My relationship with feminism has been a mixture of passion, love and confusion. It was only when I reached university that I really started to research and read about feminism, and it opened my eyes to the horrors that have passed and the struggle that is yet to come. As I became more passionate about it, I found myself and my personality changing slightly. I no longer found ‘make me a sandwich’ jokes funny and I hated being called ‘darling’ by men. I started to question everything I had learnt and analyse my whole life and surroundings. I think feminism can do this to people.
It came to a point where I would watch films and read novels and feel annoyed at the gender differences and how women have been portrayed. I became annoyed at the old men who present the news alongside the young women. I felt annoyed when men looked me up and down, even though nine times out of ten there was no malice behind it. I had a revelation; everything in this world favours men. I didn’t know how much longer I could stand it, and felt like I needed to escape it. I was so infuriated that the world was not just going to change overnight. I started to hate the songs I previously enjoyed because of how they spoke about women.
But this feeling did not last forever, I have realised that although it is such an important part of my life, feminism does not have to be my whole personality. And I can sit back and take a break from it, because I know in my heart what I stand for and what I believe in. I sometimes find it exhausting. I am no longer one of those people who can argue with people all day; I can now agree to disagree with someone who I know will never understand. I have realised that although I think some people are completely deluded, they probably think I am too – which is completely fair enough.
I have become so passionate about something that people just think is a joke or is something to take the piss out of. I never wanted to be one of those ‘snowflakes’ who gets offended by everything that boomers LOVE to talk about, yet I swear they are the ones upset over a vegan sausage roll. But that is a rant for another time. Maybe my next post! I guess it could be argued as ‘being offended at everything’ or ‘you can’t say anything these days’ but I think many things are just no longer socially acceptable to joke about. It is not that I can’t take a joke – rather I don’t find sexism, racism and homophobia funny.
I think it is so easy to get lost in this mindset where everything gets on your nerves, and when you are so passionate about something it can make you into a difficult person – I know I was. It can take over your life and make you unable to enjoy anything. I became argumentative and unwilling to listen to what other people thought of feminism. Which is not what feminism should be about at all.
I am in a place now where I am passionate about all things feminism. I love to read about language, gender, sexuality, race, sex work, music, fashion and a million other things. Although I will always publicly broadcast my views about gender inequality and the representation on minorities, I think (well I hope) that I am not an unreasonable or ignorant person. In addition, I no longer find myself being deliberately argumentative; sometimes saying nothing and cutting ties/unfollowing/terminating friendships is much better for your mental health.