I know I’ve been a feminist for as long as I can recall. Maybe it’s because I generally have an aversion to authority or maybe it was born within me when I wrote my first essay on the adventures of Nellie Bly. I’m fairly certain that all women are, in their own way, feminists. How could we not be? I’ve often struggled to define what makes a woman, or a man, a feminist. I believe that it should be based on one’s sense of pride of being female and one’s desire to make sure that women are treated as equally valuable human beings. We’re so frequently labeled as man-haters who are hell bent on domination, but the scariest part is that some people (male and female) apparently believe it! I guess I had just assumed that most sane people were all for gender equality. But when the word “feminist” comes into play, the nasty labels follow. I’ve told men that I am a feminist and more times than not, I get a look that seems to read “are you going to castrate me now?”. Ideally, I’d like to get to a place where feminism is generally accepted as a positive.
In the world we live in today, since my bra is far too expensive to burn, how do we identify a feminist? Am I less of a feminist if I spend to much time stressing over my relationship status or if I read the occasional fashion magazine? Have I insulted my feminist foremothers by coloring my hair and wearing make-up? Please take these examples as tongue-in-cheek; I’m simply trying determine if we, as feminists of the new millennium, have a set of guidelines to determine the direction of our lives. What should we shun, what should we embrace? These are tricky times we live in and I’d like to open the forum and invite the masses to express their views.
Who are we as feminists? Can we even be defined?