On the phone with a good friend the other day, he very casually made a comment that some of my Facebook posts are “hitting below the belt” for the men around me. He said that while he “enjoyed” my feminist posts, some of the things that I post are offensive, especially to my husband. This has been bothering me for some time and now I have had time to think and write down my thoughts. First of all, my husband finds very little of what I say and think offensive; I have asked. While we bicker like any old married couple on the random things, when it comes to my feminist stance, he clearly understands where I am coming from and what I am trying to accomplish by sharing my most intimate experiences. While he is not a feminist (he won’t admit to being one), he understands me and loves me for who I am. I can assure you this man does not feel emasculated or disrespected by my opinions. In-fact, I think he finds my outspoken feminism sexy and worthy of respect. Which is why I married him.
Second, my posts on Facebook and other media are meant to be empowering to me and those that think and feel like I do. I will elaborate. Growing up in this culture, I can go so far as to say I have been sheltered in my youth. I was empowered to be and do what I wanted. I was never censored. I was encouraged to speak my mind openly and to speak out about injustice. I was pushed to learn and grow into an empowered, eloquent and inquisitive young woman. As I transitioned into adulthood and womanhood, I began to realize the person my loving family has created is not welcome in this culture. I love who I am and my culture is part of my identity, my heritage but my culture is also the fine material that holds me in bondage. Who I am and my culture could not co-exist and for the longest time, being a “grown-up” meant doing more and more things that went against who I inherently am in order to be a part of society.
As I felt more and more of who I was being eroded away as I started to transition into adulthood, I realized that it was not just my identity but my confidence and sense of empowerment that was going. I started to find that speaking out and rebelling against the little nuances that crushed my sense of freedom was liberating; I found that those actions, however small, gave me back some sense of my power. On top of that, I found that other women and young girls who are in the same boat reacted to my thoughts and found it as a source of validation to their resentment at our source of bondage – our culture. I thrived in their affinity to me. I reclaimed the power that has been so rudely stolen from me. To me, I am not just reclaiming the power I have been denied since I waltzed into the realm of womanhood quite unknowingly what feels like only yesterday. I am reclaiming this power for my daughter and those women and girls that feel an affinity with me.
Today, I make sure that I have a bite of the chicken breast whenever I can, even though it is designated for the male head of the household. I speak out at every chance I get on any injustice perpetuated on a woman just because she is a woman. I write about every nuance of my experiences in a patriarchal society where a 27 year old woman is considered irrelevant.
My feminism is what has helped me retain a sense of self, a sense of power and a sense of possibilities that I would have easily lost otherwise. It is my life-line and I intend to share it with as many people as possible. And as I told my friend, I am not sorry to offend anyone in the process!