It’s not a secret that I’m a feminist.
Feminism has made my life better in a lot of ways: I am able to vote. I could, if I chose, own a house and I do own a car. I was able to go to college and I have a career (as opposed to a job). I have a credit card in my own name. (These are excellent things, because I am not married and do not have the patience to be a teacher or the stomach for blood to be a nurse—the two most acceptable jobs for women while they were waiting to get married and have kids. So it’s nice that I can live on my own and provide for myself.)
So when I woke up and logged on to Twitter and saw that it was trending, I thought it was a joke. And then I read the entries, which are things like “Because I like to make my boyfriend a sandwich” and “Because I shave” and “Because I don’t get abortions” and “Because I don’t hate men” and then I got sad.
And then, of course, I got angry.
Women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920. My grandmother was born in 1918, to put that in context. We haven’t even been able to vote for 100 years yet.
Before 1974, women couldn’t have credit cards in their own name. Think about that. If you were a woman, you’ve only been able to have a credit card for 40 years.
But you know, whatever. It’s way better to make guys sandwiches. Because feminists never do nice things for other people, probably because we’re too busy singing Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos songs and debating the best way to kill all the men and make it look like an accident. (Carbon monoxide poisoning was my vote, but Headquarters didn’t like that idea.)
But this post isn’t about that.
Instead, as I kept reading and gritting my teeth and wondering why Fox News gets to dictate what feminism is, I started seeing other Tweets. I saw teen boys who identified as feminist and read thoughtful columns and all of a sudden, I felt better.
We know what feminism is, and we know what it’s not. Let the haters hate. Let the people who get their opinions from Fox News be as willfully ignorant as they choose.
Our job isn’t to change minds; it’s to change the world. And we’ve got this. When you have the next generation on your side, you know you’re doing things right. It’s why I knew that gay marriage would be legal in my lifetime (at least in any state I’d want to live in). We’re right. And of course the other side is scared and mean: the world is leaving them behind. I’d be scared and mean, too.
So it’s fine. You keep doing you and talking about how we’re all ranty and horrible. We’ll be over here, getting shit done.