A practitioner of feminism.

"People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute." - Rebecca West

Feminists analyse the world with respect to gender-based power structures, much as Marxists analyse the world in terms of class-based power structures.

There exists a second form of the Dame Rebecca West quote:
"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat."
True in 1913, just as true now. And given the free appropriation of the term by a myriad of quite distinct philosophies (admittedly: can anyone say cline?), too many people have too much stock in it to give it up willingly. *sigh*

The masochists among you may endur^H^Hoy Where feminism lost me.

The actual definition of a feminist is one who believes that women should be treated as the equals of men in all (reasonable) things and vice versa. Women who believe that women are better than men and claim to be feminists (the ones that give feminism a bad name) are actually chauvinists (see chauvinism).

To answer a commonly asked question; can men be feminists? The answer is yes. I am not an activist, but I still believe all people are the same regardless of sex or nationality, thus I am a feminist by definition.
There is no "actual" (i.e., universally accepted) definition of feminist, any more than there is of "Christian." My favorite, and the one that I use, is: any person who recognizes that women have been and are frequently oppressed, and believes that something should be done about it.

My next realization was that I'm not really interested in associating with anyone who's not a feminist by this definition, which makes me slightly uneasy because I try to be accepting of others...and yet...

Oh, and there's also one of my personal beliefs expressed as buttons pinned on my backpack, which is: "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people," which I think does sum it up nicely.

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