Monday, April 14, 2014

This Just In - Reading Cosmo Makes You A Bad Feminist

Recently - as in today - Buzzfeed posted a quiz titled "Are You A Bad Feminist?". Immediately I was intrigued, and also a little scared, because what if I am a bad feminist? But then I realized something. And before I took the test, or even clicked on the link I was kind of angry.

Being a feminist is essentially subscribing to a belief system. No, it's not a religion. But being a feminist means you believe things that other people might not. It's just like being liberal, or Republican, or Atheist. And there is nothing worse than being told that you don't believe what you believe correctly. However, I went in to the quiz thinking that there might be questions like, "do you believe that people deserve rape?" or "is it okay for women to be paid less than men?" NOPE. Neither of those questions appeared. Nothing in that vein appeared AT ALL in fact.

There were 56 statements on the quiz, ranging from "you're quite fond of Kate Middleton" to "you read cosmo", "you shave your armpits", and "you've never seen Girls". The more you check off, apparently the worse of a feminist you become.

But here's the thing. Just because I've never seen Girls, I like nail art, Miley Cyrus, the occasional T Swifty song, shave my legs and armpits, never did roller derby or burlesque (HAHAHAHA imagine me trying to be sexy and sing and strip - no), and refuse to judge women who want to change their last names after getting married doesn't mean I'm a bad feminist, because being judged who I am as a woman is one of the many reasons I am a feminist. Correct me if I'm wrong, but along with gaining equal rights as a gender and getting equal pay and respect, I thought that being accepted for being a woman on my own terms was one of the big things that feminism stood for.

And I am tired, SO FREAKING TIRED, of being told through the media, through opinion polls, and by other feminists that I am a bad feminist because I wear dresses and make-up and spend roughly 45 minutes doing my hair.

Personally I go through a lot of "moods" when I'm feeling especially feministy (I'm a feminist all the time sometimes I'm just more loud about it). Most days I'm either Beyonce or Zooey Deschanel. And yeah, they are two very different people, but they are working for the same thing. Women to be accepted as women, who are strong, independent people, who can take control. Beyonce is aggressive about her stance on women's rights in her music, and Zooey works hard to get accepted as a real feminist because she's a girly girl.

I'm a girly girl. That is why I also identify with her. Like she said in an interview with Glamour magazine "I want to be a f-ing feminist and wear a f-ing peter pan collar, so f-ing what?" Women can still be strong and dominant no matter what they wear, even if its polka dot dresses and chunky headbands.

So how dare you, Buzzfeed writer Cate Sevilla, make women and young girls feel bad and not worthy of the feminist title that they proudly display for the world to see. A feminist who is working to make the world a better place for those around her and those who come after her is a good feminist, no matter what she wears, who she watches on tv, or what music she listens to. Anyone saying otherwise needs to re-evaluate why they became a feminist.

Peace, Love, and Equality,

The apparently problematic feminist, Alexis.

"I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the past 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you're not a dessert person. It freaks me out. I'm sorry that I don't like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pants suit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something just to make it slightly cuter but that doesn't mean I'm not smart, tough, and strong."
- Jess Day, "New Girl"

Alexis Olmstead is a proud feminist and avid New Girl viewer. When she isn't reading Buzzfeed articles and criticizing people who should know better than to mess with feminists, she is attempting to memorize an entire show in three weeks before opening night. For more rants, raves, and life updates, check back often. 


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