Diary of a new feminist
As a newly converted feminist, Lolita Brown writes up a short diary entry on her first week. Find out how it’s affected her general life. Thanks, Lolly! Trigger warning.
Feminist. Now there was a word scary to me. Or, more precisely, modern feminist. The word terrified me. I had what might be considered the standard reactions (But I like to shave! Trust me, I need a bra… I cannot burn this thing… it’s holding me in place) and wondered why on earth Germaine Greer was trying to make me drink my own menstrual blood in the first place.
Then I read Caitlin Morans How to be a woman and did some feverish research. Now? I offer all you resplendent mooks my diary on my first week as a proud, strident, self-confirmed feminist.
I feel oddly confident for a woman convinced she must have grown an extra stomach in order to accommodate the amount of food shes eaten over the past few days. Is it the swishy dress? Or the giant Christmas knickers that always leave me giggling when I pee? Nope – strangely, its the decision to grow my muff out and the ability to say the word without wincing. Its a muff revolution! Id read plenty of articles telling me I NEED a Brazilian but Id never read anything telling me, well, no, you dont. As a result, from an alarmingly young age I’d began to sculpt a kind of runway, as if men couldnt find the place all by themselves. I was basically a primitive sat nav: Heres what youre looking for, lads. Men are not judging your body out of 10. As long as everything is clean, well, theyre really just bloody grateful well take our kit off at all.
Well, Im feeling decidedly unattractive today. Im covered in spots from a chocolate binge that would make dementor-fearing ‘Moony’ Remus Lupin proud and Im generally bloated and unkempt. But, this is the good part, Im really not bothered. So what if Ive put on a bit of weight? Its the Christmas season; Id be worried if I hadnt. Is it of major importance that I have spots? Not really, thats what concealer is made for. I dont have an occasion for which I need to look amazing; I have work. So does it matter Im not at my best? Not at all. A bit of dry shampoo, eyeliner and some giant pants and no-one but me will know the difference anyway. I have a university to get into, money to earn and dishes that sure as hell wont be doing themselves. Basically, Ive got bigger fish to fry then whether or not HEAT magazine would put a circle of shame around my thighs and declare Im on a depressed binge.
A bit of the old gender prejudice! In retail, you will encounter this countless times. But how you deal with it really does affect how much it affects you. So when a man grabs my arse and tells me Cheer up! Its Christmas! I’m encompassed in a bubble of rage; I quite fancy locking him in the freezer to cool him off a bit. Instead, I go for a more educational approach. The man is with his son and this really bothers me; I don’t want his son to think this kind of action is acceptable. I avoid rantyness and politely inform him that Christmas is over and even if it was not, it is incredibly rude to grab another person without their permission and I would ask him to not do it again. His sons eyes grow wide so I know he at least is taking this on and a few aisles down I even hear a YEAH DAD!
The man apologises profusely and says he didnt mean any harm. I hope hes learned his lesson – and if not, the freezer option is still there.
Now here is a hard day. Here is a day I need my newfound feminist confidence more than ever. My old best friend has got in contact with me. We’d had a drunken night out where wed already arranged to stay at his house afterwards; we had been friends for seven years. When we returned from our night out, I was thoroughly miffed that he had spent the whole night not letting me talk to anyone and dragging me out of the club when I went for a fag with my friends. Its a long story but he would not take “no” for an answer and “no” was all I was prepared to give. I fought him off because “no” really does mean NO. But I really did have to fight. The bruises all over my body havent healed and I was given a hicky when I had passed out from fear and alcohol. Since then he has denied anything happened, showing off the bruises on him as rough foreplay. Really, theyre from me fighting and thrashing when he had me pinned down. Ive shown the bruises to my mother, crying and asking her if it was my fault.
He thinks we are still best friends. I have revaluated our whole friendship and realised he is a ridiculously controlling man and it IS only towards women. Ive seen him act this way with his girlfriends and every girl he likes that doesnt want him is a tarred a cocktease. I was labelled one as I pushed him off me, drunkenly crying “stop”. I have tried to bring it up with him and been rebuked. Well, not today. I have to make him understand, men and women are equal, he does not get to own me and treat me how he wants. The conversation doesnt go well, but I state my point and when I finally get angry I tell him until he stops judging people because of their genitals he will always be miserable and HIS particular genitals would be better suited to his head. I really hate hickies. I hope he has taken some of this on but I have stood up for my rights, I can sleep easier and already I feel the dreams will start to fade. But mainly, I now 100% believe IT WAS NOT MY FAULT, instead of the 49% it was before.
Day Five, Six and Seven:
The days pass in a blur of catching up with friends, pondering, Batman and revision. I notice even in the language my friends use in public, Bro, you should have seen it! We act like men, we talk like men, and we refer to each other as men. We feel it makes us stronger but I am also proud to note we do show the typically feminine side of us with our dresses, knitting and kitty love. We have found a balance where we value each other for both our brains and our killer dress sense. Its what weve wanted all along. But mainly, have I really changed? No. I still believe in the exact same things. But now I dont worry I will only be seen as the nagging woman if I bring up the concerns I have in public. I have a right to my views. Everyone has a right to their views. Basically, I just feel a bit more confident, a bit more in control and a heck of a lot happier.
So… there you have a week in the life of a brand new feminist, saluting her rights with her bra firmly on.
Ooh… maybe, once you give her a mouth, Hello Kitty really does have something to say. With thanks to those clever things at Femilicious.
a) Stickin’ it to The Emperor?
b) Possibly not a joke about pink helmets.
c) Definitely nothing to do with this picture.
e) Genuinely sorry.
f) Then again, randomly shoving a Hello Kitty Darth Vader photo where it doesn’t belong makes the world fresh and new and tinged with pastel. Hurrah! Love from the Mooky Eds xxx