For a woman who understands how toxic and harmful female socialization and its effects are, interacting with women who won’t even try to challenge these things can sometimes be difficult.
Women who go out of their way to say how much they love wearing makeup, love wearing high heels, love shaving their armpits and their vulvas, love dieting… Obviously this solution can’t always apply to everyone in this situation, but my response to those claims comes down to existing as a female who does not adhere to what female socialization tells me I have to adhere to. Existing as a literal contradiction to what the women claim they love so much, and being the happiest while doing that.
I don’t shave. I have very short and colorful hair. I never wear makeup (and I never did). I wear comfortable shiny clothes. I don’t care about men at all, and I never talk to or about them. I eat whatever I want to eat and whenever I want to eat, which means I’m fat by society’s standards for women. And, most importantly, I put myself first. Always.
My happiness comes first. Period. That’s what I can give these women – seeing a female who puts herself first, who doesn’t adhere to the standards of others, and who is very happy with that and survives very well.
(Who are those “others”, anyway? Every single person in the world? That doesn’t make any sense. If I can’t listen to everyone, why not listen to no one? Why not always do exactly what I want to do?)
They will always make it an issue of survival. I’m not denying that it can be, but most of the times it really isn’t, at least not for those who absolutely need you to agree with them. For those it comes down to the fact that they know these things don’t make them happy, but just cannot see that there is another option.
And when someone presents them with another option they need to shut it down with all the force they can muster, because for them it means that the whole world will end. They cannot imagine that it won’t. That is what I am showing. That the world doesn’t end. That you can and will be happier.
Because while all of these women will claim that they need those things, that they cannot survive without them, none of them will actually confidently say, “I am 100% happy. I love who I am and the life I lead, 100%”. I can. I know that in part it means that I’m privileged, but ask them if they are happy outside of the things they absolutely have to do to survive, like work. Because that will always be possible. And that is what I am showing. By living it.
Abolishing capitalism and exploitation together, we need to ensure that we do it for the right reasons. For women and everyone else to be happy and free to be themselves, not for anyone to be able to “help others” or “be there for others”.
That will change nothing. Because it will only ever support and perpetuate the notion that power is a good thing, that someone telling you what to do and why to do it is a good thing. That’s why I will only ever advocate for showing others that there is a way out. For telling them that there is a way out. For people to stop telling others that there is no way out.
I would never advocate for telling others what to do or making them do things. And I would never advocate for listening to others who tell you what to do, or doing things they want to make you do.
You are the most important. That is the thing that gets lost even in radical feminism right now. Saying that liberal feminism is “choice feminism”, and that radical feminism somehow is the opposite, is a very bad idea and leads down a harmful and dangerous path.
Don’t ever do something that is not beneficial for you yourself. You as an individual, not as a pawn in this society in which power is the highest value.
Take power out of the equation completely. What would you do? Who would you be?