I need feminism because I’m done holding back my anger because it isn’t pretty. I need feminism because I’m done telling myself to shut up when other women need to hear my voice. I need feminism because I’m afraid to leave the house if I’m bloated from PMS or have a bad skin day and my outlook on life shouldn’t be dictated by the way I look today. I need feminism because fuck the fact that when a homeless man tells me “Smile, pretty girl” I am trained so obediently that my facial muscles react before my mind does. I need feminism because I feel unsafe riding public transit and always have. Today a man with apparent mental handicaps started talking to me on the bus. Our conversation was going great and he was talking about how he gathered walnuts to feed the squirrels in the winter and something about that seemed so endearingly kind. Then when we got to main street he started pointing out all the “hot blondes” on main street. Then he kept staring at me and told me the reason he hadn’t talked to me at the bus stop was because my boyfriend was standing with me. I began to feel unsafe so I pulled out a book and started reading. I felt like a line had been crossed where instead of being a friend I had turned into an object to this otherwise gentle person. It says something that even those whom we are instructed by society to give the benefit of the doubt to or pity, such as homeless men and men with mental handicaps can make women feel unsafe at the drop of a hat.