April 07, 2010

"Feminism demands a complete overhaul of how we think, how we behave, how we talk, where we work, what media we consume, how we vote and how we raise our families. For women and for men, feminism is a dramatic shift away from the way things have always been. That's why it's so thrilling – and so threatening.
Unfortunately, despite the enormous strides we have made towards gender equality, that overhaul is far from complete. In a country where only 17% of Congress is female, where women – with or without children – make 77% what men make a decade after finishing their education and where only 6% of rapists will serve jail time, we can't afford "not a feminist, but …" – a disclaimer that signals to the world that we're willing to settle for an incomplete overhaul.
"I'm not a feminist, but …" is a way of telling the world that we don't pose too much of a threat. It's a way of saying that we don't plan to rock the boat too much, that we will play nice. And yet, feminists are people who dare to imagine a world in which women are 50% of Congress, where women are paid 100% of what their male colleagues earn and where every person who violates another human being is reported, prosecuted and convicted.
It's tempting to hide behind this disclaimer, this shield. But it is feminism which got us where we are today and without action and leadership from unabashed young feminists, we won't get much further. So step out from behind your shield and say it: "I am a feminist." No ifs, ands or buts."

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