Anonymous said: Hi, I was wondering why you still identify as a feminist despite it's many problems? I don't mean this as a personal attack or anything, just a genuine question.
Most feminists that I’ve met in person are lovely, and genuinely do want equality. Most disagreements I’ve had with them are more out of ignorance of certain issues rather than maliciousness towards men. We were all there once and I don’t think it’s very fair to fault someone for spreading x harmful and inaccurate statistic when they genuinely think it’s true. The problem is more when it’s politely pointed out to them and then they start trying to justify it. I also find it’s much easier to get people to listen to you when you use the feminist label. I guess at the end of the day I’m still optimistic about the movement, but really, whatever label you use doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you do under it.
I wouldn’t ever wanted to identify with ignorant people. But I guess I get what you said about people willing to listen if you use the feminist label. There are millions who will just dismiss you on the basis of not using it, even if what you have to say is essentially feminist (by dictionary definition or otherwise).
Those are largely my reasons. I’ve always said that I care a lot more about what somebody’s beliefs are than what label they give them, and so I’m willing to adopt any label that technically fits if it allows us to skip the label vs label debate and actually tackle the real issues. It definitely facilitates communication with the otherwise narrow-minded.
I also think that a lot of what we say about feminism can be applied to humanity as a whole. The vast majority of political or religious groups are nasty, dogmatic, exclusionary, and so on. Most people are at least in some way rude or problematic, and when they mass together under a banner they often learn to think for themselves in that echo chamber. Nevertheless, I don’t divorce myself from humanity because I know that individual humans are often okay and open-minded when you get them one-on-one in person, and feminists aren’t all that different.
There are also a lot good feminists who give me faith, with good intentions even if they can sometimes can swept along in bandwagons and need a personal confrontation to set them straight. In calling myself a feminist, I increase that number, and can work to improve the movement from the inside just by acting as a part of it, rather than standing on the sidelines and criticising its collapse. I have about as much faith for feminism as I do for human civilisation. Both have their problems, but they also have a spark of goodness inside them that can be nurtured, and for me that’s a reason to not give up quite yet.