30 September 2016

Feminist things I dislike

Last week I went to Amsterdam with Boris, who played a gig there with Totenwald at The F Word Fest - a local diy feminist festival. The festival was great, I enjoyed the majority of the bands and it warmed my heart to hear so much post punk in one night! The atmosphere of the festival was very friendly and inclusive, everyone was nice and supportive.

from the F Word's Facebook, linked above
The reason for the post is that the festival prompted me to think about feminism more, and as I already consider myself a feminist - it made me wonder about the things I like about feminism and that speak to me more, as well as about feminist ideologies and ideas (especially in the punk subculture) that seem to be very common but which I find contradicting to my personal belief.

So before we dive (as always) into my personal perspective, I would recommend The F Word Fest to anyone who likes good music and people in the chaotic city of bikes and small streets bloated with tourists (seriously, I didn't like Amsterdam). I would love to come back to Occi, the diy collective who organized the fest, for other concerts in the future.

1. As a woman, you should be empowered by women
I already talked about this in my Feminist Role Models post, and I acknowledge how a band of huge rough men won't really appeal to women, but I personally don't need to see a woman up there to be particularly inspired. Moreover, I don't need a specifically political issue addressed to me in music to feel empowered. I just need good music made by good musicians, like I'm sure many other people do.
This whole "women empowering women" thing is highly important to me, but perhaps in other mediums - I like to watch youtubers talk about this subject, or read a book about it, but please don't shove it down my throat with music. I don't have a female musician I look up to and frankly (and maybe you've noticed as well), I like male vocals more than female vocals. I will indeed prefer a male fronted band over a female fronted band *gasp!*. It's just a matter of preference, not gender. Although if I truly think about it, I might as well identify with a male fronted band more. Call me crazy. Wish I could sing in a more rough voice than what I do, on top of that.

found on Pinterest

2. Vagina everything
Taking into account the primitive penis-flaunting that's been embedded into our culture since forever, it's no wonder that giving the vagina "the stage" is a fierce counter answer, that works on equal primitiveness and meant to (again) empower women to embrace what's theirs and not be ashamed of an organ that's been clouded with irrational mystery.
But I don't find it appealing to me, quite as much as I don't find showing off your dick appealing. It's just an organ, and singing songs about it and writing poetry about it makes me really uncomfortable. Especially singing about your period. So what?! It's just your fucking period, it's just your sexual organ, that's it. And the thought that I somehow as a woman should take pride in identifying with it makes me sick. One might probably think that I have some kind of body dysphoria by saying this, but I don't, I am very content with what's between my legs, now can we just forget about it and move on?

3. Body hair
Continuing with physiology, I really hate the body hair trend (or idea, whatever you call it). I know girls who don't shave, and I know girls who can't stand the idea of not shaving. Both are completely legitimate. I personally shave sporadically, and there are areas which I prefer shaving/trimming more than others. But I certainly don't like lots of body hair, not on women and not so much on men. I don't find it sexy at all. I do indeed have boundaries when it comes to pubic hair.
And as a feminist, I find that one should decide for themselves if to have body hair or not, and wanting to shave should not make you less of a feminist. Nor other grooming activities such as putting on makeup and being feminine. I know some people don't mind body hair, but I kind of do. And don't let me start on the whole armpit-coloring trend....

by Joanna Thangiah

4. Exclusion of men
This kind of repeats nr. 1 on this list, and it's only rare nowadays that a feminist person would succumb to the stereotype that all feminists are men haters. But what I'm talking about is the whole "women for women" thing. As said before, I will identify with a man on some occasions better than with women. It is the case with music, and perhaps with art in general.
Maybe it's because I've always hung out with boys in school, because as a young teenager I found girls boring. The boys I hung out with listened to the best music, played their music instruments largely better (sadly I find it true to this day) and later in high school I would talk about literature that I liked mostly with other guys, and we were geeks about it.
The times I got inspired by a woman are very, very rare to me. And I am sure I am not the only woman who's like that.

