Monday, April 2, 2012

So I may have just left this discussion called "The Faces of Feminism," which was this talk about the definition of feminism and people's experiences with feminism in their everyday lives.  And by "may have," I definitely mean "did."  I almost feel like I need to be apologetic when I get serious on this blog, because it seems like most of my darling readers prefer when I'm just talking about something completely ridiculous.  Honestly, those are more fun to write.

But anyway, I think what stood out to me the most was this idea that there are so many different personal definitions of feminism (and, as a result, so many different kinds of feminists), and that this really stems from the fact that the ways people come to identify as feminist are all actually pretty personal and unique journeys.

If you remember (which I wouldn't blame you if you didn't...some days I don't remember what I ate for breakfast (spoiler alert: I usually sleep through it)), I did a post way back when I started this blog about why I self-identify as a Democrat.  I guess this is kind of my reasons for identifying as a feminist?  We'll see.

I'm sure my story begins somewhere along the lines with my beliefs about sexual and domestic violence.  The two for me are completely inseparable, and I think, to a large extent, that's really what shapes my personal views of feminism.  It also doesn't help that I'm a philosophy minor and an absolute freak about ethical philosophy.  I think my views on pretty much everything are inextricably tied to this idea that people are autonomous, unique, and incomprehensible, and that these characteristics alone make you deserving of being treated like a human being and no less than anyone else.  I'm a feminist, honestly, because I think no one has a right to make anyone an object, for any reason.

I'm not even sure how to feel about the idea of the word "feminism."  I think maybe it scares people off?  Honestly, I would never deny being a feminist, but I more often identify as an ethicist than a feminist because, for me, it's not about gender, or race, or sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, because those are all just (to some extent) arbitrary and artificial categories that are super-imposed over the larger issue and, honestly, cloud it a lot of the time.  You have a right to your body, to your opinion, to earn fair compensation for your work, to speak and act freely, to love and be loved as you see fit not in virtue of how you identify but merely on the grounds that you're human, and that being human means that there are things about you which no one else can ever fully understand, control, or consume.  It's not about being different...or even the's about not attempting to categorize the things you can't ever fully understand, and not being able to give or deny rights to someone on the grounds of the things you don't understand.

Rachel Leigh

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