The Vixen Thinks: A Love Hate Relationship With Feminism (Part One)


The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

I am a feminist. Misconceptions about what feminism actually is aside, forgetting my issues with the term feminism, when it boils down to it, I am a feminist. I have been a feminist my whole life, although it was only when I was 13 and read the words "riot grrrl" in a graphic novel about Kurt Cobain that I realised that what I am has a name. I feel silly having to explain this time and time again, but feminism is so often over complicated that I feel a definition is essential for the rest of this blog post. Feminism is the belief that men and women are equal to each other in every aspect of life and should be treated so. There, that's not such a bad idea is it?

And yet, recently, I feel my beloved feminism has been tainted. For years, I was a dedicated Tumblr user, and one of the things I loved about Tumblr was it was a great place to meet with like minded feminists. It was great seeing all these intelligent women saying amazing things about gender and equality in ways I'd never read before and I felt proud to be part of that community. Eventually though, I noticed the Tumblr activist community changing. I started noticing terms like "cultural appropriation" and "cisgender". It wasn't long before I felt like feminism wasn't for me anymore. I'm white. I come from a poverty free background. I class myself as female and my body reflects this. And suddenly, I felt like this meant I was immediately the enemy. God forbid how I'd feel if I wasn't a woman. I am not racist. I am not transphobic. But, suddenly, on Tumblr, it felt like if you were white and "cisgender" you couldn't possibly have an opinion on matters such as homophobia or racism.

I'm not ignorant. I understand that many feminists do fail to include trans people in their definition of equality. I know that gender inequalities do vary wildly depending on the race of the person. I know that as a white female, I enjoy certain privileges that a black woman doesn't get to enjoy. Sure, we're allowed to sit on the same part of the bus these days but you have to be blind to think racism doesn't exist anymore. But those lovely Tumblr activists took this too far in my opinion. I remember reading one post saying that I shouldn't have my nose pierced because that's cultural appropriation. I remember reading the blog of a (white) girl who had dreads, who had stretched ears, who loved wearing a Sugar Skull top for a while go on to rant constantly about how awful it was for white people to have anything to do with this stuff. It was the absolute definition of hypocrisy. The thing that annoys me most about this new form of "Tumblr Activism" though is the majority of people I see getting bitchy and horrible about "issues" are people that are in no way affected them.

Yet, we can't win. I would try to write about feminism in an inclusive way. I would be told that I had no idea what I am talking. I would write about feminism from my point of view, my experiences and would be told I am horribly narrow minded and not inclusive. This new breed of activism makes it impossible for anyone to be right. The movement completely alienates people. For a while, I refused to refer to myself as a feminist because I hated how petty and bitchy it had become. As much as I hate to say this, if people want to be accepted as they are, they cannot, absolutely CANNOT alienate us people classified as "normal". Slavery ended when white people got on board with the idea that actually, we probably shouldn't be using other human beings as property to buy and trade. How much longer would it have taken to abolish slavery without the white people that pushed for abolition? Somewhere along the line, so called feminists have forgotten that it is SOLIDARITY that will make changes. While we're all bickering over correct terminology and who is more oppressed than who, we're making ourselves look like children, we're turning feminism into a joke and we're preventing things from moving forward. If the world is ever going to move forward, we need to work together.

I've decided to turn this into a series of posts otherwise it's going to get way too long. Sadly, Tumblr Activists aren't the only issue I have with modern feminism. But the next issue will have to wait until next week...