The other day I was having a discussion with a man that led to me reminding him that I am a feminist, and him responding with “yes, but you’re the right kind of feminist”. As far as I know, this is because I’m not radical, an activist or particularly shouty – I just like to offer an alternative point of view when an un-feminist point is raised. But, is this a good or a bad thing? Although being proactive is necessary so people don’t forget that feminism is still relevant and that there are still battles to be won, the way we go about getting things done and spreading our message goes a long way towards helping that. Shouting at people and telling them they’re wrong isn’t always the best way to change opinions and make yourself heard, as most people are far too stubborn for an unfriendly approach to work. However, I feel like I shouldn’t approve the notion of a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ sort of feminist as we should be presenting a united front.
Over the last couple of days, the Re-branding Feminism conference has been taking place and stirring up a bit of online debate on whether feminism should be re-branded or simply reclaimed. Although reclaiming ‘feminist’ from the haters would do some good, and re-branding or renaming to remove the slightly unhelpful ‘fem’ part, changing the connotations of a word is surely not as immediately useful as, say, obtaining funding for a rape crisis centre. Activism is vital, but I think that awareness can also play a small part. ‘Right’ or ‘wrong’ kind of feminist, there is room for us all… and, no, I’m not going to argue about that.
Image by Laura Jung.