thornythalia (thornythalia) wrote in kissmyass_cosmo,

  • Mood:

What is the Purpose of Feminism?

So I've been thinking.

I got into an argument online and with friends about taking the husband's name when you get married. Someone said that you can still be a feminist and take your husband's name, to which I responded (inarticulately, unfortunately) that you can still be a feminist, but taking your husband's name is not a feminist action, and you should acknowledge that you're being affected by society and NOT making the decision from a blank slate. At which point a friend of mine offline took big time offense at me implying that she's bowing to the patriarchy because she would take her husband's name when she gets married, because she doesn't like her own last name, and who am I to talk anyway and feminism is about being able to make your own choices and how it's people like me who give feminists a bad name blah blah blah you get the point.

And I just dropped the subject, but I've been thinking since then that maybe the purpose of feminism isn't so much giving women the choice but more about educating them about their choices. I mean, you can take your husband's last name when you get married, but that's not a feminist action and everyone will assume that you did it because of tradition and paternalism and you can't exactly go around telling everyone that you totally just did it because you were sick of your own last name, or because your father is an asshole, or whatever. So, just keep that in mind and weigh that out with the pros of taking his name.

To make this more on-topic with this community, this also could be why it's so important for us to criticize pop culture depictions of femininity. Yes, how you express your femininity is totally up to you, but you might want to think about how you're just playing into what it's easiest for people to think about women.

For example: you might like the feel and appearance of your legs when you shave them. But keep in mind that you started shaving your legs because someone gave you a razor and you saw the nice smooth legs in a magazine. You don't necessarily want to play into the image that women are always smooth and hairless, because we aren't. I'm not saying that you can't shave your legs and be a feminist, definitely not. Just...maybe go out in shorts with stubble sometimes :-)

For example: I like wearing make-up. It evens out my skin tone and makes me feel pretty. But I've always been very careful to not get in the habit of wearing make-up every day, so as not to get to the point where I feel like I can't go out in public without make-up on.

It's pretty small, but I like to think that I'm raising awareness that it's okay to be stereotypically feminine, but it's also okay not to.

Any thoughts?
  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded