In that moment though, as trite as it may sound, I realized that feminism cannot be dead, because, as long as there are people like this, people like “him” and the networks of those seemingly more reasonable, pacifying types surrounding “him” who excuse inexcusable behavior, dismiss harassment, ignore misogynistic comments, and treat chauvinistic attitudes with levity, the survival of feminism is not only crucial, but ethically required of us as a culture.
I am a human but I am also a feminist. I am a feminist because not being a feminist is not merely a circumstantial choice or preference: it is a moral flaw. I know this now. I don’t listen to riot grrl music or practice particularly esoteric sexual behavior. I wear dresses everyday and am compelled to learn how to dance. I try to feel pretty almost all of the time, and part of me always believes that if I lose fifteen pounds I will be, not only a more beautiful, but also a happier person.
But that isn’t everything. I am damn smart and I am pursuing noble purposes: not merely through my actions, but through the use of language. And I refuse to be relegated to an object, sexual conquest or measured in the terms of a gendered stereotype.