Sunday, September 2, 2012
The Perfect Feminist
The Perfect Feminist
In feminism, there is this idea that feminists are supposed to behave in certain ways in order to be true to the movement. They aren’t supposed to be “girly” or wear pretty dresses, bright make-up or high heeled shoes. Feminists aren’t supposed to make sacrifices for the men in their lives, they are supposed to not even need a romantic relationship. They aren’t supposed to enjoy women’s magazines or daytime television shows. Feminists are not supposed to be emotional or show any signs of weakness. They aren’t supposed to cry or scream or look foolish. In short, feminists are supposed to be made of stone.
These notions about the so called “perfect” feminist are damaging to not only feminism, but to women. They force women into this tiny box of acceptability that most don’t even want to be anywhere near. It forces women to suppress their emotions and feelings and forget their joys and pleasures in life. They can’t enjoy the beauty of romance or the passion of a marriage. The ideas that make up what a feminist is supposed to be ultimately PUSHES BACK the movement.
We can’t make progress without freedom. Until feminism allows women to be who they are without restraint, we can never have equality. Until the polarization of the sexes ends, we cannot realize an egalitarian society. Feminism often restricts women in how the behave, just like the patriarchal, oppressive forces they are against! Only it’s worse, because it is disguised behind a mask of liberation.
Feminism, I am rejecting your ideas about feminists. I will not change who I am in order to wear the label proudly. I will not compromise my ideas, values, pleasures, goals or relationships. I will not bow down to your idols, I will not submit to your matriarchs. I will love men and enjoy my relationships with them; I may even make sacrifices in order to be with them. I may move across the country, I may give up my job. I will enjoy fashion and beauty, embrace them and continue to read Vogue, Glamour and Cosmo. I will scour the runways in search of the latest trends and spend an hour applying my make-up. I will read romance novels and cry when they end sadly and dammit, I will enjoy it. I will be myself, nothing more, nothing less. These things you see, don’t make me weak or stupid or a walking internalization of sexism. They make me, me. They also make me perfect. I am the perfect version of myself. And yes, I am the Perfect Feminist.