by Kali Nelson
My lipstick, I pick it out carefully every morning.
All the shades of red and pink remind me that
I am the decedent of warriors.
My mother was a warrior
And her mother before her.
They did not use lipstick to armor up.
They used a little pink ribbon.
But my lipstick is my armor.
Without it I feel naked, defenseless.
My feminism is a lot like my lipstick,
I sometimes water it down as to not offend.
From blood red to pastel pink
I know I shouldn’t but I do.
I am most offensive in my head.
Always set to my darkest red.
I do not control my thoughts in my head, but I censor myself when in crowds.
But do not think I do this for you. I do this for me,
Because I do not want to fight today
My feminism is ready to combat all the stereotypes.
Don’t tell me I cannot,
If you do, get ready to watch me do it.
Thank you for telling me I could be whatever I wanted
You’ve raised an ambitious woman.
But did you have to say you think it’d take me five years to graduate?
Because now dad,
I have to do it in four.
This week I wanted to talk about what feminism means to me. Feminism is the belief that women are equal to men. It is not about hating men or burning bras, I mean bras are expensive I can’t afford to burn one, even my shitty ones. My feminism supports everyone getting paid the same for the same amount of work. Women earn less than men, white women will earn an average of 80 cents for every dollar that a man makes. But for women of color it is even less. This is the age old feminist fight, and it will take years to get women up to the same pay as men are at right now.
My feminism fights for immigration because there is a gender bias in the immigration system. The immigration system is heavily influenced by traditional gender roles making men’s application seem more favorable. Many women come over as a domestic worker and they have a constant fear of mistreatment or deportation. There is also the fact that while 1 in 4 women in the US experience domestic violence, the number jumps to 3 to 6 times more likely to experience domestic violence. They are also less likely to report it for fear of deportation. Feminism is meant to better women’s positions in life and that has made immigration become a big deal to many feminists because the policies our representatives have made disproportionality affect women.
My feminism also fights for the environment. My feminism also hold some bits of the ecofeminist movement. I believe that if we don’t fix the environment we soon will have bigger problems than equal pay and immigration. The climate affects everything else because climate change may screw with everyone but it epically screws with women and children.
My feminism fights for trans rights because these are people who deserve equal rights. Like Katy Guest writes in her article for Independent, trans rights are a feminist issue. She equates the bigotry found towards trans rights to the opposition to women’s rights or gay rights were only a few generations ago.
My feminism is about giving women and men a choice to be who they are. My feminism is about choices and support. I support a woman’s choice to an abortion, or not. I support a woman’s choice to be a stay at home mom or to go out and get a degree. I support women who have lots of sex or women have none. My feminism is about support for women and men. I support boys who want to wear makeup or want to be stay at home dads. There is nothing wrong with this and I have found that my personal brand of feminism is about support. I use my feminism to let others be the person they know they are.