What It Means To Be A Girl Living In 2012
As the election continues to gets closer, I’m starting to realize that my further contributions to society will gradually increase. I’ll enter the work force; start college, vote, and try to find my place in the world in a time of recession and stagnation, when many people are finding themselves unable to climb the social ladder.
But what does it really mean to be a girl in 2012? It means that paying attention to all the things those politicians have been yelling at on the Senate floor. All of those things on C-SPAN are worth listening to—as they pertain to legislation that will affect me, and affect women all around the nation.
Being a girl in 2012 is about having the responsibility of a uterus and tending to it while it is under capitalistic domain and political debate. We get the media telling us that parts of our bodies are ugly and that we should go through bleaching and reconstructions–to appease whom? Me? Male and female politicians of the radical right label us as “sluts” and “baby-killers” because we asked for birth control, because we were raped, because right now isn’t the right time to have a baby. We’re left with crossed fingers just hoping that abortion law won’t pass, or hoping that the co-pay won’t get any higher while our rights to our own bodies are determined by the higher-ups of government. It means that the moment I put the ballot in with my choices, it’ll be one of the biggest contributions I can make to the political world—even though we run solely on a winner-take-all system, and I’m a Democrat voting in blue state, so my vote doesn’t really carry all that much weight.
Being a girl in 2012 means being aware of what’s going on in the world of feminism. It means being staying in the loop, while reading blogs and forums still stuck in the second wave. It means thinking critically about feminists all around the blogosphere praise Laci Green while having her use words like “tranny”, while screaming in the name of ignorance and not knowing better, or fat-shaming, or all the other mistakes she has made—and still having supposed feminists stand behind her. It means being labeled a “man-hating feminist” by men who haven’t even heard why I need feminism. All they understand is the social stigma that plagues the title “feminist.” It means I have to endure hearing my father tell me that I don’t need to be “smart” all of the time, and that I should “really put more makeup” on my face. It means being stuck in the world of patriarchy and lack of gender equality while women are being made fun of even in the Olympics. It means not being taken seriously.
Being a girl in 2012 means understanding that our fight for equality is not over yet. It means we still need feminism, but a feminism that understands that intersectionality needs to happen. It means that we have to consider all aspects of identities, such as class, race, ability, sexual orientation, and gender expression, because they all contribute to this social inequity continuum. The plight of women of color, trans* folk, and non-gender binary peoples are still being hurt in this society because of a lack of knowledge (or listening) in the feminist community. The focus on famous white feminists willfully excludes the voices of people of color and their experiences in being erased from the second-wave movement in the 60s. It means moving forward in creating an equal playing field for all women, despite gender/identity expression, color, or class.
Being a girl in 2012 understands the importance of feminism, and why I need it for me to continue growing.
Why do you need feminism? How do you think feminism needs to change in order to move forward? What do you think it means to be a girl in 2012? Share with us in the comments.
Written by Karina Banuelos
Opinions stated in our editorials do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Feminspire and its staff as a whole, but instead reflect the opinions of the writer.
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