I am a feminist and have been since I realized women were people.
It wasn’t as easy of a conclusion as it should have been given that my dad tried to raise me as a boy and any time I’d do anything girly, he’d tell me how weak I was. Naturally, I thought girl = weak, boy = strong, therefore boy > girl. (Sorry for the math; it’s the boy in me).
I got over my preconceived notions and long ago realized that my dad’s fairy tales were just as misinformed and misleading as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.
So when I overheard two 20-something women talking about feminism, I eavesdropped. One said: “I’m a feminist, but not with a capital F.”
I was flummoxed. I didn’t known 20-somethings knew what a capital letter was. But I jest!
I do think I know what she was saying, which goes something like this: “I believe women are equal to men and should be treated that way, but I’m in college and want to date and perhaps get married, so I will do slutty and demeaning things for awhile.”
And really, who hasn’t?
The word “feminist” has such a bad connotation that even people who are feminists (and I believe that is most of us, male and female) don’t want to associate with it. I blame Rush Limbarf — that’s right, if he can coin the term “feminazi,” I can rename him Limbarf. Oh, and let’s not forget Pat Robertson, who once said, “The goal of feminists is to divorce their husbands, kill their children, destroy capitalism, practice witchcraft, and become lesbians.”
When I heard that my first thought was, “I’m a lousy feminist because I’ve only tried two of those things.”
If it’s just the word that bothers people, maybe we should just choose another. I’ve been on a journey trying to do just that. At first, I thought maybe we could go back to the word “suffragette,” but it has “suffer” in it. No one wants to do that. What we need is a kinder, gentler word that seems inviting, yet feminine. I think I’ve come up with it….”feminipple.”
You’d join the Feminipple Party, right?
And yes, I realize I’m using sex to sell women’s rights, but if it’s good enough for beer and motorcycles, why not?