I don't know when I started using the word feminist to describe myself. It felt right and why wouldn't it? I wanted equality for my friends and sisters and wanted unrealistic expectations reduced from both genders and feminism was my aha! thing. I want to live in a world where the feminist movement is unnecessary, where discussing equal opportunity should feel stupid. People few years from now should ask me "what do you mean there was inequality?" (Too much expectation?)
Why did feminism become important to me?
I won't get into reading and research. I won't get into numbers and hold up idols like Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double helix structure of the DNA, because that's not what makes me happy. It makes me sad. But feminism makes me happy because I know that these women exist and only because somebody out there gave a damn to know who actually worked do we know of awesome women!
Being a feminist reassured and validated my beliefs. When you grow up in an all girls college (that you hated), where you are called a 'man child'; you become a little conflicted, when you don't conform, you begin to question why you're doing something. But I found feminism, I found myself being surer about being vocal and not shying away. In life you need to have a reassuring force that will tell you that you are not wrong for knowing *exactly* what you want. You are not bossy, you are not fickle, you are one hell of a woman even on the days you wear a shirt and trousers. I found feminism to be that reassuring force telling me that I was okay.
Feminism introduced me to other aspects of life, It made me a better person. I am less judgmental, I am more open to discussion, more importantly it made be better at discussing these issues. It made me capable of understanding sexism and how it affects me. When somebody is being treated like crap, I will call it out. I have a very strong sense of what isn't my business; people's sex life, drinking, clothing, friends, all of that. Being aligned to feminism made me a lot more sensitive to issues apart from women. I always felt it was perfectly okay that somebody was LGBT, but now I'm a million times more sure. I no longer say things like "I think it is okay to be gay" I will put my foot down and tell you not only is it okay to be gay, we should revel in it.
I have better friends, none of my friends are narrow minded and I say it quite proudly. Every single friend of mine accepts people with warmth the same amount of grace. I like being in that kind of a setting. I like people who are decent.
I cannot watch TV on most days because of all the sexist trash that comes on it, but to be acutely aware about it is also a very important part of this experience. I meet and read about so many successful people on a daily basis, I cannot thank feminism enough for giving me the sight to look at their achievements in a different light. It is no longer "published a book". It is published a book and a best seller at that in spite of being told that it wont do well.
It makes me happy to feel strongly about equality.I am happy that I am a confident, liberated women who is aware about what works and doesn't work for her. I like being sure about the kind of treatment I expect from people and how I will treat them. I know exactly the kind of people I don't want to be associated with. It complicates a lot of things but simplifies just as easily.