The more places I visit, people I meet, and books I read, the more I realize that, unfortunately, most people don't think the way feminists do. But I feel like most of the "weird" thoughts feminists have — which can be about everything from the representation of women in media to the environmental impact of tampons — are really just thoughts all humans should be having. So in that way, you might say that it's not having these thoughts in the first place that's truly weird.
Personally, I love that feminism challenges me to think differently than I'm "supposed to" about my body, my sexuality, my romantic relationships, my family life, my culture, my goals, my impact on society, how I eat, what kind of films I watch, how I interact with other women, and basically every other aspect of my life. Feminist thinking empowers me, and sometimes, it calls me on my bullshit, too. In fact, many of my "weird," feminist thoughts have helped me find the resolve to leave bad relationships, the courage to travel alone, and the conviction to be a more ethically and environmentally-conscious consumer.
To me, thinking like a feminist means thinking about how you can make your world a better place to live in. (Or, you know, how you can afford to watch feminist porn while on a budget.) Of course, I can't speak for all feminists, but I think it's safe to assume the following are seven "weird" thoughts most feminists have probably had at some point.
1. “I Can’t Believe I Used To Love This Movie”
Realizing the movies you cherished as a kid are actually offensive as hell is a sad thought most feminists don't get to avoid. Recently, I came to this realization when I tried to watch Dumb and Dumber with some friends of mine. I hadn't seen it in about 10 years, and I was really stoked to watch it as a grownup, but I couldn't even get halfway through it before I had to bail.
Lloyd and Harry treat all the women they meet like crap, and the female characters barely even call them out on it. In fact, with the exception of the woman who's trying to kill Lloyd and Harry, most of the women they run into are disturbingly meek. Oh, and the movie tries to make rape funny, too. I mean, I know Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are supposed to be playing socially inept idiots, but the sexist, racist, and homophobic themes in this movie just aren't funny. I'm embarrassed that I ever liked it.
Then, of course, there all those Disney movies and teen rom-coms. We may still love them, but feel conflicted about them when we re-watch them, noticing everything that's problematic.
2. “I Hate How Much This Song Makes Me Want To Dance”
Any feminist who loves music has probably had this thought. I know I have. It really sucks, because songs like "679" by Fetty Wap and "Hotline Bling" by Drake or "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke are so dang dance-y — and even mood-boosting at times — but their lyrics are undeniably problematic.
I won't pretend being a feminist keeps me from listening to misogynistic music every once in a while. I mean, I don't think I'll ever stop enjoying the rhythmic beauty of certain songs, but as a feminist, I just can't dance around to sexist music without feeling conflicted — and I know I'm not alone on this one.
3. “I Wonder If My Friends Would Split The Cost Of A Feminist Porn Subscription With Me”
Feminists, like myself, enjoy porn just as much as anyone else. But most of the free stuff you'll find on mainstream sites is pretty clearly marketed to straight men — and can be very problematic. Unfortunately, the kind of porn that most feminists want to watch isn't typically free, because nothing good comes cheap.
This is why I've been thinking about asking a few of my friends to share the cost of a feminist porn subscription with me. I know for a fact I'm not the only feminist who thinks about stuff like this, either, because I got the idea from one of my NYC buddies. I mean, if friends can share online TV subscription logins, why not share porn, too?
4. “I Should Really Start Using More Eco-Friendly Period Products”
I love tampons, but every time I buy a box, I feel like I'm killing the earth. Most of us menstruating folks will end up throwing out between 10,000 and 15,000 pads and tampons in our lifetimes — all of which gets tossed straight into landfills.
Since feminism is about making the world a better place, I feel like most feminists can't help but think about the fact that switching to a menstrual cup or investing in some THINX period panties is one relatively easy way we can positively impact the health of our planet. Personally, I think about it every time I get my period, but I still haven't taken the time to make the switch — yet.
5. “Where Did This Milk Come From?”
OK, so I don't know that the majority of feminists have this thought, because I don't know if I ever would have thought about this if I hadn't briefly lived in New York and met some well-informed vegans. That said, I think a lot of feminists care about living ethically, and this includes where they get their milk.
Until recently, I just wasn't aware of all the horrors female cows go through just so people can drink milk and eat dairy, but after reading about how female cows are enslaved, forced to be perpetually pregnant, and then robbed of their children, I can't not think about where my milk and other dairy is coming from now.
6. “Did I Just Mentally Slut-Shame Her?”
I'll be the first to admit that I still find myself mentally slut-shaming women sometimes. I think of myself as a sex positive person, I love revealing fashion, and I think going topless should be legal everywhere, but that doesn't always keep me from making snap judgments about sex workers or women who wear super tight clothes. I hate it, and I don't even know it's happening until it's already happened, but I feel like slut-shaming is a culturally ingrained habit most feminists have to work hard to break.
Unfortunately, even the most staunch of feminists (like myself) were unconsciously conditioned to slut-shame from childhood, and that doesn't just go away overnight.
7. “Am I Being Too Feminist?”
We live in a culture where many people still have the mentality that continuing to "bring up" feminism and women's rights, especially when it concerns gender inequality in the West, is divisive and/or whiny. That's complete crap, though, because we wouldn't need to keep "bringing up" the current state of women's rights, both domestically and globally, if silence was an option. The answer to this question is obviously a resounding, "Nope!"