The Netflix Original show "Easy" debuted it's second season this past December. Serving it's audience with an even wider array of ambivalent characters that are just trying to keep up with the modern lifestyles that serve Chicago. Each episode presents a unique and single underlying theme that is perpetuated in today's society.
The single-episode return of lesbian interracial couple, Jo and Chase, presented more of a question rather, than an overall statement: Are you a bad feminist?
I must advise, this is not a review of "Lady Cha Cha." But, this is rather the point from which my own retrospective glance had stemmed. If you want to know exactly what I will persist to be talking about, watch the show! If you haven't, you should.
Some of you may be wondering "how is there such thing as a bad feminist?" And some others may be familiar with this concept or question that has probed the back of your mind. Especially in unprecedented situations.
Let me explain my moment of "am-I-a-bad-feminist?"
Flashback to sometime ago. I'm at work. It's early enough that I am still waiting for the coffee to get done brewing. From the other side of my place of employment, I hear my name. To no surprise, it is one of my male superiors.
When I walk over to the front office, he says he has a serious question. I say, "Shoot."
"How do you tell a woman she needs to wear makeup?"
Pause. Gasp. An outcry of "what the fuck did you just say?" were the mixture of emotions/reactions threatening to come out of me.
Instead, I freeze up. Which is what I am assuming he took as his moment to continue.
"I mean, she looks like she literally just rolled out of bed. Like she's tired. I don't think it would hurt for her to put something on to cover some stuff up. This is a place of professionalism."
Frozen in thought. The feminist in me is locked and loaded - ready to shoot out an unlimited array of lectures. But the in-debt college student, who needs this job, stays put. I feel the heat on my face.
Then I was hit with what I am sure most women have been opted with in the workplace.
A compliment geared your way, that at the same price insults another woman.
"Look at you. I don't think I have ever seen you without makeup on. That's professionalism"
Since when did "professional" equate to the insecure desire to constantly wear makeup? I wear makeup because I have to. Because, 1) acne is no joke. 2) as a result of the acne, my own face can serve as my number one insecurity, sometimes. And 3) because of asshole comments like this.
The one-sided conversation is then prompted with my response. I can not ponder any longer.
I tried to find a simple medium. "You can't." Is all I said.
He looks at me confused.
I really wanted to ask, "how would you feel if every morning you had a sullen pressure from not only your peers and social media, but society, as whole, to make your face into something it just is not?" To say, "but because you're a man, all you have to worry about is literally 'rolling out of bed' putting on some clothes and walking out of your house." Which can then equates to you actually looking "professional."
I didn't. Out of some sort of fear. Fear of being laughed at, being told "that's real life." And quite frankly, losing the pretty stable/good work relationship we have developed.
I just simply said, "don't."
As a feminist. Shit, as a woman. I think we all will be, or have been, presented with these moments. These moments where we are not only tested, but we have our chance. Our minuscule moment to make a change, and present a moment of clarity for others who clearly are ignorant.
I would be lying if I said I didn't think of this moment sometimes and get a little sullen because I want to say "I did my part!" But, I know I could've done more. But because I could've, does that mean I should've? Did I do what I could with the situation, or dilemma, I happened to be in?
This moment is presented to those of us who don't have the big platforms such as the "Me Too" activists and the "Times Up" actresses had/have. The every-day women - we have our moments too.
That was my "Bad Feminist" moment. The one, after I watched Chase and Jo go through a similar debacle over female sexuality and art of it (or lack of art, perhaps), that sprang to mind.
Have you been presented with contradictory, "bad feminist," thoughts or situations?
Share with me!