Am I a Bad Feminist?

I am a die-hard feminist. A “grew up with the Spice Girls – GIRL POWER,” fight for equal pay, women control their own bodies, pink-hat wearing feminist. But I have a confession – I’m not sure I’m a very good feminist at all.

(c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

I’m a woman working in a male dominated industry and there have been times in my career and my life that I’ve used my femininity to my advantage. Here’s a short confessional of the things that I’ve done…

(1) Worn high heels to an interview because I know they make my butt look extra perky

(2) Shown a hint of cleavage in a meeting when trying to close a deal

(3) Used the knowledge that I’m the token woman in a room to my advantage by intentionally standing out more than I normally would

(4) Laughed coquettishly at jokes that weren’t the least bit funny

(5) Used the kind of perfume that sets off just the right combination of pheromones

(6) Batted my eyes at a man to get him to do something menial that I really didn’t want to do

(7) Pretended to not know how to do something characterized as masculine even though I’m completely capable of doing it myself

(8) Made the man drive on work road trips because “I have a terrible sense of direction”

(9) Placed my boobs strategically on the bar to get a drink faster from a male bartender

(10) Played the “You have to explain this to me again” card on something technical just so I could poke holes in a man’s theory but do it in a way that didn’t damage his fragile ego, or make me sound “bitchy”

I’ve done all of these things, and I’m not proud, but I’m not sure that I wouldn’t do them again. It’s hard being a woman in a male-dominated industry – I have to be smarter and more prepared than my male counterparts just to make myself heard. So if I use my femininity to gain a slight edge, does that make me a bad feminist?

“She Speaks” is an anonymous blog series that allows women to share their stories without revealing their identity. It is designed to make sure that all women’s voices are being heard and is not a forum for passive aggressive bullying or anonymous bashing, of a person, group or company. If you want to submit a post to She Speaks, email [email protected].

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I give a voice to the women who are concerned about sharing their story publicly. My mission is to give a voice to the women who want to start conversations, but who are concerned with sharing their identity, for one reason or another. My posts don’t reveal personal details that can identify particular people nor do I promote bullying or bashing others. I am designed to give women who can’t share their names an equal voice in the important conversations we are having at She In The CLE. Want me to share your story? Submit a post at

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • This post sounds a little fake. In the off chance that it is legit, here is my impression.

    Looks like you’re a FINO. (Feminist In Name Only)
    You’re claiming to be a feminist and a champion for equal treatment and respect of women, all the while deliberately and strategically using your femininity to tempt men into seeing you as a sex object. Isn’t that kind of exploitation exactly what the feminist movement is against when it is directed toward women? You may need to question your over-stated feminist commitment. Is it real, or just to be part of what you perceive to be an activist group you need to identify with, to fit in?

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