I'm not going to lie. The news has been getting me down.
Planned Parenthood is close to being defunded. A pro-life judge was appointed to the Supreme Court. Bombs are exploding on the Russian subway system. Someone is attacking Syrian children with nerve gas. For me, feminism and activism have a large role in helping the world. It's been exciting to see how active and involved people have been since the election of Donald Trump.
Instead of actually doing the work of activism, a lot of us are caught up in commodified feminism.
A lot of women have a perfect Instagram-style way of looking really feminist. Their haircuts are cool. They have that perfect Rosie the Riveter red lipstick on. Their tattoos and piercings seem to flaunt their totally bad-ass rebel lifestyle.
Cool hair and tattoos don't tell me that they're ready to write to their senators. All these rebellious fashion allusions point to is a well-curated social media account.
This article by Aminatou Sow on Racked explains this idea really well. Buying a t-shirt is way different from real political action. She writes:
" 'Capitalist investors' use feminism to sell us clothes! Because feminism is cool now! We are told that everything from “period panties” to “granny panties” to high-end couture most of us cannot afford can be feminist. Don’t let all this canny marketing distract you from the fact that wearing high-waisted underwear is not in fact liberation work."
Feminism is cool. It's something we want to buy. It's something we can buy. But, don't get it twisted (especially not your period panties.. hehehe). Wearing period panties is different than volunteering to provide period supplies to homeless women.
I want more unshaven "ugly" intellectual activist friends than I want beautiful Instagram friends.
I keep looking for my tribe out here. I want to hang out with smart feminist ladies who are trying to make the world a better place.
I want them to challenge me to not give a fuck. I want them to help me lean in or tell bosses that their attitudes are patriarchal. I want them to invite me to the rally or the march or the letter-writing campaign.
I think the world needs it.