I don't need your feminism. Thank you - no, really, thank you - but I just don’t.
I don’t need your feminist art or poetry. I don't want your pussy-envy appropriation of the female experience and no, I don't want your input either.
Dear “Feminist” Men,
I don't need your Facebook likes or your ‘wow, so true’ comments. I don't need your self-deprecation, your ‘gee, men are the worst’s, or your armchair activism.
Oh shit, sorry, was that too harsh? I don't mean to hurt your man feelings, it's just that I'm getting tired of seeing you do literally nothing with your privilege but appropriate this cause that actually affects my life.
You see it’s a little bit insulting when I see you preach feminism online and do nothing to affect actual change because it’s almost like you’re doing it for the likes and the likes alone.
Now look, I get it. I really do. It’s nice to get those new followers on Instagram when you post some shitty feminist catch phrase over a discombobulated body with breasts but when every one of your artworks is the embodiment of objectification; it’s kind of hard to believe you actually care.
And it’s really kind of you to share that article on your Facebook page, but when it comes down to the crunch of things, you’ve done nothing to change anything.
When was the last time you pulled your mates up on that rape or domestic violence joke they made? When was the last time you went out of your way to actively and economically support female work? How many movies written or directed by women have you seen this year? What about theatre productions? How many books?
When was the last time you spoke up against sexual harassment?
The last time you tried to hook up with a woman did you assume her consent? Or did you forget there was another person at the end of your dick?
You see, feminism isn’t just believing in equality. It’s enacting change. It is putting women and the female experience at the centre of everything you do.
Dear “Feminist” Men,
I get that you care. I really do believe it to be true. But I don’t think you really understand.
Understand that, as a woman, every film I see, every book I read, every song I hear tells me that women are meant to look and act in certain ways, that my worth as a human being is defined solely by my relationship to men, that I am weak and incapable on my own.
Understand how the media tells me daily that I’m inferior, that my only value is in my appearance, with no consideration to my intelligence, strength, compassion or talents.
Comprehend how the most insulting words in the English language refer to my gender, my body parts or my sexuality and that when you use the word “cunt”, you are actually capitalising on the devaluing of my body.
See that when I’m paid less than my male counterparts it is because my opinion in the workplace is valued less than that of a male; that my political leaders and feted cultural heroes are overwhelmingly male, and if they are female they are judged on appearances rather than capability. They become hyper-sexualised or are erased in favour of a male equivalent.
You may never know what it is like to be dehumanised and objectified on a daily basis via street harassment and the media. I doubt you have had to plot alternative routes through public spaces to avoid being sexually harassed or assaulted.
Dear “Feminist” Men,
I don’t need your feminism and I don’t want it either.
I do not want it because you cannot deliver it. Feminism is not your political identity as it is mine. It must be a process of action, of seeing women as more than ancillary to other people’s lives.
I do need your allyship.
In a world where domestic violence is the largest cause of ill-health and premature death to women under the age of 45. Where women are still payed less than men for the same work. Where women continue to be objectified, harassed and assaulted.
In a world where men like Brock Turner can rape an unconscious woman and get out of jail 3 months later. Where men like Woody Allen continue to receive praise and awards.
Do not call yourself feminist. Call yourself ally and hold yourself to that pledge. Take action against inequality. Prioritise female voices. Notice misogyny and tear it down.
And next time you go to write “feminist” your tinder bio maybe think about exactly who that movement is for.