Sunday, 22 March 2015

treasure: being the feminist kid at the party

I'm not sure exactly how I've managed it, but I've realised in the past few months that I'm the feminist at the party. Oftentimes I'm very close to being the token feminist, but thankfully there are the wonderful times when other feminists come along and we get to sit in the corner, cooking up spells and plotting the deaths of all the mans.

I've realised I'm the feminist at the party for a few reasons:

1. People seek me out because they've come across some piece of information which indicates that maybe things aren't always so great for women and they want to share it with me. Such things include the standard fare of feminists, feminist bread and butter if you will: gaps in pay, legislating governing women's rights to make decisions about their own bodies, rape trials where we're more concerned about the poor young men rapists having their futures ruined, constant murder of women all over the world, unending popular cultural attack on representations of women. In each case I am generally not surprised. These facts of the world sit constantly in my line of sight because I've put them there, through my conscious Facebook interaction (to make that damned algorithim work for me) and the reading I can't help but do on a daily basis.

2. People want my feminist opinion on something to do with one of the instances listed above. As I've conceded, I am cynical enough to be unsurprised and to offer some slightly bitter comment to that effect. I consider this to be my off-the-cuff feminist skillz section, and I am improving my critical witticisms on the daily. Bitch-in-training.

3. People have a "but what about ..." instance they want to run by me. Subcategory a) they genuinely can't figure out how the thing they've heard, thought or read fits in with feminism, and they want to know, or b) they want to somehow prove me wrong, which is virtually impossible for the simple reason that I'm quite comfortable in the knowledge that most of the feminist things I think are based on opinions and my interpretations of things. Right or wrong becomes less relevant. Plus I'm very rarely wrong about anything.

4. People don't like feminists and are bored at the party and want to watch the world burn. These ones fall into the 'this is why we can't have nice things' section.

5. People want me to teach them things because identifying as a feminist apparently signs me up for a lifetime of educating people who, despite all my patience and good intentions, probably won't listen to me anyway. This is why the patience and the good intentions are wearing thin.

6. People are geniunely interested in feminism and like talking to someone who manages occasionally articulate conversation and actually isn't that bad as a human being (that's me, in case you're wondering. We're still talking about me).

7. People want a gold star for having thought a feminist thing. And if I'm at an actual party, chances are I'm drinking, so if you're nice about wanting your gold star I will probably bestow it upon you in a great show of warmth and genuine pleasure. In this instance the gold star is not an actual gold star, it's me smiling and being enthusiastic in your general direction.  Better than all the gold in the land.

It could also be that I'm the feminist at the party because I keep calling myself a feminist over and over and over and over til I'm blue in the face. Any of the above approaches to me as a feminist at a hypothetical or actual party is ok with me, except probably option 4. I like that people save up their feminist tidbits for me. It gives me hope, and it gives me a little piece of their souls without them even knowing - we feminists feed on these, you see.

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