I want to share an interesting quote from an interview with progressive sports writer, Dave Zirin, in paper issue No. 53 of Bitch.
Zirin: I had a long conversation with my wife about this question. I absolutely consider myself a feminist from the perspective that I believe in women’s liberation, that I am antisexist, and that I believe women should have the right to control their own bodes and [have] reproductive freedom. But it is not the same as agreeing with how official feminist organizations have gone about fighting for women’s liberation. Am I a “small f” feminist? Yes, absolutely. Do I identify with organizations like NOW, EMILY’s List, and Feminist Majority? Not particularly.
I like this quote a lot because I think it opens up the feminist label to a lot more people who hesitate to use it. There are a lot of reasons people don’t identify as feminists despite holding values that otherwise align against gender oppression. Somehow I don’t think this grammatical nuance will change the minds of those people who are afraid to associate themselves with the (tired) feminist stereotype (“I’m not a feminist, but…”), nor do I think it will (or should) mean much to those who have rejected feminism for intentional reasons, choosing other anti-oppression ideologies instead.
However, I feel like thinking about feminism as a thing instead of a Thing makes it more accessible to people who agree with and support the movement, but don’t necessarily know who Judith Butler is or read feminist blogs all day.
I’m all for anyone who feels comfortable with feminism to use the label. I think it will help to de-stigmatize the word and maybe people would stop writing those lazy “Is Feminism Dead?” articles: