I’m A Feminist, But There Are Things About My Sex That I Absolutely Hate


I’m a Feminist. But sometimes I hate how women act. I hate how women throw words around like ‘slut’ and ‘prude’ and ‘slut-shamer’ and ‘virgin-shamer’ and ‘trashy’ and ‘whore’ and ‘easy’ and ‘hard-to-get’ like this is acceptable. Like this makes women look good. Like this is what Feminism is about: labeling other women, shaming other women.

I’m sick of the way women treat one another.

A girl speaks about her sexual freedom, says she can do what she wants with her body, and that’s okay. It is okay. It is her decision, her life. But this girl is labeled as a slut. She’s told she’s trashy. She’s told she’s throwing around her body. She’s told she has no self-respect.

Another girl writes about her decision to be someone who doesn’t sleep around. She says she doesn’t want to be the kind of girl a guy calls when he’s lonely. She wants a relationship over Friends With Benefits. And she’s called a tease. A prude. Conceited. A stupid, self-centered b*tch who thinks she’s better than everyone.

These are words from other girls’ mouths.

I believe women should be strong. I believe women should have a voice. I believe women should have the rights to do (or not do) whatever they please. I’m a Feminist.

But there are things about my sex that I absolutely hate.

I hate that women are the ones breaking other women down, myself included. I hate that it’s the female voice I hear the loudest. Not building other women up, not praising other women for their choices, how different they might be, but chastising. Judging.

New flash ladies: Women have different opinions on the same issues. That doesn’t mean any of them are ‘less Feminist’ or ‘lesser women’ because of this.

Feminism isn’t about tearig each other down.

Feminism isn’t about shaming a woman for her outfit, saying she’s ‘asking for it,’ or saying she’s dressed too conservatively and therefore a stuck-up prude.

Feminism isn’t about judging other women on the clothes they wear, the decisions they make, or what they wish to do or not do with their bodies.

Feminism isn’t about the freedom to have or not have sex. Frankly, it’s not about sex at all.

Feminism is about building one another up. It’s about the hundreds of different opinions that make women who we are—unique, individual, strong-minded, kind-hearted, wonderful, complicated, passionate creatures.

Feminism is about the ability to have these differing opinions, these thoughts, beliefs, feelings. Feminism is about expressing these ideas, sharing them, becoming women with voices that matter.

I don’t want to be a Feminist who is angry at her sex. I want to be encouraged by the words of the ladies around me. I want to build other females up.

I want us to stand together, despite the fact that we may not agree.

I want to hear words of positivity and of strength, not of hate. Not labels. Not anger.

I want us to fight for one another, not against.

I want to show the world we are strong. United in our differences. Confident and feared.


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.