he leaned down and picked up a baby–which shows me that when I pick up a baby, I’m doing something truly great, too! Because although the glass ceiling has been shattered, there’s glass between my toes when I try to walk around up there, and still manage being the kind of mom and wife I want to be. Because I don’t think new bondage takes care of old bondage. Because I completely validate the harsh reality you described, and long for women to be more validated, not less–especially for all that they contribute to the relationships in the home. Because I don’t think freedom is found in abdicating the differences God breathed into the DNA of men and women–her being more relational and nurturing and better able to articulate feelings and make connections (which doesn’t earn her lots of money, but does earn her lots of friends). Because I don’t think our world appreciates the difference a strong woman can make when she pours her life out and gives it up for a respectful husband, and children who will carry her strength on to the next generation. Because I feel completely free and happy and content and dignified as a non-feminist, and I hope the same for my daughter, my loved ones, and my friends. Because I hope you’ll respectfully consider my perspective, as one woman to another–both of us wanting the best in life for our daughters.

    • We should all be able to choose what moves us and encourage one another—and our children—to do the same. We don’t have to be the same kind of woman or do the same thing, and being different does not make us enemies. Thank you for adding your words to the list, Shannon.

      • Sure thing! Making enemies and drawing battle lines is not helpful. I want to stir up love and endurance as my ‘call to action’, not pain and bitterness in the hearts of other women. For me, what moves and encourages me is hope for what life can be. Thanks for responding!

    • Very beautifully said. I am married to a super sweet man, and still consider myself a feminist. I think it is all about owning our female power and trying to make things a little better for our soul sisters that make us feminists…Not necessarily by being man haters. But that is my perspective. :o)

      • If that’s all feminism were, I would be supportive. It just seems to have become so much more than fighting injustice for women. I think women need to bond together and stir each other up for love, hope, endurance, and joy. We sure need help from each other!

        • Agreed! If enough of us are there to continually add positive feedback and “bask in each other’s glory”, then eventually we could turn the tide. (I’m also an optimist) :0)

  168. Reblogged this on jilliesbookshelf and commented:
    Fuck. Yes!

  169. I have already read and commented on this profound post. I came back for a second read. Bravo.

  170. Reblogged this on xploremycouture's Blog and commented:
    Deep ❤️

  171. Pingback: Shared from WordPress | Random Lines Working

  172. Reblogged this on My Brown Baer Cub and commented:
    I loved reading this.

  173. Because I can.

    You are very inspiring. Thank you.

  174. Reblogged this on Wait. I'm Not Finiished and commented:
    I am an ardent, former-now-post feminist. Betty Friedan lied. More about that later. But. This. This could reel me back in.

  175. I always find feminism very touchy and actually hard to wrap my mind around it at this young age because of all the sources/messages I’m exposed to as a 20 year old female who’s trying to figure life out but you have certainly helped guide me. I agree with you. And thank you for sharing!

    All the best,
    Ellen

  176. Amazing post. I never considered myself a “feminist,” but when I would talk about independent, strong, and hard-working women, men would say..”you’re such a feminist.” Umm, I think your using that term out of context, but I would let it slide, and think about all the times I had to work EXTRA hard to gain a little respect around the workplace. It is important to me for us women to stick together and empower another.

  177. desina gjeka

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    This was a beautiful example of a true feminist.
    A feminist is not a women who hates men, nor do they want to overpower men.
    They are respectable women who know their self-worth and what they’re capable of, are aware of their strengths, and stand up for their rights.

  178. This piece truly spoke wonders for me

  179. Beautiful, devastating words. Each reason more stunning in its unblinking truth than the next. Truth is truly beauty.

    The line about ‘smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror’ made me think of Mad Men – of Betty Draper in particular. She was a victim of her beauty and suffered for it mightily in a time when beauty was often the only power that a woman could wield.

  180. Because I’m only 14 years old, the number two mathlete in my state, play for a travel soccer team, and still I hear people describe me as “having too big a nose”

  181. Thank you for this article 🙂 🙂 🙂

  182. gitangaliminor

    Reblogged this on gitascrazyworld.

  183. So unbelievably powerful, thank you for this post

  184. Reblogged this on Young Momma and commented:
    Powerful.

  185. This is stunning and makes me want to cry. Because I am a feminist. Now. Always. Before I ever heard the word or knew what it meant.

    Because my grandmother (who wanted to be a writer) was forced to leave school at 16 because her parents couldn’t keep her in school dresses, and she was only “going to go and get herself married after all.”

    Because it was unseemly for my grandmother to learn to swim.

    Because Zora Neale Hurston told me that the black woman was the mule of the world, and I believed her.

    Because when my mother finally when to court to have my father removed from the house he told me she had no right to do that, because that it was HIS house, she was HIS wife, we were HIS children.

    Because when I refused to get my boss coffee he transferred me to another department.

    Because. Because. Because.

    Because my son is a feminist. Because most of his friends are as well.

    You should turn this into a Tumblr. Because.

  186. delfinavalentina1

    Reblogged this on Little Thoughts.

  187. bechanson

    Because as two young professionals, I earned the same income as my husband until I left work to raise our 2 sons (and relocate many times for my husband’s career and rebuild a house each time) and now he earns 20 times as much as I do.
    Because during that time he said I wasn’t ‘working’.
    Because he now tries to pay no child support (constantly).
    Because in my job I am classed as a casual (paid hourly, so as to fit in with my children) so have no holiday pay or sick pay etc, but my male colleague who does the same job as me (with much worse results), is permanent, has all the benefits plus company car etc which I don’t have.
    Because there is no female equivalent for the word emasculate.
    Because when I told my husband I had never had an orgasm in our twenty year marriage he corrected me and told me that I had them all the time…
    Because, because, because, because, because….

