By Valeria Ramirez
The question of “What type of feminist am I?” has stumped me for over the past week. I spent countless hours figuring out a way to answer this question and nothing has come to mind. Only recently have I noticed how naïve I am when it comes to feminism. I was introduced to feminism last year by reading a series of articles in The Washington Post. From there on, I started doing my research on what feminism is. For the longest time, I believed that feminism is based on equality of the sexes, but that was only the half of it and I’m starting to grow and learn the different perspectives of feminism. If I had to categorize myself as to what type of feminist I am, I would say that I am Open-Minded Beginner Chicana Feminist.
I would call myself as a beginner because I’m understanding the ideals of feminism one step at a time. I learn as I go and apply my new found knowledge to my everyday life to explain and expand knowledge of feminism to others. I love learning the different perspective of others and go off on their ideas to create a conversation. Yesterday, this happened when I was heading back to Moscow from a conference in Corvallis. My CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) advisor, Christina, was talking to the other CAMPers about feminism and issues revolving around the Latino community. I was very captivated and in awe how the other CAMPers were very interested and engaged in the conversation. Even when the guys were speaking their different viewpoints and talking about values that they were raised with, everyone was accepting and providing a female perspective on how they felt about what they said. That’s something that I love about feminism, how it can bring two perspectives together and have them find a way to co-exist with one and another.
Being a Chicana is something that I take pride in and being proud of my heritage and roots is what defines me. Being a Latina women has many downsides currently in the United States from an economic, political, and social standpoint. As a Chicana and a feminist, I believe it’s my job to make people aware of the injustices of being a woman of color. It’s the only way for people to understand the different side of the spectrum. Showing the problems of what many Chicanas go through and allows for a conversation on how to find solutions to this problem.
Being a Chicana is carrying the ideals of past feminists and creating change in our environment and our culture. This weekend was a wake-up call for me and I finally understand who I am. I finally understood what my culture was to me and how I can apply it my ideals of feminism. So next time when someone asks me what type of feminist I am, I can say that I am a Chicana, I am a Beginner, and I am a Feminist.