Now before anyone panics (my fiancé included) this blog post is not about my sexuality. In my WGS class today we discussed ‘coming out’ but not in regards to speaking out about your sexuality, but rather as coming out as a feminist, in a world where *gasp* the F word is just as taboo as coming out as gay or lesbian. Nobody in the LGBTQ+ community should ever feel the shame that people tend to place on them, just as coming out as someone who believes in equality of the genders shouldn’t.
In a community that may be big in size, but not quite as big in regards to being open minded, I can honestly say that the last six months since ‘coming out’ have been interesting. Now obviously I have complicated this process with my activism project that put my beliefs literally out on paper, but I never believed the reactions would be so skewed (for lack of a better word). I’ve had my integrity as a scholar, student, and person questioned. I’ve been called a “fucking joke. Thankfully nothing has been straight to my face, but it still stings none-the-less. Standing up for women is not shameful and as Maya Angelou says “I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time, it would be stupid to not be on my own side”.
Now, I’m trained well enough to know that the rebuttal to the above paragraph and the Angelou quote goes something like “Why are you anti-man” or “If you preach so much about equality then why do you talk only about women”. For the purpose of my point in this blog post, I am going to say that when a man is revered and lifted up high for ‘coming out’ as a feminist and a woman is shamed and mocked, then for this issue we are speaking about women. Sorry I’m not sorry.
We discussed in class today various reactions to ‘coming out’ as a feminist. Some were made fun of, mocked, scared to disappoint their families, shunned, and not too many were praised. Is it the closed minded that make us feel this way? Why do we live in a world where things that are literally nobody’s business, but our own, become everyone’s business? I am a feminist for my own reasons, and it should never be about what kind of student I am and definitely should never reflect what kind of human I am.
I came out as a feminist because I stand up for things like wage gap, free birth control, choice in every aspect of your life. And I am against slut shaming, rape culture, gender stereotypes, body shaming, and flat out inequality, in a society that favors any of the millions of things that place someone above another in society.
I am a feminist and I will always be a feminist even when the word becomes commonplace in society’s mouth. I came out months ago, but consider this my official coming out, and I can honestly say I feel no shame.