i-need-feminism

Dear social justice bloggers:

Always remember that the people that harass you and make racist, misogynistic, ableist, transphobic, etc., comments on your posts are NOT the ones you’re trying to reach. Those are anti-SJ trolls and they have already made up their minds and will not listen to reason. 

It’s the people out there who are on the fence, who are still inquiring minds, the ones who most often don’t even leave a “note”, THEY are the people you’re trying to reach. In fact, any anti-SJ backlash you face is almost always a sign that you’ve hit a prejudiced nerve and are doing something right. 

So please do not lose hope. Keep on fighting for social justice no matter how many trolls surface from the nasty depths of the interwebz to try to stomp you out of existence. Bc the more they whine & moan, the more you can be sure that you are disrupting the white male supremacist (etc) status quo and promoting positive social change.

Personally, I plan to continue advocating for social justice for as long as I am able. I hope that you will all join me in solidarity!!!

WHY DO GYNECOLOGISTS KEEP ASKING ME WHICH BIRTH CONTROL PILL I WANT TO BE ON YOU’RE THE FUCKING DOCTOR DON’T READ ME A LIST AND TELL ME TO PICK ONE DON’T ASK ME WHAT MY FRIENDS ARE ON WHAT THE FUCKITY FUCK THIS KEEPS HAPPENING YOU ARE A DOCTOR IF ALL BC PILLS DO THE SAME THING JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES AND POINT AND DON’T TELL ME YOU DID THAT

We’re told we have to pay taxes on pads and tampons because they’re “luxury items”. Apparently having blood oozing down your legs is an option.
—  A classmate of mine

I think it’s hilarious when antifeminists/MRAs/anti-SJs complain that online SJ agents are “just doing it for the followers/notes/RTs”. As if, as an online activist, you wouldn’t benefit from more followers since the more followers you have the wider the reach of your social justice message. As if that isn’t the EXACT PURPOSE of being online in the first place. NEVER let antifeminists tell you that your online activism isn’t effective. The reality is that it IS effective and the only reason antifeminists/MRAs/anti-SJs spend SO much of their time hounding us online is because THEY FUCKING KNOW IT!!!!!

“I will never be a well behaved woman.

I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms.

I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds.

I would rather live in a hammock on a beach for six months, and write like my soul means it.

I would rather be horribly broke at times, than married to a job because a mortgage payment has my ass on a hook.

I would rather own moments, than investments.

I would rather eat alone, than sit with women who bore me at “Wives’ Night.”

I would rather swim naked with bioluminescence, have it fall like fireflies from my hair, my breasts, my back.

I would rather do handstands naked in the moonlight when no one’s watching than pick bridesmaid dresses.

I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church.

I would rather learn from life than rack up debt, in a desk.

I would rather drink the ocean, again and again—celebrate being madly alive.

I would rather my love be defined by love itself, and nothing more or less.

I don’t need a ring on my finger to prove that I am in love.

I would rather take the chicken bus, than spend useless money in safe gated communities. Sit beside a goat, listen to raggaeton and eat green mango with sugar in a plastic bag sold from the woman who harasses the bus each time it stops.

I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent.

I do not need to own a piece of earth with some wood on top of it—to feel successful. No one truly owns the land, anyway—we just think we do.

My savings account has diddly to do with my richness.
I would rather sprawl my single ass out like a lioness each morning and enjoy each corner of my empty bed.

I will take a job I love and freedom over a pension, any day.

I will not work and work and work to live when my body is old and I am tired.

Stocks are for people who get boners from money.

Not everyone should have kids, and my eggs aren’t expiring.

I will not drink the societal Kool-Aid on a bus, nor will I drink it on a train.
Not on a plane, with a goat, in the rain, in the dark, in a tree, with a fox, in a box!

I will not jump through societies’ hoops and red tape, the treasure hunt in the rat race we chase.

If we must have milestones—mine will be measured by how much joy I have collected at the end of each day and how often in this life I have truly, deeply, opened.

Seek, see, love, do.”

