I get that we’re all constantly in transit to being a different person but like…sometimes I just want to shut the hot pink door to the past and pretend it never happened and that I didn’t, at some point, ‘like, totally relate to Tiny Furniture’ or anything else by Lena Dunham.
Some people, however, never grow out of this stage.
Let’s take a look at some things liberal feminists do that annoy the hell out of me.
1. Put graphics of vaginas/boobs/uteri EVERYWHERE.
Yeah, yeah. I was there, I get it. Vaginas are kept a vast mystery while the penis is probably lurking in your high school textbook somewhere, but literally you can’t be a feminist if the crux of your ideology revolves around the bio-essentialist gendering of genitalia.
First of all, not all women have vaginas or the “proper female genitalia”. That’s just step one. Moving past Feminism 101 means looking into Race 101 and Queer 101 and so on and so forth. Let’s just say for now that vaginas and uteri aren’t the best umbrella symbol for female.
2. Discuss the wage gap without taking into consideration race or gender identity.
Let’s get one thing straight, the denominator for normal is white.
Like, it’s kinda fucked up that that’s how it is in most of our collective societies right now but it’s the reality. So while prominent white feminists go up there and talk about a woman’s 77 cents to a man’s dollar, Native American women don’t even make it onto this simple infographic.
Furthermore, speaking of the wage gap, there’s also non-passing women who not only face danger in the workplace but have an extremely difficult time getting hired in the first place.
3. Frida Kahlo on a shirt. Frida Kahlo on a cup. Frida. Kahlo. Everywhere.
Listen, everyone: Frida Kahlo was a communist.
I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t stand behind people using her body and image to gain capital, and would probably not like you very much if you’re wearing like a hat with her face on it that was mass produced by underpaid overseas workers.
(Side note: she purposefully filled in those eyebrows. Please stop lightening her skin, ignoring her disability, ignoring her race, ignoring her bisexuality, and shaping her brows so she fits your beauty ideals.)
I’ll stop being annoyed once Forever 21, Zara, etc. stops capitalizing on her face, body, life, and “aesthetic.”
Frida hated white people, and it’s pretty insulting that companies would remove the culture she was all about and continue to use their stick-thin white models to make money off her image.
4. Body policing — but on the down low.
Alright, so as a feminist you believe that you should be able to wear whatever you want. In fact, choosing not to wear makeup or choosing red lipstick and winged eyeliner could even be revolutionary!
I mean, yeah, you should definitely be able to wear whatever you want without being judged for that. I can get behind that, but lifestyle feminism depoliticizes feminism because it tricks people into thinking that they absolutely don’t have to change or unlearn anything.
Going on, how the hell am I supposed to wholeheartedly back the concept when a lot of the people fighting for women to have the right to dress however they want also trash on women who wear the hijab or discredit trans women when they’re not wearing feminine clothing or makeup? Better get your ducks all in a row, because I’m not seeing body positivity.
All I can see is Islamophobia and transmisogyny (or, in some cases, trans exclusion).
5. Weaponizing femininity
I love makeup and dressing up just as much as the next person, but it’s definitely not a talking point in my feminism.
At least, not in an overly positive light.
Weaponized femininity is power suits, makeup, and female CEOs. It’s women exploiting other women, but looking good at the same time. It’s not questioning the cultural conditions that breed our image of beauty, and the capitalism that drives it. Behind weaponized femininity is an ad telling someone she’s too fat or too dark or too everything – except beautiful.
Beauty is empowering for the select few, but certainly not the women manufacturing your feminism.
If your relationship with the beauty industry isn’t even a little bit complicated beyond “do what makes you feel good!”, then I want nothing to do with your feminism.