Bra-Burners and Feminist Activists: A Wee Primer
Inquiring minds want to know: what’s a feminist activist, and how should she dress?
My last post has raised a lot of discussion for people about the nature of feminism and feminists. There are questions about litmus tests and whether Zuska applies them. I thought it best to take a moment or too to assuage some of your curiosity and anxiety, in the form of a series of multiple-choice questions or statements. Alas, there is no answer sheet, except the one provided by your own pre-existing (mis)conceptions and biases. Enjoy.
- Feminists are:
A. a relic of the past. But we should be grateful for for their brave struggles, blah blah – now let’s play Makeup Mirror and get a virtual Fashion Makeover!
B. everywhere, like zombies. Be careful! They want your brains!
- Zuska is a feminist. This means she is:
A. a wise crone who subscribes to the radical notion that women are humans.
B. a hairy-legged feminazi who hates all men.
C. a ball-breaking lesbian who hates all men.
D. a bitter, ugly woman, angry because no man will sleep with her.
E. some combination of B, C, and D who just needs a good fucking.
F. OMG! The personal is personal! Why do you have to be so, like, political and activist? Can’t we just talk about shoes and makeup?
- Zuska likes to wear comfortable clothing and flat, comfortable shoes. This means:
A. She doesn’t care about clothes and shoes.
B. She is an ugly dyke who hates all men.
C. She is asking for it – obviously, or she’d cover her hair.
D. She doesn’t give a shit what you think.
E. She likes to be able to walk without turning her ankles and injuring her toes.
F. She believes high heels and fashion are tools of the patriarchy.
G. If F obtains, then it must follow that she believes YOU are a tool of the patriarchy if you wear them, because individual choices are all that really matter.
H. She wears what fits her body and works for her foot issues.
I. She wears what she has to until she can hie herself unto the nearest nude beach.
J. Actually, she wears a bikini underneath a burka while blogging, along with these:
K. She is humorless.
- Victoria wanted her Facebook page to be a place for “girls…that aren’t activists…Bra burners are activists.” Aside from the fact that bra burners are a historical myth, what does this mean?
A. Victoria is stating that she has no interest in social change, political change, economic justice, or environmental wellbeing.
B. Victoria is frightened by the spectre of other people associating her with man-hating hairy-legged feminazis from hell (who are probably dykes).
C. Victoria has caught the buzz from Christina Hoff Sommers, who has spent the last year or two appropriating the negative discourse of “judicial activism” and applying it to women in science who make arguments for gender equity. Activist women scientists! They will emasculate science and ruin all that is good about America, given a chance.
D. Activist bra burners are humorless. What else do you need to know?
- Who can claim feminist identity?
A. Bra burning activists and other unicorn-like creatures.
B. No one in their right mind – it’s a career-killer.
C. Pretty much anyone. What they mean by “feminist” is another question.
D. Anyone interested in the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
E. Only humorless, hairy-legged man-hating PC feminazis.
- If you want to be a bra burner feminist activist, you should
A. Never wear makeup because it is a tool of the patriarchy.
B. Wear makeup whenever you want, if you want to, because it is your choice, not because someone tells you that you should or shouldn’t, because feminism is about the freedom to make choices.
C. I’m very confused.
D. “The only way to effect real change is to work collectively. An individual woman deciding to stop wearing makeup might be living up to her own feminist principles so good for her, but it will not change anything, or improve matters for women who are in situations in which it is not possible to stop wearing makeup because they might lose their jobs or be made more miserable in some way. The only possible solution then is to work with other women, which is never easy.”