Feminist and Proud

By Sarah Cunningham

I don’t enjoy sharing my opinion with others. Actually as a rephrase, I used to enjoy sharing my opinions with others. Anyone can agree that having a conversation with those who have extreme mentalities and are eager to argue is unbearable. It definitely seems that I’ve had way too many of those. I have an opinion sharing hangover. I know there are times where I don’t agree with many others on certain things. I never have and can never see myself conforming to whatever is typically believed because of this issue. Growing up, my dad was a Mets fan, and even though every other kid in my class said they liked the Yankees, I would raise my hand for the underdog. For that I guess I am some sort of conformist to my father, since I don’t have a single clue about baseball. But I knew from a young age that I just tended on thinking differently. In no way do I intend on preaching that I’m special or unique of any kind because of this, as I know many people who are just like me that go against what others think. Still, I think I deserve to say that having opinions has definitely affected me in some way.

Although I said I normally don’t enjoy sharing my opinions, I only learned that about myself a short while ago. Before then, sharing with the world what I believed in seemed important to me. A few years ago, starting high school was a big deal, as it symbolized a new start. I had expressed my want in broadening my horizons early, and so I tried out a few organizations and clubs until I found the perfect ones to fit my interest. Many students chose not to do extracurriculars farther than sports or honor societies, so the meetings stayed small and personal for the most part. I, however, joined a social justice group that did community service locally. They stood up for current issues I too wanted to combat. I got involved quickly and felt important as teachers gradually began to recognize me for my involvement when it was shared in my classwork or through the school’s news of the work I had done. Posters on the lockers of hallways caught student’s eyes and made the entire school aware of the clubs I was a part of. 

Igniting that passion I never felt before was a factor which helped high school begin to feel more comfortable as I began to be content with the friends and choices I had made. Not even long after, I had finally begun to see a guy for the first semester of my sophomore year. The typical teenage life I had dreamed of during childhood had finally been achieved, and I was excited to be living it. I was finally happy after looking for a good group of friends and always having crushes for my entire life to have been able to say I had found it. I felt lucky. 

I will never forget the one day that year when I was daydreaming in my biology class about what was yet to come. “So how are things going with him?” asked the boy that sat next to me. I snapped out of my self induced trance and smiled and replied with a simple “Good”. I was certain that was true since it was all too new for anything to even be going wrong.“Did he tell you that I told him about how you’re a feminazi?” he said while letting a laugh or two out between the words.

I laughed too since it was supposed to be funny. I knew how boys could act, making jokes out of everything, being that a lot of them will always be confused on why we need feminism at all. Of course, now the guy I liked was going to think I’m a deranged maniac who will ruin his life. But I should have seen that coming, obviously, because being a feminist openly is wrong. When someone disagrees with you on that, they’ll make it obvious no matter what. I should’ve just been quiet all along, and so I laughed to express my embarrassment. After class, I got on my bus, going home for the remainder of the day to do work, eat and sleep. I talked to the boy I liked for a little while that night, and he didn’t mention the feminazi comment. I realized it soon after, and still do to this day that I was wrong. The actions I chose to make were wrong, my fault and something I regret to this day. 

Now I don’t enjoy sharing my opinion. I have refrained from sending multiple texts and opening my mouth a number of times, but I now believe that when it is necessary there are certain occasions that I must. Whether it is to defend or disagree with an argument, I wish to always stand up for what I think is just. That passion that I had thought to have left me then has revealed itself to have yet died out. And so, for that fact I now know I should have said “f*** you” instead of laughing. I should have poked his brain on why he thought I was so intense for standing up for an issue I believed in when he has no idea what kind of inequality women of different races, ages, occupations, sexuality and cultures faced that is unspoken because of jerks like him. It is the disrespectful kind of behavior that girls face in every scenario that then makes it an issue of stereotypes on women behavior when we talk back that follow unrealistic misconceptions guys like him choose to believe. 

The same idiots that make insensitive comments about all kinds of people for a shallow laugh from another one of his pea brained buddies, whether it be making fun of the trangender boy in our class that is brave to piss in the gender neutral bathroom only the “retards” are normally allowed to use. Oh please, like your comment really hurt my judgement so much to realize that my beliefs are unrealistic, which you misinformed yourself so terribly on that even asking Siri for the Webster’s Dictionary definition of feminist, a task that takes 11.7 seconds (and yes I really timed it,) you are standing in front of me telling me what I think is wrong. For this I think should begin actually believing in misandry, or instead become the crazy b*tch this boy almost desires to get a glimpse of, just to tell his other friends to stay away from the crazy feminist I am as I’m screaming back in his face about telling the boy I liked his unfunny, anti-semitist feminazi remark which he really thought was the most offensive and creative comeback I’ve ever gotten. But instead, since standing up for myself in this situation would result in him giving his friends a kind of rendition that would result in that perception of me, I chose to be quiet. Looking back, I hope I’m never that quiet again.

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