I’m Not a Feminist, But…

Now what would you think if someone said “it’s not that I’m anti-racist or anything, but I don’t believe in discriminating against people because of their race”?

Now what would you think if someone said “it’s not that I’m anti-racist or anything, but I don’t believe in discriminating against people because of their race”?

I have just received an invitation to a women-only gathering, explicitly signalled as “not feminist or anything like that”. Heaven forbid!

What exactly is it supposed to mean? We are only interested in our personal experience and this is not political? We are anti-intellectuals? We are not too serious? We don’t agree with orthodoxy? We are not threatening? We are not interested in the past? We are young? We are attractive? We are not lesbians?

I imagine that every woman who comes out with this (almost invariably before coming out with a feminist point) has a different motivation. Just as every woman who calls herself a feminist has a different philosophy and a different reason for doing so.

As I see it the only thing that all the ‘not feminists but…’ have in common is that they are publicly adding to a sense of feminism and the individual women who identify themselves in this way as┬ápossibly dangerous and definitely undesirable to others.

Correspondingly, the only thing feminists have in common is that they are saying “being a woman is a fundamental fact of my existence, and I claim my right to express that in any way I see fit, and not have my opportunities or rights restricted because of my sex”.

And why not?

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