I have, I think, discovered what true happiness is. It’s not a warm summer’s day, or a lazy morning with the love of your life. It’s not finding a career you love, or having a family by your side for all of life’s adventures.
No, true happiness can be found on a bus. Or a train. Or maybe a tram–but I’ve never been on a tram, so I couldn’t say for certain. It’s a small thing, is true happiness. You might not even notice it unless you’re looking for it. But it’s there. On every morning commute and every late night journey home, it’s there.
See, true happiness is what you feel when you try to suppress a laugh in public. When you’re reading a book–or listening to a podcast–and you read or hear something so funny that, for a moment, you want to forget social norms and the niceties of public transport and erupt into laughter. And I mean proper laughter–not that half-arsed giggle you do when your boss makes a joke that’s not really funny. Proper belly laughter that’s loud and undignified and full of joy.
“The Guilty Feminist isn’t about being a perfect feminist.”
You might not think comedy and feminism go hand in hand, but listen to one episode of The Guilty Feminist and you’ll be wondering why Mock the Week hasn’t done a feminism special yet (okay, you know why–TV panel shows are horrifically misogynistic–but you can dream, right?).
Every week, Deborah is joined by a co-host and a special guest. Every week, they discuss their noble goals as feminists, and the hypocrisies and insecurities that undermine them. And the hypocrisies are the important bit.
Because The Guilty Feminist isn’t about being a perfect feminist. It’s not about knowing everything there is to know about intersectionality. It’s not about living a life that’s devoid of internalised misogyny. The Guilty Feminist is about saying ‘Hey. I’m a feminist. But I’m also human, and I f*ck things up.’
Nothing sums this up better than The Guilty Feminist’s opening segment–I’m a feminist, but…
I’m a feminist…. but I secretly like being cat called.
I’m a feminist… but I’ve never read bell hooks.
I’m a feminist… but I spend £50 a throw on foundation.
“Unexplained public laughter disrupts the patriarchy. What could be more feminist than that?”
On The Guilty Feminist, nobody is perfect–but everybody is trying. And that’s the other important bit. The Guilty Feminist is about recognising that you’re not a perfect feminist–but trying to do better all the same.
And this is exemplified by our glorious host, Deborah Frances-White. Over the last year, we’ve watched (okay, heard) DFW learn about ableism and racism and a whole host of other -isms. We’ve watched (okay, heard) her strive to invite and include diverse guests on every show. We’ve watched (okay, hea–you get the gist) her grow as a feminist whilst remaining hilarious, heart-felt, and honest.
Over the last year, we’ve watched Deborah become a better feminist. And over the last year, we’ve done the same.
With each episode of The Guilty Feminist, we’re introduced to new voices and new opinions and new ideas. We’re met with encouragement and practical advice and a feeling that we’re all in this together. But most importantly, when we listen to The Guilty Feminist, we’re happy. We’re so happy that we burst into unexplained laughter on public transport.
And as Deborah says–unexplained public laughter disrupts the patriarchy. What could be more feminist than that?
Image via guiltyfeminist.com