I can remember when I was young being called a Feminist. I wasn't too sure what the word meant, but it was said in a context that made me think it was a "dirty" word. So, of course I denied it. No, I wasn't a Feminist!
And then when I was older and knew what the word meant, it still had a "dirty" wordfeeling to it. Once again, I denied I was a Feminist – BUT, I did believe in equality of the sexes! Somewhere along the way, the definition of feminism for me was not a word of empowerment but rather a radical, risky way to describe oneself. And then for women who
did say there were feminist a nasty group of people usually called them a "bunch of dykes."
It was/is complicated as a young woman to find the inner courage to stand up for herself and act in a manner that is respectful and self-loving. Women in management and leadership roles, including myself, have had to deal with off-coloured comments about our management styles. If a man acted in the same manner, there wouldn't be such comments.
I now say I am a Feminist – and I say it proudly. The definition of a feminist has not changed since I was a young girl. It is I who has changed, matured and have grown confident in my own beliefs. It still is "A feminist is a person who believes that men and women are equal (though not necessarily the same), and should be entitled to equal rights,
equal treatment, and equal opportunity."
Over the last few months, I have watched in fascination and awe, the world coming together and rise up! On January 21 2017, over three million women boarded buses and took to the streets in the United States. Across the world, women followed in an incredible
movement with the message: women matter.
"We the people" has taken back its meaning and refers to all people regardless of sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation. We are once again at a moment in history where the people have had enough and are rising up. The Women's Marches around the world is one of power and unison. It is a reminder for all of us that we can make a difference – we
just need to keep adding more people to the cause.
It is also the time to teach our young ones, regardless of sex, that feminism is not a "dirty word" but one of power and pride. Teach them young.
The time to stand up for our human rights has never been greater. Feminism is just one component of it. Reader – Rise Up!