1. You always have vengeful hippies who will burn your Victoria’s Secret with you.
Feminist friends are myth busters. We’ve never burned bras
2. You learn a new language
I’ve heard that when you travel to a country that speaks a foreign language your first day can be pretty exhausting. You’re hearing so many new words, piecing them together with what you know and it can be a real brain work out. Exploring feminism with feminists friends is quite similar. You learn a lot…. and it’s usually about things you care about. Things you’ve have thought about your whole life are now articulated in language that helps you make sense of things. Like an international vacation, it’s exciting, worthwhile, and it gives you new perspective.
3. Your Body
Our bodies have often taken the brunt of patriarchal power and control. Women’s bodies are especially policed by the society, the male gaze, and even the state. It can be hard to live in your own skin. Feminists friends get this! Embracing difference lies near the heart of feminism and it vital to combating the very narrow notion of what our bodies are told to do and look like. Rather than pining over the bodies in magazines like you may be accustomed to, you and your feminists friends can rant about the airbrushed BS.
4. Have you partied with feminists before?
5. Friends are friends.
When you’re sick, when you’re you’re happy, when you’re annoyed, when you’re excited, when you’re confused, when you’re sad, when you’re angry…. it always helps to have a friend there!
I really like your analogy about exploring feminism with feminist friends and being in a country where you don’t speak the language. It really works with the point you are making and is a great way to drive that point home. Reading your post made me realize although I believe in women’s issues I have never defined or identified myself as a feminist and, at least in general, I don’t think many, if any, of my friends do either. I wonder if that is a function of my age/generation coming between the pioneers of the 60’s and 70’s and the growth of quality and power over the past 15 or 20 years. I was raised in the era of co-ed schools and colleges, women lawyers and doctors but before girls softball and soccer and women in the senate or the boardroom (at least in any meaningful numbers). I applaud women’s successes and accomplishments but “feminist” is not a word I consider using to describe myself. I wonder why.