Barbara Holm on Feminism

Don’t Be a Dick, Anti-Feminists



A few days ago I was hosting an open mic and a very funny nice comedian said, “I don’t understand feminism. Do you feminists just want to BE men?” It’s not the first time I’ve heard feminism equated to butchness, yelling at men for opening doors for us, and growing out our Rapunzel-esque leg hair. Not that there’s anything wrong with not being traditionally feminine, but feminism is not about pretending to be manly; to me it is embracing being womanly and feeling empowered in all of its glorious Georgia O’Keeffe floweriness. Because girls just wanna have fun. And why does toughness imply masculinity? Rubber is tough and I’m never like oh man my bike tires totally have a Y-chromosome.I resent the idea that being a feminist means we’re pretending to be men. I am a feminist because I love women and I want women to feel good about themselves. And feeling good about myself does not mean being manly because my happiness does rely on possessing a penis. I’d have to buy new jeggings and learn how to urinate standing up. It would totally cut into my bathroom Vine watching time.

A few weeks ago, Vice Magazine founder Gavin McInnes said, “I think a lot of women smash through the ‘glass ceiling’… and they see their friends from their small town with 3 kids going to soccer practice and they think, ‘That looks kind of cool, actually.” But being a feminist doesn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to bear soccer player children. There are no overlords that will take athletically inclined offspring from us in the night. But that does sound like a cool plot to a young adult novel with a strong female lead!

Hilarious, clever, beautiful pioneer comedian Wendy Liebman said that her definition of feminism is: “Women helping other women.” And that’s really stuck with me. To me feminists are women who want women to feel empowered. We’re not flannel wearing, angry man haters, unless we want to be. As the amazing and insightful comedian Virginia Jones puts it, “Feminism means we can do whatever the fuck we want and we don’t have to do anything we don’t want to.”

I’m tough and I cry and laugh and am vulnerable and I wear dresses and whilst doing all those things I’m still a feminist. If feminism is the concept that women should feel good about themselves, how could that possibly be a negative thing? Maybe in bizarro world, which is a construct of the DC universe, and regardless of our stance on gender politics, we’re Marvel kids, amiright? Don’t be a dick. Tune in next week to shave my legs for me.

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