Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feminism doesn't mean lesbianism.

Never tell a man you're a feminist at a bar on "bluegrass" night.

You'll spend the next three hours explaining that feminists are not lesbians. Nothing can shoot down a nice buzz like being looked at like you're some enraged "man hater" and then taking on the insecurity of looking like a huge lez. I love lesbians (Ellen call me, let's do lunch.), I'm just not one.

For men, this is extremely hard to understand, seeing as they think their gender could do no wrong, and the only reason we'd feel the need to be "as strong as" is if we are big bull dikes.

Feminism has such a negative connotation attached to it, not only to men but to women as well. Rather than seeing the positive, empowering beliefs a feminist would embody, they see it as small minded, angry, aggressive and exclusive.


What is so wrong about being a strong woman, it's fine if you say I'm a "strong woman" because it sugar coats: feminist. It's much easier to swallow than, "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes."


I can see why men would feel that we would knock them off of their pedestal slightly, so that we're on the same platform. Threatening? Maybe. Beneficial and progressive? Absolutely.



But we parry the WORD, feminist because the word is has so much mystery and foreign power behind it. With that said, it's just a WORD. A word that should be packed with power not intimidation.


So, I say never tell a man you're a feminist in a bar....... but maybe that's exactly what you should tell a man in a bar.


Yes-I had crimson lips, yes- I was swirling a glass of white wine, yes- I happened to be alone for a bit, yes- I was wearing chiffon and heels, yes- my hair smells amazing, yes- I'd like to lick Matthew McConaughey's abs, and YES, heels and all I stand on my beliefs, and I am unshakeable. Doesn't sound like the stereotypical vision of a feminist does it?


I can argue just as fiercely about my beliefs on feminism as I can about my belief that cupcakes are in fact, better than muffins (I had this conversation as well, with a nice Irish boy named Patty who resembled Jude Law and thought muffins were better. Was he fucking mad? Who doesn't like frosted mini cakes? Irish people?)


So what's so terrible about that? NOTHING. If I were a man, if anything, I'd find it incredibly sexy.


There are so many beautiful, intelligent, funny, women who shouldn't be afraid to define themselves in that way, in order to work towards abolishing the negativity and confusion so many people have towards it. Squelch the fear towards fierceness my friends. BAN THAT SHIT.


So that next time I'm in a bar and I say something about feminism I don't receive this response,


"Sooo, are you like, attracted to chicks???"


Or maybe I was just getting hit on my an extremely douchey dullard. Your call.


























73 comments:

Renee said...

I'M A FEMINIST!!! And I love heels, kate spade, frilly dresses, olive green eyeshadow, sexy underwear, big jewelry... oh, and MEN. Imagine that. I'm actually a women's studies major, a euphemism for majoring in feminism.

Your post reminds me of an Ani DiFranco quote: "Why can't all decent men and women call themselves feminists out of respect for those who fought for this?"

Tia said...

so true.

JulyBug said...

Blech, I hate dudes like that. Moron.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Renee- I LOVE THAT QUOTE, and I love Ani, almost as much as I love big jewelry. ;)

Sizzle said...

I happen to be dating a guy who thinks feminism is hawt and considers himself a feminist too. Bonus!

That guy was a douche.

ToKissTheCook said...

THAT, my dear, was a fabulous fucking post. Too often I've caught myself shirking the title but a reclamation process has begun. Good stuff.

Single In The City said...

Chelsea, you did it again! I love it! POWER TO THE WOMEN!!! lol Renee I love that qoute also!

again great post

Damsel in Digress said...

we as a society have allowed the word feminist to take on such a negative connotation and - in the end - the only people that suffer from that? are women. i am a feminist and i am damn straight proud of it!

being a feminist and being a girlie girl are not antonymous. just like man bashing has nothing to do with being a feminist. being a feminist means not having to feel the need to compare to anything to prove one's worth! i'm glad someone brought up the ani post - because yo, it's all about respect =)

now let me go watch some college football or late night poker on espn classic as i paint my nails bubblegum pink.

heidikins said...

He's a douche. You're amazing. Cupcakes are CLEARLY better than muffins.

xox

ana said...

A definite derk (dork+jerk). It is a continent of men like him that puts the pain in the painfully straight.

Clueless Cat said...

Agreed.

(I prefer cupcakes over muffins too. Yum!)

Exposed said...

Femininity does not exclude feminism. I actually think that a woman in heels and hot lips is the perfect spokeswoman to convert men to feminism- it shows them that it doesn't mean they have to give up everything they like about us being women.

We will still look pretty, we will still shave our legs, we will still be decent conversationalists. We just may expect the same from them!

I have way too much more to say on this topic, so it may need to become a post of its own :)

constant drama said...

