No apologies.


Maya Angelou, American author, poet and civil rights activist, once said: “I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. I’d be stupid not to be on my own side.”

I’ve been a female for a while now too and I called myself a feminist for a long time, but I never truly was one. I must say that I have never been mistreated, and few times I’ve felt treated unequally; no men in my life ever disrespected me in any sense and I thought, and still think, that I’m capable of anything, of everything, and nobody will ever stop me.

However, not so long ago, I realised something I never thought to be true. Feminism seems to be trending and everyone is standing up for women and women’s rights, they all talk about these big issues still to be solved, we reach to women at the other side of the world, trying to help them, trying to gain the rights and treatment they deserve and, most importantly, trying to liberate them from male dominance. I know, I really know, those are issues that need all of our attention, they are the most important, but we should take just a second to look at our own society, because is far from perfect and, believe me, it is not feminist at all.

As a woman, I have been told how to behave since I was a child, what I was allowed to do and what I wasn’t, and all of it based on what people might think, on archaic social conventions we still consider strict rules. Don’t wear this, don’t wear that, don’t be with many boys; don’t swear, that’s not ladylike at all. Being a woman comes along with pressure and confusion, why can they do it but I can’t? Weren’t we equal?

And then I grew up, I got older and I came to realise how sexist and chauvinist the society around me was; I myself had become sexist and chauvinist, but I still claimed myself a feminist, but I definitely was not on my own side. How many times had I been criticized by the way I look or the way I act? Plenty, and how many times had I criticized other women by the way they look or act? Plenty. I think all of us have been judge at some point of our lives for things a male peer wouldn’t. We’ve been insulted, society has made us feel guilty and ashamed for what we feel, for doing what we want when we want to, because women are supposed to be “perfect”, “pure”, “educated” and “polite”. I guess I am not a woman then, and I’m really proud of not fitting in that description.

We need to consider what idea of a woman we have in mind, we need to think why we need a validation men never needed in the first place, why we have to work harder or enjoy less to be equal. I am tired of living in a society who asks me to prove I am worth its attention, a society that will infinitely judge for my mistakes and ask me to apologise afterwards. I am sorry, but no, I am not apologising for neither being who I am, nor for believing I am as good as any other person.

We need to urgently educate society in this matter, teach them that we are all equal; men, women, white, black, rich, poor, gay or straight we are all the same and no ideology is going to convince me otherwise, no person alive will change my mind about this, because I strongly believe is the only way to go. Moving forward until there’s no hatred, no restrictions regarding human rights and a society in which we’re all truly equal.

I am sure I will not suppose a great change in the world, I am sure my name will not remain in history alongside the names of big woman activists such as Malala, Emily Pankhurst or Maya Angelou; but I am sure I will never regret living my life the way I do. I won’t be The change in society, but I will be A change in society.

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