  188. bechanson

    Reblogged this on Woman and commented:
    Beautifully written piece. have a look!

  189. Lisa

    Incredibly simple, yet incredibly inspiring. Thank you.

  190. Lisa

    Reblogged this on recklessdisobedience and commented:
    People who can write like this are truly inspiring. This gives me life…

  191. Ashley Wingo

    Because I married a man that used abuse to control and dominate me, while forcing me to be a stay at home wife/mom. Because I left him over a year ago and still haven’t been able to get back on my feet. Because I was abused by a family member at a very young age. Because I feel “bad” when I don’t have sex with my partner, and I shouldn’t.
    Amazing post! It truly brought out my inner feminist and I love that part of myself.

  192. Ashley Wingo

    Reblogged this on The Smiling Iguana and commented:
    An absolutely beautiful post. Definitely a must-read.

  193. This is magnificent. I live in Middle East and I can feel this pressure on the women, many of the neighbor countries are defined by sexism (Saudi Arabia) or many of them are developing in this manner but they are just at the start point (Iran).

    To the better life, for both men and women. cheers!

  194. I know that feel. Sadly, it isn’t that easy to scream to the world without sounding like a nuisance.

  195. Just…WOW. I was literally holding my breath reading that. You write so well and explain so clearly by saying so little in your statements. Just…wow.

  196. I am a feminist because internationally women are still taught to be ashamed of their gender. I need no other reason.

  197. Because I’m twenty one and in tears reading this.
    Because I wrote the same piece (personalized examples) the other day, and found this one today.
    Because I want to walk down the street without being stared at.
    Because I want to go for hikes alone without fear.
    Because she, and you, and I are not objects.

  198. Reblogged this on Twisted Diction and commented:
    Because I wrote a personalized version of this weeks ago.
    Because it shouldn’t be the case that every woman can write a list as lengthy as this, but maybe if we all did, we would realize what we’ve been through and stop putting one another down.
    Because all women deserve to be heard and to be treated with respect.
    Because I’m twenty one and have a whole life ahead of me and the big hope and expectation that my dreams won’t be hindered because I was born with a vagina.
    Because I aspire to be a mother and a wife
    Because I want to be respected in my choice to be both, and to be whatever the hell else I want to be, too
    Because feminism needs to be an unstoppable force of ferocity and spirit
    Because we’re not there yet
    Because if I have a daughter, I want her to sit where I’m sitting thirty years from now and thank us and look on us in awe, because I want her to be safe and supported and to be treated with respect and dignity: always.

  199. chiarandthekiwi

    Such a perfect and strong post…

    I felt like watching a movie, with beautiful soundtrack too 🙂

  200. Honest and Brave reasons that must resonate with every woman or girl who reads this. I have two wee sons of 6 and 8, when they are a bit bigger I will make them read your words X

  201. hi:) I just wonder, because the men and boys I talk to are really in need of a woman a-n-d vise versa, why is it rellevant to be a feminist? why not just fight for rights for boh women and men? because I know you born at a time when women were extremly descriminated, but I wonder if the situation is so pressing like before….the main thing i can think of is the problem of sexual harressment and the lack of sexual educating for both boys and girls…but women are not in the same position as they used to be, they are affected by men in a horrible way , still trying to diminish themselves, to impress , but what about someone fighting for educating men, not just blaming them? theyn are a productn of society also…what do you think? https://nairadity.wordpress.com/

  202. Pingback: A boring story we have all heard before. | katy warner

  203. because…your experience and your words…are true the world over.

  204. breffest

    Reblogged this on breffest.

  205. KamiKanten

    Sadly genders are conditioned by society is everybody’s fault for what happen to your mother,is everybody’s fault for the guys that used to ask you how much,because they are so many other girls who do that and people are just lazy,we think everybody is the same.
    I think being a feminist as a movement should be focused on the definition of “feminism” wich is equal rights.If people still dissaggre with equal rights,then we have a problem.

  206. This was a beautiful piece. Completely captivating from beginning to end. Thank you for this

  207. Reblogged this on ihearbri and commented:
    Just beautiful. I just started following this blog

  208. Anonymous

    I am not a “feminist”. But I do support equal rights.
    Feminists don’t want me because I don’t fall in love with men, and have zero desire for children. Actually, I don’t even like children.
    Because I choose to never put myself in an economically dependent position by marrying, feminists don’t want me. Because I don’t like dresses, don’t drink or smoke, and do what I like—mostly by myself, feminists don’t want me.
    Yes, I would like equal pay…but until then I’m not going to whine and make choices that could make it that much harder for me to support myself; right now, I am responsible for me and no one else.

