Sucking at Feminism (and Why That’s Okay)

I just finished reading this great piece from the ladies at The Frisky, in which they confess all the ways they have ever “failed” at feminism. It’s a very empowering post which got my gears whirring and I can’t stop thinking about this quote:

“…bashing other people for not being “feminist-enough” is like eating our own young. In fact, we realize that sometimes the guilt we feel for not being “feminist enough” is just us being really conflicted about internalized patriarchal bullshit. We so often see ourselves as the sole problem, which oftentimes is partially true, but there’s a whole society out there that is also to blame. Baby girls don’t come out of the birth canal thinking they’re fat!”

So many people have a problem with identifying as “feminist.” It’s seen as either a weird fringe movement (really? still?) or “not necessary anymore” (which I suppose, depending on your definition of the word, may be true) or vaguely embarrassing for any number of reasons. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m willing to bet that most of us still hear the word “FEMINIST” and picture an angry, hairy lady with a severe haircut and cargo pants, yelling through a megaphone.

I’m having an epiphany about feminism, though, and that is this:

Maybe my feminism isn’t the same as yours or hers or hers or his or the next person’s. And that’s perfect, because that makes it personal. It’s actually about freedom, equality, and acceptance. I think the key to those three things is actually the last of them–acceptance. Accept yourself. Accept your dreams. Know that you deserve whatever you’re willing to work for and settle for nothing less, whatever that means to you.

That’s so empowering to me! I loved reading all the confessions the Frisky girls shared, sad or silly as they were. I kept thinking, Yeah, I’ve been there. And I think in the context of those confessions, that “failing at feminism” is okay. If we find acceptance and equality by understanding that we don’t have to fit a mold–angry stereotypical feminazi with megaphone included–then aren’t we that much closer to our goal? And isn’t that liberating?

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2 Comments

  1. So true…its about the equality and freedom, which is one’s right…if we strive to it, it doesnt mean one is, as you said, “an angry, hairy lady with a severe haircut and cargo pants, yelling through a megaphone.”

    Woohaa!!!

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