Feminism is not fun. It’s not supposed to be fun. It’s complex and hard and it pisses people off
— Andi Zeisler, founder of Bitch Magazine, on what Beyoncé’s feminism means to the movement as a whole. (via The Guardian)
No one likes a feminist, except maybe other feminists. Everyone thinks we enjoy the exhaustion and alienation that comes with trying every day to be brave enough to examine not only society but ourselves as well. They think we love to ruin everyone’s fun. They think we live to make the world feel bad.
Being a feminist is hard, and trust me, we know it would be easier, and more fun if we weren’t.
It would be more fun to laugh along and not have to see the look on their faces when my coworkers realize I am “one of those girls who can’t take a joke.”
It would be easier to accept everything I have been taught about the way women ought to look and behave. It’d be easier to snub the “sluts” and to speak only when spoken to.
It would be easier not to be constantly questioning my actions and beliefs, and later kicking myself later for reinforcing a stereotype or perpetuating harmful ideas.
It would be easier to agree that all feminists are simply victims of abuse who hate men and have chosen to become lesbians. It would definitely be easier if I weren’t a lesbian myself.
It’d be more fun to enjoy the attention from the men who are too pushy, the ones who are only being nice. The ones who think it a compliment to want my girlfriend and me as if we were a prize.
I would be easier if I had never hoped for equality, or to be taken seriously, or to be seen a whole person rather than just a “thing” to be taken in and fantasized about later.
It would be more fun to be able to go out with my friends and not have to watch the people around me, or watch my drink, or watch my friends, or make sure they are watching me.
It would be easier not to have to worry about what I might do if a man were to catch me alone and how I might handle the justice system doing nothing about it after the fact.
It would be a lot more fun and a lot easier if I weren’t a feminist, maybe? Or maybe it would only be trading one set of problems for another. Maybe I would only pretend to be happier, or maybe I would lie to myself until I believed it so I wouldn’t have to face the truth that in this world, life for every woman is hard, whether she’s a feminist or not.
But fun or not fun, feminism is necessary. We need it so that, maybe, one day, women everywhere will have it a little easier, and maybe then we can all start having a little more fun.
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Featured image via Ben Seidelman