Now let me make one thing perfectly clear. I love Feminism. If I could weave it into a quilt and wrap myself up into it whilst eating chocolate digestives, I would. Feminism is needed, and no rational person can dispute that. All you need do is look at domestic violence, sexual assault and wage statistics to see Feminism is still essential and relevant. Beyonce once said in an interview that Feminism needed a revamp. A new name. And, as I’ve written before, although I’m not entirely sure that her suggestion of ‘Bootilicious’, I see what she means. The word alone of Feminism is just ladened with connotational baggage of angry, hairy, terrifying women shouting. As I have written about before, women who buy into this idea of what Feminism is, but still support equal rights for women (as longs as its prefixed by ‘I’m not a Feminist but…’) are detrimental to Feminism as they reject the label, but they are in fact Feminists, many women who call themselves Feminists are just as detrimental to the movement.
And this is how: There’s a certain section of Feminists that are, basically hypocrites. And this is a very specific open letter to them, of sorts. I appreciate that you’re angry, oppressed and hurt by the damage that has occurred because of warped patriarchal ideas about beauty and (related) value. But let me make this very clear: Vilifying what society deems as pretty and naturally skinny girls doesn’t make you a great feminist – in fact, its the opposite of feminism. How are you expecting to empower women, when you’re shaming them for being the way they are. You wouldn’t shame an overweight girl for being self confident. You wouldn’t tell an overweight girl to eat less. You would never assume, let alone publicly on websites such as twitter or tumblr, that an overweight girl had an eating disorder. And good! You shouldn’t! However, how a person could possibly know that it’s wrong to say these horrible, bullying statements to overweight girls could justify it to say to a naturally skinny girl it absolutely beyond belief and frankly sickening. You do not have the right to hide behind Feminism as if bullying a girl for her physical appearance is tearing down the walls of patriarchy. It isn’t. It’s reinforcing them. And frankly, I don’t care if you’re nastiness comes from issues with your own confidence in regard to physical appearances. It is unacceptable. It is bullying.
Beauty and intelligence are not mutually exclusive. You will do well to remember this. The girls you see on television. The girls you see airbrushed on magazines. You have been conditioned to aspire to be these girls. And then you realised the ridiculousness of this. You have decided to hate them. You have not yet realised the ridiculousness of this. You woke up a little, but you still have sleep in your eyes. Wake up. You do not know these girls. These girls have problems, too. These girls can’t stand to look at themselves in the mirror somedays, too. These girls have worries keeping them awake at night too. Television shows are edited for entertainment value. Photographs are airbrushed to sell products. There are girls who can’t go to school, you could help them. There are girls who can’t afford tampons, you could help them. There are women who are killed every day through domestic violence, you could help them. But its easier to sit at your computer and tweet about how the eighteen year old girls on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model are vapid and stupid, though you know nothing of the intellect of these young girls who are just trying to further themselves and achieve their dreams. Don’t devalue their dreams because they are not yours.
Now take a look at yourself.
Do you understand?
You are not a Feminist. Equality is equality, nothing less – there are no tiers. No betters, not worse.