Feminist TheoryUncategorized

So you’ve heard… feminists aren’t like other girls

We’ve all seen the depictions in movies. Feminists are man-hating, no-make-up-wearing, literature-reading, don’t-need-a-man, hate-the-colour-pink, know-who-Sylvia-Plath-is rebel women. They are Different. They wear glasses. They get asked out as a dare by the hot guy in school and rant about how unlike the other bimbo, pink-loving girls they are. The guy undoubtedly likes them because they’re a challenge and because they’re obviously going to crumble the second they receive the male validation they have, of course, craved their entire life. These feminists clearly just want to be told they’re pretty, too. It’s a tried and tested narrative that we’ve all seen countless iterations of, in media and in real life.

The feminist is both unapproachable, angry and hateful, and also better than the women that are “easy”, approachable, and not-angry.

It is a narrative created by men that pit women against each other, and ultimately, all women lose from this idea. Always framed through the objectifying male lens of desirability, both the feminist and the other girls are forced to play a losing game. Already at a disadvantage by the lose-lose situation, women are set up to fail with this narrative. It creates insecurity, animosity and the need to differentiate ourselves from all other women to avoid falling into the trap of having men deem us as easy because we are not a challenge. 

It’s no wonder that women unconsciously perpetuate this narrative – internalised misogyny, anyone? We are conditioned and raised in an environment that constantly and explicitly minimises our value and our worth. We are told to be quiet and to shut up, because girls don’t have good ideas. We are told that boys will only love us for our bodies and not for our minds, because why would a boy love a girl’s mind if it’s empty?

We internalise this contempt for ourselves from girlhood and eventually start to mistrust ourselves.

Because, instinctively, we know from a very young age that this narrative surely cannot apply to us, because we have incredible minds and value! We know that we have rich and deep inner worlds, strong emotions and relationships, and goals for ourselves in life. So surely this can’t apply to us, right? It has to be about those other girls, because how can this be the truth when we know that we aren’t like that? We must just not be like other girls then…

We are here to set the record straight: feminists are exactly like other girls, because there is no one way to be a feminist and we find strength in supporting each other.

And because we know this narrative stinks. We like the colour pink and classic literature, we wear glasses and make-up, and we read Sylvia Plath and listen to One Direction. Our power comes from our solidarity. 

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