When I ask about feminism, many people have described it as a rather simple concept to me. I've been told that being a feminist is simply believing that all women should be treated the same as men. But I feel like feminism isn't all that simple. There are other aspects of feminism that I feel like some people ignore.
The thing that bothers me the most is when I see lists describing the "best feminists." To me, feminism includes supporting other women. I feel that as women, we need to support each other. Instead of pulling each other down and pointing out flaws, we should work to rise up together.
It all seems a bit idealistic, but I've experienced it amongst the HuffPost Teen bloggers.
I refer to them as my family, because that's honestly what it feels like. I know that I can text or message anyone whenever I need them. We discuss random topics, from politics to pop culture. We support each other.
Whenever I see one of them succeed, I don't ever feel jealousy. And I know, that sounds like the biggest lie in the world. But it's true. When I hear that one of them has achieved something great (which is pretty often, actually), the first feeling I have is happiness. And pride.
It's like hearing that your brother or sister has gotten accepted to college, or started a magazine or covered an award show. Only better.
The best part is probably that everything occurred so naturally. No one forced us to talk to each other. No one forced us to start group messages, or to follow each other on Twitter or to trade phone numbers.
It just happened.
This relationship is especially important to me among the girls. Honestly, I'm not sure if every female HuffPost Teen blogger identifies as a feminist, but it definitely feels like it. I've never, ever heard or seen another one of these young ladies tear down another woman.
I find it so amazing that we can all celebrate our differences and accomplishments without having to belittle each other to feel valid. Sometimes it's hard to forget that the rest of the world doesn't work like our little family does. It's weird when I hear other girls insulting each other.
Especially since I used to put down other girls to raise myself up, and tried to pass that off as feminism.
Instead of pointing out who is or isn't "feminist enough," I think we should work together. We should have each other's backs. After all, we're stronger as a unit than we are when we're divided.
The ladies at HuffPost Teen have taught me that women need to protect each other. Other women are not our enemies. If anything, we're partners.
It's an amazing privilege to blog alongside the rest of these young women. They've taught me so much without explicitly saying anything about feminism.
And I'm incredibly grateful.