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Feminist. I am reclaiming the word.

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Feminist. Dare I say the word? Dare I associate myself? Feminism has been perceived as: Female dominance. Power hungry. Man hating. Blood thirsty. And yet. I am grateful for the gifts I would not have, if not for the feminists before me. Until 1974, I would not have been allowed to open a bank account without a male relative’s permission. Until 1848, I would not have been allowed to own property and conduct my own business. Until 1968, I would not have been allowed to serve on a jury. Until 1969, I would not have been allowed to attend an ivy league school. Until 1972, I would not have been allowed to run in the Boston Marathon. Until 1917, I would not have been allowed to run for congress. Until 1920, I would not have been allowed to vote. Until 1861, if I were black, I would not have been allowed to file rape charges against a white man. Until 1954, I would have been considered the property (chattel) of my husband or father. Until 1920, I would have had no legal protection from being beaten from my husband. Until 1973, I would not have had access to a battered women's shelter. Until 1993, I would have had no legal protection from being raped by my husband. Reading these words makes my chest heave with the deepest woundedness of betrayal. Abandonment. Loneliness. How could those words be my history? How could the men - warriors - meant to protect me, suppress me so deeply? How is this my not so ancient story of women before me? Why was it a FIGHT to get those SIMPLE and basic rights? This ENRAGES me and CRIPPLES me in grief. I want to look away and ignore it. I want to close the box and put it away. But I can’t. These women - these justice warriors - scratched and clawed. Bled and bruised. Were mocked and chastised and spat on. Simply to be treated as humans. And yet, everything they stood for and all the rights they fought for are still mocked? What a cruel joke.

Please tell me, those of you anti-feminists, which of these rights would you take away? What suppression would you reinstate? Would you have me become the property of a man again? Would you like me to get permission before opening a bank account? Would you like to see me beaten without intervention? What do you get from caging me? And why do you see it as an attack when I stand for my own freedom? Well, I don’t care what you think of my freedom. I will stand for myself and for women even if I have to stand alone.

Feminism. I am reclaiming the word. Feminism is not about women being the “ruler”. It’s not about women being tough or dominating. It’s not about stripping women of motherhood or nurturing. It’s about honoring and protecting the feminine, instead of consuming it and abusing it. The suppression of every and any being gets to fucking stop. I am Jillian Sarah Aurora and I will dare to stand for the freedom of every woman the same as I would stand for the freedom of any race, gender, class, or disempowered human. And I’m not sorry.

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© 2015 by Jillian Aurora


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