Women's Issues

I’m Giving Up Feminists For Lent

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rosie-the-riveterIn the 90s, I was a feminist dabbler. Much like I watched The Craft and “dabbled” in witchcraft because Fairuza Balk looked wicked. I didn’t “call the corners,” but the message was received: I liked loud, smart, messy women who stood for things. My feminist heroine was actually on heroin and my teachers were concerned enough about my Courtney Love obsession to call my mother — a lost cause if there ever was one.

When I entered college with a newborn, that’s when I really declared myself. I sat in lecture classes listening to theories about women and work, women and motherhood, women and equality. I spent enough time thinking and writing about women while parenting a daughter that my breasts grew three cup sizes. I had more estrogen pumping through me than Whoville had shaming Christmas cheer directed at the Grinch by the time I left college with a degree in women’s studies and literature.

But as much as I love feminism, I need a break from Feminists: the knee-jerkers, the lean-Ins, the have-it-alls; the endless essayists, the shoulda sisterhood, the fine-tooth-comb reactionary readers; the twerkers, the twerk-less, the outraged oversharers, the rich white lady almost-problems — I’m giving all of you up for lent.

For the next 40 days, this non-Christian is turning Feminists off. There’s a fine line between advocacy and mothering, and I think we’re at the point of nagging mother-in-laws. If I had a shot for every time a writer worked “have it all” or “lean in” into an essay to dispel the lunacy and sexist bullshit of the two or give me tips on how to achieve both, I’d be in a 12-step program.

I like my feminism with self-deprecation instead of self-righteousness — and, whew, have Feminists belly-flopped into the community pool on that one. Trickle down feminism has made some incredible strides within the past year which I must acknowledge — we have female Ghostbusters now, amirite?!

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