They can include more traditional words like family or friendship; or perhaps freedom if you’re some kind of self-proclaimed patriot. ‘F’ words can also be used in more serious ways such as to refer to social issues and inequalities, how we feel, what we eat. They can even refer to a person or thing in a more decorative and elegant way.
For example, “I believe freedom of religion is essential to achieving equality in this country.” And “Shut up you fugly Justin Bieber-like man child.” See? So colorful and so fun! The possibilities are almost endless (unlike the fries at Red Robin…because apparently seven refills is just too much for them).
It just so happens that my favorite ‘F’ words are f*ck and feminism. Why? Because feminism is f*cking important! Now before you light your technological device on fire and throw it out of the nearest window, hear (read?) me out. Social, political, and economic equality has not yet been achieved. Women (and women of color especially) are overwhelmingly denied access to resources and opportunities. This needs to be talked about. Loud and clear.
Feminism is not a trending topic. I am not “looking for attention” nor am I “trying to fit in”. And while we’re at it…I am certainly not denigrating men. I am also not going to start wearing my hair in a loose bun whilst spinning around in circles in a field of dandelions next to a willow tree while also learning to paint.
Feminism is not an attack on any one person. It is simply a critique of our behaviors, expectations, and the institutions that shape the way we view and treat women. You might be thinking: “What the f*ck does that mean, Christine?” Well, allow me to walk you through an as-brief-as-possible run down on what girls and women experience in this country on a regular basis. It goes a little something like this:
“Go outside and play! I don’t care what he’s doing; you need to stay close by.
Don’t go over there- your dress will get dirty.
You should play sports! Wait. Aren’t you too old for sports?
Respect yourself. He’s mean because he likes you.
Speak up, we can’t hear you.
Quiet down, everyone can hear you.
Say what is on your mind. That is no way for a lady to talk.
Wear makeup. Not too much, though.
Why aren’t you wearing makeup? Are you sick?
Be polite. You say ‘sorry’ too much.
It’s OK to not want children. A woman’s purpose is to have children.
Stay thin. Why are you that skinny?
Don’t walk alone at night. You were alone with him, what did you expect?
Be assertive. Why are you being such a b*itch?
Be more independent. Find yourself a nice boy.
You don’t have to laugh at everything he says. Why don’t you have a sense of humor?
Show them that you’re strong. What are you, insensitive?
Make yourself look pretty. What kind of attention are you after?
Support yourself. Does he mind that you support yourself?
Go to college. Don’t act too smart around him- it’s a turn off.
Make money. Don’t make too much money- that’s his job.
Build a career. Put your career on hold to have children.
Practice safe sex. What are you, a slut?
Make sure you always eat less than him. Ew, you should eat a cheeseburger.
You’re so smart! When are you going to learn to cook?
It’s your body. You can’t do that.”
Very overwhelming, contradictory, and hypocritical. It’s kind of like taking the blue and red pill at the same time in The Matrix and not being sure where you are or how you got there. Is this reality? Am I an illusion to a larger metaphorical hell where Red Robin stops refilling your French fries altogether?
How do we make it stop? Should we petition? Should we find a new burger place?
We need to stop pulling each other in different directions and start lifting each other up. Support women. ALL women. Compliment one another. Demand respect. Become so good at something that it makes those who wish ill of you furious. Be sincere. Don’t listen to those who try to stop you from reaching your potential. They are nothing but temporary obstacles trying to maintain the status quo.
You deserve better. I deserve better. We deserve better.
Whelp; meet me in the field of dandelions next to the willow tree. I’ll bring the f*cking paint supplies.