Apparently, I’m not a “real” feminist because I haven’t “suffered” enough. Instead, I’m one of those “college feminists” whose daddy paid for college and who will go on to live a picket-fenced life and raise my 2.5 kids and forget all about what life’s like outside the suburbs. Right?
Oh, fuck off.
You know what: I do have a really good life. And yes, I’m white. I have three degrees, all but one of which I paid for, in full, by myself. I’ve also been evicted from my apartment, subsisted on nothing but eggs and macaroni and cheese for two years, had my phone turned off because I couldn’t afford the bill, threatened a restraining order on an abusive ex, and told myself when I turned 19 that I would never live that life ever again.
And here in Chicago, after three months of temp jobs, I landed a cushy project assistant position at a telecommunications company.
And you know what?
I worked really fucking hard for this.
My sister’s currently in an off-again, on-again relationship with a former (?) meth addict who’s unemployed and sponging off his meth-dealer family. She’s got a child from a former boyfriend that she can’t afford to support and whose health insurance is paid by the state. She’s lived most of her adult life in subsidized housing. She’s employed only because my dad owns two small pizza franchises and has allowed her to work for him despite a number of altercations. She and her ex used to have screaming fights and hit each other.
And you know what?
I don’t want to live like that.
I live very well. And I live this way because I refuse to be white trash. I refuse to go back to subsisting on macaroni, and everything I’ve done in my life has been getting me to this place I am in my life. Education was my route to this life, and I’ve got 30K in student loans to show for it.
And I’m now a cozy college feminist in her cozy 3-flat in Chicago.
And let me tell you, there were many, many, many turns along the way that would have led me to a much different life. But this was the life I wanted.
So don’t tell me my opinion doesn’t matter because I have an education and you’ve had a harder road. I got hit with a lot of bad nuts, too, but this is where I wanted to end up, and with a lot of luck, some very good friends, and some good choices, this is where I am.
The fact that I can pay my bills (mostly) on time and have a desk job doesn’t give anyone the right to silence my voice.
Especially when they do it anonymously.