Friday, 8 August 2014

As feminist as it gets

Just as it's a health risk to conform to gender norms and stereotypes, it's also a health risk to be too opposed to them. In order to make a difference, I have to be engaged with society in such a way that I drink some of its poison. Otherwise they find me irrelevant.

I am not the perfect feminist. I struggle to hold on to my ideals on the best of days. It sometimes feels like my community is conspiring to keep me from being the best feminist I can be. Because I am dependent on societal texts on topics that diverge from feminism, and can't always be hyper-vigilant, I re-appropriate some of the narratives I'm at other times actively trying to find a replacement for. I need to have a place in society for the sake of safety. So I have to play the game, even if it doesn't look like I'm playing much of anything from the pov of more conservative folks. It all adds up to a lot of pressure.

I am pining for a trip to Scandinavia at the moment, but it will have to wait. I want to go back there so I can learn from "the pros" of gender equality, and bring that knowledge back with me to my not so feminist nation. I'm also aware that I'm lucky to live in a nation which ranks in the top 30 in the world for gender equality. It could be a lot worse. But even as I'm aware of my luckiness, I can't help but wish I had more access to the Nordics.

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