I like saying that, it makes me proud.
As yet I haven't worn a badge or a T-shirt or crushed any balls, but I'm not ruling it out. Especially this badge.
But I'm not going to. There are some amazing women and men out there who express it far better than I ever could. Read "Unspeakable things" by Laurie Penny, watch Emma Watson's UN speech or follow Caitlin Moran on Twitter.
Instead what I'm actually going to do is tell you why I'm actually a pretty crap feminist. 3 reasons why my badge might be resinded or my T-shirt torn from my back.
This could backfire.....
You could all point out that I'm not actually a feminist. That, in fact, I'm a terrible cliché. Or just a bit of a twat
But I hope to reason my way out of it, to show that feminism too is an adaptable concept. That it fits into life, and the real world and can even be applied to terribly shallow people like me!
So here we go, my 3 big confessions.........
And not in a grown up, subtle way.
I wear so much of it that in the past I've acquired the nicknames "pinky" and "princess". I use sparkly notebooks, folders with crowns on the front and my work telephone is Hello Kitty. I'm a girly girl. I like Cath Kidston, shabby chic,bunting, cupcakes and floral sofa throws.
My crockery is pink, my phone cover, bath towels, workout wear....I could go on....
I know that pink is forced upon girls nowadays. That the media suggests they sit around waiting to be rescued by handsome princes and carried away to castles. While their male counterparts get to be the heroes, the protagonists in their own destiny, the ones in charge. That girls should bake and sew and care whilst boys build and learn and earn.
Obviously this is utter bollocks and we need to sort it out.
But we also need to understand that prefering a notebook with a unicorn on the front isn't wrong either. And it certainly doesn't stop you from doing well at school....or college.....or university, in traditionally masculine subjects.
I passed 2 science and 3 maths GCSE's, maths A level and further maths AS with a selection of pink sparkly stationery. My toolbox is hot pink and glittery and my leatherman "thunder purple". This does not appear to have rendered me incapable of regularly using a drill and I can still reel off the quadratic equation and name the innert gases.
Pink is not the problem. Liking pink is not the problem. Telling people they have to like/must not like pink is the problem.
In the words of Aerosmith: Pink, it's not even a question.
Yep. You heard.
I have a small collection of Barbies/Disney Princess Dolls. They sit on a shelf. They look cheerful. I like their perfect mini shoes.
Some people have photos on their walls, some have glass vases, I have a set of pretty mini ladies.
I understand that Barbie's body is massively disproportioned, that she wouldn't be able to stand or have any internal organs if she was a real woman. That she promotes aesthetic ideals that are impossible to live up to and suggests women are dolls to be dressed up and played with.
But do we really think like that? In a household where Mummy is more real and presennt than Barbie are children really getting all their concepts of what women should be from their dolls? Does that mean they think all animals are like their toys too? In that case Sylvannians must be terrifying!
And do all depictions of women have to be realistic? Best take down that Picasso painting then!
Barbie's shape doesn't mean she's the feminine ideal, it just means she's Barbie shaped. She's a brand, a symbol, a marketing creation, just like everything else in our world. I'm typing this on an Ipad because some brand leader has convinced me that it's the most attractive tablet to own. The tv is on in the background, a thin one, becuase slim is better for televisions. The fact that I want to spend my time typing words into a blog, that I'll set free in cyberspace, is an idea that society has sold me.
Yes we need to protect our children, I completely agree. But we underestimate them if we assume that they just want to be like the play things we give them in their formative years. It allows us to blame the media/marketing companies/brands when we should be taking responsibility for our actions. The real way to ensure that they grow up with the right ideals is to be a society of inspirational adults ourselves. And that's a much harder path to follow.
To be clear I'm not talking about wolf whistling and cat calling in the street. That is a nasty, aggressive behaviour that makes me feel as vulnerable as the next woman.
But recently a couple of people have mentioned that I have a nice arse and I am shallow enough for that to make me happy.
I've lost a fair amount of weight in the last year or 2 and I'd like to say that I did it for me. To feel more in tune with my body,to be healthier, to take the pressure off my joints. But while those things are true I also did it to look better, more attractive, sexier.
Of course body confidence is a construct based upon the current trends of society and everyone should feel happy in their body regardless of shape, size, colour, creed. If you can and you do I applaud you. You are the people who should be writing books and doing TED talks and talking to young people.
But as I said, I'm shallow. And just as I like it when people think I'm funny (rarely), clever (occasionally) or organised (often), I also love it when people find my body bonny or desirable. And if you think about it I do deserve the credit for my body as much as my skills and personality traits. Perhaps even more so. After all it's me that puts in the effort to get out of bed and run miles at 6am to keep this arse in check. In comparison to my natural flair for maths, which requires no effort on my part to maintain.
While I'm being honest I might as well go the whole hog and confess to the smuggest sin of all.
I've had a look in the mirror, a long one, and I agree.
I do have a nice arse.
*I don't actually have a photo of my arse so I've illustrated this section with a picture of me being happy with my body (and what it can do) instead
So there you go. That's me. The girl with the feminist ideals she's probably subverting. But I'm honest. I can promise you that. And passionate about rights for women and an equal society. A society where you can wear pink if you fancy it, like Barbie's shoes and spend an inordinate amount of time admiring your own arse.
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