“As a Feminist”

by aronjerrison

Although I would like to keep my record pristinely clear of on-topic posts, I have mentioned today’s post multiple times in the past two weeks to both Naomi and Eddy, and I thought that I really ought to write it up to share with you.

As I go about my life, both on the internet and out in the big bad world, I am confronted with far too much anti-feminist rhetoric. I have found that the image of the “humourless feminist” is still a popular one, much to my chagrin. As much as I would love to point the people who accept this stereotype to a link to Jo Brand, in the real world, due to the socio-economic (primarily economic) barriers keeping me from smartphone ownership,  I do not always have that option.

The result of this is me finding myself attempting to break that stereotype by describing myself as having both a sense of humour and feminist convictions often uttering that unfortunate phrase: “well, as a feminist, I…”

My problem with the phrase is not the unhesitating allegiance to feminism to which it seems to pledge me. I have no problem with that. Instead, I fear that I am committing some grievous breach of etiquette for a male feminist (more on the syntax of “male feminist” in a later post). Having seen so many straw-feminists formed out of a misunderstanding and generalising of one feminist’s comments, I do not want to allow my elucidation of my own feminist ideology to reflect in a potentially negative manner on such an important movement.

This may seem presumptuous to even say, but I would hate to see my thoughts pasted around the internet as an example of why feminists are evil and wrong.

What I need to do is find a more convenient shorthand for “this is what I, being informed by my feminist convictions, think about the topic under discussion. Please do not take this as the view any feminists other than those who state it.” Until I find that shorthand, I would like to, as a feminist, say good bye.