Feminism is Not a Dirty Word

The mere passing mention of the term “feminist” causes an uncomfortable stir that can be sensed miles away and that saddens me frankly.  I believe that it has unfortunately been unfairly coloured by the stereotype of radical femi-nazis and now all feminists are painted with that same stiff bristley brush and looked upon by so many with great disdain.  That is not to discredit radical feminists and what they have accomplished though either.  Without the most extreme edges of the movement pushing the boundaries of society, none of the more moderate progress could be made.  But by its most broad definition, feminism to me simply means believing that women are entitled to the same rights as men.  And yes, it really is that simple.  And that is simply what I believe.  I do not think that women are better than men.  I do not think that women and men are the same.  But we are equal and should be treated equally (and no, we actually aren’t though so very much has changed in the west for the better in that regard).

 I look forward to a day when I can just call myself a humanist….but until then I am very proudly a feminist, regardless of any ugly connotation it may invoke. 

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~ by savasana on July 12, 2007.

3 Responses to “Feminism is Not a Dirty Word”

  1. I think the ugliest part of the backlash against “feminism” as an idea and a word is women endlessly turning on each other: mother against mother, daughter against daughter, sister against sister.

    My mother had a friend who asked her – in the midst of my mother’s major feminist reading frenzy – “If women were so powerful with their goddesses and positions of authority, then why’d we let the men take it away? Why’d we let them?”

    There are lots of answers to this question, of course, but I think in this day and age it is most often because we turn on each other and a people divided will always fall…

    An important post, savasna, glad to have read it. And, if you haven’t found her already – I have a feeling you would like Sheri S. Tepper – she writes amazing speculative fiction. Start with Gate to Women’s Country…

  2. sorry! typo on the name there – savasana – I will get it right darn it… geez.

  3. No worries on the type, I answer to most anything!

    Thank you very much for the reading suggestion (it has now been added to my list) as well as sharing your thoughts.

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