There are a million better, more eloquent posts about feminism, the importance of it, its meaning, etc. I actually have written this post three times because I felt like I could never say what I wanted to say. I got caught up in the idea that maybe a stranger reading this wouldn’t understand my intention. So I re-wrote. Then did it again. Now however, I feel like I just HAVE to publish something, even if it’s not exactly the words I want to say, but I need to share what is on my mind. I often find myself not publishing content because it’s not *just right.*
Let’s get right to what I want to say, here’s my definition of feminism: My definition of feminism understands that not everyone, including women, understands how much feminism is needed and that in no way detracts from my beliefs and values. I can be friends with other people who don’t understand or want to be part of a feminist movement and I can still exist alongside of them. That does not mean that I agree with them, but I do not have to feel as if someone that if someone I know doesn’t believe the same way that I do, that I need to go after them and their beliefs. We are allowed to both exist and that does not take away from me.
Feminism also means to me that I can and WILL celebrate another women’s success. I had the WORST time understanding how to celebrate another woman’s success over me until I had this painfully obvious moment. “You know that someone else can receive praise and that doesn’t mean that you are failing, right?” Everything clicked after that. I began to want to see other women achieve success so I could cheer them on. I wanted to have someone else be rewarded for their work. Not because I felt obligated, but because I genuinely, freaking love seeing someone be rewarded and celebrated for doing something they love. But I would somehow take that personally that I wasn’t doing enough.
Guess what? Get over your own ego, this has nothing to do with you. This is a moment that you let go of your ego and you smile and you want true happiness for someone else. Absolute true happiness. And you understand that their happiness is in no way a slight or offense to you.
I genuinely used to see everyone as competition but now I don’t. I used to see other bloggers and be happy about and for them, but still be wondering how I could be like them. My focus should have been celebrating what made them, them and me, well, me. My thought process was all wrong. I hadn’t found my definition of feminism at that point and it was truly the moment that I did, that I started having better relationships with bloggers, better interactions with co-workers, etc. I never realized the pressure I was putting on every single interaction when I was basically not allowing us both to exist. The big aha moment was when I realized I was treating everyone as competition instead of seeing them for what they were bringing to the table.
And the thing about my feminism is that I understand that not everyone is going to feel that way and that’s okay. Someone else feeling slightly different about being a strong, powerful female doesn’t mean that I am anything less. Although sometimes everything is just freaking trying you because sweet baby Jesus it is infuriating that in 2017 I still have to talk about sexism, feminism and the need for it. It is 2017. Let’s just let it sink in that the issues women were facing in the 50’s haven’t evolved. But I digress.
One of my favorite things to see is how feminism has been shown across social media. I am so proud of some many wonderful ladies who are out there getting it up and supporting their gang, friends and complete strangers! It is the absolute best feeling to meet someone on social media, invest time in them, create lasting friendships and celebrate their success! I truly feel terrible for someone who doesn’t understand that sense of community for championing other women. I love that whether or not they are talking about their definition of feminism, I can see it through their support of so many people, often many whom they don’t agree with!
Another favorite thing? Seeing so many other lovely ladies on social media be loud and proud about what their definition of feminism is, even without them saying it. Nicole, Valerie, Priya and so many others are just a few of the examples of ladies who support each other on social media, in their personal lives and through blogging. I love, love, love seeing their genuine excitement to share other women’s posts, speak out about issues and genuinely go after their dreams.
Although 2016 and 2017 have been trying for so many people, one of my favorite things has been the genuine community I’ve seen on social media of ladies supporting ladies. A lot of things might be utter trash right now, but I am so proud of being a young woman in 2017 and getting to be part of this
Whether or not my definition of feminism is yours, I hope you know that I support you and I want you to succeed in everything you do in life. And that if we disagree, it’s okay and we can both exist and be proud of being strong females.
P.S. Yes, I know I need to get this shirt!