My Least Favorite F-Word
I would love to say that I’m a proud feminist since I fiercely believe in gender equality but to be frank with you: I'm conflicted about the word "feminism." For every part of me that wants to throw the middle finger at the patriarchy that structuring our society, there is equal hesitation to label myself a feminist. It wasn’t until after I connected with the BabyFist community that I realized I do not stand alone in this internal battle.
The F-word is usually tied to the white framework of feminism that many, including myself, don’t have the best view of (thanks to the history of colonialism and white supremacy). When the the F-word is brought to the table I initially think of body hair and the free the nipple movement--things that are pretty far from what it means to liberate Muslim Arab women from their own patriarchy. As a Palestinian woman, white feminism is an extreme that I cannot relate to. When I think of the Palestinian F word, I think of women working towards the liberation from both Israeli occupation and Palestinian legal system. Ask me to paint you a picture of Palestinian feminism and I won’t be able to tell you what comes first; the liberation of Palestine or the liberation of the Palestinian women from oppressive societal & legal system. It’s a war on two fronts.
Regardless of my internal conflict, I know what I want from myself and for women everywhere: to feel unburdened and free. To gain a little insight, I reached out to the BabyFist community and asked them:
Do you believe in gender equality but not consider yourself a feminist?
These were some of their responses: