Friends, being a feminist can be not very fun sometimes. We have to fight all of the time against the very foundation of our society. We have to rail against misogyny at work, on television, in our judicial system, on the street, on the internet, in our own homes. We spend huge chunks of time outraged. We debate feminist theory in our down time, what wave of feminism is happening now, can men be feminist, is feminism as inclusive as it should be, who do we hate today? It’s friggin exhausting. There has to be a reward for all of this work, right?
So, here, now, I’m going to share a list of things that make me happy as a feminist. Because some times I want to be excited about life and not constantly looking for the next battle. If we’re too concerned with finding the next outrage, we become the stereotype – the humorless feminist killjoy. And I am too damn delighted with being alive to allow that to happen. So, the awesomeness of feminism, in no particular order:
1. Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Wendy Davis – we’ve got some amazing women in politics right now. You may not agree with them 100%, I don’t and I’m a crazy lefty, but these women are continually kicking ass. Have you seen Elizabeth Warren give these financial a-holes whatfor? It’s a thing of beauty. Or Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill dressing down military generals over sexual assault? I may have cheered a time or two. HRC rocked it as Secretary of State, and in the Benghazi hearings, when she basically said “Fuck you” to senators more concerned with spin than facts, made me love her even more. Wendy Davis’ filibuster was more inspiring than Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
2. Rachel Maddow – I can’t imagine I have to say much more there.
3. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler – out and proud feminists who are shaping their own careers and killing it left and right
4. 3 sitting Supreme Court justices.
5. Oprah and Martha – again, you may not love them, but they are two women who have shaped their own world and control vast fortunes and media empires. Women who have worked and earned their fortunes by being really fucking amazing at what they do? Yes, please and thank you.
6. Tavi, Rookie and the next generation of feminists – I sometimes feel weird about wanting to be best friends with a teenager, but Tavi is just beyond awesome in my book
7. JK Rowling – the woman who made reading fun for kids, who talks freely about being poor and on state assistance, and who refuses to move away from England to dodge taxes because she believes in giving back to the system that helped her before she created The Boy Who Lived.
8. The rise of the nerds and all of the girl gamers, cosplayers, hackers, collectors and creators
9. The Internet – yes, it’s really easy to find hideous, hateful people. But it’s also really easy to find interesting and intelligent conversations on feminism, equality, and life (maybe like this one here, eh?)
10. Every single protest in every state capitol – bills restricting rights are no longer passed without someone noticing. We may not win most of the battles, but we’re mobilizing and ready to raise a ruckus
11. Pussy Riot – whose music I think is absolutely horrible, but I have to respect guerilla feminism in Russia, and making newspeople all over the world say “pussy riot.”
12. My rad friends who don’t talk smack, who don’t compete or talk about how other women don’t like them, who watch sports, drink beer, talk constantly and laugh loudly, who have tattoos and wear dresses and bake and love who they want and raise kids to respect women. And the fact that as I get older, my circle of strong, smart, amazing lady friends grows.
13. Going to work, kicking ass, and coming home to dinner and a clean house. Having a partner who supports me as I support him, being a team and dividing the work of living without expectations based on gender. Though if there is a giant bug, I will scream for him to kill it while I hide.
14. This post right here. Being able to discuss the things I find important. Teaching others that “feminism” isn’t a bad word. Refusing to be pigeonholed or stereotyped. Raising hell without apologies. Spending time alone, but not lonely because I enjoy my own company. Being a bundle of neuroses and contradictions, and being really fucking happy with me.
What’s on your list?