The Introverted Feminist
Maggie KerryFeminist Wednesday Social Media Team
I am shy. I am quiet. I am incredibly sensitive. I am an introvert.
These are the four traits that I love about myself, I wouldn’t be the gal that I am without them. There are times (a lot of times) that I forget that though. These traits often make it hard to find my place in the world as a feminist.
I spend a lot of time in my bedroom. It is the place where I feel my most confident being a feminist- it is like my little feminist castle and I am the queen. I am surrounded by my cabinet of curiosities, my comforts, my cats, my wardrobe, my thoughts, my ideas, and the sounds of Jenny Lewis crooning from my laptop. My exceptionally handsome boyfriend occasionally spends the night.
I often feel lonely though, not that lonely in general type of feeling, but the feeling of loneliness as an introverted feminist.
The journey one takes into feminism can be a total bummer when you don’t have any feminist friends to relate to where you live. I know of a few feminists that live in the area, but just the thought of reaching out to them makes me want to shrivel up like a prune…a big old prune. Being an introvert, I prefer the folks to come up to me and reach out or chat. I fancy just standing there, observing and listening. I am great at listening. I occasionally throw a few words in, but I just love to listen…and observe.
There are often times I have felt that being an introvert and being shy has made me fail as a feminist. For one, these two traits put together make it a complete nightmare for me to start a conversation face to face with someone. It is such a struggle. I would honestly rather hide under a rock.
I recently woke up one day and I told myself, “I am ready to get out there more and spread the word of feminism and Feminist Wednesday!” I had the feeling that I was ready to venture outside of my comforts. I had this excitement built up in me, these thoughts of meeting fellow feminists (or perhaps future feminists) and promoting something that has given me the confidence to not feel afraid to get out there and socialize. I told myself that, “I am a bad-ass bitch! I can do this!” The moment I received those Betty the Beaver postcards in the mail was just such a feeling of empowerment.
My experience getting out there and leaving my comfort zone was nothing at all that I imagined. I shut off. I was already exhausted by these people just standing amongst them. The fears that I often feel as an introvert over-powered me. Deep down I was still afraid. So I did what I knew best, I found a comfort zone. I remained close to the folks that I felt most comfortable around.
To make the experience even more terrible, someone that I emailed regarding promoting Feminist Wednesday at the event I was attending posted a video not to long after I emailed them discussing how they felt about feminism. The words were nothing to be amused about. I already felt terrible that I shut off, but I felt even more terrible because I sensed as if I was being targeted. I felt targeted because of the timing this particular video was posted. I was frustrated, sad and angry. Why must these human beings who do not agree with or like feminists assume we are a part of some shitty stereotype the bigots make us out to be? I never experienced that before, it broke my heart. Of course I cried, I always cry… about everything. I kept telling myself that I fucking failed. I failed as a feminist, I failed myself, and I failed Feminist Wednesday.
After reflecting on my experience I realized that I did not fail at all. I reached out to a fellow feminist when I needed someone to talk to and for support. That fellow feminist was Erin Bagwell. I reached out to her when I felt ready to get out there more. I reached out to her when my experience did not go as planned. A few people now have a Betty the Beaver postcard. I took a huge step! I had the confidence to reach out. I am making an even more enormous step and writing about my experience.
Through all of this, I learned that my experience has only made me stronger. I became an even more confident feminist outside of my little feminist castle. For now, I am going to continue to stick to being the queen in my feminist kingdom. I am going to keep on thinking and writing my little ideas about ways to promote Feminist Wednesday and talk about feminism to others. I will reach out more, or at least try to (I will still want to shrivel up like an old prune at times). I will continue to make more and more attempts to get out there more, even if they do not go according to plan like this past experience. All that matters is that I am trying. I am proud of the steps I am taking; they will only continue to turn into bigger and even bigger ones. I am an introverted feminist, and I would not want it to be any other way.