A post written by Women’s Center staff member, Bria
My click moment was progressive. It proceeded slowly, with caution, and then consumed me.
For as long as it has been relevant, I’ve believed in autonomy. I didn’t have the word for it in 7th grade, but I knew that I was never obligated to dance with a boy at a mixer* or hug a stranger just because they insisted I should. I don’t remember the day I realized I was black, but I do remember the day I learned of “Affirmative Action.” Eleven years old is a little soon to tell someone they only got into that middle school because they are black. I knew of overt racism, but the door to covert racism swung open with the hiss of that tongue.
I don’t remember the day I realized I was a feminist, but I do remember the day my “friends” tried to make me feel like a slut** because I told them I lost my virginity to my then boyfriend. I was unaware at the time that they had become sexually active years before and were taking the opportunity to project some regretful feelings in the form of hate. I don’t remember the first time I spoke out in support of reproductive justice, but I do remember the devastation I felt after the only comprehensive reproductive health class at my high school was dropped due to its “insignificance” in relation to English and science.
And then there was the first time I consciously acknowledged my liberality.
The moment when you cross the line from spectator to activist is a scary one. You know there’s no going back, no renouncing your titles. It’s permanent. To go from the quiet girl who solely acknowledged injustices and microaggressions to the one who actively spoke out against stigma, prejudices, and misogyny… that was my click moment. It was a sneaky, powerful, positive, scary moment. Think of it like approaching the peak of a roller-coaster, but the thrill of anticipation never ends.
*mixer: a middle school dance
**slut: a person who should is shamed for their sexual activities