In the wake of something terrible, I am generally stunned into silence. There is nothing to be said that can encompass the unfathomable—news of a pedophile football coach, news of pedophile priests, a bombing in a country far away, a mass shooting in a movie theater, a mass shooting at a high school, a mass shooting at an elementary school, a bombing at the finish line of a marathon, the final mile of which was dedicated to the victims of a mass shooting at an elementary school. What wearies me is how often I have found myself stunned and silent in recent years. What especially wearies me is having such a finely honed vocabulary for tragedy.
Roxane Gay tells us what it means to be a “bad feminist.”
“I fall short as a feminist. I feel like I am not as committed as I need to be, that I am not living up to feminist ideals because of who and how I choose to be. I feel this tension constantly.”
Listen to the full interview here: http://www.litshow.com/archive/season-07/roxane-gay
Source: SoundCloud / thelitshow
A Brief History of the Elusive Card Carrying Feminist
Rumors of the Feminist Card began circulating in the late 1800s and early 1900s during the rise of the women’s suffrage movement. Women who identified with the sociopolitically unpopular notion that women were equal to men would mysteriously receive a small card, by post, with the word FEMINIST, printed on one side in black ink, the other side blank. These cards were considered dangerous, and the consequences, should a woman be found with her FEMINIST card, were grave, so many women hid their feminist cards in the hems of their skirts or near their G-spots where they knew their husbands would never find them. When questioned about their cards, these women denied such existence vehemently, a practice that continues until today.
The FEMINIST cards were useful for allowing feminists to find like-minded women in a time when few women could publicly share their seemingly heretical ideas about equality. In church or other such male-approved gatherings, women would surreptitiously hold their FEMINIST card in a gloved left hand, and look around to see if other women were presenting their cards as such. After, these women would congregate in each other’s parlors to discuss freedom, voting, getting rid of corsets, and the latest skin treatments under the guise of sewing circles and “charity” work.
Once women received the right to vote, rather than become part of the mainstream, card carrying feminists became even more secretive. Women in the public eye would openly declare, to anyone who would listen, “I am not a card carrying feminist,” even though such was rarely the case. The more vehement the disavowals, it was often discovered, the more ardent the feminist.
In the 1970s, FEMINIST cards began appearing at women’s homes with much more frequency and before long, nearly one in three women had a FEMINIST card hidden somewhere in her home or on her person. Today, women holding these cards still congregate wherever and whenever, exchanging bold ideas about the future of women. When they are together, they proudly admit they are card carrying feminists.
so much to love about this.
Feminism is flawed. Feminism is flawed because it is a movement powered by people and people are inherently flawed. For whatever reason, we hold feminism to an unreasonable standard where the movement must be everything we want and must always make the best choices. When feminism falls short of…
yes yes yes to all of this. I am a bad feminist as well, but I am most definitely a feminist.
P.S. if you aren’t already following Roxane, remedy that quick!
Today, I am done with women bending over backwards to disavow feminism. I’ve been done with this for a while but I am EXTRA done today.
I mean, ladies, do whatever you want and be whatever you want and be however you want and believe whatever you want but stop saying, “I’m not a feminist,…
THIS, forever and ever amen.
One of the biggest problems feminism faces is how all too often, the movement’s mission is defined by the public feminists with the loudest voices and furthest reach. The way feminism will be mischaracterized by the content of this book concerns me a great deal.
I’m ready to fast forward to the time when Precious jokes and snide comments are no longer a thing. They’re actually not very funny. It’s the laziest possible way of thinking. The denigration of someone, even if they are fictional, is not necessary for the elevation of someone else, and certainly…
What she said.
I love pop culture. I think it’s tacky and trashy and hilarious, and I’m always interested in just sort of how low our culture will go—or how high, depending on how you look at it. I think all too often people deride pop culture as, you know, beneath us, but I don’t think it’s beneath us. I think it’s awesome, and I think it’s worth celebrating, and also—more importantly—I think it’s worth critiquing, because I think pop culture really reflects the best and worst of who people are. And that interests me: How much will people debase themselves for a little bit of fame? Watching that process is very intriguing to me.
1. Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be toxic, bitchy or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses—pretty but designed to SLOW women down.
1A. This is not to say women aren’t bitches or toxic or competitive sometimes but rather to say that these are…
Jonah Lehrer throws it all away
Why does a “young genius” risk everything by making up quotes? A better question is why we coddle young male genius
This is also about entitlement. Only entitlement can explain why someone would choose to lie in plain sight. For whatever pressures Lehrer faced, there is no ignoring that he plagiarized himself and fabricated quotes from Bob Dylan (Bob Dylan of all people!) because he could. He had the position and the power and he wielded both, to great effect. The people who put him in this position never questioned him because to question Lehrer would be to question themselves. Few want to look in that mirror.
I am immature.
I love tiny things. I especially love tiny versions of things that are normally large or large versions of things that are normally tiny.
The tiny baby elephant would always stay tiny, baby, and I would forever be reminded that my tiny baby elephant is a smaller version…
Rape humor is designed to remind women that they are still not quite equal. Just as their bodies and reproductive freedom are open to legislation and public discourse, so are their other issues. When women respond negatively to misogynistic or rape humor they are “sensitive” and branded as feminist a word which has, as of late, become a catch all term for, “woman who does not tolerate bullshit.