Dearest Friend and Feminist,
Feminism is not for perfect people. Come with your flaws. Come with your quirks. Come with your peculiarities. Come with your religious beliefs and come with everything you have, and as you are. Don’t be roped into thinking that you need to be perfect or fit into ‘one of a kind’ mould before you can identify with this movement/ideology. This is not that place.
Be spurred by injustice. Be spurred by inequality. Be spurred by a broken heart and be spurred by love. Whatever your reason for identifying with feminism, embrace it. It is valid.
This idea of who a ‘good feminist’ is or who a ‘bad one’ is simply muddles the irrefutable diversity of human differences and experiences; and you know what else – it attempts at equating your feminism with some behavioural codes. I’m not a good feminist and I am not a bad feminist. I’m simply a feminist, one influenced by my environment, personal character and inherent quirks. I will be good some days and I will be very bad some other days. We cannot all be the same and there is no one shade of this ideology.
And something else, when you’re called a Facebook Feminist, accept that tag proudly. There is something called Digital Activism and social media is as valid as any other mode of activism. The digital world is as real as the offline world. The work you do online is valuable as the offline work. This is our reality. Digital conversations are making much impact as non-digital conversations. Anyone who undermines the influence of this space is living in the rocks. Social media is real and its influence is real. And if your advocacy is just online, that is valid.
You need nothing else except the drive for fairness and equality of all persons. You will make mistakes because you’re human and don’t think it will subtract from your right to identify with feminism.
Your existence is larger than one ideology you identify with. There is more to you. You contain multitudes.
You’re allowed to be flawed, contradictory, messy and confused. Don’t ever submit yourself to some purity test of what qualifies or disqualifies your feminism. There is no appointed feminist police to scrutinize your authenticity. Own that label and stumble around, make your mistakes and learn from them. And don’t be too concerned with the superficiality of your preferences; whether you love or hate men, or whether you like or detest make-up, or whether you dress as a tomboy or a Madonna, or whether you enjoy erotic or Shakespearean books.
Never attempt to organise your entire life into ‘feminist acts’ or otherwise. Your life is fluid. And don’t be too concerned about the people who have an entire script of what you should be doing or how you should live as a feminist when they are doing none of that. If they were genuine, they will lead the way and show you ‘the right way’, but their true intention is that they are here to discredit you. Keep doing your thing. And if you’re bad, well, half a loaf is better than no loaf.
In conclusion, acknowledge that you’re making a change. Nothing else matters. Go eat some ice-cream or baileys, and if you’re a Nigerian, indulge yourself starting now! Go and prosper or see a movie.
All the love in my heart. ! ❤❤
Written by Enwongo Cleopas