Men are stupid. Period. But I guees we are more stupid for liking them. Oh round and round it goes. Urgh.

This is a great post btw.

Chele said...

I love men, but they will never understand that you can still be feminine and a feminist at the same time, there is a huge difference there, they confuse the two words.

Bonnie said...

100% agree. Great post!

Mike said...

My sister is part of a feminist choir in Washington D.C. Apparently they are quite famous, but their name escapes me because I'm a man and men are idiots.

Anyways, I wrote a song for them, making fun of all the stereotypes that feminists encounter in a sarcastic sort of way.

My sister and her husband LOVED it.

The choir hated it.

I guess feminists don't have a sense of humour?

By the way, muffins are WAY better than cup cakes. Icing is gross. Unless it's on a big cake.

instatick said...

Totally agree, especially about other women being intimidated by it. I've been in so many women's studies classes and girls freak out about the idea of labeling themselves feminists. Awesome post!

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Go for it, tell the world you are a feminist. Being assumed to be a lesbian only shows the ignorance of the man you are talking to.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Mike- Feminists do have a sense of humour, but your attempt at humor (i'm not saying the song wasnt funny, it probably was) is usually a mask of insecurity.

I have a sense of humor, I get why it can be "funny" but i'm saying, the steroetype, isn't corrrrreeecccccccct.

And muffins are delicious, but cupcakes kicks muffins ass.

Raven said...

Cupcakes 4TW!!

Douchebags fail!

Oy.

Mike said...

Chelsea - I'm pretty sure that it was the others on this choir that were insecure.

The whole point of the song was that the stereotypes weren't correct!

Some feminists, just like many other "rights" groups, are just a tad too sensitive. Sometimes people fighting for equality want equality to mean things are more equal to them. Their thought processes are irrational and unfair, and compare to the worst of their perceived offenders. To be fair, it is the minority who feel this way, but the minority have the loudest and most annoying voice. These are the people who ruin it for the rest in their respective groups. It's unfortunate but true.

Also, I'm pretty sure in a fair fight between a sprinkle covered cup cake and a bran muffin, the bran muffin would probably suplex the cupcake into submission within seconds.

-Just sayin'.

Julie_Gong said...

How can you even compare muffins and cupcakes? Cupcakes are gods way of tell us that he loves us.

And I'm pretty ok with being a feminist.

Chrissy said...

Cupcakes rule!

That dude was a 'tard.

La said...

Boys are sometimes really, really stupid.

lifeintheleftlane said...

He was a stupid guy who thinks in stereotypes. Boo on him, yay for you for being a woman who speaks her mind!

I like cupcakes and muffins (especially when they are sweet and bad for you). What happens if you put yummy frosting on a muffin...mmm.

Jess said...

This is a great post. It is so frustrating how so many people equate feminism with man-hating attitude. It's not that complicated.

fort knocks said...

I totally sympathize with you. I'm a masculinist (masculist?) myself. I mean, what's so wrong with standing up for good, smart, funny, strong men?

PrincessB said...

Great post! And cupcakes are MUCH better than muffins..no question!

BTW..your music is amazing!

Hillary said...

I find some women's attitudes towards feminism even more frustrating than a lot of men's attitudes. Some women are so afraid to label themselves feminist because of the negative connotation the word carries. It sucks. Oh, you're NOT a feminist? You DON'T think that women should have equal rights to men? You DON'T want to be paid an equal salary as a man for doing the same job? No? Ok, I guess you're not a feminist then. Argh.

Cupcakes shouldn't even be put in the same category as muffins - they are that superior.

DJSassafrass said...

I can't even get my boyfriend to understand that feminist doesn't equal femi-nazi!
We can be pretty, straight and feminist!

A Margarita said...

That's so bizarre. I think he is definitely the exception, rather than the rule. With NYC being so multicultural and varied, everyone is usually very PC.

1218Blog said...

And the moron says what?...

What an idiot! Please tell me this wasn't a real New Yorker.

survivingmyself said...

i think your problem is that you should probably wait to say that your a feminist until you know the guy a little more - don't you think that's kinda heavy conversation for a bar?

I'm not hating, just saying...

Jeanne said...

absolutely wonderful and well said. It is an uphill stand and hooray to you for taking it. I love men, heels, chick flicks and I'm a strong, feminist woman.

Keep it up!

Surfergrrl said...

That guy sounds like a total meathead!

Rebecca said...

I hate how the word feminism has been demonized over the years. It seems people would rather be considered racist over feminist. It kills me. Even though that dude sucked, I;m glad you at least attempted to educate him. Now we only have aout 5 billion more to go.

Hollywood Sucker said...

