I’m on a diet, and you should be, too. My diet started my first year of college, when I looked around at my peers and knew I needed to change. I needed to be healthier and more active.
That’s when I went on the Feminist Diet. I began making healthier choices in friends and became active in politics. Instead of being critical of myself in the mirror, I became critical of the media and how I use certain labels. I devoured social justice factoids, weighing different opinions on an activist scale.
Sometimes following the Feminist Diet is hard, so I created recipes for my own Feminist Cookbook. And really, it’s not even a diet — it’s a lifestyle. Here are some of my favorite recipes that are not only healthy for you, but also for the rest of the world:
- Backgrounds from a multitude of classes, races, religions and genders
- 4 oz. of mutual respect
- A sprinkle of awareness
- 1 cup of humanity
Directions: Mix the backgrounds, humanity and respect in a blender on “high.” Rim a glass with the sour yet necessary taste of awareness. Drink down that margarita like every gulp is washing away the patriarchy. Best served with a side of social justice.
Health benefits: Mainstream research on women’s health often excludes minorities, low-income women and women with disabilities, according to an International Journal for Equity in Health article, pushing researchers to take an intersectionality approach. Drowning ourselves in intersectionality margaritas means learning more about how identities intersect and how oppression and privilege play into these narratives so we can build health policies, opportunities and initiatives to meet those needs.
- 3 shards of glass from the ceiling Malala just broke
- An infinitesimal amount of gunpowder from the bullet that almost took Malala’s life in 2012 when the Taliban attacked her on her way home from school
- 8 oz. of bravery
Directions: Crumble the glass as you would crumble the patriarchy until it’s a fine dust, then add it to the gunpowder. Bake at 200 degrees (one degree for every Syrian girl that can have an education because of the Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School that opened in 2015). Cook for the amount of time it takes you to read I Am Malala. After taking it out of the oven, let the feminist flames cool. Top it off by frosting the cake with sweet bravery, whipped into a frenzy. Enjoy at an intimate dinner with friends while discussing the benefits of women’s education.
Health benefits: Higher levels of education empowers women and improves their well being, according to a report by the International Center for Research on Women. The report also states that education increases women’s ability to discuss HIV with a partner and leave an abusive relationship.
- 100 cups of whiskey (at least one cup for every year it will take the wage gap to close, according to the American Association of University Women…and also because the wage gap makes me want to drink)
- Three spritz of the sour taste you get in your mouth when someone asks, “Can women really have it all?”
Directions: Pour only 79 percent of the whiskey into cups, because this drink is for women. Pour even less if you’re a woman of color. Add the sour spritz and stir. Don’t forget to pour a glass for our fallen feminist homies who have battled these injustices long before we were alive.
Health benefits: Fair wages are good for the economy’s health. Providing equal pay would cut poverty rates among working women in half, according to a 2014 report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. With the extra 21 cents per dollar, women can buy food, health services and a ton of regular whiskey sours.
- 2 slices of rainbow goodness
- A spectrum of identities
- 4 cups of diversity
- A splash of equality
Directions: Place the identities in between the rainbows. To create a savory sauce for the club, mix the diversity and the equality until it’s as fluid as gender. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Pick and choose the ingredients that feel right to you. There is no wrong way to make this recipe, as long as you love the sandwich you make.
Health benefits: LGBT individuals are three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This sandwich can’t directly fix those issues, but it can reduce the prejudices and biases the community faces.
- Sausage (the bigger, the better — feel free to brag about how big your sausage is, especially at a GOP debate)
- A dollop of John Oliver’s “Donald Drumpf” sauce
- Whatever else you want because there are no repercussions for any actions with this jambalaya
Directions: Boil only 77 percent of the meat, the same percentage of Trump statements that Politifact found either “false,” “mostly false” or “pants on fire.” Save the other 23 percent of the meat to build a wall to keep out every stereotype that pervades society. For a more bitter taste, feel free to throw in some spicy, controversial phrases to your jambalaya such as “I like people who weren’t captured,” “They’re rapists” and “A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a ten.” Lastly, stop what you’re doing and “make America great again” by throwing this shiz in the garbage and taking the “Drumpf” to go. Note: This recipe is better when it’s made with extremely small hands.
Health benefits: Zip. Zero. Zilch.
Education, money and identities intersect with mental and physical health. By exploring these ingredients, we’re not only taking steps to advocate for these issues but also building our own strong communities and support systems. So experiment with the recipes and perhaps discuss them with your friends, because advocacy tastes better when shared with others.