Googling the term won’t give you the exact results, but what you’ll get won’t be unimportant in this context. Recently, someone on Twitter reacted to a dismissive article on the progress of Filipino feminism by asking what the Filipino equivalent of white feminism was because the article in question was the epitome of it. Exclusive feminism has always been something that has angered me and conversations critical of it often pique my interest, so I gave the term ‘pastel feminism’ a deeper and more negative context. Though not exclusively Filipino or any nationality/ethnicity/race for that matter, pastel feminism is the cuter but more annoying cousin of white feminism, and it should anger all of us.
Pastel feminism, in the simplest terms, is sweet. The kind of sweet that gives you a toothache and probably some cavities if you’ve had too much of it. What makes it so widespread is its palatability, how it manages to (claim to) stand for something while straying away from the controversial: politics, class inequality, systematic oppression, the plights of activists/farmers, and topics grossly underreported by the media. Often conventionally attractive, half-white, or some kind of influencer, pastel feminists share their sentiments, Rupi Kaur poems, or pastel-colored feminist art bearing messages like “support all women!”, “stop pitting women against each other”, or anything related to pussy power (oops, wrong wave of feminism!), and call it a day. Their fans are quick to voice their adoration for their pastel feminists faves labeling them as “revolutionary” and “woke” like they don’t recycle their narratives. If you can’t name at least one pastel feminist, then you’re probably using your time wisely and outside of the cesspools called Twitter and Instagram. Pastel feminists want to be poster girls of the woke movement without stepping out of their comfort zones and making controversial stances in fear of ruining their brand or ‘gram when feminism is inherently controversial. In conclusion, pastel feminism and its perpetrators can choke.
Snarky jokes aside, why are we still tolerating pastel feminists? Not that white feminists are better than the aforementioned, but we’ve stopped giving them free passes to be exclusionary, so why can’t we do the same for pastel feminists. White feminism may usually be the first kind of feminism we’re exposed to, but we’ve evolved from there and made our ideologies much more inclusive in the process. With the plethora of disturbing issues happening around the world and numerous conversations and resources everywhere, it shouldn’t be hard to open one’s eyes to the chaos in our planet and considered vile to choose to shut them again once you don’t like what you’re seeing.
In a world full of bitterness and hate, pastel feminism wants us to forget pressing matters and see feminism as something that needs to stay positive, adorable, and dreamy no matter what. And if there’s anything worse than perpetrating hate, it’s pretending that it doesn’t exist.
Image via Ambivalently Yours.