Lately, I feel like this question plagues my mind more and more. Am I doing enough? Do I care enough about all the issues women face? Why do I still judge other women so much? I’m starting to realize there is so much pressure right now to care about every single women’s rights or feminist issue. And I do care about those issues, but I feel like there is so much pressure to now be involved in every aspect. It’s become a pissing contest amongst other women of who is more feminist than the other, or who isn’t doing enough. Admittedly, when I was younger, I thought being called a feminist was a negative thing. I had images of bra burning in my head, and many other unfortunate stereotypes thrown at feminists. Probably also didn’t help that I had a friend who called me a feminist, but in a mocking manner. We were 14, and still had very much to learn.
Feminism is a movement that involves politics, ideologies, and social issues to establish equality of sexes. That is putting it very broadly. Why did I feel so negative about this at 14? And why did my friend decide for me this was a bad thing? I still don’t know if I would call myself feminist, although I probably am. I believe in equal pay, pro-choice, doing away with double standards, equality, etc. But, I still find myself falling into the trap that most women do, being misogynistic against my own gender. I find myself judging other women all the time, slut shaming, and in general being petty (admittedly this can be kind of fun). This is all learned behavior from grade school and on. It takes more than just saying I’m not going to do that when it’s been a learned behavior from a young age. Part of it is jealousy and envy, let’s be honest with ourselves here. But, this is the part of the feminism or women’s rights movement that bothers me, I don’t have to like every woman or support every woman.
I’m not a fan of supporting women for the sake of supporting women. Or that I have to be buddy-buddy with every woman I run into. It doesn’t work like that. Sorry, but let’s be real. There are some really shitty women out there. I’m not going to support your business if you have harmful political views, or if you’re out to screw over customers or people in general. I do think it is crappy to put that on women, to make them feel like they have to support all women owned businesses. Or, they have to be friends with every woman they run across. We’re social creatures, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to hit it off with every person you run across. And not everyone is nice. At my past job, I had a female director who enjoyed making fun of her subordinates, and was just all around rude. That isn’t someone I’m looking to support. It almost seemed like she got off on bullying her employees. Hey, anything for a laugh right? Doesn’t matter she just made of fun someone’s appearance, or religion. It’s moments like that where I’m 100% against a person, and because they’re also a woman, I feel like I can’t be. And that it boils down to I’m jealous of her success, but no, in reality, she was just a really shitty person. And I have to tell myself it’s okay to be against that type of person.
I probably am a terrible feminist, but what makes the perfect feminist? Is there an answer for that? I’m sure there is, but I don’t have it.