The virtues of being mouthy, talking back, etc…

I think this is the first time I’ve chosen to take a theme for a feminist carnival head on. When I first found out Bitch|Lab was hosting the next one, I was all set to write on sex positive feminism. First because this blog hasn’t had what can be considered an “upbeat” post in a while, and also because it’s an excuse to write on a subject that I don’t actually write about a lot. But her suggested theme about writing on the virtues of being mouthy caught my eye. I am, without a doubt, a mouthy author. Sometimes to the point where I have to put up an apology because my mouthiness crossed the line into viciousness.

Being mouthy is both liberating and infuriating. I say what I feel, how I feel it, but because it’s threatening — especially coming from a woman — it also means that, regardless of how right or wrong I am on an issue, I get hatred poured on me. There are times when I think it’s a virtue, there are times when I think it’s a curse, but, ultimately it’s just me.

This is who I am. I can no more change this about myself than I could stop breathing. And, furthermore, I’m proud of who I am. Even when it causes me pain to deal with the harassment I get, even when it causes me pain that I get called a facist because I don’t let people vomit all over my blog with their bile, even when I think to myself that this is what my life will be: an endless round of being smacked down by people who don’t like what I say and how I say it. Even then, I know myself. I know that I have to do what I think is right. And I know that it isn’t all about the bad.

I know there are people out there struggling the same way I do. Dealing with what I do. Maybe they’re stronger than me. Maybe they’re not. But if I didn’t fight, then how could I come to know these wonderful people? Blogging has brought me some of my best friends, it has brought me together with people who believe in doing what they believe is right. We’re all mouthy in our own ways. We don’t always agree. But this is a community we’re building. A solitary mouthy person is just one voice against the crushing tide of people who want to silence voices they don’t like, but a community of us is not so easily silenced.

And that, I think, is where the virtue lies. Call me what you like — mouthy, bitch, man-hater, etc. — but know that there’s nothing you can say to me to change who I am. I’m an outspoken feminist who believes in advocating for what she sees right. And I’m not the only one.

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3 thoughts on “The virtues of being mouthy, talking back, etc…

  1. Holla.

    And since i’m in a quote kinda mood…vintage Faludi: “Because, whatever new obstacles are mounted against the future march toward equality, whatever new myths invented, penalties levied, opportunities rescinded, or degradations imposed, no one can ever take from the American woman the justness of her cause.

  2. I’m a very “mouthy” person myself. (Even as a little kid, people would complain to my mom every now and then that I was rude to them, though I suspect the standards of “rude” for me, a little girl, would have been different than for a boy my age…) I probably just gave them the attention I thought they deserved (little to none :p).

    My parents are careful to praise me for speaking up, too, and have been my whole life, which I am endlessly grateful for. Even in fights with them, after we cool off and make up, often one of them will mention that they are proud of me for taking a stand and arguing what I think is right, even if they disagree or don’t enjoy it (or if I do it maybe not-so-considerately). My dad is very assertive (…um, sometimes aggressive) like me, but my mom was very much trained as a child to default to polite and quiet, and act “nice” even if the other person’s behavior was rude or abusive. Luckily, she has used her experience with that crappy upbringing as a prompt to ensure that her daughters never feel obligated to endure in silence, or shut up in the face of opposition. She’s my biggest supporter in the “tell ’em off!” situations. 🙂

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