I raised my arms, shouted, dared to call myself a feminist. The next morning I woke up with pine needles in my crotch, a fully grown jungle under my arms and an unrestrainable urge to blash in your man’s balls. There are few words with as many negative connotations as the word feminist. You like your husband, great. You have a job, good for you. You have never been harassed, you do not need feminism. Selfish and naive, maybe. Or an underlying fear. A fear of a stamp, provoked by misunderstandings, prejudices and a fear of powerful women, that is not approved by society. Or is it the fear of falling short for the word’s accompanied expectations. But I do not blame you. The word is heavy with baggage. The whole tone around the word feminism is an accusation.
We live in the delusion that we, with birth, were given a list with achievements we have to accomplish before we can even dear to feel valuable. A list of perfectionism. In order to squeeze into the muffin form of expectations that tags along the label society has given us, the label that we accept. Have you ever tried to bake muffins, most likely, you're after all a woman, it is a checkpoint on you scheme towards dignity. Inappropriate, I am sorry. Anyways, not to spill the dough outside the liner is close to impossible. We are born into a supposed appearance, an already established reality where we eventually lose who we want to be in favor of how someone think we should be. And all we are left with is the fear for someone to declare that we are raising our hands wrong.
Nobody will cheat on the skinny girl and you have no right to take up the energy in the room without a big, but obviously not too big butt. Conclusion; These abs you strive so hard to achieve, clearly has to be something you want for yourself. Or? Have you ever sacrificed a single thought to the ground of the values you so blindly cling to and the aims you so badly stive for. The society's standard demands for the right woman is so molded into our culture that we adapt to it without even asking ourselves why. We live under an assumption that women's dignity lies in their beauty. But who am I to talk anyways, I am not skinny enough to raise my voice.
These expectations apply not only to women's appearance. We make checklists for the girls who is trying to fight the checklists and we have unwritten rules for everyone. We dedicate our whole life trying to check of the list we got handed out and the only thing we are lift with is a sense of inferiority and a fear of wrongdoing. You call yourself a feminist, well sorry high heels, you do not meet the requirements. And we usually end up not even trying.
Roxane Gay wrote a book "Bad Feminist" where she addresses the theme "and". Women are not one-dimensional, we are complex figures. But we are expected to be consistent in our values without a hint of uncertainty. But believe it or not, you did not issue a rulebook either with your birth certificate or when chose to call yourself a feminist. Gay mentions that she, no matter how intense, down to the core, it insults her, she listens to the gangsterrap, full steam, on her way to work. «Shake your camel until it hurts" is shockingly catchy. She walks in high heels, her favorite color is pink AND she speak of herself as a feminist.
You can call yourself a feminist and still take your husband’s name when you marry, you can choose to be home with your kids, but you are entitled the opportunity to choose. You should not feel obligated to make yourself financially dependent simply because society tells you to. We act as if "and" is not an option. You do not have the right be both smart and pretty. Try to explain to someone, your love for dressing up regardless mans opinions on the matter. I challenge you.
Here is an eye opener for you, nothing will change if we do not even dare to try. When we constantly judge each other and turn trying into an audition, we do not achieve much. Rappers will not find a stand-in for their brutally sexist poetry until we switch channels when the songs comes on the radio. Our workplaces do not raise women to leadership positions, this is mainly for you mediocre white men out there, uncritically granted with unrestricted trust, before we demand it. Woman’s magazines loaded with articles about how to reach our level of perfection is going to get published until we stop buying them. They respond to our inferiority and lack of confidence. It opens up an opportunity for them to sell. They are the result of a culture that tells women how to be women. We rely on the small brave actions that ultimately will affect the world we live in. Judging people for «trying wrong» is not going to lead us anywhere.
A couple of days ago I read a heading «brought her sagging boobs to the beach." This was a magazine by and for women. When did this shallow, poor, pathetic way of talking about our fellow-woman become a norm and when on earth did this become something to call journalism? The slut-shaming has to end. As an alternative to slaying each other down with judgement just to achieve a moment of self-esteem, we need to talk each other up. Do you find it difficult to raise your hands, it's easier if someone gives you a push. It is time to precess the list of expectations down the shredder. I'm tired of being talked over, we all deserve the self-confidence of the bolding white guys, let us all help each other to come closer. Feminism does not belong to our history class. Up-to-date has shown us nothing else. It is time to move by the chalkboard-version of women. Our grandmother confronted, with courageous steps, the underlying prejudice that denied them the rights of an equal life, and the best thing we can do to continue beyond the path they have steered clear is to stand together. The baggage will be easier to carry if we leave the checklist we have on each other behind. We should not ignore the fact that the greatest heroine among us might be using eyeliner.