I am a Feminist

“I am a Feminist”

I am a feminist.

How can I not be a feminist?

The reasons are countless.

I am a feminist because I am frequently subjected to sexist attitudes.

I am a feminist because regardless what I wear, I will always be seen as either revealing
“too much” or “not enough.”

I am a feminist because my worth as a woman is defined by either dating a man or being married to one.

I am a feminist because I am taught that procreation should be a duty or expectation rather than a choice.

I am a feminist because I am taught that women are not worthy of romance unless they eventually procreate.

I am a feminist because I am not taught that abortion should always be a choice.

I am a feminist because I am not taught that romantic relationships should always be consensual.

I am a feminist because I am taught that women need a “good reason” other than lack of interest to reject men.

I am a feminist because certain beliefs held by either some feminists or religious scholars are criticized merely to “prove” if any culture is superior to another.

I am a feminist because I have been told that I can’t be a hijab-wearing Muslim and still be a feminist.

I am a feminist because a woman’s sexuality is either invisibilized or is defined by others than herself.

I am a feminist because some women’s reputation and honour are based on whether they pursued pre-marital relationships or not.

I am a feminist because womanhood is defined to only include cisgender women.

I am a feminist because speaking about misogyny is interpreted as hatred of all men.

I am a feminist because many women are still obligated to do most or all of child-rearing and household duties.

I am a feminist because as a Muslim woman, I have been shamed for either being “too religious” or “not religious” enough or simply for choosing to be a person of faith.

I am a feminist because I am taught that dressing modestly and not wearing make-up would prevent catcalling, being approached by indecent men, sexual assault and rape.

I am a feminist because discussion on rape and sexual assault is still narrowed down to male sexual desire rather than about the victims and oppressive mentalities.

I am a feminist because I am taught to generalize ideas on what is the nature of all men and all women.

I am a feminist because I am taught that there are only two genders.

I am a feminist because so many girls grow up with less outdoor privileges than their brothers.

I am a feminist because women continue to get paid less than men.

I am a feminist because leadership positions and academic scholarship remain dominated by men.

I am a feminist because women are far more likely to get harassed or abused.

I am a feminist for many other reasons as well.

To not be a feminist is to lie to myself.

To not be a feminist is to reject myself.

I am a feminist.

I am a feminist.

I am a feminist.

A hijab wearing, Muslim, Palestinian-Canadian feminist.

——————————————————————————-

I wrote the above thoughts due to personal experiences as a Muslim & Palestinian woman living in Turtle Island (a.k.a North America), along with knowledge I am exposed to through different sources I come across and people I know. 

About my personal experiences: They are based on my interactions with different types of people in more than one setting or context. They are not generalizations of any specific group of people, although they can be at times.

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