01/03/2013 12:38 pm ET Updated Mar 05, 2013

My Name Is Katie and I Am a Feminist

There have been a lot of stories going around lately about the word "feminist," and I would like to just clarify one thing: My name is Katie Groke Ellis, I am 32 and I am a feminist.

Some people in my life outside of politics tease me about being a feminist and people ask me all the time "why are you a feminist?" For the longest time, I didn't know how to answer that question, but now I think I do.

I am a feminist because I believe wholeheartedly that women are equal to men in every sense of the word. Therefore, they deserve equal pay, equal rights, equal health care, equal respect and equal representation -- I could go on and on and on. But I think there is more to being a feminist than the political. It is also the sisterhood, the camaraderie I feel around other women. Whether I am on the soccer field with my teammates or in the board room with colleagues, we know we are there for a common goal and it is inspiring. Every day, I am in awe of the women around me. Young or old, I learn from every single woman in my life on a daily basis.

Recently, everyone in an email group I am part of went around and introduced themselves via email to the group so we could get to know one another better. The stories that flowed through my inbox were nothing short of amazing. I had no idea that the women I had been exchanging news articles with or working on Twitter campaigns with had such rich life stories to tell. These women have worked on campaigns, lived in different states, been through family hardships, grown up idolizing their feminist grandmothers and some have gotten the short end of the stick because of their gender. Regardless of background, everyone woman on that list had a story of learning how to stand up for herself thanks to a strong woman before her. That, to me, is feminism.

And because of this, these women have decided to profess their feminism and work day in and day out to make our communities a more equal place to live. They fight shoulder to shoulder to make sure the generations of women before them who fought so hard for the right to vote, access to health care and equal rights were not doing their work in vain. And so that the generations that follow will keep fighting, because our work is far from done.

I am proud to take the torch and pass it on to the next generation after me. It will take all of us and we should all stand tall and fly the feminism flag high and proud.