Hello, Fia here! I’ve been thinking about starting blog entries about random feminist thoughts and issues and have never actually had the guts to do it… Until I was incredibly drunk that is. So yes, welcome to the first installment of “Feministy Shit,” an article I wrote whilst incredibly inebriated and edited whilst incredibly sober.
Part 1: Begin at the beginning.
When I’m not doing this godforsaken maths degree, I’m playing around with feminism. This has caused a little bit of a stir back at home, both with my friends and family, and I feel like I have to almost ‘come out’ as a feminist. So this is the first instalment (quite possibly the only instalment if I never find the time again) of ‘Feministy Shit’ . And yes, you’ve guessed correctly, that is literally a title I’ve pulled out of thin air while drinking copious amounts of alcohol.
This first chapter/chronicle/blog is going to start at the beginning. Yes. I’m going back to the first time I really ‘got’ what feminism means. I imagine this is a topic I’ll return to a million and one times, but it means a lot to me, so just let me ramble, K THX BYE.
When I was 18 and had just started university, I went to a friend of mines poetry reading, afterwards there was wine and a drunken party (obviously). I got chatting to this girl. She was older than me by about 5 years or so and I mentioned that I had a part in ‘The Vagina Monologues’ next term. She said that was nice, that she’d been a part of it before (oddly enough, with the same monologue as me) and that it was cool that I was getting into feminist things.
This made me pull a face. Me, feminist things?
That’s where I put my foot in it: ‘Doesn’t feminism mean that you think women are better than men?’ (I’d been drinking at the time, so this is a loose translation, but you catch my drift.)
Little did I know that the next few sentences she said would change my perspective forever: ‘It makes me so sad you think that, Fia. So many people think like this. All I’m asking for as a feminist is equality between men and women. Men and women should be treated the same.’
That was it. Drunk, at a party, I’d been told an undeniable fact that was previously warped to such an extent that it had lost all positive connotations. And no, this isn’t just some feminist myth I’m making up. If you Google ‘define feminism‘ it will tell you what I just said, albeit with better grammar and the general sense of sounding more official.
Feminism means equality.
I can safely pinpoint that moment as being the moment I realised that I was a feminist. I’d believed strongly in equality between race, genders, religion, sexuality, economic class etc (in no specific order) since FOREVER. I’d been brought up in a scientific family and I was told constantly to question the society and ‘facts’ presented in the world around me (high-five, parents!). I’d been told not to accept any so called ‘information’ I heard in the newspapers, and instead to explore grey areas.
And that was it. I was a convert. I was a self-defining feminist.
I’ve been lucky enough to drown myself in feminism and throw myself into pits of feminists since then, but I still have a few friends who are vaguely bamboozled by this ‘feminist’ thing I’ve become involved with. Why are they confused? Well…
I don’t hate men and they know this.
I shave and they know this.
I’ve never burned a bra and they know this (they’re expensive things, burning them is super counterproductive. If I really hated bras surely I’d just not buy them in the first place?).
Being naked is something I’m distinctively awkward about – in fact, I’m rather self conscious and won’t get changed in front of people – and they know this.
I love makeup and they know this.
I love fashion and flowers and dresses and skirts and high heels and looking feminine, and they know this.
What some people still don’t seem to understand is that by being a feminist, I’m asking for the ability to make my own choices. I’m asking for the choice to shave; I’m asking for the choice to revel in my sexuality; I’m asking for the choice to wear makeup or be bear skinned; I’m asking for the choice of wearing whatever the fuck I want; and I’m asking for these choices to be fulfilled without a single moment of judgement.
Choices free of judgement.
Choices free of judgement regardless of ANY constraints that have been encouraged by society. Women deserve to be able to make the same choices as men, and men deserve to be able to make more choices without judgement. In this day and age, who on this earth has the arrogance to dictate that any kind of sexuality or decision should be questioned? Why the hell should my religious beliefs or the colour of my skin encourage someone to restrict my decisions or choices, or oppress me in any way?
I’m sick of inequality. I’m sick of oppression. Let us all be equal. Give me equality. Give me the freedom to make my own decisions without your judgement.