And guess what? It doesn’t matter if I have a vagina or a penis. It doesn’t matter what I was born with or what I came into later in life. It doesn’t matter how I identify my gender, racial background, or social group. It doesn’t matter what tint my exterior appearance carries with it, and it doesn’t matter what colour my hair is, or whether I even have any.
Jenny may not know what it feels like to receive fellatio from a man who idolises Liza Minnelli, Adrian may not know what it’s like growing up in a two-parent home, Shanna may not know what it’s like to have a light complexion, Gary may not know what a period feels like, but you know what? It doesn’t make them any lesser than each other. And any and all of them can be feminists.
And you know what? We don’t know — and we can’t ever know — exactly how it feels to be any other person than who we are. We would be a pretty weak movement if most of us actually felt that we had to be so homogenised in order to actually be ‘real’ feminists. It’s the same for almost any other similar movement. This is where that thing called empathy comes in. That’s why feminist, GLBTQ equality, and racial equality groups aren’t made of just one kind of person. People have the ability to relate things in their own experience or understanding to that of other people’s. Because no two people have the same life.
Promoting divisiveness because of perceived differences and presumptions isn’t helpful to any cause, it just makes you look like an elitist asshole. Because if you’re doing that, you’re acting like one. You’re doing much the same as the people we’ve been trying to fight against for decades now, prejudging people and casting them in roles based on superficial and irrelevant factors. You are basically proclaiming everyone’s struggles, everyone’s victories and losses, as being secondary to your shallow assessment of arbitrary factors that, more often than not, they have no control over. The thing that they do have control over — that they choose to work for a greater good — is belittled.
You can’t even know just what your family members are going through, much less the people who live down the street. By cherry-picking features that allow people some sort of imagined legitimacy in your eyes, you’re basically setting up an exclusionary clique, with yourself as the judge to whether or not they’re acceptable. That’s pretty damn arrogant and judgemental, not to mention puerile.
So the next time any of you want to slag off someone and make a tremendous presumption at the same time, just be aware that you are making all of us look bad who work very hard to try and promote equal rights. And yeah, maybe we don’t know what it’s like to go through your life. But that is a two-way street: you don’t know what it’s like to go through ours, either. And that doesn’t mean either of us can’t be perfectly amazing feminists, struggling for equality for all people regardless of those differences.