FEMINISM LOOKS LIKE...
I was once asked by a lawyer if I was a “Femi-nazi” after telling him my Bachelor’s was in Women’s Studies and that I was a feminist. He asked me this in front of his wife at her graduation no less, and then followed up with the question, "Do you hate men?"
His questions, while overtly obnoxious were not surprising because I had received many variations of those types of comments/questions. It was 2010, I was fresh out of college and proud of my degree but when folks heard about it they often had something to say. "What are you going to do with a B.A. in Women's Studies ?","No one wants to hire a feminist"," You don't look like a feminist", “Did you burn your bra?","You're too girly to be a real feminist."
I never took these questions/comments to heart and would share my perspective and to my non-surprise I got hired and my employers never had an issue with me being a feminist. However, I've always wondered about the comments and questions surrounding appearance. How does a person advocating for equal economic, social and political rights for women look? Do they have a particular haircut, wear a particular color every day and eat men for breakfast?
For quite some time there has been misunderstandings about what it means to be a feminist. As a "good feminist" you had to reject patriarchy and embody more masculine qualities (ironic, right?). Wearing lipgloss, pink, sparkles and other things deemed overly feminine/girly was solely intended for men's objectification of women or made you appear weak and naive.
Feminism has very little to do with how we look. I say very little because I'm using fashion in today's post to make a statement about my feminism. Overall, feminism to me entails doing the work to achieve equal rights for all women while considering various factors such as race, class, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and how those factors shape the experience of individual women as well as groups. I really could care less if you're wearing 6-inch heels or a potato sack. Oh, by the way, you don't have to be female to be a feminist but let's chat about that another day.
For today's look, I pulled out my pink feminist t-shirt to express my views. I rocked it last year but only took a selfie for the gram.
This time around I did a full shoot and was sure to make this look extra girly. I rocked a pair of 70's style high-waisted jeans, pink fuzzy beret, ice cream earrings, pale pink purse and python booties.
Before I close out today's post I also want to highlight a handful of organizations who are pressing for progress for women or organizations led by women:
- Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign - An apparel company who raises funds from their t-shirt sales to support critical work that's being done for women's rights by 7 organizations (Essie Justice Group, Girls Who Code, Higher Heights, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood, and The United State of Women.)
- Red Thread - Founded by 7 women in 1986, Red Thread is a women's organization in Guyana addressing issues such as domestic violence, sexual offenses, gender parity, and mobilizing women.
- Relief Exchange - Founded by a fellow blogger babe Nyla Spooner. The organization's goal is to help resource-constrained communities by providing disaster relief, social services and technological solutions.
Please leave a comment about any organizations you’d like to highlight and if you have a little more time (I hope you do) be sure to watch this Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about why we should all be FEMINISTS!