I know it's no longer a radical revelation for a woman to declare herself a feminist. Plenty of other blogs exist with similar statements. Of course, there are those who respond to such declarations with outrage, which, to be fair, outrages me.
But it is not in defense of the term that I am declaring my feminism because frankly, I don't think it should need defending. It is because I feel powerful when I think it and say it. I am a feminist. I am a feminist. I am saying it for me.
Armed with an audio recorder, I joined more than 2,000 students to participate in what would become the United Kingdom’s largest Reclaim the Night march. Organizer’s describe the event as “a chance to light up the city of Manchester, amplify our collective voices and take to the streets and say ‘No’ to sexual violence against women, street harassment, rape culture and victim blaming.”
As I wove in and out of the crowd, capturing the sounds of reclamation, I passed a mother and child marching hand in hand. I had been there simply to record audio for a course project, but the young girl's chant of "keep the streets safe" transformed my role into that of a participant. Joining in the chants, I felt with certainty that women united will never be defeated.
Events like Reclaim the Night don't function as effective long-term reclamations. But they do serve as reminders of the powerful women who surround me and the powerful woman that I am. I say I am a feminist because it is my individual act of reclamation. It reminds me of how important it is to feel strong. And how difficult it can be to do that without a community.
I am strong. I am a feminist. And I am a part of a strong feminist community.