It's hard for me to imagine but I still run into people who treat feminist/feminism as a dirty word. "Oh, I could never call myself a feminist." "Could you stop being such a feminist?" I'm sorry, but do you have a problem with the fight for equal rights? Is there something disconcerting about wanting all voices from all walks of life to have a say in how our world works? The status quo is ok with you? Well, it's not ok with me. I've taken the red pill. My eyes are open and I can't shut them again. The luxury of being ok with the way things are, or standing by and doing nothing, is one privilege I don't have and don't want.
My feminism isn't perfect, far from it. I've made mistakes in how I treat others, things I've written, said and done. At this stage of the game though I have the fortitude to apologize and try to make amends. I also enjoy things other feminists have said are questionable, or downright misogynist. The thing is, it's possible to be critical of something and still enjoy it for what it is. I can hold two thoughts in my head at the same time. Earlier this summer I tore through the first eleven books of the Dresden Files. One night on Twitter, while finishing Winter Night I believe, I was raving about how much I loved the book. It had parts that were laugh out loud funny. The characters were relatable. There was action and romance and everything I wanted in an easy summer nights reading session. A friend of mine pointed out that Harry Dresden has some pretty out-dated ideas about how to treat the women in his life, falling back on 'chivalry', and that the author only provides one woman character who isn't a love/lust object or mother figure. This is all true. I still enjoy the books, but instead of paying money for them and supporting the author, I'll borrow them.
While watching Dollhouse finally (thanks Netflix!) I was also raving about Joss Whedon's creations on Twitter. It came up that while Joss is boss when it comes to sci-fi, he's not the strong feminist writer everyone thinks he is. Buffy's relationships with Angel and Spike are problematic to say the least, Dollhouse begins as not much more than a rich man's wet-dream, and The Avengers didn't even pass the Bechdel test despite having two kick ass women characters. Firefly is probably his best offering of the things I've seen, but as a friend pointed out, why aren't there any Chinese folks on the ship? In an era where everyone is either an American or Chinese descendant, it would only make sense that at least one person on board would be Chinese, but noone is. Oversight? Or unintentional racism?
Despite my failings, I still try; rape jokes will not be tolerated at my gaming table, my son is learning not only to SAY no, but to HEAR it as well when others speak, etc. I always try to be my best. I expect more from myself, my friends and family and my culture at large, and I do what I can to nudge it all in a better direction. There's no shame in being All In and I wont be shamed for calling myself a feminist. Maybe that should be my next tattoo; just one little f-word right out there where the world can see it. FEMINIST and proud.