By: Rachel Borashko – Women’s Center Ambassador
I started writing a Facebook status. It got too long.
I wanted to promote the Women’s Center, but I couldn’t find it within myself. I wanted to say, “Hey everyone, check out this platform for talking about gender issues in a totally inclusive environment! We rock, and some of us have things to say, so here’s our blog.” I couldn’t do that. I felt the need to back up my position.
I ended up with a terribly long status (which I deleted before posting) explaining why I affiliate with the Women’s Center and why I identify as a feminist. It felt like a short persuasive essay following the format I learned in high school, examples and arguments for why I’m not a bad person for being feminist. Trying to convince others of the truth that feminism and misandry are not at all related.
For a while, a long, long while, I’ve recognized the injustices that exist within our society. I do not limit this to gender issues. We live in a world fraught with nonsensical racial disparities and religious intolerance, amongst other inequalities. Subtle discriminatory thoughts against anyone considered “the other” are too commonly found. So, this year, I’ve decided to join the good fight. The fight that recognizes there is no “other.” We’re all human. Why can’t we treat each other as such? It’s 2014 and we insist on stereotyping and discriminating against people who are ultimately no different from ourselves.
More personally, and arguably more importantly, why do I still feel the need to explain myself? Why do I need to justify my dedication to justice and equality? Why do I get nervous to post a Facebook status promoting a cause that I believe in? How is this world still so unjust that I am still uncomfortable confronting and fighting its injustices? There are still so many people defending the unjust system that I cannot count on support from others in fighting it.
I’ve recognized that this makes the fight even more important. So when this post goes up, I will share it. I will promote the Women’s Center and the work that they do. I will continue to support people and organizations that are dedicated to fighting social injustices. I will do so proudly. I am a humanist. I am a feminist. I will say so proudly.
I encourage others to do the same. Look within yourself and find the courage to stick up for those whose voices are lost. If you’ve not already, learn about the inequalities that our communities face; learn about those who are fighting these injustices, then fight alongside them. In reference to Emma Watson’s recent speech on the #HeForShe campaign, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”