The curse of the post-modern feminist

Fem 11 was a great event but more suited to newbie feministas

I’m not going to be feminist bashing, so if you thought this was that kind of post click off now (or stay, read and troll, I’m not too fussed). I’m not going to start the whole man-hating-doc-martin-wearing-angry-bitches crap because I am a feminist and proud.

First off I don’t hate men. Proof; my dad’s amazing and I have some great male friends. One even urinated on my radiator and we’re still talking. I also want a family some day. I wear heels, dresses and make up. Basically I look like an average 20-year-old woman. But yes I’m a feminist. Like every self-respecting female should be (my Mother’s words).

Feminism changed my life and I owe a lot to it. But it can be bleeding annoying at times. Currently for me this is all of the time.

Somewhere along the line I’ve wound up in a world where sexism is screaming at me from every corner of life. And it won’t shut up. Everywhere the little gremlin is there, on my twitter feed with stories of yet another atrocity against the female race, someone on Facebook using the word “frape”, people on Tumblr posting pictures of gender insulting fashion ads, even my bathroom has a bottle of shower gel called “clean, girls!” which is just goading.

I while away hours reading “Oh God, another person in America has said something stupid about abortion/abstinence/homosexuality.” No, I don’t have time for this! I don’t want to spend all day reading articles that prove exactly what I already know about the world. How did I get to this state? I have absolutely done it to myself. I’m not looking for it where it isn’t there. It just is and I seem to have put myself at the centre of discussions of where, how and why.

Just please, please eyes, for one day if you see a news report on yet another rape or Nadine Dorries saying something silly, just please stop working. I want a big CENSORED sign across my peripheral. I feel like the biggest bitch in the world when I’m analysing, not purposefully, what my friends, lecturers and everyone on Facebook is saying. Just for one day.

For one day I want to watch a film without applying the Bechdel test. I want to watch Misfits without thinking “there’s a rape joke. Oh and another”.  I want to hold my tongue when someone calls me a girl or ‘young lady’. I want to be able to read the Daily Mail without throwing it across the room. Actually I could leave that last one.

I started out loving feminism, relishing in pointing out the damaging portrayal of women in the media. Now I’m starting to resent it taking over my life. I don’t want to talk or think about it all the time. I was definitely tired of it when I came back from a feminist conference last month.

A friend and I went along to Fem 11 in London. A conference organised by one of the leading feminist groups UKFeminista. We spent six-and-a-half hours talking about and listening to all the ways the world is bad to women. I didn’t learn a single thing. Granted we did talk about how to get involved with activism but it just seemed like I’d heard it all before. It was a great event but not for me. It seemed perfect for someone who had just started out in feminism and I bet they had a crackin’ day. But I came home feeling thoroughly depressed.

So this is the curse of feminism. Don’t let it put you off though. It can be thrilling seeing and recognising inequality that you never noticed before. You feel like you’re making a tiny difference each time you tell someone about what you’ve read or found out. The world needs feminism, every type of it. It would just be a lot less annoying without all the pesky sexism.

Written for The People’s Republic of South Devon.