Was I born a feminist, or am I always growing into being one? Sure, I was born a woman, but as we all know, that’s neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for being a feminist. Many women won’t or can’t call themselves feminists. My brothers and some good male friends are what I would call feminists, in that they are aware of their inherent privilege, work to live with it and to mobilize it against injustices (individual, systemic) that affect women.
I am a feminist myself in that I try to do this too, even though I sometimes find myself unwittingly participating in situations where sexism and patriarchy are reinforced. In these moments I remember that being feminist is not about proclamation, but about action — beginning in our everyday lives and practices but grounded in social justice. So, today, on International Women’s Day, I would like to provide some reminders of why we, women and men, still need feminism. For our bodies, our selves, our work and our lives.