He is at all of the local shows, holding a PBR in his hand and smiling. He voted for Hillary Clinton. He is polite, social, and has a good sense of style. He is an integral part of your town’s music scene. He is progressive in all but one way- his personal agenda on women.
“I wouldn’t really call myself a feminist.”
This is a statement we have all heard before. But what is worse, someone who won’t associate with the title or someone who will, but only when convenient? The same nice, alternative boy you see at all of your favorite venues admits he is a feminist. He has a “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” pin on his backpack. He shares Planned Parenthood’s posts to his Facebook wall. On the surface, he is the ideal Hip Feminist Liberal.
There is one flaw to his ideology. When it comes to standing up for women in his everyday life, he falls short. He refuses to protect women and while he tweets about safe environments, he does not personally promote them. When asked to take responsibility for the climate he encourages in his niche, he shrugs. It’s not his obligation. When a woman reaches out and asks that an individual with an abusive history be excluded, she is met with the same shrug. He doesn’t show up to rallies, marches or lectures regarding social issues, despite his Facebook RSVPs. These are the leaders of our local music and art scenes. He is an archetype that is becoming more and more prevalent in our social circles, and it is something we must reject.
Misogyny is when a woman is denied protection from her abuser in fear that asking someone to leave an event may fracture his reputation. Misogyny is when he supports artists and figures in pop culture that are known abusers and refuses to see the problem. Misogyny is when people act in such a way that women no longer feel like they can go to shows in their own communities. Misogyny is not creating an inclusive environment for women (and all people, for that matter) of color.
His Hip Feminist Liberal Activism must go beyond what he posts on social media and what he claims to believe. It must be part of who he is and how he treats others. If someone is at a position of power in any kind of social circle or community, they are going to be put in uncomfortable positions. Being an activist is scary, reputation-changing, and necessary. It’s not easy to stand up for what’s right, but it’s what has to be done. Do better, DIY boy.