“My conclusion is that it’s not the word ‘feminist’ that people object to. It’s not even the facts – few people, even the most ‘anti-feminist’ I have come across, deny (when pressed) that women should not have equality. What people get riled about is the simple concept of a woman demanding equal rights, opportunities and treatment to men, because this upsets the deep-rooted patriarchy in our society.
[Read more: delilah-mj]
The prejudice against feminism is an extension of the prejudice against women, therefore whatever we call ourselves – for example, equal rights seekers – there will always be disquiet. When I started the blog, a friend said: “I bet people don’t expect you to look like that.” He thought it was a compliment, telling me that I’m not ugly. It’s a very sad society in which the stereotype of a feminist is to be ugly. Is that the only way that people can justify us asking for equality? Another stereotype about feminists is that they are ‘angry’. This is a neat trick, because telling someone they are angry often has the result of making them angry, even if they weren’t angry in the first place.
I have had many conversations with people who declare that they are not feminists. A typical conversation will start with their protestation that women are already equal. When I contest this with evidence and examples, we agree that women and men are not equal. But now the line changes.