This is, though. To square away an important through-line of current feminist discussion, which is a strawberry-sweet way of saying “internet dry-heaving”: feminist fatigue, the kind of philosophical sleepiness that sweeps through me/you/everyone when there is too much to say no to (covered by Lindy West at Jezebel andJessica Valenti at the Nation and by other women in other places that I didn’t see/can’t care about because ZzzQuil) is something I feel, have felt, for years and years, in waves. Not nice warm ocean waves like in Florida but, like, The French Lieutenant’s Woman waves.
I want to reject its existence, boogie away from the idea that feminism is anything but obvious, natural, just hysterically intellectually easy and available. Try this: “Equal.” “Same.” “People.” EZ, right? I do want to experience Feminist Boredom—when femsplaining and fem… doing (?) become periodically recursive and repetitive, but in a nice vacationy way that is very much a part of working toward something—and Feminist Arrogance, which is fun and about just deciding that everyone who doesn’t know already is pretty stupid. Instead, what happens to people who are magnetized to the feminist discussion publicly or with our pals or in our work or wherever it’s all made explicit, is that the very same—the very very very very same—arguments and notions and ideas and tropes are turned over again and again in front of and between us, within days and over years and decades. The most progressive, interesting stuff of my brain-life is also, then, the most hideously annoying and Zzzzzz and bone-itching.
A really good example of this is any occasion of a not-explicitly-offensive joke or comment or comedy song on an international broadcast about actresses’ naked boobs having to be contextualized, again and again and again, as part of a culture of disparagement and diminishment, and then explaining that again and again and again a day later. Then it’s “Relax, baby” and then you do it again, and then you talk about how exhausted you are… again. I feel like I’ve been responding to “I’m not a feminist, but…” since 1994; I should probably just call it “INAF-B” like a problematic, faltering government program, that has a portfolio and officers assigned to it, who specialize in its particularities. (I don’t, and yet…)
Read the full article by Kate Carraway on VICE