Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 05/21/2010

The FBomb

oh hey that logo looks familiar

oh hey that logo looks familiar

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a feminist. Well, not recently, I pretty much always think about that, but more specifically how I define feminism and how it carries through on this blog, in terms of what I post  and what other people submit.

I started this blog under the impression that it would be a place for girls to share their opinions and experiences, their thoughts on feminism or just their thoughts on life in general. For me, the feminist aspect of this blog was less in the intricacies of the content of each post but more in the act of girls finding strength in their own voice and strength in a community. However, I want to be clear: I’m definitely not shying away from calling this blog feminist – it definitely is, and the fact that we post about feminist issues is incredibly important. But to me, speaking out and supporting girls who use their voices is the most feminist action this blog accomplishes.

So, when I get posts that maybe don’t completely jive with what I or other feminists believe, I don’t reject them. I think it’s important that if a girl, or guy, has something to say and has the courage and initiative to want to share it with our community, they should be able to. What kind of message would it send if the fbomb’s policy was “this is a place for anybody to share what they’re thinking about feminism or how feminism affects them…except if I or most feminists dont’t agree with you.” Also, it’s a great opportunity to discuss why something is or is not feminist, and maybe help that person to understand where we’re coming from.

Now, of course I’m not saying I’m going to post some random person’s ranting on why being pro-choice is like being a murderer. I’m not about to post something that’s in any way mean-spirited, hurtful or straight up anti-feminist. I’m just saying that welcoming a range of perspectives is something that’s really important to feminism, and something I think can be improved upon in the movement in general.

I think we all know somebody who thinks they’re open-minded but actually thinks anything contrary to what they believe is wrong. I know I certainly do. This person, who shall remain unnamed, is incredibly set in their own beliefs. They are pro-choice, an environmentalist and a vegetarian, amongst other things. Now, of course none of these things are bad – in fact I personally completely support each of these things. It’s just the fact that this person refuses to even listen to why somebody doesn’t compost or is a meat-eater, and immediately pronounces them a “moron” and plain “wrong” that I can’t stand. This person, who thinks they are open-minded in their beliefs on principle of what their beliefs are, is actually the most closed-minded person I know.

I don’t want the FBomb to be like this person. I want to know why people don’t identify as feminists or think feminism is wrong, or even just have different ideas about what feminism is, and I want to know what they think while at the same time maintaining my own feminist beliefs. I think it’s important as an individual to understand where other people come from not to mention that actually engaging in a conversation could possibly change their mind and help them to better understand feminism.

But, as I’ve said before, the FBomb isn’t my blog – it’s our blog. I didn’t start the FBomb with a concrete mission or plan, I kind of just started it, thinking there’d maybe be 100 of us (in my wildest dreams) and we’d just write posts and comment and share with each other. Now, the FBomb has had over 300,000 hits, and I realize it’s probably about time that we really think about what the FBomb is. I really am interested in what you see the FBomb accomplishing or what you’d like to see it accomplish so that we can try to achieve it. This is probably wayyyy over due, but I think it’s a discussion worth having. So, please, write in the comments or even email me at juliez@thefbomb.org and let’s define the FBomb together.

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  • Tessa @ at 1:50 pm, May 21st, 2010

    Yeah, I definitely agree that as feminists, we all should take the time to understand differing viewpoints, even if they’re ones that we don’t necessarily agree with. However, my one issue with this post is that it talks only about girls and feminism. While I obviously don’t have a problem with that, I just thing that we should be more inclusive towards teen boys and how they can identify with feminism.

    “I started this blog under the impression that it would be a place for girls to share their opinions and experiences, their thoughts on feminism”

    But what about boys and how they can identify with feminism also? It’s so important to include boys in the feminist movement because we can’t have a truly feminist world without both genders actively taking a role in feminism. This blog should definitely have some male contributers as well, and I wish that feminism wouldn’t just be about girls, and their empowerment. We should also empower boys with feminism. Just my thoughts.

  • jaded16 @ at 2:47 pm, May 21st, 2010

    The problem with feminism (supposedly) is how it’s turning women into lesbians and witches (See: Pat Robertson). Sadly, this is the way the rest of the world sees us. I think what you’re doing here is great. Fuck everything else, just keep going!

  • KS @ at 7:42 pm, May 21st, 2010

    Great post Julie! I just think that FBomb is a great place for feminist girls of all beliefs and backgrounds to express their thoughts. The only thing, in that aspect, that unites us is our commitment to equality and that is a beautiful thing. Keep up the great work!

    KS

  • Katherine C. @ at 9:30 pm, May 21st, 2010

    Wonderful post. I love the FBomb- I lurked here for quite a while before thinking of something to say, and having a space to talk about what really matters to me, in article format, was priceless. And seeing that I was able to write well about feminism and defend my work gave me the courage to become actually vocal in my school/community about feminism and social justice issues. Now I feel like I’m actually *DOING* something, and the FBOMB started that. Thank you so much, Julie. You rock.

  • Pamela @ at 2:29 am, May 22nd, 2010

    Well said, Julie! I completely agree with you – being open minded is harder than some people think but really important in the incredibly rich feminist dialogue! :)

  • Niamh @ at 3:54 am, May 23rd, 2010

    I think a good way to view feminism is seen in how many view the pro-choice movement: they may not agree with abortion but they see its availability as a basic right for women.

    Similarly, one can recognize that need for feminism, fight for feminism and still chose to live her* life in a way traditionally seen as “non-feminist”. This does not not make her a feminist!

    For example, a society where women were forced to abort a fetus when not in a “suitable” situation or forced to dress “provocatively” would not be a feminist one. Feminism is about a woman’s right to chose to live her life however she may want without society dictating what stereotype she must fill. Only when someone is trying to force their beliefs onto another -as many do- or forcing someone to think a certain way do they become non-feminist, or even non-humanist, for they are opposing themselves to a person’s right to act as they may please without chastisement.

    *I use the pronoun “her” only to denote that it would NOT be ok for a man to force his ideas of gender roles onto others (nor would it be for a woman but I surely would have gotten a reply about that otherwise…). A man can act however he may like, as may a woman, but it would it would not be in a feminist way if he were to force gender roles onto anyone without receive permission to do so.

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