Libby is interning at Sanctuary for Families, which provides advocacy and support services for victims of violence and sex trafficking.
I have always been impressed by people who know what they are talking about. You might laugh at this statement… but think about it for a second. How many times have you shaken your head at someone who firmly believes in an idea and they:
A) do a miserable job of substantiating their claim
B) have no idea what they are talking about
(these do not have to be mutually exclusive)
In life, I want to know what I’m talking about. My beliefs are part of who I am. They are part of my genuine identity. If I can’t back them up when someone asks me what I value and why, I feel like I am not only letting myself down, but I am also letting down those people who share my beliefs- and I like being a team player.
There are so many -isms and -ologies bouncing around today, and people as a whole are prone to persuasion- It’s no wonder that people don’t know what they are talking about. Throw in some ambiguity, a dash of personal interpretation, and you get a lot of people with varying abstract definitions (perhaps an oxymoron?) of things like:
Let’s look at “feminism.” My nine fellow Dukies and I are two and a half weeks into this Moxie Project experience to explore feminism. We have been trying to define feminism, and I think we are all on different pages as to what it really means. We can all agree on certain (perhaps, only a few) tenets of what feminism is, but what does this really mean? What are the implications of its meaning? Who can call themselves feminists?… And the ubiquitous question: Why does this even matter?
It is too early to delve into those questions. My head is… well, it is spinning. It is difficult to define such a term that is attached to the seemingly countless branches of the women’s movement and is weighted with so much negative stigma. But my goal for the summer is to figure out what feminism means because:
1. I have always believed in feminist ideals, even though I might not have known it.
2. I want to know what I’m talking about when I do attach myself to feminism.
I have always believed women should be respected just as much as men. Last week I remembered just how angry I was in high school when my guy friends and past boyfriends said sexist comments or make crude jokes. It really infuriated me. I had forgotten that. I was raised to treat everyone as an equal, and when friends said they were just joking, they didn’t get that it wasn’t just a joke to me. I wanted it to be just a joke. Things would have been so much easier if I could just take it as a joke. I didn’t understand why I got so upset. Blame it on being a teenager? Now I know that doesn’t fully explain it- I have always wanted to change the inequality between men and women.
I think I want to call myself a feminist. Before I do so, I want to flesh out society’s definition of feminism and what feminism means to me.
Then, when someone asks me, “Why do you believe in feminism?” I can lay it out like x, y, and z… So I can do the feminist cause justice… So I can represent the female gender well… So when they talk about me… they will say, “She can back it up.”