Friday, February 1, 2013

Feminist Friday meets Thought Catalog

This is an excerpt from Lucy Tiven's "I Am Digging Up the Desecrated Corpse of Feminism." I started reading the article, and I liked it, and I could really relate to it. But then I got to the end, when Tiven goes on a badass feminist rant and she puts it so eloquently. I'm asked sometimes (thought, usually not outright) why I'm so feminist.  The thing is, I don't see how I could live with myself morally, if I wasn't. My feminist beliefs are my human beliefs, my moral, spiritual beliefs.
I am a human but I am also a feminist. I am a feminist because not being a feminist is not merely a circumstantial choice or preference: it is a moral flaw. I know this now. I don’t listen to riot grrl music or practice particularly esoteric sexual behavior. I wear dresses everyday and am compelled to learn how to dance. I try to feel pretty almost all of the time, and part of me always believes that if I lose fifteen pounds I will be, not only a more beautiful, but also a happier person.

But that isn’t everything. I am damn smart and I am pursuing noble purposes: not merely through my actions, but through the use of language. And I refuse to be relegated to an object, sexual conquest or measured in the terms of a gendered stereotype.

I will humbly accept being told to cross my legs and embarrassingly hide my slip if it is showing, but I will not be told when I can speak for myself or accept being scared off by the implication of a physical threat. If you want to call me a cunt or a slut, a little girl or anything else, go ahead, but don’t tell me when or how I am allowed to respond.

If you want to “put me in my place,” let me save you the trouble. I know I am a young woman. I know exactly whom I have and haven’t slept with. I know how much money my parents make and every house I have lived. I know each of the countless experiences and pains that have shaped me, and I am always moving through and between them. You can clumsily try to pin me down with a word or a cluster concept and watch as I slip through it.

I am not the kind of thing to be placed. I am not a screw or a lost part or a volume to categorize and shelve. I am a feminist, but I am more than that. I am no less or other than a human subject: this mind and the strange vessel of the body that houses it.

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