Are You a Feminist?
We've all heard that feminism is the "radical notion that women are people." But if so, then why wouldn't nearly everyone call themselves feminists? It's odd to me that if you ask people in their 20s, "Do you think men and women should be treated equally," most of them will say yes. But if you ask instead, "Are you a feminist?" many will claim that they are not. Is this because so much of the media paints feminists as unsexy, man-hating, unpleasant harridans? As extremists? As--godforbid--lesbians? Or is it because so many people naively think that we've already achieved gender equality? That there's really nothing left to fight for?
Within the queer community, I've sometimes heard feminism referred to as "old school," or heard it criticized as "embracing a gender binary." And I've even known butches who don't identify as feminists because it associates them with being female, which they (by which I mean this handful of people, not all, or even most, butches) do not want.
So, as I've been pondering all of this, I became very curious about your thoughts on this, dear readers. Do you identify as a feminist? If so, why? If not, why not? (And if you laugh at this, you juuust might be a closet feminist.)
12/2/2013 11:21:40 am
I actually made a video about this on my YouTube channel. I'm almost 27 years old and I wanted anyone who watches me to know that I'm a feminist and why I identify that way. I could write out all that I said here but it's on my website link under "I'm coming out! I want the world to know!" if you're interested in checking it out.
12/3/2013 01:21:30 am
Oh, cool!! Ha--love it! (And everyone else, check it out here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oOMnnu8ZBM)
12/2/2013 12:12:41 pm
I don't identify as a feminist. One of the big reasons I don't call myself a feminist is the many many times I've seen outright discrimination one people on the basis of being a man, butch, trans, etc from women only or women-centric groups and organizations on issues that clearly affect everybody. Uplifting one group should not be at the expense of others. I like the term egalitarian better. I'm for equality for all people.
Wait a minute. You're not a feminist because you don't like some of the groups that have identified as such? Isn't that like not voting Democrat because you don't like three senators? Or not identifying as, say, a trans man because a couple groups of trans men you know are misogynistic?
12/2/2013 04:43:37 pm
so maybe it's a age thing , but many young women in my class say they are a feminist, yet they said all the fights have been won yet do not understand where the history is or even know what many women fight for , like we still do not have a right to say what we do with our own body well in Australia in the abortion rights or the right to die how we want to , and sadly it was one of those subject that came in class and it seem to be the thinking most dykes are feminist so it was all the stereotyping crap and lets face it we as people have still got a long way to go till we all are truly equal
That's interesting. Sometimes I wonder if misogyny is actually worse when it's pushed underground. Overt sexual harassment is easier to fight, in a way, than when you quietly just "happen" not to get a job because you're a woman, or a certain "kind" of woman. It's easier to say, "There are NO female senators," and argue that that's unjust, than it is to say, "There aren't enough, and THAT smacks of sexism."
12/3/2013 02:02:10 am
Feminism for me is standing up against anyone, that considers you a pushover, because you are a woman/gender/STRONG valued! When you show to have the umph behind what you say, then it turns to verbal insults!....when it is shown men can be feminists too...many state contradiction in terms in view to misogyny! I say feminist is when you stand together and unite irrelevant of gender but have strength to succeed in your goal of whatever cause.
12/3/2013 02:11:43 am
I identify as a feminist. Like BW, I didn't think there were lesbians who wouldn't until I'd read this post and comments. I suppose that I will continue to see myself as a feminist until there is no longer a disparity of treatment between genders in the world. Also, the lack of fair treatment of those who are gender non-conforming, or LGBT folks could be painted as, in part, a feminist issue. If there were no difference in treatment between men and women, would someone who did not conform to gender norms be seen so negatively? I tend to think not. The cultural idea that female is weaker contributes to the cultural biases toward our own community.
12/3/2013 05:02:36 am
I identify as a feminist because sexism is shitty and won't just disappear without some kind of cognizant change. I'm usually perturbed when guys try to tell me that women and men are equal and it's all over, get over it. But when women say they don't identify as feminist because of the negative connotations it has or because they don't believe it's necessary, it just confuses the hell out of me. I had one friend who believed that "feminist" wasn't someone who subscribed to an ideology but rather someone who goes out and protests, gets feminist tattoos, generally raises hell and causes a ruckus. She refused to identify as one herself, and I had to explain to her that just because I identify as a feminist doesn't mean it's all I ever think about and isn't the first thing I'd say when someone asks "how do you identify?".
12/3/2013 08:52:13 am
I would say so. Women are people and should be treated as such.
I identify as a feminist. Old school butches took a lot of criticism from the women's movement for being "male-identified". The movement thought visible butches hurt their credibility. This viewpoint has recently morphed into transphobic (or transcritical) statements and actions by women who claim they represent the feminist movement, but are really on the fringe. They are uncomfortable with challenges to "biology is destiny".
12/3/2013 11:17:50 am
You know, in México, the word "feminist" is intrinsically related with the "man hater lesbian" stereotype within folks over 45, inversely proportional is the fact that almost every single women with university studies claim to be a feminist, even though they do not partake in any kind of activism, the sole achieve of a career seem to be enough to become one. (Of course i'm not talking all México, i'm talking from/of Chiapas, and the most underdevelop states of the country, no big Mexico City, not industrialized Monterrey or Guadalajara).
12/4/2013 03:02:24 am
Feminists isnt an identity.
12/7/2013 01:15:07 am
I definitely consider myself a feminist. Feminism stands for not only the equality between the sexes and the recognition that while we may bring different things to the table they are equally important/needed, but also the fact that patriarchy hurts the majority of men as well as women, forcing the two sexes into tiny definable, controllable categories that not everyone fits into. Unfortunately the term feminism has received too much negative mainstream media trashing. We either need to reclaim the term or begin using a new one.
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