Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women standing at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making "Internet odysseys," such as their new Web series Whatever, Linda, alongside television and films. Read more about their journey here.
"Women in…" is a popular subject these days. I should know, since I just co-wrote an article for The Globe last week on women in … film.
And even though I'm an active and willing participant in this discourse, I sometimes cringe when I pointedly and publicly engage with it. I think: "Oh, man: We wrote one of those articles."
I've been worrying ever since my article with Mackenzie was published. Am I too feminist for my own good?
Which is funny, because feminism is the one topic I could write about for hours, passionately, without ceasing. Or being a woman. Or the kajillion stories I've read and heard from other women. How I feel about my womanhood, my femininity, my feminism is fundamental to me. Really: Dare me. I will write forever about it.
But I still worry about being complainy. I worry about the label of feminism (which I wear with pride, but man does it ever come with some baggage that requires caveat upon appendix upon footnote to discuss). I worry about not being hired, or liked. Backlash is inevitable. It's hard to knowingly invite that kind of energy.
And so my internal response is sometimes one of tip-toeing around my own deep urge to pin the issue to the mat and get it to speak.
But that doesn't mean I'm not still tending a raging, burning feminist fire over here, one that started back in Junior Kindergarten when T.J. beat me at a race and I came home complaining about how he was faster than me (see: complainy). A fire that blossomed into a steadfast and hardened type-A personality that would, I hoped, prove my worth next to men who seemed to have it easier; which graduated into an obsession around my looks that seemingly any healthy, happy, normal teenaged girl lives with; that manifested into a nasty eating disorder during my late teens, which I still talk down to when it still rears its tentacled head.
And today my feminism has rendered me work-obsessed. My "I think I can" attitude has become a mantra of "I know I can cause I just WILL," as though working hard enough – that ol' myth – is the only way to ensure I won't make a measly three-quarters of what my male friends earn, in their lifetimes. No thank you, I don't want that.
But as much as I don't want that, there remains a niggling sense that maybe I shouldn't yell too loudly. I've been warned about using the F-word too much. "Being a feminist can be bad for business" is actually something I've been told. Given that I want to succeed and make (an equal) living doing what I want to do, I still want to make sure what I say is "good for business."
So where does that leave a young feminist?
The distance between my dreams and my reality is still vast. This distance used to be something that scared the pants off me. It paralyzed me. But my late 20s saw me saying "screw it" and getting in the ring. I'm young, healthy, generally happy, energetic and driven as fuzz – in no small part because of that whirring, relentless feeling in the pit of my stomach that hisses, "it's not fair," and hasn't shut up since that race with T.J.
Because of that visceral feeling, I simply can't help but forge ahead in spite of any consequences. I can't help being who I am – a feminist.
I wish to be rewarded and respected and heard equally without compromising the essence of who I am. I am not asking for much: I want it all. Good thing I like me a good fight.