I don’t want to be a feminist anymore. Like a five-year-old, I want to close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, stomp my feet on the floor and scream “No! No, you cannot make me, I won’t, leave me alone!” I am, simply put, too tired. So very, very tired.
I am tired of fighting with my friends. I am tired of arguing that someone groping and slapping my butt isn’t “what I have to expect”, just because I’m at a bar, and the one attacking my butt has a drink in the other hand. I am tired of hearing “boys will be boys” and “when you’re dressed like that …” and “that’s just what guys do”. I am tired of trying to drown those sentiments in loud, repetitive no’s, screamed over and over again, till my throat is sore and my voice weak – just to hear them repeated, as soon as exhaustion threatens to silence me.
I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of seeing someone writing something offensive, sexist, racist, ageist, ableist, somewhere online. I am tired of seeing those writings getting likes and lol’s, and SO TRUE’s. I am tired of being consumed by confusion and anger, typing, typing, typing and typing a seemingly endless response, including research, links and statistics, and then hesitate clicking “submit”. I am tired of knowing that I hesitate because I am afraid of the flood of responses that will come. I am tired of knowing that I will be bombarded with lighten up’s, stop whining’s and get a sense of humor’s for so long, that I will start to wonder if I am indeed wound up too tight, a nagger and humorless. I am tired of the fact that I’m afraid of being called a cunt, even though I don’t find genitalia insulting or demeaning.
I am tired of being told. I am tired of being told that “a key that unlocks many locks is a good key, but that a lock that can be unlocked by many keys is a bad lock”. I am tired of the fact that nobody who says this has ever been able to tell me what it is that needs to be locked up. I am tired of being told “your boobs are awesome, you should show them of “. I am tired of being told that “that looks a little slutty”. I am tired of being told that I shouldn’t be a prude, but I shouldn’t be slutty. I am tired of that nobody seems to be able to explain how to do so. I am tired of being told that I can just say no, and I am tired of being told “come on, you know you want to”.
I am tired of being told “But we HAVE equality!”
I am tired of being asked. I am tired of being asked if I’m a lesbian or if I was raped. I am tired of being asked if daddy didn’t treat me right. If I was in an abusive relationship. If I was beaten. If I grew up with a single mother. If I don’t like sex. I am sick and tired of being asked “But, why are you a feminist, then?” I am tired of being asked why I wear make-up. Why I wear a bra. Why I wear skirts and dresses. Why I flirt with men. Why I shave my legs. I am tired of asking “why do you ask me this?” and hearing the answer “because real feminists are against those things, aren’t they?”
Most of all, I am tired of knowing. Knowing that my eyes have been opened, and that what has been seen cannot be unseen. I am tired of knowing it, when I see something that is wrong. I am tired of knowing that only speaking out can change it. I am tired of knowing exactly how hard and scary it can be to do so. I am tired of knowing that if I am not careful, the fight will eat up my hope and strength, and leave me only with bitterness. I am tired of knowing that I can never turn back to not knowing. I am tired of knowing that despite my fears and exhaustion, I am a feminist.
No, I don’t want to be a feminist anymore – today.
Tomorrow? Tomorrow I think I’ll try again.