“I am a feminist because I am a rational person and a reasonable citizen and I appreciate equality.”
Paige Mac Millan, a junior at UCLA, considers herself a feminist. However, she did not always have these strong feelings toward gender equality:
“When my best friend first asked me if I was a feminist, I had a pretty instant negative reaction like, “Of course I’m not a feminist.” There was a look of such hurt on her face as she said, “But feminism is for equality. You’re a female. You’re a human! What are you talking about?” And I realized I was so scared because we live in a world that encourages you to be afraid of feminists.”
Mac Millan’s first reaction toward feminism is not an uncommon one. When many hear the word feminism, they have these extreme images of abrasive, radical, men-hating, femininity-rejecting women. However, that is not the case. Feminists are not exclusive to only one type of person. If you support gender equality, you are a feminist. It is time to stop fearing that word and start embracing it. Be proud to be a part of a movement that is dismantling the patriarchy and putting an end to the social construction of gender, just like Paige.
When Paige was asked what she now thinks of when she hears the word “feminist”, in contrast to her first encounter with such an intimidating word, she states,“Now when I hear the word feminism, I think of my beautiful best friend and I think of myself.”
Do you think of yourself when you hear the word feminism?