Sunday, July 8, 2012

My Feminism will be Intersectional and Inclusive...

...or it will be bullshit.

I read Post Secret every Sunday.  Sometimes the secrets are funny.  Sometimes they are irritating.  But this one just made me sad.

[Image Description] Grayscale postcard.  White person in the center of the card dressed in (what I guess is) a 50s-style grey hat with veil and black overcoat with high collar.  There is a red stripe of color across their eyes.  Red hand-written words to the right of the person state: "I don't have the courage to tell my feminist friends I have an eating disorder.  I am a total hypocrite.  I feel like a failure." [/Image Description]

My first experience with an eating disorder was as a family member of an anorexic.  It was hard for my high-school brain to understand why she just. wouldn't. eat.  I loved her and wanted her to get better, but I didn't understand the disease aspect of eating disorders and stood by helplessly as she got worse and worse.  Eventually, she got the treatment she needed.  She is now a fully-functioning recovering anorexic.  She works in a nursing/rehab center and has a family of her own - something she feared would not be possible due to the havoc anorexia can wreak on one's body.

I just want to tell the person who wrote this secret: My feminism will be intersectional and inclusive, or it will be bullshit.  My feminism will include people of color (POC), white people, fat people, thin people, rich people, poor people, people with eating disorders (ED), people without eating disorders, GLBTQIA people, cis people, the list goes on...my feminism will include EVERYONE.  Or it will be bullshit.

If you don't feel comfortable discussing this with your feminist friends, please discuss it with your doctor (if you have one).  There are several online resources as well, including the National Eating Disorders Association.  Hell, if you happen to see this post, and you want to email ME specifically, I will be happy to talk to you (as a feminist, a friendly ear, or both).

Just remember, feminism that excludes groups of people IS. NOT. FEMINISM.

My feminism will be intersectional and inclusive, or it will be bullshit.

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