If you’ve been following my Twitter and Facebook lately, you’ll know I was recently bombarded with over 20 angry notifications from anti-feminist haters on my Twitter account, within the span of about three hours. (Like I said on Facebook: It’s official now. I am a woman on the internet!)
But one thing that occurred to me as I scrolled through the entertaining feed on my phone was that a lot of the people harassing me didn’t even have a real picture on their profile. They were cartoons or memes, and I found myself thinking, “What a coward — spewing hate, but hiding behind their screen with a fake picture.”
And I realized that I’ve been failing you, my friends.
In my post, I am a Feminist, Loud and Proud, I made a promise to never hide about being a feminist again.
I said that I am no longer afraid to admit that I am a feminist in public.
I said that I am no longer afraid of being judged.
But I’ve been no better than those who attacked me.
Despite my promises, I’ve failed completely.
Well, maybe not completely — I do call people out more often and I’m not afraid of saying I’m feminist anymore.
But despite my realization that I can’t hide behind my screen writing posts and call myself a feminist, I’ve continued to do just that.
I’ve changed the way I see things and have been dealing with social interactions differently, but online, I’m being just as cowardly as those who anonymously attacked me Monday afternoon.
I may have been lighthearted and witty with my responses, but by failing to put a face to my “courage,” I failed to represent myself with dignity.
Honestly, it felt like I failed feminism itself.
I mean, that’s not really true — I haven’t become anything that feminism has been fighting. I didn’t become a man-hater in my quest for equality.
And part of my hesitation to stop being anonymous has been that the person who assaulted me will read my blog and find what I wrote, and then emotionally attack me.
That’s a pretty valid concern.
But I owe it to the cause and my readers to put a face to my voice, and not hide or pretend about who I am.
Because if we hide about our beliefs, aren’t we only validating those who say it’s weak and pointless?
We cannot be anonymous feminists — not online, and not in real life.
We need to voice our opinions.
We need to have courage and learn from our mistakes, because (clearly) they are bound to happen.
Look what happened to me — being an anonymous feminist just makes me look like I know there are so many people who argue against feminism, and I don’t want to face it.
And that is not true.
If I’m confident in my beliefs, why hide about them?
And I mean… if we can’t stand up for our beliefs, then who will?
So here it is.
My name is Sareeta.
I grew up in British Columbia, Canada and I have since moved to Alberta.
I am 23 years old, and just graduated from university in April 2015.
I was sexually assaulted when I was 17 years old.
I am queer.
And I am proudly feminist.
It’s nice to finally meet you.
Have you experienced a failure lately? Let me know in a comment below!
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