June 14, 2012

June 14th: I am Feminist! PT 1

My name is Astrid and I am 22 years old.
I am a feminist.
I am married to a beautiful man.
I am also a feminist.
I like clothes, shoes and make-up and shaving my arm pits.
I am also a feminist.
I am fascinated by the machinery that is the porn industry.
I am also a feminist.
I don't hate men or sex.
I am also a feminist.

There are various reasons for this post today.

Just as I am not afraid to tell people I am a feminist on this platform, I don't hesitate to do so in my real life. I am a lecturer. Yes, one of those people who would state the misogyny in your facebook status or point out that just because this and that girl you just saw at work was wearing butt shorts, she isn't automatically a lesser human being. I like to educate and I like confrontation. That's that.

Then there are people who accuse me of being a fraud for being in what historically is a patriarchal institution - marriage. Everyone has the right to ask me why I got married and I guarantuee you none of the reasons have ANYTHING to do with my urge of feeling submissive to the man on my side. That's right. He's the man on my side - not the man 'above' me. My marriage is all about freedom and blossoming and being a unit while remaining who we are as people, with all our beliefs. My husband isn't forced to think like me - but thankfully he's intelligent enough to listen and understand where I come from and only SOMETIMES uses my beliefs to wind me up. :)

throwing in a boob to lighten up the mood - source unknown  but I think this was a Vogue photoshoot

The other awesome prejudices I get confronted with every day are if I hate men in general, if I am a lesbian, if I am frigid and how I can like porn when it is the most sexist thing in the world. I'll get into these things further down the track (yes, this is going to be a series on my blog) but for now let me share one of my precious childhood stories with you. This is one of the first moments of my life I found myself confronted with sexism.

It was at age 10.
I was in primary school at the time and a very ambitious little thing. While others were struggling with subjects, I had straight A's throughout the first half of the semester.
Every morning at the start of each class we had a mathematical problem to solve. It was easy, of course - nothing too challenging in primary school BUT whoever solved it first got 10 points, second place got 9 points and so on.
I fucking nailed it every day. I was always the first one to finish and line up at the teacher's desk. About half way into the semester I was over 100 points ahead of the second best kid, a boy I need to mention.
See, back then (and I think it's still the same shit) people used to tell  me girls can't do maths. They are just not as good at it as boys. I often asked "Why?" but I still, to this day, haven't gotten a proper answer. So apparently it has something to do with a part of the brain which is more developped in boys because back in the day they used to hunt mammoth. Or maybe it is because girls were told for centuries that they are just not as good at it and stopped trying. Anyway...
One day I finished first AGAIN and lined up at the teacher's desk AGAIN which must have irritated him. He said something I'll never forget. He litteraly shouted it out to the rest of the pupils, whose heads were still glued to the table in order to get the 9 points. He said: "Boys, how can you always let a girl win! Shame on you".
True story, folks.
True fucking story.
I still got my 10 points that day, but he didn't even look at my notebook. He just asked me to sit down.
Needless to say I felt angry and awful, but also, and that's probaly the worst out of all three,  ASHAMED for being THAT GOOD EVEN THOUGH there was a vagina in my pants.
The next day I wished for a boy to finish first and even though I had a perfectly solved mathematical problem on my notebook in front of me, I waited until Mister 9 points went up and claimed what was actually mine. 
I also got a C on my next maths test, being one of the worst students in my whole class and all my classmates pointed at me. My teacher commented on my failure, saying he knew all along that I just wasn't as good as I seemed, being a girl after all.
I went to the bathroom and bawled my eyes out and then went back to class, still ashamed of not having been able to consistantly proof that I AM just as good at Maths as the penis brigade in my classroom. After that day I got very tired of trying to make that point.

More than a decade down the track I now realise, I didn't actually have a choice other than to become a feminist. It's what my past did to me. It's what I am confronted with in my present life. What I see on the news, read on the internet, what I notice about other people.
I am disgusted with misogonists, women and men equally, but I understand misogony is just a form of stupidity. And the best way to fight stupidity is education.

Thanks for reading!
I would love to hear your stories, cause I know all you ladies have ones to tell