  209. Because you pointed out the value of being self-reliant and a person of values… Because your work is simple and inspiring…

  210. Because it’s much better to be single and independent and no need to explain to anyone why do that or go there…
    Because men play with us and our feelings… They come… Promise the world and then just change their mind and leave…saying…”I need time to think and figure things out… It’s not you…it’s me…”
    Because it’s beautiful and nice and comforting to know you have your man there no matter what…but guess what most of the time you are still alone…doing everything by yourself…most of the time no one is there anyway…and if it is…most of them will just not understand..some not even theirself…
    Because we live in a modern world, full with hope and opportunities.
    Because we want to try and experience so many new things…
    Because it’s just our complicated nature… And just because sometimes…most of the time it’s nice to have someone there, to make you feel safe, loved and to comfort you…

  211. And…just because I consider myself beautiful…and want to remain like this…but not judged by it…
    Because we have the same rights to enjoy our self without to be judged for it…as men have also… Or at least we should have the same rights…

  212. I am going to make everyone i know read this.

  213. Laura

    Beautiful moving piece. I take pills to help “Take care” of myself and though the thought scares me that I ‘need’ them to do that, at least there’s the option in place. Such strong women in this world, it’s nice to be reminded of that.

  214. penonpapergirl

    Thank you for writing this powerful piece.

  215. I am touched… All eespects to you ..; i do not know who you are or where you live … All respects for opening up so much! I am a feminist… I would love to connect more with you to discuss about a godess who symbolises feminism to me .. Please email me on meethedale@gmail.com

  216. Wow . I want to be a feminist

  217. Your reasons, are exactly why I am a feminist too and why I hate people claiming we don’t need feminism anymore!

  218. Because I’m 25 years old and learning to lift weights(bench press, etc) for the first time. Because inequality hurts men too and robs them of partnership with the full and free exchange of human love and friendship with the opposite sex. Because when I got pregnant in college by my husband and sat sobbing in the exam room, the doctor
    just handed me information for government assistance I wouldn’t qualify for for diapers and such, without considering
    that I might have other options. Because my mom, sister, and I have body issues. Because I am the first female in my family with a graduate degree. Because people always ask when we are having kids and “the perfect time will never come”.

  219. As a male rape survivor divorced from an abusive spouse who has custody of my son:

    If I had a dollar for every time human issues were treated as women’s issues I would owe more in child support to my abuser to help her keep my son away from me.

    I know true feminism is about egalitarian values and applying standpoint theory (empathy to a different viewpoint) to social justice but I don’t always see that being practiced in both directions.

  220. Brittney

    I agree with everything you just said. 🙂 It was moving and inspirational.

  221. Brittney

    I actually saw something similar on “In the life of a Woman” a blog here on Word Press. It was about loving each other and supporting each other as women from all walks of life. Check it out!

  222. Reblogged this on leeanndodson51 and commented:
    Because for the first thirty plus years of my life I thought I was fat and I wasn’t.

    Because my mother was so intelligent and talented but her dreams were sublimated to being my father’s secretary and finally she never played the piano again.

    Because after watching what my mother had to do, raising five children, running my father’s medical practice, and doing practically everything except making ‘money’, I decided when I was very young that I would never make the mistake of marrying a doctor, but I ended up doing just that.

    Because I was afraid learning to type would doom me to a life of typing for someone else.

    Because my mother had so many burdensome responsibilities no one human being could ever manage to keep up with them. However, she felt it was her personal failure and meant that ‘she was not good enough’.

    Because I was raised to be a wife and a mother and a caregiver, first and foremost, and to earn a college degree doing something like law or medicine just in case my future husband might die, or get sick, or leave me.

    Because I wanted to be an artist or an architect. The first was outrageously impractical and the latter, I was told that ‘girl’ architecture students were treated horribly by fellow male students and all the professors would make my life hell. I ‘chickened out’ and majored in Interior Design/ Housing which was in the College of Home Economics, where there was not a single male student nor professor.

    Because I was so inculcated to be a ‘people pleaser’, it took me half a lifetime to stop being a morphing chameleon in order to satisfy men.

    Because when my employer, an acquaintance of my parents, grabbed my ass in the back room of the store as I was closing up, and told me he knew how much I wanted it.

    Because every time I had to walk alone at night I was afraid and still am.

    Because guys can hike a trail or backpack or go out to a bar alone and when women do things alone, if she is attacked by a man or group of men, there is this insidious attitude that she was either stupid or asking for it.

    Because the court system slants its rulings in favor of the successful, professional white male. Frequently.

    Because even now, when we should all know better, the jobs that are most often taken on by women, such as child rearing, care giving, home making, teaching, are consistently undervalued and grossly underpaid if paid at all.

    Because when I became a professional artist, other artists, both men and women, said, well, she is just a doctor’s wife.

    Because an art professor told me that if I got married and had children there was no way I would or could ever be a serious or successful artist.

    Because things have changed in the last fifty years, but for the most part, the insidious presence of male domination is a vicious force around the globe.

    Because when I was a forty something divorcee with a child, young and disabled, and moved into a new neighbourhood only one of the many married women in the neighbourhood welcomed me. I might as well have been wearing a huge scarlet letter across my bosom.

    Because while I was married my husband expressly did not want me working ‘outside of the home’ and almost all my male friends disparage the alimony I was awarded after twenty two years of marriage as never having been earned.

    Because I am almost sixty and youth and beauty in women is still worshipped, even by women themselves, who undergo invasive and sometimes damaging surgical procedures to do so, only now at younger ages and more frequently.

    Because women who set aside careers to be homemakers and raise their children are considered to have it easy. Indeed, now, most women are expected, by themselves and others, to do both. Well.

    Because the inequality of the feminine and male roles are so inculcated into our cultures, religions, education, etc…that I still surprise myself with an ever expanding awareness of my own unquestioned biases.

