Alexia Sambrano, a student at South East High School, wrote for High School Insider about why she is a feminist. Read a selection of her piece below.
I am a feminist because when walking to school with a friend, a man significantly older than me catcalled me and my friend from his car and no one bothered to help us.
I am a feminist because when I told the man that I was going to call the police, he seemed offended, and even told me to "calm down" because it was a compliment and I shouldn't be so mad or serious.
I am a feminist because most boys my age seem to be more disgusted with periods and menstrual cycles than they are with rape.
I am a feminist because my seventh grade health teacher told me that we couldn't discuss menstruation in class. I was terrified of my period and wanted to know more about it, but he still denied us the opportunity to learn about it.
I am a feminist because I read that a Latina woman gets paid 57 cents to every dollar a white man makes.
I am a feminist because every time I would talk with a classmate about why feminism is important to me and should be spoken of more, his only comeback was "that's why God was a man."
I am a feminist because when I tried to explain to my 10-year-old sister what feminism is, she told me that it doesn't matter because the boys in her fifth grade class will still continue to tell her she cannot play certain sports with them because she is a girl.
I am a feminist because my mom told me that I should know how to cook and clean for men because that's what her mom taught her, although she herself does not agree with it.
I am a feminist because from a young age, girls are indoctrinated to please men. We are taught that with masculinity comes freedom, and with femininity come restrictions.
I am a feminist because no one should feel the way I feel: voiceless, distraught, like no one is there to listen to what I have to say because they're all too busy telling me to shut up. I want everyone to have a voice, and that shouldn't take 10, 20, 30 years to happen. It should start happening now.
I am a feminist because how can you not be?