My good friend Mary Black recently graduated from Graphic Design school in Prague, Czech Republic. She created this RAD feminist magazine called GRAWR and I LOVE it! You can view the magazine here: http://grawrmagazine.blogspot.com/
I wrote an article for the magazine, along with three other self-proclaimed feminists, we all wrote about what it’s like to be a feminist in our country (mine being the USA). Here’s a copy of my article:
American Feminists Under Attack
I am an American. I am a feminist. I am and must consciously choose to be a strong woman. Some may call me a bitch or a slut. I have reclaimed these words to empower myself, to give myself an identity formed by my life experiences. On the same token, these words can be turned and used against me as a weapon in an instant flash.
She is strong, opinionated, independent and powerful. She can have what she wants. She manifests and creates her own future and her world. Men are intimidated by her goddess powers. She stands up for herself and her beliefs. She refuses to be walked all over.
She likes to have sex and isn’t ashamed by this fact. For centuries women’s sexuality has been repressed. Now we have more power over our bodies and have the freedom to sexually liberate ourselves if we so choose. We possess amazing sexual energy, men can’t resist our magnetic charms.
When these words are used to hurt us, they carry negative connotations that we then may internalize to be true. If I choose to be frank with my thoughts, and someone doesn’t like how assertive I’m being, they call me a bitch. If I choose to have more than one lover or I act confidently and flirtatious then I’m a slut.
In the 1970s women in the U.S. started to take back the power, along with people of color, homosexuals, and many other groups of otherwise oppressed people. As a girl growing up on the Westcoast of the U.S. in the 1990s, I was brought up to believe I could have everything a man can. However, this doesn’t mean that I get treated the same way that men do. I experience sexism in my daily life in many different ways.
In this society, I get called a bitch when I act tough (like a “man”) or a slut when I am sexually open. On the flip-side, a man will be commended for this same behavior. He is a “real” man for being strong and confident, he is a pimp or a stud for getting laid often. I don’t like the fact that I have to fight to convince people in this country that it’s okay for women to behave this way. I hope that someday women and men will truly be treated as equals, instead of this false sense of equality that America claims to possess. I love this country, but I hate sexism, and until I can act in the same behavior as a man and be treated the same as him, I will not be satisfied. That is why I’m a feminist in this country, because I believe that we must keep educating and fighting for justice for all.