Friday 22 December 2023

Overthinking Feminism?


I hope you're well and staying safe and sane in the current climate in the UK and the rest of the world. Just when you feel like things couldn't get any worse, our government is being frankly horrific towards Trans people, using us as a wedge in an effort to overturn the ECHR and the Equality Act, which will be awful for everyone. The corrupt people who run the country make me so, so angry.

Anyway... That's not the point of today's musing. I didn't realise it's been over a year since my last post! I think that's probably what this blog is going to be now, just an occasional outlet when I have something I need to let out of my poor, long suffering brain. And today this is something I've been mulling over for a while, my relationship with feminism.

I feel like, given who and what I am, what my values are, and what my beliefs are about how women are treated by society and how they should be treated, that I'm a feminist. How could anyone not be? We should all be equal and free from discrimination, men and women and everyone in between, and this is what feminism stands for to me.

When I see the discourse around this online however, I feel like I'm very uneducated about it. I don't keep up with the latest news, read the books, follow the podcasts, and so on. I'm not academic about the subject and I'm not really an activist in any aspect of my life apart from the occasional rant online, but I feel like to be a feminist, I'm expected to be both of these things.

I see women online on various sites and apps identifying themselves as a feminist. But I feel awkward identifying myself the same way.  Because am I really one? What if I'm quizzed about my feminist credentials? Have I read this book or did I attend that march? Will I pass the test? Or will I be exposed as being some kind of unknowing faker? 

I think there's also an element of how I compartmentalise my gender influencing this as well. I'm not very outspoken, there's been too many years of shutting down my thoughts and feelings as a keeping being Trans a secret defence mechanism and also because men have to be seen to be emotionless drones, so I'm automatically very guarded with what I do share, apart from on here.

When I do have to be 'him', in my experience being a feminist is not something that men would go around saying about themselves even if it was something they believed in. Can't let that male image get bruised being associated with a word that contains "fem" eh? What would the lads say? And from what I've seen, declaring it as a male sets up different expectations because of their position in the patriarchal order.

I think about what my partner would think if it came up in conversation while I'm 'him' that I'm a feminist, what her reaction would be. Would she, or any woman I know as 'him' for that matter, take me seriously? Would she laugh? Or would she think: "no you're not, you don't help with the (insert example chore here)!".

Do I have some internalised toxic masculinity or some self perceived societal expectation hanging over me? Or is it simply fear of failing to live up to some kind of perfectionist standard stopping me from 'coming out' as a feminist in both aspects of this life I have to live?

I'm totally overthinking all this I'm sure. But feminism is so important and I feel like as someone who has a foot in both worlds that I want to get it right.

Anyway enough about me, there's bigger issues to be worrying about in the world right now. Please take care.

With love, Chloe x

Friday 28 October 2022