When we started this project, little did we know that feminism in 2017 would draw as much attention as it did. Even so, in most cases, the biggest waves were created by a set of rather privileged women and in some cases, it failed because of the building of walls instead of attempts to tear them down (women against men), abandoning those who really needed a voice (slavery in Syria) or the still dubious discussion if trans women are women ? – Hell yeah! It’s 2018 and we still have to fight that shit.
If you followed us for a while now, you know we are on a mission to fight the stigma of feminism and build an intersectional and all-inclusive voice of feminist topics that cater to everyone, regardless of their gender, heritage, race or education. So here is our review of 2017 and our wishes for 2018.
THE YEAR IN (OUR) REVIEW
Januar 2017 – Women’s March
The Woman’s March on January 21st, was a worldwide protest, to advocate the legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, reproductive rights, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The Women’s March also brought us the Pussyhats.
In an article in the Huffington Post, Ericka Hart harshly criticized the icon. “Attending the protest in Philadelphia, the 30-year-old took to the stage — with her warrior scars once again confidently in full display — to argue the importance of inclusivity in feminism moving forward. And made no qualms about calling out those who have long overlooked the trials of marginalized cis and trans women of color. “Who is this for?” she asked, referring to the march itself. “Black cis and trans women, femmes and non-binary individuals have been under attack against gross misogynoir, violence, and body terrorism. We see it every day, even at this march.” “Not everyone who identifies as a woman has a pussy, nor does your identity as a woman have anything to do with pussy,” Hart said.”. We agree!
April 2017 – Intersectionality
In April, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary added the word Intersectionality. The word had been around since 1980 but is still new to many of us. What does it mean? It’s used to refer to the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect—especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.
The term was coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in a 1989 essay that asserts that antidiscriminatory law, feminist theory, and antiracist politics all fail to address the experiences of black women because of how they each focus on only a single factor.
And with that, the term became our hero – word of the year. When we started FEMINISTA, we were a bit of virgin with a very privileged view on the topic. Frankly, we were more than shocked when we received the first questions from the transgender community and POC who inquired if we would include them in our community. And while we now know that historically feminists have indeed discriminated various groups and that even today, it is still happening, we clearly want to distance ourselves from that idea. If you are for equality than you are a feminist, if you are a feminist, you can not discriminate against any gender, race or heritage. PERIOD.
July 2017 – Gender Fluidity is not a Marketing Gag
We don’t even know where to get started with Vogue. In 2016 they declared that boobs were out of fashion (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/vogue-says-cleavage-over-bust-elizabeth-saltzman-a7392786.html) and in 2017 they run an article/campaign about gender fluidity showcasing Gigi Hadid and her then-boyfriend wearing gender-neutral and opposing clothing (https://www.vogue.com/article/gigi-hadid-zayn-malik-august-2017-vogue-cover-breaking-gender-codes). Now while it’s perfectly OK for CIS couples to wear each other’s clothes, it’s not ok to claim that it’s gender fluidity. A clear case of misgendering in the name of “trying to pretend we understand the next generation”. Well, let’s get this straight. Misgendering is a clear case of ignorance if we put it mildly. Therefore Vogue and Gigi Hadid became our feminist villains of 2017.
September 2017 – Loreal’s Hypocrisy
On September 1st Loreal fires Munroe Bergdorf, just 4 weeks after they celebrated diversity by hiring the transgender POC model, a first in L’oreal’s history. The Independent writes: “L’Oreal dropping black trans model Munroe Bergdorf is a lesson for those who claim white supremacy isn’t a thing. They wanted Munroe’s transness, her blackness, her womanhood and all of the glory and the capital gain of her ‘diversity’ with none of the corollary activism and resistance that comes with her identity” Campaigns like L’Oreal’s exercise in “diversity” are ultimately nothing but empty rhetoric and bandwagoning of the most unforgivable kind. They are actively contributing to the silencing of anti-racism activists. This makes L’oreal our feminist enemy of the year 2017.
December 2017 – Feminism rules and our wish for 2018
Feminism has been named the word of the year by the American dictionary Merriam-Webster. The US dictionary said that it has seen a 70% increase in online searches for the word in 2017, compared to in 2016. The largest spike in searches came in the last weeks of January, following the Women’s March in Washington DC and all around the world. Now that’s some news we really like. BUT….(yes we have a but to that too): If your feminism isn’t intersectional you are only in it for yourself. And while the dictionary defines feminism as: “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” it also cites it as: “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” And the dictionary nominated the word because it gained influence through the Woman’s March and the #metoo movement. Now here is our teardrop on that. There is a bit too much privilege in that nomination.
So our pledge to 2018 is that we will do anything in our power to help make sure that feminism is always intersectional, diverse, colorful and inclusive and that those who might be less privileged and not be able to gain media attention, will be able to be seen, heard and credited. We will not be able to save or change the world, but we can do anything in our personal power to take a stand for what we think is right. In 2019 we hope to bring you a list of our personal heroes of 2018 from all kinds of backgrounds regardless of gender, race, religion or heritage to reinforce our thinking. Happy 2018 to all of you.