Friday, May 2, 2008

My own definition of feminism

I am a perpetual blog lurker, especially on feminist sites. All the traditional sites (BitchPhd, Feministing, Feministe, AngryBlackBitch, etc.) and some non-traditional ones as well, when I feel so inclined. Usually, I lurk because I don't feel I have much to add via discourse to the feminist conversation- I am silenced for fear of my own ineptitude. However, it is my hope that creating this blog will give me practice on voicing my views and opinions. I don't intend to talk about JUST feminism because frankly, I'd rather leave this topic in the more competent hands of those who are already providing daily commentary. Because I rarely engage in the ongoing dialogue, however, I am going to use this site to process my own thoughts on politics, feminism, life, which will hopefully allow for more personal development that I'd like to see.

That being said, I want to give my own definition of feminism today.

  • When I say that I am a feminist, I mean that I am an advocate for women.
  • I mean I enjoy talking about things that pertain specifically to women and women's place in social structures (families, communities, nationally, historically).
  • I mean that I believe that women struggle in a patriarchal society which is, at best, schizoid in its conception of women's roles, rights, and responsibilities.
  • I mean that I do not assume to know everything that there is to know about oppression and disenfranchisement and that my state of being is a constant state of learning.
  • I mean that I believe in strong women who don't take shit from anyone, and that I empathize (and self-associate) with women who DO take shit because they've been socialized to believe they should.
  • I mean that I believe women have the right to do all of the same things that men do, without receiving flak for their gender.
  • I mean that I believe fundamentally in reproductive rights that protect women- specifically preventative, educational care that allows women to make informed choices regarding their individual bodies.
  • I mean that I believe in women's sexuality and sexual expression, and the importance of defining sexuality in non-masculine terms.
  • I mean that I believe that it is possible to harbor the dual beliefs that 1) Women are different from men and 2) We are all human and equal and deserving of treatment that disregards gender, race, and class.

I will probably have more to add to this list later, but I want to get these beliefs out there because they are what feminism is to me and they are why I identify myself as a feminist. As I continue to refine my definition of what feminism means, and how I identify with the term, I'm sure there will be more to say. For now- this is me.

1 comment:

Kris said...

YAY...YOU HAVE A BLOG! I have lots to catch up on