So I did that thing I swore I wasn’t going to do and completely abandoned another blog. I can’t really make excuses for it, but I can tell you that life got busy and tough, and I bailed on a project that I wanted so badly to maintain.
That being said, I haven’t completely wasted my time. I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the interim. The entire point of this blog initially was to explore my budding ideas of feminism from the perspective of a woman who spent most of her adult life disregarding feminism. During this hiatus I reached the conclusion that if my feminist awakening were to continue, I needed to get some serious schooling in the movement.
I started off with Roxanne Gay’s “Bad Feminist”, a collection of short essays on feminism, race, and other fascinating topics. I connected with Gay right off the bat because she admits freely and frequently that she doesn’t always live up to her feminist title. She had a lot of very insightful things to say about the struggle of being a feminist in a world that encourages women to reject feminism, and even more importantly she spoke forcefully and poignantly about the importance of including race and sexuality in the discussion of feminism. I was blown away by the perspectives she shared.
From there I began reading Naomi Wolff’s “The Beauty Myth”. This one is old school second wave feminism. We’re talking the Feminazis of the early 90’s. Her voice is sharp, scathing, and strong against the media created box in which women are trapped. She explains how the myth of the “ideal beautiful woman” has left women to struggle through life distracted from real issues by the pursuit of beauty. More importantly she explains how this is not some vain pursuit that women engage in because they want to, this pursuit of the beauty myth is a requirement to survive in a patriarchal world. In the past 90’s Feminazis like Wolff were the reason I rejected feminism. I didn’t believe that society was engaging in some sort of backhanded conspiracy to keep women down, but the more I read Wolff’s manifesto the more I realize how much I have been kept down by the beauty myth. I began to really think about how much of my time has been spent worrying about how I look and how people think I look and how this affects my standing in the world. If I’d spent half the time I have on my body staying in college and studying for a degree I could have a PhD. I’m not exaggerating.
I also watched the stellar documentary “Miss Representation” which focuses on how the media portrays women, not just in popular media like movies and television, but in the news and politics as well. I have never seen a clearer explanation of the ways in which the media negatively portrays women. I have watched plenty of documentaries and read plenty of articles about the damaging effects of modeling and Hollywood body displays, but I had never really thought about how the rest of the media treats women. I had always vaguely complained that news reporters wouldn’t ask a male politician about his shoes, outfit, or hair (although Trump and Bernie are now getting a fair amount of press about their hair), but I had never followed this complaint to the logical conclusion that female politicians are not taken seriously by the news media and that this is a deliberate move to prevent women from having power or even appearing to have power. “Miss Representation” covers these topics with exquisite detail and the interviews with feminist powerhouses are incredible.
Though I’ve been a deadbeat blogger for the past few months, my feminist awakening has reached new levels of understanding. Hopefully, I’ll be able to recommit to blogging soon with some brand new shiny ideas. As for today, I can definitively state: I am a feminist too. How about you?