Today I was reflecting on my own feminism. Not the kind you’d find in a Women and Gender studies textbook. Not Beyonce inspired feminism. Not the 1960s- 70s American Feminist movement type of feminism. And not Corporate America’s branch of feminism either. They are all inaccessible to me. They don’t apply. They are irrelevant. I’m not a middle- class white privileged woman. And I hate academia. It denies access of information to your lay man.
Today it dawned upon me that I may be paying lip service to some ‘feminist’ ideas that I only agree with ideologically.
I’m began to question whether I, when I am true to myself, really support ‘anti-slut-shaming’ movements?
-Why do I wear lipstick and so very noticeably, adhere to very gender normative ways of styling myself, based on ideals perpetrated by patriarchy.
-Why am I still primarily listening to the misogynistic rap songs I do. Why is f****** Problems still at the top of my playlist?
-Why am I attracted to Macho men? Even when I attempt to deconstruct ‘masculinity’ and problematize it?
-Why do I sometimes feel like a ‘bad bitch no muzzle.’ Does using the ‘b’ word make me any less of a feminist?
-Why have I felt the need, to, sometimes give into the girlish urge to dissect outfits and attitudes. To police other women’s bodies and decisions.
-Should I support the decriminalization of sex work?
reproductive rights? by default?
-Can one be racist and feminist? Homophobic and feminist?
-Should I be dressing like whoopi goldberg? or be a hypersexualizing feminist?
Advertise my sexual empowerment and liberation, or repress it, because I don’t want to partake in the exploitation of womens’ bodies that is reflective of the partriarchal societal order. Especially as a black woman.
All these questions I cannot answer. They require me to step outside of theoretical frameworks and be honest with my self. How should I negotiate all of these questions with my life experiences. And confounding beliefs? Should I re-frame the way I think entirely, in order garner a check mark in the ‘good feminist’ box. Even when ‘feminism’ itself is so divided. Or should I take the easy route and avoid self identifying as a feminist to relieve myself as all this pressure, and be able to listen to my gosh-darn dance-hall playlist, sans a pang of guilt? And like, many privileged members of society recline on my chaise-lounge and claim to ‘simply just believe in equal rights for everyone.’
I’m tired of articles about how the power-puff girls are feminists. I want people to speak of feminism in a real way. It’s becoming elusive.