It’s more than a label gals

Photo by Jermaine Ulinwa on

As a human, I am a feminist.

I want to live in a society that promotes political, economic, personal and social equality of the sexes. I want to live in a world that promotes equality of the sexes.

We all should.

As a woman, I am a feminist.

I look to women’s rights movements such as The Suffragettes, The Women’s Liberation Movement and Black Feminism, with eternal gratitude.

Without these campaigns, many women would continue to be oppressed and silenced.

I look to individual women’s rights campaigners such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Sojourner Truth and Emma Watson, as role models.

Without these women, many others would not have the courage to speak out.

Hundreds of thousands of women will step into 2020 with the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages, to equal pay by eliminating the gender pay gap, to own property, to receive education, to enter contacts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave.

In addition, the emergence of fourth-wave feminism has ensured that many women and girls will enter the next decade with access to legal abortions and social integration, protection from rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence, and freedom of speech.

But as women, I believe we should strive for more than rights. Rights are pointless if we do not assert them.

As a woman, you have value. It is not your rights that give you value, it is you that gives you value.

What do I mean by value?

By value I mean worth. You are worth more than you can imagine. Nobody has the right to:

  • use you
  • walk all over you
  • insult you
  • make you feel small
  • make you feel insignificant
  • make you feel worthless

Including yourself.

If we do not know our worth and value, how will others? If we do not respect and revere ourselves, who will?

Yes, many women do have rights. But do they value themselves enough to enforce these rights?

There are still millions of women out there without rights, and millions more who do not know their true worth – as humans, as people, as women.

How can we finish Mary Wollstonecraft’s mission and achieve equality of the sexes if we do not know our own worth? if we aren’t confident enough to enforce our own rights?

And how on earth can we achieve equality, not only of the sexes, but racial, sexual and religious equality, if people don’t value themselves or others enough to take action?

So, what is feminism? It’s more than a label gals (and guys).

It’s valuing yourself, ensuring that others value you and valuing others as you value yourself.  

So next time you go for someone even though you know they’re bad for you, or let someone put you down to bring themselves up, or beat yourself up for something that makes you, you: remember your value.

You are worth more than you can imagine.