Guest Blogger: Devon Smith draws feminism.
I have always been a feminist. Assuming you consider playing with the same dump trucks your older brother did an act of feminism, which I certainly do. Later, of course, there would be ponies and the ever-horrific barbie doll but, that was my choice as a (tiny) woman so I don’t think that reflects at all poorly on me.
When I was 18 I started a go-go dancing troupe with a small group of friends. Nothing too racy – big hair and tasselled shorts and lots of shimmying. We performed with a local band called The Creeps, so naturally we were called the Creepettes. When the posters for one of our early gigs was up, we started hearing rumors that a local feminist group was up in arms about us.
Now, they had never seen us perform so I’m guessing they made some assumptions about what we were doing, but we were all a bit shocked by anyone having a problem with us prancing about on stage. We discussed this with our wider group of friends, and I was pretty appalled to find that some of them did not consider themselves to be feminists. I guess they didn’t enjoy owning their own property, voting, or the option to wear pants.
Later on the complaints were completely resolved, after the group in question came to a performance and realised that actually we were doing this entirely for ourselves, and that it was bloody fun. But I was still bothered by finding out some of my friends would never refer to themselves as feminists. What did they think feminists were?? After asking them, this is what they thought a feminist looked like:
Angry butch women, with mullets and flannel shirts, who hate men and who could only possibly have a heterosexual relationship with the most submissive physically small men, and who eschew anything that is considered traditionally feminine.
Feminist Frequency has a pretty great video about what she refers to as ‘Staw feminists‘ . This is a feminist character inserted into a TV show, or a cartoon, or a movie or whatever, that embodies all the negative stereotypes, that is a ridiculous parody, and that is some sort of warped, negative version of what a feminist actually is. These are used to undermine and ridicule feminist movements. And this is the only depiction of feminism most of my friends had ever seen.
So, here’s me.
I am female, and I am equal to a man. I have long hair, yes, and I wear dresses. But I can change the oil in a car and I drink my whiskey neat. I burp and I fart and I wear fancy perfume. And I am a feminist.