The Quest for the Perfect Feminist

The perfect feminist does apparently exist
(or so lots of people would like us to think).
For we are presented too often with lists
that detail the ways it’s acceptable to kick up a stink.

As a feminist I’m regularly told how I should present
in order that I do not cause any discontent.
Some might be offended by my reaction to their ill-informed sexism
– even though their views are nothing more than depressing archaism.
‘Be more ladylike’ I’m told as I factually say they are wrong,
but if I were a man I’d be nothing more than headstrong.

There’s an article today in The Independent.
It suggests that we should not correct people because it makes us a pedant.
I appreciate that there are polite ways to tell people that they’re using the wrong word
but saying one needs private education to get intersectionality is really quite absurd.

‘It’s not our fault we don’t know the words’ they say
while trying hard to justify why their sexism was okay.
They tell you that ‘you just need to speak to people at their level’
but they fail to realise that this was the fourth time today I’ve been called a devil.
Because feminists are evil (as we’re so frequently told)
but I think they say it just to keep us controlled.

The thing is, you just have to want to be better and guilt can be part of that.
You will make mistakes – and you shouldn’t get upset with the messenger right off the bat.
We’ve all been there, and it’s never nice to feel like you fucked up
but you shouldn’t accuse the person calling you out of being stuck up.

They might have a better education than you – such is life.
But don’t go looking just to stick in the knife.
Instead lick your wounds and then go back
understand where you failed, and fail better after this setback.

It’s happened to all of us – that feeling of guilt,
now use it as a driving force, throw yourself in to the hilt.
But don’t go the same way that the author chose
because turning on fellow feminists? Really, that blows.
Our mission is hard enough already
we certainly don’t need things made less steady.

For every potshot from one feminist to another
is even more ammo for our MRA Others.
It shows weakness and flaws;
and helps them dismantle our cause.
Well done. Slow Clap. *Applause.*

This quest to find a feminist that everyone finds acceptable
is sexist in a way that is almost imperceptible.
The patriarchy sets women up almost constantly to fail
and telling people how to do feminism is really just the same derail.
As women we’re held up to impossible standards;
we must watch our p’s and q’s, we must mind our manners.

Well I’ve got some news for you I’m afraid,
feminism didn’t get shit done without a bit of a crusade.
We have for the last century been ruffling a few feathers
so I will not accept meek, mild and polite as our bellwethers.

Feminism is not well-behaved and deferential – it is angry
and if you don’t agree with me then that too is fine and dandy.
But I will not be amiable just because you demand me to be
my activism is far from smelling like sweet peas.
It is rough and difficult and might make you give me a wide berth,
because societies sexism has indelibly marked my thirty one years on this earth.