9 Ways To Have A Feminist Christmas
Though activism may not be the first thing that jumps into your head when you think about the holidays, the facts are that there are loads of ways to have a feminist Christmas. In fact, applying feminist values to the traditional activities of the holiday season is actually pretty simple: donate to Planned Parenthood in your friends and family members' names in place of typical presents, give everybody gifts with a fabulous feminist twist, argue the finer points of pay inequality with that one relative (you know which one) over the turkey on Christmas Day. But if you want to have yourself a really feminist little Christmas, complete with all the bells, whistles and ornaments that look like vaginas, have I got the list for you. (Note: you certainly don't have to have a feminist Christmas, or celebrate Christmas at all, in order to be a feminist. You're not a "bad" feminist if you want or need to keep your holiday as traditional as the frosting on a gingerbread house).
But if you want to express your feminism in any holiday-themed way, have at it. And don't feel limited by the nine tips below — there are plenty of other ways to inject a little "sisterhood is powerful" into your "Silent Night." Bake a yule log in the shape of the feminism fist symbol. Run around dressed as Mrs. Claus and demand equal pay for your work at the North Pole. Watch films like Little Women, where women take the lead on festive cheer. Go caroling round your local governor's house and then quiz them on their stance on equal rights. Or just stay at home eating a gingerbread man and being body positive. It's all part and parcel of the same idea — that you don't need to abandon your beliefs in order to have any fun.
1. Decorate Your Tree With Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ginsburg herself may be Jewish, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't put her in the center of our Christmas decorating traditions. Put on your Notorious RBG T-shirt, and nab this ceramic Ruth Bader Ginsburg tree decoration from Zazzle for your tree. Even your most unevolved guest wouldn't dare throw out a misogynist message with Ginsburg's gaze staring down at them from amongst the twinkling lights.
2. Use Topical Throw Pillows For Guests
If you're interested in subtly weaving some feminist thinking into your home decor, there are some charming throw pillows from Redbubble to put out for guests when they file in for Christmas lunch. Boost Aunt May's back with a "Smash The Patriarchy" one, and your littlest cousin can sit on the "All I Want For Christmas Is Fundamental Human Rights" option. Comfortable and to the point! What more could you want in the festive season?
3. Wear Your Hedy Lamarr T-Shirt For Christmas Dinner
Don't known who Hedy Lamarr was? One word: badass. She was a Hollywood legend — a famous actor, the first woman to do a full nude scene in a widely released film, and a fantastic beauty. Oh, and in her free time, she just casually invented a kind of radio signaling technology that could be used to control torpedoes in WWII — a technological discovery that would later serve as the basis for wireless communication. It's a hell of a conversation starter — you may even get so many interesting discussions about women and technology going among your family members that they forget to argue about the gravy. So nab this Hedy T-shirt from Etsy for your festivities.
4. Give Ada's Algorithm To Everyone You Know
If you've pored through our gift guide and still can't find something suitable for everybody on your list, just pick up eight copies of this book on mathematician and computer pioneer Ada Lovelace and distribute them everywhere. This biography of Lovelace — daughter of famous poet Byron, who went on to engineer some of the first designs and programs for computers, leading some to refer to her as "the first computer programmer" — has a little bit of something for everyone. Does your friend like Byron and poetry? Then they'll find something to like in Ada's Algorithm. Do they like ladies of high fashion? Ada. Do they like computers and general kick-ass nerdery? Ada all over the place. Go even further and donate copies of this (or other beloved biographies about amazing women) to local holiday book drives.
5. Hang A Vagina Over Your Fireplace
Nobody has to know that's what this is, of course, if you don't want them to. To the unknowing eye, it's just a gentle sort of homemade Christmas ornament with a crystal decoration from Etsy, but you'll know you're secretly pushing the power of your vagina onto the entire festive occasion. Hell, cover your house in them if you feel so moved. I mean, the entire Christmas holiday is basically based on what comes out of vaginas, right?
6. Make Sure Your Stocking Tells Santa What's What
Have you been a good girl? Who the hell cares! Santa can get out of your business, and your stocking is a chance to tell him so. You're your own independent woman and you'll be taking your presents and making for the buffet table, thank you very much. The makers of this stocking say they were inspired by #YesAllWomen, which is reason enough to have it hanging all year round.
7. Fill Your Nativity With Beyonce, Gloria Steinem And Other Holy Figures
Three wise men? Why not have three wise queens, or a bunch of other inspirational figures hanging around your local manger? Paper dolls exist for Queen B, and Steinem's been called the queen of feminism, so you're in keeping with the royal theme if you stand a photo of her in your holiday display.
8. Enjoy Some Feminist Carols
Christmas carols are usually focused on religious sentiment or some bellowing about sleigh bells and jingling. (And a lot of Latin, if you're a traditionalist.) But Everyday Feminism tracked down some of the more feminist carols, which can be difficult to find in a holiday that celebrates womanhood in one very specific capacity: motherhood. (Which is highly excellent, of course — but where's the carol celebrating Mary's wherewithal and no-nonsense attitude at giving birth in a filthy barn watched by cows?)
From Rudolph the reindeer's freedom from discrimination to Yoko Ono and John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," the list is short but pretty charming. Check it out and then fill your ears with powerful women's voices as you deck the halls.
9. Put Elizabeth Cady Stanton And Susan B. Anthony On Your Table
Even if you're not a habitual chef by nature, Bust's feminist holiday recipes will be one of the best things you read all festive season. With ideas from "Rutabaga Ginsburg" to "Susan Beet Anthony" and "Elizabeth Candied Stanton Sweet Potatoes," you can derive enormous pleasure from giving the recipes to every guest who smacks their lips and asks for your guidance. I'm not entirely sure that the famously vegetarian Gloria Steinem would approve of the Stein-ham produced in her honor, but hey, during the holidays, you know that you can't please everybody; so just carve that sucker and sing joyfully about goodwill to all men and women while you do it.
Images: Getty, Zazzle, Redbubble, Etsy, Amazon