And why are you not?

Posted in Being a Feminist, Language by Dizzy on August 25, 2008

I saw some good friends the other day, a married couple that I adore and haven’t seen in a while. They introduced me to their parents/in-laws and announced to the mother that I was also a feminist. Mother explained that she was active in the early stages of the movement, I gave her the fight-the-man fist salute and joked about the non-existent special handshake of the feminist club. It was all very light-hearted and perfectly fine, these people are absolutely lovely, but it did get me thinking.

It’s not like this woman and I both went to Cornell or are from the same small Idaho town. No, we just both believe that women are not the sexy supporting characters that leave the real business of life to men or that child-rearing is the sole reason for our existence.

I think I have a hard time understanding why any sane and humane person out there wouldn’t be a feminist, so it’s always weird to be singled out as one by people that I consider sane and humane.

I’ve decided that the next time I get introduced as a feminist to a group of strangers, I’m gonna ask the introducer why they’re not.  Should be interesting.  Hope I don’t get beat up.


4 Responses

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  1. TP said, on August 26, 2008 at 7:46 am

    That’s an incredible insight. Though I’m sure it’s mostly denial, cynicism about labels, and fear of not pleasing the ruling class, it still gets the ball rolling.

    Most men just don’t believe that male supremacy exists, for example. Even the slightest challenge to their supremacy is seen as evidence of what they consider oppression.

  2. Malika said, on August 26, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    “Dizzy’s a feminist, just like you!”

    “Dizzy here believes women are human beings! You two will have so much in common.”

    This is why people think feminists have no sense of humour, yo. Because we laugh at things that seems normal (like pointing out one feminist to another) and we don’t laugh at ‘normal humour’ (like a male friends’ ‘I’m a porn-hound’ jokes).

  3. Kill your isms said, on September 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Ok, I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for this reply, but I feel like I have to say it anyway.

    I have no problem with feminists, I have a problem with Feminism. In fact, I have a problem with most “-isms.” While I am in no way against gender equality, I am seriously against placing people into groups of “for” and “against.” We cannot let ourselves be defined by how we are different from one another. Being unique is great, and every person is special in his or her own little way, but on the whole, we’re all human. When we only consider humanity, men and women tend to seem completely unlike one another, but the moment we consider the world as a whole, gender is not such a big deal. Look at it like the visible light spectrum. Men are red, women are violet. They might be completely different colors, but only when all you can see is that tiny fraction of the whole.

    I am certain that Feminism has advanced the position of women in many ways. I’m not trying to say it isn’t worthwhile, but there is a larger problem at hand. Categorization of people allows for judgement, usually without adequate assessment. I’m sure that even under the feminist umbrella there must be categories of appropriate or not appropriate feminism. The more we point out each other’s differences, the more different we will become, or at least seem. But everything is a sliding scale. Two people who say they have nothing in common simply aren’t looking at it from the right angle.

    Yes, women are oppressed in many places around the world. Yes, there is much work needed to be done as far as women’s rights are concerned, but there is far more work that needs to be done as far as human rights are concerned, and I don’t mean in a “starving child in Africa” sort of way. I mean we need to realize that humanity is ALL WE HAVE. We have evolved to have this wonderful and terrible thing called consciousness, and yet we fail to acknowledge that we can use it together. Instead we look upon others as lesser or greater based on arbitrary rules of what that group of people believe. When we say that some group is oppressed, the problem is not that specific, the problem is oppression in general. The more groups we create, the more chances we have to make them better or worse or stronger or weaker than some other group.

    Don’t be a feminist, be a humanist.

  4. Dizzy said, on September 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Wow, thanks. I’ve never thought about it that way before. You are defintely the first person to state this opinion, and I really appreciate you teaching me about feminism. You obviously understand it way better than I ever could. You have really, really profound insight and I hope you continue to state your opinion on all the feminist blogs out there. I know you will be welcome with open arms, and who knows, you just may turn us all into humanists with your air tight logic! Thanks again.

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