Your attack appears to be on sorority women, but when one rereads the article the attack is actually on all women younger than you. It is an ageist sentiment packaged in false feminism, with a passive aggressive misogynist slant. You seem to believe that a woman cannot wear a swimsuit and be intelligent. If a young woman makes a video with her friends, it somehow makes her unable to be a steward for equality. Your letter isn’t an apology, it is a hate filled missive that judges women and their self-worth based on appearance. I thought that was the message second wave feminists tried to stop.
I am here to let you know that the only thing you need to apologize to me for is not truly being part of the revolution for gender equality. I don’t want or need your misogynist view of what I am allowed to do with my body. I do not give you consent to judge how I celebrate my femininity, my body, my self-worth or my sexuality. Did you really try to equate my gender expression to your unfortunate snakeskin miniskirt?Female empowerment is about Madonna being like a virgin, a stay at home mom, a sex worker or a college professor. When you judge my character based on the length of my skirt rather than the good I do in the world, you aren’t being a helpful part of the gender revolution. When you judge me solely on what I wear, you are sexist and perpetuate rape culture. You appear to be angrier at the woman in the bikini than the pig who said, “I’ll take that one.” Perhaps you should take your feminist flag down, because that sounds a lot like, “She was asking for it.”
The idea that a feminist banner and a recruitment banner cannot hang simultaneously is an outdated view on sorority women. The first women admitted to universities in this country were discriminated against and made to feel inferior. They created fraternal societies as safe spaces to discuss issues like equality and the right to vote. They made a safe space for themselves to share their thoughts and fears and talk about how they were treated by classmates and professors. The word sorority didn’t even exist when the first women’s fraternities were created because the idea of women running their own organizations seemed impossible.
If you want to apologize to anyone, you should apologize to the feminists who paved the way for the rest of us. Apologize for not carrying their banner for justice and equality and, rather, perpetuating the belief that a woman can have a brain or beauty, but never both. Apologize for not having faith that the women in that video are dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service. Apologize for believing that matching Ugg boots and not the values of loyalty and character development are what create their sisterhood. Apologize if you have ever called yourself a feminist because, when misogynist feminists use the word, the word itself becomes less powerful.
If you truly want gender equality in our country, then you need to stop degrading other women. We cannot deny any female-identified individual a space in our movement.I want to use your sentence with a different word in place and see if it still feels like a super powerful second wave anthem. I’ll use self-identifiers as not to paint with the wide brush.
- Women- even fat women – have the right to display their bodies as they see fit. I do wish they’d think about those decisions more, however.
- Women- even queer women – have the right to display their bodies as they see fit. I do wish they’d think about those decisions more, however.
- Women- even tattooed women – have the right to display their bodies as they see fit. I do wish they’d think about those decisions more, however.
I would be happy to hold a feminist banner from a prior generation. I just wish the banner you handed down to me said, “All women have the right to display their bodies as they see fit.” I will not hold a banner that promotes beauty standards over beauty. I will not hold a message that only allows some members to decide what other members are worth. I will proudly hold your banner if it allows every woman to live her best life and celebrate her truth. I will work to create a new banner for the women that come after me. I will continue to celebrate my body with short skirts because I like them. I will celebrate being queer and fight for equality anywhere that oppression is present. I will give the generations after me room to evolve and celebrate the work of their elders. I will continue to volunteer and be a steward of the values created for me long ago. I will be a mentor for the women that come after me. I will always be proud to be an Alpha Phi.