I consider myself a feminist. yet I’m not a ‘traditional’ feminist. By this, I mean that I’m not a patriarchy bashing bra-burning (although of course this never actually happened and was bigged up by the sexist press) hairy lady.
Lilipop is a lot more passionate about the cause than I am, and I admire her for this and I think she is brave for really showing what she’s about, although personally I think that I am way too lazy for this whole-hearted attack. My interpretation of feminism is more toned down – I try to be funny and somehow meld it into the part of myself that wants to wear make-up and be skinny and be cool. This seems like an impossible task, as indeed it is, but it works because the other part of me cares about human rights and the LGBT movement and having hairy armpits and reading Freud in my spare time.
I’ve been a feminist for a while now, although it’s only recently that I have bceome more clued up on it, more so than just a vague ‘sexism is shit’ feeling. Twitter in general has really helped with this. The Twitter Feminist Youth Army has given me support in finding out what it means and what feminism stands for. More than a few of my hopeful tweets asking for helpful girl-power links have been answered with truly interesting stuff. Whoo! The internet is truly a blessing!
As much as I love Lilipop (Lilipop: Love you too Jelly!), we are different on this point. Despite the fact that we both go to girl’s schools, she is a lot more open about her beliefs. If I tried that in my school (as indeed I have) I would get a lot of weird looks and general ‘WTF is she doing?’ feelings, and although I know that I shouldn’t care about this, I do, and it is one of the points that I need to buck up on (Lilipop: Also, my school is a lot bigger so no one really knows who I am and therefore doesn’t care it my legs are smooth, hairy or purple. Jelly’s school is a lot smaller so she would probably get more shit than I do) . If someone says something sexist, I will shout it out though. My stance on this has created a few moments of awkwardness with some of my closest friends, and although I don’t like this for the gap it creates between us, it does let me see where we really stand. For example, I was listening to Santa Baby with a few friends as part of the whole ‘IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS MEDLEYS’ mentality I like to cultivate and I remarked, casually I thought, upon the sexism of the song. I mean, come on, it’s talking about how she will exchange sex for a convertible. I softened the blow with a remark about how Santa was never meant to be thought of that way. My friend turned round, eyes blazing, and said ‘Just shut up with your feminism already! It’s really boring! Just relax!’
My view about this sort of thing is that sexism starts in little things like that, and that sexism can only be truly got rid of if we spot it in anything at all!
I was first introduced to feminism by my sister. When smaller, I asked why she had hairy armpits. She replied it was because she was a feminist and didn’t beleive hair was weird. As a hairy and unsure preteen, I was hooked. She showed me Rookie, and I learnt that feminism was for everyone and above all it was fun! She gave me long talks about how I could be, and I should be, whatever the heck I wanted to be. She offered me her expansive collection of intellectual and dusty books with names like Breast Stories and Socialism and Capitalism for the Intelligent Lady. I absorbed and read and listened to Le Tigre and to Lilipop and woke up one day and realised that sexism is absolute bullshit.
It wasn’t quite like that really. In fact, a lot more of my enlightenment was due to the devoted efforts of Lilipop upon my ignorant ears, which I’m sure she’d be delighted to tell you all about.
So. Yeah. That is my shit done. Feminism gets me angry and happy and wanting to do something, and I feel it’s got to be for real if it can do that to an unsure lazy teen who can hardly be bothered to make toast. I’m sticking to my guns here on this one.
Tell me about your feminist enlightenment stories! Tell me about cool stuff you’ve read recently about feminism! Tell me about lady news! Don’t tell me anything at all! It’s your choice, and when you get down to it, it’s your rights.
(Lilipop:If you do choose to tell us cool stuff, you can leave a comment or there is an email address to contact us with on the Contact Us page)