Beyond Babedom

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Is Feminism a Dirty Word?

What exactly is a feminist? Do you know, or do you just have a visceral dislike of them/us? A lot of people think it’s a dirty word. But I’m going to give you a very accurate definition and I hope you’ll not only share it, but take it to heart as well.

Back in the 70s, I was happy to be called a feminist, just like a lot of other women who were tired of being paid less, being denied jobs, being left out and being dumped on. I still am. But somewhere along the line, feminist and feminism became dirty words. Now we’re feminazis”, because of course, wanting equality and opportunity and even the ability to control our own assets are the equivalent of killing millions of people. And like most other feminists, it irks me when those of you who have benefited from the feminist movement pooh-pooh it (at best) and denigrate it (as usual). Who the hell do you think got you (somewhat) equal pay? And entrance into (some) places where the powerful network? And out of the secretary pool (the one pool you probably never found refreshing)? After all the work we did for you ladies, a simple “thank you” is in order, Aunt Thomasina.

So, what exactly is the definition of a feminist? Some people might say it’s a person who advocates equal rights for women. Others will go farther and say it’s someone who gives their all to stand up for the rights of women. Neither one of those are bad definitions, but they are somewhat restricting. Of course, Rush Limbaugh says it’s a woman’s rights advocate so ardently committed to the fight for gender equality that she is (as defines ‘nazi) “a harshly domineering, dictatorial, or intolerant person.”

Now, I’ll tell you the two things that really make you a feminist:

  • Having a vagina, and
  • Wanting to have control over said vagina

That’s it. Nothing more. No requirement to be intolerant. No need to burn your bra (though I doubt many old school feminists ever actually did). No stipulation that you don’t shave your legs or wear deodorant and let your hair frizz out. You just have to have a vagina that you want control over.

So, unless you’ve had yours removed, ladies, or  you’ve decided that someone else should control it, you are a feminist.

And you’re welcome.


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This entry was posted on Monday, August 6th, 2012 at 7:52 PM and is filed under Social Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Judy Herring says:

    The “Women’s Movement” of the 70’s provided women with a voice and a chance to go forward not only in the workplace but also in our personal lives. Women were no longer afraid to step out onto even a short limb if it meant we could expand our horizons. BUT, I also believe a double edged sword has been created. Women were allowed into all male military academies, all male military corps, we competed with men in medical and law schools, we became mechanics, we competed with men in our personal lives, too. With all that progress also came record number of abuse cases in the military and workplace and even in the home. I think that a lot of men feel their masculinity is being compromised, and they lash out against women. Lucille, you are the only one I know who can say things the way you do and I love you for it. Yes, as long we women have a vagina we have a voice, a strength to go anywhere!! Here here to all vaginas!!!!!

  2. Chris Munson says:

    Dear Children of all sexual shades, persuasions, biological imperatives, and proclivities;

    In the dark days of the 1970’s She Who Must Be Obeyed and I lived in Washington, D.C., and were both members of the National Organization for Women. Yes, back in “the day” testicles were allowed to associate with the vaginas in the effort to get all those goodies spread around a little more equitably. Then a funny thing happened. The men were identified as “the enemy”, and discouraged from coming to meetings. Then, women who chose to stay at home bearing and raising children, started to be characterized as “breeders”, unworthy of the same respect and affection their more socially and economically “liberated” sisters in the organization enjoyed. The Women’s movement went off the rails when it disenfranchised evangelical christian women who didn’t cotton to the idea of same sex marriage. (Yes, I’m in favor of this, but it’s not the point) So pretty soon, the National Organization for Women became the National Organization of Liberal, Agnostic, Same-Sex-Favoring, Women. No conservatives believing in economic and social equality need apply, and you men can stay out as well.

    Perhaps all organizations advocating such radical social change as was needed in the 60’s, and 70’s need to exclude some in the effort to achieve some degree of coherent, cohesive philosophy, and concerted action in reaching for a goal. It’s sad, however to contemplate the result; that in making substantial progress toward the goal, the notion of a movement embracing many of the aspirations of the vast majority of women, ends up excluding some, perhaps a plurality of women it considers unworthy of their sex.

    This is how femenists get titled feminazis.

  3. You will notice that I said there are two things that really make you a feminist. That doesn’t preclude others from being feminists; it just means that everyone WITH a vagina who wants to have control over it is automatically a feminist, whether she likes it or not.
    I know lots of male feminists, most notably my late, very close friend, Drew Hollywood. And I can believe you are, too, Chris.
    But Rush didn’t start calling us feminazis because he believed that he deserved to be called a feminist!

  4. Pat Wright says:

    That pic of Bob is frightening…LOL

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