With the word 'Feminist' being tossed around so aggressively these days like it's the worst thing a woman can be, I like so many other women in the world will proudly admit to being one.
Does that make me bad? No.
Do I hate men? Quite the contrary.
What I can tell you is that I've been a feminist probably since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Although I didn't know there was a word for it back then.
By the title of this post, you can probably guess who turned me into a feminist, although he did have some help from my mom.
You see, when I was younger and in about second grade my mom would continually tell me that "can't" should never be part of my vocabulary. If you put your mind to it, worked hard and stayed determined, I could do anything that I set my mind to.
And I grew to believe it.
So as I was growing older my dad would come in and do the rest.
"Get an education."
"Get a good job."
"Never depend on a man."
"Never put all your money into a joint bank account."
"Don't cry over a boy."
"Learn to do your own taxes."
"Learn how to change your own tires."
Because my parents were divorced, one of these lessons would be drilled into my head almost every weekend. So I knew how to change a tire before I even knew how to drive. I knew that if I wanted something, to never depend on somebody else getting it for me.
By the same token, my grandparents lived in a small town in Mexico where gender roles rule. Women and girls stayed in the house cooking and cleaning, while the men and boys got to go out and do things. They played sports. They played video games.
Well guess who would be the one to get into trouble almost every day for questioning and rebelling against those gender roles? You guessed it! Me. I was constantly getting into trouble for playing video games in the small arcade, for climbing trees and throwing rocks and breaking glass bottles, and just being too aggressive for a girl. But I didn't mind. I liked it. I would hear my mom's voice saying, "Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something."
And if you were to ask my father whether or not he's a feminist, he would probably tell you that he wasn't. But here's the thing guys, if you want your daughter to get an education, so that she's gets a good job, so that she can support herself and not have to depend on a man, then you're a feminist. If you want your wife to be someone who works and contributes money to the family income, then you're a feminist. If you leave her to choose her own clothes, then you're a feminist.
So Dad, thanks for making me the person that I am today.