Chels, I totally hear you. I was a women's studies minor in college but I HATED telling people this when I was out at a party or bar because inevitably it would lead to them having the total wrong idea about me being a super bitch and a lesbian and a man hater and delusional. I concluded, sadly, that there was no point in trying to explain feminism to anyone. Man or woman, they'd maid up their minds that it was a bad thing to be.

And it really really made me sad when a woman was all like, "I don't want to sound like a feminist, but..." No you SHOULD be one. It's a good thing! Oh well, too bad. They're missing out!

The Ethical Slut said...

Where are you hanging out, Arkansas? I can't imagine anyone blinking at that in NYC....

Nico said...

Hillary actually got in a lot of what I was going to say - though, as someone who did used to read up on feminist theory (sorry to burst the bubble, ladies, some men do get it), I do hate it when women use the word 'feminism' as a way to be a man-hater, instead of someone who actually is educated about the subject. It's not supposed to be a shift in power, it's supposed to be a flattening of the playing field.

I've had some conversations where I find myself saying this: "Oh, you're a feminist? Great! I love Judith Butler, what do you think of her? Never heard of her? Really? Ok, what about Riot Grrrls? Virginia Woolf? Nothing? Damn..."

And for the record, feminism a huge turn-on - my first gut reaction to encountering a (real) feminist is a sigh of relief, because then I know that I don't have to put on an act or keep up my guard; and I know that if I treat her like an equal, she will treat ME like an equal. And that is ultimately comforting.

I say: NOT power to women; power to EVERYONE, and equal shares all around.

Because equality works BOTH ways, not just adjusting power on one side to match that of the other. And REAL feminists aren't judgmental or shortsighted about that. So kudos to you for keeping it real!

And stop hanging around idiots at bars. They give the good guys a bad name, and you can do SO much better!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Nico- I think you're absolutely right. I dont think it should be GIRL POWER ONLY, like I said, I do still love men. and I don't want to be DOMINANT all the time, I'd like to be on the same level.

and for my own record, hahah...I wasn't hitting on this guy it was just some douchebag who felt like chatting me up hahahah.

Katelin said...

well said, very well said.

i probably would have hit the guy.

Z said...

so very true. great post!

ablogofherown said...

#1-I hate how frequently feminist=lesbian in ignorant people's mind's. As the proverbial "queen of women's studies" on campus that knee jerk reaction makes me want to beat my head against a wall. But for every 10 students who start sentences with "I'm not a feminist, but" there's one who finally sees the light.

#2-That Ani quote is my all time favorite!

#3-Sorry, but I have to take the muffin side on this argument. I'm just not a huge cake/icing fan. :/

Kate said...

I wrote a post about this at one point that totally agrees with this one. It's terribly unfortunate that some men (and some women) don't think "equality" when they hear feminism; they think "bra-burner." Personally, I think bras are a fine source of support and wish I had more of them. But I also wish that I could get paid the same as a man for doing the same work.

When I meet people like that, the only thing I can do is smile mildly and hope that some chic lady shoves a stiletto heel into his testicles soon. Someday my dream will come true.

K.

Amznw06 said...

I love your feminist ass (in the non lesbian way of course) with your big jewelry and heels! Great post.

cupcakes? muffins? ummm hands down cupcakes! no competition...and I'm part Irish!

hookerbaby said...

do they think you're going to say "good catch! I AM a lesbian! want to join me and my girlfriend tonight, you smart thing you?"

thegirlfromtheghetto said...

I've been a feminist my whole life. In the 3rd grade I started a club called "Hot Lips" (In honor of Major Margaret Hoolihan) and we fought for girls rights on the playground. I swear. I even had a shirt that said "I'm with Hot Lips."

Trish Ryan said...

I've ended up hating that word because it's been mutated to mean so many things that I'm NOT that it's pretty much lost it's power to describe what I AM.

When people ask if I'd consider myself a feminist, I usually suggest that they get to know me a bit and then make their own assessment. That's worked out pretty well :)

As for the dude...it sounds like this was the least of his issues!

Ashley said...

I think people who don't get it are too ignorant to really understand what a feminist is. UGH!

This guys seems like a complete assclown.

Great Post!

just me said...

I wish I could take a picture of a guy RIGHT AFTER I tell him I'm a Feminist.

The expression is usually priceless.

WHERE IS MY BARF STORY?!

Tina Vaziri said...

Totally agree

Meesh-elle my Belle said...

I am still reeling from the fact that Mike claims that a muffin is better than a cupcake. And not just any muffin - A BRAN MUFFIN.

Some men are scared of strong women so the only way they know how to deal is to insinuate that you're a lesbian. I say TELL a man you're a feminist at a bar on bluegrass night. Because it's a surefire way to tell if it's a man you want to spend anymore time with. Why waste a whole evening finding out someone's a douche when you can find out in 30 seconds flat.

