So I've been walking around labelling myself as a young feminist for the last little while. What we (I) accept as truth sometimes is absorbed far too easily and we (I) tend to lose touch with our (my) personal beliefs or the exploration of them. To be a feminist is not a bad thing, it can actually be a really wonderful perspective from which to understand the world. That is until you realize that your position as a feminist might be challenged by your true set of beliefs.
I, readers am a fake feminist. In my violence against women class today I chimed into a heated discussion regarding the romance narrative - the idea that our notions of romance and love are socially constructed. Until this class I have fervently agreed and contributed to notions presented by my professor. I understood it! It was all relevant! It was all pro-women and most significant in my learning, pro-me. "The diamond ring is very problematic." Hey now.. hey. This is where I began to have problems with feminism.
I consider myself an advocate of human rights, however, when my personal loves (fashion, diamonds, glamour in general) are challenged, my views may change a little bit. Although only in terms of the segregation of Feminist and Traditionalist views, I have an issue with the labelling of one as a feminist. My biggest questions is: can you be a feminist, but maintain a traditionalist stand point in some regards? The answer, as I see it, is no. Why do we seemingly have to choose one or the other? If I chose to favour a diamond ring and marriage over the more feminist idea of independence and non-conformity, am I less of a supporter for women's rights? Most interestingly is the adoption of particular concepts from both sides of the spectrum which might make me a fence sitter. Will I be forever vain, or forever watchful of my possible conformist ways (the feminist stereotype)?
Does glamour sit on the fence or does it take a traditional role?
I like to think that we can posses notions of feminism while maintaining practices of traditional value. Because we are individuals we are influenced by things quite differently from one another. Therefore, we can be the artists of our own beliefs and practices if we so wish and so possess the intuition and strength to do so.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I love diamonds and beautiful things and will continue to adore them forever and ever. What I am trying to establish is the idea that we can't accept everything that we are told as truth - please challenge them wholeheartedly. Also, we must not forget the things that we love in the undertaking of a new perspective. I fully understand what my professor was attempting to express in her discussion about 'the diamond ring,' but couldn't help but get defensive about fashion, beauty, and livelihood in general.
I love this quote in The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence . If you knew Hagar like I know her, you
would fully appreciate the wilfulness of the Lara Stone quote (which now resides on my fridge) and everything else I've said in this post.
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
- Dylan Thomas