10 ways to get comfortable using the ‘f’ word

feminist lookbookSwag. Source: lookbook

It has taken me just over a year to begin feeling comfortable with calling myself a feminist, with putting it on my site, even.

Here’s how you can, too!

Try telling your friends and people who support you

It’s funny to me as I meet new friends and they gasp (maybe not quite gasp), but as they wonder at how I could be so bold as to say that I am. I used to wonder if I could be so bold, also, but now, it’s really become easy, old hat.

My newest friend asked me if I get a lot of negative reactions, and the answer is honestly, no. I do see negative reactions to feminist videos, to anything that might resemble a woman standing up for her rights or talking about other women as if they had rights (audacious, I know!) but I personally have never had anything close to abuse or negativity about my views. (Touch wood!)

Talk with other feminists

Being in a group where you know there will be no retribution and will support your views is always a good thing. A lot of the people I follow on twitter I know are feminists or supporters of feminism (if they’ve not quite got there yet!)

Perhaps this is because I am always networking with those of like-minded thoughts.

I don’t get into comment fights if I can avoid it, and any comments I make are only for what I believe is a positive step for feminism – I express my enthusiasm, and it’s very difficult to argue with someone who has not even given an opinion, only expressed a feeling of joy that equality is that little bit closer for all women.

Express your feelings, not your opinions

This is not to say that voicing your opinion is not a good idea, it’s simply for those that don’t want to get in a fight about what they intrinsically believe – and why should they if they don’t have to? The idea is to stand up for what we believe in, not to bring others down who don’t believe in it.

Empathise with those who don’t believe what you believe

When some people say why you should shut up or shouldn’t call yourself a feminist specifically it can be hard to hear, if that’s what you identify as. But empathising with those statements, i.e. seeing the feelings and needs behind them can allow you to accept any differences of opinion. We’re allowed to disagree.

Plus, a bonus of this is people expect a dehumanising argument sent back their way. If you instead try to connect with their statement, it will at least confuse them, and at best, help both parties to feel heard and understood.

Know that you don’t have to use ‘the word’

Some people just don’t like the word ‘feminist’ I’m not sure why, and I will be writing a post on that topic next, because when it comes to it, it simply means wanting women to have basic human rights and equality.

But, just because I use the word for myself, doesn’t mean YOU have to. -Who cares?! A word is a word, and it’s my own right to identify as any identity I want to, and it is yours, too.

And if you do like the idea of equality, you might come to call yourself a feminist just to yourself, as I did, at first. It’s not like I go around with an ‘I am a feminist’ t-shirt on all day. I don’t talk about it all day long to complete strangers – it’s just a part of who I am – what I believe in – and why I write these posts in my attempt to empower myself and other women.

You don’t have to give up lipstick

Or make-up. Or hair products. Or being girly. Or manly. You don’t have to be angry all the time. Or give up having fun. Or laughing. Or having sex. Or not having sex.

It’s just about equal rights… Not about hating.

Shout it out

As Caitlin Moran suggests, try standing on a chair and yelling out words like ‘feminist’ and ‘environment’ until they become as natural as saying chocolate or macadamia nuts. (bonus points if you got the Eat, Prey, Love reference)

Use a disclaimer

The first post I ever wrote on this blog was about how not all feminists are dungarees-wearing, bra-burning, hairy-arm-pitted lesbians. I explained who I was, how I am JUST interested in equality for women.

Remember, it’s not your responsibility how other people react to you

This is simply that a friend of mine told me maybe the word feminist isn’t so good’er idea to use the actual word. It might offend some people. But that’s because they don’t know who I am, and they don’t know what I’m about. And they have their own stuff going on.

And that’s ok, but it’s not my responsibility to help them out. I might want to. I might want to clear some things up. To use a disclaimer. In that case, I would. But I am what I am as they say, so I’m not about to go around apologising all the time if they can’t believe me, the same way they don’t need to for disagreeing with me.

Remember, it’s about individuals

We’re all different. Some people won’t agree with you. No matter what you say. So you may as well say, quite simply, what you believe in.

I choose to use the ‘f’ word. Because it defines easily what I believe and any misconception that it means anything other than (I’ll say it again!) wanting equal rights for women, is a shame, but I have stated simply in what I believe and if someone chooses not to take my word for it, that’s really their prerogative. I don’t have to prove my beliefs to them.

In the same way, I am a pacifist, no one questions what this means.

Being a feminist, to me, is the same. And that’s my prerogative

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be ‘weak’ or ‘whiny’

You don’t have to be a ‘victim’ to be a feminist. You just need to want equality. It’s. really. That. Simple.

You can be super strong and want equality (if you like). Like Michele Obama 🙂

You can give feminism a good name

Feel like feminists have a bad rep? Well, you can change that.

Anyway, I’m not saying deciding to take that great leap and claim the name is easy. But I will say that if you are brave to even say the ‘f’ word once a year, you will be giving it a new shine, a new lease of life. Because there is a stereotype of angry bra-burning feminist, people shy away from using the word. But it’s not a big deal. It’s like saying, I eat chicken, I am a pacifist, I believe in human rights. I believe in equality. It’s the same thing.

