When I Grow Up I Want to be an Activist
Angie Zhang, 14New Jersey Musician, Writer & Artist
I used to be one of those girls who slut shamed. I would call girls sluts for expressing their sexuality, for hooking up or even, hell, flirting with guys. It's not something I'm proud of. But now, at 14 years old now, I'm not actually sure how I got into feminism. All I remember, really, was in a history class we were asked to write our research papers on a topic of injustice, and I thought of feminism.
I read a lot of information on it, and the more I explored the more I was drawn in by feminist theory and the idea of gender equality. Then, in English class we had an assignment where we had to write our own "Dream Speech" for advocating rights, and I, of course, chose feminism. At this point I identified as a feminist. I believed in women's rights and gender equality. At this point I also realized that I had a voice and I wanted to be heard. I needed to be heard. I created a feminist blog on Tumblr, where I would post pictures advocating gender equality and also would write articles on gender equality, slut shaming, women's rights, etc.
I read the book “Full Frontal Feminism” by Jessica Valenti, one of my many role models, and it changed my life. I started a feminist Instagram account with my best friend Christina, and together we advocated for women's rights through social media. I started listening to Bikini Kill and L7, and I just totally became obsessed with L7 and their humor, their music and their beliefs. I really look up to people like Donita Sparks, Jennifer Finch, Suzi Gardner, Dee Plakas, Gloria Steinem, Tina Fey and Lindsay and Lexie Kite, to name a few. When I grow up, I want to be an activist so I can become a professional feminist! I will take a stand and I will speak up for gender equality and women's rights. I will become successful in raising awareness. And I won't be doing it alone. There are so many bright women, young and old, out there who are fighting for a good cause. And together, we shall overcome.