A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY LYNDSEY MILES
Feminist is such a loaded word. Many of all genders find it to be distasteful. They believe that being a feminist means something like women want to be better than men, or that feminists are against any traditionally feminine tasks or clothing. They think that feminists need to be going to rallies and hating on men. Feminists don’t wear bras, and they certainly won’t be caught dead in a dress or heels. In some places, to be called a feminist is comparable to a supremacist. I think that we need to rewrite that. Feminists don’t think women are superior to men. They want everyone to be equal. The whole point of the feminist movement is equality, not superiority. Most feminists are not against being feminine. They simply want equal rights! Being a feminist is peaceful, unlike other movements, like white supremacy. Riots and attacks are not equal to marches and posters. I consider myself a feminist, and I am a teenager. I make my own decisions about how I feel about certain topics. I wish I could have gone to the Women’s March or the March for our Lives, but it didn’t work out. I hope to one day be an active member of my community because I am an 8th grade girl, and I am nervous about being successful in the career I wish to pursue simply because I was born female, so I push myself to be the very best I can, to the point of having a lot of stress about my life. Other girls in my class have similar feelings. The boys in my class have much less concern, playing video games all day during class. They know that they can probably succeed in whatever career they choose, and are more likely to get hired than their potentially harder working counterparts. I realize that we are middle schoolers, but gender is already separating us. Girls are beginning to sit out in PE because they “have to”. While boys are playing our favorite sports, we sit and talk. I love PE, but I often find myself the only girl playing soccer or hockey, or running laps. I know who I am, and I want other girls and women to know who they are too. That is what feminism is to me. Many men are feminists too, because they realize that women are being dealt the short end of the straw. In 2018, things such as LGBTQ rights, and Black Lives Matter are being separated from feminism, but they shouldn’t be in my opinion. What do they all want? For everyone to be equal. Straight white men shouldn’t be making all the decisions, and the shouldn’t be the only ones who matter and are given basic privileges of humanity. I am proud to be a feminist, and I want to be more of an activist. I am located in a state where teachers are treated unfairly (Arizona), and I recently went to a RedforEd rally, and it made me realize how good it feels to be part of a change. I am in the middle of many issues today, for example, I am a teenager going to school every day in fear of being shot. I am also supportive of reproductive rights, Black Rights Matter, and LGBTQ rights. But, first and foremost, I am a woman who wants everyone to be equal. Not just women and men, but those of all genders, and races, and sexualities. That is what a feminist is to me.
Lyndsey Miles is 13 years old. She lives in Surprise, Arizona. She attends Marley Park Elementary. About writing she says, “I write because I think I have a lot to say. Writing allows me to express myself because I have trouble articulating it, but I can write my opinions very efficiently. “