    Because this conversation is far from being over.

  223. Reblogged this on Make Your Own Peace and commented:
    Some thoughts for you. Let them resonate through time to better today and tomorrow.

    Read the original, like, and follow this author.

  224. simozpage

    Reblogged this on theotherwonderpage and commented:
    Good read.
    My favourite is “most women have to wonder how they will survive without a man”. I’m recently wondering if it is possible for me to raise a child as a single mom, and the answer so far is no. I know so many women do it, mostly out of necessity. But as a choice, it is a brave choice to make.

    Having to chose between a career and a child is a difficult thing to do. And maybe it’s a boundary I’m just imposing on myself. But it is a moment of wondering…

  225. In these words, you have managed to capture the very essence of what feminism means and how it is being nisunderstood by society. Feminism is equality, equality between a working man and a working woman, between a divorced man and a divorced woman, between a childless man and a childless woman.
    This has really moved both my heart and brain. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story with a high moral.

  226. Thank you so much for writing/sharing this! Very powerful because I think everyone can relate to something (if not all) you wrote! I always feel judgment when my friends ask why I’m single or not even considering the idea of getting married anytime in the near future. Its hard to see that we still live in a society where its seen as normal for a women to be dependent on men and not normal when a women wants to be alone/independent.

  227. Independence, in my opinion, is a beautiful thing. No matter if you are male or female, a significant other is not a necessity. But in a way, I almost sympathize for you that you have acquired such a sour taste in your mouth about men and their demeanor.

    Experience is obviously something that can alter our thinking and build up our wisdom, but I feel that basing your mindset off of categorization and stereotypes is simply wrong.

    I may sound just like many other men that have spoken to you, but not all of us are the same just as not all of you are the same. As some comments above have stated, their mothers were never there for them or had substance abuse issues that would prohibit them from being caring and dedicated parents. Men are the same way. Some can be Dad of the year and some can be absent.

    I in no way am intending to offend anyone by this comment or discouraging you from taking pride in your sex, I am simply attempting to help you see some of this from another perspective. Myself being a caring man who loves and supports his family and will until the day he dies, wants to show you that there are some good men out there.

    • I don’t have a sour taste in my mouth about men. I’m happily married to a beautiful man. These are not vague stereotypes, they’re vivid memories. I can see you feel defensive, but you don’t need to worry. This is not about you. I don’t need your help seeing your perspective. I see it every day. It’s your turn to see mine.

  228. Reblogged this on OJC BEHAVIOR and commented:
    This is beautiful. I share so many of the same view points and feelings!

  229. YES, just YES. This rings so true.

  230. Because I was told to go to secretarial school since I was only a “B” student and couldn’t believe you had to be married to get the “pill” in 1967 in MA

  231. Because so many think that the word “feminist” is bad,irrelevant and that we’ve “done” it.
    Because feminism is about equality.
    Because many women’s careers lose momentum when they use maternity leave.
    Because I speak out when I see only men on news interview panels, leading government, or military command
    Because the sports pages cover few women’s sports and we rarely see pictures of women athletes.
    Because when I graduated high school, girls could only be secretaries, nurses, or teachers.
    Because I raised two daughters with a feminist’s understanding of the world and the need to keep going.
    Because we all carry the responsibility to achieve social justice in the world.

    Thanks for your inspiring words.

  232. Reblogged this on tiffany98b's Blog and commented:
    Amazing…

  233. Double Chair Studio

    Reblogged this on Double Chair Studio and commented:
    I couldn’t agree more.

  234. Renata Di Gregorio

    This is beautiful, I love the imagery and the anaphora.

  235. So powerful, thanks for sharing!

  236. Very well articulated, I am new to blogging and will be following you. Thank you.
    Because when I told my parents I was getting married, my step -father said “Good you are finally doing something with your life.”
    Because when I was in tech school they didn’t even have work uniforms for us.
    Because if I didn’t want to date the men I worked with I had to be a Lesbian.
    Because my step father taught me the only thing men would ever want from me is sex.
    Because my daughter is non gender specific.
    Because I still have so much growing to do.

  237. observingeyesblog

    Reblogged this on observingeyesblog.

  238. Because my mom had the courage in Africa with no child support and a lot condemnation to know when to walk away.
    Because my father knew that like all African women she would survive.
    Because all four of us girls did survive.

  239. wasnt a feminist until i read this.

  240. Reblogged this on Unwritten and commented:
    Because my god brother, 2 years my senior, told me he wanted to show me something secret and forced himself on 6 year old me. Because I learned the precious ability of kicking a man in the groin for attempting to make me relive that experience.

  241. Because my ex beat me unmercifully yet I survived. Thrived. Grew. Graduated and became empowered. Now my daughters will never understand my misery because I broke the cycle.

  242. You wrote “Because every woman I’ve ever known, no matter how smart and strong and capable, has had to consider exactly how she could live without a man. Because some never find an answer.” This is my life, and it has been for ten years, and that’s right, there is no answer. No answer, no answer, no goddamned answer.

  243. I am a feminist because nothing ever changes.

  244. Because my parents told me I could fix anything and would one day be a mechanical engineer (I became a social worker). Because I really do believe all people are equal. Because my undergrad professor said “You’re planning to go to grad school right?” And from that moment I was. Because in grad school I was exposed to the idea of gender and was given a new lense to look at my world, the world. Because our beliefs, thoughts and actions power the world.

