A while back, I had this idea to start a blog because I wanted to have some discourse with other people about the challenge of raising a girl in our society. I thought I could call it Grrls Raising Girls, and I would discuss a topic and then I could hear enlightening responses from all kinds of people. I’m not sure why I thought I was going to just instantly have all these many, varied readers who were going to be so eager to share their comments with me.
Anyway, now that I have THIS blog here, I thought maybe I could make this a sort of occasional feature. But I keep mulling it over, and I can’t come up with a great season opener, so to speak. (I love baseball lingo. I think half the reason I love baseball is because of the lingo. I have romantic ideals about baseball. Not romance in the lovey sense; you know what I mean. Also- watch Moneyball! If you like baseball. Which is probably zero percent of my current reading audience. Not to mention those who hate Brad Pitt. Jerks. HOLY TANGENT!!!! Can you see how I’m having trouble trying to start up this feminism topic?)
So, I thought what I would do is just make a post. You know, just go ahead and…break the ice? Look, I’m trying desperately to think of a phrase that means the same thing as “pop my cherry” without having to use that phrase, because I don’t like it. But, well, too late. And it might be rambly or bad, but maybe it will get better with the next one.
Bet y’all are totally jazzed after that setup, RIGHT!?
So the first thing I have to say about feminism is that it’s not evil or even lame. Seriously. I know 98% of people hear that word and immediately their mind goes somewhere negative. And, this is a BIG topic, but let me talk about that.
“Yes. You are. You are a feminist. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Period. It’s more complicated than that — of course it is. And yet…it’s exactly that simple. It has nothing to do with your sexual preference or your sense of humor or your fashion sense or your charitable donations, or what pronouns you use in official correspondence, or whether you think Andrea Dworkin is full of crap, or how often you read Bust or Ms. — or, actually, whether you’ve got a vagina. In the end, it’s not about that. It is about political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, and it is about claiming that definition on its own terms, instead of qualifying it because you don’t want anyone to think that you don’t shave your pits. It is about saying that you are a feminist and just letting the statement sit there, instead of feeling a compulsion to modify it immediately with “but not, you know, that kind of feminist” because you don’t want to come off all Angry Girl. It is about understanding that liking Oprah and Chanel doesn’t make you a “bad” feminist — that only “liking” the wage gap makes you a “bad” feminist, because “bad” does not enter into the definition of feminism. It is about knowing that, if folks can’t grab a dictionary and see for themselves that the entry for “feminism” doesn’t say anything about hating men or chick flicks or any of that crap, it’s their problem.
“It is about knowing that a woman is the equal of a man in art, at work, and under the law, whether you say it out loud or not — but for God’s sake start saying it out loud already. You are a feminist.
“I am a feminist too. Look it up.”
Well said, Sars. 🙂
Why is the notion so prevalent that feminism is such a BAD thing? I’d like to blame it all on Rush Limbaugh. But of course, there are so many more people promoting that idea. The idea that “feminist” translates exactly to “radical, man-hating bitch.” And anyone who uses the word feminism is going to now be preachy and insufferable and you have permission to just stop listening because, Hello! Women aren’t better than men!, and of course that’s all that feminism means.
Except, that’s not what feminism means at all.
Women today run like Hell from the term feminist. And that’s a shame. Because, contrary to popular belief, feminism isn’t a useless, antiquated notion. Just look at what’s been going on politically. And if I am going to raise a daughter in this world, I want there to be plenty of people who believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes. And I don’t want those people to be afraid to say so. Those people are feminists, and I wish they’d realize it and say it out loud.
Love this quote