I am a feminist. I believe in gender equality. Even if the word 'feminism' scares you off, please keep reading. Many people, especially men, have a problem with the word feminism. Simply because it reminds them of the words 'femme', 'feminine' or 'female'. Let me tell you something. Feminism does not imply that women should have more rights than men do. It does not mean that women are more important. Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. And that's more important than you think.

I do understand why men feel like they're not represented in the word feminism. The reason behind the exclusion of the word 'men', is that this issue is specifically about women. Once again: NOT because women should be the most important gender, but because to this day, women are being treated as inferior. They often do not have the right to make decisions about their own body; they're seen as property.

One day, my classmate told me that we no longer need feminism, because all genders are equal in our country. As I tried to explain to him why he was terribly wrong, he said 'No, I'm right and you are biased, since you're a woman.' I no longer had to prove my point; he had done it himself. I do, however, feel the need to write it down for you.

First of all, there's still no political and economic equality in our country. We may have some social equality; women and men are seen as equal in social situations. Political equality? Nope. Almost all top candidates of the political parties are men. Economic equality? Again: nope. Economic gender inequality is still very much a thing, since men get paid more for similar work. I won’t deny that I have a lot of chances and opportunities in my country, that I can become whatever I want to be. But don’t you dare come up to me and tell me that we no longer need feminism. For as long as men get paid more than I do, we need feminism. For as long as I can get raped because my dress is ‘too short’ or I was ‘drunk’ or ‘didn’t say no’ or because I ‘asked for it’ (???), for as long as people like Brock Turner serve just THREE MONTHS of a SIX-MONTH sentence for RAPE, WE NEED FEMINISM.

Second of all, this is not just about our country. This is about oppressed women all around the world who do not have a voice (yet). We should fight for them, too. That's feminism, too.

This is about so much more than getting paid as much as men, though. This is about the right to decide what happens to your body, to make your own choices. This is about being able to wear whatever you want, without being raped or judged for it. This is about being YOU, no matter your gender.

So, feminists are not the people you make them out to be. We fight for equality, for everyone. We seek to overthrow male supremacy. And by standing up, many women have achieved wonderful things in the past. Since it’s International Women’s Day, I would like to thank a few people. First of all: Aletta Jacobs, for giving me and my fellow women the opportunity to attend an university and become whatever I want to become, for fighting for the right to vote for women. Simply this should be the reason why all of us should go and vote on March 15th. Thank you to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, for standing up, and for writing ‘Eighty Years And More’, something I was incredibly inspired by. I would like to thank The Suffragettes, you have influenced my life like no one else has and you have given me the right to vote. A special thank you to Susan B. Anthony. I am utterly grateful. Thanks to Coco Chanel, because I fucking hate wearing skirts. I couldn’t possibly forget Maya Angelou. Thank you for not only inspiring women, but also African Americans. Emmeline Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale, Malala Yousafzai, Joan of Arc, Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir; your continued fight for gender equality is so extraordinary and inspirational that it couldn’t possibly go unnoticed.  

Lastly, I just wanted to tell you that you probably are a feminist, too. If you believe in gender equality, you’re a feminist. Don’t let that word scare you. Let it inspire you. Let it inspire you to do wonderful things to make gender equality happen. Let the women listed above inspire you to spread the word, to keep fighting for yourself and for ALL people around the world.

Happy International Women’s Day. Go get yourself some cake and then get out there to do something important.