Tuesday, October 14, 2014

That Time Being Called A Feminist Offended Me.

It happened the other day after school. 
The last of my friends was asked to Homecoming. I was happy for her because I knew it's what she wanted to happen and I did have a hand in pushing for the guy to commit, so it was nice to see him follow through. 
1950s Homecoming

It was tough for me to be completely happy for them, though. Just weeks earlier my three friends made a pact "if one of us gets asked, all of us get asked." "This could be fun," I imagined. "If we all got to go together, it could be a really good time." But of course, in the true fashion of teenage girls, as soon as they were all squared away, what would or would not happen to me no longer mattered. 

I didn't want to be a whiny brat, but I was curious if my perspective was considered by them at all. I gently mentioned it, "so y'all are all going together? That'll be fun!" But what I got in response was worse then what I thought would happen. 

With the most naive annoyance in her voice, 

"You're a feminist. You ask someone yourself."

The rest of them crooned their agreement and support of the statement.  

Ouch. This isn't a matter of women empowerment, this is a matter of friendship. I could ask whoever I wanted anyways regardless of my feminism. I know this. But it's a choice I've made to not participate in. I've always understood the situation of who-asks-who as a personal opinion. Personally for me, I just don't. 

Being a feminist is important to me because of the ideal of intellectual equality, not petty high school dances. Feminism is irrelevant here. My friends have even expressed that they don't understand my viewpoints, so why would it be wise for them to use it as a defense for them letting me down? 

This wasn't said to me to give me hope or remind me of where I stand, this was said to me so they could easily and painlessly brush me off. It was said to me as an excuse as to why they couldn't follow through with being good friends. Ouch. 

To them, this meant "Parrish doesn't have to be treated the same as us. Parrish doesn't have to be treated as well as us. She's a feminist so it doesn't hurt her if she doesn't get asked or if we don't hold our promises."

This logic was airtight to them. Ouch. 

So. I will not be going to homecoming this year. Which really, not a big loss. At all. But the circumstances of my not attending certainly leave something to be desired. 

Although this may be read like a whiny high school girl, and yes, admittedly, I may be letting off some steam, what I really want to be taken away from in this tale is that people don't understand feminism. It kind of half breaks my heart and half scares me that young women will be entering college soon without knowing any basic information about a major issue that surely will affect them. 

I'm pretty sure this story will find zero relevance, but it was something I felt compelled to write. Thanks for always understanding that this is my corner. This is my electronic bookshelf of memories. This is where I can share what I feel compelled to write...because I'm a feminist ; )

1 comment:

  1. Pizza! Amazing post. It certainly is ignorant of those girls - if anything you seem like a human wanted to be treated like a human (the core foundation of being a feminist) - not a whiney teenager. Being misunderstood is difficult, but there IS such a thing as a community of like-minded women who understand and value friendship and ideas. I hope someday soon you get to experience that sort of female friendship that I think we all crave on some level. In the words of Ethan Craft (and Gordo if you know the episode) "You rock, never change." Thanks for voicing what you experienced so eloquently - you never know who you could be helping with these posts :)


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