As a lover of gender equality, feminism, and all things empowering, I think it’s safe to say my next few statements. It’s okay to be a bad feminist, you don’t have to carry the weight of every opinion on your shoulders. A sigh of relief.
In the very wise words of one of my favorite people, Roxane Gay, “I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers.”
A lot of women get caught up in the danger zone of feminism, where all things must align with strict principals, otherwise, you’ve failed yourself and womankind. Luckily, Roxane and I, among many other women, are here to tell you that it’s okay to make messes that you’re not sure how to clean up. It’s okay to have different political views than the person sitting next to you. And it is definitely more than okay to embrace your sexuality, make mistakes, push back and accidentally hurt people’s feelings. You don’t have to be a perfect, badass feminist all the time.
One of the fundamental points of feminism is choice. Part of this is accepting other women’s choices, even if we wouldn’t make that choice ourselves. Being a good feminist is taking the world off of your shoulders and getting down from the “let’s be perfect” balance beam in order to support other men and women! That’s being a good feminist.
Like Gay says, “I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.” With that said, being a bad feminist kind of rocks.
In a world of choices, temptations, politics and sucky Monday mornings, it’s nice to know that you can be human while still being the best feminist in the world. Our good friend Roxane tells us, “I would rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all.” Both genders need to remember that feminism doesn’t just apply to equality in the US, it expands worlds past that and sadly the work of a feminist is never done.
As feminists and people, we need to be empathetic, curious and bold. Being a bad feminist doesn’t give you an excuse to go against your own morals and beliefs, it just means that you being you is what being a feminist is all about, mess and all.