An issue that is often raised on the FBomb, both in posts and comments, is the feminist stereotype – an annoying pain in our collective asses. The stereotype that I’ve most often come across as a teenage feminist is the shallow, frustrating, “Feminists are ugly, hairy, man-haters.” I’ve lost track of how many times during encounters with my male and female peers alike I’ve been told, “But you don’t look like a feminist.” (Like this time, for example.) Apparently because I shower on a regular basis and don’t look like I’m missing a chromosome, it’s impossible to fathom that I believe in equality. Seriously, just don’t even get me started.
But while this stereotype is annoying, and in a way detrimental to the feminist movement as a whole, there are stereotypes/false beliefs about the feminist moving that really need to be dispelled. Like, for example, that the feminist movement is solely for straight, white, cisgendered women.
Luckily, there are awesome people out there who are working hard to dispel such stereotypes and work towards truly making feminism a totally inclusive movement. Namely, the Harvard University feminist club and queer student group, who have teamed up to create Feminist Coming Out Day (March 8th). In addition to the day itself – a campus event – these students are selling some feminist-themed merch. All profits from these T-Shirts (which, really, all feminists should own) will go to fund feminist media. They’re also launching the Feminist Portrait Project, which is a blog that will give a face and voice to feminists in order to dispel the first super annoying stereotype I mentioned. They’re taking submissions for that project here. I know I’ve written about my feminist coming out story before and I’m dying to read yours.
Also…I have to admit…I’m going to be speaking on a panel at Harvard on Thursday, March 10th for Feminist Coming Out Day. So if you’re in the area PLEASE come to the panel. It’s at Harvard (specifically, Ticknor Lounge) from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been on a panel before. Rather I am used to hiding in the lair of my bedroom, deliriously typing out my deep feminist theories in the early hours of the morning, shaking from coffee and sleep deprivation. SO, if for no other reason, come because it should be pretty entertaining to watch me attempt to speak in public!
Oh, also, there are a whole slew of other panelists who are legitimately brilliant and fascinating, including Chloe Angyal (Feministing), Cherie Hannouche (The Daily Femme), Andrea Plaid (Racialicious), Sady Doyle (Tiger Beatdown) and Lena Chen (The Chicktoionary).
At the very, very least, take March 8th as an opportunity to personally celebrate Feminist Coming Out Day. Wear your “This-Is-What -A-Feminist-Looks-Like” T-shirt (if you have one, if not BUY ONE) and tell anybody who will listen why you’re a feminist and how you became one.