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7 Gentle Reminders About Your Feminism, Before 2022 Ends

Gender and sexuality are not rigid boxes inside which we sit, or use to make judgements about other people. Here are 7 timely reminders before this year ends.

2022 has been a great year for a lot of us in terms of how well our writings critiquing patriarchal constructs and mindsets have been received.

Yet, there are multiple things that a lot of us forget on a daily basis, especially while dealing with other feminists and/or queer individuals. Keeping that in mind, here are a few gentle reminders before 2022 ends: 

No one has a monopoly over feminism and/or queerness

We all might have come across people who make us feel as if they are better feminists and/or queers as compared to us. But, that isn’t true. No one can act as if they own the label of a ‘feminist’ or a ‘queer’. No one can patronise those who are less vocal or whose activism doesn’t align with their own.

There is no such thing as an ‘ideal feminist’ or an ‘ideal queer’. Anyone who says they are a feminist or a queer person are, in every way, what they say they are. Period!

One’s physical appearance has nothing to do with their queer identity 

Femme presenting AFABs and masculine presenting AMABs don’t necessarily have to be cisgender. Additionally, making assumptions and judgements about people’s genders and sexualities based on how they choose to present themselves isn’t queer sensitive behaviour.  

Gender is a spectrum and not a binary

While almost everyone might have heard this line at least once in their lifetime, very few truly understand it. There are numerous gender identities apart from male, female, non-binary and agender. Furthermore, gender identities and pronouns are, at times, fluid.  

Feminism is also a spectrum 

It’s common for us to hear people say that they don’t consider themselves to be feminists or that feminist ideologies don’t align with their own. What they don’t understand is that feminism, in itself, isn’t meant to be as complicated as it has become in the present day.

Feminism isn’t the same as misandry or male-bashing. In fact, it is a spectrum where misogyny lies at the other extreme end. Anyone who believes that non-cis men need to have access to the same economical, political and social privileges as cis men, by default, falls within the spectrum.  

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Trans-exclusionary feminism is NOT feminism 

If feminism is a spectrum, then trans-exclusionary feminism lies on the misogynistic end of it. Trans women are women, irrespective of whether or not they have undergone hormone replacement therapy and/or gender-affirming procedures. One’s gender and life experiences have absolutely nothing to do with the sex they were assigned at birth.  

Just like gender, sexuality can be fluid for many people

If a lesbian who is primarily interested in dating women ends up falling in love with a man, she is choosing the person and not their gender. Sexuality is fluid and queer individuals have the right to decide which sexuality works for them. A queer person is under no obligation to stick to a particular sexual orientation all their life.

Additionally, someone who doesn’t feel that their sexuality aligns with any of the sexualities they know of is also queer if they consider themself to be the same. Allosexuals can one day realise that their sexuality lies on the asexual spectrum, homosexual people can be open to being with those who don’t share their gender identity, heterosexual folks can also take time to understand that they might be queer.  

Not everyone can be out, loud and proud, but that doesn’t make them any less queer

A lot of queer people are not able to be too open about their sexualities and/or gender identities. Some might not be able to change their physical appearances due to familial or social pressure and some might simply not wish to do so because they don’t feel the need to.

While stereotypical cues and aesthetics signifying queerness might actually make things easier for a lot of queer people in being able to express themselves better and to also identify other queer people in physical spaces that are usually dominated by cis-hets, even queers who choose to not adhere to a certain aesthetic or who struggle to publicly acknowledge the fact that they’re queer, are just as queer. 

Image credits Alexander Gey, via Unsplash

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Upasana Dandona

A dysgraphic writer who spends most of their time watching (and thinking about) Bollywood films. read more...

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