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Giving Up And Then Not Doing That: A Feminist Saga

Earlier this week, I almost gave up.  The cards were against me, non-cards were against me, God was like, “yeah, no” and I finally yelled “OKAY. I GIVE. MEN ARE BETTER AND STRONGER AND SMARTER THAN WOMEN AND WE ARE NOT EQUAL BECAUSE OF HUNTERS AND GATHERERS AND DONNA REED AND JESUS SAID ONLY MEN CAN BE LEADERS AND HE STARTED LIKE, A WHOLE THING SO HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT SO YOU WIN, WORLD.”

Basically, being a Feminist/Woman/PersonWhoLikesEquality is super hard and tiring.  Because sometimes a guy in your class will say something like “Yeah but men are objectified too and we don’t care so…” and you open your mouth and words come out and then no words come out and you want to curl under the desk clutching to a picture of Nora Ephron and weep. 

Usually, I am more than fine with being really annoying (*ahem, really amazing*) when I have an opinion about feminism and equality for all people.  Most of the time, I’m really happy to share my beliefs because I think they have merit and could eventually, someday, maybe help someone who is feeling crappy because of how the world treats them.  But as much as I have no trouble shouting from the rooftops about the latest Broad City episode and how it’s doing so much for women, it can be indescribably hard to speak up in front of people who really do not give a flying ferret (that image, my God, that image) about how women earn less than men for doing the same job and how actresses are asked more about their outfits than their character.

And I have to force myself to raise my hand.  I have to force myself to verbally question what that guy meant by “of course I don’t watch women’s basketball.” I have to force myself to be the person I think I am when I know I won’t see eyes rolled. The truth of the matter is (I heard this phrase on TV once so) people don’t like to see inequality.  They don’t like to think about issues that make them uncomfortable.  And when I can rise out of my pillow-ridden bed of denial for a minute and see that, I get sad. Very sad.  Weeping-Under-a-Desk-Clutching-a- Picture-of-Nora-Ephron sad. 

And then I just want to give up.  As empowering it is standing up for an issue, it is equally as disheartening when everyone just wants you to shut up.  And I really just wanted to this week.  But then I watched this PBS documentary (stay WITH me, people) about the women’s liberation movement and I was reminded of all the women who actually had a whole world fighting against them and they still did something.  They actually risked everything.  The last thing I actually risked was leaving a cupcake at a table alone while I went to the bathroom.  So yeah, I can afford a few soul-crushing moments. 

I owe it to the women before me and to the women now who kicking ass everywhere for me.

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Katherine is a junior/senior, graduating a year early.  She is a Film, Television and Theatre major with a performance concentration. Active in the theatre community on campus, she has appeared in 8 theatrical performances and is a producer for a student theatre group. She is also an aspiring playwright; an original play she co-wrote is premiering at Notre Dame in the spring. She loves effective air fresheners and putting her Spotify account on private sessions.
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