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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Might you be a feminist?

The other day, my friend and I slipped into one of our recurring conversations about feminism. Prompted by a couple of recent incidents (oh hey I forgot this one), we got talking about the label, and whether it's positive or negative, and what the implications are.

It's one of the subjects I get passionate about. After getting into the swing of my argument for a minute or two, I had to rein myself in, and I think I ended our conversation with "er but if you don't identify as a feminist I should probably stop telling you that you are one."

My friend is very aware of the way the world is. He knows that sexism exists, that women experience the world differently than men, that some aspects of the systems we live within are unfair and / or oppressive. However he rejects the word "feminist" because, in his mind, it reads as "man-hating female supremacist." (He's had some bad experiences with feminists in the past; what can I say.)

My good friend Paul has just written a blog post about this subject. He didn't formerly identify as a feminist, but now he does. It's an interesting read, and highlights a very important point: that's it's ok, even good, to let your views evolve. To change your mind about what you are, and what words mean. Labelling oneself is a flawed system, no doubt, but it's how the world knows what you stand for. I stand alongside those who believe in equality. I am a feminist. And I think perhaps it's even possible to be a feminist and not know it.

These pictures are via the spectacular ohdeargodwhy.


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