To Spot A Feminist

There she goes, the bra-less, make-up free feminist. Look at her in her unshaven state. Notice the gleaming fangs ready to snap at any man she crosses. There she is folks: a feminist in her natural environment.

This is the image conjured up when many people think of feminists. Because obviously a beautiful woman who wears makeup, cares about fashion and tries to stay in shape cannot be a feminist, right? Feminists are ugly, fat man-haters. Basically, Feminism has everything to do with the way a person looks, not the way that person thinks. I’ve gotten my fair share of confused looks when I’ve proudly stated that I am a feminist. I can almost see the gears turning behind their frozen expression as they try to find something to say that will not offend me. They usually do not achieve that goal. Their expression says it all. Their eyes beg the question: but how can you be a feminist if you look like that? A girl that looks like me, a person who loves makeup, hair and fashion cannot be a feminist.

It has gotten so difficult in this day and age to recognize a feminist. Lucky for us, American radio show host Roy Thompson of The Blaze has asked, via Twitter, the very necessary question of how to spot a feminist. The hashtag #HowToSpotAFeminist began trending worldwide. Queue the polarizing responses.

According to Twitter, here are a few ways to spot a feminist:

Obviously, feminists are ugly, fat, hairy and irrational man-hating women. Basically, the only way you can be feminist is if you are not what society deems to be beautiful. Because pretty people do not care about basic human rights. It is also important to note here that according to these people, men cannot be feminists. Thanks to Roy, we no longer have to fear being trapped in a conversation with feminists because we can spot them and run away before they have a chance to open their man-hating mouths.

This hashtag, intended to mock feminists, turned on its head when feminists decided to reclaim it and define themselves.

Here are a few of my favourite responses:

Jokes aside, it’s pretty obvious that people still do not know what feminists do. The basic fact that this is even still a question is ridiculous. You want to know what a feminist looks like?

This:

tom hiddleston

Actor Tom Hiddleston-Elle UK

elle uk

Actress and UN Women Goodwill Embassador Emma Watson-Elle UK

common elle uk

Rapper Common-Elle UK

This attempt to define what a feminist looks like is dangerous because it feeds into unfair stereotypes. These stereotypes end up boxing people into rigid definitions. This is exactly what feminists are fighting against. I want to point out that even if a feminist does look like that, that has absolutely no bearing on what he or she is capable of. Feminism is a state of mind, a core belief in gender equality. Feminists then take that belief and channel it into the various institutions in society that prevent gender equality. So the fact that I might wear a fierce red lip, wear heels or curl my hair has no bearing on what I believe.

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2 comments

  1. Squidge · May 8, 2015

    Quite possibly my favourite blog post. Ever. So perfectly summarising the unfair nature of this hashtag without being all vent-y (I can imagine that must’ve been hard, I was so angry when I found out about this!), you present feminism as they positive movement that it is and, growing up in this fourth or fifth wave, I thank you dearly.

    Liked by 1 person

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