Monday, October 3, 2011

Question of the Week: Do You Call Yourself a Feminist?

Years ago, I read a book that pointed out an all-too common phrase: "I'm not a feminist, but..." followed by a statement that pretty well indicated feminist values. That statement was a reminder that the term feminist has picked up some nasty connotations over time, to the point that even people who are concerned about gender and about empowering women are sometimes afraid to take on that name.

So, with all the opposition to the term "feminist" that really is out there, here's my question for you, dear readers:

Do you call yourself a feminist? Why or why not?


  1. I definitely consider myself a feminist--it's about giving myself a cause, and identifier that says I'm about equal rights for men and women. I feel like it also sends a message to people, I'm aware that repression happens to women and I'm not going to let it happen to me; maybe that's a very aggressive standpoint, but there it is.

    So, several of my feminist friends out here in Korea have been reading a book called, "How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran. I haven't read it yet, but it's supposed to be great, I guess that, from the get go of the book, Moran states that feminists/women need to reclaim the term feminism, since it has eroded into a negative term.

    Apparently this idea of claiming "feminism" is really gaining some attention in feminist circles.

  2. Yes I do! I read in article in the DU once and it was really straightforward about what being a feminist is. I don't know what it was called, but after reading that I realized that yes, I am a feminist. And it IS unfortunate that it has taken on negative connotations. I don't say a lot about my opinions on women, which for a long time was what I thought a feminist was, very outspoken on issues about women and gender equality, etc. Anyway, yes, I'd say I am.

    Also, I wanted to say that I like your blog. And I wanted to share this video I found today and thought you might appreciate it. It's super interesting and very true, I think.

  3. the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

    Making things subjective is incredibly difficult. Trying to define from isolated cases to a general view of feminism is ridiculous. While people might agree to some standard beliefs of feminism, similar to political parties, on hangers are always a radical aberration of that general concept. Only statistics can bring any cohesive sense to a group of radical variables so large and even then it is only an average of completely isolated cases.

    I guess what I am saying is this. Don't worry about what or who a feminist is meant to be in isolated cases. You'll have a hard enough time with the general application of feminism to waste time on analyzing isolated radical cases.