Well, bloggers, it’s that time for me: my last post on ShoutOut! for the semester, the year, and as a regular writer. ShoutOut! has meant a lot to me over the past two years. I first started writing for ShoutOut! the Fall semester after I came back to school from my leave of absence. I was even newer to feminism and…it showed. My posts were all over the place and I couldn’t find my niche. My second semester I decided to write this series. At times, I might have been “stating the obvious” about certain women and their feminism. At other times, I might have been fighting an uphill battle trying to link a particular woman and feminism (insert your examples here). Either way, this series has been really spectacular for my development as a feminist and I hope it might have given you at least one new perspective, too.
I know I certainly have learned a lot in this process…much of this knowledge has been acquired during multiple hour sessions of reading every website available on the week’s TAW while snacking on Cheetos in the wee hours of the morning (alright, bad imagery, I know). I always loved it when the TAW in question was an actor because then I’d get to look at their IMDB page, which led to me looking at other IMDB pages, and then a whole day was gone! In all seriousness, here are some things I’ve learned (and maybe you have, too):
1. The most important thing I have learned is not to judge a feminist by her sparkly pointy (and on fire) bra top. Otherwise, you might miss some great activism…and great entertainment.
2. Another thing I learned with ShoutOut! is that contradictions in feminism are (basically) inevitable. No one can be a “perfect feminist,” whatever that is, and nor should they try. All I have to do is burn my finger taking a Hot Pocket out of the microwave and I’ve already said something Un-Feminist for the day (What? They’re really hot!). But, I now know that it’s ok to use questionable language and still promote feminist ideas.
3. A crucial lesson I’ve learned is that some great pieces of feminism are there in history, you just have to uncover them.
4. Feminism, no matter how big or how small, no matter where it comes from, is still an important message.
5. I’ve learned that we have to trust that politics, as slow as it can be, will get there-
6.–But, that we shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for ourselves and take action.
Lastly, to be cliche, I’ve learned that it is your choice to be whatever kind of feminist you want to be (or not). I know that I don’t have to adopt every convention written by every feminist predecessor. I can make my own rules when it comes to feminism. And that is definitely something that I’m good at.