If you’re excited about feminism and want to learn more about how to be actively feminist, the resources are abundant.
Feminism as a Critical Lens
As a comprehensive belief system with theory, goals, and ethics, feminism can be and has been used as a basis for cultural criticism. We see this throughout academic and practice disciplines: art, education, health & medicine, literature, philosophy, psychology, and science just to name a few.
At Feminist Frequency we develop our commentary based on intersectional feminist values primarily drawn from bell hooks, Allan G. Johnson, and other critical gender & race theorists couched in late-second and third wave feminist movements. We look for themes that bring women to the forefront as complex protagonists, but we also look for a diversity of representations beyond simply a woman in a starring role; intersectional feminism requires that characters are written in ways that consider the impact of multiple dominant structures such as racism, classism, heterosexism, cissexism, and ableism. We want stories that intentionally bring these struggles and experiences forward instead of relegating them to the background or worse, rendering them invisible.
We believe too that it’s not enough to simply cast inclusively without looking critically at the stories themselves. We want characters demonstrating a range of human emotion and challenging traditional concepts of strength, often derivative of stereotypical masculine qualities. We look for redemptive relationships that are shown outside of the narrow frame of simplistic romance & sex so often displayed. We’re interested in nuanced writing that brings creativity to problem-solving, instead of using physical dominance and violence in conflict resolution.
Pop culture offers us many mediums of storytelling; we want to push those mediums to bring us a vision of feminist futures.
Practicing Feminism & Being an Ally
Exploring feminism on a personal level involves taking a critical look at your habits and relationships. Acknowledging the impact of patriarchy in our lives, whether it’s how we hold ourselves to beauty standards, how (dis)empowered we feel to speak in certain crowds, or how we feel entitled to certain behaviors/goods. This process can be uncomfortable at best, and devastating at worst.
However, feminism is about learning and growth. Making mistakes is part of the journey. Being open to reconsidering significant relationships and events takes courage, but we think justice is worth the risk.
Having said all that, a major aspect of feminism involves reminders to practice self-care. Moving against the dominant grain often means becoming more vulnerable to attacks and isolation. You are not alone, although it might feel that way. Start creating habits now that are about nothing more than taking good care. Use all your supports: relationships, movement & exercise, food, breathing, hobbies, quick comforts, and so on. Resist judging your preferred methods. And stay connected to people who validate your experiences.
To learn more about ways you can start incorporating feminist principles into your life, here are some helpful starting places:
The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Good Ally
So You Want to Be a Male Feminist?Geek Feminism Wiki – Resources for Allies
Being Feminist Online
There are many places to use feminism online. But, if you’ve heard of Feminist Frequency, you’ve likely heard of the repercussions of being an outspoken online feminist. No one deserves to experience harassment and abuse, but unfortunately the online world (not unlike the offline world) poses significant risks for women and others who dare to stand up to dominant structures. While the work of feminism and social justice is really about changing our culture to end harassment, we also know that the struggle is not over.
Below are some helpful resources for using feminism on the internet, including ways to stay safe: