People Need To Stop Gatekeeping Feminism

People Need To Stop Gatekeeping Feminism

It is a movement about bringing women together, not tearing us apart.

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Recently, I saw a post on Tumblr that was criticizing modern feminism and I was with it for the first couple lines. The poster talked about how they don't like that some corporations are profiting off the feminist movement by making merchandise that says things like "girl power," without actually supporting any of the feminist movements. I agree with that part because it was the same sentiment that the LGBT community had with corporations making merchandise for pride month while still discriminating against LGBT employees.

But then it took a turn. Before I continue, here is the post in its entirety. I'm not going to link it, because I feel it is wrong and I don't want to send an angry mob that person's way.




The poster started talking about how feminism is an inherently rebellious movement and I was like okay..... And then they stated that if you do anything BUT rebel to what people expect a woman to do, you are not a feminist. This is when they lost me. Overall, this post claims that doing things like wearing makeup and shaving your legs, even if you enjoy it, is wrong. They claim that you do not actually enjoy it, you were just conditioned to like it from birth to appease the men.

I have so much wrong with this. This is literally gatekeeping feminism. I don't care if you think that not wearing makeup and not shaving your legs makes you feel like more of a feminist, but don't tell other women that doing it makes them less of a feminist.

I also want to bring to attention the hypocrisy of the post as a whole. They say that they do not do things because they don't want to do things that men want them to do. But isn't that letting men control you just as much as if you did something that they wanted you to do?

Additionally, by saying that women have to object makeup because it is inherently feminine backtracks on a major part of the modern feminist movement that states that women should be able to do anything men do and that men should be able to do anything women do.

They also talk about famous women such as Ariana Grande who sing about feminism but don't actually rebel and I was really confused. They don't sing about rejecting femininity, they sing about women's empowerment. I feel like a woman is empowered when she is doing whatever makes her feel most comfortable, and that may be wearing makeup.

Then they say something that kind of strikes as just wrong. They say that this whole post does not apply to trans women who try to reclaim femininity. So cisgender women aren't allowed to look feminine, but it seems like trans women have to?

The whole post is a mess of buzzwords that someone stuck in their edgy phase wrote.

My major gripe with it though is the gatekeeping of feminism. Feminism was made to promote women's empowerment and the equality of the sexes. It is intersectional, meaning that it includes all women from all backgrounds. I feel that excluding women that follow these weird "feminine" rules, isn't intersectional and therefore isn't feminist.

Telling women what they should and shouldn't do is one of the only rules of feminism. Women were mad that that was what men were doing and so they started to do whatever they wanted. Sometimes that includes things that men may like such as shaving or wearing makeup.

Nowadays, most women I know shave their legs when they want, not when they are told to. Sometimes that means they shave their legs every day, not at all, or when they want smooth legs. People are using makeup as an art and a way to express themselves. People are doing what they want.

There are so many things that are going on in the world right now that directly affect women and can or is harming them. Young girls are facing genital mutilation, rapists are allowed to walk free on college campuses, young girls are being sold into marriages, sex trafficking is on the rise. There are countless things that are happening that are threatening to take away the rights of women and I'm sorry if I feel that whether or not a girl wants to wear makeup is the least of our problems.

Modern feminism is in trouble. It's in trouble because this is what people are worried about. They have lost sight of what feminism stands for and have started to use it as a way to preach their beliefs on a pedestal that has its roots well-defined by women pioneers who risked their lives.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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In Case You Haven't Heard, My Body Means My Choice, So Deal With It

With all the political differences and laws trying to be passed, based on what a woman can do with her body, demonstrates how the United States decides to use their power and control others by the means of it.

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Since the beginning of America, there have always been minority groups, which include African American, Hispanics, the disabled, homosexuals, and women. Such minority groups have made it their responsibility to fight for their rights and earn justice for it. However, there has recently sprung up a debate on abortion policies, attempting to alter and re-write the rules on Roe vs Wade per state to pursue when or if abortion is illegal based on certain circumstances.

Now, I am not writing this in any means to deter you from your individual opinion on this situation or your perspective, but I do believe that I have a voice in this situation since I am a woman and this situation affects me if any of you individuals like that or not. And most of all, I deserve to be heard.

Starting off, in no means should a man, government officials, or anyone for that matter be able to decide what is acceptable to do with my own individual body, EVER. How have we become a country that thinks it is more than okay to tell what others can do based on the decision of another person. See, we have this thing called bodily autonomy which means we have independence over our own body, or at least we should. A prime example of this is when an individual dies, a surgeon can not remove the person's organs (if they were an organ donor) until the designated power of attorney says it is okay to do so. However, it is apparently acceptable and illegal for someone who has become pregnant through rape or in general is unable to care for a child to receive an abortion and loses their bodily autonomy for the following 9 months. How does a corpse have more rights and bodily autonomy than a pregnant woman does today?

Currently, the state of Alabama has passed a bill that makes abortion illegal under any circumstances and committing this now known felony, can lead to a very long jail sentence. In fact, committing abortion in Alabama (for the woman or the doctor) can lead to a longer jail sentence than someone who raped another individual. Wow. How is that acceptable????

Many states are following in Alabama's lead and we need to put a stop to it before it becomes too far. We women, need to fight for achieving our bodily autonomy and band together and show America that we are a force to be reckoned with.

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