I am a young Latina feminist.
Why does feminism matter to me? Feminism is the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women. However it runs deeper than just that, I do not want to be discriminated against based on my sex, just as I do not want to be discriminated against based on my ethnicity, class, or sexual orientation. Feminism matters to me because it takes into account all of these issues and addresses the interconnections of identity, oppression, and activism.
I believe in women’s empowerment. We are still under-represented in government. In the year I was born, 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to be appointed on the US Supreme Court. In the entire history of the US Senate, 38 women have served, with 17 women currently serving. Latina women are the most under-represented demographic in the US government. Latinas have served in the US House of Representatives but we have never served in the Senate.
I believe in economic justice for women. A fulltime working woman still makes 23 percent less than a fulltime working man. It was only 47 years ago when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963. Women should not be expected to bear children, nor should we be penalized in our careers for choosing to be mothers.
I believe I should be free to be me. I should be able to follow my own path without feeling that my sex determines or will hinder me in creating my way.
I am a feminist because I believe women should embrace their sexuality and cherish our beauty and sensuality. We should not let it be exploited nor taken for granted. We should be able to explore our sexuality without judgment.
I believe we should have control over our own bodies. We should have access to information to help us make our own intelligent choices.
To all my sisters, we should work together, not compete against each other. We have come a long way but we still need change.
29 years old
Finance Staff, Ms. Foundation for Women
Part of 2010 Young Feminist Blog Carnival