Feminism Fodder Soapbox Issues

Can you be a feminine feminist?

On Monday I was excitedly telling my colleagues about my weekend at the All About Women festival when one of the female doctors asked me this question:

Can you be a feminine feminist?

I looked at her wondering if she was taking the piss out of me.

Turns out, it was a serious question.

Because she went on to add how she still would like to be feminine and cry and wear pretty things including the colour pink. I don’t think she registered the shocked look on my face as another colleague laughed and responded how in that case I probably couldn’t be a feminist as I was wearing a bright coral coloured top and skirt on the day.

Image Source: Here

Image Source: Here

Ignoring all the sarcastic remarks in my head, I patiently explained to her that as long as a person wanted equality between the two genders, they were feminists. Men or women. Masculine, feminine, androgynous. Anything.

I explained to her how I am a feminist and while I consider myself androgynous thanks to my upbringing, it doesn’t stop me from wearing nice clothes and jewellery or shaving my legs or wearing make-up. But at the same time, I love getting dirty and sweaty playing sport, being active, going bushwalking or exercising at the gym. I had to explain how women feminists can be extremely ‘girly’ if you want to put it that way and still fight for equality between the sexes. I explained to her that I cry too. Often. And I’m not ashamed of it. And I’m certain several other feminists cry too.

Being the lunch table, I didn’t get to have a full-on rant as I’d have liked to.

Sadly, I don’t think I got through to her.

Because even after my patient explanation, I got a comment about how men and women were still quite different. I told her I agree men and women are physically different. But then she said that well, men prefer action movies and women prefer romance and sappy movies. That took me to a whole different rant on how we are socialised in a certain way. By which time I think she was ready to switch off. So I eventually shut up.

People’s ignorance astounds me.

These comments coming from someone who is a doctor and considered to be well-educated and intelligent with you would assume, some level of critical thinking.

It scares me.

So tell me, if you are a feminist, have you come across people like this? What do you do???

Until next time,




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  • Whoa, Molly!
    10 April 2013 at 10:39 am

    I think you can be any kind of woman or human person and still be a feminist. You are so right. Anyone who wants the sexes to be viewed as equal is a feminist. But it’s so hard to drag people out of their thought patterns and away from pre-conceived stereotypes.

    I’m so glad the All About Women day was awesome, I’m really sad I couldn’t make it.
    Whoa, Molly! recently posted…Literary Escapism: Books Are My DrugsMy Profile

  • missRBit
    10 April 2013 at 9:08 pm

    You make excellent points PB and I agree totally with you. I really despise the negative connotations “feminism” comes with. Also, you HAVE to check out my post today. A bit funny really. 😉
    missRBit recently posted…The Dirty, Filthy F-WordMy Profile

  • Ilaeria
    10 April 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I’ve never considered myself a “girly” girl, and early on in my feminism I was almost militant about it. I still bristle when someone calls me girly but it’s a reaction I’m trying to shake. While the whole notion of girly is largely societal, the traits traditionally considered girly aren’t necessarily bad things to be. I’m a very emotional person and cry. A lot. at silly things. (Like Telstra ads). That doesn’t mean I’m less of a feminist. It annoys me that people a) make assumptions about people who call themselves feminists and b) treat it as some kind of dirty word – as missrbit pointed out in her post today! (I’m the colleague in that story, hehe).

    I have the same issue as you do with seemingly educated people failing to apply critical thinking. The same goes for fat activism. Just because “everybody knows” something, that doesn’t mean it’s true. I wish people would apply critical thinking more often!

  • Melbourne on my Mind
    10 April 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Totally agree! I think the media gives feminists a bad name, emphasising the militant man-hating types and ignoring 99% of us. SIGH. It frustrates me that so many people just buy into it without developing an opinion of their own.
    Melbourne on my Mind recently posted…On feminismMy Profile