I’m a feminist. Sometimes it feels like I live breathe, eat, and sleep feminism. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m just feminist enough. A while ago, I made the mistake of calling another like-minded individual a feminist. I don’t even remember what they did to merit the honor, but I sure do remember their reaction. They actually got offended at the fact that I called them a feminist. Wait. Stop. What?
I was taken aback by the negative reaction. I didn’t even know what to say or where to start. I apologized for offending them and we both went our separate ways. I still think of them as a closeted feminist. This made me realize that I need to be prepared. Should the opportunity present itself again, this is what I will say:
“Relax. I wasn’t trying to offend you. Me calling you a feminist was a fucking compliment. Why? Well, for starters your actions showed me your amazing strength. In spite of the patriarchal/political/cultural/societal structure that fails and oppresses you daily, I saw you fight back. I was impressed. So impressed that I called you a feminist. That was some real feminist shiiiiiit.
So, the next time you want to go on and be offended because I called you a feminist, please check yourself. You’re a fucking feminist. Deal with it. Don’t do feminist shit if you don’t want to be called out. Stop fighting it. Join the movement (willingly). We fight for you. We will fight with you. We believe in you. We will believe with you. We SEE you. We will always see YOU.”
For the record, you are taking a feminist stance every time you:
- Don’t believe the hype
- Take action to make the world a more just place (for all its inhabitants)
- Question the patriarchy
- Acknowledge your own privilege(s)
- Believe that you are beautiful just they way you are–even on bad days
- Talked to your friend/child/neighbor/family about the skewed norms the media/marketing machines create, uphold and push on us
- Stood up to someone when they did you (or someone you love) wrong
- Told your child that his/her hair, skin, smile, are beautiful
- Questioned a double standard
- Gave yourself permission to love yourself and others
The list goes on. Feminists do some real cool shiiiit. You may not be a full-fledged feminist today, but maybe–just maybe—you are feminist enough.