Written by Em.Em.
I know the F word makes some of you nervous.
Don’t be. Relax. I’m only going to use it a few times. So just relax.
Now let’s get serious about this word.
It can do so much. It can pay the highest compliment. But quickly be wielded as the deepest insult.
It’s neither black nor white. It is all shades of gray or beige.
When it comes to gray, there is cloud, mud, dust.
And beige can be egg shell, off white, mauve.
But the F word is all those things and more.
What’s great about the word is that everyone thinks they know what it means, but when you ask them to define it, they get quiet… awkward.
Beyoncé said it on one of albums and the word became relevant again for 2 hot minutes.
For the record, Maya Angelou said it for decades.
Now, if Oprah called a press conference and said the F word over and over again – that might make the news.
Let’s dig into the word. Let’s examine the F word. Are you ready? I’m going to say it. So brace yourself.
Ffffffeminist. Are you ok?
Feminist. What does mean to you? Take a second and think of the images, names, faces, connotations that come to mind.
Are you one?
Have you hugged your feminist today?
For me, there is not one perfect definition of a feminist.
For someone who is liberal and conservation, sick and healthy, mother, barren or childless by choice how do you find the one sound bite to represent her and her interests?
For the woman that is differently abled, rich, struggling with the glass ceiling, surviving HIV, sending her kids to college or running in Susan G. Koman races, how do you empower either of those women and their dreams?
Does the F word haunt you?
Do you think of angry militant women with their supple bra-free breasts flapping in the wind while burning books and food processors?
Or do you think of the 19 year old sitting in her college Women’s Studies class with her natural hair tucked safely under her head wrap?
NOTE: Feminist are people who care about women being treated as equals. Instead of being paid 72 cents when a man is paid a $1. They are concerned with the social, financial, professional, mental wellbeing and promotion of women. They want women to have paid maternity leave and they want women to not feel pressured to have children.
NOTE: Feminist care about more than just white women and white tears.
NOTE: Feminist take time to explore the intersections of woman-ness, class, race, economics.
NOTE: Feminists have more than one agenda.
A feminist is a woman living in rural America, who is the successful CEO of her own home.
A feminist is hard and soft at the same time.
A feminist is overweight, accepted, loved, challenged, bi-curious and street smart.
A feminist makes a PSA to highlight that domestic violence is not funny.
A feminist refuses to fit in a box that is given to her by her mother, society, her husband, her children and even her church.
Yes. The F word is all shades of the rainbow, not just gray or beige.
So have you thought of the feminist in your life? Is it you? Is it your mother? Is it your brother?
The doors to F-dom are open. Is there one?
Is there one of you willing to challenge the status quo?
To think differently about access and opportunities for women?
The doors are open, the time is now.
Stand up and claim that the F word is not dirty, it is necessary.
Em.Em. is a 1st year MFA Theatre student at SLC and alum of the Social Justice Training Institute. You can reach her on Twitter @IamMyraM .