A lot of women seem to have a similar attitude, - 'I'm not a feminist' - and it gets wearying. What's wrong with being a feminist? I'm proud to be a feminist. It's been one of the most positive things in my life. It's one of the best traditions there is. It's admirable to be a feminist and to stand up for one's sex, to fight against inequality and injustice and to work for a better society.
Naturally my stories are about women - I'm a woman. I don't know what the term is for men who write mostly about men. I'm not always sure what is meant by "feminist." In the beginning I used to say, well, of course I'm a feminist. But if it means that I follow a kind of feminist theory, or know anything about it, then I'm not. I think I'm a feminist as far as thinking that the experience of women is important. That is really the basis of feminism.
I think I was a feminist before the word was invented. By the time I came across feminist books by American or European writers, I realised that there was an articulate way or a language to express all these feelings that I had had for years and years and so I became a raging feminist as a young woman.
I was always a feminist. My mother was a feminist; my grandmother was a feminist. I always understood women had to fight very hard to do what they wanted to do in the world - that it wasn't an easy choice. But I think the most important part is that we all want the right to be taken seriously as human beings, and to use our talents without reservation, and that's still not possible for women.
I believe I was raised with feminist values, but I don't think I ever heard my Mom call herself a feminist. Before I identified as a feminist myself, I thought of feminism as more of a historical term describing the women's movement in the '70s but didn't know much about what they had done and didn't think it applied to my life at all.
I consider myself 100 percent a feminist, at odds with the feminist establishment in America. For me the great mission of feminism is to seek the full political and legal equality of women with men. However, I disagree with many of my fellow feminists as an equal opportunity feminist, who believes that feminism should only be interested in equal rights before the law. I utterly oppose special protection for women where I think that a lot of the feminist establishment has drifted in the last 20 years.
A real groupie is someone who loves the music and wants to do it with the guys who make it and someone who goes after what they want, so a groupie is a feminist thing. A woman who goes after what she wants is a feminist. So I've never been anything but a feminist. I took the birth control pill on the Strip in front of everybody and that was my statement. I control my body, I can do whatever the heck I want.
Pamela Des Barres
The word 'feminist' is a word that discriminates, and I'm not into that. I don't think there has to be a separation in life in anything. [...] Labels are for other people to understand us, so for me, I know how I feel and I don't need to call myself a 'feminist' or 'not a feminist' because I know what my truth is...
We think of a feminist as someone a woman becomes in reaction to personal indignities and social injustices. But the truth is, such inequities only awaken her to the feminist she has always fundamentally been - that is, a person who understands that her first responsibility is to her own humanity. That's why, for my money, the first known use of the word 'feminist' is still the best, appearing in an 1895 book review: a woman who 'has in her the capacity of fighting her way back to independence.
But, of course, you might be asking yourself, 'Am I a feminist? I might not be. I don't know! I still don't know what it is! I'm too knackered and confused to work it out. That curtain pole really still isn't up! I don't have time to work out if I am a women's libber! There seems to be a lot to it. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?' I understand. So here is the quick way of working out if you're a feminist. Put your hand in your pants. a) Do you have a vagina? and b) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said 'yes' to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist.
The feminist movement as we have come to know it in recent decades is fundamentally a "con."... As it is considered treasonous to criticise a sister feminist, no standards of accuracy or honesty are ever enforced. Hyperbole and deceit thus become the formula for success, "peer review" playing no role in reining in misinformation. Any would-be feminist who raises scholarly objections to the rampant misinformation is branded an 'enemy of women' and is drummed out of the movement.
The potential significance of Black feminist thought goes far beyond demonstrating that African-American women can be theorists. Like Black feminist practice, which it reflects and which it seeks to foster, Black feminist thought can create a collective identity among African-American women about the dimensions of a Black women's standpoint. Through the process of rearticulating, Black feminist thought can offer African-American women a different view of ourselves and our worlds
Patricia Hill Collins
Quite frankly, I talk about the fact that I'm a feminist as often as I can, and every time I do, it gets huge reaction, and media reacts, and the Twitterverse explodes and things like that, because here I am saying I'm a feminist. I will keep saying that until there is no more reaction to that when I say it, because that's where we want to get to.
First off, as has been well stated by many Indigenous Feminists before us, the idea of gender equality did not come from the suffragettes or other so-called "foremothers" of feminist theory. It should also be recognized that although we are still struggling for this thing called "gender equality, " it is not actually a framed issue within the feminist realm, but a continuation of the larger tackling of colonialism. So this idea that women of colour all of a sudden realized "we are women, " and magically joined the feminist fight actually re-colonizes people for who gender equality and other "feminist" notions is a remembered history and current reality since before Columbus. The mainstream feminist movement is supposed to have started in the early 1900s with women fighting for the right to vote. However, these white women deliberately excluded the struggles of working class women of color and participated in the policy of forced sterilization for Aboriginal women and women with disabilities. Furthermore, the idea that we all need to subscribe to the same theoretical understandings of history is marginalizing. We all have our own truths and histories to live.
