Over half a year ago now, I posted this. At the bottom, I said I was going to read up on feminism - I didn't want to label myself one until I knew what I was believing in. Getting Tumblr, in July some time, sort of assured me that I was definitely a feminist. I've still got A LOT to learn, and I find it hard to be 'learning' without people thinking you are the ultimate epitome of a misandrist or whatever if you were to write something you wanted to be informed upon. I'm in a feminist group on Facebook, and about a month ago now, Ophelia and i were discussing how we were scared to post stuff, in case we may have been wrong or ill informed or something, and be perceived as sexist or 'not a proper feminist' for doing so. I am still relatively young and although feeling as though I'm a way better person for being a feminist, I know I need to learn that feminism is a process, and I also know that I feel that picking up the label overnight can seem sort of daunting. I leave myself wondering whether I'm 'worthy' of the 'label', because I know I'm not an activist or clued up on everything. Is this a silly thing to wonder? I don't write that I'm a feminist in my 'about me' section of anything because, first, I'm an intersectional feminist, and secondly, I am scared. I'm scared that people will think I'm some sort of self-proclaimed wunderkid trying to say that I'm 'culturally informed' and that people may think that because I'm interested in fashion, I'm therefore, not able to be a feminist? The whole sort of 'flower crown/aesthetic feminism' is also an issue with some people. Despite reading Rookie (which people say encourages the mentality that feminism is all frills and pretty and believing in equality but that's really it) less recently, I do wear flower crowns WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT and I don't personally see it as a statement, or as thinking about doing something 'rookie'. I also read the whole Hipster Musings/rookie/Arabelle thing recently and am totally in agreement with Arabelle, and I also believe that badges and patches and feminist art is whole heartedly relevant for spreading the feminist message. People will ask what those damn badges mean. People will enquire as to why you feel the need to be a feminist. So, 'flower crown feminism' as it has been coined, I think, is not a bad thing. It should not define feminism, which I think a lot of people who disagree with 'flower crown feminism' and the wave of feminists that read rookie think is what these feminists think is feminism. Feminism is about beliefs and fighting and protesting, obviously, but spreading the message and introducing a load of teens to feminism using aesthetic which will lead them to find out more about actual feminism cannot be a bad thing. Or am I misguided? I need to stop saying feminism.
Through being more informed of feminism (here we go again), I've become more alert to sexism and misogyny that I would never have noticed before. However, when someone says something overtly sexist at school or in real life somewhere, I don't say anything because I don't feel equipped enough to. I know what I believe and I know what is right, but I feel as if no matter what I could say, I couldn't change their views. I asked a few people what they thought of this Jenna Marbles video and discussed how I thought it was problematic. Maybe it was me not being coherent or whatever but no one else could see where I was coming from. I then linked them to this video, and they still couldn't see any wrong in it. I find it an odd concept to see girls sort of accepting (advocating?) internalised misogyny, but I felt at a loss to do anything about it.
I am a feminist because it is about equality. Tumblr has made me way more open minded yet so much more analytical in a way. Transphobia, fatphobia, homophobia - all the 'minority phobias' - for lack of a better phrase - are so (for lack of a better word) - stupid. The word fat and supposed insults such as being called a slut need to be reclaimed. Neither are bad things.
Coming from a white, CIS, 15 year old heterosexual girl it might seem a bit rich. I am aware. I KNOW I don't understand truly what it's like to be discriminated against to that degree for being who you are. However, I also think that if I didn't try to understand or if I were ignorant of these problems I would be a worse off person. I'm lucky in terms that, in the view of 'society', I'm white and CIS and slim and heterosexual and that's the mould I should fit. I recognise my privilege in that.
But I almost feel guilty for being those things yet also feeling like I am required to be 'pretty'. Am I a bad person for being interested in fashion and wanting to think a lot about the clothes that I wear and whether I look 'pretty' or not? I'm also thin and especially when I was younger, I remember being called anorexic, even by a friends mum as well as classmates and stuff. People didn't know what the word meant at the age of 10 but it's kept me more conscious of how I look since. The constant comments on how I looked and stuff. It was I guess bound to make me consider what I look like myself. Obviously it's not like that now. I was/am a late developer so up till a couple years ago I was still scrawny and about 4 foot tall. Over the past year I've grown into myself a bit more. I was looking at pictures of my 13 year old self yesterday on Facebook and I was tiny. People comment way less on my appearance now but the stigma is there. I wore a tutu as a gym and dance costume and people said I should eat more (I'm not even that small any more, only by height). The constant hammering of assumption and feeling like they should be able to say that is weird. Would you say to someone say GOD you should eat less? My inability to react to people commenting on any aspect of my appearance (or accept compliments) is a downfall of mine so it makes it sort of more difficult to say something. I feel like an attention seeker in saying all this. I also had this conversation a couple weeks ago. I didn't register it really at the time but again my size/metabolism was brought up by them. I do have a fast metabolism but I don't relish in it and to be able to put on weight would be brilliant. It would make buying things on Etsy easier. I'm sure as I grow more this will change.
I don't know if I'm comfortable with my size, or myself. I wish I would think before I speak, I wish I was a bit taller, I wish I could do better in school when I know I am capable of it and I wish I was less introverted in school. People assume I'm feeble and say that I'm supposed to be 'innocent and cute' and are shocked if I stand up for myself, like I don't have the capability or something. I am shy and I am awkward yet when I get closer to people I'm really different. I say things I don't mean and push people away by turning down invites and making excuses because all that feels uncomfortable to me. I'm also known as the least 'hug-y' person ever and the least confident and teacher conversant (everyone remembers the geography tictactoe incident of year 9) person on earth and I avoid pictures being taken of me like the plague. I hate my personality yet I feel guilty admitting it.
What I'm trying to string together is whether I should I be accepting myself or trying to change myself to be what I'd like to be or asking whether it's really un-feminist of me to want to change myself but all the while believe in acceptance of others? And really un-feminist by wanting to put weight on but then again sort of not (just have people acknowledge other peoples' size without meaning anything by it, not implying something or anything? It's the same with people implying that fat people are always unhealthy, which is also baloney) and a really un-feminist concept to want to be 'pretty'?
I've probably offended a dozen people in this and I am sorry, but I don't know what I should be feeling and whether, despite believing I am a feminist, whether what I am feeling reflects it. I have been really really honest in this and I feel like I've played devil's advocate and I feel quite vulnerable posting it. Am I just trying to be a big conformist? Is that bad? HELP.
I also feel like I'm making out I'm some sort of victim. That's probably just narcissism (another bad/good? trait of mine). Oh god I feel silly posting this. I might delete it.