Figuring out religion as a teen is a weird thing. Figuring out religion and God and faith is a weird thing in general. It is asking to believe in something that you cannot see or hear or touch with blind faith and for many people that is a difficult thing to believe in. Many people, including myself, need hard facts. They cannot live off of the notion that there is someone, or thing, up in cosmos looking out after us.

I am growing up in a Muslim household, we are sufis. Sufism is a different path to the Muslim faith, like how there are different paths to Christianity. Sufism is deeper (I’m not putting down any other form of Islam), it’s less about praying 5 times a day and more about your connection with Allah(God) and how it affects your day to day life. I have grown up believing that Allah is all around us, within us, he/she is all around us and it’s weird but it makes sense to me. I don’t see Allah as this mighty man with a gray beard that over looks us small humans from up in the clouds.

But at the same time it doesn’t make sense. Because there is cold hard facts on how the earth was created and how we came to being, the big bang, evolution ect. But whenever I think that there is a nagging feeling in the back of my mind but how did everything start, before the atoms, before the universe before everything and it leads me to Allah. But that confuses me, because I can see this being that is supposedly around me and it bothers me. I go from cold hard science facts to being like “oh yeah God’s real, it makes sense” there is no in between, and I want to be in the in between.

Religion at this age is weird, and figuring out what you believe is even more weird because it’s just one more thing you are figuring out. I guess it’s just being a teenager that is weird. I don’t know. 

How feminism has helped me

So I realized I haven’t posted in a while, and this makes me sad. I obviously cannot post regularly because I forget and I’m lazy. But I do post, which is something. To me, maybe not to you. And by you, I mean you the reader the one who is staring at these words hopefully maybe with an amused look on your face. Because you are probably thinking “what is this girl rambling about?” because if I was in your shoes that’s what I would be thinking. Well that’s what I’m thinking right now actually, and how my coffee is cold, again.

Anyways I do have a point to why I am posting, not to just blabber on about things that aren’t important.

So feminism.

I am still new to it, I am still learning, well we’re all still learning. There isn’t like a badge of feminism that says “YOU ARE THE HIGHEST RANKING FEMINIST” no that’s not a thing, feminism isn’t like being a girl scout. That is what being a girl scout is like? I wasn’t a girl scout as a child so I could be totally wrong. ANYWAY. The point I am going to try to make is why feminism is important to me, Izzy. Many people have different reasons for believing in feminism, and I want to explain mine. Mainly because I just figured it out. I know why I believe in feminism and why it means so much to me now, and I think it’s a wonderful thing that I figured it out. I feel like I want to scream it to the clouds and talk about to anyone who will listen. But since everyone is working I will go to you, the reader/s, the internet! A magical place!

So I was in the shower this morning and I was looking at my legs, I haven’t shaved for a couple weeks or so, I initially didn’t shave all July but then some stupid thought popped up and was like Izzy shave your legs it’ll feel nice and I did, but it took a fucking hour to shave my legs, and I barely got any hair off so I just gave up again. But anyways my point to my legs is that, I’ve heard many stereotypes of the “typical feminist” and what they look like. The one stereotype that continues to pop up is a dirty, unshaven, butch lesbian. I and many people can say that is utter bullshit. Like people (because they are people gasp) feminists come in all different shapes, sizes, genders, skin color, sexuality, religion etc. So some feminist are straight edge, girly, weeaboos! They can be anything, and because of that the feminist community is so vast and different but everyone has the same intention, equality for everyone. Everyone is so understanding and accepting of everyone that it makes you feel better. Do you get what I’m saying?

I don’t think so, I’m just stringing words together hoping they make sense. Let me try again maybe.

Like before I “found feminism” I was really self conscious, I didn’t do things that I really wanted to because I thought be judged, and I thought wearing a lot of makeup would make me look like a “whore” and I just wasn’t happy with myself. But then I started to listen to Bikini Kill and I started reading books on women’s suffrage, and I got involved with the tumblr feminist community. And I realized something, I can wear whatever the fuck I want, I can put as much makeup as I want, I don’t have to shave my legs if I don’t want to. Because it’s not about pleasing other people, it’s about pleasing and making yourself happy. When I “found feminism” I became more open to peoples ideas, I was able to believe in something that made sense to me. It opened my eyes to what the world is like. I live in small community where women were treated like people, and there was a very prominent LGTBQ community. So I guess I took that for granted and thought that everywhere was like us, but it wasn’t. I’m glad that my eyes were opened to it and I didn’t stay ignorant to what is happening in the world. It’s good because if I went out into the world not knowing that everyone is not as nice as I think they are, I would I have been screwed. I’m not saying everyone is a horrible person but there are those people who are and you cannot avoid them.

I guess I kinda just grew up thinking that people were treated equally and gender or race or sexuality wasn’t being taken into account on peoples views on one another. So when I learned that it wasn’t like that, feminism just made sense. People should be treated equally, men should not dictate what I can do with my body, I want to have equal pay, I should not worry about my self image and how it affects other people, and most of all I want to feel safe about being self. And feminism showed me that, of course we’re gonna have to work for some of those things, we can’t just sit around and talk about it we need to stand up for our beliefs. I know if we try hard enough we can make a change.