I need feminism. Why? Because I’m a sixteen-year-old girl. Because I’m told to “act more lady-like” when I’m not crossing my legs. Because I’ve been asked by guys whether I’m on my period, just because I’ve spoken up for myself against their evermore powerful masculinity. I need feminism because when I was in third grade, I was the only girl who couldn’t wear clothes from Aeropostale because all the sizes were too small. I need feminism because I never really fit the standards of pretty and skinny. Or blond with blue eyes and no arm hair. Speaking of which, I shaved my arms when I was nine until my mom caught me and told me I was “only supposed to shave my underarms and legs”. That confused me because— Why would it be okay to have hair in one place on my body but not in another? I need feminism because in order to look feminine, I’m told by society that I need to cover my acne with makeup. I can’t go out of the house without mascara because of the unrealistic standards created by men. I need feminism because my school dress code tells me that I need to wear a bra, as if my body is their choice. And, if god forbid anyone sees a bra strap (which is extremely contradicting), you’re sent home to find a different shirt. I need feminism because society has branded the word “slut” into my brain. It rings in my head when I see a girl whose cleavage is showing, or is wearing shorts that are a little too short. I need feminism because misogyny has turned women against each other. I need feminism because even just saying you’re a feminist implies you’re a man-hating lesbian. I need feminism because women have been taught that the only two body types are skinny and curvy. Fat is used as an insult. I need it because women who are sex-workers are ridiculed and raped and told that they are worth less than other women. I need it because some people believe cat-calling is a compliment. I need feminism because there’s still a war between pro-life and pro-choice. I need feminism because rape statistics say that one in six women are sexually assaulted (including rape) and girls ages 16-19 are four times more likely to be victims than the general population. We need feminism because it is not okay to tell another person why they can’t act like who they are.