The problem of word "feminism" results from self-identification. If someone calls you a name, intending that it be taken as a slur, whether it be "nerd", "geek", "feminist", "pagan", "fag", a five letter word beginning with n that I shall not even type for fear of being excluded from public discussion by a political correctness nazi, or any other, a common counter-tactic is to adopt that name as a badge of pride and force it to be redefined in the public mind.
is really effective is up to interpretation.
In any case, "feminist" is a bit different than most of the other words mentioned, as it was first used by a movement to describe itself, and then
used as an epithet. When it became a potential insult, some people (see above) shied away, but others clung to it even more fiercely. This, along with the actions and positions of it's most notable holders (NOW
, to point a finger) worsening its connotation, has created an interesting positive feedback loop.
So what does this mean? It means that the meaning firmly entrenched in my linguistic interpreter for "feminist" is "one that desires women to have additional power and freedom, and cares not whether this affects men", essentially because those most loudly proclaiming themselves to be feminists believe just that (finger pointing again
). I also hold that many other people, say everyone aware of the stigma of feminism
, at least partially subscribe to this connotation.
So, since I like to yell at people, when I can get away with it, I am a masculinist on the weekdays, and on the weekends and holidays, I'm an equalist. Thirty years ago, I would have been a feminist, but to use such a label now would associate me with some of my greatest political enemies.