Saturday, November 14, 2009

screaming infidelities

The other day I was having lunch at a friend's apartment. One of her roommates also had a friend over, we were all cooking together. We hadn't met the roommates friend before, so we did the usual pleasantry of introductions; name, where you're from, program you're in, yadda yadda. I answer his questions, nothing special, but when he turned to my friend, and she said she was doing a double major in psychology and womens studies, he blanched. He awkwardly paused, and then said, "so you're one of those feminists." He went on to blunder around by saying he didn't have "anything against us" and he "had dealt with feminist before", all of which just made my blood boil, and he wasn't even directing these comments at me.


It is in these moments where I firmly believe you should think before you speak.

I don't go around saying I have learned to deal with patriarchal society, or that I've lived and worked with men before, as if it were some challenge to overcome. Why is it that today, in modern times, someone can still spit out the word feminism with a frown on their face and negative connotation attached to the word? From the way that guy said those words, you could tell the day he calls himself a feminist is the day pigs fly.

So let me just tell you all loudly, clearly, and most importantly, proudly.


And please, let me elaborate, so you understand just how serious I am.

I like to bake. I like to cook. I wear skirts and dresses. I wear heels. I have had boyfriends. I like getting good marks. I like to sing. I really like to dance. I know how to put on make-up. I like to wear make-up. I have stuffed animals. I like to knit.

Are you confused about the stereotype of a feminist yet?

I also think think that women are under represented in too many sectors of society, all around the world. I believe in equality, equal representation, and justice. I believe in a woman's right to say yes, and her right to say no. I believe in her body, her choice. I think that women's voices are discounted more often than not, and I think that is very, very wrong. I think that I shouldn't have been taught to be afraid when I walk home, by myself, at night. I think that there should be an international statement of apology for heinous crimes against humanity, because ignoring half the population's opinion, feelings, and needs for thousands of years should never be considered just another part of history.

I am not a man-hating, bra-burning, monster of a feminist, contrary to popular stereotyping. Instead, I am a complex individual who holds the ideals of feminism to be true.

And if a douchebag like my friend's roommate's friend (wow, kinda confusing) can still buy in to such an outdated perception of feminism, I think I'm justified in my continued belief of it.

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