It’s actually a surprisingly difficult question to answer in one sentence…so I couldn’t do it.

I know that this has been going on forever and I’ve just now mentioned it, but I want to raise a glass to the folks over at Who Needs Feminism for the wonderful work they’ve been doing, and for making me entertain a question that is hard to answer concisely.

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I need feminism because…

I refuse to ever again be referred to as a man’s “property.”

I am my own knight in shining armor, not your damsel in distress.

I deserve to be friendly without being called a “tease.”

I am not a decoration, and I am not obligated to be beautiful.

I should be worth more than sex to you.

I have more potential than just bearing your children.

I should not have to explain why I will not take my husband’s last name.

Being nice to me does not entitle you to anything and being my friend should not be your consolation prize.

Femininity is not a weakness.

No one should be embarrassed and ashamed of having been raped.

My future son should be allowed to play dress-up and have tea parties if he wants.

My future daughter should be allowed to play football if she wants.

“Being one of the guys” does not mark a woman as “superior” to her female peers.

I am a tax-paying citizen who is worth more than her uterus.

I deserve to walk home alone at night unafraid.

My friend should not have to explain why she wants to be a mathematician and not a mother.

My friend and her girlfriend should not have to decide who is the “woman” and who is the “man” in their relationship.

My boyfriend would be just as good at physics if he were female.

I need feminism because everybody needs it.

“I want to be valued, in ways that I am not; I want to be more than valuable. I repeat my former name, remind myself of what I once could do, how others saw me.”

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale