Saturday, March 07, 2015

Day 66 of Feminist Joys: Reading Shakesville

Much of my feminist education has come from blog: Shakesville has contributed tremendously to this. Melissa McOwen and the other bloggers on Shakesville have made me look at the world with new perspectives and examine my own privilege.

Here are just some of the amazing posts at Shakesville; if you haven't happened on that blog before, you may want to enter through one of these. (I'm sticking to the less painful ones, since the theme of this series, is after all, joy. 

On being friends with men:
This, then, is the terrible bargain we have regretfully struck: Men are allowed the easy comfort of their unexamined privilege, but my regard will always be shot through with a steely, anxious bolt of caution.
And this beautiful follow-up post.

And in those moments of listening, we forge a new bargain, lovingly struck: He looks inside himself for the hardened bits of internalized misogyny that yet linger, unexamined; I hand him in exchange the crumbling bricks of a protective wall built long before we met.
On letting people be fat:
I would like to put forth the radical notion that, if a fat person is fat by choice, it's okay.
On how feminism makes you a better friend:
Women are not just men's equals, but each other's. We are taught to tear each other down, instead of building each other up—but feminism teaches us how to build, how to be partners. 
We can create spaces in between us, free of judgment and rich with encouragement, in which we can gaze on each other's enviable qualities with appreciative smiles.
Stop trying to be perfect.
I wanted to hug them and tell them that everything they hear is wrong, that they should not suppress their individualism in pursuit of some generic brand of perfection, as arbitrary as it is elusive, that love is really only meaningful when it is honest, and that love should free them, not be an exercise in maintaining an artifice that only serves to make them feel small.

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