Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How can anyone not be a feminist?

Seriously, I don't understand how it is possible to not think that women are full-fledged people who deserve equal treatment under the law and in society at large.


  1. what brought up this conversation?

  2. If that is your definition of feminist then I agree it is hard to understand why someone wouldn't support it. Unfortunately radicals who have a different definition often have the loudest voices. Sort of how depending on your point of view "liberal" or "conservative" could be a curse word, because it is defined by the fringe.

  3. I'm sure there's an intriguing story behind this.

  4. Nothing in particular brought this up, just arguing online with various folks. The story is sadly not that intriguing.

    Scott: I know lots of radical feminists (no, seriously), and most of them would use the same definition I did, more or less. The bogeywoman "Radical Feminists" -- who think women are superior, hate men, and so on -- are more urban legend than anything else... just like the Godless Liberals who take glee in killing babies, and the Heartless Conservatives who want only to hoard money for themselves at everyone else's expense. Oh, I'm sorry, I guess that last one is true...

    But really the parallel with the word "liberal" is quite apt, as they are both words that mean something more or less benign and represent views held by at least half the country, but they've been so tainted by conservative framing and spin that you almost need to use new words to say the same things. "Progressive," for example. These days, I just call myself a social democrat. Anyone who actually knows what that means gets it, and anyone who doesn't assumes either that "social" means "socialist" (close enough) or "democrat" means "liberal" (close enough).

  5. Given your definition, I would say the only people who genuinely would be anti-feminist are those hyper-religious folks who believe the bible means it when it says those womenfolk belong in the home.

    On the other hand, I'm in a philosophy department where most of the professors do some sort of feminist philosophy, and that is a far cry from the definition of "feminist" that permeates their work. (I have to run to class or I'd elaborate!)

  6. Most of the blue-collar women I know say things like "I believe women should be equal and get equal pay, OBVIOUSLY, but I'm not, like, a FEMINIST or something!"

    So yeah, framing.

    Try saying you believe in women's equality, and see how many jerks dare to disagree.