Feminist education "" the feminist classroom "" is and should be a place where there is a sense of struggle, where there is visible acknowledgment of the union of theory and practice, where we work together as teachers and students to overcome the estrangement and alienation that have become so much the norm in the contemporary university.
The idea of being a feminist-so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex-but what feminism is about is equality and human rights. For me that is just an essential part of my identity. I hope [Girls] contributes to a continuance of feminist dialogue
I have this theory that people are actually really hungry for sonic space and understanding words, and I think that people are ready to look back and actually appreciate some of what came before. And then you really do have the entire movement that I'm just going to call feminist, because I am a feminist. I think the education of young girls and women about what came before has started and I think that the knowledge of Fanny is part of that.
Let's take the figure of the feminist killjoy seriously. One feminist project could be to give the killjoy back her voice. Whilst hearing feminists as killjoys might be a form of dismissal, there is an agency that this dismissal rather ironically reveals. We can respond to the accusation with a "yes.
I was frustrated with how academia tended to present feminist theory in disconnected or inaccessible ways. I wanted to try and bring a sociological feminist lens to the limited and limiting representations of women in the media and then share that with other young women of my generation. YouTube was the perfect medium.
I don't think of myself as a feminist, but if someone calls me a feminist icon, that's fine. I've always stood up for women and myself in general. I have a great love and respect, because I have had beautiful sisters, aunts and my grandmas, but I love men. I totally understand the nature of men.
When I learnt, however, that in 1911 there had been twenty-one regular feminist periodicals in Britain, that there was a feminist book shop, a woman's press, and a woman's bank run by and for women, I could no longer accept that the reason I knew almost nothing about women of the past was because there were so few of them, and they had done so little.
I used to go on college campuses 25 years ago and announce I was a feminist, and people thought it meant I believed in free love and was available for a quick hop in the sack. ... Now I go on college campuses and say I'm a feminist, and half of them think it means I'm a lesbian. How'd we get from there to here without passing "Go"?
Feminist," he said, clearly amused. "Next you'll be telling us you hate men." She gave him a blank look. "I only hate stupid men who don't actually understand what 'feminist' means." He laughed. "You run into a lot of men like that?" "All the time." "Really?" "Even as we speak, Nick." "Oh no she didn't," said Peter. I groaned.
I think there are many feminists who would say that I am not a feminist. I love women, I have a lot of girlfriends, I admire them, they make so much more sense to me than men, and I feel like the world is a better place when women are in charge. So that kind of by default makes me a feminist. I love working in a female world.
That evening, in her apartment, still in Warsaw, Ana takes down a book from her shelf - a rather thick, ordinary paperback. It looks old, because it's worn out and somehow shabby. But it's not ordinary. I can tell by the way she handles it so carefully, like something unique. 'This is the book I told you about, ' she says, holding out the Anthology of Feminist Texts, a collection of early American feminist essays, 'the only feminist book translated into the Polish language, ' the only such book to turn to when you are sick and tired of reading about man-eater/man-killer feminists from the West, I think, looking at it, imagining how many women have read this one copy. 'Sometimes I feel like I live on Jupiter, among Jupiterians, and then one day, quite by chance, I discover that I belong to another species. And I discover it in this book. Isn't that wonderful.
Feminism, as of late, has suffered from a certain guilt by association because we conflate feminism with women who advocate feminism as part of their personal brand. When these figureheads say what we want to hear, we put them up on the Feminist Pedestal, and when they do something we don't like, we knock them right off and then say there's something wrong with feminism because our feminist leaders have failed us. We forget the difference between feminism and Professional Feminists.
Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics. It is rooted in the love of male and female being, refusing to privilege one over the other. The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules. When men embrace feminist thinking and preactice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced. A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving.
Six men control almost all the media in the United States-book publishing, magazines, television, movie studios, newspapers, and radio. They are not friendly toward feminism, which has almost disappeared from the surface of our society. You will almost never see a feminist column on an op-ed page, a feminist article in a magazine, or newspaper, actual (not satirized) feminist ideas on television or in the movies. Only magazines and radio controlled by feminists-and these are few and not well-funded-offer information on the feminist perspective. This might be understandable if feminism were a wild-eyed manic philosophy. But it is a belief, a politics, based on one simple fact: women are human beings who matter as much as men. That is all that feminism claims. As human beings, women have the right to control their own bodies, to walk freely in the world, to train their minds and bodies, and to love and hate at will. Only those who wish to continue to coerce women into a servant/slave class for men cannot accept this principle.
My own feminist revolution evolved slowly, and traveled the world with me. To this day I have no idea what dissident professor or librarian placed feminist tests on the bookshelves at the university library in Jeddah, but I found them there. They filled me with terror. I understood they were pulling at a thread that would unravel everything. Now that I am older, I can see that feeling terrified is how you recognize what you need. Terror encourages you to jump, even when you don't know if you will ever land.
