When I was 15 years old, my naive self fell desperately in love with a tall ginger-haired athletic boy who ended up -predictably to everyone else- breaking my heart. And in the entire time that I basked in that silly teenage romance, I have but one regret; I can remember the day that he asked me, in front of his guy friends of course, if I was a Feminist. I had no idea how to answer. I spun the question and told him that I believed women deserved equal rights and equal opportunities. But his friends chose to laugh and call me a "feminazi," that I was probably going to burn my bras and expect better jobs than men. Why this didn't enrage me, I'm not sure. My boyfriend - and in my 15 year old heart, my One True Love - took my hand and asked sincerely, "You aren't actually a Feminist, are you? You aren't a feminazi?" And, regretfully, I said No. I'm not.
Since that time in my life I have done a lot of growing, a lot of reading, and a lot of self-reflection. I can remember the day in University that I stood up and started telling people - "Of COURSE I'm a feminist, and I will be until I feel that championing this cause is overkill." But sadly, that day hasn't come. Realistically, it may never come in my lifetime, and that is why - I explained to anyone who would listen - it was up to us to tell people that we aren't afraid to call ourselves Feminists in order to highlight the gap that still exists. As Kavita Ramdas, today's speaker, says: "Feminism is not about fighting one distinct oppressor. Its against a deeply held set of beliefs and assumptions that we, as women, hold ourselves far too often."
This week's TED Tuesday Talk is given by Kavita Ramdas, a brilliant woman and feminist who has traveled the globe speaking to amazing women everywhere. Her insights are wrought with experience, anger, acceptance, and intelligence. In a time when women are universally seeking to overthrow many traditions, she gives her speech about Radical Women Embracing Tradition - and how this empowers them to make change.
We can be flowers, we can also be sparks of change.