I don’t know when this happened. But I will be the first to admit I live in a bubble. A bubble where even though everyone doesn’t have my exact same thoughts, they think like me. Meaning, they think. With their heads. They may not come to the same conclusions but they actually can formulate coherent thoughts.
Sometimes other people in my world even know things I don’t know and they prove me wrong. Not a lot. But it happens.
Imagine my surprise when I heard, just the other day, that I was not a feminist.
I won the women’s studies prize at college (even though my major was philosophy) as well as the Minerva prize for my thesis, which was on Islam and women. I mean, I didn’t burn my bras but I marched on Washington for one of Roe v. Wade’s anniversaries and I did other feministy things. I read Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon. I did it all. I tried it all on. And, at the end of the day my realization was that I am a woman, whatever that means. I realized I was not inclined to be like men, except in how I think sometimes. But that I liked being a woman and I wanted a job and kids and to you know, do all the things that people in America can do.
So, this brown girl from Afghanistan. The muslim from the mountains of Kandahar, did just that. I went to law school. I became a prosecutor then defense attorney. I started my own firm. I practice criminal defense. You know, like a feminist would. I don’t believe there is a rape culture in America. I live here. I know statistics. I practice criminal law and defend people accused of rape. I mean, yes, there is rape, but not a culture where it is acceptable. Not anymore anyway.
I don’t want to be a victim. Are we women victims? Since when? Why? How? We can vote, right? Our testimony in court is equal to a man’s, right? We can inherit property and go to school and get whatever job we want, right? We can start businesses, can’t we? We can even go to war now (which I think is stupid but, whatever.) I mean, how is all of that not what we worked for? How is all of that not a part of feminism?
Apparently, I am not a feminist because I am pro sex-workers rights and don’t think we should continue to criminalize it.
I am not a feminist because I know how to cook and I think being a mother is a very hard job. Actually, harder than the job job that I have.
I am not a feminist because I don’t think men are inclined to rape.
I am not a feminist because I am not a victim.
I am not a feminist because I will use the fact that I am a woman to my advantage whenever I can. WHY WOULDN’T I???
I’ve tried very hard to refute this and to maintain my devotion to the cause. I am allowed to be me and to do what I do because of the women who came before me who fought for my rights to be here, in this office, writing these words. And now I have to turn my back on them because some ninnies have decided that they are going to change what it all means? I wonder if this is how the Republicans feel when they continue to call themselves the party of Lincoln?
I am a feminist. I believe that women can do whatever they want, however they want. But you guys should still open jars for us.