  245. Pingback: If I Had a Million Dollars (Why I’m not a Feminist) | ShannonPopkin.com

  246. Beautifully put and inspiring . Great post.

  247. Flav_Holman

    This was an amazing post, thank you. My reason is my 7 yr old daughter, who I want to be more straight forward than me, more confident and if a drunk man (family member) tries to kiss her, she can be strong enough to say something (yes, it happened to me too, I was probably 6) my alcoholic grandfather, or if an older cousin starts to touch her at night, when all the parents are out, she can stand up for herself. I want to teach her that beauty is not everything, she needs a brain and a kind heart. Also she must work hard for what she wants in life, so she can be independent.

  248. Beautiful! I actually started tearing up a little reading this.

    I’m a feminist because of all the times my father supported my brother in sports but not me. Because of all the times my older sisters and friends told me I needed a man. Because of all the times my mother made me feel like there wasn’t anything more to life than raising children. Because of all the guys that made me feel like I had to put out and dumped me when I wouldn’t. And plenty of more.

  249. unscripted0987

    Reblogged this on Unscripted.

  250. Reblogged this on thatonegirl1004 and commented:
    Sad but true.

  251. Because when I was a teenager growing up in the 90s studying ideas on Black Feminism my mother told me not to grow up to be “some lesbian feminist” (I’m both, haha)
    Because some people don’t understand that these are two separate ideas
    Because I have no other option

    This was an amazing read, thank you.

  252. Because I want to live in a world where rape culture is not the norm and the fear of rape diminishes for BOTH men and women.
    Because I want to eradicate the idea that women ‘ask’ for rape by what they wear.
    Because everyone needs something to believe in in order to change the world.

  253. Reblogged this on speakingasme and commented:
    Because this is one of the most inspiring things I have ever read.

  254. Seems to me that we have plenty of reasons to be feminists. Men and women together. And go vegetarian/vegan, because exploiting animals is bad as well! No living being is an object, and thus should not be objectified.

  255. Taylor-Gillespie Productions

    Because I am a father raising daughters in a world that still doesn’t treat them as equals and objectifies them everywhere they look.

    Because I am not afraid to use the F-word

    Because it lead me to your amazing post that I will share with them.

  256. This is amazing and so true! I’ve reblogged! Everyone should read this beautiful writing! I am a feminist because I believe in my own potential as a women to do equally well/better than my male counterparts in the world today and years to come! 🙂

  257. This is incredible and inspiring. Thank you for writing such strong, amazing words women everywhere can draw strength from! ❤

  258. Because I am a human and believe that it will be better for all of us if we are treated equally.
    Because I have been better educated, better qualified, and achieved more, and have always been paid less.
    Because my dad was struck dumb when I told him I am paid less than my male colleagues (because he knows I am better qualified, and had just said that he is against feminists and lesbians).
    Because I have male friends that I love dearly, who treat their partners with respect, and I would love that to be the norm.
    Because of all the times I have had to be quiet so as not to bruise an ego.
    Because I slow down to walk with other women under bridges when out running, and we both always know that we feel safer together.
    For all your reasons.
    Because I get to vote, and I was taught to read, and I can drive and run and wear what I want (usually), and I believe that should be true for everyone.

  259. This was beautiful. This has inspired me to write on my blog as well why i am a feminist. It wasn’t until the end of last year really that i opened my eyes and realised the brevity of how important it is to all strive together and let the concept of feminism be heard. Conclusively, if you don’t believe in feminism and say oh but I don’t need feminism you are basically backlashing the past injustices and sufferings of what women had to endure before you and those women who are living in a world where male dominance is considered the norm. You are basically saying you don’t care about anyone except yourself.

  260. This is so nice! I hope you can visit my blog too!

  261. I LOVED this piece, as a girl who went to an all girls catholic school i love this.

    please check out my blog whereworryendsfaithbegins.wordpress.com

    it is a lifestyle/ advice/ poetry/ photo blog

  262. Because I had to buy a ring at the local craft market and wear it on my wedding finger so I could go to college without guys trying to chat me up.
    Because the only time a cashier hasn’t looked straight through me to the guy behind me in the queue, I was wearing my father’s coat, so big everybody thought I was a boy.
    Because I wanted to be a boy when I was younger.
    Because my sister wants to be a boy.
    Because my brother say mom and dad love him best because he’s a boy. Because he says it’s a joke, and gets away with it.

  263. Reblogged this on The AAMA360 blog and commented:
    I #Reblogged this on aama360blog. There are so many reasons to be a #feminist
    Because when I first started working, my supervisor told me I had to make sure the shelves were always clean even if we had office assistants
    Because I watched my dad treat my mother like s**t for getting pregnant for their 3rd child and ended loving the son the most after he was born
    Because a guy has the right to cheat on his woman and the woman is a whore if she does the same
    Because I just keep hearing the phrase”it is a man’s world’

  264. Pingback: Our madness, Some inspiration | The new-ness

  265. Liberal Soul

    Wow I this must be one of the most powerful article I must have read in long time on feminism. Lovely work.

    Yeah. I would write something similar where guys are frowned upon when they believe in feminism and give liberties to their wife.

    I wonder why women are the ones who are against feminism. Like I have seen most of mothers teaching their son to control his wife.
    Like come one. Aren’t you a female yourself and you can’t see another independent women??

  266. Wow, this was an amazing story. Mind if I reblog it?

  267. Powerful writing, thank you so much for the inspiration!

  268. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not even close.

