Don’t get me wrong—I believe in women, and fundamental rights like equal pay for equal work. I believe in universal maternity leave, body autonomy, and the rights for women to have credit cards, own property, and vote. But does that mean I’m a feminist? Are you fucking kidding me? Absolutely not. So please stop assuming I am one. Don’t try to lump me in with feminists, even if they believe in exactly the same things that I do.
I hate labels, and sometimes names just don’t feel good! For example, I could make a salad right now that included a hardboiled egg, anchovies, potatoes, green beans, and tuna, and I’m sure a bunch of people would say, “Hey Jenna, nice salade niçoise.” Well that’s great, except that’s not what I call it because that name sounds really dumb and scary. I call it “Jenna’s Fancy Salad” and there’s nothing wrong with that.
There are a lot of stereotypes about feminists, and maybe that’s why it’s hard to sign up for the club. It’s not that I think all feminists are anti-male or humorless or shrill or have bad haircuts and worn, sallow complexions. I just know that I don’t, so I don’t want to get stereotyped that way. Yes, I believe that women should be included in church leadership, but that doesn’t mean I’m a feminist. So quit trying to put me in a box that I would fit in perfectly!
Listen to me now, feminists: I am absolutely grateful for everything you have done. I am totally on board with every single thing you’re about—individually, issue by issue. I’m just not into feminism as some big, overarching thing. I can have a bunch of individual blades of grass without having a lawn, you know?
Besides, we have to think about the men, too. For the record, I love men! I LOVE THEM. Especially my husband Derek, who was totally cool with me wanting to keep my last name after we got married. It’s so easy to scare men away these days just by being who you are—something I think is wrong. I guess you could say that I’m on the same page as feminists, but I don’t want the book we’re in to be titled “Feminism.” Does that make sense? OF COURSE IT DOES.
Will I change my mind someday and become a feminist? I doubt it. I’m happy with the way things are now—atomizing my support for feminist issues and thereby disowning the label while reaping all the benefits.
In short—thanks for everything, feminists. I’ll take it. Now go.