5 Ways I Failed At Being A Feminist
1. I accepted candy from a random guy who I knew only liked me for the five minutes he spent staring at my breasts. While shopping for groceries the other day, I was hit on by an employee. As I was about to leave he said, “Damn, you’re a pretty girl” and gave me some candy free of charge. The strong, independent woman in me wanted to say no, confront him for being inappropriate and rude, and assure his sexist ass I could buy my own candy if I wanted to. But, instead, I thought about how I would be getting four hours of sleep that night, I visualized the pictures of my ex and his new girlfriend that were all over my Facebook newsfeed, and I gladly took his compliments and candy bar.
2. I changed the way I look for my crush. I had recently gone au natural for one month, and basically let my hair do its own thing. The day I straightened it, my crush noticed and told me I looked pretty. As you can imagine, I now straighten my hair four times a week, making the claim to my roommate that straightening my hair relaxes me. In reality, I am nervously trying everything I can do to impress a guy who may or may not ever ask me out. I hate doing my hair. If it were socially acceptable, I would shave my head. Instead, I now spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over how I look in case I see my crush. I know that I should worry about whether he likes me for my humor and intelligence, but all I want to know is if he wonders how I’d look naked.
3. I used my breasts to get what I want. Instead of making clear, intelligent arguments, sometimes I just lean over and let a guy get a good look at my perfectly formed D-cup boobs, and he then magically sees my point of view. I resent when guys objectify girls. I resent the faux- feminist argument that women should take advantage of their looks to get ahead because all this does is confirm men’s belief they can objectify us. However, I still find myself using my looks as an easy solution, yet I condemn men when I hear them discussing a woman’s body.
4. I voted for Mitt Romney. JUST KIDDING. Oh god, never, ever, ever. It hurt my soul a little to even write that.
5. I was too intimidated to speak my mind. At my previous job, I was the only woman to work with five men, all of whom were at least ten years older than I am. Occasionally they would make comments that I did not agree with, but did I say anything? No, I almost always kept my head down and pretended not to hear. If I tried to argue, they would gang up and convince me to see their way. I can complacently talk shit about pervey guys with a group of girl friends, I can bash whatever inane comments a politician has the indecency to say, I can bookmark all the feminist webpages I want. I can claim to be a strong, independent, intelligent woman. But I need to do more than say I am; I need to act as one, stereotypes and judgments be damned.
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Dan John is a weightlifting coach. He is well-known in the fitness world for keeping things simple. As regular readers know, simplicity matches up well with my exercise philosophy. (Dan John also has two first names.
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