I owe my feminist beliefs to my mother.
An outspoken, strong-willed woman, my mom was never afraid to speak her mind. As a result of this, she set a boundless example for me, and for any future women that would ever be a part of my brother’s life. To have a voice was considered the norm for me. My belief that a woman should be equal to a man was considered common sense, not a revolution.
And in my small corner of Long Island, I never knew that it was such a big deal to be a feminist. Wasn’t everybody?
Then I went to college. It was during my undergraduate studies that I learned about all the horrible ways women are treated by our culture. About women who can work the same job and not earn the same wage as their coworker, simply because she is a woman. About women who are used as bargaining chips in times of war. About women who are too afraid to even look at a man in public. About women who are raped, and our culture tells them it was her fault.
And while all those things appalled me, I simply didn’t grasp that any of those things would ever happen to me. And I thought if other people just knew about what was going on, they would surely fight for what’s right. Of course everyday people wanted women to be equal, I thought to myself. It’s common sense.
Well, it didn’t take too long in the real world for me to realize that being a feminist is more revolutionary than I originally thought.
So that brings me here. I’m here because of the articles posted in the Wall Street Journal that dismiss the pay-gap as women misinterpreting data. Because there are too many people who call me a “feminazi” because of my “Ms.” subscription. Because there are countless amounts of women who don’t believe in feminism. Because everyday injustices against women are not something to simply “get over."
I believe that education is the best means of creating social change, and is the strongest weapon against ignorance. And by letting my voice be heard, I believe more women will speak up and take pride in their feminism.
Maybe my mom raising me to have a voice is considered revolutionary. But I want to keep fighting until it’s not. I want to keep fighting until it’s common sense.
Election Day is your chance to let our leaders know that you will stand up for women and their place in our society. If you want to see a change in the way women are treated, make sure you go out and vote today.
Farah Faye is a writer at heart, but is currently working as a Communications Director in Long Island, NY. She is also a graduate student at Spalding University, working towards her MFA in creative writing, with a focus in creative nonfiction. It was during her time at the University of Rhode Island, where she studied Gender and Women’s Studies as a minor of her undergraduate studies, that a light was first shone on the blatant injustices women encounter everyday. But it wasn’t until she entered the workforce that she saw, and experienced, the injustices firsthand, and felt a passionate need to do something about it. She believes that the writing can be used as a powerful tool to bring about cultural change; not just in the raising of awareness about the world we live in, but also in giving women a say in the world’s conversation.
Contents of this blog constitute the opinion of the author, and the author alone; they do not represent the views and opinions of Women' s Fund of Rhode Island.