# 97 Why I hate labels
When I was a kid, I hated being lumped in with the crowd. I wanted to do my own thing and not be branded. We called them sheep. I don’t know if that description still applies these days. I wanted to be the one that did things differently and didn’t fit in with the crowd. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
But it’s one of the few character traits that have remained with me all my life. It’s why I never go and see a film with the masses the first week it comes out (partly because the hype is usually grossly overrated) and I don’t bother with mainstream music until I’ve missed the boat. Even then I generally pick between albums and take out songs I like rather than bands. It’s just the way I am.
Now, I don’t know many feminists. I’m not even sure I fully understand the term. I am confused by women who claim to be feminists and then do things which totally contradict what I understand feminism to be. Maybe that is what being a feminist is all about. I’m not sure.
According to Wikipedia (that fountain of knowledge):
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending political, economic, and social rights for women. In addition, feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist is “an advocate or supporter of the rights and equality of women.”
I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I have no interest in feminism. I am what I am and I don’t need to have that kind of label stamped on me. I am an individual. Apart from anything else I do not feel the urge to jump up and down every time something happens real or virtual which doesn’t fit my social agenda and makes me feel victimised for my sex. Some times you can get paranoid and take things too seriously and too much to heart.
|Doesn’t this just get your back up? Source|
And I guess this must make me one of the lucky few because I have never felt a need to define, establish or defend my rights. I have never felt unequal, I have never felt segregated or marginalised or singled out in the workplace. And it isn’t as if I have lead a sheltered life. I’ve been out in the real world for a long time now, I’ve exposed myself to some pretty harsh realities and offbeat walks of life I wouldn’t have experienced if I’d towed the line.
I’ve worked in many business sectors particularly so called ‘male dominated’ industries, had a number of long term relationships with men and have always been independent and self sufficient. My decisions were my own and the mistakes I made the same. And I rectified them myself as well. Just because that’s what you do.I never had anyone else to blame for the way my life ended up.
You might say ‘well what about those women who don’t or haven’t been as lucky as you?’ Well yes, but I haven’t lived their lives, I don’t know what it’s like to be them, and so standing up and fighting for the rights of someone who’s life I know nothing about and cannot even begin to comprehend contradicts a lot of what I am about. In fact, it’s a bit patronising in some ways. It’s not how I operate.
I guess if, god forbid, I was raped I would suddenly be campaigning for rape victims rights, or if I was hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing I’d be campaigning for tighter sentences on bad drivers. But I haven’t and so I don’t. You cannot campaign for everything and my personal feeling is that standing up for something you have no direct experience of is an empty voice. What if you do more damage than good because you didn’t understand the implications of what you were actually doing? There are plenty of people out there already who have experienced those things. Let them campaign.
I enforce a moral code based on my own life experiences and I help the people I know as best I can based on this. I may not have direct experience of their problems so I can only impart advice and how I would handle something in the same given situation but I would never bang on about it or force my ideals on people and I would never shout someone down just because I didn’t agree with them.
I’m just getting tired of not being able to have a conversation without someone trying to force political agendas down my throat. It’s wearing and it’s making me completely disinterested in talking about anything of consequence because I seem to be tripped up at every turn.
It’s been interesting to find so much writing in a similar vein on the internet. I like their stance although how they came to those conclusions has been very different to mine. Try xojane or alyssaroyse for a more positive stance on not being a feminist and the reasons why. That these women walked away from it for different reasons and not least because they experienced life, is interesting. If you’re going to dig your heels in on your opinions and code, get some clarity on the situation. See it from every angle. Live in the real world and then come back with the same philosophy and say it stands up to interrogation.