(Edit note: the URL is the original title of this post. After looking at it for a bit, I wanted to change it to avoid implying that people who don’t use the feminist label are all immature, which is not my opinion.)

I came across these tweets this morning:

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And yesterday, I’d read these two articles:

At “Feminisnt”: Frequently Addressed Accusation: “You misrepresent true feminism by focusing on the bad feminists. They’re not real feminists anyway!”  (from February 2013)

At Mistress Matisse’s blog: Am I Or Not? (from February 2009)

And I was thinking of two things…

  1. In high school, how I used to get accused of being a feminist, and I swore that I wasn’t. They mostly used the word “femnazi.” I mostly meant I didn’t hate men. 
  2. On facebook the other day, some jackass (clearly) [sarcasm] made a comment to the effect of “feminism” and sexuality always being in opposition to one another. After my initial ragefeels cooled enough for me to formulate a reasoned response, what I said was that “feminism” doesn’t say anything about sex. Except don’t be shitty to each other. Which is pretty much what “feminism” says about everything.

So-called “sex-positive” feminism is the only feminism I have ever known. It honestly kind of confuses me when people rant about “feminists” hating sex, because I’ve never gotten that message. [Though I will say, the writer at Feminisnt has a pretty good point about being trying to keep sex work criminal. WHOLE NOTHER POST.]

Was it because I grew up southern and so anything “feminist” at all was oh god, so fucking radical? (so only the radical kids associated themselves with it.) But it’s not like I didn’t have the internet to read. Or books. I went on a kick in college for a while and read every feminist classic I knew about, because I didn’t understand what this “feminism” that I kept being accused of was. I didn’t have anybody to talk about them with, but I didn’t finish the pack of them hating sex or men.

And still, when I think of people characterizing “feminism” as hating sex or hating men, I think of misogynists. I think of people that think women really should stay in their place, and that any agitation against “their place” is bitterness and hate of men. People who say feminists “hate sex” because women actually want to be able to make their own sexual choices.

But Matisse? Love her. Love her writing. The author at “Feminisnt”? ouch, some of that kinda hurt, but yeah, I agree that sex work should be legal and yeah, I agree that it’s problematic (a feminist’s favorite word, amirite?) that, for example, people defended Sandra Fluke by saying:
“She’s so not “promiscuous”!”
instead of:
“Maybe she is “promiscuous.” Still none of your damn business.”

So, if you would call yourself a feminist now, was there ever a time you vehemently denied it? Why? What changed? Do you call yourself a feminist now? What does that mean to you, in a couple sentences? Thoughts? Discuss.