If white American feminist theory need not deal with the differences between us, and the resulting difference in our oppressions, then how do you deal with the fact that the women who clean your houses and tend your children while you attend conferences on feminist theory are, for the most part, poor women and women of Color? What is the theory behind racist feminism?
Maybe I'm a bad feminist, but I am deeply committed to the issues important to the feminist movement. I have strong opinions about misogyny, institutional sexism that consistently places women at a disadvantage, the inequity in pay, the cult of beauty and thinness, the repeated attacks on reproductive freedom, violence against women, and on and on. I am as committed to fighting fiercely for equality as I am committed to disrupting the notion that there is an essential feminism.
One absolutely crucial change is that feminist film theory is today an academic subject to be studied and taught. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" was a political intervention, primarily influenced by the Women's Liberation Movement and, in my specific case, a Women's Liberation study group, in which we read Freud and realised the usefulness of psychoanalytic theory for a feminist project.
Radical militant feminist believes that women of color and Black women in particular have written the cutting edge theory and really were the individuals who exploded feminist theory into the directions that has made it more powerful. So I see us as the leaders not just of Black people and Black women in terms of feminism but in terms of the movement as a whole.
The liberal wing of the feminist movement may have improved the lives of its middle- and upper-class constituency--indeed, 1992 was the Year of the White Middle Class Woman--but since the leadership of this faction of the feminist movement has singled out black men as the meta-enemy of women, these women represent one of the most serious threats to black male well-being since the Klan.
Your body is yours to protect and to enjoy.' She raises both eyebrows at me meaningfully. 'Whoever you should choose to partake in that enjoyment, that is your choice, and choose wisely. Every man that ever got to touch me was afforded an honor. A privilege.' Stormy waves her hand over me. 'All this? It's a privilege to worship at this temple, do you understand my meaning? Not just any young fool can approach the throne. Remember my words, Lara Jean. You decide who, how far, and how often, if ever.' 'I had no idea you were such a feminist, ' I say. 'Feminist?' Stormy makes a disgusted sound in her throat. 'I'm no feminist. Really, Lara Jean!' 'Stormy, don't get worked up about it. All it means is that you believe men and women are equal, and should have equal rights.' 'I don't think any man is my equal. Women are far superior, and don't you forget it. Don't forget any of the things I just told you.
Labelling is no longer a liberating political act but a necessity in order to gain entrance into the academic industrial complex and other discussions and spaces. For example, if so called 'radical' or 'progressive' people don't hear enough 'buzz' words (like feminist, anti-oppression, anti-racist, social justice, etc.) in your introduction, then you are deemed unworthy and not knowledgeable enough to speak with authority on issues that you have lived experience with. The criteria for identifying as a feminist by academic institutions, peer reviewed journals, national bodies, conferences, and other knowledge gatekeepers is very exclusive. It is based on academic theory instead of based on lived experiences or values. Name-dropping is so elitist! You're not a "real" feminist unless you can quote, or have read the following white women: (insert Women's Studies 101 readings).
One needn't identify as a feminist to participate in the redemptive movement of God for women in the world, The gospel is more than enough. Of course it is! But as long as I know how important maternal health is to Haiti's future, and as long as I know that women are being abused and raped, as long as I know girls are being denied life itself through selective abortion, abandonment, and abuse, as long as brave little girls in Afghanistan are attacked with acid for the crime of going to school, and until being a Christian is synonymous with doing something about these things, you can also call me a feminist.
Here's my feeling: For everyone, men and women, it's important to be a feminist. It's important to have female characters. It's wonderful for women to mentor other women, but it's just as important for women to mentor men and vice-versa. In my line of work, having Greg Daniels be such a great mentor to me is fantastic. Finding a writer's assistant, be it a man or a woman, and encouraging them to think with a feminist perspective, is key.
Ambitious young women today are taught to ignore or suppress every natural instinct, if it conflicts with the feminist agenda posed on them. All literary and artistic works, no matter how great, that document the ambivalence of female sexuality they are trained to dismiss as "misogynous." In other words, their minds are being programmed to secede from their bodies ... there is a huge gap between feminist rhetoric and women's actual sex lives, where feminism is of little help except with a certain stratum of deferential, malleable, white middle-class men.
Radical feminist theorists do not seek to make gender a bit more flexible, but to eliminate it. They are gender abolitionists, and understand gender to provide the framework and rationale for male dominance. In the radical feminist approach, masculinity is the behaviour of the male ruling class and femininity is the behaviour of the subordinate class of women. Thus gender can have no place in the egalitarian future that feminism aims to create.
To say anything about women and men without marking oneself as either feminist or anti-feminist, male-basher or apologist for men seems as impossible for a woman as trying to get dressed in the morning without inviting interpretations of her character. Sitting at the conference table musing on these matters, I felt sad to think that we women didn't have the freedom to be unmarked that the men sitting next to us had. Some days you just want to get dressed and go about your business. But if you're a woman, you can't, because there is no unmarked woman.