…Because my great-great grandmother committed female infanticide as she bought into the idea that girls are useless because we can’t ‘carry on the family name’. Perhaps because my great-grandmother had bound feet that crippled her for life just because ‘lotus feet’ made girls marriageable.
And because that legacy still lives on today in that my relatives insist I must eventually want to get married and have kids, that I shouldn’t be ‘so ambitious’ about my career and find a nice guy to settle down with after uni. Even though they never say this stuff to my guy cousins because it’s automatically assumed they can balance work and family.
I’m not going to insist that people (esp fellow women) must label themselves one way or another because that’ll just be reproducing a marginalisation of their voices. But…if you’re coming with me with the whole ‘feminists are bad, you shouldn’t call yourself that’, sorry no. None of that ‘lol feminism used to be good but it isn’t anymore.’ Feminism has always been a flawed movement from the very beginning due to issues of imperialism, ethnicity, class, trans issues, homophobia etc and it’s obvious to me as an East Asian woman. I call myself one because it’s what the women who campaigned to ensure I wouldn’t be living in the same type of conditions as my great-grandparents labelled themselves with. I call myself one cognisant of how- like any movement- it has issues within it, and that it’s my responsibility to call it out too as long as I consider myself a feminist.