A flurry of interesting comments blew in over the last couple weeks. Many of them in answer to Shannon’s loaded question: Are You A Feminist:
This reminds me of something I studied in a sociology class in college–it was the idea that the majority of gay men were beer-drinking, sports-watching, suit-wearing so called “normal” guys, who just happened to be gay. The theory was used to de-bunk the stereotype. In the same way, the cliche of the bra-burning, man-hating, feminist has–or should–become a thing of the past!
It’s a catch 22…perhaps women don’t want to admit to being a feminist because of they don’t want to be perceived as the extreme. but the more people jump on board, the less ‘extreme’ or ‘lefty’ the movement becomes. so jump in everybody–and you can leave your Bic behind. — Libby
To be honest, I used to be one of those women. My second year of college, I took a Women’s studies class and our first assignment was to answer the question “Are you a Feminist?”
I can remember sitting at my computer, writing my response and laughing as the sarcasm oozed onto the screen. I poked fun at the word ‘herstory’ and talked about how trivial I thought the cause was. Shameful..I know! By the end of the year, though, my views had changed drastically.
Oddly, it wasn’t until I became a Mother that my interest in the Feminist cause really peaked.
I think you are dead on. I think many women are afraid to identify themselves as feminists for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don’t really understand what it’s about or they have some false perception of what a feminist is.
Whatever the case, I don’t believe that the road paved for feminism ends until everyone answers ‘YES’ to the question ‘Are you a feminist’ Am I right?? — Sarah
Feminist? hell yes. man hater? no. — Sophia
I’ve dubbed myself the ‘closet feminist’ because in the business world, where I have spent the last thirty years it was not OK to be known as a feminist. A feminist was seen a man-hating uptight bitch with no sense of humor and that certainly didn’t fit my personality. So other than toss a few barbs in a humorous manner, no, I never admitted to being a FemiNazi, as my husband describes it. Your article is right on the money and it’s good to see that young women of today are willing to take up the cause, because there are plenty of battles yet to win. You go girl! — Jeanne
I am a male, and I proudly call myself a feminist. At 62 I have lived through the entire “feminist” movement, but all it takes to remind me of what a great distance still has to be travelled is one question to Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State (for God’s sake) about policy: What does your husband think about this?
What the hell is that????
Come in and smell the Chanel #5. — TK
I have always thought that I am not a feminist. Not because I think feminists are ugly (I don’t) or because I am afraid of appearing passé (I’m not). It’s a simpler nuance, really.
I have never considered myself a feminist for this reason: I always thought that feminism involves more than just fighting the little daily fights that are personal to me (i.e., knowing I am entitled to equal pay and equal opportunities, and demanding those things for myself). Because I am not involved in feminist causes, and do nothing to champion the rights of other women, I never thought the feminist label applied to me.
Thanks for this perspective, Shannon. Maybe I am one of “them” after all. — Alison
I’m sad that feminist has become a dirty word over the past few decades, but you’re right—a lot of this fighting about what it means to be a feminist is just about labeling.
The bottom line is that sexism still exists, and we should all be outraged by it. I get annoyed by the “I’m not a feminist, but…” folks, sure. Nevertheless, as long as there is a but in there, supposedly they’re outraged by something sexist and are going to do something about it. — ubuntucat
More comments tomorrow, on other topics. Meanwhile, give us a ping and join the conversation. Happy Monday.