Not Here To Make Feminism Look Good
So, just as a general disclaimer, if you come to my inbox complaining that I’m making feminists look bad*, I’m going to assume you’re either a dude, an egalitarian shitwaffle, or that you’ve been a feminist for no longer than five minutes.
Anyone who’s been feminist for longer than that understands that no matter what you do, you will never be able to make feminism look appealing to the general public. Not in this lifetime, anyway. Because no matter what we do, no matter how watered down and choice-y and inoffensive and cookie-giving and soft-voiced and minimal expectations it is, no matter how much we reassure men and tell them that they don’t have to change or put in any effort or worry or feel bad or lift a finger to help women, people still hate feminism.
They still use it as an insult, as a four-letter word. They still speak of it with derision. Feminists are still viewed as too pushy, too loud, too demanding, as going too far. Because any time you demand - or even ask nicely for - social change, people are going to balk and call you an extremist and cry about free speech and go BUT NOT ALL OF US ARE LIKE THAT SO WE DON’T HAVE TO CHANGE.
I gave up the idea of trying to make feminism look good to the privileged long ago. People will say no whether you make demands, or beg, or ask gently while offering a plate full of cookies. So I make demands. You know why? Because asking nicely is exactly what the privileged demand of us. Part of the patriarchy is decreeing that all women must be meek and nice and never do anything to upset men. I reject that, because said rejection is the only path to real revolution. Being nice doesn’t work and has never worked.
I will never get my liberation from the patriarchy if I act within the confines of what the patriarchy demands. I say “fuck you” to all of it. I will reject every part of the patriarchy by loudly demanding my liberation, by bluntly questioning and calling out every single part of the patriarchy. I will not wait, I will not beat around the bush, I will not let anything go, I will not pick and choose my battles based on what men think I should be focusing on.
And none of this will make feminism look good to those invested in the patriarchy, specifically because it’s not meant to. So if you send me a message telling me I’m making feminism look bad in the eyes of my oppressors, your message will end up in the trash. I highly recommend that you join it, because that is where you belong.
(* NOTE: If you’re coming to tell me I’m being oppressive in some way to groups I have privilege over, you will be well received. Feminism does have issues with racism, transphobia, heterosexism, ableism, etc., and I don’t want to contribute to that. However, my change in behavior will be motivated by not wanting to be oppressive crapbasket, not by a desire to improve feminism’s image.)