Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why I'm Not a Feminist

During the past five years or so, there have been many headlines bemoaning the death of feminism.

I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to these headlines because, wellam I the only woman who doesn’t care to be called a “feminist?”

I think of “feminist,” and I think of a strident, angry, un-feminine woman who wants to be treated as though she were a man.

Or, I think of a privileged, upper-class woman, like a certain COO who’s been getting a lot of attention lately, and I think that whatever ails her means nothing to me, that she and I can’t possibly be fighting the same fight.

And so, neither of these models really speaks to who I am. Was Rosa Parks a feminist? Was Mary McLeod Bethune? Is Condoleezza Rice a feminist? I’m pretty sure Oprah Winfrey is, and you know how I feel about her.

As usual, when I want to know whether I’m making a judgment based more on perception than fact, I head to the dictionary. Not the seven or eight hard-bound dictionaries on my new wall-to-wall bookshelves, heaven forbid! No, I’m off to And according to, a feminist is someone who advocates for women to receive the same social, political, legal, and economic rights as men, and that sounds dandy, so I’m not sure what my problem is, but I definitely have one.

What do you call a hard-working, hard-thinking, man-loving, don’t-really-feel-like-no-crap-taking, I’d-certainly-appreciate-being-treated-as-human-iffen-you-pleasing kind of woman? Is she a feminist?

Well, that’s who I am. And I guess I don’t think there’s any label large enough to define me, certainly not anything like “feminist,” which sounds like of dated and doesn’t even begin to describe all that my female African ancestors have endured and fought for and died for.

So if “Ding-dong the feminist is dead,” is a new tune some people are singing, that’s alright with me.

What about you? Do you consider yourself a feminist?


  1. Absolutely proud to consider myself a feminist, especially as those ideals have been embodied and advanced by the likes of Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, Ruth Ginsberg, Florynce Kennedy - and many, many more.

    1. Hello, Patti! I'm not surprised to hear you say this. Listen, when it comes from you, it almost sounds like something I could be interested in.:)

  2. Lol! I have had so many labels in my life, I'm not sure I want another one! But when I look at what I love and what I think is would be my passion for encouraging woman to just be free. I don't know what that looks life for everybody but for me and my girls it means that we will strive daily to live very close to who we are. We see what what see, ask for what we want (sometimes just take it), reposition ourselves when we are uncomfortable, laugh really hard and loud if we see something funny, cry big tears when it hurts, stop when we need to and go some more when we are ready...but then, we share these beautiful gifts of life with any sister seeking a better way to just...BE. And I just can't help believing that when we start to live like that, it can't help but to manifest in all areas of our lives. So, I don't know if "feminist" applies to me but I am all about being "TEAM GIRL!" HOO-RAH!