I’m a devout feminist, possibly one of the most devout you’ll ever meet. From the minute I wake up until I fall asleep at night, the only thing I think about is women’s rights. However, I can’t help but wonder: Has feminism gone too far now that it is specifically critiquing me?
I’ve made many generous donations to Planned Parenthood throughout my life. That’s just part of what being a good feminist entails – supporting women’s healthcare. And if you don’t believe the money I’ve donated, read my receipts. Hold them in your hands. Memorize the amounts. I’m definitively an ally to all women everywhere, but even I have my limits.
What are my limits? Well, they begin with me and end with me when I’m facing criticism.
So, with this in mind, let’s discuss objectively why questioning my behavior means the failure of feminism.
First off, feminism has no hierarchy. If it did, my efforts would likely land me at around a Level 8. As a theoretical Level 8 feminist with years of feminist experience, I’m not only appalled, but also profoundly disturbed that my peers would seek to challenge me in absolutely any way. For example, labeling me a “faux feminist” simply because I use my platform to hawk luxury goods, thereby profiting off women’s ambitions while refusing to support actual policies that would help them achieve those ambitions? Wow.
Attacking other women, in this case exclusively me, is against everything feminism stands for.
Of course, I’m all for the optics of female empowerment. But when we begin to apply the ideals to personal conduct, i.e. mine, I feel we have a collective responsibility to take a step back for a moment and ask ourselves: Have we finally gone too far?
I speak out of concern not only for myself, but for the state of modern feminism now that it has inarguably shifted into something ugly and negative, namely in and around the space that is me. If I, a woman who calls herself a feminist, am forced to face minute criticism by my female peers, then what’s next? Me facing MORE criticism? For God’s sake! I sell a $900 T-shirt that says “FEMINIST” on it. Trust me when I tell you, you have the wrong girl.
Women can’t “fight the patriarchy” effectively if we can’t even concede to me that I’m right all the time. How can we expect to be taken seriously as a gender when we can’t blindly agree?
If I seem defensive, I’m not. You are.
I’m being unfairly punished by my fellow women for following my brave decision to not listen to any of them. That’s a consequence I will simply have to accept. However, believe me when I tell you that we need to do better as feminists. And we can start by no longer criticizing me.