By jessie kornberg • June 15, 2008•Other Issues
I am a Feminist because I believe in gender equity. While acknowledging that there are real and perceived differences between men and women, I don't believe these differences justify disparities in their treatment.
I think it's important to explain why I am a Feminist because a lot of people associate Feminism with other values - with extremism, with elitism, with activism, with exclusivity, with anger. There are famous Feminists who have visibly advanced those values: abolitionists, prohibitionists, suffragists, etc. Many were brave and pioneering. Many were controversial. Many made mistakes. I know that I invoke their memory when I adopt their label. But "Feminist" is defined not just by its past usage but by those who presently identify themselves as such. I'm proud to share responsibility for the continued evolution of the term.
For me Feminism is not a cause, it's a perspective. I do not think there is a single issue of public or private concern that does not impact women. But not everyone who considers these issues thinks about their gender-specific effects. My Feminism helps inform how I view war, poverty, sickness, politics, education, business - you name it. It is not the only perspective I carry with me - I'm also young, Western-educated, a former artist, an attorney, etc. - all my experiences color my viewpoint.
I know that others don't share my perspective despite sharing my label. I know that others don't share my label despite sharing my commitment to gender equity. I'd be interested to hear from the full spectrum. How do you define Feminism? How do you identify yourself?
Here's another perspective to help get you started.