A lot of people hear the word “feminism” and picture a topless, unshaven, crazy woman holding a protest poster and yelling, “Free the nipple!” While I totally support hairy legs and going bra-less, that is not what feminism means to me.

Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

See? Not a foreign concept. Feminism is literally equality, which is apparently a very hard concept for people to grasp. I get it, people often escalate the true meaning of things to benefit themselves. I have seen “feminist” posts about how much they hate men. That isn’t what feminism was created to be. Radical feminism is just another form of hate, which is exactly what our country doesn’t need right now.

I believe that I should be equal to any man.

Meaning: I am not less of a person for having a vagina.

I am not a maid.

Cooking and cleaning aren’t my sole purposes in life.

I am not a sex object.

That being said, sexual assaults are at an all time high. Young kids play video games where you are literally able to purchase prostitutes and kill them. This is teaching both boys and girls at a young age that women are mere objects. I am in no way saying that men are all bad. I am married to a man who respects me and doesn’t think he is better than me because of his gender. Unfortunately, not every woman has a man who is that respectful.

I took a poll on my Facebook and asked how many women have been raped or assaulted. 58 women replied to my survey. 38/58 of these women have been raped and/or sexually assaulted. What breaks my heart more than anything is the reason most of these assaults weren’t reported. Majority of people said they were afraid of what their parents would think, afraid of losing their job or told someone who thought they were lying.

I am one of those women. I was terrified of what my family would think of me if I ever told them. I kept it a secret from almost everyone and decided to pretend it didn’t happen. Almost 8 years later and I am still struggling.

What does sexual assault and feminism have in common? Everything. If women were valued as equal to men then maybe the number of rapes and assaults wouldn’t be so high. We need to be teaching younger generations how to treat one another.

I am more than a statistic. I am a survivor. I am a feminist. Girl power! 


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