The Dirty "F" Word

by Alyssa Aparicio

You might have been drawn to this article with the hopes that you’re about to read about raunchy sexcapades and how to get yours without giving or something along the lines of f*cking like a porn star. But I’m here to deep throat you with something equally controversial.

The other dirty F word. And that word is “Feminism.”

Did you just roll your eyes in disgust? Well that’s probably because you have no idea how much your life has been influenced by feminism and feminists who, much like you, have fought to challenge ancient institutions. So before you X out of this article in horror at my attempt to convert you -- I’m about to make you aware of the fact that you, yes you, are probably already a feminist.

And at the very least, I want to remind you that you have been greatly influenced by the warriors who fought for their belief that women have something important to say and do.

Let’s start with a few questions: are you a woman? Did you attend school solely for the chance to find a mate? Do you think the best career path is f*cking your way up the ladder? Have you ever wished you didn’t have the right to vote and that your voice doesn’t matter?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions... I’m not sorry to break it to you, but by just voicing that opinion, you are chillin’ on the comfy couch of feminism that you so vehemently opposed a few moments ago.

In the mainstream of media, the word feminism elicits an image of bra-less hippies with hairy nether regions and an unattractive appetite for power and respect. Feminism is associated with angry picketing and rage against the porn industry. But as a term and as a movement it is much more than all of those things. Feminism is the ever continuing movement toward equal rights in all of its many forms.

Do you think one day the old white men who rule the world as we know it just decided that we could vote in national elections, f*ck who we want, have options when f*cking who we want goes awry and run for president? Hell f*cking no

. Without the fearless and rebellious leaders of our very recent past, we would still be the Susie Homemakers and Aunt Jemimas of yesteryear. Instead, today we are empowered to aspire to be whoever we damned well please... if we don’t turn against one another and blind ourselves from seeing the bigger picture, that is.

Feminism has a rich history of women dying on the front lines of society to be the change they wish to see and challenge the boundaries that were put in place before us. The words “feminism” and “feminist” have been dirty words for quite some time now -- stirring up controversy when used, misused and misunderstood by the majority. The mocking of this word, and subsequently the movement at large, has become common and encouraged practice.

And women’s rights are drowned out by the shame and skepticism that follows in the wake of this ignorance. Whether or not our predecessors stamped the title on their forehead or avoided the term like the plague, a rose by any other name wouldn’t stand for one more rape or subway grope.

Collectively as open-minded women and men, we need to revisit the meaning of this word and stop holding one another up against the ridiculous standards of whatever outdated ideologies we operate beneath.

Listen up: anyone who believes in equal rights, is pro-choice, supports equal pay or reaps these benefits is inherently practicing feminist ideologies. Anyone who believes women have the right to be seen AND heard, is anti-sexual harassment, and has dreams that extend beyond being the next best soccer mom (not that this isn’t a noble goal, simply that there now are options that extend into other realms of the work force), you too support the rights of womanhood and the end to the cult of domesticity.

Much like being a vegetarian or a lesbian, society has a tendency to conclude that if you are any of these things, you absolutely must have no meat in order to practice healthier habits. Just as to care about animal rights, you don’t have to pour paint over the heads of celebrities wearing fur, to be a feminist you don’t have to shave your head and fill yourself with hatred for all of mankind.

There are varying degrees of which feminist ideals can be put into practice. And men, dare I say that many of you are feminists too. If you’ve ever asked a girl if she’s on the pill or encouraged your sister to stand up for herself in the workplace... you are depending upon the paths blazed by feminism to create a world of opportunity and choice for your female friends, mothers and lovers.

Feminism is prismatic, dynamic, controversial and most importantly it is open-ended. There’s no such thing as a right way to be a feminist and there’s no way to give one solid definition to what feminism means for any given person. Surely the purist erudites of any social science or school of thought will most likely argue against a flippant and careless usage of terminology. And I’m not arguing that feminism is whatever you blindly claim it to be.

But I am explaining that this word is not in black & white and Times New Roman. It is equally Madonna’s “Sex” book, Hillary Clinton’s run for president, Angelina Jolie’s public mastectomy. Sure these are complicated and commercialized examples, but my point is it’s not all about man-hating or choosing to eat pussy over dick. It’s complicated and takes critical thinking like any political, cultural or social movement.

Are you gasping at the possibility that “feminism” could even be mentioned on the same site with an article obsessed with the idea of the “new-aged virgin”? Well so are we. We are equally distraught about thoughtless banter and seek reciprocation in two-sided arguments AND in between the sheets.

With this I challenge you to support varied voices and the challenge of an extra push even further outside of the boxes that Cosmo and the mainstream media package us inside of. I’m gonna keep sounding off about my barbaric pussy and her right to freedom from the proverbial chastity belt just a few decades away from my wide-legged commando stance.

I dare to say I am a feminist. Do you?

Photo Credit: Lawrence Flicker featuring Anaîs Paccione

Alyssa Aparicio | Elite. Follow Alyssa on Twitter @starspicy