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.
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.