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It's a little bit late for International Women's Day, but it slipped my mind that I'd planned to replace this post then. But I guess it's always International Women's Day at Ovarit!

We've all got a Peak Trans story, but this thread is more of a 'Peak Patriarchy' - a place to share your journey into feminism.

I'm particularly interested in answers to questions like:

  • What drew you towards feminism?
  • What have been your experiences the feminist movement?
  • How did you first encounter feminist thought? Books or blogs, youtubers or conversatisions with feminst friends?
  • Has your feminism changed over your life? For instance, were you a liberal feminist who radicalised?
  • What changes has becoming a feminist made to your life, your perspectives, your activism, your relationships, etc?
  • What are your priorities as a feminist?

(This is not a questionnaire or a test - these are just prompts to get you thinking.)

Looking forward to reading everyone's responses!

Earlier threads: [1], [2]

It's a little bit late for International Women's Day, but it slipped my mind that I'd planned to replace this post then. But I guess it's always International Women's Day at Ovarit! We've all got a [Peak Trans](https://www.ovarit.com/o/GenderCritical/13499/peak-trans-reprise-iii-tell-your-story-here) story, but this thread is more of a 'Peak Patriarchy' - a place to share your journey into feminism. I'm particularly interested in answers to questions like: - What drew you towards feminism? - What have been your experiences the feminist movement? - How did you first encounter feminist thought? Books or blogs, youtubers or conversatisions with feminst friends? - Has your feminism changed over your life? For instance, were you a liberal feminist who radicalised? - What changes has becoming a feminist made to your life, your perspectives, your activism, your relationships, etc? - What are your priorities as a feminist? (This is not a questionnaire or a test - these are just prompts to get you thinking.) Looking forward to reading everyone's responses! Earlier threads: [[1](https://www.ovarit.com/o/WomensLiberation/2493/how-did-you-become-a-feminist-tell-your-story)], [[2](https://www.ovarit.com/o/WomensLiberation/10146/how-did-you-become-a-feminist-tell-your-story-part-2)]

30 comments

[–] Alarming-Midnight 5 points (+5|-0) Edited

I've called myself a feminist for as long as I can remember--having an incredibly backwards thinking patriarchal father will do that for you in a jiffy. I was always told what is and isn't proper for me to do as a girl. (I'd get scolded for whistling 'cause only rowdy boys did that.)

In my pre-teen to teenage years my thinking was probably closer to what is considered liberal feminism. My parents wouldn't let me shave my legs to avoid getting bullied in school, wear swimsuits and go swimming with friends, wear tank tops or shorts, etc. I associated feminism with having the right to do these things that I wanted to. But I wasn't really knowledgeable about feminist teachings or social movements. I knew vaguely of the suffragette movement and women's rights--whatever they teach you in school. I associated feminism with becoming equal to men and proving that women and men aren't different.

My Catholic upbringing and education combined with my liberal-leaning community influenced my stance on birth control, abortion, pornography, and prostitution. All those things were not okay for me personally (Catholic part) but if others wanted to use or do those things that's okay since it didn't hurt anyone, or so I believed (liberal part).

By mid to late high school my views were definitely no longer aligned with liberal feminism. My father had just abandoned my family without warning. My mother uplifted our family singlehandedly by returning to the work force (after being a SAHM for almost 20 years) and supporting me and my sister. It seemed like a freak incident but it introduced us to a community of women who all experienced the same thing. Learning how common it was for men to abandon their families and for the separated women to be 'othered' by their old community definitively shattered any illusion I had remaining that men and women are basically the same or that feminism is simply about the equality of the sexes.

A year after college my 2 year serious relationship ended horribly. After the breakup I decided to try dating again. I had never used apps for dating so I began to read a lot of dating advice and stumbled across The Female Dating Strategy subreddit. I learned so much about the current state of dating that I had no idea was going on. For example, I truly thought porn was something only a small percentage of the population used and that it was basically like erotic novels on screen. I had no idea how violent and misogynistic the content is. I also had no idea that women were shamed for not wanting their SO to consume porn. I had no idea just how prevalent hook-up culture was. I didn't know about abuse disguised as PUA strategies. I had no idea that prostitution was being marketed as "empowering sex work" to 18 year olds.

In that same subreddit, someone mentioned Ovarit. I lurked on here for about a month and slowly discovered that a lot of what felt like common sense feminism to me had a name for it: radical feminism. Feminism that's unapologetically for women.

Now I'm trying to be more intentional and academic with regards to feminism. I'm trying to read works by Andrea Dworkin and expand my knowledge. I wouldn't call myself a radical feminist since I'm far too uninformed on the exact tenets of radical feminism or what any of the 1st wave, 2nd wave, etc movements of feminism mean. But I'm grateful for the insightful posts on this forum and looking forward to learning more. I'm also hoping to apply that knowledge to my activism and truly uplift women.

edit: fixed a horrible typo

Thank you so much for your story. So glad that Ovarit resonated with you. Hope you enjoy Dworkin too - I think you probably will!