I Bought a ‘Feminist’ Tote Bag and Watched As The Patriarchy Slowly Crumbled Before My Eyes

Today, I went shopping with a few friends. After buying an adorable maxi dress at Anthropologie, a sick leopard bomber jacket from Zara, and stocking up on every pair of Hanky Panky underwear that Nordstrom had to offer, I thought my retail itch had been satisfied. But, oh how I was wrong.

We were all ready to head back to Melissa’s apartment to start pregaming for our other, less important friend Bridgette’s birthday party, when I spotted something in the window of an Urban Outfitters. I stopped in my tracks, pressed my face against the glass, and stared in awe at what I had just found.

I urged my friends to go ahead without me and I ran as fast as I could into the store. I headed straight for the item that had so violently drawn me towards it just seconds before. I leaned down and picked up the tote bag that beautifully had the words written on it ‘FEMINIST.’

It was everything I had been looking for. I had always called myself a feminist, but never knew how I could truly make a difference. With everything terrible going on in the world, I wanted to show that I was part of the solution. And this purchase was the perfect way to do so. A feminist tote bag that would not only solidify to friends that I was a warrior for woman, but a totally practical item. I could use it carry my yoga mat, my Lush body products, or all the old food wrappers I hide under my bed after a binge eating session.

As soon as I walked out of there, I could feel a palpable shift in the air. The group of men who had previously catcalled me were silent. Women walking out of a law office were bragging that they got paid MORE than their male counterpart. I checked CNN on my phone and more than half of Congress’ seats were now filled by women. I walked by a park and saw fathers instead of mothers taking care of their children. Hollywood directors/actors who had been accused of sexual assault were never to work again. It seemed as if the patriarchy had been overturned all with the my purchase of a ‘feminist’ tote bag!

I couldn’t believe how much of a difference I had made in such a short while. It seemed that my small action had a ripple effect on all of society. Thousands of years of ingrained social behavior had been reversed due to my need for a new accessory.

In the past, many of my friends had urged me to go to protests, to call my senators, or even to donate to women’s organizations like Planned Parenthood. I wanted to help the cause, but all of that seemed like so much work. I am so happy to say that all it took to confront toxic masculinity was walking into an Urban, grabbing a cute tote, and going on with the rest of my life.

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