Tabitha Barr

This is the final edition for my first year at Hutchinson Community College. To say I’m sad would be an understatement, because writing this column every week has given me something that I didn’t know I needed.

‘The Women’s Corner’ has grown so much over this whole school year, and it has taught me a lot about who I am and how others react to values and beliefs being published. I guess I never realized until this column how opinionated people are, especially when it comes to feminist ideals in our world. I’ve gotten more critiques or hate toward this column than anything I’ve ever put out into the world. And I’ve learned a lot from that.

The first time I received criticism from my audience, I immediately became defensive. Not only for myself, but for the topic that’s labeled as a feminist’s column. I should have known that writing about a certain sex, especially one geared towards women, would lead people to think that said column is biased and too feministic to the point of hating men.

My god, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the “you just hate all men” and the “stop male-bashing” comments. That is not my column and if you can’t see that, I feel bad that you’re not grasping the concepts that I’m trying to spotlight. But I hope that from my columns, I have sparked a conversation. Whether that be of criticism or praise, it still made people talked.

I made people talk. I did that. And I couldn’t be happier and more proud of myself. I grew up a follower, not really having my own opinion because I didn’t see a reason to. But, now that I’m grown and I have a better understanding of the world and the people living in it, I finally have my personal views set and I’m proud of them.

That’s what this column has affirmed. I have learned so much about myself in this journey – I am a hardcore, unapologetic feminist. And I can say that without caring about what people have to say. Because I truly believe that women should be treated like any other person on Earth.

In writing these columns, I’ve had people argue the opposing side, of how women make these arguments of equality, but in truth want women on top. And to that, I always take a breath and then tell them that those types of people aren’t what feminists stand for. Those are exaggerations and are rare. Most women just want to be treated equal and given the chance to show how much we can do for this world. And by writing these columns weekly, I have started that initiative and the conversation has begun.

I didn’t realize my role in feminism until my senior year in speech class. My speech teacher, Melissa Loepp is a strong feminist and prompted me to write how I feel and turn it into a speech. In doing so, I dove into how I want to live by what my beliefs and values are. And I am so proud of myself in doing so.

I now know that I can’t let those who have differing opinions of mine, taint what I believe, nor should I feel bad about being proud of what I value.

Thank you to everyone who has read to what I wrote and made this school year a conversation starter. Although ‘The Women’s Corner’ won’t be a weekly column next year, I do hope that it has inspired someone out there and the conversation keeps flowing.

I am proud. I am a feminist.

Thank you for allowing me to learn and grow.

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