Wednesday was an important day for me. It included being on television, meeting Gloria Steinem, and realizing that the acceptance I’ve been searching might not come from my classmates, but from other feminists instead.
I’ll start from the beginning: I’m an activist and blogger for a great feminist group called SPARK. Along with two friends of mine from the organization—Sariel and YingYing—I was invited to be on Nick News to have a discussion for Women’s History Month with other teenage feminists…and Gloria Steinem. I cannot even begin to express the jumbled mix of excitement and anxiety that I felt about meeting her.
We all arrived at the studio and introduced ourselves to each other, then after breakfast, we headed to the show. For two hours, I sat next to Gloria Steinem (!) and had a normal-feeling conversation with her. It was bliss. We talked about our definition of feminism, the Equal Rights Amendment, the different waves of the movement—it was the longest conversation about feminism that I’ve ever had.
When it was over, we all went back to the green room and mingled over lunch. It was one of the only times this year that I’ve talked with people who really seemed to understand me. I was able to talk about misogynistic schoolmates of mine and share my problems with people got it, and cared. If I bring up gender equality with kids at my school, they just nod silently, but here—here they actually listened.
It was like this when I met up with my other friends from SPARK for our summer retreat. When I’m with other feminists—especially teenage ones—I have this sense of being at home. It’s a feeling of pure happiness, one that I feel nostalgic for already. I spent my three years of middle school (maybe even longer than that) searching for that feeling. I’m overwhelmingly happy that I found it, and sad that I can’t find it at school, where I have to be for most of the week. Oh well. ♦