Today’s post is going to be of a little more serious nature. But before we talk though, I have something important to tell you. Okay it’s really not that important but.. my most favorite trench coat in the entire world (from last year) is now available at The Outnet. Go get it. (I am wearing a size 38 which I think is a US size 6.) Everything else I’m wearing (and the look for less) is linked at the very bottom of my post, and that’s really all I have to say about clothes today.
I’ve voiced my opinions about politics before today. I know that I isolated a few of you in doing that, and I felt really bad about that. I never want to be preachy, I never want to make other people feel badly for their beliefs, and I want this blog to be a fun place to come, to talk about fashion and beauty and DIY projects and fun things like frosé and face oil.
“Stay in your lane,” people might say. And I get that. But at the same time sometimes I want to talk about stuff that isn’t related to fashion and beauty. And I really hope you’ll at least hear me out. (If you don’t want to, that’s cool, too. Here are some outfit photos and everything I’m wearing is linked at the bottom of the post. Feel free to just scroll.)
First, some context. I am a registered independent. I almost always vote liberal (for me, the social and environmental issues outweigh the fiscal ones). I’ve voted conservative in the past, and I would say that about half, or maybe 40% of my friends are conservative. We have respectful but animated conversations and healthy debates around politics and I really like that we can talk about the issues without getting upset or angry. One of my favorite things in the world is to stay up late talking about politics and religion (preferably over a shared bottle of wine) with friends that have differing views from my own. I always feel like I learn something new. I should also tell you I did not march last weekend. I wish I did, but I was there in spirit stalking the photos and the videos, feeling proud of our country. (For those who will ask why I didn’t march – I was at the tail end of a godawful stomach bug… I left the house all of three times last week and was genuinely concerned that I would have what happened to Charlotte in the Sex and the City movie happen to me. If you didn’t see the movie then well, just email – I’ll tell you what happened).
But this post isn’t even about politics, really. This post is about being a feminist. And a proud one at that.
I got really fired up by reading this post. It was shared 1.7 million times last week, and it was all over Facebook and Twitter this week. I felt genuinely baffled. How, as a woman, could you say that you are over feminists? (I’m asking this from a place of curiosity and not criticism… I genuinely want to know.) Somehow the word feminist has become a dirty word… and that is what inspired me to write today’s post.
Like many of my personal posts, I will start by telling you an embarrassing story. I will warn you that it does not make me look particularly smart, but I think it’s important to tell.
I started referring to myself as a feminist because of blogging, actually. In 2013 I put up a cute and cozy outfit post and talked about my favorite iced coffee and the book Lean In, which had just come out and was all anyone (present company included – great book!!!) could talk about. It was a nice, cute post but then I went and said something rather silly.
“I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a feminist, but her book has raised a lot of points I really hadn’t thought of.“
Oof. I kinda want to slap my self-from-three-years-ago. It was all very innocent – back then I wasn’t doing this full time and didn’t always think about everything I wrote… but fortunately (for me) a reader named Andrea swooped in with a little bit of (nice) criticism, commenting
“I read your blog a lot and love your sense of style, but I am confused as to why you wouldn’t call yourself a feminist. A feminist is someone who believes that women should have rights equal to men. Why would you not want to align yourself with this? I am not trying to annoying, but I have seen this a lot lately with women our age and am wondering if I missed the negative connotation to this word…“
God bless you, Andrea. Do you still read here? I hope you do. If you see this post, thank you. A hundred times over… your comment woke me up.
I guess, in my head, a feminist was someone militant. Someone who bashed men or burned their bras. (Nothing wrong with any of that, but at the time that stereotype was someone I just didn’t identify with). How silly. How wrong of me. And that’s when I started calling myself a feminist. In a literal instant. Because of that one reader comment.
This has been on my mind all week. I wanted to tell you that story because as I read that article I found myself wondering if the author even knew what a feminist was? As mentioned above, the definition of a feminist is a person who supports the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Period. Being a feminist does not mean putting down men, it doesn’t mean you can’t be feminine or vulnerable… it doesn’t even mean being anti-chivalry. Being a feminist means being for equality. Plain and simple.
And that’s why I wrote this post. I don’t blog to tell you what to do, who to vote for, or anything like that. I share my experiences and my own personal stories. But if I can use my platform today to clear up the meaning of a word, then it’s all worth it. This is really important to me. Feminist is not a dirty word. I am one of the girliest girls I know. My favorite colors are blush pink and emerald green and I am happiest when I’m wearing a dress (preferably a sparkly one) and the tallest heels I can find. I like it when a man opens the door. I am terrified of mice and if I catch one will probably call a friend (male or female!) to throw it away. I am also a proud feminist. I believe that men and women should have equal rights and access to the same opportunities. That pay should be based upon merit, results and talent and not our gender (or our skin color for that matter but that’s another post for another day).
A feminist is someone who believes in those things. And I think we all should. If you believe those things, then you are a feminist… and you should be proud of that.
I’ll step off my soapbox now. I literally agonized over this post all week. I hope you agree. And if you don’t agree, let’s talk about it. I’m not here to push my ideas or values down anyone’s throat… but I do feel like this one little word is being misinterpreted, and today I wanted to use my little platform to talk about it.
Outfit Details: by Malene Birger Trench // Cooper & Ella Dress c/o (same dress in gray, similar color… on sale, here) // Stuart Weitzman Highland Boots // Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses // Ben-Amun x The Stripe Earrings
Photography by Lydia Hudgens.