When Did Feminism Become the F-Word?

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this shirt 🙂

As usual, I had to wait for that moment of inspiration to strike. Today, it was a young barista commenting on my graphic T which has the famed and often incorrectly attributed quote:

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” (Laurel Thatcher Ulrich)

The barista said it was her favorite quote and we had a nice exchange. Driving home I wondered if she knew the context and if so, would it remain her favorite? Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is a feminist. I sometimes feel like that feminism and feminist are, in some circles, F-words.

When I was younger, I wanted to be an independent, successful woman but I distanced myself from the terms feminism and feminist. I’m not entirely sure why, but the general unease people seemed to have around the subject played a role. You can say f–k during a dinner party and people hardly bat an eyelash. Say feminist and see how many people look at the tablecloth.

What is it about human nature that makes us suspicious of groups we aren’t a part of? Is it the same factor/trait that makes some members of any group lean radical? Why are we drawn to the train-wreck stories in the media when a radical member of a group does something awful?

I know there are no easy answers to any of these questions. Learn more and decide what you believe. It won’t be easy to sort out good information. Lots of people have opinions to share and often they conflict, even when seemingly supportive of feminism, for example:

I don’t have any answers, but I will share that I can now say proudly, f–k yeah, I’m a feminist! I’ll try it out at our next dinner party. 😉

3 thoughts on “When Did Feminism Become the F-Word?

  1. I have embraced the eff word now and it has become the first descriptive I use to sum up my beliefs. Where I’m from it’s a taboo to be a woman who believes she can even be close to equal to men. So openly declaring that I’m a feminist scares people and I’m okay with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tara

    I’ve been thinking about how I felt about feminists in the past, and maybe it was my inner dike propping me up, but I’ve always delighted in making people squirm with the ‘f-word’. But I knew I didn’t understand the complexities of it’s history.

    Where I fell down as a feminist was taking on all those ‘women’s things’ because I ‘wanted to’. Which was really just a life-time of patriarchal programming. I’ve been working hard to acknowledge WHEN something can be done by my partner and when I’d prefer to do it because his actions aren’t up to my standards… like folding clothes (I know I’m crazy 😝).

    Liked by 1 person

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