Born a feminist.

A woman at a protest holding a sign saying "feminism is the radical idea that women's safety is more important then men's feeling"
Women's rights

I’ve always been very vocal. About my opinions, about my stance and about exactly what I wanted for the world. When 12 year old me having these very qualities learnt the word feminist, I realised it's exactly what I’ve been standing for. 

I grew up in a very traditional family. From a young age, my extremely inquisitive self couldn’t understand just why they call the girls to the kitchen to do simple things like the dishes when there are equally capable boys to do them. But it wasn’t until I got into reading articles and listening to what others had to say about it that I realized that that “feminist” term was one I identified with.

I don’t remember being taught about this in school. I think in grade 10, I finally learnt what I’ve been reading about. That society groups men and women into different categories with different purposes and uses. Like cleaning products.

Upon further reading, I not only discovered inequalities in my family but that this was something that happened in the social and economic parts of every country in the world. I think the inability for 12 year old me to be able to flip a switch immediately and do something about it is what had me more outraged. 

Misogyny, patriarchy and sexism exist in different forms, in all parts of our society. Think of a sector right now. I can confidently say that sexism and misogyny exist there. 

Simply put, feminism is the advocacy of the political, social and economic equality of women. Feminism isn’t a movement for the over powering of men, it advocating for a society where women can finally have all they’ve been deprived of. Frankly, I believe that the fear or hate of feminism from men is proof that they have an upper hand that they don’t want to share with anyone else. 

Obviously, with the equality of women, one must consider other aspects that contribute to the discrimination and mistreatement of women that don’t only have to do with them being a woman. This is where my updated title comes in, intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism is inclusive and takes factors such as race, nationality, disability sexuality and gender identity into consideration. 

Intersectional feminism recognises that these identities result in unique forms of bias or discrimination. These forms of discrimination and bias are unique to everyone in the world.

Recognising that the prejudice a woman faces isn’t only based on the fact that they are a woman, but rather that all these factors come together to form a distinctive and individual struggle. It aims to tackle all of those. So it’s important to recognise these and hear from the perspective of women who experience their own individual struggle. 

Wow, I think 12 year old me would be so proud if they heard what I had to say. I strive to fight these inequalities on a broader scale some day. But I’m not waiting for that day to come for me to fight against them in my own life. Everyday for me is fight for equality. I’m always willing to learn how I can be better. 

I’m an intersectional feminist because I not only believe in the political, social and economic equality of women but in acknowledging that women face forms of discrimination that are unique to their individual political identities. Do you?

South Africa