Why I’m a feminist

Honestly, I’ve been meaning to write this post forever, but I’ve put it off because I’m nervous about it. But at the same time I think it’s worth sharing why I consider myself a feminist and what that means to me.

“Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”

what feminism means to me

Personally, I don’t remember learning the word feminism or ever thinking it was bad. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it’s because I grew up thinking that Topanga from Boy Meets World and Jessie of Saved By The Bell were pretty awesome, although now I know they’re not model feminists. Some of my favorite fictional characters when  was young, and still today, include Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, Jo from Little Women and Mulan of, well, Mulan.   The media definitely shaped my worldview of men, women and our society, as I’m sure it did for you, too. Even though there are plenty of negative images and stereotypes in the media, I’ve tried to analyze all of it from a young age and found myself drawn to strong female characters.

It wasn’t until college that I started to analyze and take on the word feminism for myself. In my first Ethnic and Women’s Studies class my third year of college, the professor asked those of us who considered ourselves feminist to raise our hands. I hesitantly raised my hand whole looking around the room to see who else would. But then I thought, “Hey wait, of course I am.”

That led to me learning more about feminism from professors, friends, books and Tumblr. Yep, Tumblr. Here’s some of what I’ve learned and why I’m a feminist.

What feminism has done for me (and you)

Although feminism is a relatively new term in history, the idea that men and women should be treated as equals has been around for longer. And it’s not going away any time soon. First there were suffragettes and then some 60 years later came the women’s liberation movement, which is now considered the start of the feminist movement.

Women are allowed to inherit, own, buy, sell and transfer property now. By around 1900, every state in America had given women control over their own property. Before that, property rights largely depended on marital status (unmarried, married, widowed) and varied state by state.

Women can vote and hold public office. Hattie Caraway, an Arkansas Democrat, became the first woman elected to the US senate in 1932. Thanks to the hard work of suffragettes, women achieved the right to vote in 1920.

Women could and did get fired from their workplaces before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978. My grandma was fired after her managers found out she was pregnant with her first child.

Women have more opportunities for education, sports and work in the United States now.


Why I still need feminism

Recently, someone started a Tumblr called “Why I Don’t Need Feminism.” You may have heard of it by now, depending on what you look at on the Internet. This Buzzfeed listicle tells about it.  Now, I’m not saying every girl needs to call herself a feminist by any means, but some of these girls have got it all wrong. They’re talking like being a feminist means hating men or thinking women need to be elevated above them, which is not true.

I still need feminism because I believe all people deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or anything else.

I mean, that’s what I’ve been taught since elementary school or before that even! Love your neighbor as yourself. Stand up for your rights. It’s not about playing the victim. It’s about working towards a better future.

Today there a variety of issues feminist stand for, including access to birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage But feminists don’t need to agree on all these issues for them to be considered feminists. Just want to make that clear.

Some of the biggest issues facing women today are violence against women, the wage gap and the poor treatment of women in the media.

Opportunities for education and work for women need to be improved both in the United States and around the world. Less emphasis should be put on body image, which would help not only women, but men too. The world isn’t all that safe for women or the LGBTQ community. This is something we still need to work on.

We need to care for each other as a society and as a world.


What do you think about feminism? Do you consider yourself a feminist? What do you think are some of the biggest issues facing women today? Let me know in the comments below.

Links I love v. 4 (fashion and beauty edition)

In the new Aerie Real campaign, all the photos are (supposedly) unretouched. The author of this AD week article says that her favorite part are the changes to the website. It must be pretty popular because I can’t get the website to load.

USA Olympics uniforms

I’m loving these Team USA opening ceremony Olympics uniforms by Ralph Lauren.

cool Disel model

Fashion blogger and Fashion Week regular Jillian Mercado is among the cast of 23 models featured in Diesel’s campaign. Jillian, who was diagnosed with spastic muscular dystrophy,  is one of those freakin’ amazing people my age working her ass off. Just read the bio on her awesome Tumblr style blog and you’ll see what I mean.

“I woke up like this. I got morning face.” Just watch it already.

Besides those Aerie models, many people in media get Photoshopped. Especially for magazine covers. That means Nicki Minaj and Lina Dunham too. So, does it really matter? I think it does, but this NPR story had me doing some serious critical thinking on the issue.

Joan Rivers is just a jerk and babies aren’t excluded from her not so witty jokes.

So, what’s so bad about needing/wanting to wear makeup and look pretty any way?

Wanting to? Nothing. Needing to? I kind of hate that. That’s why Dove keeps making videos like this Selfie one, which I still don’t 100 percent agree with. I have so much more I want to say about all these issues, so I should really write a long article soon. Consider this an early draft.

Yes, it can be hard to stay positive sometimes and not just because of beauty standards in the media. This article was a friendly reminder to me earlier in the week that we need to be kind to ourselves.

Side note: This Buzzfeed listicle “14 Emotions You’ll Feel While Job Hunting As Told By Mean Girls” is so on point.

Want to see more links I love? Follow me on Twitter (Erin_writes). And hey, while you’re at it, you can also follow Take Comfort Project on Bloglovin,’ a website that makes following blogs easy.

