GUEST POST: Feminism Essay by Narita

NOTE: This is a guest post, written by reader Narita, while I am away for the summer. To read more from Narita, visit her own blog at http://theteenidle.blogspot.nl/.

Hello, lovely readers of Ruby’s blog. I’m today’s guest writer. My name is Narita and I am fourteen years old. I’ll be a high school junior after this summer break… And, as a feminist, my few years high school have given me some pretty weird experiences.

I’ve been in dropout recovery during my sophomore year, because of bullying. For those unfamiliar with dropout recovery, I had two teachers, always the same ones, and they were always watching me and my peers. There was one woman- her name doesn’t matter- I thought she was horrible. One day she brought in ‘cupcakes’, and believe me, they were more a pile of cereal than a cupcake. It was an insult to cupcakes of the world to call that pile of cereal a cupcake. But, as she said, it was a ‘light cupcake, because I’ve got to think about my diet.’ I love food- I love cupcakes. I don’t ever diet because I care about health and I don’t think diets are healthy or necessary. She disagreed.

“Being skinny is one important goal of a woman’s life,” she said. YEAH RIGHT, I thought. SO, I’M NOT A WOMAN ANYMORE, I GUESS? I identify as a woman. I biologically am a woman. I feel like a woman, and I think any of those things is enough to ‘be a woman’. You don’t suddenly lose your once you decide to eat real cupcakes, instead of cereal piles in a paper foil because ‘It keeps you skinny.’ Oh, another quote: “Girls don’t fart.” I fart. So do you. Everyone farts, and I demand my right to do so.

My junior friends all told me about a teacher that proclaimed herself a feminist. This teacher also made everyone meditate during class, which likely didn’t help her popularity much, either.
“She’s way too into feminism,” they said. I never discuss feminism with friends who don’t identify as feminists, so I couldn’t say anything else than ‘why?’. She changed tests. Every ‘he’ became a ‘she’. So questions like ‘’John and her friends were riding a bike’’ and “Carl didn’t mind sharing her money” weren’t uncommon.

‘That’s not feminism,’ I said. “It’s the opposite; it’s sexism. It’s not equality at all.” They didn’t understand how I knew those things since I never discussed feminism with them, but this woman is one reason that a good part of my school hates feminists. Thank you very much, Ms. I Don’t Even Know Your Name But You’re Not A Feminist.

My classmates- most of them are fifteen, sixteen. I’m one of the younger ones, probably “the weird kid with the tear-print blouse”. They don’t get me, I guess. I’m used to questions like “Why are you wearing that? Guys don’t find that attractive at all.”

It’s not my goal in high school to be prom queen or something. I don’t need a boyfriend; I’d rather be friends with guys actually. I like how I dress. I don’t want a boyfriend if I have to change to get one. Personally, my goal in high school is to have fun and end up graduating, because the latter is kind of the point, anyway.
I have one friend who smokes at a regular basis. She’s fifteen and therefore not allowed to, but her school doesn’t really care about her health or the legal aspect. They care more about if she’ll be able to get pregnant. Who says she, an honor student with straight A’s and a university dream, wanted to get pregnant at all? She’s more like a career woman, but her counselor decided it was more important for her to have a baby. This is why it’s important that people recognize that feminism is still necessary, and that feminists are for equality alone.

I asked friends for examples of sexism they experienced in high school, or how people have reacted to feminism or feminists. A freshman friend replied: ‘Femiwhat?’ It isn’t spoken about. Feminism may as well not exist, as far as our school is concerned. Women may as well not exist. In history, we learn that “somewhere last century there was a women who gave us voting rights or something”. If this is what we get in high school, how do they expect us to grow into responsible and independent adults?

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5 thoughts on “GUEST POST: Feminism Essay by Narita

  1. Haha, living in a small European country (Czech Republic) as well, I have similar experiences. Feminism is really unpopular here and people are often sexist without realizing they are actually being offensive. I’m known as “the feminist” among my friends, and while people are tolerant of what I have to say, they use the “angry feminist” stereotype to just laugh it off. It’s all incredibly frustrating, especially when it comes from teachers and other girls!

  2. Those teachers sounds horrible. I would have said something to them about what they’re promoting to students. So many people identify as “feminists” when in reality they’re just sexist, and it’s awful because there is a huge stereotype that feminists are sexist, and that’s not the case at all. We want equal rights and respect between males and females, but people just don’t bother to take the time to learn about feminism so there is this misinterpretation that it’s about, like, devoted to developing a matriarchy. NOT THE CASE. Feminists have a bad rep and it’s so unfortunate because feminism is a really awesome thing.

  3. Living in a big country like Australia I guess I never knew that there were countries that had schools with opinions like that!
    At my school I’d even go so far as to say that the female students are favored by the teachers as they are generally (In my year) smarter than the boys.

  4. Ugh, I feel you. I had one of my friends read that Rookie article about catcalling, and her response was basically “Well guys are going to be guys so why bother doing anything about it” *blank stare*
    And then my other friend said that “Women would become senile without men. It’s scientifically proven.” I proceeded to tell her that absolutely wasn’t true, so now I’ve been labeled “the feminist” in her mind.

    Yeah I don’t have any feminist friends.

    This is probably more related, but I’d witnessed a teacher telling a young girl to sit like a lady when she had her legs up on the bench, but didn’t say anything to the boy sitting directly across from her who was sitting in the same fashion.

  5. All of the misconceptions surrounding feminism are so frustrating. So many people are so judgmental about it and don’t understand why it’s so important. Out of everyone at my school, there are 2 people that I personally know of who actually call themselves feminists. One is a boy, actually. I think it would be so cool to start a feminism/Rookie club at my school, but I doubt anyone would join.

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