Often I look at my fellow sisters and I’m a little disgusted. Who does that obnoxious chick in the corner think she is? She’s obviously my intellectual inferior, look at the things she believes! Look at her behavior!
I know my outrage is vague right here, let’s just say that in real life I have a MUCH more focused anger, but I don’t want to point fingers at specific behaviors. Why? Because I’ve just become aware of a problem within myself, well, maybe not a problem, but definitely a concern and I’m not really sure how to deal with it.
How do I, as a feminist and someone who believes in the building up of other women, really treat other women? Especially those that don’t share some of my social and political beliefs? Unfortunately, I think I don’t treat them very well. I deride their decisions, make snarky comments behind their back, and wonder why they can’t think for themselves. Looking at this behavior, I feel that it’s problematic for obvious reasons.
- If I truly am a feminist, shouldn’t I support, encourage, and lift up those women? Shouldn’t I love them and treat all of them with respect? I’m opinionated and outgoing, shouldn’t I use those personality traits to build up my fellow sisters, rather than devalue their decisions?
- However, some of these women do fight against everything I believe. They actively fight against feminism, believing it’s an organization of “no-bra-wearing-lady-libbers” (to borrow a line from a fabulous movie). If these women so actively engage in what I believe to be the oppression of other women, shouldn’t I fight against them? Aren’t we supposed to stand up for what we believe in? That’s what all those Disney movies taught me and I think it’s a pretty good philosophy. In a sort of sick cycle, should I uphold and support women who are fighting to continue a system of repression that hurts me?
Truly though, I feel that I have no answer for this question. Where is the line between standing up for what you believe in and hurting the people you thought you were helping? While I pose this question to everyone, I feel I should point out that I do want to encourage cooperation and support throughout the ranks of womanhood, but I’m wondering how to do it and I’m not sure there is a right answer.