  269. Reblogged this on C.Ardiente!!! and commented:
    This and more is why I embrace feminism!

  270. Beautifully written! I will be sure to share it on my blog this week. Here are some of my reasons:

    Because when a friend of a friend was raped, the campus police at her university asked if she would still consider it such if she thought the guy was “cute.”

    Because when a different acquaintance believed she was being stalked by her male classmate, the police at *her* university asked the same exact thing.

    Because when I decide to settle down someday, society will expect me to choose between family and career, but will not apply that question to my future husband because it is acceptable for men to have both.

    Because women who love their careers are portrayed in the media as cold, unfeeling and clearly Missing Something. Because pop culture dictates that a woman can be uptight and ambitious OR fun-loving and romantic. Because I’m sick of the world thinking these traits are either/or.

    Because certain men’s rights groups suggest that men need to record all sexual encounters they have with women in order to prevent women from lying about rape. Because society’s first question is whether or not the woman is telling the truth.

    Because no victim ever “asked for it.”

    Because salespeople treat me infinitely better and are more honest or willing to negotiate when I am accompanied by a male friend or boyfriend.

  271. Because you inspired me to post the post I was scared to share yesterday.
    Also because my feminist friends are the funniest, smartest, most self aware, political women I know.
    I’m proud to be among them!
    I’ll share this on my laughing feminist blog:)

  272. I am so thankful for the feminists that came before me so that my life and my daughter’s are not what were my Mother’s or her Mother’s. With that being said we still have so far to go. As a teen in the late 80’s, early 90’s I abhorred my body because I had huge breasts-which attracted too much male attention. For some reason that has always eluded me, the fact that my bosom was large was enough of a reason for them to get grabbed (often) by strange men and boys at any given time. Thankfully by the end of my freshmen year, the idiots that I went to school with knew I had a mean right hook and a filthy temper, so those incidents were few and far between. The only time I was ever in trouble in school, it was for fighting. After I had my second (and last) child- I had a breast reduction. The reduction in physical weight was only a small portion of the freedom I needed from the weight of stares, etc. I worry about how the inherited large breasts will affect my daughter. I am hopeful that the level of male enlightenment will be enough that she doesn’t wind up hating her own body. Fingers crossed.

  273. One more post- a little different tone- is it just me, or does it feel like the young women of today are moving backwards? Not saying they are anti-feminist, exactly- but there seems to be this movement of young women wanting to be supported in every way by a man. The memes that show girls not being able to live without so-and-so, etc. Or the proclivity of “Sugar Daddy wanted” types? Does anyone else see that?

  274. Pingback: Feminism? Really? | Insightful Rantings

  275. Amalthea Metis

    Thank you. I’m feminist because I don’t speak about feminism without some fear.

  276. Because someone found it perfectly okay, needed even, to tell a best friend’s eleven year old sister that when she’s walking at night she should keep her house key in her hand to use as a weapon.

    Because when I was hit on by a guy easily ten years my senior in a library when I was fourteen, someone told me I should have said “thank you.”

    Because every time I try to help my friend move the box of cast iron pots and pans is taken from my hands and given to a boy three years younger because I should “let a strong boy carry it.”

    Great post

  277. Reblogged this on Hot Hollywood MaMa and commented:
    Powerful, poignant, inspiring. All Hot Hollywood Mamas, take heed.

  278. Reblogged this on The Discussion: Essays and Contemplations and commented:
    Why are you a feminist? Why aren’t you a feminst? I am not, and soon, I’ll tell you why.

    ~ Editor-in-Chief

  279. Can I be a feminist as a dad? I think my term is Dadinist. I did a post on “Dadinism – The New Feminism” a few days ago. If you have time with your recent Freshly Pressed fame. Good job!

  280. Because my father always told me it’s a shame that he has no son, nobody to leave his house to.

    Because my father always said that girls are weak and can not perform like men do.

    Because of the countless idiots who saw me as a fresh meat.

    Because of even bigger pile of women who thought that kind of attention is nothing bus desirable.

    Because even after my mother gathered up the courage to divorce my father, he wouldn’t leave us alone and drive us to total psychological destruction.

    But also…

    Because of all girl and boy admirers who marvelled at the strength of my character when I was younger.

    Because of my small but fierce grandmother.

    Because of my better half, as anything less than a strong independent woman would not do for the amazing kind of a man that he is.

    These are few of many of my ‘Because’ 🙂 thank you for the honesty in the story so many of us can relate to.

  281. Reblogged this on ontheshelves and commented:
    Beautiful, poignant, and most importantly-meaningful. What a great reminder to all feminists.

  282. Hope Gorman

    Thank you for this beautiful piece. You are very, very strong.
    xo-Hope

  283. Teresa Moure writes about a call-in show on the radio. It is during the day so the callers are either women at home or truckers. She notices how the women preface what they say with comments such as, “I’m porbably not the best person to say this, but…” “I’m not sure whether I am the most qualified to judge…” The men, however, even though they clearly have a lower level of education (judging from the way they speak) never apologise for their opinions and assume that what they are saying is worth listening to. She says that women are taught all through their education to be good students, to work hard and to get good grades. As a result they have a chronic tendency to “please the teacher” and this is a kind of psychic crippling. All of these generalisations are just begging to be contradicted, but her books have really helped me to see things I never saw before. For example, she starts with a chapter about the experience of giving birth which makes you think: how come this just does not exist in our world literature? Why is this experience blanked out?

