And, no, it doesn’t involve Beyonce or Miley Cyrus at all.
I think the term “feminism” has been misconstrued in recent years. Some people (from the ones I’ve dealt with face-to-face to internet folk) have thought of feminism as something “evil” and “man-hating” and a “bullshit” concept. Guess those pioneers of feminism who were trying to fight for equal rights and equal pay in the workforce among the sexes some 50 years ago, even the ones almost 100 years ago who fought for women’s right to vote, is all bullshit to some these days. Much like the term “beautiful,” “feminism” is becoming more of a subjective term as opposed to defining it by its original meaning. (If some actually remember its original meaning, and not thinking of what they saw at the MTV VMAs recently.) And I think the former is more apparent in today’s generation, where you got people like Beyonce and Miley being hyped by the media as icons of “feminism”, and some of the public just takes it without thinking much about it. Because, you know, thinking deep among some today is, like, OMG, hard work, lol.
Well, listen up, lazy fucks of cognition! And the rest of you, who actually embrace the art of thinking, for I have this to say:
I am a feminist. And I believe in feminism.
But to an extent.
First off, I don’t think it’s a bad, evil, bullshit thing. “Feminism” was a term coined by, of all the ironies, a Frenchman in the 1830s, but wasn’t adopted by the US until the 1910s. Anyway you look at it, those were times where women were much more oppressed in society than they are today. The women who stood up for their rights and for the rights of other women then was quite ground-breaking, and, perhaps, refreshing to other women who were afraid to be vocal but shared the same beliefs. Now, show me the bullshit in that, nay-sayers of feminism, and I’ll show you some recent tweets from CeeLo about rape.
Second, I do feel like us women have come a long way. More female CEOs and managers, more women choosing to go to college to make something of their lives as opposed to settling down and having kids before 20, and even female referees in pro male-dominant sports. But am I totally satisfied? No. Queer women can’t marry the love of their lives in some places they happen to live in. Religion and outdated traditions still wield much power over some women who probably have potential to make a name and living for themselves, but are saddled with four children and the heinous mentality that birth control is the Devil while staying true to the Bible and your cheating, abusing husband, all done before the age of 25. Some women today in certain countries around the world are just as oppressed, if not more so, than US women were 100 years ago. There are still some men’s-only golf courses, for chrissakes. There’s still not enough strong female personalities in entertainment. Granted, I think women, particularly young women, shouldn’t look to entertainers for female role models to emulate (that’s what your mother/aunt/grandma/sister is for), but some choose to, and something is definitely amiss when there aren’t any kick-ass chicks on TV a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess, but there are back-stabbing, Botoxed-to-infinity-and-beyond “housewives” and teen moms so shallow they make a kiddie pool jealous.
There are feminists that support all women no matter what they do. And there are those that support almost all women, and lash out on those that deserve it. I fall into the latter category, and for a damn good reason. There’s not enough money and sexy, young, well-endowed men in the world you can throw at me for me to say something supportive over the likes of Ann Coulter, Lady Gaga, and Kim K-trash and her ilk. These hags (and I’m not apologizing for that) of pure fuckery bring down the meaning of the modern-day woman to where I choose to not consider them women at all. (Unfortunately, this message is a little too late for the soon-to-be-unemployed morons at British GQ, who had the nerve–via payola from the E! channel, most likely–to consider Kim K-trash as a “woman,” much less one deserving of an award.)
It also boggles the hell out of me when people label someone like Beyonce as the “queen of feminism” and a “strong woman” (not my words!). Oddly, Bey doesn’t irk me as much as some others in the spotlight. But here are the things that she’s done/been known for recently that really makes her “strong woman” persona as dubious as the ongoing anglicization of her looks: supporting and sticking with her cheating husband Jay-Z; rumored to have not been pregnant at all (being the attention-seeker that she is, she could have been posed in the nude with her big ol’ preggy tummy hanging out a la Demi Moore and, most recently, Christina Aguilera, to prove to everyone that she was knocked up); shows her support for grade school dropouts and actually doesn’t like school; afraid to sing the National Anthem live for the President at his 2nd inaugural; seemingly ashamed of her ethnic features; and to provide songs for a soundtrack, for an upcoming “romance” movie based on a book that glorifies (yep) male-to-female abuse in a relationship. Oh yeah, she’s quite the strong-willed, feminist queen of our modern times, isn’t she? She’d be better if she’d cut the puppet strings off her. Yeah, I do believe that part of being a feminist is choosing what you want to do with your life. But the way she’s living her life, coupled with some people labeling her as a “strong woman” and a “feminist” at the same time??? Where are you, disgusted brunette?
Beyonce is to “feminism” as the 50 Shades stories are to “BDSM” and “erotic romance”: both aren’t the best examples of what they’re associated with, and they’ve also completely mucked up the original definitions of what they’re associated with via brainless media overhype. So kiss my ass, Buzzfeed. Ask Bey to define “feminism” (hell, ask her to spell it, too) the next time she gives you some payola dough for you guys to write another fluff piece on her.
(There’s also this piece from Forbes about Bey and how her recent endeavors are “holding women back.” Warning: don’t read the comments. Just don’t.)
You may think, at this point, my kind of feminism is confusing. You’re thinking, so you support all women and their rights to do whatever they want but slam those who are doing what they want to do, also? I only slam those who I feel are living and breathing setbacks to the women’s movement, and it’s that main reason why I support “girl power” to a certain degree. I may also be bashing Beyonce here, but I would like her a little more if she stopped with the Blake Lively-ing of her looks and went the route of Alicia Keys or Janet Jackson from her Rhythm Nation era with her music, and NOT trying to be some people-pleasing, money-and-fame whore ratchet wannabe. But I cannot with her.
You may also be thinking that now that I’ve called myself a feminist, I’m some man-bashing, porn-hating, old-fashioned loon who doesn’t shave my legs. Can’t some stereotypes just die already? I don’t hate all men. I just hate the overall assholes who don’t deserve to be called men in the first place: misogynists, rapists (especially the ones that get away with it), racists, terrorists, murderers, stalkers, abusers, Fox News analysts, etc.
And porn? The only porn I hate are those inane parody flicks and “celebrity” sex tapes. Everything else is all good. Even the rough stuff. So I’ll never understand why some people think some of today’s porn is “violent” and “abusive” to women. (Oh God, am I sniffing a MacKinnon-Dworkin revival in the air?!?!) Have these people stopped to think that there are some women out there that actually enjoy that kind of stuff? And not just the women that do porn, but maybe average women as well? The girls who do those kinds of pornos should know what they’re getting themselves into, and probably like the rough stuff; no one (at least I hope) is forcing them to do that. I enjoy my sex movies, sex toys, and sexy times at the strip club. And before you think all this is because I want to please the guys, let it be known that it’s all me. I choose to look at porn, not because my man (if I had one right now) wants me to, but because I happen to enjoy seeing those naked girls and guys and the things they do in the pornos. I know what pleasures me and I don’t do it because a man likes it; I just happen to like it as well. Some of my interests have spooked some of my past BFs and male friends! And I take some joy in that. So call me a sex-positive feminist as well.
As for me not shaving my legs? Hey, if I don’t shave my legs, that’s my deal, and I’m still gonna rock my miniskirt in public. And if some creep dares to cop a feel just ’cause he thinks my miniskirt gives him access to, they’ll be greeted with my fist and some pepper spray. And isn’t that feminism right there?