I am a feminist.
There, I said it. Many people cringe when they read the word, associating it with extremism. I know I used to do the same. I would think feminists were man-hating, power hungry women who wanted to blame all men for any disadvantages they may have in life.
Personally, I was raised to be independent. My mother taught me that I didn't need to stand behind anyone to succeed in life.
The old adage, "Behind every man is a strong woman" never applied to me because I've never stood behind anyone, much less a man, to get where I want to be.
I was raised to be a good person.
The only person my parents encouraged me to be better than was myself. Women still have rights to fight for, but we've come such a long way.
Rarely have I felt marginalized or disenfranchised for my gender, and if I did, I merely brushed it off and moved on.
Because I value myself. I know who I am, and I know that I'm worth people's time. If someone doesn't see my value, then it's their loss.
Feminism is not a bad word.
In fact, it's a powerful one.
Throughout history, women were in the background. They had to scream to be heard. This isn't an opinion, nor is it a slight towards men today. It's a fact.
To quote Helen Mirren, "If you were to take any woman back 40 years and say, ‘Is this a world you want to live in?’ they would say, ‘No.’”
Women have made enormous leaps and bounds in civil rights. We can vote, work the same jobs as men and live independently of them. Maybe we aren't always taken seriously and we still have more to achieve, but rest assured, this bridge is being crossed.
Yes, there are women out there who give feminism a bad name. They scream and cry for equality, but in reality, they believe they are better than our counterparts.
This is not true.
We are all human. None of us are perfect. We're brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, friends, and family. There are so many labels in this world, but when it comes down to it, we're all equal. We live, eat, sleep, and die all the same.
As a woman, the only person I want power over is myself.
I want to be the change I so desperately want to see in the world. Leadership is about character, not gender. Anyone can order people around, but it takes a special kind of person to get those people to listen.
Feminism means not letting your gender define you. It means showing the world who you are. It's about being empowered.
Everyone has challenges to overcome in life; why should we let our gender get in the way of living the best life we possibly can?