  284. Pingback: The Premio Dardos Award | Ocean Bream

  285. Reblogged this on Feng Shui the Mind and commented:
    Very nicely summed up. Powerful.

  286. Because everyone should be; men and women alike. It should go without saying. After all, what does it mean to ‘not’ be a feminist?

  287. I’m trying to pour an intelligent , thoughtful and somewhat sociological response to a blog I have just read on Why the writer is a feminist . But the more witty or intellegabt I try to sound the more frustrated I get with myself . I am a feminist , I am a feminist because I am a woman . Yes I know that this isn’t a correct statement and a false argument because not all women are feminists . What does being a feminist actually mean ?

    I am a feminist because I believe women deserve the same Oppertunities in life as men . But I also do not feel any shame in putting my career on hold to raise my small baby . I take pride in my career , my reputation within my career but I also take pride in saying that I am thoroughly enjoying maternity leave . I am willing to put my career on hold whilst I nurture my children , keep my house tidy and eat way too much cake whilst obsessing over who killed Lucy Beale in Eastenders .

    I am a feminist because I believe that women are just as string as men . Actually that’s a lie . I am willing to state that I truly believe that women are much stronger than men . This isn’t merely because we have the ability to nurture an embryo to life and give birth ( and survive it ). It’s because Women can have several hats and play all parts meticulously well .

    The kick ass professional

    The devoted mother

    The equally devoted daughter

    The cleaner

    The Wife ( although I’m yet to take on this role )

    The taxi

    The Father ( when one is not present )

    The best friend

    The social bunny

    I am a feminist because I enjoy all of the above roles .

    I am a feminist because I believe in the sisterhood . I believe that Woman should stand together and there is nothing more upsetting than hearing other women degrade each other or judge one another on life choices . It is not a competition . It does not mean you cannot be a feminist of you are a stay at home mother , it doesn’t mean you are a feminist because you refuse to be part of the beauty myth . Being a feminist should start with women holding hands to support one another , not compete against each other .

    I am a feminist because I enjoy being feminine . I shouldn’t be frowned apon for liking pink or refusing to leave the house without mascara on . Don’t judge my every possible colour of nail varnish and the fact that I shave my legs every day. I enjoy being a woman , I like to look good . I embrace my womanly curves and the ability to feel better once I’ve applied my lipstick .

  288. Reblogged this on Stealing Nectar and commented:
    Because this is too common and too brilliant not to share…

  289. tobepoets

    Beautiful post. Very touching. And reading the comments below I love what it does to people! Well written.

    B. at http://www.tobepoets.nl

  290. While I am considerably young, I am fascinated by learning of older women’s experiences. For I was raised by a “take no shit from anyone” “your just as good as any man” kind of woman. I loved reading this, and it sent chills up my arms. Thank you for sharing your experience, and thank you for doing it in such a powerful way!

  291. The Twentysomething Social Recluse

    Totally amazing. Thank you for sharing – and writing x

  292. Reblogged this on Kim Hunt/Stroke Struck, Getting Unstuck and commented:
    Yes. This is why.

  293. love it! outstanding!

  294. ootdmagazine101

    Reblogged this on ootdmagazine101.

  295. Reblogged this on bellalindablog and commented:
    This the kind of writing that matters, the kind of writing I hope to create on my new blog. It reminds me of the poem I wrote for my mother years ago, so perhaps that will be my first post since my talented and tough mamma just pasted away on November 1st of 2014. We miss her charm, her audacity, ingenuity, eccentricity and incredible ability to keep it all together for her children when others would say her world was falling apart. She was an amazing spirit and Anna’s writing reminds me so much of her fighting spirit and why it is as important today as it was 100 years ago to keep fighting for equality in every aspect of our lives.

  296. Because I am a woman and it is not an option.

  297. A good read and an eye-opener 🙂

  298. Why did I like this😂😮😏

  299. Deb

    Being a feminist is so sad according to your post. I am sorry that you had such sad experiences in your life.

  300. This is amazing. I can’t come up with a list nearly as poetic as yours speaking as to why I am or am not a feminist (even that, I haven’t yet decided). Your writing is incredible.

  301. graceinvasion

    Reblogged this on Grace Invasion!.

  302. Pingback: My 2 Cents: Feminism, Stereotypes, and Experiences | A Daughter of the Reformation

  303. Reblogged this on THE ETCETERA and commented:
    The amount of mind-blowing and eye-opening force that came with this post is absolutely unfathomable. Overwhelmingly beautiful. This is all I have to say.

  304. Pingback: Why I am a feminist | Lopsided conversations in my head

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  306. Reblogged this on Look into the broken and find beauty there.. and commented:
    Powerful to say the least! Empowering and inspiring words!

  307. Incredible.. Powerful.. Inspiring.. Thank you for sharing..

  308. I am a feminist because I believe we are all equal. your prose was thoughtful and gleaming.

  309. I absolutely love this. I am inspired. Thank you 🙂

  310. Reblogged this on Half Girl Half Teacup and commented:
    I was only living half a life before I read this. I wish everyone was a feminist.

