Defining Feminism, Part Deux
Monday's post got quite contentious, and sadly, a bit nasty. I was even called a "white middle-class cultural imperialist" for trying to define feminism. This bothers me a lot, mainly because "cultural imperialist" is a somewhat less obvious way of saying "racist." Hooray! I haven't been called that for almost a year! (Oddly, I didn't miss it much.)
What I don't get is why I'm being attacked for doing what every person who calls her/himself a feminist is already, automatically doing. "Feminists for Life," the "pro-life" "feminist" organization Sarah Palin belongs to, is working from one definition. Hillary Clinton is working from another. I'm working from mine. Violet's working from hers. I'm sure there are as many definitions as stars in the sky, and glasses of tequila on Spring Break.
Do I think that my definition should be universally adopted? Well, there was a lot of snark in my post. My actual goal was to start a conversation about how other people define feminism, and why, and whether one can be a feminist and still actively fight against women's rights to control their bodies. So today, my activism recommendation is going to be a little different:
Ask a woman about feminism.
Blog it, Facebook it, talk it, text it, Tweet it. Let's get the word "Feminism" into the atmosphere today!
I will have the opportunity to speak with two women at length today, and I'll see another tonight at work. I'm going to ask them all three questions and report back to you tonight:
- Do you consider yourself a feminist?
- Why or why not?
- What do you think feminism is?
Let's have a conversation with ourselves and with others, and try not to call each other names. How does that sound?