This blog is in its infancy, and obviously anyone reading at home at this stage isn’t going to have a clear idea of my values, or the things that get me fired up. In my offline life, I am both introspective and vocal about my small handful of deeply held beliefs, and I have no intention of being less so here. So let’s just get this out of the way:
I am a feminist.
I am not a misandrist.
If you don’t know the difference between those two things, let me gift you some knowledge here today, free of fucking charge. A feminist believes that simply being female shouldn’t negatively affect your chances in life. A misandrist hates men. See the difference? (Quick facts, “misandry” is the counterpart to “misogyny”, the hatred of women.) This isn’t “po-tay-to/po-tah-to” here, people, this is “po-tay-to/ham-fucking-sandwich”. Some of the most vocal feminists I know are card-carrying members of the male persuasion, and (guttingly) some of the most brutal misogynists I know are women.
Which brings us to my early morning vent today.
Back in about Grade 9, I babysat a little girl one or two nights a week. Fast forward to a couple of years ago, and she finds me on Facebook, we start following each other on Instagram, she’s grown into this amazing, vibrant young woman. In the last couple of months I’ve watched her finding her feet with online feminism so to speak, actively commenting on and liking many of the same posts that I read. So this morning, when she shared an image with an “I need feminism because-” message, I felt proud of her. It is a big step to begin putting your name to things that can be polarizing, no matter the subject.
I doubt very much that she expected the only negative comment to come from a close female friend. A friend who, I quote, “is way less scared of men than of judgmental bitches like [her]”. I nearly spat out my coffee, caught up in the full grip of protective rage.
Because this is the side of the fight that no one preps you for. It can be gutting, realizing that literally being a fellow woman does not mean you are on the same side of this. It is the disbelief that I feel in watching female Trump supporters dribble bullshit about how a woman shouldn’t be President because her hormones would undoubtedly make her do something crazy, while backing a person who casually talks about both sexual assault and the use of nukes. Or in the women who picket abortion clinics while simultaneously fighting against sex education and birth control for their daughters. I wish I could say it boggled my mind, but the truth is that misogyny is easy. It welcomes women with open arms and the promise that being “one of the boys” is the key to not being an aggressive, unattractive bitch-that-just-needs-the-D like most feminists, amiright? Well, news flash Miss-ogynists (see what I did there?). You’re not one of the boys. You’re just one of the total assholes who has yet to realize what feminism has already done for her.
I’m running late for work now because getting this out took longer than I expected. But it’s so important to have each other’s backs. Especially when dealing with backlash from people who should be your allies. I sent my girl a message already this morning with a little pep-talk and some serious girl-boss vibes, and I’m going to try to do the same for at least a couple of the other bad-ass bitches in my life today. And I’ll leave a little message here as well.
Back each other. No one is brave or strong or resilient every moment of every day.
Take no bullshit. You don’t owe anyone jack when it comes to compromising your values.
Be your awesome fucking self. ‘Nuff said.