Becoming a Feminist at 7 Years Old

We all have that story of something that sparked our descent into a particular social justice movement, that moment that lit the fire that still hasn’t run out. There were little things that contributed to my raging desire to dismantle the patriarchy from as young as preschool. I would get mad when the teacher would ask a boy to step on the trash to condense it because that was “a boy’s job.” Why did they think my big feet were unable to do the same? 

The ~moment~, however, came when I was in 2nd grade and my teacher asked all of the students what we wanted to become when we grew up. Being 2007 and watching Hillary Clinton run for President had inspired me largely, she is far from my favorite politician now but a woman successfully running for President left seven-year-old me shook, and my family is fairly Catholic, so naturally my response was “I want to be President or the Pope.” Without the blink of an eye, a boy in my class laughed and said “you can’t be either because you’re a girl.” While for one he was not technically incorrect, I would never be the same — I was furious, and that nature has yet to leave me. 

Suddenly, at a ripe seven-years-old, I was a raging feminist growing up in a blue county in a red state. My Mom brought me along to a rally for Hillary Clinton and saying that I was an inspired child would be insufficient to describe my feelings and associated desires. I had this desire to single-handedly dismantle the patriarchy. If in the 21st century it still had not happened under anyone else, then clearly it was my raison d’être, right? Overly confident, and a tad bit naïve, I set out on life.

While I have humbled with age and now understand that there is no success in attempting to single-handedly dismantle the patriarchy, my fire is still burning with no end in sight. I still joke about becoming the Pope, because that sounds like the ultimate “if you can’t beat them then become them” move and I am here for it. I now realize how little of a desire I have to become President because there is no value in becoming one with the government because we are not all cut-out to become war criminals. But hey, you do you.

My future may look a little different than seven-year-old me envisioned, but at least she had big goals and a desire for change. I cannot help but say that I am proud of her, whatever was going through her head was pretty solid, even if other things made absolutely no sense. She had good intentions, and decent desires of execution, but she was a mere 28 years too young for one of the positions and decades off from the other. 

At the very least, I hope that I am making seven-year-old me proud, today and every day.