If you were to randomly ask me to describe myself, the word “feminist” would be high up on that list. I grew up in a household where women and men were equal, where I was encouraged to stand my ground and to never back down from a tough situation. I was taught to understand that my story isn’t the only one that should be heard; that being an ally was just as important as being strong for my own sake. Growing up, I was so sure of myself and of my outlook.
During my years at college (and even beyond college), I was confronted with so many people who were anti-feminist; who couldn’t understand what feminism was or why it was needed. And for years, I fought the good fight. But after quite some time, I got tired. I was tired of having to explain myself and my perspective to other people. I was tired of explaining why sexual assault was a bigger deal than they thought. I was tired of explaining issues women around the world faced and why we should care. I was so tired that I ended up shutting out people who didn’t agree with me and tuning out of conversations that I was normally so invested in.
However, I found that staying out of the ongoing conversation didn’t make me happier. In fact, staying out of it made me even more upset and feel more exhausted. So, after looking into how I should best approach this conversation, I determined a very important thing that I want other tired feminists to know: You don’t owe anyone anything. You don’t owe someone a lesson in feminism. It’s not on you to explain to them what challenges and dangers women, non-binary and transgender people deal with on a daily basis.
Now, this definitely doesn’t mean I don’t try. But I do have a better clue of when to dip out and count my losses. Because if someone isn’t open to hearing the cold hard facts explaining why feminism is necessary, fuck ’em.