Bad feminist, a book by Roxane Gay, is a collection of essays that explains real first accounts of people having bad feminist moments. So…I know what you are thinking, how can someone possibly write a post on a feminist blog about being a bad feminist. In truth, it is so easy. Instead of just sitting here listing the ways I am a bad feminist, I will list the stages of grief that I have gone through in admitting that I have bad feminist moments. I will first start with Denial.
Denial. I outright denied being a bad feminist. Yes, I watch The Bachelor and root for the demise of certain women on the show. Yes, I absolutely love listening to country music, especially the songs that degrade women-those really get me going! And yes, Taylor Swift is often the most googled named in my search history. In truth, I love her and her music, even though she may not be the best example of a feminist celebrity. But I am not a bad feminist. I can cheat without being a bad feminist. Right?
Anger. I was downright angry. How can I be a bad feminist? Feminism in its most definitive form is the social, political, and economical equality of the sexes. I believe in that. How could anyone tell me I’m a bad feminist? How could I even think I am?
Bargaining. I believe the words that came out of my mouth were “Please, I will stop watching The Bachelor if I could just not be a bad feminist.” *Spoiler alert, I could not stop watching mid season, I never would have seen who Chris picked.
Depression. The sadness set in. I realized that as a bad feminist, I could potentially have to give up a piece of my identity. As a feminist, I pride myself in being involved with women’s issues around campus, and of course writing and editing for ShoutOut. Being a bad feminist, I could potentially have to give this up. This was something I do not even think I could have done if I had tried.
Acceptance. This was it; this was what I needed to get to. After reading Roxane Gay’s essays, I realized that it is absolutely okay to have bad feminist moments. This does not mean you are any less of a feminist; it just is something we have to realize and address.
Feminism is about choice. The choice to be a stay at home mother or to work. The choice to have children or to be childless. The choice to get married or not. The choice to take your husband’s last name or not. Hell, even the choice to like bad reality television shows, country music, and even white feminism. (Check out EternallyFeminist’s post about White Feminism here) Choice is something we can all value and appreciate, and having bad feminist moments absolutely does not make you a bad feminist.
So to everyone out there who enjoys listening to hip hop or rap music that can be degrading, to everyone who watches movies and television shows that show stereotypes towards women and paint every feminist man to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, and even you Tay Tay fans out there. You are not alone, and you are not a bad feminist, you merely are just having a bad feminist moment! Keep doing you. 🙂