9 Reasons Being Super Girly Doesn't Make You A Bad Feminist

Ad failed to load

While the true meaning of feminism has never changed, our culture's perception of feminism and feminists certainly has. And while it's still taking some time for many people to get used to — only 20% of the American people feel comfortable identifying as a feminist, even though 82% claim they believe in gender equality — more and more people (men and women, mind you) are proudly identifying as feminists.

That means that feminists come in all shapes and sizes, with varying preferences. Now, being a feminist doesn't mean you're a lesbian man-hater. Instead, being a feminist can mean you're a stay-at-home mom, a woman who shaves every part of her body, or a single father. A working mom is a feminist, a woman who is happily married is a feminist... Basically, there are essentially no other qualities, habits, or life choices that a person can possess that would absolutely exclude them from being a feminist. You can be just about anything and also a feminist. This includes being "girly."

Now, I need to preface all of this by saying that even the title "girly" sits harshly on the tips of my typing fingers. "Girly" — thanks to a misogynistic patriarchy that has devalued women and actions that our society perceives to be feminine — comes with a stereotype of weakness. If you're describing someone as "girly," you're probably implying that they're soft and fragile and need someone stronger, tougher (and probably a dude, let's be honest) to protect and/or take care of them. "Girly" is a word meant to embody certain characteristics and qualities that were long ago attached to women (for ~super casual~ reasons like...controlling an entire half of the human population, devaluing women, and continuing to place political and social power in the hands of men; mostly white, heterosexual men). But the truth is, there are plenty of men who like things that many would perceive to be "girly," and when they do, they are often criticized for being "girly" because, you guessed it, being "girly" is bad.

Ad failed to load

But it isn't. It isn't if you're a man, it isn't if you're a woman, and it certainly isn't if you're a feminist. If you're super girly, that simply means that you like things that have randomly been deemed "for girls" in the most patronizing, belittling sense, but it in no way means that you're a lacking feminist who is furthering the goals of misogynists the world over by liking these things. So, with that in mind, here are nine reasons why being super girly doesn't make you a bad feminist. Feminism is all about choices, so girl, go ahead and choose the things you like.

Ad failed to load

You're Secure In Who You Are


While more people are choosing to identify as a feminist, there are still aging stereotypes that deter most of the American public from proudly flying the flag of feminism. While many are hesitant to call themselves feminists, 82% of the population claim that they believe in gender equality.

Clearly there's a communication issue at hand; a problem with what people perceive feminism to mean, versus what it actually means. Many women (and men) believe that getting married means you're a bad feminist, shaving means you're a bad feminist, etc. But the truth is, a "girly" feminist knows that not only do none of those things have anything to do with feminism, but that changing your behavior so that people can more easily see that you're ~totally~ a feminist, is the opposite of feminism.

You're Not Letting Stereotypes Define You

Just like a feminist doesn't let gender stereotypes define them, a "girly" feminist isn't going to let the stereotypes our culture has attached to feminism define them. Just because a (shockingly) large population of our society still thinks that being a feminist means being a "man-hater," that doesn't mean you're going to change your likes and dislikes, just to appease the masses. You won't force yourself to like football, wear black all the time, or invest your time in any other activity that our society has deemed "manly" just to try and make it easier for certain individuals to identify as you as feminist. (Especially because that identifier would be extremely inaccurate: Liking football or wearing black does not a feminist make.)

Feminine Is Strong


Liking pink, wearing makeup, dressing up and enjoying a good cuddle session with a puppy and a romantic comedy, says nothing of a person's intellect or strength. Those qualities — which many men possess too, by the way — do not lessen a person's overall worth, and certainly don't speak to a person's innate capabilities.

In fact, the only reason those characteristics are considered "girly" and others are not, is because somewhere along the line of our social evolution, the powers that be (ahem, men) determined that humans needed to be categorized by gender, and turned specific likes, dislikes, and actions into gender identifiers because humans are sometimes lazy and the worst.

Ad failed to load

You Believe Yourself Equal To Anyone Else

A feminist who loves the color pink, shaves every hair off of her body, and/or doesn't mind letting a dude pick up the dinner check, is no worse or less than the feminist who only wears black, refuses to shave, and aggressively opens all of her own doors. The very definition of feminism is the belief in equality. Real, true, for everyone equality — and that means equality of the sexes, and equality within the feminist community.

Your Likes And Dislikes Don't Make You Less Than


It bares repeating. What. You. Like. Doesn't. Impact. Your. Self. Worth. (Unless what you like is Donald Trump. I mean, I'm trying not to judge, but maybe you should evaluate yourself a little.)

Liking something, or not liking something, doesn't make your better or worse than anyone else. Just because a woman values a good rom-com and a day of pampering at her local spa, doesn't mean she is incapable of fighting for gender equality in a very real, very honest, and very passionate way.

You Don't Believe Women Should Mock Other Women

A true feminist wouldn't mock another woman for her choices. While many women believe that marriage will never be a feminist choice, and many don't see motherhood as a feminist choice either, that doesn't mean that the feminists who do decide to get married and/or have children, should be mocked, ridiculed, or considered less than those who do not make those same choices.

The entire original point of feminism was to give women freedom to make their own choices about their body, their lives, their careers, their families, and their futures. Those choices, regardless of how they may differ from our own, should be valued and appreciated, not judged and looked down on.

Ad failed to load

You Use The Patriarchy's Assignments For You Against Them


You don't have to spend your time and energy fighting for the right to simply like what you like, because, well, what you like is considered "normal" for a woman. However, when you're a feminist who also happens to like those things, you're in a fantastic position to turn the patriarchy on itself. The fight for equality isn't about limiting the choices women have, but about expanding them. And as a woman who fits within the "status quo," you have the unique opportunity to fight for women who may not like what you like, but certainly do deserve the right to find their own niches and enjoy their own preferences, too.

You're Not Undermining The Work Of Other Feminists

Just because you choose to adhere to gender norms or fit within a socially constructed ideal of beauty, doesn't mean you're spitting on the work of every feminist that has ever come before you. On the contrary, you're exercising your rights that countless women have fervently fought (and continue to fight for) today. I'm usually not one to speak for others, but I'd venture to guess that the feminists of old wouldn't want the women of today to feel beholden to a specific ideal, or shackled to certain preferences that would make them easily identifiable as a feminist. I would guess that those women would simply want us to live our lives, however, whenever, and in whatever manner we choose.

You Don't Attach Arbitrary Meaning To Preferences


Shaving your legs doesn't mean that you worship the patriarchy; letting a man open the door for you doesn't mean that you're a slave to misogyny; wearing makeup doesn't mean that you're desperate to adhere to social beauty standards. Are those things true sometimes? For some, I'm sure they are. But the only way to know that for sure is to actually get to know the person. It's about time we stop looking at what a person likes, dislikes, or even how a person looks, only to make sweeping assumptions about them.

Sorry that there are no shortcuts to unburden you of the work of getting to know who people really are (which is all stereotypes basically exist to do). Ask people questions. Engage in conversation. Get to know someone (I mean really get to know them) because attaching arbitrary meanings to something as simple as a person's favorite movie, is old news.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills