Just a little realization to share.
People think feminists are gender-obsessed. Why do you look at everything as though it were about gender or about women? Why do you overthink everything? Your obsession with gender is delusional! You see sexism everywhere, just because you’re looking for it. Or even just because you’re a woman and oversensitive. (This line of reasoning comes up in comments on feminist posts/articles near-constantly, as Margot Magowan illustrates/mentions here.)
But the truth is that we’re appalled at how gender-obsessed our culture is. We really just want to point that out and work away at it. We–as in feminists–would like to make visible how much gender policing is happening (and being ignored as ‘natural,’ unavoidable, normal, unremarkable). We’d like to articulate the degree to which assumptions based on gender shape people’s experiences and opportunities–often in harmful and limiting ways.
My feminism, at least, is about wanting gender to become a hell of a lot less central in our culture and in conversations we need to have about it. But that can’t happen in a real way by everybody just going LALALA while living in a pink-and-blue world.
So: feminists. Not so much gender-obsessed as upset by our culture’s gender obsession. *jazz hands*