I’m a feminist and I still use lipstick
A couple of weeks ago I read “We Should All Be Feminist” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a nice book about my favorite topic, gender equality, and it starts with the concept of “feminist”. Chimamanda writes that “feminist” is commonly used with a negative connotation. I thought about it and I totally agreed with her.
The first time I came across the word “feminist” was when I had a crush on hippies and their culture and I read a lot about Seventies. I asked to my mom what it meant to be a feminist and she told me about women who freed their nipples as a revolution sign. So I thought it was just something related to sex and nudism, which was something that interested me as a teenager of course, but not that much to define myself a feminist.
Some years later, I tried to figure out again the meaning of feminist. This time I was in Milan, walking around, and I found a little book shop. So I entered and the owner told me it was a feminist book shop, which meant that all the books were written by women. She also told me that there was an association behind the book shop and they organized events just for women. I bought a Virginia Woolf’s book and I went out, considering feminism a kind of cult, where you could enter just if you were a woman who didn’t want any contacts with men, neither if they were the authors of a book. I loved female writers, but not that much to define myself a feminist.
I kept thinking about gender equality as something very important in my life, but I didn’t correlate the word “feminist” with some positive actions until I read that book I bought in the little book shop in Milan. It was “Three Guineas” and it was about the role of the women and how they could avoid the Second World War. It wasn’t exactly a modern feminist concept, but still it was the first time I linked the word “feminist” with something that dealt with role changing and practical actions. So, I decided that I could define myself a feminist, even if I was not scared to get in touch with men and read their books, event if I loved bras and I didn’t want to burn them.
Even today, somebody keeps giving to this word a negative connotation. That’s why I would start a series of posts on my Medium profile to talk about gender equality and why this is nothing to be ashamed of. And yes, you can still use lipstick and be a feminist!
Please, share your own experience/ideas in the comments!
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