I am in the middle of reading Caitlin Moran’s book “How to Be a Woman”. Yes lads, I’m afraid this is a minor feminist rant so you might want to look away now.
I’ve always laboured under the impression that surviving my awkward, awful (various A-words here) teenage years gives me the right to be a feminist. Albeit, a modern feminist. Reading Ms Moran’s book has now led me to the conclusion that this is a very common opinion. Women are, on the whole, in a very generalised way, bonkers. Mad, insane, completely and unendingly for the madhouse. Yes, yes I can hear the hard-core feminists who read my blog shouting at their screens and reaching for the UNFOLLOW button, but hear me out yeah?
The reason that I think we are genuinely a few sandwiches short of a picnic is our feminist behaviour. I am a feminist. As Caitlin Moran said, it is very enjoyable to stand on a chair and shout I AM A FEMINIST and actually mean it. But we’re forgetting something. While we’re preening, plucking and frankly sacrificing pieces of our own skin just to seem attractive and above all acceptable to modern society, we may very well be shooting the metaphorical feminist-monster in the foot. WHY are we doing it? I mean really.
I am that girl, I’ll admit. I shave my legs religiously every other day, I have various lotions and potions that I use on a daily basis just to make myself socially acceptable. On the rare occasions that I venture out of the house in sweats with greasy hair, no makeup and my glasses on, are literally to run to the shop at the end of my estate and only if I need something absolutely life-threateningly necessary, like milk.
When I saw I’m a modern feminist I mean it in the “socially acceptable” way. I’ll demonstrate:
Society view of HARD-CORE feminist:
- Doesn’t shave, like at all
- Wears insane hippy clothing and plaits in her waist length hair
- Lobby’s for anti-abortion/anti-drug/anti-male/anti-fun campaigns
- Screams “Won’t somebody think of the children”
- Insists men are terrible, women hating parasites and are all the same ALL THE SAME
Am I right? Even myself, when I see someone’s twitter bio with the word “feminist” in it, I think oh here we go, I simply can’t deal with a person who’s that intense and thinks it’s tragic that I like hair straighteners, BB cream and bio oil (and cannot live without them). I’ll put my hands up and plead guilty to that, intense warrior feminists scare me, I’m sorry but they do, I can’t keep up with them.
So it may surprise you when I say hang on a minute, I AM a feminist, just because I don’t believe that all men need to be eradicated (like, they have their uses) does not mean that I’m some twisted female misogynist. My modern feminism ideals are simple:
- I like being fur-free in certain body parts, it’s just easier
- Men unfortunately DO get the best jobs in some companies, this does not mean women aren’t valued, maybe it means they just have more in their lives than their career, maybe they have children, or maybe we should view it as an opportunity to infiltrate from below, get promoted, show that you’re smarter instead of whinging about sexism while secretly texting your best mate under the meeting-room table saying WHY HASN’T HE CALLED ME YET (not a sexist comment, I have been that girl!)
- I don’t like thongs. Hate them. Ouch. If a man ever comments on me wearing “granny knickers” he is very quickly given a choice to wear a thong for a full 24 hours or piss off.
- I wear makeup almost every day, and I don’t go out without my mascara and eyebrows done. This is a me-thing. I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I doubt anyone’s paying a blind bit of notice to me anyway, it’s just a way of me feeling good about myself.
- I have weird female quirks that have nothing to do with feminism that people often mistake for feminism. Examples include: hating tampons – a mix of ouch and ick; and not getting waxed – I prefer to do my own landscaping thank you very much, the thoughts of a stranger doing it sends me into a panic attack. Both of these things have earned me a “so what are you, some kind of tree hugging feminist?” – “Yes, now piss off”
To give you a better picture of me – I have no children, I’m not married but I’m not single, and I firmly believe that my current relationship is almost 50-50 in the male-female power struggle. Honestly, I do. We both have our own passions and opinions and have no problem disagreeing with each other. But we have the disagreement and then move on. I don’t throw it in his face every argument “well YOU said three months ago that you didn’t mind if I missed a few days shaving my legs, all of a sudden you’re being sexist??” (That hasn’t actually happened by the way.)
My point is that there are men out there that think feminism is a good thing. And, another point, that women don’t have to constantly voice their feministic views just to be seen as being a feminist. I admire hard-core feminists, I admire a lot of women for a lot of things, but I really have had days where all I’ve thought about is what to do with my hair for that party on Saturday night, or wondering if I wash my hair today will it do for tomorrow as well. So I’m with Caitlin Moran, she talks a lot of sense. Let’s stop this man-bashing, or worse woman-bashing other women just because they want the right to have a bikini wax/spend €150 on a new hairdo/wear high heels all day/be a bloody porn star! What’s the point ladies? We’re all women. We’re always banging on about the individual and how everyone is different, why can’t we be different degrees of feminists?
I’m sure I’m attracting a lot of criticism here, but what is a blog for if not an expression of opinions. *shrugs*
I have both male and female friends that consider me differently, too. I have college friends that have described me as “all skulls, wolves and tattoos”, and I took that as a compliment. I have male friends who would say I’m as nasty as any bloke, and I have female friends who say I can be the girliest princess when it comes to my nails, spiders or my obsession with Britney Spears. I find it quite useful to have friends who see different sides of me. I enjoy having a male friend that I can text from the bathroom when I’m on a date & say “this guy has just asked me to (INSERT DIRTY EUPHEMISM HERE) and I don’t know what that means.” In case you want to know, replies to that have been – “yeah you’ll love it, go for it”, “eh you do know that’s ass stuff”, and my personal favourite, a one word reply saying “RUN”. I also enjoy having a female friend that I can say to “has your vagina ever…”, or “any tips for the worst yeast infection of my life”.
THIS is modern feminism, coming onto a blog and saying all these intimate details that most normal people wouldn’t say online and not giving a shit what anyone thinks of it. It’s embracing the fact that you’re a woman, any type of woman. I’m so over pretending that I don’t get periods, or that I don’t want to go to a beautician for anything more than a facial (& I have to psych myself up for those!). Women are amazing. They’re fantastic, enigmatic, insane, funny creatures that I don’t think I will ever fully understand. But so are men. Equality is a bit of a pipe dream when you sift through all the minor details like the aforementioned job issue, or stereotypical female roles, but there’s plenty of stick out there for a guy who wants to be a male nurse, a beautician or a pole dancer. There are always going to be idiots and trolls that give you hassle just because you’re a woman. There’s always one little scrote who has nothing better to do. Live and let live, ladies and gents. Let’s stop being “-ists” and just get on with it. There’s plenty of oppression and hatred in the world without all this guys-against-girls stuff. Prove things wrong if you don’t like them, strive to be the exception to the rule, change the bloody rule if you want. You can do and be whatever it is you want to be, but don’t add to the battle of the sexes by being the woman who rags on other women’s feminist views. Disagree with them yeah, just play nice, you know. We’re all kin here, in the end.
Criticise me and my views if you like but it’s my blog and my variety or feminism so you can fuck off if you don’t like it 🙂
By the way, no guy has ever taken the option of wearing the thong for 24 hours, just in case anyone’s wondering 😉