When we talk about the young feminists, and their image problem, and whether their “clumsy,” bad-PR-move feminism is RUINING IT FOR EVERYBODY, we’re ignoring the fact that, well, they’re doing something. They’re not like most people; they’re not standing on the sidelines, contributing their very useful comments on how THEY would NEVER fuck up in that particular way, they’re too smart, they’re too sophisticated, they know what’s wrong with everything, that’s why they never do anything, you see, they are such geniuses it has made them weary. Nobody likes to feel like a fuck-up. And when you fuck up feminism, you fuck up something that a lot of people need. But the only option, other than going out there and giving it a shot and potentially fucking up and RUINING EVERYTHING, is to stop trying. And imperfect efforts can actually pay off. If, for example, you want to make the point that calling women “sluts” who deserve to be raped because of how they dress is screwed up, and you put together this silly protest by the seat of your pants, well, sometimes that goes nowhere. And sometimes folks end up having conversations about your point. In the pages of the New York Times.
I would rather see a bunch of imperfect people fucking up for the right reasons than see a bunch of perfectly competent, brilliant people doing nothing because they don’t want to take a risk or represent feminism “incorrectly.”