15 June 2007

yes, you are

All right, I remember what I wanted to say.

(This is apropos of absolutely nothing, I swear; this is not in response to anything that's happened to me recently.)

Do you think that men and women should be equal? Then you are a feminist. No, shut up, you are. Maybe you aren't really a radical feminist (who has the energy?); maybe you think individualist feminism is dumb (they are associated with libertarians, so maybe you're onto something); maybe you aren't into ecofeminism (who knew it existed?); maybe you aren't even into liberal feminism (really, not even them? I guess they are pretty bourgeois).

Maybe you haven't gone to the effort to figure out your ideological position when it comes to feminism. Hey, don't feel bad, I'm just starting to figure it out for myself, and not only am I a girl, but I spend lots of energy thinking of myself as politically aware and/or informed. (Ha!) The point is, if you believe men and women are equal, you are a feminist. There is nothing wrong with that. You don't have to act a certain way, or believe anything else. You can be a feminist and like shopping and boys; you can also like non-stereotypically girly things. You can be a feminist and still not really care about whether something is stereotypically girly or reinforcing the patriarchy or setting back the women's movement. It's cool; all that shit takes tons of energy! Who has the time?

But it is important to realize that if you believe men and women are equal, you are a feminist. It might even be important to realize that even if you don't really care about it, there is a patriarchy, there are still institutional biases towards women (just like there's still shit tons of institutional racism!), women are still not equal citizens in the United States. You don't have to sit around talking about it; seriously, I won't think less of you--talking about this shit takes a lot out of you.

What's important is that you are a feminist, because you believe that men and women are equal.

And if you don't, then honestly, why are you even reading this?

Next week's lecture will be about why it's culturally insensitive to refer to the United States as "America" (it's almost Independence Day, so it'll even be topical!!!).


  1. Dude. I totes support your lecture, and would click on the links, except for the slow internets in the town of 25,000 people in URUGUAY! and love love love your idea for an post about america vs. u.s., as it is obviously relevant to ME!

  2. Not to be argumentative, but I have two questions about your argument (and one about the american thing) First you say that you don't have to be worried about doing "girly" things or something like that... does that imply mostly women should be worried about feminism? It seems like you are writing to your female audience. Second and perhaps equally important is the term feminism itself. I understand the importance of it, but couldn't you call the movement the equal gender movement, genderism, or equalism, or something? I mean the reason why most males who would want to be "feminists" in the world don't jump on board and define themselves as that is the implication that feminism and feminists might rise up and start flogging their male counterparts for years of oppression... equalism or genderism, which implies that genders are misrepresented, inequal and should be equal seems to have a more pc flow...

    that beings said, the term exists and I totally support your argument. w

  3. kira - you are my favorite feminist.

    max - i was probably writing more to a female audience, though unconsciously, really. i think i'm more bothered by women who don't want to be called feminist. and as for your second question, i think my ranting was more directed toward the use or misuse of the word 'feminist' than the movement itself. rereading it, i can see that i was trying to make at least three different arguments at various points. you could call the feminist movement many things, but why find a different name for a movement that already exists? i guess i can see why calling it feminism could be off-putting to men, but one of the many points i was trying to make is that reasonable people need to take back control over the word feminist. and the only semi-coherent way i can explain my preference for the word 'feminism' versus genderism, etc, is that women are the ones who are less than equal. i think that attitudes toward gender and sexuality are also a significant issue, but i don't necessarily believe that women's lack of equality should be forever lumped in with the struggle for acceptance of people who don't fit in a traditional male/female binary. i don't know whether that makes sense--i know that i'm not completely sure of my position which makes it hard to articulate it. in conclusion, yay feminism. or something. :)