Maybe it’s because I’ve been beyond stressed out lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t slept much in the last week. Maybe it’s because I’m struggling to juggle a full-time job, a full course load, and still maintain some kind of social life.
Whatever the reason is, I am sick and tired of being a feminist. I’m tired of constantly defending myself, of trying to explain things. Like all of this:
I am tired of female politicians getting asked silly, vapid questions. As if who your favorite designer is has ANY impact on your ability to lead.
I am tired of having to walk down the quad after class and listen to a group of fraternity brothers refer to people as “fags,” as if being LGBTQ is an insult.
I am tired of hearing my male friends complain about being “friendzoned.” I am tired of the idea that just because you are nice to a girl and give her a shoulder to lean on, she should automatically fall in love with you and/or enter into a sexual relationship with you.
I’m sick and tired of listening to male politicians trying to make decisions about MY body. I’m tired of people like Paul Ryan, the VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE of the Republican Party, trying to argue that RAPE is a form of conception.
I’m tired of not being able to have a conversation about poverty in America without someone bringing up “welfare queens.” Just like Melissa Harris-Perry, I am sick of hearing that poor people are lazy, that they don’t work hard, that single mothers struggling to make ends meet just want to suck on the government tit.
I’m tired of telling people that I write and edit for a feminist blog and getting looks of disdain and dismissal. I’m tired of people assuming anything about me or my sexuality because I’m a feminist. I’m tired of being told that I make a big deal out of “stupid” things. I’m tired of being told to learn to take a joke. I’m tired of my very righteous anger being dismissed as the rantings of a silly young person who will calm down once she’s out of school.
Oh and speaking of jokes, I’m tired of rape jokes. I’m tired of the way we talk about rape in this country. I’m tired of listening to people talk about a man who raped a young woman, only to criticize her for drinking. I’m tired of hearing men look at a girl in a short skirt and remark that she’s asking for it.
I am REALLY tired of Men’s Rights Activists. Newsflash [white] men: you have your rights. All of them. You have had them since you started oppressing everyone who looks remotely different from you or has different genitalia THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO. Just because women and people of color are FINALLY starting to gain the same rights you’ve enjoyed since the beginning of time doesn’t mean we’re trying to chip away at yours.
Oh, and speaking of privileged men doing heinous things, I am TIRED of male celebrities (Chris Brown, Michael Fassbender, Sean Penn) BEATING women and still getting to have their careers, while Kristen Stewart is being shut out of and FIRED from films because she had an affair. I am tired of the slut-shaming message that this sends to women my age and our younger sisters. I am so fucking sick of young women being told that our sexuality, our exploits, are there for the world to judge, while men who commit acts of VIOLENCE get off relatively unscathed.
I am sick of people creating online games where you can virtually BEAT a woman simply because she called out the gaming world for it’s misogyny.
But I’m also sick and tired of feminists. I’m tired of feeling like you have to have a college degree to be a good feminist. I’m tired of working class women being shut out of this movement. I’m tired of feminists criticizing other women for not identifying as feminists, even though the movement has largely excluded or tried to speak for women of color and working class women. I’m tired of seeing nothing but privileged, upper class white women leading the movement. I’m tired of people like Jessica Valenti using feminism to criticize First Lady Michelle Obama for identifying first and foremost as a mother, instead of considering the cultural implications behind that choice, and remembering to check their privilege at the door.
I’m sorry if this post seems repetitive. But I’m not going to apologize for all of the anger I am feeling right now. I am tired of apologizing for my feelings, for my passion, and for sticking up for what I believe in.
Is it exhausting? Absolutely. Can it feel completely isolating? Hell yes.
But if I can get through to just one person with these blog posts, or with the outrage I express at injustice, then it’s worth it.