Fun Feminism Now

Fun Feminism Now

by Sarah Meuleman

‘Why do you still date men if we’re all such unreliable cheating bastards?’ It’s nine a.m., I’m barely awake, staring with a hot coffee at the screen of my laptop, when the poisonous questions from a certain ‘J.’ shoot right at me. ‘Give it up, feminist pussy, why don’t you become a lesbian?’

Ugh. As a Vogue columnist, I frequently get those kind of messages and they trigger an irresistible urge in me to shout right back at him that I’m honestly open to all sorts of discussion, but not to plain insult. Every bone in my body wants to get back at J. But I don’t. I erase his message. Still, his words echo through my mind: ‘Unreliable bastards.’ I think of the columns that I’ve written so far, about narcissistic movie directors, porn-driven photographers and German betrayers. Damn. I have to give it to J.: the men in my columns aren’t all that peachy.

I’m trying to picture my anonymous critic (twentysomething, fiftysomething?), how, after reading my columns (on his girlfriend’s laptop?) on Monogamy Light and The Other Woman, he starts digging for my email address to once and for all deliver me the truth, straight up. In a way, it’s kind of touching. What got to him, I wonder? What in my tone of voice made him go through all that trouble? Less touching: ‘Feminist pussy.’ Apart from the fact that I prefer not to be reduced to my sex organs (or my pet, whatever), it’s striking how often men confuse feminists with man-haters. Not only men, for that matter.

I recently interviewed model and style-icon Caroline de Maigret. She said: ‘So often I hear younger girls cry out: I’m not a feminist; I love men! Then I go: what’s that all about? I’m a feminist and I love men. Really. I’m crazy about men!’ Hear! Hear!

Feminism isn’t outdated, it’s in the middle of a radical refurbishment. It’s not about burning bras anymore, it’s about sexy lace lingerie with built in high performance shock absorbers. J. also informed me that, as a man, he knows that women ‘May act all powerful and tough, but deep inside they are all vulnerable fluffy bunnies.’

Dear J., with this column I’d like to reassure you. We are both.

There’s no hair under my armpits and I believe in equal rights. I don’t wait for a man to seduce me and I enjoy being seduced. I’d rather not be called ‘pussy’ and I’m very fond of nicknames. I don’t consider myself a rodent and I totally enjoy being hugged and kissed (don’t you?). I earn my own cash and I love a generous treat. Welcome to the world of the fun feminist where fun and respect, believe it or not, effortlessly co-exist.
Singer, actress and cosmetic wonder Cher once described it aptly: ‘Men aren’t necessities,’ she said. ‘They’re luxuries.’ And who doesn’t like a bit of luxury?

Sarah Meuleman is author, journalist and tv host. She writes columns for VOGUE about sex, sensuality and love in an era of fun feminism. www.sarahmeuleman.com Her thrilling novel ‘Wat ik je niet vertel’ (What I’m Not Telling You) is now available in stores.

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