I moved houses, states, schools, all within the past year. I grew up in an environment in which progressive, trailblazing ideas were commended and labeled innovative. In this environment I first learned about feminism, the impacts of sexism, empowerment, and advocacy. In this environment I thrived. However, I couldn’t stay here. I moved houses, states, schools, all within the past year. The school that I currently go to is made up of a diverse population of students, all with very different views and different definitions of “cool.” My new school did not already have a feminist club so I started one. I started it in January. And what have I done so far? Nothing. Why? Because declaring myself as a feminist automatically makes me a target in this environment. I am in high school so naturally, people are judgmental. Throughout this past year, I let their judgment get to me, suppressing my opinions and my desire to advocate for a topic that I care so deeply about. It has changed who I am, not for the better.
Recently, I met a girl my age who went through the same thing at her own school. People who diss feminism and female empowerment tried to target her. But they were not successful. Why? Because she didn’t let them get to her. She didn’t let their judgments get in the way of her own ideals. She did not let them change her like I have done.
Now, going into a new year of high school, I aspire to be like her. I am still that progressive, trailblazing feminist I once was and I can’t wait to bring that to my new school this coming year.
What I have learned is to not let other people get to you. I take pride in who I am and I have decided not to let other people’s views of me and my ideals interfere with who I am.
In the words of MC Hammer, I have decided that nothing or any person “can’t touch this.”