Jo “Joreen” Freeman opens The BITCH Manifesto with this quote by Simone de Beauvoir:
‘…man is defined as a human being and woman is defined as a female. Whenever she tries to behave as a human being she is accused of trying to emulate the male…’
So I will open my anecdotal field guide to feminism with a quote from Joreen’s manifesto:
“Bitches seek their identity strictly thru themselves and what they do. They are subjects, not objects.”
‘I am a feminist!’ I proudly slur, upper body toppling gallantly towards my ‘Tinder date’. He maintains a polite look of confusion dappled with underlying trepidation. ‘Really?’ he ventures, looking longingly into his G&T, clearly concerned about the future of this evening. As I begin to answer, Snoop Dogg comes over the pub’s sound system and I immediately drop everything to rap each vulgar, demoralizing, misogynistic lyric complete with dance moves. This evident contradiction further confuses my date, but the rap is far more palatable, so the topic of feminism is comfortably laid to rest for the most part.
This situation has more or less occurred on several occasions, different men, different songs, same confusion, same contradictions. While I am pleased with my confidence to declare my feminist leanings to a man (or anyone for that matter), I too, am slightly confused by my incongruous nature.
Can I like rap and be a feminist?
What about Britney Spears?
How do I act on a date with a man and not scare him off?
Am I a feminist artist?
And what does that even mean?
These are a few of the many questions (perhaps not specifically) that the budding feminists of today face in the wake Civil Rights Era Feminism, New Wave Feminism and Post-Feminism. I will draw discussion from various theorists, feminist writers, scientific studies, music, media and pop culture; from the obvious and flamboyant to the seemingly silly and benign, because feminism makes its home in many spheres. The final product will serve as a kind of personal, on-going manifesto; a field guide for the slightly contradictory, periodically boozy and often self-conscious young feminist to negotiate daily life.
Due to the personal nature of this endeavour, the majority of the texts will be from a Western, and specifically, Caucasian American standpoint, whereas the experience of feminism for others in different parts of the world will vary widely from my own.
**FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT DO NOT KNOW WHAT ‘CRAY’ MEANS:
 Jo ‘Joreen’ Freeman, ‘The BITCH Manifesto’ in Notes from the Second Year (eds.) Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt (1970).
 Freeman, ‘The BITCH Manifesto’, 1970.