Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'm an introverted feminist

I think one of the reasons why I'm a feminist is because I'm also very much an introvert. It's not obvious right away, but feminism actually tells you that it's okay to be an introvert. Here is a list of ways that feminism is inclusive of introverts.

I don't own this picture. Feel free to yell at me if it is yours.
1. Feminism teaches you that you do not have to talk to strangers if you don't want to. Especially men. You do not owe them anything, particularly not your comfort. You do not have to stand there and pretend to be nice. You can say, “I have to go,” or “I don't want to talk right now.” In response, the stranger might call you a bitch, but you'll know deep down that you aren't.

2. Have you ever hated it when someone tells you to smile? Like, what's so inherently worthwhile about a smile? Can't I sometimes be in a mood where I don't feel like smiling? Feminism tells you that you don't have to smile for anyone. You body is your own and is does not exist to please anyone else – this applies to simple smiles as well as sexual acts. People may think they're trying to brighten your day when they ask you to smile, but really, it's just another form of objectification. You do not exist to make anyone else happy.

3. What if a guy is hitting on you or trying to flirt with you? Feminism encourages you to ditch that guy, even if you have to be rude about it. Again, you don't owe him anything, except maybe a little common curtesy. Even then, you don't owe them common curtesy if they are being rude, overly aggressive, or making you feel uncomfortable.

4. I sometimes feel bad if I'm not being social enough, or if I think about how I don't have as many friends as other people. I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I wonder what's wrong with me that this comes so naturally to other people and not to me. Feminism is constantly trying to fight against the idea that there is one societal standard for how to act. Generally, they are fighting against gender roles, over-sexualization, modesty police, and other societal expectations, but the same logic still applies to introverts. You do not have to be extroverted. You should not feel bad because you are different from other people. Embrace who you truly are when society isn't telling you who to be!

5. Feminists believe there shouldn't be one standard for attractiveness. This applies to how you physically look, such as facial features, body weight, body hair, etc., but also applies to how you behave. You should not have to be overly flirty and friendly or hyper sexual in your actions to be attractive. If it isn't natural to you to behave that way, then don't. You're still attractive. Women and men who are super flirty and friendly are also attractive. There is no one way to act that makes you more attractive than others – unless you're like, being a racist dick or something.

6. Sometimes, being an introvert means you dress a certain way. Obviously, not all introverts dress a specific way. But sometimes I dress in a way that reflects the fact that I don't want any social interactions. Or just because it's comfortable. Feminism tells me that it's okay not to dress hyper-feminine, super fancy, or the way everyone else is dressing. Feminism also tells me it is okay to dress that way when I feel like it! I do not feel the need for makeup, doing my hair, or semi-presentable clothing most days. Some days, I don't even feel like getting out of my pajama pants. Whether or not that is a symptom of introversion, I feel supported by feminism when I make those choices.

To sum up, I believe that feminism teaches me that it's okay to be me. Feminism encourages me to do whatever the fuck makes me comfortable in my own skin. As an introvert, I really love feminism!


  1. I can't believe you have no comments yet. I love your article. You just nailed it! I inhaled your text. I've been called pretty and when I was younger guys said to me : "smile!". And you are so right about it: we don't have to pamper men who are needy for our attention. I still have a long way to go in order to behave just like myself and not soften things up for society. Thank you for this text and greetings from a Finnish author!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind post! I'm really glad you liked it. It is really hard to do work on this, like you said. I hate when men tell me to smile, but it's also my immediate reaction to smile when they say that! Frustrating. Just know that you're not alone. Introverts are everywhere! And we're all working on that balance between being ourselves and finding a place in society. Good luck, and happy Finlandness!

    2. So what if you want him to flirt, does feminism say every male who summed up the courage to talk to a women are automatic an arse-bag?

  2. I'd never considered any links between the 2 things before but having read this, my feminist, introvert self heartily agrees with you.

  3. thank you for this post. you absolutely nailed it, especially with the last point. i have always believed in the philosophy "if you don't want customers, don't advertise." sometimes when i refuse to go out with friends, it's not because i'd rather stay in, but because i'm just not comfortable with club dress codes. dressing a certain way will bring (unwanted) attention. the feminist angle is one i never considered before, but it makes sense. WOW!