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02 December 2007 @ 08:18 am
Feminism 101  
Thanks to ilovefucking for finding this on a blog and passing it on:


" Yes, You Are

feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests — feminist n or adj — feministic adj

Above, the dictionary definition of feminism — the entire dictionary definition of feminism. It is quite straightforward and concise. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

Yes, you are.

The definition of feminism does not ask for two forms of photo ID. It does not care what you look like. It does not care what color skin you have, or whether that skin is clear, or how much you weigh, or what you do with your hair. You can bite your nails, or you can get them done once a week. You can spend two hours on your makeup, or five minutes, or the time it takes to find a Chapstick without any lint sticking to it. You can rock a cord mini, or khakis, or a sari, and you can layer all three. The definition of feminism does not include a mandatory leg-hair check; wax on, wax off, whatever you want. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

....

Yes. You are. You are a feminist. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Period. It's more complicated than that — of course it is. And yet…it's exactly that simple. It has nothing to do with your sexual preference or your sense of humor or your fashion sense or your charitable donations, or what pronouns you use in official correspondence, or whether you think Andrea Dworkin is full of crap, or how often you read Bust or Ms. — or, actually, whether you've got a vagina. In the end, it's not about that. It is about political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, and it is about claiming that definition on its own terms, instead of qualifying it because you don't want anyone to think that you don't shave your pits. It is about saying that you are a feminist and just letting the statement sit there, instead of feeling a compulsion to modify it immediately with "but not, you know, that kind of feminist" because you don't want to come off all Angry Girl. It is about understanding that liking Oprah and Chanel doesn't make you a "bad" feminist — that only "liking" the wage gap makes you a "bad" feminist, because "bad" does not enter into the definition of feminism. It is about knowing that, if folks can't grab a dictionary and see for themselves that the entry for "feminism" doesn't say anything about hating men or chick flicks or any of that crap, it's their problem.

It is about knowing that a woman is the equal of a man in art, at work, and under the law, whether you say it out loud or not — but for God's sake start saying it out loud already. You are a feminist.

I am a feminist too. Look it up."



Or, as Rebecca West said, "I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat."
 
 
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Mari Adkinsmariadkins on December 2nd, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
Amen.
recovered_dream on December 2nd, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Mari sent me over here to read this. I'm betting it's because she gets tired of hearing me say that I'm not a feminist.

I tend to think, though this post made some great points, that there's more to being a feminist in this (US) society than expecting equal treatment and equal rights/pay/etc.

Part of that is because the women in my family have a *long* history of not letting men run their lives. Heck, my great aunt got a divorce back in the 40's... and paid for it herself... and won... and went on to open a chain of successful salons in Chicago! Nope, no doormat women here! *lol*

The other part is, that I do sincerely believe that a man should be the head of a household. I'm not even Christian, so I can't blame that for my view. The problem is, there is a decided lack of men in this country. (Not adult males, but men, and the difference is vast.) I also received a great deal of negative criticism from "feminists" who felt that my staying home and raising children was an affront to women and to the "work" they were doing to "promote" the status of women above drudges. I was not a drudge. I was a mother, and I was doing what I felt was best for my children!

So, I like the concept behind the post, and I'd love to meet more feminists who are living and practicing that, rather than the man-hating, and often self-hating propoganda that I see so much of in the feminists I do meet. I just don't have a lot of hope for that to happen, sadly.