Dear Jessica Dobrinsky,
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Becca Rose and I too want America to be great. Like any of us, I don’t fit into a single box. I am a feminist, a Sanders supporter, a college student, a liberal, a hard worker, an independent mind, and a critical thinker. I also love “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth, and girl, if you wanna be swept off your feet by a nice, cute boy, then hell yeah I do too.
Which leads me to my first point: Feminism is intersectional, inclusive, and empowering. Feminism is never about tearing people down. I’m sorry that your experience as a feminist pushed you away from the movement because I believe that the Twitter trolls you encountered are NOT representative of the movement. Feminism is about eradicating the stigma surrounding gender roles, but it’s not about forcing people to abandon them all together. For some people, that’s where they’re comfortable; That’s where they thrive. To the men who want to be the hero and to the women who want to be romanced, hell yah I hope it happens for you! And to the men who don’t subscribe to what is stereotypically “masculine” and to the women who want to be their own hero, hell yah you do your thing! Feminism is all about giving men and women options, the freedom to choose; to be who they are without having to worry about what the world is telling them to do or be. Unfortunately, feminism is flawed because we as humans are flawed. (Shameless plug for Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.) There will be people who misinterpret the movement, who redefine it, who misrepresent it, but please don’t let those people deter you from a movement that is fighting for equality for both women AND men on both the Left and the Right. I am a feminist, and I support and respect you.
Second, I’m sorry that your experience with people who called themselves liberal made you feel like you couldn’t be yourself and exercise your rights freely. In the spirit of full transparency, I am not a Trump supporter. However I’m surrounded by people who voted for Trump every day – I call them my friends and family. They’re not evil or hateful or racist. Just as there are some Trump supporters who are sad representations of the Right, there are some Sanders supporters and liberals who are poor representations of the Left. At the end of the day, we all share the same human experience. Anyone who uses fear-mongering tactics or excludes and degrades those who believe differently than them is just straight up wrong, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum. I’m sorry that you were harassed by the boys in the truck simply for wearing a Trump t-shirt. They are not a fair representation of the Left and certainly not of the Sanders’ movement.
Apologies don’t really solve any of these issues and they certainly don’t change your experiences; and it is our experiences that lead us to the decisions we make, which lead us to bringing about the change we’re looking for. So consider this an invitation to talk through these issues. As I’m sure your experiences have led you to find, nothing is as black and white as it seems. It renews my hope in critical thinkers to see that you’ve found your people and your voice – It’s hard enough to find those things in life in general, but I think it’s especially difficult in college. So I extend this invitation to chat in the hopes that we can stand on common ground and build a bridge for our generation. I’m tired of the “all Republicans are misogynists and racists” and “all liberals are intolerant snowflakes” bullshit. Neither sentiment is true, and we know damn well that it’s absurd to make such sweeping generalizations yet that’s pretty much our entire political climate.
Nevertheless, I’m creating a political and social issues podcast and I would love to be able to talk with you for the show, work through the bullshit, and find a way for our generation to actually get something done for our country.