The Weekly Personal

My sister and I are both planning a long trip abroad.

“I’m just not sure what I’ll do” she said. “What if I’m there and I don’t meet any interesting people and I’m alone? How are you going to find friends when you’re over there?”

“Well, I’m going to go on Fetlife and meet local kinksters of course!” I replied.

“Of course” she smiled. “I need something like that. Something to identify with, a community I can connect to.”

“Maybe you can meet up with local feminist groups?”

She laughed. “Yeah, I’m looking for something a little bit more ‘gezellig‘!”.

She was joking of course, but it was funny because it’s true. I’ve been in conflict with myself over my self-identification as a feminist for a long time. Why should I be a part of a movement that’s currently the biggest threat to women’s rights, together with fundamentalist Christians? Why should I fight to reclaim the word when it’s so strongly associated with oppression of sexual liberty? Why should I try to be included in a movement that so obviously doesn’t want me? Feminism isn’t a homogeneous group of course, and just as I’m sure there are pro-choice pro-sex pro-sexwork pro-women fundamentalist Christians out there, I can be one of the sane feminists. But it’s starting to feel like an uphill battle over a word I’m not even all that fond of.

See, I don’t think I’m feminist. I’m just not sexist. I don’t have a special word to express that I’m not racist either, it’s just assumed I’m not and called racism if I am. Same should go for sexism – it should be the norm that you’re not and if you are, we have a word for that. And I don’t like the fem in feminism either – although I’m totally pro fighting for women’s rights, I’m against all forms of sexism. Still, I like using a word to express that I am actively opposing sexism, that it’s something that I do. So feminism it is, for now. But I don’t find it very gezellig.

I felt like an angry feminist when I saw this ad though. Even putting your bike away properly is now supposed to be sexy huh? Jesus.

“Jij bent lekker” means “you’re hot/delicious”. “Jij bent lekker bezig” means “nice job/doing well”. I mean seriously, we can use sex to sell anything? But selling sex is a problem?

Come on.


2 thoughts on “The Weekly Personal

  1. Sander

    I propose the term “gender egalitarian” for someone who opposes sexism and “gender egalitarianism” for the view that sexism should be opposed. Unlike “feminism”, which provokes just about as much discussion about what the word means as about whether it is right, the term “gender egalitarian” should be easy to understand, since it means just what it says.

    Furthermore, “gender egalitarianism” is something most people would be easily persuaded to agree with, even though it is also easy to demonstrate that it is currently far from achieved, prompting people to change. By contrast, “feminism” is a term that often creates a lot of opposition based on a host of associations people have with that term.

  2. Marijke Post author

    I like it. Although I have to admit I have a harder time pronouncing gender egalitarianism :P. Still, I like it.

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