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Feminism

Hi, my name is Emily and I'm 14. Recently, I dropped out of junior high and now I go to a homeschooling center, where I have made lots of new friends. My old school was very one-track minded and oppressing to your own personal beliefs - everyone was "the same" and feminism was never heard of. But at my new "school", almost everyone is an activist in some way, and many of the females are feminist. Since it's come up a lot in conversation, I wanted to know more about it and what feminism is all about. Everything I've heard from my old school implies that feminists are bitchy, man-hating women. I know that's not true, but I don't really know what is. I want to become an active feminist, and the more I hear about it, the more I think I already believe in it. Please write back, Emily

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com--and I'm so impressed by your example--you didn't like your school so you changed your situation. Too many people aren't happy with where they are, but don't ever take the steps to change it. Hopefully, your example will be an example to other people, too.

As for what is feminism--by dictionary definition, feminism is the movement toward the full social, political, and economic equality of all people. I always add on to that--the right to make informed choices about our lives. For instance, I don't care if a woman chooses to be a stay-at-home mom or a scientist--the point is that she knows she has a choice. For too long people--men and women--have presumed their roles in life rather than chosen them. Feminism is about expanding choices for everyone--male and female--and make it so that every individual will be able to choose their own path in life. For instance, a man may choose to be a secretary and a woman may choose to be a mechanic. Feminism is also about self-respect--respecting yourself enough to care enough that all your choices are laid out in front of you.

Does that help? You should also look through previous questions listed at Ask Amy--specifically those listed under Feminism - there I have answered similiar questions. There are also examples of how other people define it--and live by it. I hope that helps - good luck in your new school.


Amy

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