I touched on this a little in the conclusion of my weekly blog post about Neighbors 2, but it’s been on my mind all week and I felt as though it needed just a little more attention. In completing my Letter to the Haters, I read through a lot of blogs, comments, and Twitter hashtags for #IDontNeedFeminism. A lot of what people have shared online in opposition to feminism comes from (very) common misconceptions of what the movement is actually about. Quite often I have read something along the lines of “I believe in equal rights and everything but I’m not a feminist,” which we all know is confusing as feminism is essentially an equal rights movement. This point of view is also echoed time and time again in Olson’s “I’m all for equal rights but don’t call me a feminist.”
Subsequently I find myself consistently wondering why feminists can not see that the name “feminism” has begun doing more harm than good. At what point will it be realized that it is more challenging to change people’s views than to educate the public on something new. In her TED Talk “We should all be feminists,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells a story where she asked a similar question of why her friend could not see that women are still treated as inferiors, and had to wait for an instance that demonstrated the concept to him.
What kind of instance will it take to spur the rebranding of feminism? Why has the movement not yet begun? I am curious of the ties that feminists have to the title “feminism.” I am curious of the thoughts of men who identify as feminists. I am curious of the thoughts of men and women who identify with feminist ideals but refuse to don the title “feminist.” What would the new movement be called? Is there even a general consensus that feminism should be rebranded?
This past week I have seen a lot of you posting agreements with Olson’s article, so I am curious about what all of you think the best track of action is…so vote here! Results can be viewed at http://goo.gl/8F1gu2.
Olson, Loreen N., Tina A. Coffelt, Eileen Berlin Ray, Jill Rudd, Renee Botta, George Ray, and Jenifer E. Kopfman. 2008. “‘I’m all for equal rights, but don’t call me a feminist’: Identity Dilemmas in Young Adults’ Discursive Representations of Being a Feminist.” Women’s Studies in Communication 31(1):104-32.
We Should All Be Feminists. Speaker. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Euston. YouTube.