I've never felt connected to feminism, and I think I finally figured out why. First, a disclaimer: I totally believe there should be no disparity between the sexes. So my disconnection from feminism has nothing to do with disagreeing with it.
No, it has completely to do with my perception that feminism in activist form comes from a place of insecurity.
This commenter on I Blame the Patriarchy sums it up perfectly:
And isn't that wonderful to think of? That it may be true there was a time when women liked themselves and they were honoured for their sexuality?
Wait a sec...since when don't I like myself?
And since when is my being a woman, my genitalia, my sexuality shameful?
See, I never, ever, ever, ever, ever in the history of my life had a time when I thought there was anything wrong, shameful, embarrassing, dirty, or lesser about being a woman or having a vulva. When I got to college and found people flailing their arms about over the subjugation of women, I had no idea what they were talking about.
It's the fortune of my upbringing. My parents tell me they made a concerted effort not to differentiate between my brother and me based on sex. Growing up, we girls dominated the classroom and the after-school clubs (well, we didn't dominate Math Club, but we were in it, and when we skipped a grade in math, we did it 50-50 boys-girls).
I'm lucky to have had that upbringing, but it makes me really mad when feminists tell me I'm wrong not to be outraged. It makes me mad when they imply that if I'm not offended, if I don't feel subjugated, I'm simply not as perceptive as they are.
How about I grew up in a great setting that encouraged youth equally? How about I had the upbringing that everyone should have? How about I'm what feminism aims for, a woman who acts according to her own will and not because of the arithmetic of the patriarchy?
No: if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.
Bullshit. I'm not outraged because I know it's a waste of my time. The world isn't going to change through outrage, through angry blog posts whose readers are the choir. The world is going to change through action, and the most pro-vulva thing any woman can do is go shove herself out there in any way she pleases and live her life according to her own goals and desires.
If we teach our daughters that the world hates women, that's all they'll see. They'll see it in places where it's not even true. If, instead, we raise them outside of the idea that there is any disparity between men and women, they'll be brazen, confident, and without a clue that vulva is something shameful.