16 year old Carter Donahue is apparently a bit confused between my blog and Hot or Not. He commented on my last post and expressed some very deep and disturbing confusion over how to react to pictures of girls. He asked to have this addressed from a feminist perspective. I think many of my peers could benefit from such a discussion, so here goes:
First of all, feminists are not a group of people who believe all the same things. Although we share agreement in the basic principles of equality and liberty for all men and women, there are a lot of parallel issues on which we hold varying opinions as individuals. There is a lot of discussion that goes on between feminist bloggers and activists both publicly and behind the scenes on a variety of topics. There are feminists who are trying to raise awareness because they feel many feminist bloggers are focusing too much on cisgender women. Beyonce is a subject of much controversy. My friend Kimberley Johnson just wrote a very provocative piece on Monica Lewinsky.
So I can truly understand why there is confusion, especially among men. It would be absolutely impossible for me to discuss this topic in a way that clearly defines the official platform of the Feminist Party because that answer and that party simply do not exist. What I can do is explain it from an individual perspective.
I wear halter tops, short skirts, and other articles of clothing that other feminist bloggers denounce on a regular basis. I don't do this for men. I do this because I wear what I want to wear. I want other girls to know that, despite the messages they so often get, they should be able to wear what they want to wear in confidence and free from fear. I want to define the point that the conduct of men is theirs to own, not ours. I do it because sometimes, I just feel like expressing myself as a middle finger to societal pressure, conformity, and the confines that are unfairly placed on women. I'm confident enough to make myself a target for the despicable and unfounded slut-shaming I see hurting so many of my peers. Bring it on, because when I handle my business I'm not just standing up for myself, but for other women.
As an artist, I work in a very visual world. My instagram and other platforms exist to play in this visual world. It's also a way to communicate with my peers from the perspective of artistry. Yes, I do sometimes also use images to send messages, not sexual messages, but as a way to put a face to a concept. When I Snapchat, 99% of the time I am not thinking at all about how I appear, which is often as the biggest spaz of all time. But I'm a multi-facited human being and there are many parts of me I express in different ways. I've played with just about every social media platform known to humankind and I use various platforms for various purposes.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, I nor any other woman can do to control what men think. I feel that we're completely wasting our time if we're over-investing in trying to control it. It's up to us to define ourselves and our positions as individuals and to use our voices to create a collective dictionary for the world to reference. In the end it does come down to the one thing all feminists can agree on. We stand for equality and the opportunity for both men and women to make their own choices.
So to Carter Donahue and those who think as he does, this one's for you bro. Until you evolve your mindset, there is not a chance in multiple universes I would ever bingegame with you.