Sharing that you are a feminist can be scary, but once you’ve done it, it really becomes reassuring just HOW MANY people will support you in your boldness to claim the label; to make it clear that you stand for women’s rights, and to show that you are not a horrible man-eating ogre to boot! 😉

 

So there we have it, ten ways to feel more comfortable using the ‘f’ word. I hope it’s helped.

Overall I have made my peace with the fact that there are those out there that do not believe what I believe, who do not understand my need for equality, who will make arguments against why they don’t see the need. And that’s ok. Hopefully one day we will be able to connect. Or not. But that’s their role in life, and this is mine. And I have to play it out with as much gusto as I possibly can.

I think one reason my blog has had so much support and not one negative comment (again, so far!), is because I am usually positive with my posts, always looking for the best in any situation and supporting young women. There is no ‘down with men’ speak of any kind, because I love men, and I think being a woman is a wonderful thing to be, I just also want equality…

 

What do you think? Are you loving the word or does it not matter at all? Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks in advance for any little gifts you might want to give 🙂

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I am looking for a feminist designer

hairy armpits I am looking for a designer feminist AF t-shirtFeminist sweats. Source: Etsy via pinkboxstudio

Hey guys and gals,

I am wanting to create some super cool t-shirts with someone!

I am needing to make money, yes, and also really wanting to have people become a walking advert for feminism and all these lovely things we are talking about here on the Hairy Armpits Blog.

I’m hoping for someone who ‘gets’ the style that I am looking for and is kinda cool. No office politics here, just friendship and respect. I will never talk to you like a computer and we can sort out pay afterwards – whether that be a flat rate per design, or a little bit of money in for you each time a t-shirt is purchased.

I need someone who:

  • is confident in designing logos and images/text for t-shirts
  • likes what they do
  • respects deadlines (or ignores them, but essentially gets the work done, because they care, too)
  • has some training in this area, either self-trained or otherwise
  • ideally has less experience, so we can grow together – if you KNOW you have potential but no one else is giving you a chance, I am especially interested in working with you.
  • likes the idea of making my ideas into a reality, along with having the freedom to try out their ideas, providing I’m on board

…I mostly need someone who cares about the same things as me (equality, peace, humanitarianism, gender, the environment and hairy armpits) so we can make something awesome together and make some dough!

If you know someone who might be right for this position, share this post and I’ll see if we can get  them on board. If you’re interested in this position yourself, please contact me via my facebook page, or via elunedmurphy@outlook.com, thanks!

Love you!

Ellie xx

p.s. you don’t have to have hairy armpits to apply 😉

In response to… feminist boyfriends

in response to feminist boyfriend hairy armpitsFB. Source: jezebel

This is the response to my own post, rather than anything that has happened of late.

I just wanted to add on the clause that; when I am writing a fun article, I am in no way including misogynists who lie about being a feminist just to get into your pants, and possibly manipulate you in the name of feminism. There are many articles about this, so it seems to be a thing. I’ve never met a smooth talking faux, but I suppose looking out for the warning signs of manipulation in any relationship is always a healthy way to go.

So, if anyone is claiming feminist status, but does things like slap you on the butt and ask for a sandwich, then probably best to steer clear! Likewise, if a guy doesn’t explicitly say he is a feminist, but he does agree that equality for all is best and can empathise with the inequality you have experienced…

“Deeds, not words.”

“When people show you who they are, believe them.” Source: The Tube

5 Ways A Male Feminist Makes A Really Good Boyfriend

5 reasons you should go out with a male feminist hairy armpits pinterestFeminist boy. Source: Pinterest

This is another slightly silly post. But it’s true, a lot of women go weak at the knees for a feminist guy (or at least, I do!) and here’s why:

  1. He’s down with consent

A guy who is aware that when he offers a cup of tea, you might not want it at that particular point in time, and is ok with that becomes majorly attractive. Someone who understands what no means and respects it immediately and with little worry becomes someone we want in our corner.

2. He cares about you

If a guy cares about women’s rights and equality, then he cares about you and all women. That’s hot.

3. He is likely to be fair to you

Anyone that is on the side of equality is likely to show those same views within all of his relationships. Because fairness is important to him. Period.

4. He’s perceptive and empathic

A lot of people cannot see when inequality does not exist simply because it isn’t happening to them and they haven’t maybe understood (or they don’t want to) how this can effect any ‘minority’ group. (I say ‘minority’ as there are a few more women (1%) than men in my country today)

5. He will respect you

Anyone who sees women already as equal to men can see the good points about being a woman and respects women. It is those that believe women are ‘less than’ that do not appreciate women’s strengths. Likelihood is he will both appreciate and respect you.

This is not to say that all men (or women!) who proclaim themselves as feminist are perfect. But, if the right guy (or gal) comes along and they genuinely share these views… total bonus, right?!

