What is a feminist? Seems there are hundreds of definitions for that term. I’ve never considered myself a feminist, but maybe I don’t know what the word means.
Dictionary.com defines it as “a person who supports feminism” (Gee, that’s helpful!). The same source actually does define feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economical equality to men”. That seems fairly benign and something everyone should be able to get behind, right? Equal rights for all?
Nope. Not even a chance. Not in this America.
To the more liberal among us a feminist is a tireless warrior for women’s causes. To the more conservative element a feminist is someone who is radically pro-choice and anti-man. Some argue that all women are by definition feminists and others that feminism is dead. It seems there is so much emotion attached to that word – from all sides- that you can make a valid case for never uttering it ever again. But what then would replace it?
As I’ve stated over and over again I believe the political process in this country is broken. We are more divided now than we’ve ever been and to what gain? To feel morally superior to the “idiots” across the aisle?
I am (obviously) a woman. I am fortunate to have been born in a time and place where it is OK for a women to have a career. Where it’s OK for a woman to be single past the age of 22. Where it’s OK for a woman to choose to have as many or as few children as she wants- even to have none at all. I I believe ALL women on this planet should have those same options available to them. So, I guess that makes me a feminist.
However, I don’t believe that abortion should be legal much – if at all- past the first trimester. There is currently a 7 year old girl living in England who was born at 21 weeks gestation. Let that sink in for a minute and then tell me why abortion should be legal at 24 weeks or more. I am not going to stop shaving my legs or armpits anytime soon. I don’t want to see anyone breastfeeding at the next table when I’m out to dinner with my husband (Yes, I know it’s perfectly natural, but so was conceiving the child and giving birth to it, and I don’t want to watch you either of those things either). So, maybe I’m not a feminist.
OR, maybe I’m just me. I believe what I believe based on my own education and experiences. And as long as I can still look at myself in the mirror every morning if I don’t want to use any particular word to describe myself that is OK too.