What do feminists do all day? Apart, that is, from bra-burning, man-hating and taking an inordinate amount of time to have a piss due to the need to get in and out of dungarees? Well, one thing certain feminists do is muse pointlessly on the nature of “feminism”, having witnessed the following exchange on Twitter:
woman: the feminists are making the female population look like idiots!
man: no just themselves
woman: oh well leave them to their dungarees and bra burning while the rest of us toddle along being sensible!
In case you are wondering what “being sensible” means, I have worked out from “woman’s” timeline that it involves the following things:
- deluding yourself that having a male partner is a unique achievement, and one which will annoy all feminists you encounter
- making a big deal of the fact that you “do science” while being in possession of blonde hair
- ranting about women who make themselves “an easy target” for becoming the victims of rape
Having assessed myself against the above criteria, it would appear that I’m not very “sensible”. But that stands to reason, what with me being a feminist.
The life of a feminist is very different to that of an ordinary woman. Here, for instance, are the typical thoughts that go through my head during the course of a morning:
- I want to go back to bed
- Need coffee
- My kids are ace!
- But they’re also right sods
- Is it lunchtime yet?
- My partner’s ace!
- But he can also be a right sod
- I should really be concentrating on my work
- I need the loo
- Shit! One day I’m going to die!
I’m not saying this is representative of every feminist. Some might drink tea rather than coffee. Some might not have partners and/or kids. Some might actually think about the work they’re supposed to be doing as opposed to having abstract, mildly panicked ponderings in relation to it. But basically, these are the thoughts I have and I’m a feminist. And while all this might not be “sensible” (to use the new definition of the word), it’s terrifically mundane.
But what, you might ask, about proper “feminist” thoughts? Surely, in order to be a feminist, you must have these? Well, yes, indeed you do. But people are often incredibly unclear about what these are.
Here are some thoughts which are NOT feminist:
Wow! Loose Women totally speaks for my desire to bring down the patriarchy!
I wish someone would explain to me, in long-winded, patronising tones, exactly what “misandry” means. It’s getting on for five minutes since the last time that happened.
I fucking love equality for women! But only if it’s expressed in the vaguest terms possible and never linked to actual issues (since the men might not like that).
Boys are stupid – throw rocks at them!*
And here are some thoughts which ARE pretty feminist:
If you have sex with someone without obtaining their consent, that’s rape.
How attractive I am to men is not the sole measure of my worth as a human being.
What I think and say does not require an extra layer of authorization simply because these are the thoughts and words of a woman
And here are some things about which feminists MIGHT THINK DIFFERENT THINGS!!!:
Abortion rights and cut-off points
Naomi Wolf (only kidding – we all think she’s lost it)
I hope thus far I have been clear. I’m aware it can be terribly confusing, and would also like to stress that I am not Every Feminist Ever (which again just adds another layer of confusion, for which I do of course apologise). The trouble is, unless you are specific and get into the detail of things, it’s perfectly possible to witter on about how much you “believe in” this and that without ever standing up for anything. It’s easy to believe in equality for women when all you mean is “women who are exactly like me”. Feminists don’t do this. That’s why they argue amongst themselves sometimes, but it’s also why they change things.
Anyhow, must go. Desperate for the loo. And with the boiler suit I’ve got on today, it takes me bloody ages.
* Fun feminist fact: Susan Faludi did not design those T-Shirts for David & Goliath. It’s an urban myth.