For those of you who agree that men and women are of equal worth and who work for and practice egalitarianism may have never thought of yourselves as a feminist. (This summer one of my friends was excited when I told him men could be feminists and he proudly sported the label). It might have never occurred to you that when you are okay working for a woman or when you don’t buy into misogyny that you are, indeed, practicing feminism.
You may not want to be a feminist. You may think the term has too many derogatory connotations, that it is too liberal and too weird, that it enables women to bash men and do whatever they want to do without any boundaries whatsoever. The label might imply that you are not a person of faith.
So here is why I use the term.
First, I do believe that men and women are of equal worth. I believe all the definitions I talked about in Part One.
Second, using the term connects me with a broader movement. I can work alongside others fighting for women’s rights in a wider context.
Third, it signifies a big part of my goals. True, my first goal is to know God and make God known (okay that’s two goals). But feminism does carry a big part of what I am attempting to communicate and achieve in our world.
Fourth, I don’t see an issue with defining myself as a feminist. Missionaries identify themselves as human rights or medical relief workers, for example. The term carries a lot of meaning but it does not exclude me from my faith.
Finally, the term “feminist” is, in and of itself, empowering. Women cite their choices as feminist from little changes like dying their hair to huge changes like becoming a CEO. Calling yourself a feminist can give you more meaning and confidence.
Happy new year to all!