If you liked this post and feel moved to give me a gift, I thank you in advance ❤

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So there you have it! What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

In response to… International Women’s Day 2017

hairy armpits blog in response to... international women's day 2017 8 marchWomen’s Day. Source: februarycalendars

This being a feminist website, I thought I’d best talk about the one day a year dedicated to celebrating women!

I usually don’t take much notice of it (which is perhaps ignorant, considering Annie Lennox’s wonderful and inspiring speech about the coming together of women of this day) as I write often about this subject, and I see everyday as a chance to inspire women; I see everyday as women’s day already. But a day to come together as a collective, to empower each other and to remember, that no woman is alone in this struggle for equality can only be a good thing in my book.

hairy armpits blog in response to... international women's day 2017 a lifeA life. Source: isis.aust

This year, sky are dedicating a week’s viewing to women’s achievements, the UN focused upon equality for women in the workplace by 2030, and Michelle Obama made an awesome speech about why young girls need to be educated.

Emma Watson once asked ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’ and I think this question answers all of the doubts those wondering about why a women’s day is needed. Because it’s one time when all of the issues we are concerned about can be discussed, together. And that is really empowering. Knowing there is a time for your voice to be heard, makes it easier to speak out knowing you will be supported. You were going to say it anyway, but it just makes sense to say it then.

So here’s to another 364.

 

If you liked this post and feel moved to give me a gift, I thank you in advance ❤

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What do you think? Are you a fan of women’s day? What did you do this year to celebrate? Let me know in the comments!

Inner Violence? Why your inner peace is so important for the planet today

hairy armpitspeace innerInner Buddha. Source: Your Life Your Way

There is a lot of talk of inner peace. And I just realised the real benefit of it.

I had always thought inner peace was all well and good.I like the feeling of peace, who doesn’t? ‘But it doesn’t help the people fighting in Palestine, I would argue. It doesn’t take direct action.’

I understood that we cannot give (much) to others, if we haven’t taken care of ourselves. But that was the most I valued in it. I didn’t see how it connected practically to the outer world. I thought finding ‘inner peace’ was a fluffy idea that didn’t really do anything much.

Yesterday I had a hard time getting starting on my writing work. I’m stuck in a difficult situation where I want my own independence but am too stuck in my ways of wanting to write my novel and change the world to manage to leave my mum’s house.

This whole situation creates a continual inner conflict.

Listening today to a talk about the Dalai Lama, I realised, that the harsh words I have been saying to myself, are actually contributing to violence on the planet- the one thing I do not want! I realised I was inflicting violence upon someone – myself. And that shouldn’t mean the violence is any less needed to resolve.

When I heard Jeremy Gilley (founder of Peace One Day) say that 98% of conflict is not in the war zone; it is in our communities, and we can all become peacemakers on our turf; it opened my eyes to the power we each have. All conflict is connected, and in a culture where conflict thrives (all you need to do is watch an episode of Coronation Street or open a newspaper, or even watch cartoons) , war becomes a much more feasible option.

And why is this important? I am not likely to be violent to others, although the jump from judging myself to judging someone else in a harsh way is not so far. It is most important to be able to be compassionate to myself when I have acted in a ‘not so perfect’ way, because if I can’t have compassion for myself when I am in pain, I will never be able to hear what is going on for anyone else when we are in conflict. If I can’t DEAL with myself and my emotions and can only ever see an enemy image in myself, then I cannot hear what is going on for someone else in another situation. And without that connection, violence wins. It’s that simple.

And as a pacifist, I do not want to contribute to violence. There is enough in this world.

And so the next time I begin chastising myself, I will begin a conversation with my inner educator.

I realise now that it starts with me. It starts with empathy. It starts with inner peace.

Marshall ❤ Source: The Tube

If you liked this post and feel moved to give me a gift, I thank you in advance ❤

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Ten hot men that are feminists

I was searching for some feminist inspiration, and noticed some guys standing up for women’s rights. And any guy who believes in equality and is #heforshe is instantly more attractive to me.

So, here we go:

  1. Ryan Gosling

ryan-gosling-she-knowsSource: sheknows

2. Matt McGory

matt-quote-on-feminism-matt-mcgorry-39280485-650-455actorSource: fanpop

3. Daniel Radcliffe

daniel-radcliffeSource: imgrum

4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

hiry-armpits-the-facts-take-part

Source: takepart

5. Patrick Stewart

love-patrick-stuartSource: Pinterest

6. Prince Harry

hairy armpits prince harry.jpegSource: sheknows

7. The Dalai Lama

hairy armpits dalai lama quote best-quotes-about-feminism-from-male-celebs-his-holiness-the-dalai.jpegSource: sheknows

8. John Legend

hairy-armpits-blog-john-legend-pinterestSource: Pinterest

9. Aziz Ansari

feminist-quote-29-picture-quotes-aziz-ansariSource: picture quotes

10. Will Smith

hairy armpits hot men quotes-feminist-male-will-smith.jpgSource: sheknows

11. Jay Baruchel

best-quotes-about-feminism-from-male-celebs-jay-baruchel.jpegSource: sheknows

If you feel moved to give me a gift, I thank you in advance. Let me know when you do if you like, I would love to connect with you! ❤

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