Here’s the problem with feminism: it makes Birthday presents very hard. Particularly when it comes to gift-giving. Of course, most women are content with something pink and expensive. But what about those feminists who demand presents that don’t prop up the patriarchy, gifts that don’t give in to gender stereotypes, trinkets that don’t trade in transmisogyny and objects that don’t objectify? It’s a minefield, basically – and one you should tread carefully. Everyone knows feminists don’t have a sense of humour.
Thankfully, there are already numerous gift guides tailored to the feminist in your life – you know, as opposed to all those other women who are not interested in equal-gifting rights. According to these guides, feminist-friendly presents include a Uterus Plush Figure (“an informative tag describes the wonders of the womb”); a $155 (£122) Vagina Charm Necklace and a body-positive iPhone case.
These are all bloody good suggestions, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, however, a feminist just has more vagina charm necklaces than she knows what to do with. So, I’ve helpfully put together a few more ideas to help you close the gift gap for your girlfriend’s birthday.
1. A nice broomstick
Definitions of feminism can differ so it’s worth quickly recapping what the f-word actually means. Pat Robertson, an American televangelist, might have said it best when he described feminism as a movement that “encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practise witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians”. Now, I hate to make sweeping generalisations, but if you’re going to practise witchcraft, then you’re going to need a broomstick.
2. A witty slogan T-shirt
If you’re a feminist but don’t have a T-shirt proclaiming you’re a feminist, are you really a feminist? Probably not. Women have never had so much freedom to purchase hideous T-shirts that let the world know that they truly do buy into feminism. With slogans such as “Girls just wanna have fun-damental human rights”; “Who needs gender roles when we can have pizza rolls?”; or “Ovaries before Brovaries”, you can show the world how important it is to have equal access to terrible puns.
3. A mullet
The bigger, the better. What, did you think the patriarchy was going to topple itself?
4. A pinky ring
If you like feminism, you should put a ring on it. More specifically, you should put a pinky ring on it. Fred+Far, an LA-based jewellery company, offers a “self-love pinky ring” billed as an anti-engagement ring. “Woman,” the website says, “reclaim yourself … choose power, choose fulfilment, choose choice … choose yourself.” If you think this sounds like some grade A bullshit rather than Serious Feminism™, I’d caution you not to be so cynical and have a little feminist faith. Buy a $325 (£256) pinky ring and equal rights will undoubtedly follow.
5. Some fancy makeup
Don’t let anyone tell you that makeup is a foundation of patriarchal oppression; makeup is war paint. Suffragettes suffered for our right to go to Sephora and we should celebrate this freedom, not debate it. In case you still need convincing that eyeliner won’t ruin your feminist credentials, may I remind you that the Nigerian writer and feminist role model, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is a beauty ambassador for Boots No. 7. In an interview regarding this role, Adichie says that she wanted to be “part of the message that women who like makeup also have important and serious things that they’re doing in their lives … it’s time to really stop that ridiculous idea that somehow if you’re a serious woman you can’t and should not care about how you look.” So, there you go: makeup still maketh you a feminist. A(wo)men to that. See the pun there?