Feminist reading

Here’s one I had to share, if nothing else so I could keep the list for myself…

Flavorwire has a list of “10 Essential Feminist Texts That Everyone Should Read.” The list includes two I’ve read:

  • The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf
  • The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan

The list also many more I haven’t read:

  • A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
  • Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, bell hooks
  • How to Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran
  • Sexual Politics, Kate Millett
  • Sister Outsider, Audre Lorde
  • The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, Lucille Clifton
  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston

I guess I have to add these to my reading list.

I want to be pretty

It sounds trivial and decidedly unfeminist (is that a word?), but it’s the truth. Doesn’t everyone want to be attractive? I want to be pretty in the same way I want to be loved and I want to be happy. Now, I won’t say that I don’t have my good qualities, intellectual and physical. I have my own attraction, and it has little to do with the media-instituted concept of beauty. I’m not saying that I’m gonna go out and diet and act submissive and nice (God, I hate that word!) to be pretty. I’m not saying that I’m going to buy the latest fashions and wear makeup every single time I walk out my front door. That just wouldn’t be me — and it’d drive me nuts after about a day or so.

I guess there’s a part of me that wants to be noticed. There’s a part of me that wants to be desired. Am I proud of that? No. But I’m not ashamed of it either.

I am not going to change. I am, after all, what I have always been. If I do evolve, it’s going to be into something better, not something less. And changing the way that I am in an effort to be pretty would be something less.

Until next time.


I am inspired, I am awed and truly humbled by the latest post by Malinchista’s Susana Gallardo:

“damn, i hate ragging on other chicanos, it’s such a waste of energy on both our parts. but that’s what nationalism does….you worry so much about what’s a “real chicano” that you end up 1) spending all your time calling people vendido or malinche because they don’t measure up to whatever bogus standards you set, and 2) wasting all your time fighting with the very people you need to work with/educate/listen to/learn from.”

I am tired of having to defend myself, my fluff, my writing, my views, my existence and personality to people who have never bothered to look past their narrow view of me to see what’s really there. I am what I am. I am strong and passionate and vocal and occasionally wrong and occasionally right and defensive and short-tempered and alive and loving and stubborn and permanent. I am not going away. My views are not unique to me. My personality is not a personal insult. And you are not going to get an apology from me just because you don’t agree with me. Accept me and work with me or get over it and move on.

character sins

I am vain. I know I’m not supposed to be, it isn’t the cool thing to do, but it’s the truth. I touch up my roots with whatever color my hair happens to be this month. (By the way, this month it’s a medium brown that’s just a shade darker than my natural color.) My clothes have to be coordinated, not necessarily dressy, but definitely coordinated. I have been known to check out my appearance in a reflective surface to make sure I still look okay. I touch up my makeup during the day (on the days when I wear makeup).

Does this mean that I’m not really a Feminist? I’ve been told that several times, but I don’t believe that. Just because I indulge myself in a few superficial details that can’t take away from the bigger picture, can it? I am proud. I know all the religious reasons to avoid pride, something about tempting God or whatever, but I cannot help it.

My parents taught me that one of the few things that cannot be taken away from you is your pride. And in certain situations pride is the only thing that can help you get through the bad stuff. So I guess that means I am proud of my pride. I am arrogant. I know what my flaws are, what my sins against society are as a woman with brown skin, but I do not feel shame or sorrow or regret.

I refuse to change myself to adjust to others’ expectations of what I’m supposed to be, their opinions of what attitudes and activities would be best for others, how my selfishness in refusing to change hurts society as a whole or just their little niche of it — too bad! I am what I am, flawed and real, I know what my character sins are and I have no intention of changing.

labels & lies

I belong to several listservs and have been participating in a debate over the meaning of the word “Feminist,” why some people choose to use it and some people don’t. The opinions that have been presented have both enlightened and saddened me.

I am a Feminist but didn’t always use that label to describe myself. And that’s exactly what it is, it’s a label. It’s a label that describes one of my beliefs and how I act upon those beliefs. It’s a label that I have willingly chosen as a definition of myself. But it doesn’t accurately reflect who I am because of the preconceptions and stereotypes people have about Feminists.

I am a Feminist, but that is only one part of what makes me uniquely me. And my ideas and values are different from my sister and from my best friend and from her sister, although each of them is also a Feminist. And I will continue to be a Feminist for reasons I have stated too many times to count. And I will always be aware that too many people will let that label misinform them about who I am and what I stand for.