November 11, 2016

The F Word

This is a post I drafted sometimes in July. And I've been sitting on it ever since. Now, more than ever it needs to be published.

It’s one of those words that’s been around for a long time. It’s the one people have trouble defining because it means different things to different people. It’s one I really didn’t have any use for… until I started using it.

When I was in high school, circa partying like it was 1999 (cuz it was), I occasionally would hear the F word get thrown around. No one liked it. No one wanted to hear it. It was often met with attitude or a rolling of the eyes. Going with the flow and not really understanding I too dismissed the word. Not in my vocabulary, F word!

And in recent years, especially now, it’s become a big deal again. I hear it on the street, I read it in magazines, I hear it conversations with friends. And it is very much in my vocabulary.

For the longest time it was synonymous with man-bashing or man-hate. Women who wanted to “be” the man. It was perceived with an ‘I can do it myself’ attitude. Feminism had a bad rap.

Did you read that definition? Read it again… and again. “advocating...rights of women equal to those of men”.

As I’ve increased my age, and knowledge, it’s become a word that not only do I understand, truly understand, it’s also one I will fight for. You want to call me a feminist? Please do!

Feminism isn’t being one of the boys. It’s being the SAME as the boys. It means our pay is the same. It means the laws are the same. It means that for once in this country, one is not better, or more valued, or more important, or more worthy, than the other.

To quote one badass woman's opinion on this subject...

"Feminism... I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang, 'Free to be You and Me.' Free to be, if you were a girl—doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Anything you want to be. And if you’re a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s OK too. That notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers—man-made barriers, certainly not heaven sent." - RBG 
So, yes. I consider myself a feminist. And although some may roll their eyes, or refuse to listen, I will wear this badge of honor proudly because not only do I deserve it, but future generations deserve it as well.


  1. I remember that. I started high school in 1999 and I remember feminist being a bad word back then. Can't imagine what I was thinking or why it was that way in my particular environment - I went to an all girls school for both junior high and high school! I'm really glad I've smartened up. I have no patience or, really, respect for anyone who says they aren't a feminist. Occasionally, women are better at some things than men, men are better at some things than women. But we ARE equal.

  2. I love this post so much, Michael. Yes to all of it. I remember feminist being a bad word too. Man-haters, bitches, and what not. And if I would have thought about it for a hot minute, I would have noticed this is how men perceived feminists and was their rallying cry that got widely accepted, even by women. I love what both Obama (oh God, why can't he just stay in office?) and RBG said. We as women need to stand tall and teach boys and girls, men and women that feminist is not a bad word but a word and mindset that should be embraced.

  3. Agree 100%! Seeing all those posts a while back from women who claimed they weren't feminists was baffling to me. You seriously don't believe in equality for yourself? Because that is just batshit crazy. I've been thinking about people using terms like this as insults. If someone tried to insult me by calling me a 'feminist' or 'social justice warrior' (WARRIOR?! how is that an insult?!) I would thank them for the compliment.

  4. Helllllll yes. YEARS ago I made a post on Fb that was 100% feminist/pro-equality but I remembered I prefaced it with, "Now I wouldn't call myself a feminist, but..."
    Someone totally called me out on it and I'm SO glad they did! I AM a feminist. And I married a feminist. And I'm 100% ok with it.

  5. Love this post. You should definitely be proud of that belief!

  6. *applauds* You know how I feel on the subject. Lately more than ever before I've been correcting the wildly misguided ideas of what most of us mean when we say "I'm a feminist," and I'm never gonna stop. It needs to be said until it's understood. But the secondary battle I think a lot of us are realizing now is that when you're been the ruling party for so long (like white/male has been in this country forever), equality feels like oppression--and that's a big contributor to what's just happened. Anyway, /tangent.
    Someone on twitter retweeted something by a man I didn't know the other day that said something to the effect of "If someone asked me before if I was a feminist, I would say 'I guess, but that's not really my fight.' I feel differently now." And it just made me happy that men are starting to realize what we're asking for, what we're fighting for. Get on board, everybody.

  7. I've got pretty much the same thoughts on this as you. I used to make fun of the idea of feminism before I understood what it really meant and now I use the word pretty freely. Ryan still thinks there's some stigma attached to it (no doubt there is for his extremely conservative Southern relatives) but I'm working on him. He'll get used to it eventually. It's so ridiculous that a word meant to convey something so positive and obviously right has so much negative attached to it. I love that quote by Obama. He sums it all up so succinctly.

  8. Oh, yes, I remember the prevalence of beliefs that "feminism" was a bad word. Those beliefs still exist with many, but I think it's because, like you said, it is a word that means something different to different people. And, like you, I think it took me time to get older and wiser and educate myself. Well-written.

  9. yes, yes, yes. love this post. i remember i used to scrunch my nose up and say i wasn't a feminist because i didn't understand. now, i am happy to correct anyone who sounds like they don't understand. i'm happy to let people believe what they want to believe in other areas, but not with something like that. it doesn't mean man hater. love the quotes from obama and rbg - just finished her book the other day and did a lot of shouting and fist pumping in my car. as you do.