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The Five Men Who Made Me a Feminist

These men gave me a mix of good and bad experiences.
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It was on the same day today, three years ago, when I was dressing up in my room without knowing that a man was peeking into my window. My mom interrupted me as she had to throw something out and shockingly saw the guy who then immediately ran away.

He made me a feminist.

Because I hated how he sneaked into our property without fear just because he knew everyone inside that house were women. I hated how he reduced my body to an object that's meant to give him pleasure and satisfaction. My room has been the only place where I felt safe, but he managed to make me check my window curtains from time to time and make sleep harder at night because of the fear that someone's looking at me. I hate how I feared him for what he has done, when in fact he should be disgusted.

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I hated how he reduced my body to an object that's meant to give him pleasure and satisfaction.

My dad wasn't home when it happened because he spends a lot of his time at work. He always thought that as the man in the family, his main obligation is to work for us and not to be with us.

He made me a feminist.

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Because I believed that there was nothing wrong if he stays at home more often than not and looks after me and my mother. Patriarchy sometimes does not build a home but destroys one.

A few weeks after that night, my best friend told me about his depression and how he hides it because he doesn't want his friends to think he is a loser for being too emotional.

He made me a feminist.

Because I thought that all the emotions he is feeling are valid, that he is allowed to feel too much and that doesn't make him any less of a man. He is depressed, and he should not be associated with any other identifiers aside from being depressed. 

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All the emotions he is feeling are valid, that he is allowed to feel too much and that doesn't make him any less of a man.

As we both walked through the school canteen, a group of boys were shaming and calling their friend a "pussy" because he's serious about his girlfriend. These guys thought boys who have gone to a lot of girl's pants are the ones that should be celebrated because this is what they think masculinity is about.

They made me a feminist.

Because I hated how they considered women as the less important partners to men. I hated how they associated the P-word with being a coward or less. I hated how that one guy felt ashamed for being the better person in the group, for not being the one celebrated for treating a woman exactly how she deserves to be treated.

I hated how that one guy felt ashamed for treating a woman exactly how she deserves to be treated.

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One of the boys in the group was my ex-boyfriend. You can easily recognize him because aside from his perfect eyebrows, he has deep brown eyes. He stands out because of his long list of girls that he cheated on. It's not something he is ashamed of but something he brags about, especially because most of the people think it's okay: "It's normal because he's a guy."

He along with those people made me a feminist. 

I believe that gender should not be a reason to justify any certain mistake, that someone doesn't have the privilege to do something stupid or hurt someone else because of his or her gender. Your gender is not supposed to make you any special than anyone else.

All these guys made me see the imbalance issue, they made me see how we still need to fight for equality and disregard the gender roles that the society constructed. They made me a feminist and for that, I'm thankful.

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What events in your life made you realize you were a feminist? We're interested to know! Leave your answers in the comments below.

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About the author
Melissa Francine Quinal
Candymag.com Correspondent
Your socially relevant girl next door.
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