Despite what my phone calls home sound like, my parents are the greatest, most understanding parents that a person could have. It’s not a matter of being blessed—it’s due, simply, to a lineage of well-tempered, good hearted people which my parents have learned from. Still, even though I adore my parents and appreciate everything they do for me and my brothers, we’ve always managed to keep a good line of privacy. As the youngest child, I followed the norms which my brothers had formed for me, which included a heavy amount of respected silence. My family never talks about our personal romantic relationships or the serious feelings we have when our mental health is wavering. I mean, I dated someone in high school that my parents never even met. I think my mom is under the impression that he took me to one concert in the city… I don’t even know. She knew I was safe and relatively happy with it, so nothing needed to be pried out of me. (See what I mean? Good parents.)
When Bitchtopia was starting to really come together, I couldn’t keep it to myself. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops: “THIS MIGHT WORK OUT. MOM AND DAD BE PROUD!” My day dreams were filled with images of my parents forwarding emails to their friends, including news snips about the website and them calling their friends to tell them how proud they are that I was able to pull this all together. Then it hit me… I never told them I was a feminist.
How do you come out to your parents about your political beliefs, when they include views that most of society would deem “radical”? My parents might understand that I feel differently on some level, but how would they feel if they knew that I identified as queer just because I don’t want to identify with heterosexuality? How would they feel if they knew that I’m pro-choice, even if the only reason for a woman getting an abortion is because they wanted one? Taking a political stance is one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done and I was never scared of the public’s opinion, but I’m dreading the conversation I’m going to have the next time I call home, after this is published.
I did not form my feminist opinions because I am angry at my childhood or because my parents treated me unjustly. In fact, it is because of my parents that I am intelligent enough to look beyond the surface of society, or to just do what I’m told because it’s told to me. It’s because of their understanding temperament, their endless adoration for their children and my ability to have some freedom and privacy from our family life, that I was able to explore my own political projects.
So, shout outs to you, mom and dad. I hope you’re not too embarrassed by the candid conversations Bitchtopia will start, while understanding that they are discussions that need to be had. Maybe one day, we’ll be comfortable enough to discuss them together. Until then, school is going well, I’m busy, I love you and I’ll call you later.
Ingrid (a.k.a. lilgrrrlcreep)
Editor In Chief