Is there such a thing as a bad feminist? Short answer, in my opinion, no. Sometimes I am a bad feminist, but that’s okay.
I’ve recently been reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. The whole premise of the book is exploring the concept of a ‘bad feminist’, whether enjoying films or media that have predominantly sexist stereotypes of women makes you a ‘bad feminist’. Personally, I have to admit I do enjoy certain things that have sexism within them, but I don’t enjoy them because of the sexism (obviously). Is this hypocritical? My answer is ‘meh’ – For myself, it’s more about recognising sexism or being able to critique and say ‘hey that’s not okay’ in popular culture, rather than completely banning myself from it.
In regards to history, I still read ‘classic’ books by horrendous sexists. And you know why? Because it’s only in the last couple of decades where publishers, editors and just people generally have started to say ‘no’ to things that promote negative stereotypes and attitudes towards women. More laws have been introduced (even if they still suck in action) to promote healthy attitudes towards women, rather than viewing them as objects to control. Sexist attitudes, unfortunately, are still getting filtered out. But luckily I like to think that for generation X, we’re starting to recognise attitudes that are fundamentally wrong quicker.
In regards to problematic popular modern culture, such as video games, I can still enjoy them. But I can still definitely criticise them. Sexism is still rife and half the time we probably don’t even notice it. Have you ever watched a film you grew up with and realised how problematic it was? (whether it be racism, sexism etc.) Yeah, we all know the feeling. Sexism is filtering out, and we need to realise that. It won’t be perfect, but a feminist can dream.
Sexism is filtering out I’d like to think in the UK. Even if you hate Beyonce, the rise of popular feminism has brought light to sexist and racist issues in a whole new way. Popular spokespersons such as Bey have made it easier to critique modern issues and I’d like to think people are less scared to call out men or women for problematic, ‘outdated’ attitudes. Twitter, Facebook and many other Social Media platforms allow people to have voices about these things. Even if we come across keyboard warriors every now and then.
Naturally this blog post is quite specific to the UK. I mean there are a bazillion other countries out there with completely different issues. This blog post is more about a first-world feminism rather than anything else, as I don’t have experience in other countries and this issue. So naturally, I would love to know your experience of feminism across the world.
I’m Eleanor, a UK Manchester based Lifestyle & Beauty Blogger. I write about beauty products, feminism, mental health and my adventures in the big city of MCR.