Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Real World Feminism and the Real World

I'm reading Anna Spaldiing's article for the f-word, a UK feminist site, about transitioning from a feminist-friendly environment to, well, anywhere else:
I feel almost like I am a closet feminist, hiding away because I am now the minority. I feel very aware that I don’t really belong; there’s nothing to belong to. Having been safely tucked away in my feminist world previously, here I am unleashed on the mainstream world in all my feminist glory, and I don’t like it.
I'm in a position where online feminism is my only feminist environment. Yes, I complain about it being a largely cis, white, middle-class environment, but I'd be lost without it. I don't feel like a "closet feminist," like I'm necessarily hiding part of who am, or shedding my politics at the door like a coat or a scarf I when I'm not in an explicitly feminist space, but like I'm hacking off parts of who I am to fit the environment I'm in. In addition to five dollar radio, I sometimes write for other pop culture blogs that I don't promote here for that very reason -- and to read what I've written there, you wouldn't even know it's the same person. I don't like that, but feel I have little choice.

Conversely, in the feminist blogosphere, I feel if I'm not always pointing out bigoted behavior 24-7, I've failed feminism. And in a way, I guess I have because I do think when you have some sense of agency or privilege, it's your responsibility to point out these things. I wish I could say something cliche about finding a balance, but I'm tired of tolerating crap to keep peace. I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions, but speaking up outside one's safe spaces seems like a good one.

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