One of my roommates and I were discussing something and disagreed about the issue; I then tweeted "Woke up in a feminist state of mind." A different roommate asked me about the tweet and asked if I was angry; I shared, briefly, and expressed how I wasn't angry, just a feminist.
If you haven't figured it out by now, the 'F' word is FEMINISM.
Ever since I first heard that word, feminism, I've avoided it. I never wanted to be associated with that word. It has all sorts of negative connotations attached to it. I didn't want to be associated with the feminists who, apparently, burn their bras (which, from my understanding, only happened once and people never shut-up about it)...I don't mind wearing bras, so why would I ruin one? I didn't want to be thought of as someone who just walks around angry, with a chip on their shoulder. I shave my legs and armpits and I'm not ugly; so I must not be a feminist. I grew up hearing all these stereotypes about what a feminist is and I didn't want a part of that, I didn't want to be labeled as 'one of those feminists'.
But, hang on! Feminism is the advocacy for women's rights to be equal to that of men. Why wouldn't I be all about that? I believe that every person, no matter gender/religion/race/nationality/age/intelligence/socio-economic status/etc, deserves equal treatment BECAUSE WE'RE ALL PEOPLE.
Feminism isn't bad; but, just like the religious bigots who deface their (and others') religion, people can deface and twist the meaning and mission of feminism. People are always ruining great things, like it's their job. How annoying.
(This is 2012, our society and world have come a long way. Huge daily strides are being made in places like South Africa (where the abolition of apartheid is under 20 years old) to ensure equality for all people. When I was there, I was always hearing about what the government was doing to improve the standard of living for all people, not just the white minority. But even though we're better off now (in some respects) than we were before, there is still social injustice. In a time where I can communicate with my best friend in Chile with the press of button or introduce my students to 'pen pals' in Malawi to exchange music and become little ethnomusicologists, the world can seem kinda small. It's easy for us to become so wrapped up in our worlds, that we forget to breathe and look up at all that's going on. I don't just mean watching the news to see what's happening around the world. I mean doing something about it.)
There are a lot of different groups to focus on, in terms of equity; women happens to be one of them. So, yes, I am a feminist; but, really, I'm more than that. I'm a 'humanist' in the sense I am concerned with the interests and welfare of human beings. I love people and I want everyone to live a life saturated with love and fulfillment. We're all people.