Feminism is...

We asked the applicants for the All Girl Army to share their definitions of feminism with us, knowing, understanding, and celebrating the fact that there IS no one definition of feminism, just as there is no one definition or experience of being a woman.

And so, from the mouths (or keyboards, as it were) of women from the age of ten to twenty-three, we give you the AGA collective definition of feminism, in all its fantastic diversity and unity.

Feminism is...

  • where women stand for what is right for all women.
  • my definition of choice. Feminism is advocating the idea that all beings, female, male or otherwise, are capable of making the same decisions for their lives. Feminism is putting me in *absolute and complete, no questions asked* charge of my life. Feminism is knowing that at any moment, there are hundreds of thousands of women that support, identify with and love me. Feminism is making my voice louder.
  • being equal to everybody, regardless of gender. In addition, to be equal, the playing field is not levelled through equal objectification, but no objectification on either side at all.
  • the fundamental knowledge that no one, no matter what gender and especially not women, are inferior to one another.  It is a movement, a lifestyle, an identity, and almost a religion. It is the refusal to be chattel, or subjugated, any longer. It's a collective of like-minded women fighting for their rights. It is those women standing up for themselves and saying, NO MORE.
  • about control and pride. It's about not accepting broad categorizations that society and mass media feed us with. It's about being okay and proud to be who and what you are, but it's also about wanting to become someone who's stronger and better on an everyday basis. It's about identifying the patriarchal flaws which are inherent to our society and collecting the right tools in order to fight and deconstruct them. It's about networking and connecting with like minded (or not) women in order to refine what 'we' are as a community so as to make us stronger as a group. It's about turning our backs to what's commonly accepted as 'feminine' but it's also about not feeling guilty when enjoying what's typically viewed as 'feminine' either. More importantly, this is about choice. Knowing we have different opportunities at hand and different pathways which are offered to us, and knowing we should feel free to pursue whichever goal we have in mind without guilt nor shame. Feminism is notions, concepts, people and ideas which empower women. Make them feel good, make them feel secure, make them feel like whichever fights they feel to need to engage in might be worth the price, because feminism works towards a common good.
  • one big conversation
  • not just about women who want wear pants. It's about men who want to wear skirts. It's about breaking down gender stereotypes and allowing all of us, men, women, and in between, to be who we want to be without fear of discrimination or judgment. Although feminism focuses on women's issues, women's issues are everyone's issues. When someone we know and love is better off- we are all better off.
  • the essence that binds individuals of both genders into a collective effort to balance the presence of gender influence and opportunity within society, with an emphasis on the currently disadvantaged sex: women.
  • being female and proud of it. Not letting men control you, and setting out to do something great as a human and a female.
  • Understanding that all people who exist have multiple identities (race, class, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc.), and it is through understanding how they are all interconnected that people will be seen for who they truly are whole people, and not just as categorical parts of themselves.
  • the practice of standing up for the equality of gender. Feminism is the belief that women are equal to men in every aspect that matters, and the belief that we as women have the power to make others understand.
  • women fighting for their rights, and that they are equal to men and that women don't have to do what men say to do.
  • the deep-rooted realization in any woman, that we are an oppressed, disrespected and underappreciated people and the passion to fight to be free.
  • the simple assertion that women are the equals of men - and should be treated as such.  A feminist is one who believes strongly in this and/or is willing to take action to defend it.
  • the desire to see women recognized as autonomous members of society, as well as the compassion and drive necessary to ensure that women are able to achieve that status. It means the subversion of the idea that women aren't as good as men, while still recognizing that there are differences in the sexes, and those differences should be celebrated.
  • about providing REAL choices to women, not the sort of rock-and-a-hard-place choice that women are often forced into.  It's about making sure that women control what happens with their bodies, their lives, and their destinies.  It's about creating a world in which women can make decisions about what kind of education they want to get, what kind of job they want to have, whether they want to have children, and if so, how many, who they love and what kind of sex they want to have, where they want to go and at what times of night, what kind of sports they want to play, what they want to wear and a million other things, and make these decisions without fear for their safety or their health, or fear of harassment based on sexism or any other -ism they might face.  It's about empowering women and making sure that no woman ever denies herself what she knows she truly wants because she thinks she is inadequate or unattractive or not capable enough, or needs to sacrifice it for the sake of someone else, or any other of the hundreds of negative things women are taught to think about themselves. It is about making a world where women and their life choices (including but definitely not limited to reproductive choice) are fully respected and affirmed.
  • a belief that women are equal to men (AND THEY ARE!)
  • Actively fighting for a chance for social, emotional, economic, educational, and sexual success in every woman, while supporting a woman's choices in life.
  • not about overpowering males but is about equality in society. it is about getting over the idea that women cant work as hard as men and that we are all equal and should be treated that way.
  • A woman who speaks her mind. She isn't scared to say her thoughts and has no fear of punishment for saying what is on her mind.
    Shes vocal. Shes fierce and she is a real woman.
  • power and the freedom to choose..... to be a mom, or to not have any children, to wear a short skirt because you're damn proud of the track meet your legs just carried you through, to enjoy food, sex, or speaking out without being labeled a pig, slut, or feminazi. It's also a movement that will not stop until men, women, and everyone in between are equal in the law and, more importantly, equal in the hearts and minds of a gender/ethnicity/religion/income/sexuality-balanced government.
  • about equality. Men and women regardless of race or sexual orientation have the right to gain equal status and have equal opportunities in our society.

    • An outlook, which acknowledges and enjoys the fact that gender is not restrictive or definitive, and allows women every assumed right and freedom that men have without personal judgment or criticism.
    • knowing what it means to you to be a woman and striving to be that ideal in your day-to-day life.
    • fighting to be seen for my achievements and attributes and not my appearance. It is fighting to be seen as a human being rather than just an object. It is fighting to have my opinions heard and considered rather than dismissed. It is asking not to be punished for being attractive and sensitive.
    • what happens after I wake up in the morning.