Cupcakes compared to bran muffins. I am speechless.

wellhmmyep said...

You know I never seemed to notice how much the word "Feminism" brings in regards to negative reactions until a couple of years ago. I always assumed most men were indifferent towards it, but living in Chicago where most men possess this "macho" male attitude and perspective they are all but ready to discuss their disgust for women who call themselves such (even some women have problems with). anyway, good post.

MsPuddin said...

Great post! I am studying women’s studies in school right now and I hate the butch, man-hating stereotype that comes along with the word feminism. No I don’t burn bras every morning or eat box, but I do believe we live in a patriarchal society.

Chelsea, lets start a revolution!

MsPuddin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feminist Gal said...

LOVE the post :)

bitterbabe said...

i totally agree! i hated it because I took a womens studies class with all these hoochie mammas that kept saying they weren't feminists and ruining the whole class! why are you taking this class then!!

Virginia said...

One of my good friends works down in DC for a certain someone's presidential campaign, and she gets called a feminist ALL the time! I need to send her this post. She will probably send you her phone number...since you know, she's a lesbian OBVI. But really, she will get a kick out of it.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

You guys are all AMAZING for your comments. I LOVE YOU XOXOXOX. and, ya know, not in the lesbian way. ;)

ex-tex said...

totally!!!

cdp said...

This post rocks. Seriously, so much. And I'd also like to lick Matthew's abs when you're done, if you don't mind.

I really don't feel like I have much to add after this post and all the great comments, but just wanted to toss in my hearty approval of everything you said. Rock on. You're awesome. (Like, in a total non-lesbian way though.)

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

cdp- hahaha well thank you ;) I'm glad you commented its always nice to know what people think about my ranting.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

cdp- hahaha well thank you ;) I'm glad you commented its always nice to know what people think about my ranting.

Dolce said...

Irish food is the worst food on the planet. Of course he would say muffins over cupcakes. Irish cupcakes probably taste like wood.

Princess Pointful said...

I'd ask you to marry me after reading this post.
Except, you know, you're not a lesbian, and neither am I.
But I still think you're pretty grand.

Miss Adventurous said...

Word.

Also, maybe it wasn't because he's Irish. Maybe he was Catholic...Catholics are suckers for stuff that makes them feel more like Jesus. Like hair shirts and self-flagellation. And muffins instead of cupcakes.

If you want to know why feminism has become a dirty word in American culture you should read the Feminine Mystique. It's AMAZING, and was actually quite a pleasure as a subway read.

Or if you're lazy you can ask me about it. I give great Cliff's Notes on feminist literature at bars, and I won't even hit on you.

Anonymous said...

I've got a question about feminists and bars. If a guy sees a feminist (or he himself is a feminist and sees a woman...)he likes at a bar is it right for him to buy her drinks? I ask because I know that money is about power and buying things for others is about showing power over them. So should I just expect them to buy their own drinks?

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Anonymous- good question indeed.....I do think that it's the intention behind buying the drink, obviously if you're interested in a woman you arent buying her a drink to show her you're more powerful. You're buying the drink to show her that....you're interested, or that you want to sleep with her? There is a whole tone about buying women drinks, I myself don't mind if someone buys me a drink who isn't JUST trying to take me home THAT night. I also don't think women sould EXPECT men to buy their drinks, but if you're doing it to break the ice I don't think it's a bad thing....

I also don't think buying things for others is always about showing power over them, when I buy something for someone its because I want to do something nice for them?

Catalyst said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Former Fat Chick said...

I just discovered your blog- I am a femenist, but if I was a lesbian, I would so come on to you (if you were a lesbian too) because I read this post and your Blog- and now I LOVE YOU! ha-ha :)

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

My sis sent me this post (former fat chick) and I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I consider myself a feminist, even though I'm a SAHM. I made the choice to stay at home with my daughter and to me, that's what feminism is: able to make choices to do what we WANT. I don't HAVE to stay at home-I chose to.

Larissa said...

Hi Chelsea,
I'm new to your blog, and I really really love it. I clicked on this post immediately because anything that has the word "feminism" calls my attention. Thank you for writing this! And for sharing with us so many great stories. Really beautiful blog.
I wrote a very similar post to this one not long ago on my blog, which is fairly new, but I'd be honored if you'd stop by sometime. The post I wrote is "My F Word", http://larissathinksalot.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-f-word.html

all the best and I look forward to reading the rest of your blog!

Larissa

laura said...

Preachin' to the choir girl and I love it! I'm always telling people I'm a feminist and I'm proud of it. I'm hoping I can change people's attitudes toward this word just by being okay, and proud, of it myself. Lovely post!

 
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