This week I read two essays in “Third Wave Feminism: A Critical Exploration” – Ch. 1 ‘Feminists Love a Utopia’: Collaboration, Conflict and the Futures of Feminism by Lise Shapiro Sanders and Ch. 20 ‘Wake Up and Smell the Lipgloss’: Gender, Generation and the (A)politics of Girl Power by Rebecca Munford.
After reading these two essays, I realized that sometimes my inner most thoughts are not always feminist. Sometimes, I hate to admit it, my thoughts are sexist.
Let’s take the recent example of the Kim Kardashian nude Instagram post. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about – here.) On International Women’s Day, yesterday, some women were outraged and took to slut shaming. While others were proud that she was embracing her body post-child. Everyone seemed to be on one side or the other.
Let me take a moment to say that I am being totally honest right now. I see feminism as something you stand for, live by and try to demonstrate. It is something that should affect the way one thinks, talks and behaves. Now, have you ever had an ugly thought about a woman? Maybe, “I can’t believe she’s wearing that.” or, “She’s so bossy!” or, “Wow, she must be desperate because she’s sleeping around.” Something along those lines…
I’ve definitely had at least one of these thoughts and I don’t think these inner thoughts make me a bad feminist, I just think they show I have room to grow. (As we all do.) I rarely ever hear a man slut shaming a woman. What I hear most often is women slut shaming other women. Or another example, stay-at-home-moms…I hear women all the time say, “That’s what you want to do with your life?” as if being a stay-at-home-mom wasn’t as rewarding and equally difficult as any other job.
One thing I personally want to get better at is respecting other women. Which is something that I often preach. I want to wonder, ask questions and feel comfortable while doing these things. There is no need to be hostile to women who aren’t exactly like us or don’t think exactly like us. This is something I want to remember, work on and truly change.
“[T]here have always been, and will always be, differing versions of what feminism is about…” – Segal