When I was writing a column similar to this at a public, liberal-arts college in Massachusetts, I got tons of support.
My college, the same size as this one, had a fully functioning women’s center on campus. We feminists on the campus were some of the loudest voices of the entire student body.
And almost everyone agreed with what we were saying.
So, when I made the move to Maryville College, I did not expect that I would be able continue my column or to write anything similar to this.
Furthermore, upon being approached with the opportunity write a feminist column for MC’s newspaper, I expected the Southeastern audience to be radically different from that for which I had been writing in New England.
However, while feminism on the MC campus is a bit quieter than it was at my previous school, I have discovered it is still here and is doing wonderful things.
The fact that I have been allowed to write this and that you are reading it at this very moment is nothing short of amazing to me. And I am thankful.
As an activist, it is the greatest reward to see your work pay off, even in the smallest of ways, and I really do feel as though the tides are turning for modern feminism, even in here in East Tennessee.
While attending college, especially a liberal-arts institution, we are taught to think critically about everything around us. Often enough, what we came to college thinking and believing to be infallible falls apart in front of our eyes. We fall apart, too, sometimes. But it is in these moments that we find ourselves.
Maybe you have even had some of those moments while reading this column. I know I have had them while writing.
The fact of the matter is that defending what we hold to be important makes our convictions stronger.
I believe wholeheartedly in women’s rights and the fight to make sure that women are treated not as females, but as humans. Women, even feminists, have for too long sat back and allowed others to make them feel guilty for feeling that women in our society continue to get the short end of the stick.
The one thing that I cannot do, that I refuse to do, is make apologies to anyone.
I am sick to the teeth of being made to feel that I have to take up men’s rights with equal passion because I am a feminist. Yes, I support gender equality. No, I do not think that women are better than men.
I have a cause. I cannot save everyone, and I have chosen my allegiance.
Whether anyone chooses to follow me is up to him or her. We all walk our own paths. If there is anything that I have learned from coming to MC, it is that being a believer in something that you personally hold sacred makes you a better person.
I have had great fun writing for you and have learned lots about myself and about my cause along the way. I hope that some of you have had to challenge your beliefs while reading this column. I hope that others have at least mildly considered other viewpoints.
Above all, I hope that I have put a human face to feminism, shown you the woman under the stigmas.
Slaying this stereotype has been a blast, and I am happy to have had such wonderful companions in this journey.
I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday and look forward to writing for you again next semester. Happy gender bending!