Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Wanna hear a funny joke? Women's rights!"

So, for those of you who may not have gleaned this by now, I'm a feminist. That does not mean I burn bras. That does not mean I hate high heels and think they should be destroyed. That does not even mean I don't wear make-up or dresses or pantyhose (but oh my God how I hate pantyhose). It means I think women and men should be treated as equals. It's that simple.

I bring this up because I think I've been going about this whole thing wrong. "You mean there's a right way of going about this skylarking?" Nope. There is no right answer. But there's things I could be doing better.

I feel like, whether I express it or not in my writing, I spend a lot of time thinking about how fangirls are harming themselves or causing problems and I'm hung up really on making fangirls look bad. This is not my actual intent. I am a fangirl myself and, while I don't believe I've done this (but plenty of others have) simply calling them crazy and weird is not helping. Likely, they've been called crazy and weird their whole lives (I know I have). And I while I do want to critique and point out their trends and flaws and show that some of the stuff they do is dangerous, I also want to keep in mind that I am not fighting against fangirls; we're all in this together - we just see things differently. And most importantly, fangirls out there - YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I bring all of this up because, in part, I've been talking about feminism in a bunch of my classes. Also because shit like this still exists:

And shit like this is popping up everywhere:
(Can I just say liberal arts in scare quotes is my favorite bit in this; "ooh, scary, 'liberal arts; it's like some kind of wacky made-up science experiment." Please.) (Also, pretending to be awkward/a loner - dude, if I was pretending, I would be much better at it. Please stop before I lose my cool.)

Oh, and also because this exists. Seriously, the existence of this is more terrifying than Mordor (okay, maybe not. Mordor is pretty goddamn scary; maybe equal for scariness):
(Seriously, this is the header of a legit website. And yes, that is the website's real name.)

And also because gender and politics play a hugely important role in all of this discourse. Trust me.

So, ladies and gentlemen, feminism is going to be coming up a lot. If this makes you uncomfortable, TS. I'm not sorry; it needs to be talked about. If you have a problem with it, take it up with my inbox - I'd be happy to debate why a woman making 76 cents for every man's dollar is not okay with me. The rest of you, hang tight and I'm going to be throwing you some feminist text and starting to tie up a few loose ends (while simultaneously creating a thousand others).

And for enduring all of this (and because I need to get that "feminism is evil" off my retinas), I reward you; running with the week's theme of "Benedict Cumberbatch is not an otter":

You know what, Tumblr? I'm still so upset about all the anti-feminist stuff I found in the last half hour, I can't even make a scathing comment, nor do I want to. You may be showing your appreciation for famous actors in unusual ways that I may not always agree with, but you know what? You make me happy. You don't make me want to cry, or beat someone up, or feel concerned that the human race is totally doomed ("This is supposed to be the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire!"). No, in fact, you help me see some good in the world after a long day of dwelling upon misogyny, racism, and so on. There's a reason I have a Tumblr; there's a reason why I look forward to logging on and seeing others expressing their love and joy at the most recent developments involving their favorite show/movie/celebrity. Fangirls may be problematic but there are much, much worse things.


  1. So good to hear someone else articulating all the things that roll around my fevered brain on a daily basis. Keep saying these things, please. The world needs to hear it. You only have to look atwhat the Republican Party in the US is currently trying to do to existing women's rights to know that we are just one, very small, step away from having to be suffragettes again. Feminism is NOT a dirty word. And I am what a feminist looks like.


    1. I agree; right now is an incredibly vital time for feminist discourse. I will absolutely keep saying these things :) Thank you so much for reading!

  2. I know exactly what you're talking about. It's so irritating! And if you bring it up, all the small ways they undermine women everyday in normal language, you're being over-sensitive. If you get emotional about the way you're being paid or respected less than you DESERVE, you're obviously PMSing and thus your opinion should be disregarded. So thank you, sane person. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

    1. You're welcome! Thank you, for reassuring me that I'm not just hyper-sensitive about such things.

  3. The fact tha stuff like what you found still exists is what is screwing the world up so much. There is no reason why men and women should be treated differently (let alone one being "less" than the other). The media and social opinions of today scare and intimidate women from doing what they want with their lives and that needs to stop! Thanks for bringing this issue to attention :)

    1. Agreed; I wish social media was more wary of this stuff. Especially as people take for granted how powerful it can be. Thanks for reading! :D