  311. I enjoyed the read. Very well done.

  312. Reblogged this on shemovedtolondon and commented:
    well this is just crazy inspiring

  313. My heart breaks as I read these blogs, because of what all these wonderful strong women have lived through and being empowered by the example and role model of loving devoted mothers. I feel privileged that I was bought up in a home with loving parents who at 92 and 85 are still together and still share cuddles and laughs. How amazing that is in the world today. Although I relate well to many of you as even been in a secure loving home environment didn’t protect me from the predators and even living quite a secluded life on a farm only added to my naivety about men and the damage they can and will cause in your lives. I have been so fortunate to have a really lovely husband and we recently celebrated 40 years of marriage and he knows all about my past and the hurts and harm that came my way and supports me every step of the way. There are wonderful men out there but unfortunately this is more often overlooked because of the many selfish and not so nice men, we all know that most of the damage that comes about in a women’s life seems to be at the hands of a man or men. Women are so strong and I think it says so much for the strength of character and will to survive (and not be a victim) that marks us apart. Your writing is a healing balm to many, keep up the great work.

  314. Hi Anna, I haven’t seen any new posts from you for a while now. Hope all is well.
    What you wrote brought to mind 2 wonderful women…,
    the first, my grandmother. They didn’t call them feminists in her day though. In our family she was known as “the Empress” because she ruled the family with an iron fist (inside a velvet glove). You didn’t cross swords with “the Empress”. Despite her dominating personality, she loved, so strongly and so deeply as to be unimaginable. She died when I was 13, but she walks with me every day, even now.

    The second was my high school sweetheart and the first girl I ever really loved. This was a strong person with an irreverent attitude. Another one you didn’t cross except at your peril, but when she looked at you and said “I love you”, she sent those feelings right to the very depth of your heart and soul. We had shared a similar home environment growing up and our gift to each other was a smile, a hand to hold, a hug, a kiss, and a refuge from life’s storms. We never married but because of the love we’d shared, we stayed in touch through all the years. Lost her about 5 years ago, but that’s another one who still visits me now and then.

    These were my “feminists”, and probably why I have little respect for contemporary feminism. All too often the contemporary feminist demeans the male gender in general. My ladies reveled in the men in their lives, but at the same time, as they honored their men, demanded their respect, and not gave or took, but shared their love.
    Didn’t mean to ramble so much. Just wanted to say hi and see how you’re doing. 🙂

  315. Wow. That’s all I can say right now. After all you’ve been through and you can still post all that. I know right now that I want to be able to post like you and have all the support you have. All of your followers give you sooo much love and support. I hope you keep this up. you’re amazing.

  316. Pingback: Experiment with Formats | The Daily Post

  317. Well said sister and funny enough, i just wrote my own feminist opus at http://www.veganempowerment.com.

  318. Because i was stuck with a Poly who thought it was cool to have several women at once and made me suffer horribly.
    Because i was raped at 23 by someone who thought he was entitled to have me.
    Because my brother treated me like i was below him.
    Etc….

  319. Beautiful memories, beautifully written.
    spaceplaceandsoutherngrace.com

  320. This is such a powerful and important post.

    I want to have this post on hand for each time I get asked “why on earth would you admit to being a feminist?”

    This world can feel very dark and heavy at times and this post is a light on that darkness and is very inspiring.

    Thank you for writing it.

    All the best 🙂

  321. Reblogged this on soaringshades and commented:
    This made me shed a few tears of my own. This woman is everything I want to be. Unbelievably powerful, and heart breaking. This made me think about all the injustices happening around the world everyday. This made me realize just how important I am. Wonderfully written.

  322. aloeveramama

    I love this.

  323. Reblogged this on Sputnik Sweetheart and commented:
    Made me shiver to the spine.

  324. Paolina

    So good. Love your post.

  325. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with the world because they need to read it too. Love, love, love it.

  326. liz

    This is a greeeeet piece. So glad it’s reaching so many people!

  327. Ramakant Baunthiyal

    So true and real, good read..I enjoyed it..

  328. I am a feminist because I’m sick of being told to be ashamed of my body. Because I’ll make much less than men do, even if I have the same job. Because women are still looked at as objects and not humans. Because we are still considered the “inferior” gender. Because I don’t like being Catcalled. Because if I don’t speak up for women, who will? Because the length of my skirt is too “distracting”. Because we live in a rape culture. Because I hate to see us women be abused. I am a feminist because women’s rights are humans rights.

  329. Jessica

    Wow. Such a powerful, insightful piece. Thank you for sharing this information.
    I am a feminist because I believe a woman can do anything, and they don’t need a man to live. Because of my mother, who is the strongest person I know. Works through pain, all day, and barely takes time to rest. She wants to take care of her family. That’s why I’m a feminist, because of the beauty my mother exudes through her strength.

    I look forward to coming back to this blog, as your words struck a chord with me.

  330. Love this! I think growing up I didn’t realize the feminist ways of my mother. And I’m starting to appreciate her more and more for the way she raised me.

  331. This is incredibly written like many others have already said. It is truly inspiring. I consider myself a feminist because I believe everyone should be treated equally and that nothing should be considered a man’s job or women’s work. We are all capable human beings. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  332. Pingback: If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist) | adora

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    • This is incredibly fresh, raw, vibrant, and feisty. You are very talented! I may not have my site set up entirely yet but hopefully the re-blog will give you a good boost in traffic. 🙂

      Cheers!

  334. thumbs up it is real awesome!!!!!!!

  335. Strong message to be feminist. I appreciate .

  336. Hey anna , i just begin my first blog , can you tell me how to make an interesting post like you ? Thanks ..

  337. Pingback: If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist) | oshriradhekrishnabole