As a feminist, an ink lover, and a proud owner of a Riot grrrl tat, I'm all for the idea of feminist tattoos. I've been warned that getting tattoos expressing my political beliefs is risky, since one's politics sometimes change with time, but there is nothing more important to me and more liberating to my identity than radical feminism. Since I will be a queer AFAB non-binary person for the rest of my life, I will always benefit from the promise of feminism. As a person who is committed to creating visibility for marginalized people, the constant fight of making my feminism more intersectional is a journey I see myself embarking on for the rest of my life.
Of course, presidential candidates come and go, and it's not like I'm about to get a Bernie Sanders portrait tattooed on my bicep (not to worry, Dad). But fighting for the fundamental rights and privileges of marginalized identities and bodies is never going to "get old," nor is it simply "a phase." Oppression, unfortunately, will likely always be a thing that exists in this world and that we need to actively fight against. Here are some feminist tattoo ideas for those who are thinking of honoring their personal beliefs in permanent ink.
1. Girl Power
This tat is sweet, simple, and to the point. The font also exudes toughness and a DIY element as an embodiment of radical feminism.
2. Changing Things Up
This kickass tattoo depicts a more literal representation of the phrase "smash the patriarchy."
3. Chihuahua Rosie
Rosie the Riveter is already an iconic symbol of feminism's First Wave beginnings, when women took over the work force during war time. Swap out Rosie for a chihuahua, and this design is one of the cutest things to look at possibly ever.
4. An End To Catcalling
This tattoo is intense, but right up my alley. It kind of represents everything I fantasize about when a man won't leave me alone on the streets. It may seem extreme, but the ink definitely captures (albeit in a bit of an over-exaggerated, comedic way) the real frustration people face every day when dealing with cat callers.
Renowned for levelheadedness when it comes to political issues and for democratic and feminist opinions that contribute to Supreme Court decisions (i.e. legalizing gay marriage), Ruth Bader Ginsburg is definitely worth commemorating.
6. Subtle Yet Poignant
From my experience, feminist tattoos (and feminism in general) are often incredibly cis-washed. Acknowledging trans and non gender-conforming individuals with a trans symbol tattoo is a great way of making your feminism more intersectional.
7. Bra Burner
This tattoo is a little taste of Second Wave feminism, complete with a burning bra. Bras can be necessary, of course, especially for those with bigger breasts who want to avoid back pain. But this design is perfect for those who prefer not wearing bras and not being shamed for it.
8. Angry Feminist
The idea of the "feminist killjoy" is one of the most classic and sometimes overused sayings associated with feminism. However, it's still effective, IMO, and makes for one fun tattoo.
9. De-Stigmatizing Periods
This tattoo addresses the stigma of menstruation by embracing the shock value associated with menstrual blood. Personally, I love its boldness.
10. Reclaiming The Female Body
Perhaps this design is limited to feminists or feminine-presenting people with vaginas, but it can nonetheless be a powerful way of showing a little love for your reproductive system.
11. Like A Girl
This tattoo reclaims the idea of "fighting like a girl" while using lipstick to weaponize femininity.
This one's a simple reminder of the importance of carrying feminism with you each and every day.
13. My Body
IMO, this is an especially powerful tattoo meant to exercise autonomy over one's body and actions. Taking back control of oneself and one's own life is something women and feminine people the world over need to know they have a right to do.
Personally, I'll continue to wear my politics in my ink for a long time. Here's hoping these tattoos encourage you fellow body art lovers to do the same.
Image: Meg Zulch