I know I am a little late, but the truth is I struggled on whether or not I should even post it because of issues like equal rights, feminism, etc. are touchy subjects, and I didn't want the haters to hate… I got over it because every time I logged into my website the drafted version just kept yelling at me to go ahead and post it so here it goes.
So just in case, you didn't know, I am a girl… I am a girl who gave birth to a little boy. I am a girl who has worked in a predominantly male industry since I was 18. I am a girl who plays pool competitively. I am a girl that lost her mom and her only sister in the last two years, crowning me the matriarch of the family and with that comes great responsibility. I feel like I can no longer avoid saying things that I might usually keep quiet about just to keep the peace because if I don't say them who will? If I don't say them, then my son doesn't know any better, and my nieces have no reference on what they should or should not expect from work and life and love.
I am surrounded by men almost all the time whether it be my son, my dad, my brother, my nephew, my boyfriend, my co-workers or the guys I play pool with, the majority of people that I spend time with are male. I am almost always greeted with respect and treated with equality. My family has always been this way, but as far as work and the pool hall go, I had to earn that respect. It wasn't just handed over and to this day I still find myself in situations where I have to keep winning it, and I can live with that, I have no complaints because I know that there are so many women out there who get subjected to far worse conditions.
I consider myself a feminist and my claim come in the purest sense. I would never burn my bras, partly because I bought them at Victoria's Secret and they were freaking expensive but also because my only definition of feminism is that I am all for equal rights. I believe with every fiber of my being that I deserve the same rights that men have.
I would like to express my appreciation for all of the women who came before me that paved the way for me and many others. Because of them, I grew up believing that I really could be anything I wanted to and that anything was possible with enough hard work. Those women from our history books, they created so many opportunities regardless of the discouragement, obstacles, and consequences that met them at every turn. Their perseverance granted us access to affordable childcare, equal pay, and access to safe, legal and affordable birth control - including the right to choose.