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I'm not a feminist because...

Reader comment on item: Ban Islam?
in response to reader comment: fodder for jihadists

Submitted by Meghan (United States), Mar 17, 2008 at 02:53

See, although I'm extremely active in Women's Studies, body image awareness, and feminist dialogue, I usually prefer not to overtly identify myself as a feminist, because it leads to more and more people feeling the need to point out to me that I'm setting women back a hundred years.

Because when it comes to deciding who is a feminist and who isn't, it doesn't matter how much research and activism I have done in regards to eating disorder awareness, cross-cultural female experience, body image, Buddhist treatment of eating disorders, etc. It doesn't matter that I've worked in eating disorder support for the last eight years. It doesn't matter that I was the only woman and the only person under forty on the Board of Directors of a major Buddhist group for two years and that I pretty much carved out a space for Buddhist female youth in my area.

None of that matters to anyone. All that matters is that I have now chosen to dress like this:
instead of like this:

Clearly, what I choose to wear is far more important than what I do, think, or say. I still don't understand how two months of wearing a headscarf and dressing modestly completely invalidates years of research and activism. But what do I know?

It used to be that women were only discriminated against for dressing provocatively. Now we're not allowed to dress modestly, either. Perhaps we just shouldn't go outside at all, because no matter what we do, it's not right. If we choose to take our clothes off, we're sluts. If we choose to put them back on, we're anti-feminist. If we choose to take the lead in a relationship, we're ball-busting b...s. If we choose not to, we're submitting and setting women back.


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