"Feminism" used to be a dirty word to me. I'm not a woman that believes that just because I have a uterus and boobs I should get special consideration for everything I do. I don't believe that dirty jokes told in the workplace are a form of sexual harrassment. I don't think that by putting men down we will ever accomplish anything.

Those were the things I associated with feminisim. In a short I believed that to be a "feminist" meant you were a man-hater of varying degrees. I had an instructor in college that would target the men in our Comp class for unfair critisism and would inflate her praise for the female members of our class. After a week of this, I dropped the class. When I went in to get the drop form signed she demanded to know why I was leaving the class. I tried to be polite, even tactful, which for me is unusual. She kept pushing. I finally said, "I just don't think you're a good teacher. You're probably a very nice person, but you allow your personal and political beliefs to cloud your ability to teach." She was irrate. She called me a traitor to my sex. I shrugged and said, "And that would be what I'm talking about."

Recently, I have started reading a number of blogs written by women who use the terms "feminist" and "feminism" a lot. When I first surfed into these blogs, I was hesitant. I mean what would I find of value at a blog written by someone with such a skewed sense of the world, right?

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that these were women much like myself. Articualte, well educated, witty and insightful. No man bashing, no calling for the burning of bras or societal castration of the male race. No once. No where. I was puzzled. Perplexed.

These women have views and ideas that I find myself nodding in agreement to. They often have differing political views that make me stop and think, help me reevaluate where I stand on a given issue. They are mothers, and wives and sisters and daughters. I was amazed.

"Feminism" used to be a dirty word to me. Something to be snorted at and used as a vulgar epithet. Now I'm beginning to see that being a "feminist" isn't really all that different from being a "humanist". Interacting with these women has helped erase some long held and preconceived notions I've been carrying around.

I just wanted to say thank you.


That Loud Feminist Chick said...

Yea! I'm so glad you feel that way. Me, too. (Except that I never felt the term to be negative)

I definitely think the "man haters" are the minority.


Anonymous said...

The man-haters, bra-burners, "he told a dirty joke so I'm having him fired"...they're the extremists. And every facet of society has extremists, religion or politics or whatever. It does tick me off that their antics overshadow what feminism truly is meant to be. It's really more about equality than anything else, as you've seen.

See, that's one of the things I really like about you the more I get to know you in BlogWorld. You take your time and investigate with an open mind. Too many people refuse to do that, to entertain the idea that there might be some substance on "the other side". You're a very fair-minded person, which I admire and aspire to, also. (Sorry if that sounded too Hallmark-y.)

Paula said...

I never thought of it as a dirty word, but the extremists piss me off too. They ruin it for the rest of us, same as extremists in other areas, as SS notes. Why do people have to be such fucking wackos? ARGH!!

Great post. :)

Mo said...

I too felt the same as you, that feminism was a "dirty word". But now I know, as you now do too, that it's not like it used to be. It's about equality for all women everywhere. At least that is what it means to me.

BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed your comment on the illegal alien raid at strollerderby. You were right on the money!

Suzanne said...

I admit that reading this post choked me up. It's what I ultimately love about blogging and meeting people through blogs. Ditto what Super Snark said - you're awesome.