When They Ask Why I’m A Feminist

 

Feminist[CONTENT NOTE: mention of intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, misogyny, drug use, disordered eating, sizism, transmisogyny, biphobia]

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Because of the crack addict who I put in my taxi to get her away from the men who stole her money and tried to rape her in the middle of the street.

Because of the man who told my girlfriend and I he was going to rape us and then ripped my shirt open because we didn’t want talk to him while we were hungover on a bus.

Because of the Crown Prosecution Service who said they wouldn’t prosecute him because we fought back when he tried to beat us.

Because of my friend who gets bullied because he is a nurse, and that’s a girls job.

Because of the people who assume he must be gay.

Because of the manager who told me my male colleagues were better at selling insurance, despite our sales figures showing the opposite.

Because of the man who said he’d call me a cab from the bar he owned ‘because being drunk and alone is dangerous’ and then tried to rape me.

Because of the woman who told me it was my fault for for being drunk and alone in public.

Because the police said the same thing.

Because of the man who, on a packed tube train, grabbed my breasts when he thought no one would see.

Because he told me I was over reacting.

Because of the friend who said unwanted sexual contact was just a fact of life.

Because she was right, but she shouldn’t be.

Because of the Job Centre staffer who told me that I shouldn’t finish my degree but become a manicurist instead.

Because of the lesbian bar bouncer who told me I was too femme to come in.

Because of the men who told me I was too pretty to be poor.

Because of the street harassment that doesn’t even register any more because I’m so used to it.

Because I don’t get harassed in the street when I’m with my boyfriend.

Because of the shop that told me they don’t carry my size because ‘no one wants to see that’.

Because of the friend whose rapist said he was going to fuck the gay out of her.

Because my employer banned us from talking about our salaries, so we wouldn’t find out 90% of the men earned more for the same job.

Because of the friend who didn’t recognise that his violent girlfriend was abusing him because women don’t do that.

Because of the man who flashed me in my works car park.

Because of the OKCupid date who said he messages bisexual women because they’re all sluts.

Because of the men who said bisexual women ‘can’t catch a dick’ so are ‘leaving their options open’.

Because of the taxi driver who told me I didn’t have to pay if I sucked his cock.

Because wearing my ‘this is what a feminist looks like’ t shirt in public isn’t worth the hassle.

Because of the friend who had her nose broken by her boyfriend when she started earning more than him.

Because of the women who told me if I didn’t want to be single I should try bulimia.

Because of the friend who was told she should make porn because she was a ‘chick with a dick’.

Because of the nurse that didn’t see why I wanted birth control when I was single.

Because I ran out of energy to write this before I ran out of things to write.

Because I’m going to get emails telling me everything on this list is a lie.

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Libby Baxter-Williams

Libby is a 30-something Londoner, who spends more time reading picture books than is seemly. She became a bi activist entirely by accident, but now she can't imagine living any other way. In the event of an emergency, she'll have a large gin and tonic, thanks.
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3 Responses to When They Ask Why I’m A Feminist

  • Avalon says:

    “Because I ran out of energy to write this before I ran out of things to write” <- This, so many times.

    Thanks for sharing, it's sad how many of these I can relate to.

  • Rhona O'Sullivan says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I can relate to so much of what you have said 🙁

  • Lottie Dingle says:

    Big big co-editor bi-five for this one, Libby! So proud to work with you xx Lottie.

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