I am not a particular kind of woman. My thoughts and ideas on issues vary all the time; I have interests all over the place; I can’t be placed into any kind of box. This isn’t because I’m not steadfast in my ideas and my values or because I don’t have a definitive personality, but because I am a complex person in a complex world (that sounds kind of high and mighty in a weird way but I don’t mean it like that). What I’m saying is this: I don’t think everything is always black and white, right or wrong. I don’t think that because something has always been one way or because a lot of people believe something that it is the right thing to believe in.
When our blogging editor gave us this topic to think on, I found it hard to distinctly know what kind of feminist I was. I wasn’t sure if there was a category for me because it seemed like some issues I agreed with and others I did not and sometimes the way I see issues isn’t the fashionable way to see them. I wasn’t sure how to define myself, just as I find it hard to define myself in every other aspect of my life. I don’t like being placed in boxes where there is no room for expansion on ideas or for new ideas to be formed. I find it hard sometimes to even try and categorize myself as anything, even if I identify with it, because there are always those negative connotations that come with being in a group and I don’t want people applying those negatives to who I am. It’s like when I tell people that I’m a Christian, or from Texas, or a member of a sorority, or even that I am a feminist, negative connotations come along with them and people stop seeing me for who I am and start seeing me for who they think I am.
I don’t like people telling me what I should be like, or telling me who I am just because someone else was a certain way who aligned themselves along with that group. I don’t like people telling me what I should believe because that’s what others have believed. I make my own decisions and choices; I have my own world views and religious views that are outside any societal box that people like to put others in. I will not be put into a box by anyone and just because I am a part of a group does not make me that group or mean that I believe everything in the same way as another person of that group.
I am an “out of the box” feminist. I am an “out of the box” Christian. I am an “out of the box” everything. I don’t have labels, at least in my own life, though I’m sure others still try and place them on me because of what they think. And that can’t be helped; human brains are programmed to put people into groups to understand society. But groups usually lead to bigotries, racism, sexism, all the -isms that are total crap. So, I won’t participate in it. Not only do I not box myself in but I don’t box other people in either. A person isn’t just one singular thing. A person isn’t a singular group. A person isn’t the same as other people. We’re all different. We have different ideas and thoughts about things; people like many things and behave in different ways. In that sense, I sometimes think it’s impossible to have special groups because people can belong to so many.
As an “out of the box” person, I think about things in different ways then a lot of the other people that I identify with. And this can be hard. Because human brains are also formed to think that a person is either with a group or not a part of it at all. The “us against them” mentality. I think that this causes rifts in great causes such as the one of feminism because for some reason if people don’t agree on everything, then they can no longer work together to do the things they do agree on. This is the same in politics, religious societies, or any other movement out there. The fact that we all don’t agree shouldn’t inhibit the effort but help it. So many problems in this world would be fixed if we didn’t turn group against group, but listened to another idea outside of what our group believed. Just because one woman wants to shave her legs while another doesn’t, does that mean that either of them don’t feel the same way towards another issue (this is a bit of a silly example, but you get what I’m saying)?
I’m done with the boxes. I want to be free to be whatever kind of person that I want. I want to be free to be an “out of the box” feminist.
Over and out- Lauren