Today’s Best Twitter Correspondence

As annoyed as I was with the trackpad, I can appreciate a wry reply from the company’s Twitter folk.

 

Hell Yes, I’m a Feminist

A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece on my personal feminism, in which I noted that while I can be considered a feminist on the fundamental level of “women are entitled to the same rights and privileges as men, with everything that implies in terms of access to education, economic opportunity and personal liberty,” I usually didn’t call myself one, for various and what I thought at the time were perfectly reasonable reasons.

Then 2014 happened, and those reasonable reasons now kind of feel like careful, rationalizing bullshit to me.

So, as an update to my thoughts on my personal feminism:

Hell yes, I’m a feminist.

Mind you, I don’t think this declaration comes as much of a surprise. I think people are aware of my general feelings on feminism, and I’ve not been shy about the topic before, when it’s suited me.

Here’s the thing about that — I was passive about it. When people said, positively, that I was a feminist, I took the compliment. When people said, negatively, that I was a feminist, I mocked them for thinking being called so was an insult. But I let them put the label on me; I didn’t choose it for myself. Which of course is a choice, and one that said something about me.

So this is what I want to say about me:

Hell yes, I’m a feminist.

Not a perfect feminist, or even, depending who you are, a particularly good one. I don’t expect declaring myself a feminist means I will be granted a +5 Ally Shield of Immunity From Criticism, with a side of cookies. I come to feminism carrying the same baggage any 45-year-old well-off straight white man does. I show my ass from time to time. I expect to be called on it when I do. I’ll try to learn from it when it happens.

That said:

Hell yes, I’m a feminist.

I don’t think feminism has been waiting for me. It doesn’t need me as a spokesperson or a leading voice. I don’t believe any woman has been wanting for me to be her “white knight.” As I’ve said before, it’s white knighting to assume women can’t defend themselves; it’s not white knighting to stand with them against the shit thrown their way.

But: I do think it’s important to let women know you do stand with them. I think it’s useful for other men to see it being done. To the extent that I have influence and notability, I’d like to use it standing with, and for, women. At the very least, 2014 showed me that it’s where I want to be standing, and to the extent that it’s useful, be seen standing.

So, for as much as it matters, and can matter:

Hell yes, I’m a feminist.

Sorry it took me so long just to come right out and say it.