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Friday, October 31, 2014

When I think of Feminism by Travis Cunningham

We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man.”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social,
Political, and economic equality of the sexes
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
When I think of feminism, I think of my mother. She’s a brave, level headed woman who has survived numerous hardships in her life and has been able to persevere despite them. I would not be here without her and her drive.
When I think of feminism, I think of the wonderful women in my life who fight discrimination and harassment on a daily basis.
When I think of feminism, I think about the liberties and freedoms that women have now but were once not given.
When I think of feminism, I become proud of the steps that we have taken as a society to help advance the marginalized and the oppressed. I think of the accomplishments that many women have achieved. I think about the good that has come of it and how necessary it is for all of womankind.
When I think of feminism, it becomes clear to me that we have a lot of work as a society to abolish these established methods of discrimination that perpetrate against women and the marginalized. I think about how sad it is that feminism is necessary and that we haven’t learned to treat each other as equals yet.
When I think of feminism, I think of the stereotypes and the imposed lifestyles that women have to struggle with. I think of how difficult it must be for them to fight others expectations of what a woman should look like, or act like, or have between their legs.
When I think of feminism, I think about the women of our future, and what they can aspire to because of the work the women who have come before them have done.  
When I think of feminism, I think of the masses of men who support women in their struggle for equality.
When I think of feminism, I think of how happy I am it exists. 


  1. I love that quote by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie! I think this is a poignant insight into feminism and your own perspective on it. I'm also definitely happy that it exists, but sad that it is necessary. I'm glad there are men out there like you who are supportive of feminism!

  2. Great post Travis! I loved the quote in the beginning. When I think of feminism I think of similar things. I also think of my mom, freedom and stereotypes.