Sunday, March 13, 2011

'Balled of the Female Promoter'

So Jezebel has an article about the situation of womyn who are working to promote their work. Check it out.

This article means a great deal to me because I'm currently in this battle. To be a successful professional, you need to 'sell yourself' and learn to self-promote. But apparently, to be a 'good' feminist, doing that means you're in it for the wrong reasons, egotistical and other evil things.

How do we ensure that our issues get brought to the fore and are discussed in the mainstream when doing so puts us at risk of losing our 'cred' in the feminist bubble?

Do we honestly think that men outside social justice circles go through the same dilemna?

This whole thing feels so gendered to me; it's like womyn have to be meak and downplay themselves or else they're not 'good' womyn. So my initial thoughts are a giant middle finger to the feminist haters for internalizing sexism in that way. But then I can't ignore the way that Jessica Valenti, for example, has been treated. Is she perfect? No way. But the pros of her work far outweight the cons, in my book. And yet, she's been ripped apart by feminists (not to mention the all around misogynist bullshit she's had to deal with). Being shat on by people in your 'circle' is tougher than any anti-womyn BS. So it's not as easy as saying "Ignore the feminist haters" and moving on. There's gotta be some reconciling.

So how do we support feminists and bring their work to the maintsream (which in my opinion, is the only way we'll ever make change) without falling into the traps of questioning everyone's intentions all the time?

Particularly when you add in the extra layer that you may not call yourself a leader, but they'll make a leader out of you. The media, the average Joe-The-Plummer kinda person, wants to see leaders. So even if you insist a hundred times over that you're part of something bigger, you're just one of the pack, etc. they'll paint you as THE person because it makes an easier narrative.

So do you say "I don't want to be part of this at all" and lose the opportunity to have the work be exposed or do you embrace the label and the backlash that comes with it, knowing that at least the work was discussed?


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