Sometimes I’ll hear someone, either a friend or just someone in earshot, talking along about political and social issues, say this:
“I’m not one of those feminists.” Or, “I can’t stand those feminists.”
If queried on this, I’ll hear something like “I wouldn’t put myself in that category” or “I’m just not like that, I couldn’t be one of those people.” If the person is male, the original comment was probably “I can’t stand feminists” or “Those feminists, they are bad because of blar blar blar.”
My response is a series of questions. For women: Do you have a college degree? Do you drive your own car? Do you have a career, or plan to have one? Do you have your own bank account and credit card? Do you wear pants when you feel like it? If you are with a man and you can’t stand him, can you leave? Do you like the fact that you can leave?
For men, the questions are more fun. Do you have a girlfriend? Do you and your girlfriend share an apartment or house? If so, does she pay half the rent and utilities? Does your wife or girlfriend work, and contribute to the family finances? Do you like being able to date women without marrying them? Do you like being able to earn an income and keep it without being obliged to marry? Do you like getting sex retail instead of having to buy it wholesale? Do you enjoy participating in hobbies, sports, and work activities with women? Are any of your customers or clients women who pay you for your services?
Folks, if you answered any of these questions “yes” then guess what! You are a feminist. You are benefiting and profiting from the increasing equality of women in society over the last hundred years. “Feminist” does not mean “angry castrating lesbian who wants you to use awkward pronouns”. It means someone, male or female, who believes that women should have financial, political, and sexual freedom, and that these freedoms require protection and extension.
Next time you benefit from the F-word you should remember it’s not an insult, it’s a badge of pride.
Note: this was originally posted on my “Content Goes Here” blog in 2003.