the important question
December 30, 2000 02:57 PM

Are you a feminist?

This subject keeps coming up. Everywhere I go. Often in a strangely negative way. You know, with that leering emphasis on "feminist". You've heard it. Is "feminism" a bad word? I suppose you can all imagine what I think (um, hello, this is the chick who's working to turn "cunt" into a positive word).

This is what John Webster's descendents think feminism is:

1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

So doesn't everyone agree on Number One? Is there anyone out there who would honestly say "No, I don't think the sexes should be politically, economically, or socially equal"? If so, I'd like to kick this person. On the second count, well, I'm not always organized, but I'd say even talking or writing in this diary counts as "activity on behalf of women's rights and interests". Expressing an opinion is an action. Sometimes the most powerful action you can take. Laws are wonderful things, but majority opinion, when expressed, well - that's power.

Back in 1895, the Suffragettes coined the word "feminist" to express themselves and their new movement. To unite their push for the vote with their desire for overall equality between the sexes. Like any political banner, stupid and wrong acts have been committed in its name. You could say the same for "democracy" and "republic", two words Americans are extra fond of.

This is a word our spiritual great-grandmothers gave us. This is their present. Words are confusing. Words are full of a thousand associations and connotations; that's just their nature. This word is a special gift, and every woman (heck, every person) should cherish it. Every person who thinks that women and men are equally deserving of things like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" (or whatever they call them in whatever country you choose to inhabit) needs to accept this title. To the question: Can men be feminists? I say yes, absolutely. See above.

Yes. I'm a feminist. The important question is. Why aren't you?

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