June 05, 2014

why i need feminism


#yesallwomen just hit me like a punch in the stomach. If you've been active on twitter lately, you may have seen tweets with vignettes from women about their experiences with harassment and misogyny. This form of expression allows us to come together to fight for our equality. And this got me thinking about my own personal experiences with harassment from men, why I need feminism to survive.
I need it because when I was fourteen my cousin showed me his penis when I didn’t want to see it. He made me a statistic, scarred me for life. I used to have panic attacks whenever I saw him because I was afraid he was either going to do it again or that he somehow knew I had told someone and was going to hurt me for it. It took two years of PTSD to say "I've had enough" and report it, and then it took two years of therapy to combat the PTSD and overcome it. (Read more on this here & here)
I need it because when I was sixteen I agreed to go on a couple dates with this boy I thought I liked but then realized I didn’t. And then when I told him “Hey I’m going through some heavy personal stuff right now, I think we should still be friends but I think it’s best if you leave me alone for a while” he still showed up at my house on his unicycle and I made my mom answer the door and tell him I wasn’t home. I had to threaten him with a restraining order in order for him to get the hint and leave me alone.
I need it because when I was nineteen I was lonely and met a guy off of plentyoffish. He told me I was a good person, I made him want to try harder and do more to be a better person. Slowly he became more controlling and manipulating, pushing the boundary lines until I felt like nothing more a grain of sand on the beach. It took an intervention from my friends to make me see what he was doing to me. I have made a vow to never let a man make me feel that way again.

I need it because when I originally tweeted about writing this post, I received backlash from men who sit in this hashtag and troll unsuspecting girls and try to break them with their misogynistic ways. I was told that I don't work and that my blog posts don't save lives. I work almost 40 hours a week to support myself and blog as a hobby--you do not know me and do not get the right to tell me how to live my life. As for my blog not saving lives... That's not really the point. If I save a life because of something I write on the Internet, my life will be complete, but that's not why I blog in the first place. I write in this space because I need somewhere to get everything down, I need a space to share my love story with the world and this is the platform I choose to share it on.

I need this campaign because I have been harassed and broken by men. I have risen up and beaten it and I need other ladies to know that they can do the same. You are not alone. You are strong, beautiful, independent babes and I believe in all of you.

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