(Sorry for the crazy spacing. I suck at blogger, honestly. And for the grammar/spelling because I'm lazy)
And Let's Begin...
No more "F" word label for Andi. (feminist) I'm not a feminist anymore. I'm going to borrow an idea from a poet I know named Crystal Good who recently said, "I'm not a feminist. I'm an Appalachian woman. We never take the day off."
I like that better. Yeah.
I'm not a feminist. I am just Andi. I'm a hillbilly. I'm a writer. For now. I don't want to talk about fake corporate feminism (which is the focus of the article I'm responding to). I'm more concerned with a more pressing problem- Fake Individual feminism. I've been annoyed with this the last few weeks. Boy, oh boy, am I glad to find a good example of it so I can better articulate. Someone decided to write an article dogging the "fearless girl" statue, pictured here:
God isn't that awful! Just a travesty to feminists everywhere! (sarcasm)
The author outraged at this statue sparked my thought which is useful I suppose, to get people thinking, but primarily, articles such as hers, promote worthless discussion and anger among groups activists need to persuade AND among activists themselves. Gawd, don't piss me off. Get us all excited and passionate!
She didn't. So, Imma try here.
This piece is me doing my tiny part to change the conversation. To change what we are doing to help women and girls in the US and abroad. No. Wait. Lemme revise.
Actually, I would like to stop the conversation entirely-the ones about statues, word-choices, labels, television commercials, Beyonce's clothing, which group within groups suffer the most oppression, overcompensating for your own privilege, what we should be most angry at, and about what--
instead of talking about all THAT shit, I want to turn the Talk toward the Real. The Real, aka, shit that matters to real women and real girls.
First read this piece that is entirely worthless, both a perfect example of outrage culture and a great example of why many people who activists NEED as allies, can't stand the "F" word (feminism). This article is why so many people do not listen to you, my awesome women activists.
Because what she writes about here is SO common, focusing on the petty!
Click here to waste your life:
Why The Fearless Girl Statue Sucks (not the actual title but basically)
Her point is that a corporation who doesn't employ many women has put up a statue encouraging the bravery of women and how that is hypocritical. Sure. It is. But is that shocking? Not to me. Is it horrifying? To her. (she must not see much horrifying shit)
But maybe she is horrified. However, the piece she wrote will give her LOTS of readership since outrage culture is so popular right now and so is Fake Individual Feminism. (I just made that term up. You're welcome)
As we said as kids, well, no shit Sherlock. Of COURSE companies that do stuff like this often do it for personal gain. Lots of people exploit causes for personal gain, even people who claim to be feminists do it to get readers, fame, money, etc. (See what I did there? Yeah ya did)
Many people have good intentions and do a poor job of helping, which is forgivable. I know I did at age 19. I was wrong about many, many things as I feebly tried to help women and girls. I'm sure I'm still wrong quite often. (A few times today, no doubt) But man, I know I'm right on the money this time when I say, this bullshit writing has to stop.
It divides, alienates, and pisses people "outside" of the cause off. but not in a light-a-fire-under-your-ass-to-help women and girls sort of way, just a if-this-is-inequality-this-is-total-bullshit-and-I'm-shutting-down kind of way.
Let's not be mad at Fearless Girl statues or the companies that implement Fake Corporate feminism to get ahead. Their hypocrisy matters not. It's what the look of the statue represents that people enjoy. Of course companies have been jumping on the bandwagon of the popularity of "feminism" for well over a decade.
Anybody have a chart documenting the rise of how companies manipulate the new "feminism" to sell stuff? Somebody, do your PhD dissertation on commercials that appeal to feel-good activism and Fake Individual Feminism! Maybe someone has already.
I'm sure someone out there has a comprehensive list of hit songs about "empowerment" and "body-acceptance" like "All About that Bass" (er, I mean, skinny-shaming songs like that All About that Bass. Yeah, it goes both ways, dickheads)
ANYWAY, my point is, what this company did is not at all new. Unlike this smartass article of hers that annoys people who need to care about issues of women and girls, this statue actually hurts no one and inspires people who view it even if the company is hypocritical. I'm not saying this statue will change the world drastically but is it really that horrifying? Is it that offensive?
Oh, everything is offensive nowadays, isn't it. Because we have the luxury to be. (or some of us do) But really, we all do compared to other nations, not that this reduces the importance of suffering here.
Bad things are happening to women here. Sexism is real. But we don't talk about The Real. We're pissed off about statues. But inequality is real. And women and girls NEED the rest of our people to take notice. How can they when my voice, your voice, our voices, are drowned out by garbage about statues? By outrage culture?
Shit that Matters (moving to The Real)
We sit around, privileged as fuck, arguing about semantics and statues and bullshit that doesn't matter while crimes against women like rape in the military, in psychiatric facilities, on-campus, and on reservations is especially rampant, poverty and homelessness among domestic violence victims and women in general is SO high, lack of quality education and social resources for girls and women from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds is SO common etc. etc. etc. Women are being murdered, three a day, from domestic violence. 20,000 people called domestic violence hotlines a day. 20 people are physically abused every minute in the US and most of these are women. Half of all rapes are by someone the woman knows and half of all those are by spouses. And let's not forget oppression of women globally, women being buried alive because they were raped, honor killings, genital mutilation, sex trafficking. ALL of this is happening.
But people are writing articles tearing down something as minuscule as a statue. And a statue that inspires people to boot! Privilege at its finest.
And women online are wasting their time and space in their heads thinking and talking about this crap instead of thinking about The Real. Nooooooooo.
I'm not sorry you are offended by a statute. I am not sorry I don't adopt the right labels for your comfort. I'm not sorry I can sit down and talk rationally with the very people who deny equality is even an issue. I'm not sorry I think parades in this country in this time period are worthless. I'm not sorry I hate words like "intersectional feminism" or all the categories of feminism. (categories PERIOD, in fact) I think pro-anybody who wants to fight for justice category will work for me. (I’m not putting that much thought into this part. It’s useless to me)
I AM SORRY...
I am very sorry there is a woman working two minimum wage jobs right now who has minimal reading, math, and verbal skills because of where she was educated. I'm sorry psychologically she is at a major disadvantage due to witnessing her father beating her mother as a child and she was raised in a community where there were no resources for her. I'm sorry about the difficulty of her life. I am sorry for what she cannot contribute to her community or pass on to her children because of her disadvantages. And I'm sorry for how much of this has to do with her being a woman.
I am sorry to her because we sit around talking about statues instead of children whose futures are dark because they are living exactly how she did as a child.
I'm sorry for all the shit I went through as a girl and still experience to this day, too. I'm sorry for the uphill climb life is for all girls, the ones I love included.
No more F word for Andi.
Fake Individual feminism has taken over. But then like I said before, I'm retiring from activism. OK, I may still run my mouth on my blog. maybe. This decision is still up in the air.
But for right now, I want to stop the conversation about noting and turn the talk to The Real.