The Art of Feminism

fem·i·nism

ˈfeməˌnizəm/

noun

  1. the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

    synonyms:the women's movement, the feminist movement, women's liberation, female emancipation, women's rights

    informalwomen's lib

    "a longtime advocate of feminism"

 

Kathy Bail's definition of feminism: "just women who don't want to be treated like shit."

 

Every so often you hear a person say they are a feminist and all to often there is an eye-roll or subtle shift in the room. There is usually a negative reaction and people tend to not want to associate themselves with that word, especially women. This word seems distasteful, women may brush this word off because it doesn't make them look cute or sexy. It's almost pathetic to hear someone explain to people why they don't relate to that word because they might be stereotyped. All these so-called forms of feminism are generalized defining the person who call themselves a feminist. Feminist are stereotyped as, but not limited to man-hater, queer, slutty, manly, hateful, angry, etc. There seems to be a notion that there is a right and wrong way to be a woman/feminist, another way to criticize women on how to behave and act. There are a ton of people focusing on what is a good feminist and a bad one but in reality there isn't one, we just exist. 

Let me be clear: a feminist doesn't have a definite description. There are misperceptions and ideals in which a feminist should be dressed a certain way, can't shave their legs, considered masculine; however, feminists embrace every party of their being here on earth. Constant criticism from the beginning of time leading up until now forms an interpretation of how woman should act in general. I know I've been repeating that but I can't emphasize it enough. Beauty standards keep defining women in general, just read the titles of popular magazines on magazine stands. It's ridiculous. 

Here is an excerpt from the book, "Bad Feminist" by Roxane Gay that made me clap my hands together and call out, YAS QUEEN YAS. 

"The thing is, I am not at all sure that feminism has ever suggested women can have it all. This notion of being able to have it all is always misattributed to feminism when really, it's human nature to want it all--to have cake and eat it too without necessarily focusing on how we can get there and how we can make 'having it all' possible for a wider range of people and not just the luck ones...poor feminism. So much responsibility keeps getting piled on the shoulders of a movement whose primary purpose is to achieve equality, in all realms, between men and women. I keep reading these articles and getting angry and tired because they suggest theres no way for women to ever get it right....the standard for the right way to be a woman and/or a feminist appears to be ever changing and unachievable." 

When a man says he is a feminist, he is praised. When a women says she's a feminist, she looks crazy. I don't blame you. I still get a little nervous when I pronounce that I am feminist. I hate being judged by others. I like shaving my armpits, I like make-up, I like glitter and flower tattoos. As I grow older I see myself not giving a fuck about what others think because these are my opinions, this is my life, this is my body and my way of living. I will forever call myself a feminist even if I'm a little shy about it and live how I shall as I define my feminism on my own terms. I want to be respected, I want to make choices about my own body without the law getting in the way, I want birth control for men, I want to be sexy without being objectified, I want to be paid the same amount as a man, I am a woman and I want to continue to love my womanhood without constant criticism of fault or error. 

I highly suggest reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, she said everything I couldn't and gave a voice to my opinions. She's black and fucking awesome giving a voice to POC. 

This is me trying to connect the photos and this thought piece together: Below are photos or stills from photographer Juno Calypso who proudly calls herself a feminist, she also uses herself as the model. She and Roxane Gay actually inspired me to write this thought piece. In an interview in Dazed Magazine she describes her work,

"Desire and disappointment recurs. In the new work, again we are seeing this woman alone in a room designed for two. She’s usually undressed, or dressed for seduction. So we don’t know if she’s waiting for somebody or if someone has just left, or if she is quite simply happily alone. I like to keep it deliberately ambiguous, but these two states play in contrast and are centered on this feeling of isolation, or loneliness."

 

 

Another great and proudly labeled feminist artist of our time and who inspired the brand Supreme in all ways, Barbara Kruger gives us all the feels of her work. Click here for more Kruger.