I've been mulling over a few things after a shit storm went down at my job last week. And when I say "my job," I mean this site, obvs. All of us on staff here work really fucking hard, and I take the stress and problems I encounter to bed with me every night-literally, because I fall asleep in front of my laptop and the first thing I do when I open my eyes the next morning is IM my coworkers and check my email before I brush my teeth or pee. So I was really grumpy last week when commenters were telling me that I was doing my job incorrectly. (And grumpy, too, when I was called names, and trash talked in public messages on commenter profiles. Yeah, I read them.) Anyway, I took a couple chill pills and got over my grumpiness to realize that for the things that suck about this job-lack of hygiene, lack of social life, lack of respect from total strangers-there are like a million more things that make what I do so much fun. I get paid to have sex, get stoned with my best friend, work with some of the coolest, smartest women I've ever met, and-come to think of it-earn the respect of total strangers. And it was this more optimistic perspective that made me remember the significance of my core beliefs as a feminist: Just because we have vaginas, doesn't mean we're all victims. Being a girl can actually be really fun. In the words of some wise women, "Just cuz my world sweet sister is so fucking goddamn full of rape, does that mean my body must always be a source of pain? No, no, NOOO!" (That's Bikini Kill, btw.) Being a girl, for me anyways, has actually kinda been a blast.
I hinted at this a bit in my post about that Roman Polanski documentary, but people really took it the wrong way, saying that I was a rape apologist or something, which is just silly. I think what it comes down to is maybe the divide between second and third wave feminism. Or actually, maybe it's that some people don't accept that feminism isn't monolithic, and that we can (and do) have different views about a number of things, from porno to age of consent, with the one basic truth being that "women are people too." Of course I'm not a rape apologist. But I'm a child influenced by riot grrrl and the sex-positivity movement, so maybe things I say can come off as harsh, and perhaps get misinterpreted by those who don't place as much importance on those things. (Or maybe people placed too much importance on an IM conversation, which is always a more casual form of communication.)
Anyway, this is kind of related to that, but only slightly: What I'm getting at is that yeah, duh, rape is bad and awful and horrible. But there's so much more to our shared culture as girls than just rape, domestic violence and menstrual cramps. We have unicorns, and Easy-Bake Ovens, and our favorite vibrators, and Maybelline Great Lash, and a female presidential candidate, and stories of losing things up our vaginas for days on end that make us laugh.
I like the girl parts of being a girl. I can enjoy cross-stitching and cock-sucking. And I can express my own opinions without being labeled a bad feminist. And I, nor anyone else, should ever have to apologize for any of it.
Related: Bikini Kill - I Like Fucking [YouTube]