Learning About Feminism, I Discovered Myself

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sammee2by Samee Callahan, 19Lincoln, Nebraska

Before a year ago if somebody were to call me a feminist I would be superbly insulted. Like a lot of people do, when I heard the word feminist I thought of women who didn’t shave and hated men. Recently, I was called a feminist as an insult but I took it as the awesome compliment that it actually is.

It all began in an Intro to Women’s & Gender Studies (WGS) course in the spring of my freshman year of college. I took the course because it seemed like the most interesting out of all of the courses on my scholarship’s required course list. I was reluctant at first, I half expected my professor to be an angry woman teaching me about why men are assholes. Thankfully, the course proved all of my assumptions wrong and I began to genuinely adore the idea of feminism.

In learning about feminism I discovered myself. The pound of makeup that I constantly hid behind, the long hair that I let define me, and the body hate that I let control me all seemed unnecessary. Not long after I took that class, I cut off almost a foot of my hair and I tend to stick with a more natural look for my face. My confidence levels are off the charts compared to what they used to be because of my new, carefree look. I can’t lie and say that I’m completely in love with my body, but that takes time and a complete mindset change.

On top of all of the outward change I had even more inward change. During the summer and fall after I took that introductory class I began doing my own feminist readings. By the time winter I hit I knew I could never forgive myself if I didn’t take more WGS courses. I started this semester with a WGS major and have broadened my knowledge of this world immensely.

Becoming a feminist made me reclaim my thoughts. I no longer worried about how others view my body. I don’t act ditzy just to make men feel better about themselves. I don’t care if my feminist thoughts offend someone’s traditional mindset. Because of feminism, I am now a strong, outspoken WOMAN. I am proud of who I am and I am excited to continue to be a feminist activist.

Your StoriesErin Bagwell