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Are You A Feminist? Are You Raising Your Kid To Be One?

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy

Photography by Image via Flavorwire

What comes to mind when you hear the word feminism? Maybe it’s power, change, and individuality. But for some, it’s hard to understand what the word means, and no matter what you’ve seen or heard, it’s not all about being aggressive, throwing away razors, and lighting your bra on fire. For generations, women just like us have stood up for female rights—Gloria Steinem, Mary Wollstonecraft, Yoko Ono, and Bell Hooks, just to name a few, and nowadays, more people with big voices are taking a stand—Angelina Jolie, Lena Dunham, Sarah Sophie Flicker, and even Beyonce.

Many of you may be wanting to better understand feminism, which is, simply put, a range of positive movements and beliefs set out to achieve equal rights for women. Feminist movements fight for liberties that include the right to work, vote, earn equal pay, hold public office, own property, have maternity leave, and much more. Feminists also campaign to promote bodily autonomy, the right to birth control, and to protect all females from sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape. If this sounds like you and you’re interested in joining the movement, there are some easy steps you can take.

First, get informed. Learn how the world works and what you’re up against. Recognize sexual objectification. Know what you’re fighting for. Realize that feminism is not really about a battle between men and women—men can be feminists, too! Being a feminist is not about disagreeing with people, it’s about women being able to decide who they are, what they want to look like, what they want to do, and how they want to act. It’s about taking a stand for yourself, others, and the next generation.

Below, we’ve gathered some of our favorite quotes about feminism to inspire.

“You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female.'” -Diana Vreeland

“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” -G.D. Anderson

“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” -Bette Davis

“Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade.” -Constance Baker Motley

“In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: either she’s a feminist or a masochist.” -Gloria Steinem

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” -Malala Yousafzai

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” -Sheryl Sandberg

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” -Rebecca West

“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” -Margaret Thatcher

“Women somehow get portrayed as one type. You’re either a feminist or you’re not. You’re a working woman or you’re not. I’m raising two girls, and I say to them, ‘I need you to be strong and soft. You can be smart and beautiful… You can be all of these things.” -Maria Shriver

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” -Maya Angelou

We’ve gathered a handful of our favorite feminist movement items below for those of you who interested in learning more and taking a stand.

Are you a feminist? Are you teaching your children to be? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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