5. Feminists should be sexually attracted to women (at least a little)
This is a very touchy subject for me. I personally find men to be beautiful magical creatures - they are perfect, they are inspiring, they are prettier than anything else. I know many men voice their view on women with the exact same words. For me it's the opposite. There was a time in my life where I wanted to be one of the men I so adore, but that is a complex subject for a completely different post that I'll probably never write.
However, I do not consider myself to be 100% heterosexual. The attraction to women for me comes from a complicated place, a place which is not accessed easily, and which is not something that can likely happen .
So the thought of just "doing it with a girl" is terrifying for me, and is not something I can be lightheaded about and just physically do. The attraction is almost never there, unless something special happens. I cannot fully express it. Sexual encounters with women have always stayed in the box of sexual fantasies in my head, a place similar to the one of the average Joe when he watches fake lesbian porn in Pornhub. Yes, it's that trashy...
So to be so "sexually free" just for the sake of feminism is an insult to the complexity of the subject for me. Have you ever tried to go out of the comfort of your dirty mind? You'll see how mortifying it is when you do.

This list is the tip of the iceberg on the subject and I am not eager on going further into detail. Of course feminism focuses on other matters aside from identity or appearance, but the reason for writing this post was the thought that I was the only one thinking like this, the only one who calls herself a feminist with ideas contradicting mainstream feminism. Going to the F Word Fest made me see that feminism is a discussion, and that there is room for everyone's opinion. And I find it great!
What are your views on the subject?



  1. Unfortunately for me, I no longer use the feminist label to define me due to some of these reasons, especially from what I have personally see here. I am happy that you can still consider yourself a feminist and it is refreshing to read your opinion. Thank you for posting this.

    1. I meant to write I dont use the label due to experiences I have encountered over here

    2. I imagine it was because people tend to stereotype you or attack you just for being a feminist? I am not so much writing about it online as it just doesn't leave my small circle of friends, but I do think it is a term people can be educated about when you can engage in a mature conversation.

    3. Not quite. It is more of what the other feminists have become in my area.

    4. I see. I would be interested in reading about your perspective either way :)

  2. Ugh the vagina thing. 100% on that. While I agree that it needs to be normalized and not taboo and hidden, I totally skip the vagina art when I go to the galleries. The Brooklyn museum has a huge room of nothing but ceramic vaginas on plates called 'the dinner party' I think. It is so dumb. And the period blood paintings...ew. again, I get why they're doing it... Periods are still taboo and shouldn't be a shameful thing...but ew. Still icky.

    And I was the same...I always identified with men and all my role models were men... But the gender lines blurring and it isn't weird to be a masculine woman, and so I find myself having more women I admire. It's all going to a good place, I feel.

    1. Good point on the blurring gender lines - that is also something inspiring, especially if you find both margins in one person.

      I also don't like the whole encouragement of having sex during your period. How can anyone feel sexy on their period?

  3. What I absolutely can't stand about feminism is that growing pressure you NEED to do every thing that usually men do in order to be called a real woman. I mean, things like these: if you never worked in a steel mill, or mine, or never carried a freezer onto the 3rd floor, or never fought in a war, then you're a worse kind of woman, because you rely on men. It's so fucking ridiculous.
    Also vaginas everywhere. Jesses, on one hand I'm a classicist and I'm used to seeing sexual organs everywhere in more or less obvious forms, but it repulses me so much in it's modern form. Ancient art has meaning, the modern one for me has none other than to shock. Dumb and shallow.

    1. I totally agree on the art part, it's like putting it in your face without saying anything.
      Definitely agree with all you wrote.

  4. I especially agree with #2 and #3. I don't think you need to grow out your body hair to be a feminist, I think people should have a choice regarding their own personal grooming habits and that's that. I don't think such a big deal should be made out of it. Also, the vagina/period thing. Yes, let's just shut up about periods, it's a bodily function, let's move on. Some women feel empowered by/enjoy their periods for whatever reason and that is fine, but once again, do we have to have it shoved in our faces and made into a big deal? I think not.

    1. yeah, I don't really want to be defined with what's between my legs