3. Acknowledging that though gender inequality negatively affects all genders, women are on the losing side in the patriarchal society in which we live.
4. Wanting to change that current situation by improving conditions for women (and by doing so also improving the conditions for everone.)
But you call yourself a humanist, equalist, everybodyist, because feminism is just too strong a word for you. You believe in equality, but why does it all have to be about the ladies?
So, why has feminist become a bad word?
1. Because it sounds like it has to do with women, and everything women do is kind of crap. (Your ideas about women haven’t been coloured by a misoynistic society at all, have they?)
2. Women who are angry, annoyed, upset, politically aware and well-informed are annoying. And bitchy. And screechy. Women who express negative opinions are just annoying. (Your ideas about women haven’t been coloured by a misoynistic society at all, have they?)
3. You don’t believe women suffer gender discrimination. You haven’t seen it. (Oh, but you have! Or you’ve never questioned the world in which you live. Or it’s just easier to brush it off when it doesn’t happen to you. Or it’s easier to brush it off than to fight against it.)
4. You just don’t care about women that much. (Your ideas about women haven’t been coloured by a misoynistic society at all, have they?)
5. You’re afraid that giving women power (time/a voice/ opportunities) will mean that men will lose theirs.(Probably some, yes. Equality will never happen if some people keep all the power and won’t let go of it.)
6. Some feminists, whose names you do not know, hate men. And because of these individuals who expressed some hatred towards men, you don’t want to identify with this word.
You will happily define yourself as Communist, because what Stalin did has nothing to do with Marx. Or you’ll happily say that capitalism is a great system, despite 7-year-olds in Cambodia stitching your H&M t-shirts together. You will call yourself a Roman Polanski fan, minus the child raping bit. But feminism well, you just can’t get over that one girl at that one party who said she hated men.
Misandry (hatred of men) might fuel a satirical play, a song that includes the line Men are pigs! or a an aggressive statement at a campus party. But misogyny (hatred of women) kills more women than war, pays women less for their work, uses women’s bodies as objects in advertising and denies millions of women the right to an education. But feminism is just a bit too strong a word for you.
The hatred of the word feminist is one of the reasons we need feminism in the 21st century.