My name is Emma. This is my feminism.


on April 30, 2012

So, I’ve been feeling guilty, like I’m completely biasing everything, because I’m ignoring my actual favourite show.  I’m supposed to be looking critically at the media around me, and the show I watch most… I just refuse to criticize.  I’m sure there are some issues in it that I could comment on, but I don’t want to.  Angel is what I watch when I need a break from all this shit.  I just get lost in another world where things are a bit more black and white, and someone else is making the tough decisions. 

But I have thought of how I can relate Angel to feminism without having to criticize it.  First let me explain how I’ve been feeling lately.  There is a link on the left to a post called ‘I don’t want to be a feminist anymore‘ which is pretty much how I feel at the moment.  Once you start posting feminist articles and ideas online, you definitely get some backlash.  It’s interesting actually, because the people who are arguing so strongly against feminism are actually proving how necessary it is.  If we had gender equality, then demanding gender equality would not threaten anyone.  Feminism would not be threatening to men if they did not benefit in some way from patriarchy.  I’m learning just how well this system works, because as soon as you question it, you can very easily be labelled ‘one of those people.’  And nobody wanted to be ‘one of those people,’ nor does anyone want to listen to them.  They are clearly crazy, with their conspiracy theories, and their ‘the government is out to get me’ thinking.  This system works.

So posting things in general, and then defending them, and reading all the shit that people say about you and your thoughts gets tiring enough.  Then there’s this whole thing with the Ranch, which is much more personal and much more frustrating.  I never wanted to take it any farther than just an email and removing my support.  Then their response was actually worse than the fact that they’re having those contests in the first place.  Then, where I posted the email I have been getting some backlash.  I just feel so spent. 

People are telling me there’s no point, nothing’s gonna change. What can I expect from a bar? I have to pick my battles.  If I’m against that, I have to be against so many businesses and exploitative practices.

Then, I watch Angel.  I watch this group of 7 people fight evil.  Evil will certainly always exist.  They will never ‘win.’  No one will win at the end.  None of it matters, so all of it matters.  They’re not fighting for a prize at the end, or to see if good or evil wins out.  They’re fighting for every little injustice, every person they save matters because that is all that matters. 

And even if it didn’t matter at all, they still have to fight.  When you believe in something like that, you always have to fight.  It’s no longer a choice.  Feminism is no longer a choice for me.  I will always have to fight, whether or not we can ever ‘win.’

In Angel and Buffy, everyone knows that demons exist to some extent; most people just ignore it because they don’t want to know.  People who talk about demons are often put into mental institutions, despite being some of the sanest people in the city. 

I think most people know, to some extent, that misogyny and sexism are everywhere.  But who would want to deal with that?  Instead, it’s easier to focus on the fact that, for 5 minutes Canada had a female prime minister.  That it’s illegal to not hire someone for their gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.  That we just hate fat women because it’s “unhealthy.”  (Apparently it’s not as unhealthy for men to be fat, and being anorexic is actually healthy for women?)  That there are some women CEOs.  That plenty of women aren’t raped.  It’s easier to pretend that we have achieved equality.

And as soon as someone points out the demons we all see, we restrain them and throw them into a mental institution.  Well maybe not literally… But we definitely imply that they don’t know what they’re talking about, that there only seeing these problems because they’re looking too hard for them, and that they should absolutely not be listened to.  Like I said, the system works well.

But if Angel, Cordie, Gunn, Wes, Lorne, Fred and Connor can keep fighting an evil that will always exist, we can keep fighting the patriarchy.  Sometimes it’s exhausting and it seems hopeless, but what choice do we have?

What do you think?

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