Links I love v. 2

a very symmetrical and average picture of a coffee cup
^^A very symmetrical and average photo of a cup of coffee because I figure you’re probably drinking coffee while you read this.

Have you heard? Joseph Gordon Levitt’s project HitRECord is becoming a TV show! I’m so excited for him and the company! I first found out about it on Tumblr years ago but haven’t been keeping up. The program will be on Pivot TV. If you, like me, don’t have cable, well I think we can still watch it on YouTube. The first episode is up now.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that Sasheer Zamata, an ulum of the Upright Citizens Brigade, has been added to the cast of Saturday Night Live. She is the first black actress in five years. If not, well now you know. I understand and appreciate Linda Holmes’ take on how SNL is taking an important first step, but that “Whether this winds up meaning very much will depend on what happens next.” But based on Sasheer’s smart comedy, I’m pretty sure she’ll be fine.

As someone who struggles with anxiety and insecurity myself (actually, doesn’t everyone to some degree) I appreciated this post on anxiety and insecurity by Bri of Design Love Fest.

Seriously, what’s with all the think pieces written by older men about teenage girls? Hazel over at Rookie talks about how teens can have very good taste and overgeneralizing critics need to stop. I recommend following her on Twitter and Tumblr. She’s as funny as I hope to be.

I clicked on this “What Would Lorelai Gilmore Do?” post on The Toast from Welcome to Ladyville’s Wednesday Link Party. Then I came across this Playlist called “Hanging Out With Rory Gilmore” on Rookie. Heaven. I will always be a Gilmore Girls fan.

I was so excited when I found out that Mindy Kalling has her own fashion cover. I mean she does. Except she doesn’t. She’s sharing it with four other women because Elle decided to do one of those things where they have multiple covers. I agree with The Huffington Post that she deserves her own cover. There’s also some controversy about her cover because she’s the only one with a close up black and white photo. I think it’s beautiful though and apparently she likes it too.

I linked to this lecture in my top 20 Beyonce songs post on Monday but I thought it was worth noting again. So here it is embedded!

Wow. This ended up way longer than the first edition. Not saying that’s a bad thing! Have fun reading/watching.

My top 20 Beyoncé songs

My top 20 favorite Beyonce songs

Beyoncé released a self-titled visual album, which I’m sure you’ve heard about by now. I bought it the day it came out, finally saw all the videos. It’s beautiful and moving. I cried I laughed and it keeps making me think.

So I decided I would write a post about why I love Beyoncé and her new album. I don’t know if I can say it any better than Jess Tholmer did on HelloGiggles a few weeks ago though. Basically, Beyoncé is smart, funny, hot, inspiring, badass and honest in so many ways.

To be different, I’m going to make a list of my 20 favorite Beyoncé songs and tell you why they’re awesome. This goes out to all the lovers and the haters.

20. Beautiful Liar

19. Single Ladies

18. Listen

17. XO

16. Haunted

15. Drunk In Love

14. Run the World

13. Schoolin’ Life

12. If I Were A Boy

11. Diva

10. Halo
This song always makes me think of my man. He’s my angel.

9. Crazy In Love
It’s just so fun to sing and the video is perfect.

8. I Was Here
“I just want them to know/ That I gave my all, did my best / Brought someone to happiness / Left this world a little better just because / I was here.” Me too, Beyonce. Me too. Also, this video makes me cry and leaves me inspired.

7. Love On Top
My love values me and that’s very important to me. He puts my love on top.

6. Blue
This song is so beautiful. Little babies grow up so fast. I know I’ll be singing this to my future babies years from now.

5. Partition
Beyonce really embraces her sexuality on this album, even though it’s her first since becoming a mother.

4. Irreplacable
It’s so fun to sing and it’s a good lesson that if someone is causing you harm they need to get gone.

3. Countdown
I was watching a YouTube video about Beyonce’s documentary and she said hipsters love this song so she had to put it on “4.” I laughed out loud because I had already been singing it every day for a little while. Yep. I’m a hipster.

2. Pretty Hurts
I felt a very strong emotional connection to this video. She is so brave for making this piece that shows how ideas of beauty can be destructive.

1. Flawless
We strive for perfection. That’s a theme that’s repeated throughout her newest album. But no one can ever be perfect. I love the back story on this song. She brings her childhood performance on TV into it. She also brings in Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I watched her TedTalk video today on YouTube and I think everyone should see it.

Let me tell you something. I haven’t been a Beyoncé fan my whole life. I wasn’t listening to Destiny’s Child as a little Girl. I like rock and country because my siblings did. I was a strange kid who didn’t like pop music much. I wasn’t into Destiny’s Child or  The Backstreet Boys or Brittany Spears or The Pussycat Dolls, whoever.

I’m a Beyoncé fan now though. This list was so hard to put together!

Beyoncé’s new record isn’t full of singles and it deserve to be seen as a whole. It shows like a film. Themes come up again and again, there’s great symbolism and it’s breathtaking. But since the above is a list of my favorites out of all her music, I’m leaving some of the songs off this list. That doesn’t mean they’re not good though.

One more thing! All five of the Beyoncé are on her YouTube channel now. Here’s Part 1 to get you started.

Featured image via Marie Claire.