Ain’t I A Feminist?

I like to think of myself as a feminist. I’m very supportive, concerned and empowered about our issues, concerns, struggles and triumphs.

However, sometimes I feel like I’m not as much a feminist as I think I am. I am not bothered by the language in rap music. I feel like that’s a dead end battle. I feel like I’m not personally offended by it and I don’t have the “But he ain’t talking about me” defense line either. I can’t tell someone how to talk about their experiences.
As a woman, I feel like you shouldn’t disrespect a woman period. On the other hand, I’ve known several women who weren’t a good representation of us that I’m sure I’ve called a bitches based on their actions or just because I wanted to be a mean girl as I have been in so many moments in my life.
See my dilemma? 
But I’m a girl’s girl. Straight up. All of my friends are women. I have tight circle of my best girlfriends and I will go to war over any of my bitches. I mean homegirls. I follow all rules of the girl-code and will cut out any chick that doesn’t. Believe that. But not all women feel that way. 
Remember when you would go out with your girls and it was always at least another group of girls looking at you with the side-eye? I’ve learned to ignore that in my adult years but back in the day, it used to be a cold stare down and eye roll to death.
Dare I even mention that I’m even a fan of Chris Brown? I don’t have any type of rationale or excuses for his behavior, twitter antics or anything. But he makes good music and he’s a pretty good dancer. I don’t need much else from him. Like everyone else, I think he should be able to move forward with his life.
Does that mean that I’m soft on domestic violence? I’m not sure. I’ve found that it’s so hard to do work in domestic violence. A part of me tries to understand why women stay and are afraid to leave an abusive relationship. But then there’s the me with 3 brothers, crazy parents and even crazier friends that’s like “Nah man, ain’t no dude ever worth getting your ass beat over.”
I can sympathize but to this very day, I really truly cannot understand. I’ve had friends who were in physical fights with boyfriends, attacked in front of large groups of people where no one did anything and even locked in closets by crazy boyfriends. At first I would try to convince them to leave the guy alone but it would go in one ear and out the other.

There was nothing I could say to change anything so I learned to do what most folks do in domestic violence situations these days: mind my own business. That idea itself is toxic and deadly but if they don’t want to leave, what can I do? Eventually, they got tired of dealing with that got the courage to move on. I still feel unsure about what we can do from the outside looking in to help those situations. 

Although I’m a woman,  I still need to be educated about issues that are affecting millions of women each day.
I am passionate about women’s issues: sexual abuse, rape, equal pay, access to birth control, abortions and the list goes on. I want women to succeed. I want us to be strong. I want us to continue to carry the world as we have done since the beginning of time.
But am I truly a feminist?

Veronica

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