In my Theory & Writing class there is woman who is an ardent feminist. You know the kind I mean, the sort that finds misogyny in virtually everything. There is usually one to be found in every class and it is a never ending source of pain and frustration for me.
Now, first, understand that I am not anti-feminist or one who conforms to traditional gender roles. I was raised to believe in equality between the sexes, and I was very much taught that I could do whatever I wanted. I’ve never backed off of something because it was a ‘boy’ thing. Growing up, you could just have soon have found me building a tree house with my cousins or playing with my Barbie collection (I don’t think Barbie is anti-feminist either, ask me why! I don’t think there is enough discourse from a subjective point of view, the same way I don’t there is enough focus on discourse that suggests Twilight/Bella is not misogynistic/passive as many critics suggest. As Newton said, to every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction and imo it should be acknowledged.)
But the thing is, I am proud to be a woman. I’m quite happy with it. And I think I’m quite capable of wearing a pair of heels and still being an intelligent human being, going after what I want. Looking at my list of women I think are pretty awesome, you’ll notice most of them manage to be competent, strong women who can also be sexy when they want to be. There seems to be a trend within ardent feminism that you have to forgo your femininity, I suppose because femininity is a social construction, and that you can’t be taken seriously if you continue to conform – ie wearing heels and agonising over your eye shadow choice.
Here’s the thing though, men and women are different. Undeniably so. Nothing will change that. I guess I’m more an equalitarian, I think we can be different, that we should be different in fact, and still be entitled to equal opportunities. Who’s to say I can’t celebrate that difference and don a skirt, and still be taken seriously? I say I can. I also say feminism had its place in forging the path for me to be able to say these things, but that the moment has passed. Frankly, sometimes I think ardent feminists do more harm than good. They continually paint women as victims, and sometimes I just wish they’d let it go.
So if I sit in class as virtually every single thing we read is dubbed to have ‘misogynistic’ undertones and I roll my eyes, please excuse me. I think you see what you want to see, so you can get on your soapbox. Let it go, let’s move on. And let’s not think the only way we can earn respect and equality is by becoming more masculine, isn’t that just conforming to a different type?
Music: Revolution - The Beatles