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14 Women Share The Moment That They First Realized They Were Feminists

"When I was a child, equality just seemed like common sense to me. As an adult, I realized that this is called feminism."

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BuzzFeed Brazil asked our readers and writers about the moment when they first realized they identified as feminists. Here's what they said:

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

1. "I noticed that because I was a woman, I wasn't considered as much of a soccer fan as the boys."

Instagram: @racheljuraski

"I discovered it when I was nine and I became a fan of the Corinthians soccer team. I noticed that because I was a woman, I wasn't considered as much of a fan as the boys. It was as if I were always on a lower rung, and I realized that to be taken seriously, I would have to be a super fan, which meant becoming an expert on the history of the team, their titles, the games, and being twice as fanatical. That taught me a lot." — Rachel Juraski

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2. "The turning point came when I went through my hairstyle transition and stopped straightening my hair."

Instagram: @quenegaeessa_

"Today, I figure that I was always a feminist, but just didn't know it yet. Maybe because I was black and had a black mother, I was brought up to be a strong, independent woman. My mother always said 'no one ever carried the bags and all that weight for me,' and I grew up knowing it would be the same for me. But the turning point came when I went through my hairstyle transition and stopped straightening my hair. The hairstyle change transformed everything in my life. First I found myself as a black woman, and I even began to experience more direct forms of racism. And after that, I understood that I'm a feminist. I'd gone through such an intense process of individual discovery and freedom that there was no going back. Before I understood myself as a woman (and a feminist), I understood myself as a black woman." — Aline Ramos

3. "I realized that living as I want to is already in itself a feminist stance."

Luciele Almeida

"I used to think feminism was overblown — something for an unloved woman with nothing better to do, because MY OH MY, I had a lot of privileges that kept me from seeing its importance in my daily life (I'm a white, cis, straight woman, and I grew up in a well-off and super-harmonious home). It was only when I realized that not all women had the same decision-making power over themselves as I did; and that living life the way I want to is a feminist attitude. Today I feel obligated to fight so that all women have the same freedom that I still have." — Luciele Almeida

4. "I discovered that all of those feelings of outrage, sadness, and a sense of injustice were my feminism."

Instagram: @itslauwencia

"I'm part of a poor and marginalized community, and I used to think that inequality was just part of life. Until one day at work, when a woman boss fired 80% of the women in our department, while the guys were promoted and became our bosses. I questioned the situation and was dismissed as being 'very emotional.' Since then, I've pursued my own self-knowledge and empowerment, and discovered that all of those feelings of outrage, sadness, and a sense of injustice were my feminism." — Talita Rhein

5. "I saw the video 'Don't take off your red lipstick' by JoutJout and realized I was a giant fucking feminist."

Instagram: @joutjout

"I've always been extremely contrarian and rebellious against the whole system. I've always struggled for gender equality, but I only discovered that I was a feminist in 2015, when I returned to Brazil after living abroad, and the debate about feminism was already really intense on the internet. I watched the YouTube video 'Don't take off your red lipstick' by JoutJout (link in Brazilian Portuguese) and realized I was a giant fucking feminist." Anyway, it took me a while to realize it, but it made a lot of sense!" — Thaís Padilha

6. "I finally stopped practicing one of the worst things that society and adolescence encourages: female rivalry."

Instagram: @dddfeminismo

"It was when I finally stopped practicing one of the worst things that society and adolescence encourages: female rivalry. Building closer relationships with women in real life and on the internet played a fundamental role in helping me understand what real feminism was. I started to read more, understand more, and hate less. Everything made sense." — Pri Muniz

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7. "Only many, many years later, when an anti-street harassment campaign really turned my head around."

Instagram: @orgulhofeminista

"My family is religious, I lived in a small town, and I attended a school taught by nuns. So current events didn't always register on my radar as a teenager. I always thought I had the right to do what I wanted to. Only many, many years later, when an anti-street harassment campaign really turned my head around, I realized that I was always a feminist." — Camila Mazzini

8. "Living around chauvinistic brutes — and quite a few chauvinistic women too."

Instagram: @_garotas_no_poder_

"In the 90s, I was into the supposedly alternative rock scene, which still had some real misconceptions about female sexuality. A chick who slept around, as in my case — I was quite happily exploring my sexuality — would be labeled as a 'slut,' 'easy,' and 'not for marriage.' Living around chauvinistic brutes — and quite a few chauvinistic women too — rubbed it in my face in how truly important feminism still is. — Fernanda Heinzelmann

9. "Until really late in life, I thought that a feminist couldn't like 'girly' things."

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"Since I was little, I've been taught that a woman's place is wherever she wants. My role model has been Madonna since I was 11, and it took me a long time to understand that didn't mean I wasn't feminist. Until really late in life, I thought that a feminist couldn't like 'girly' things." Around 2010, I started to read more about it, and I started to understand that being a feminist is to struggle so that every woman can have the life she wants for herself." — Susana Cristalli

10. "One day it sunk in. Of course being a woman sucks."

instagram.com

"I didn't like being around women for years. I only liked hanging out with men. They were cool. Doing well in life. Secure. I wanted to be like them, not like women. Wow, women sure can complain, right? Fucking sucks. Like, why don't you just open a beer and relax? One day it sunk in. Of course being a woman sucks. What's natural for guys is a daily battle for women. Why wouldn't men always be doing just fine? It's all ready and waiting for them." — Clarissa Barreto

11. "My first college friend walked through the door telling stories about the number of sexual partners she'd had."

Paula Mascarenhas / Instagram

"When I moved to São Paulo, my first college friend walked through the door telling stories about the number of sexual partners she'd had. Do you know when a girl from Salvador would openly talk about that? For me as a teenager, who had been the target of gossip and judgment from my friends in the past, this open-mindedness was a huge catalyst in my life. " — Paula Mascarenhas

12. "When I was a child, equality just seemed like common sense to me. As an adult, I realized that this was called feminism. "

Azurhino / Getty Images

"One time at school, I was called out because I was running with the boys on the playground. I was told that I should go play with the girls, who were sitting around doing who knows what. But I wanted to run! Over time, with each interaction with close-minded people, I came to understand that my belief wasn't just common sense, but feminism." — Melissa Barbosa

13. "The other person replied, 'Yea, she is the mother. It's her responsibility, not his.' And I felt an anger coming from some unknown place."

instagram.com

"While talking to someone about a friend's pregnancy, I pointed out that the father's life plans remained intact, but the woman's had been turned upside down. The other person replied, 'Yea, she is the mother. It's her responsibility, not his.' And I felt an anger coming from some unknown place. After reflecting on the conversation, I realized that I was a feminist." – Melina Tamelini

14. "I was really outraged when I saw that the song was about a guy complaining that Marina had put on makeup."

Instagram: @bjork

"I was in the car with my mother and sister coming home from school, and this song came on the radio that was all about a guy complaining that a woman was wearing makeup. I said, 'Mom, it's no one's business what she wants or doesn't want to do! If she wants to wear makeup, she can wear makeup without anyone bugging her about it.'" — Luisa Pessoa

Leave your own story in the comments below!

This post was translated from Portuguese.

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