Am I a bad feminist?

So, here’s a thought: Am I  a bad feminist?

Rewind.

A few days ago, courtesy of Pri – btw, if you haven’t seen her latest post, you should read it… right now, because she tells it how it is! – I had the pleasure of reading a thought-provoking article written by Roxane Gay.

Gay asks herself whether she is a bad feminist because she enjoys and wants things which are… well, un-feminist – nope, I don’t know if that’s a word.

Around half way through the article I stopped reading. I do this a lot. No, it is not because I have the attention spam of a teenager nor is it because social media and technology have ruined me. It is a conscious choice.

I stop when an article poses a question because I want to be able to draw my own conclusion without being influenced by the author’s feelings and thoughts. I want to know MY answer to the question being asked, not my answer through their lenses. Once I have figured out my own answer, I will finish Gay’s article and who knows? Maybe we’ll come to the same conclusion, maybe not!

Now then… AM I a bad feminist?

I definitely feel like one at times. Let’s look at a few reasons why.

1. Chris Brown.

I have a zero tolerance policy towards domestic violence, we all should! It makes me feel disgusted and I just can’t… I can’t even talk about it without boiling from the inside out. My view on domestic violence is: DON’T F*@&$(@ DO IT. It isn’t a gender thing. I think that the way to know if a fight is fair is to assess your opponent’s strength and ability to fight, not their gender! Domestic violence is about much more than the imbalance of strength often encountered in mixed gender fights. It is about disrespecting a home; abusing and disrespecting your love, your companion, your partner.

As much as I hate domestic violence, I love music and dancing. When I think of Chris Brown, I quite often separate him into two: the man and the artist.

CB the man makes me… Erm… Nope, no words to describe the feeling.

CB the artist… HAVE YOU SEEN THE GUY DANCE?! Jesus. I can’t get enough! He is incredibly talented and very clearly extremely hardworking when it comes to his art.

So, you tell me… No, really… actually reply to this post and tell me: How do I reconcile the two? If I put CB the man to one side and just focus on CB the phenomenal artist, does that make me a bad feminist?

If yes, then I miss out on CB the artist and his MOVES! HIS MOVES! I mean, that just doesn’t seem fair – don’t I only live once and what not? Some might say that choosing to effectively ban CB the artist from my life is a small price to pay for the advancement of feminism. But… COME ON, HE IS SO GOOD!

So, AM I a bad feminist?!

2. I F****** love rap and hip-hop!

Oh my God. Kendrick’s Backseat Freestyle would be coming on and I am there all like:

Goddamn I got b*****, damn I got b****

Damn I got b*****, wifey, girlfriend and mistress

You’re telling me that I’m supposed to sit down quietly and NOT twerk my way through that song? Plus, I am using Kendrick as an example, but don’t think that I shy away from the REAL sexist rap. Nuh-uh.

So? AM I a bad feminist?

3. I “gender-appropriate”.

You have NO idea how many times I’ve heard the phrase: “You are such a guy!”

On more than one occasion when I’ve been compared to a guy has even made me feel good and proud of myself! I would be told that I am not “emotional like most girls” or that “it’s so cool” that I love football. There’s so many issues to discuss here that my brain may actually crash.

We are brought up to see women as emotional, which is a huge no-no. We all know this. Upon hearing the above, what did I do? I began to act like a guy more and more. I could have just continued doing the things I enjoyed, being the way I wanted to be, loving the sports I loved because it is WHO I am, not because they make me more “like a guy”. But… “guys are cool, girls are emotional” and remember: that’s apparently not a good look!

Not only should I have spoken up against the gender stereotyping that was going on in those instances, but by being proud to be “more like a guy” I insulted my gender and therefore, I must be a bad feminist. But… I was a kid/teen. If I didn’t make mistakes then, how could I have learnt… ANYTHING?!

Bottom line is: AM I A BAD FEMINIST?!

My final answer is… *drumroll*

Yes… at times.

I’m a human being and human beings like to indulge in things that aren’t really good for us. So, yes, at times, I am a bad feminist. 

Well, that’s fine by me – I’d rather be a bad feminist at times than not be a feminist at all. Plus… Feminism is about having a choice! The choice to do what you want with your body, be whoever you want to be, make the lifestyle decisions you want to make and… indulge in rap. Yep, I can see how you might argue that encouraging artists like Chris Brown, listening and supporting rap and gender-appropriating hurts the empowerment of women.

Nevertheless… I’d still rather be a bad feminist as opposed to not being a feminist at all. If you think that’s a disgrace, well… Think of Trevor Noah – he loves rap and hip-hop. He is also an incredible role model to boys and young men and above all, a feminist – a true feminist! Don’t believe me? Just read ‘Born a crime’.

When I got to this point in my post, I actually went back and finished reading Roxanne Gay’s article and guess what? We pretty much came to the same conclusion! Except her article is published in The Guardian and is just so much better than this post… But, anyway, see? 

A world filled with good feminists and somewhat bad feminists is still a better world than one filled with feminists and… “non-believers”, let’s call them that.

Until next time…

Love

A bad feminist xo

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