15 Days of Feminism: Day 14- What I think Feminism is Today

 

I think we know each other well enough by now to explain why I have been such an advocate for SlutWalk (which is TOMORROW!) and explaining Feminism lately. A couple of weeks ago on facebook I posted an, admittedly out-of-context, quote from Lady Gaga saying that she hates feminists – to which I asked how anyone could like her after something like that.

Well, I’m sure you know what happened next. My humble little facebook status blew up all over everyone’s news feeds and people were commenting left and right about what it means to be a feminist and why we’re still called feminists and why we would still need feminism today…and all that more or less pissed me off and I wrote that first post explaining SlutWalk and the 15 Days of Feminism.

How can people think there’s no place for feminism today? I think we need it now more than ever. Now that we are finally working to fight against Rape Culture (which to quote SlutWalk is the fight against: Misogyny, Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Class Exploitation, Ableism, Ageism,Fatphobia, Xenophobia, Colonialism, Imperialism, Poverty, Police  Brutality, Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence, and Street Harassment). Now that there are some many ways to get our voices heard (hello, internet), why wouldn’t we say anything.

And for those of you think that this is all ridiculous, please watch the video below and then watch the video of Feministing.com‘s founder Jessica Valenti explain SlutWalk – hopefully that will answer some more questions as to why this is important.

So there’s all that- and then look what happen’s when people try to speak out (sorry, I’m using another vid of Jessica Valenti; I’m trying not to look like I’m endorsing her, but I actually agree with most everything she says, so I guess I am endorsing her):

Yeah, there’s no need for feminism anymore. The world is totally free of misogyny and prejudice and discrimination – now please excuse me for a second, I have to go brush my pet unicorn’s licorice mane with a diamond-encrusted comb.

(because everything in the world is perfect so there is no need to voice my opinion.)

Luckily, there are many people who understand the importance of feminism today and they are Doing. Something. About it. Women are speaking up and speaking out and embracing feminism. This is hopefully where everyone is headed.

I’ll see you at SlutWalk NYC,

Jessica

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15 Days of Feminism: Day 4- Amelia Bloomer

(she’s stylin’, no?)

Let’s talk briefly about a particularly Fab Suffergette (and she’s not just fab because I dig her name, though I do): Amelia Bloomer.

Ms. Bloomer was a local newspaper writer with a particular interest in the temperance movement and in 1848 she attended the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY. It was there that Amelia met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who Amelia later introduced to the young Susan B. Anthony.

Something must have inspired her there because a year later she started the newspaper The Lily, which is may have been the first news publication written entirely by women. It was there Amelia and other suffergettes like Stanton wrote about such things as women’s rights, temperance, marriage law reform, and clothing reform.

(“It was a needed instrument to spread abroad the truth of a new gospel to woman, and I could not withhold my hand to stay the work I had begun. I saw not the end from the beginning and dreamed where to my propositions to society would lead me.”)

At the time, women were expected to wear tight corsets, big skirts, and layers upon layers of petticoats. Amelia wasn’t having any of that. She wrote: “The costume of women should be suited to her wants and necessities. It should conduce at once to her health, comfort, and usefulness; and, while it should not fail also to conduce to her personal adornment, it should make that end of secondary importance.” So when she saw Elizabeth Smith Miller’s design for a new shorter skirt that was to be worn over pantaloons she immediately got on board and proclaimed it’s brilliance in The Lily.

(it was kind of like the Dress-Over-Jeans style of today)

(see?)

Amelia began to wear this style all the time and was mocked for her “unladylike” appearance. She was so well-known for this style that it became known as “The Bloomer Costume” or “Bloomers.”

(Amelia rockin’ her bloomers)

So now when you’re in therapy recounting the painful story of how you’re mother made you wear these stupid puffy pants under your dress at a fancy party when you were little, I hope that you can be grateful instead of resentful. Mom was just celebrating the history of Amelia Bloomer, a women who encouraged reform in our papers and in our pants. I know this woman is appreciates her:

Be Daring,

Jessica

P.S. Don’t forget about SLUTWALK NYC