Over the past few weeks I have been settling into my job in an area quite different from what I thought I would find myself working in: equality and diversity (pertaining to gender/racial/sexuality/disability). Although it not related to drugs or alcohol in the least, it does fall under the category of “topics that make people uncomfortable”, and oddly enough, I am quite comfortable with those topics.
I have had to do a lot of reading to get my head around this field and to really understand what I’m workin’ with. And as far as gender equality goes, I am finding myself caught in a labyrinth of contradictions. I had nooooo idea how many different sects of feminism there was. I really thought that I understood feminism. Being a female, it seemed pretty straight forward: generally a toned down version of my childhood mantra “anything boys can do I can do better”. But the intricacies are never ending!
There’s White Feminism, Black Feminism, Individual, Collective, Choice, Liberal, Radical, Socialist, Eco, Separtist, Cultural and Social Feminism. There’s even Anti-Feminism! That’s supported by women! I honestly did not know that this existed in reality aside from the hair-sprayed granddaughters of the GOP who are paid to appear on Fox news programmes and read a script tearing down other women.
But you get the point, there’s a lot of different groups who, in my opinion, have the same bottom line: we just want equality, yo. (And then the one group who asserts that women do not deserve equality because God made women to be inferior…or something equally as ridiculous).
So this has gotten me thinking, which group would I fall in? I would like to classify myself as Simple Feminist. Equality for all. Equal pay for equal work. Diversity in leadership leads to diverse outcomes and increases the competitiveness of your organisation. And above all, don’t be an archaic a$$hole.
At the same time I have a more than slight inclination to start my own sect of feminism: Respectable Feminism or Smart Feminism (name pending). My reasoning is that in my position now, I am working for the improved equality of academic and professional women. Meanwhile…#ThighBrow is trending on Instagram. There are tons of voyeuristic and empty headed women who are doing more harm than good for the feminist movement. Although some sects would argue that because a woman CAN post a photo of herself in her underwear, highlighting her hip joint creases with the perfect filter, that IS feminism. And I do not want to be a “slut shamer”, but I feel like there should be a more united front. It’s a tricky subject.
BUT THEN I found myself scrolling through an article about the models who are walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year (a not-so secret obsession of mine…I have been known to watch the show 2-3 times…all while eating cupcakes so it’s ok), and I stopped and thought, does this make me a bad feminist? Isn’t this objectifying women? Should I not like this? WHAT ELSE MAKES ME A BAD FEMINIST?
- I enjoy working out to angry rap music with demoralising lyrics
- I love Pinterest
- And chick flicks that portray men and women in obviously traditional roles
- I am a fitness fanatic and I do compare my body to an unrealistic standard
- When I hear girls talking in the dumb girl voice (you know what I’m talking about), I make fun of them
- Although I think that Gloria Steinem’s tagline “a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle” is beautifully true, in terms of my own love life, if I am the fish, I do indeed need my bicycle
I could go on. But after some serious consideration, I do not think that I am a bad feminist. I’m just a 23 year old who’s still working out my opinions on the colossal amount of $#!& that is continuously hitting the fan in this patriarchal society of ours.
And I’m still going to watch (and re-watch) the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Because I can.