- Janne Robinson

Yes, we need feminism. I can’t speak for why anyone else needs it, but I can tell you one of the many reasons why I need feminism. I need feminism because when I was in the first grade, I started to have noticeable leg hair. I didn’t notice it, and if I did, it didn’t bother me. That is, until one pajama day. I wore my pajamas and I was happy because they were comfortable. But the pants were more like capris on me. And on the school bus home, the big, yellow school bus, I walked on and one of the older kids commented on it. I think he just asked why I had so much leg hair with a smirk, but for me it was devastating. I went home crying and told my mom I needed to get rid of my leg hair. She told me we could wax it or shave it, but that waxing kinda hurt. I said let’s shave it. So I took a bath with her help and she showed me how to make the bar of soap lather enough and she showed me how to shave my legs. I was afraid I’d mess it up, so for years I had her help me shave my legs. From first grade until 9th grade, I never went without shaving my legs for more than a couple of days, and when I did, I hated it, and I hated my legs. In 8th grade, an adult female mentor I had mentioned that she’d been really busy with her infant child, and she hadn’t shaved her legs in a month or so. She said this in a group of other young girls like me, and we all asked to see. She pulled up her pant leg to just past her ankle, and I couldn’t control my facial expression. I must’ve looked so alarmed and disgusted. This was everything I’d been fighting hard to avoid for the better part of my life. I went home that day and wondered why I was disgusted. I thought about how terrible I felt about it. I wondered if I would ever have the courage to let my leg hair grow out at all, and quickly almost laughed to myself, knowing I could never do it. But in 9th grade I did a project about the portrayal of women in the media, and in the 12 week process, I was forced to take a look at the way I presented myself and the way I fit into the whole system. I thought about how I didn’t like to leave the house without makeup and I thought about how I almost never wore sweatpants because I was afraid I’d look sloppy or fat. I thought about how I subconsciously put my hand over my mouth when I smiled for almost four years of my life because one time, someone said I had crooked teeth. I thought about everything I did to make myself presentable on a daily basis and I decided I wanted to change it. I stopped shaving my legs. I stopped shaving my armpits, which I’d been doing regularly since I started getting armpit hair in middle school. So that’s why I need feminism. I need feminism because I am tired of shaving, and I shouldn’t have to in order to feel confident about my entire personality. I need feminism because I don’t fucking like wearing makeup and I don’t anymore. I wear makeup when I feel like it. I need feminism because I have a boyfriend who thinks I look beautiful whether I’m wearing makeup or not, and when I asked if he preferred my legs shaved or not he said he didn’t care and he said it would be ridiculous for him to ask that of me when his legs are much hairier than mine. I need feminism because sweatpants are the comfiest goddamn pants out there and so what if I want to wear sweatpants for the rest of the year. I need feminism because I don’t want my friends or future kids to come home crying about what some kid said and I don’t want to have a kid afraid to wear shorts because the last time she shaved was three days ago. I need feminism.
—  @on-the–otherside 11/18/15
"Not all men" vs. "Not all feminists"

A typical antifeminist/MRA/anti-SJ tactic is to suggest that feminists are being hypocritical when they say that men’s use of “not all men” is bullshit because we use the excuse “not all feminists” fairly often. Their mistake is that they think that because these two statements SOUND THE SAME, that they have THE SAME MEANING. But this is a false equivalence and I’m gonna tell you why. So strap in friends, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride ;)

The “not all men” excuse refers to RAPE and other aggressions and violence INDIVIDUAL men commit against women. When you say “not all men” you are saying, “yes some men are bad and may be dangerous, but some of us are good!” IOW, “Because I think I’m a ‘good man’, other men’s violence doesn’t exist and you shouldn’t bring it up anymore!”. Men who use this argument are trying to silence women and deny their experiences of violence and abuse at the hands of other men. This is a derailment tactic that serves no useful purpose but to reassert patriarchy and rape culture.

When we say “not all feminists are like …..” we are saying that you cannot define an ENTIRE MOVEMENT by the actions of an individual. FeminiSM is a # of THEORIES, PHILOSOPHIES, AND BODIES OF RESEARCH that advocates for equality and inclusiveness. Unlike a theory, which is developed over time through research, activism, and public/political/academic discourse, FeminisTS are PEOPLE with flaws and who cannot be asked to embody all that is feminism. Any logical person can see that this comparison is apples and oranges.

In fact, nearly every time a man has come at me with “yes, but not all men” has been when I was talking about my OWN experiences with men’s violence and abuse. And this is not just happening to me. Its prevalent use among men in this type of situation is the very reason there is such a strong push back by the feminist community. 

This is why when feminists talk about their individual experiences and a man chimes in with “not all men” it is absolutely a derailment tactic because it’s not even RELEVANT. Nobody even said “all men”!? We KNOW that not all men do this (e.g., rape, violence, make sexist/racist jokes) and that they are all individuals with autonomy and who make their own choices. In FACT, I will even ADMIT that there are a FEW moments when saying “not all men” can be appropriate. But that is only when a person has clearly blamed all men for something. And then, after briefly clarifying that not all men do this (or better yet, waiting until AFTER the story), you return BACK to the woman’s story and demonstrate human compassion and empathy. If you are just drawing conclusions about a woman’s meanings however, it’s better to skip this self-absorbed comment and start listening and caring again like a decent human being.

So, when feminists say “not all feminists” all that we are doing is trying to demonstrate to YOU that feminism is a very diverse movement and just because you met a few “nasty”, “b*tchy”, or even violent feminists, it doesn’t mean that FEMINISM itself is to blame and/or that it hasn’t/isn’t doing great things for humanity. What it DOES mean is that feminists too are individual people with their own unique lives and interpretations of feminism. Just like men!

THIS means that YOU, as an individual, are responsible for doing your research about feminism before you decide how you feel about it. You cannot judge feminism based on individual feminists or the cultural construction of feminism that paints it as no-longer necessary and as shrouded in ‘evil’ misandry (psssst, that’s something else!). 

Instead, you can kindly and privately call attention to this problem, as MANY of us feminists have done and continue to do, and suggest to these misguided feminists that they too take a break from their harmful “activism” and do more research and critical thinking about feminism and intersectionality. THAT would be a much more helpful and healthy approach than demonizing feminism and all feminists just because of a few “bad”/misguided apples.