My parents gave me the best education they could afford. They were very keen on me and challenged me to perform my best at school. Never did being a girl hinder me from acquiring what I needed growing up alongside my three brothers.
However, they were very strict on who I associated with especially in my teens. My mom would throw a disapproving glare when I talked to a boy. She would occasionally tell me to walk straight home, not to talk to ‘anyone’, to only respond to greetings and walk away as fast as I could.
I went to a girls’ boarding highschool. My relationship with the other gender was therefore limited. At home, my only relation with men was my family – my brothers and dad.
I started resenting men in my teens. My contempt for them only grew as I got older. I would literally avoid any interaction with even those at my age. I think I was terrified as much as I hated them. This did in some way make me focused on my studies as opposed to most girls who were distracted by ‘boy drama’.
My first real interaction with men was after highschool. It was then that I first fell in love – of course I was sneaking around and no one knew about it. This changed my perspective about men. They were not ‘monsters meant to ruin my dreams by getting me pregnant’.
My experience in campus further affirmed this new perspective. I had healthy relationships with men. Friendships and some romantic relationships.
So my parents were not entirely right about men being evil and dream crashers. Men are only humans who make mistakes sometimes. I understand they were only trying to protect me only that their method had significant negative side effects.
Getting to know and understand the other gender for myself has been enlightening. I am still learning to trust them in my relationships. My contempt for them has since been transforming to something healthy and good. This is why I became a self proclaimed feminist.
My experience has taught me that feminism is not about holding contempt. Its about fighting for equality for all gender. Its about ensuring that both men and women coexist equally and contentedly. For this reason, I started a blog a while ago where I challenge everyone to be a feminist. This world will only be a happier place with feminists in it.