By: Judy Lai
Feminist. What a powerful word. Jam-packed into these eight letters are multiple meanings that represent the experiences and beliefs, as well as the unwavering resilience of millions of people all over the world. That, in itself, makes it more than just a word. Maybe that’s what makes it so intimidating — for me at least. My first year of university was like a typhoon that raged its way through my life, turning absolutely everything I knew upside down: my values, my relationships, my language, everything. For the first time, that unsettling, tip-of-the-tongue feeling I always had was validated. I had never been able to put to words why I was always so annoyed with playing second-fiddle to my brother, or why I thought my mom’s notion of a dainty, feminine, subservient daughter was seriously twisted. These are just a couple of examples of the huge, resounding, confusing themes in my life before I took my first women’s studies classes. I’ll always remember thinking, “Holy crap – that’s it!” in my Women in Canadian Society class because it was such an “ah-ha” moment. Finally, finally, finally someone knew how and why I felt this way. I was paving my way to embracing something I had always taken for granted: my powerful voice.
But even now, at times, my voice is like a little peep. It is not loud enough to fill a room and maybe it doesn’t move others to have their ah-ha moments, but I still feel like a feminist. Every bone in my body practically screams feminist. My every emotion and thought exerts feminism and those values and goals that push me forward every day. My goal, now, is to reflect this passion – this feminist passion – in everything I do. I want to reach, to go beyond that initial excitement to realize all that I am capable of: my full potential.
I am capable of everything under the Sun and everything beyond it too.
How reserved and soft-spoken I seem
An illusion to the roaring, pulsing, living
Being, womyn, woah-myn
That is me.
Loud and proud
Igniting that flame, that spark
That sets afire
The scorching path
This does not make me a contradiction.
I am conjunction
Beautiful, lone creation.
editor’s note: judy is a women’s studies and social work student from the university of windsor. she hopes to continue writing pieces that explore the process of forming a feminist identity.