Thursday, November 29, 2012

Am I a feminazi? Probably.

The ANC Women's League recently stated that 'they do not consider themselves feminists.' Well I'm South African (where the ANC is in power) and I'm a woman so this affects me. And for them I have a very eloquent response: wtf? Angie Motshekga, you are meant to be on my side. You are supposed to be my voice in government, the voice of our gender. And when you reject the movement that gave us our rights in the first place, it makes me want to punch a hole in the wall.

Buying into this outdated view of what being a feminist entails is lazy and irresponsible. So since feminism seems to be becoming more and more uncool, here are my reasons for defending it...

Why I am a feminist:

- Because blogs like Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street exist (Tagline: The sexy side of protesting corruption)
- Because I have been asked if going to an all-girls school makes you bitchy, as if being in close confines is the equivalent of feeding gremlins after midnight
- Because my family assumes that I will get married and have kids, and I think that's a decision and not a default
- Because I have had a guy come on to me, me reject him, and then see him tweet that 'It isn't easy to find the right girl, and the right girl won't be easy. #Truth'
- Because I'm sick of old men talking about my uterus
- Because American Apparel ads exist
- Because women don't want to be called feminists, but believe in being treated equally by men. Erm?
- Because my first instinct when I meet a woman is to judge her, and a man to flirt with him
- Because stats say that we engage in about 10 hours of media consumption a day...and almost all of it makes money out of giving us reasons to hate ourselves
- Because (and it's an old example, but still true) a woman who is celibate is a prude and a woman who enjoys sex is a slut
- Because I'm sick of people saying that 'Nobody's going to buy the cow if they get the milk for free' (Oh shock oh horror, to end up an old maid!)
- Because men are not all chauvinist pigs, and to assume that they are and acquiesce to that is doing both genders a disservice
- Because girls feel the need to hide their intelligence around potential boyfriends
- Because talking about my gender in a derogatory way lets me be a part of the 'boy's club' and gives me male attention that I have been taught to crave
- Because I meet men who are more comfortable with calling themselves feminists than some women
- Because guys constantly talk about having sexual feelings, but girls must hide and be ashamed of any sexual desire they might have (Bring up the topic of masturbation with a girl and a guy and see what I mean)
- Because when outdated prejudices and policies infringe on one's right to build the life that they want, it is NOT OK. And you don't get to remove yourself from the debate, it's too big for that.

Why you should be too:

- Because you can be a feminist and STILL be sexy, feminine, fabulous...whatever those words mean. You can wear red lipstick or no make-up, shave everything or nothing...and still believe that no one gets to assume anything about you based on those choices.
- Because hairy-legged vegetarian cat-lovers are not going to camp out on your lawn until you become one of them. We're too busy making organic lentil bread.
- And on the other side, it doesn't mean that just because you want to get married and pregnant that you are not a valid part of the debate.

To me, feminism is about doing your thing and not letting people give you shit about it.
Now who could be against that?

Go to Who Needs Feminism for other answers (Spoiler alert: We All Do!)


Nomali said...

Marry me!!!

Seriously! The ANCWL takes it out of me, I had a woman who is an artist respond with a resounding "YES" when I asked if she was being serious when she tweeted "Your value decreases the more u get around- no1 wants to b with someone who is a village bike..." [Sic] Slut shaming is a thing body shaming is a thing.

I will not refer to myself as a "bad bitch." and when I do "bitch" it's because I'm a manic depressive Capricorn not because I'm having PMS or I'm and "overly sensitive female."

You truly are lovely, Michelle.

michness said...

Urgh I know right! I'm a bitch because...I'm a bitch! Not because I'm PMSing or having a mood swing.

Shall we get married and scare people with our lesbian feminism? ;)

Nomali said...

Oh ja, Chris Brown is coming here. I forgot that.

Nomali said...

Let's do it!

Catherine said...

I agree with you completely and identify as a feminist. I like using the word "Feminazi" in joking reference to myself, but really I believe it's so telling that when women want equality, we equate them with a group that systematically exterminated over 6 million people.

However, I do know some women who don't identify as "Feminists"-capital-F because they feel excluded and underrepresented by the majority of the feminist community, which is a position I can understand. But as for me personally, I identify as one, for all of the reasons you listed. :)

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