feminist chat with the rad Nikki Darling
Nikki Darling recently interviewed me for her blog, and we had a very cool chat.
Nikki Darling is a feminist music critic who writes for the LA Weekly and was the former interviews editor at LA Record. She also worked for Jessica Hopper on her book the Girls Guide to Rocking. If it wasn't evident from this description, she is a really, really cool person.
Here are some highlights. You can read the whole version here.
What would be your goal or hope for the state of teenage girls who have perhaps fallen into old misogynistic traps? I.E Girls who have bought into the lie, how do you hope on reaching them?
Through my website I'm hoping to spread awareness. My goal is not necessarily to get every teenage girl in this country to identify as feminist -- I'm not as concerned about that label as I am about helping girls to see the world through a feminist lens, realizing that there are so many ways in which women are still not equal to men, and also that there are many societal factors that constrict men. I want girls who have fallen into misogynistic traps to realize that they have, and try to find a solution. The way the fbomb does this is not only through posting about these issues in a relatable tone (we're all peers, after all) but also through the community that has grown there. So many intelligent and interesting girls have posted on the fbomb, and even more have commented.
What advice do you have for feminist young people like yourself on reaching girls your own age who might be scared of being associated with the word “feminist’?
I've known so many girls who are scared of the word "feminist." When you already do identify with that word, it's hard to remember how alien it can be and how intimidating the stereotypes that are associated with it are. What I usually do is I go through the check list: "Do you believe that men and women should be equal?" "Do you believe that violence against women is unacceptable?" Etc. Almost always, the answers are all yes. Most girls believe in feminism, they're just not willing to use the word. And to me, having other teenage girls call themselves "feminist" is important, but it's not the only thing. Having them understand feminism and at least exposing them to it is. So, ultimately, patience. If you help other girls understand why you are a feminist, you're taking a huge step in helping them realize why feminism is important.
Do you believe teenage boys can be authentic feminists?
I do. I think feminism, and sexism, involves men, and that they should have a say. If we're talking about equality, we need to acknowledge that that includes men. There are so many feminist issues that men need to be involved in. For example, domestic violence. If we want to stop domestic violence, we need to educate and reach out to men, especially young men, and these young men need to be involved. I understand when feminists say that this is "our fight." But equality is not one sided.
Explain in your own words why feminism is love and not hate.
Feminism is the love for all people, it is caring so much for your sisters and brothers, that you want the best possible reality for them. Feminism tries to rid the world of hatred, of violence, and tries to create more loving relationships. If people don't see feminism as love, maybe they're the ones producing the hatred.
I say some other stuff - some about fashion, music, fav books and albums, the fbomb...I'd love to hear your answers to the questions, too, my brilliant feminist friends!
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