What was I before I was a feminist, before I even knew what that word meant?
I was a proud daddy’s girl
In my mind, it meant that I was strong, independent and wild. I could be clever enough to figure out problems with my own two hands and ask the question ‘why.’ It allowed me to minimalize my mother's contributions, because what a mother gives is the right of her child, but what a father gives is a gift. These were never things my parents said, but what I learned from society.
I was an awkward tomboy
I felt anxious and unsure around girls, because I was too loud, too rough, to fit in. I did my best to field the teasing while I followed the boys around. Their relationships made sense at least.
I was a pretty girl with a fragile ego
I spent high school thinking about who I would marry instead of what I could become. I obsessed about being fat, ugly, pale, wrong hair, wrong clothes and on and on. One glance or brush off from a guy could make or break my day.
I always needed a relationship
My self-confidence came from my latest selfie and my current relationship. I went from guy to guy desperately trying to find that magic relationship that would make me whole.
I argued with feminists
I never wanted to be one of those "man-haters" because it seemed better to be a man than a woman. Why would I ever be proud of my femininity? Society told me it represented all that was weak and passive-aggressive within me.
Then I realized I didn't hate women. I hated myself.
I hated who society needed me to be. It told me that I couldn’t trust myself. It told me that my needs were inappropriate and that trying to meet them was selfish.
I realized that I am loud, creative and good at fixing things. I love picking flowers and wrenching on bikes. I like taking care of myself as much as taking care of others. The best way for me to learn anything is still with my own two hands and asking why.
I realized that the first step to embracing my entire gender was to embrace myself.
I went back in my mind and told that anxious little tomboy that her needs are valid, and that she can create her own definition of “girl.”
I went back and told that 14-year-old that she didn’t need perfection to be amazing. She needed to know that she would never let others really love her until she loved herself.
I finally embraced my gloriously awkward self, and learned that self-worth is a grace that you must practice every day. You can’t get it from anyone else. I am so grateful that I am a girl and that I was put on this weird path. It has taught me that feminism isn’t about one better than the other.
It’s about being equal.
January 17th 2018
January 17th 2018
January 17th 2018
December 27th 2017
December 13th 2017
by C.S. Hagen
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