Thursday, November 20, 2008

the F-word is still a dirty word

According to a new Daily Beast poll only 20% of women are willing to use the word “feminist” about themselves and only 17% of all voters said they would welcome their daughters using that label.

When you run in feminist circles, you think that numbers like this can't possibly be true. The very fact that "feminism" is a dirty word to so many people, a label that women would reject because of the stigmas attached to it, is evidence of how much power---personal, social, political---we give up, over and over and over again, as women. I'm not a conspiracist. It's not like I think The Man, or The Right, or women like Sarah Palin are in cahoots to keep women in their places. But each of these entities (and hundreds of organizations and ideological groups and individuals just like them) certainly distorts feminism, so much so that feminism is really just an interpretation: home, life-saver, threat, joke, dirty word.

I remember seeing this quote by feminist Paula Kamen: "A natural response is to change the word feminist to a word with fewer stigmas attached. But inevitably the same thing will happen to that magical word. Part of the radical connotation of feminism is not due to the word, but to the action. The act of a woman standing up for herself is radical, whether she calls herself a feminist or not."

The act of a woman standing up for herself. A radical act, indeed.

via Broadsheet


No comments: