Ever since I decided to share the story of my abortion, I’ve had to endure more hate-spewing than I ever did when I just told my family and friends. I suppose that is just something that happens when you get to hide behind a keyboard, blissfully unaware of the real world changing in real time.
Editor’s Note 1/31/15 – Due to the overwhelming response of Lana’s original story, I have decided to make Lana a permanent contributor to InjusticeStories.com. You can read her original story here: I Aborted my Baby – Because it was a Boy
The reaction made me think about what it really takes to be a modern feminist, and how I can help shape the thoughts of young women today in order to guide them onto the path of fighting for the rights of women everywhere. I’ve come up with a few things that every modern feminist should have, and how to help share this knowledge with the next generation.
A Thick Skin - Anti-feminists are going to do everything they can in order to tear us down. The vast majority of their attacks will be verbal, mostly coming from the internet where you can’t face down your attacker. These keyboard warriors will say anything they think will hurt the movement because of their own flaws and shortcomings, including personal attacks, rationalizations for anti-feminist ideology, and “docsing” (making personal information widely available).
As a modern feminist, you will need to be able to take this abuse in stride, remembering that it isn’t always the person who is saying those hateful things, but it is their mal-adjusted, socially-unaware upbringing speaking through their mouths or keyboards. There are people out there who actually do want to see the demise of modern feminism, they will go out of their way to make anti-feminist comments and some may even take action. These people are the absolute scum of the Earth. They make Hitler look like a Mother Teresa, and they literally want to see the progress we have made the last 100 years rolled back to a point where we are third-class citizens.
A Passion to Act – A feminist today needs to want to act out in order to keep the movement going, and to bring us one step closer to achieving true equality. To some people, this will mean going marching on the streets, holding protests and rallies in places that will draw national media attention. For others, the act can be more low key, calling your elected representatives to tell them that if they don’t support women’s rights, you aren’t going to support them.
Acting on a personal level can achieve immediate results that can directly affect your life. For example, my job required me to make decisions on who should be hired. I would choose to hire women over men the majority of the time. A little bit of qualification difference here and there doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. What does matter is that women are allowed to catch up to men’s in workplace earnings. Technically, some might see this as breaking the law, and every woman will have to decide for themselves if this is something they are willing to do. Remember this though, role models committing civil disobedience will bring about change, Martin Luther King Jr. technically broke the law, Gandhi technically broke the law, Rosa Parks technically broke the law, but we all did it for a higher purpose: to see a positive change in our world.
These 2 things are all that you need to become a modern feminist. You don’t always need signs, you don’t always need to march in the streets, you just need to be able to take criticism from anti-feminists, and have the courage to act.
The future of womankind depends upon us working together to bring true equality to this world. If we have to make new laws along the way, so be it (I am currently working with a state Congresswoman in drafting a bill requiring political representation to be 50/50 male and female). Our voices will be heard and we will achieve true equality, the sooner everyone accepts this, the sooner change can be made.