Feminism, and other North Dakota swear words

I live in North Dakota where feminism is a four-letter word.  We're the state that repeatedly tries to make history by creating and supporting bills which will, essentially, make abortion at any stage, illegal.  This is probably why I've been a half-ass feminist instead of speaking loudly like others do.
My friends and man friend (the word boyfriend is too weird to me) know that I'm a feminist and I get gentle ribbing about it.  Sometimes it's offered up as an apology, as in "Well I know you're a feminist, but..." or "You're going to be offended, I'm sure, because you're a feminist."  It is probably because of these weird half-attacks, that I've become a half-feminist
When something offends me, I don't just call someone out, but instead say something along the lines of "Well, the feminist in me...".  It was only recently that I realized saying "the feminist in me" is me telling others that I'm not a feminist, that I just have "those tendencies" on occasion (after all, I'd never say "the girl in me" or "the human being in me").
I cringe whenever someone asks what my man friend's opinion is on something I'm doing, or something that I'm wearing.  I hate that my actions and thoughts and clothing choices are not always seen as an expression of who I am, but instead as in connection to a man.  My typical response is "Why does his opinion matter?"
I may live in a state nearly as red as Texas, but I am not a piece of property.  No one owns me, or my thoughts, or my decisions.  I own me because I am strong enough to own who I am.  If my man friend doesn't like something, it's a matter of personal taste.  He's entitled to his opinion because he's a human being, not because we are in a relationship and his opinion is more important because it's attached to a penis.

The other day I was watching some trashy Netflix show, because we all have our weaknesses and mine lets me wear sweatpants and no bra, when the two characters discussed how they "belonged" to the other, how the other "owned" them.  This moment was played off as emotional and romantic, if you find Romeo and Juliet romantic, I suppose.  I shuddered a little bit.  Love isn't supposed to be about ownership and not being able to survive without the other.  Love is supposed to be about respect, being an equal partner, and loving someone as an individual, not as an extension of yourself.
I'll admit that once upon a time (in a galaxy far, far away),  I thought that my boyfriend completed me.  He said that I belonged to him and it was okay because he belonged to me.  I thought this was romantic, the way he reduced us to each other's property.  The thing is, people aren't meant to be property and they sure as hell shouldn't complete you.  If someone completes you, what happens if the day comes when they leave?  You're no longer a whole person because something is missing (and it's bigger and more important than the hoodies you swore you left at his place, but are actually hiding in your bottom drawer).  I like to think of my man friend as an extension pack; he makes me a better version of myself, but should we ever separate, I won't cease to be who I am.
I'm proud to be a feminist and I need to act proud instead of tip-toeing around my uber-conservative peers.  I suppose this is where I could do my Leslie Knope Pawnee Goddess roar, but instead I'll end my ramble with a bit of advice for everyone: Be who you are because you are amazing.  And if who are is someone who disagrees with me, that's okay, too, because hey, we're each entitled to respect.

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