Which Kind Of Bad Feminist Are You?

There is a lot of talk about feminism and which kind is useful. There's "performative feminism," where someone might put on an ugly pink hat, free a nipple, and tweet a few #GirlPower hashtags but with little interest in helping on a grassroots, organizational level. 

There's the "anything a woman does is empowerment" feminism. The framework being that we should respect all women's choices. It's a nice theory but omits the issue of when a woman's actions directly or even purposefully reproduce the inequalities feminism is supposed to be working against (see your girl, Kellyanne Conway). 

There's the rumored misandrist as feminist, but those "man-hating snowflakes," are more right-wing fantasy than any real feminists in the objective world. 

There's "Beyonce feminism" which equates female empowerment with wealth, power, and status. A duplicitous kind of feminism that games the system designed to oppress women, but also inadvertently reproduces it. It's great to get the paper, girl, but if you don't smash the institutions along the way, you're just Queen of the Damned. It's no one's fault that this is the preferred brand of feminism these days, except Uncle Capitalism's that is. (I am a Beyonce fan, please don't destroy me, Beyhive.) 

Most importantly, there's intersectional feminism. Think of it as the all-inclusive dope, most bang for your buck package. It is one thing to hypothetically believe all women should be equal, it's another to acknowledge that women experience inequality vastly different from one another. That means the fight for women's rights must consider the experiences of women who are trans, who have disabilities,  who are queer, who are sex workers, who come from the vast array of cultures, religions, races, ethnicities, and creeds. It must also consider class, geography, history and status. To get the clearest picture of anything, you need context, other wise you're just looking at pixels until you finally zoom out and see the Pepe meme. Intersectionalism offers the most context, but only if you're willing to adjust your perspective and open your goddamn eyes. 

Every kind of feminism is worthy of your critique, it's the only way feminism will get better. Pick a day of the week and I'm probably one of the above. There is no perfect way to be a feminist, but the best way to be a feminist is to be a nuisance

To be a feminist is to make trouble for the oppressors.

Sometimes that is putting on an ugly pink hat because you know its statement causes palpable discomfort to those who ain't courageous enough to be woke. Sometimes it's getting a steady paycheck to dispel any of the expectations that a woman can't be self-sufficient, capable, and independent. Sometimes it's marching, volunteering, or being the loudest, most insufferable know-it-all who's fact-checking that lame dude's fake news story at the cocktail party. Sometimes it's standing with a friend because you're the one with the privilege at the time and it's the only way anyone else will listen. Sometimes it's biting your tongue and practicing understanding when a woman makes a choice different than you. Feminism comes in many forms and most of them are useful on different occasions. As long as you're not Miss Kellyanne, you're probably just doing your best. 

The only good way to be a feminist is to be a bad girl. Be the trouble that keeps your enemies awake at night. Be GRL TRBL.

 

Emerald Pellot