Dear Nicole Arbour: ‘Feminists’ Aren’t Mad At You, We’re Just Tired

Hey girl,

It’s me a “feminist,” one of the many unshaven reactionary trolls barreling towards my keyboard in a flaming rage, ready to tear apart your Youtube videos with the fire of a million Kill All Men t-shirts. I have watched your Youtube video decrying the current state of Feminism (capital F for #branding), and I am currently covered in sweat from feverishly brandishing my pitchfork, prepping my voice with choice teas so I can most effectively yell: YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT THE GENDERED STATE OF THE WORLD AND I AM RIGHT — I WILL SHOW YOU!

I will only definitively speak for myself, but I can say with confidence that I am not alone in that when it comes to sexism I am far more often tired than I am angry. As for your spirited YouTube takedown of  “ugly” (because that’s the recurring worst thing other women can be) and hypocritical feminists: I am not mad at you. I am exhausted. I would love to go to bed for a few years and not have these endless conversations with other women who blatantly benefit from a movement they want to divorce themselves from. But ultimately after watching this video, I’m wondering — are you doing okay? Would you like to drink some wine and talk through some shit?

Because honestly, the badass women I know banding together to create a better future through whatever means they choose — advocating for rape victims, teaching girls to skateboard, creating non-profits that mentor at-risk girls — they’re not mad at you either. What they ARE is damn exhausted from working endlessly for the betterment of themselves and other women, while blatantly privileged women like you throw weak shade in the form of recurrent body-shaming and some deeply confusing narrative about women complaining about who purchases dinner on dates? Really, is this the straw man we are picking apart?

I want you to be okay. I want to be okay. I want the men in my life to be okay. I want the gender-binary to be deconstructed so this conversation includes people of all genders and isn’t forever critiqued through a cis-heteronormative lens. I want us to be able to exist and not be held to double standards. Unfortunately, these desires inevitably branch out into tons of separate issues both big and small, and there are a fuckton of different people who identify as feminist, so yes — some of them are super annoying and awful and some of them are wonderful and most are a complicated combination.

Feminists are not a monolith, because feminists include women and men of all backgrounds, different people are affected by different problems. Different people have different passions, and only a small number are afforded a voice or audience to spread their concerns. Do you, Nicole Arbor, think that the current trending forms of feminism are often reductive and short-sighted? If so, we have this in common. In fact, many feminists would agree with you, which is exactly why we’re tired.

The difference between our tiredness and your confused anger is that we are messily attempting to chip away at the myriad of inequalities, while you are yelling at us for not being “Chill” enough from a pile of Youtube money. Again, I’m not mad at you: I just want to go to bed and eat Lucky Charms and smoke a bowl and also never be forced to engage in this eternal defense of a movement that encompasses multitudes of voices and histories.

Love,

Bronwyn