Technically, I am a feminist and always have been. Tolerance, equality, such things are embedded in me at a young age, through tolerant Mom and grandmother, tolerant church, Boy Scouts, alternative high school, hippie college. I know my roots and what I took from them fit quite well into feminism.
However, it’s 2015 and people _do_ get hung up on words. Feminism may mean something in the insulated world of Academia but once its hollowed halls are left behind, the majority of the world just sees the “fe-“.
It has a public relations issue that gets worse and worse. Having a special definition that is not shared by the majority of the population can lead to a lot of unnecessary arguments and battles.
Look at the use of Theory in Science. Yes, it has a long tradition. Easily fixed. In English alone, look at what conceptualizations the word “theory” brings to mind:
code, doctrine, argument, concept, thesis, system, assumption, suspicion, proposal, scheme, approach, method, premise, philosophy, idea, plan, rationale, understanding, provision, ideology, position, speculation, impression, outlook, shot, hunch, foundation, supposition, surmise, presumption, guess, basis, theorem, postulate, conditions, conjecture, dogma, base, stab, presentiment, guesswork, feeling, grounds, suppose, systemization, codification, supposal, formularization,
Which is it? If someone doesn’t like it, it’s Guesswork. If someone does like it, it’s Rationale. I understand the Scientific use of the word; that’s not the problem. The problem is the reuse of words when one is trying to be specific leads to unnecessary, unrelated issues in society.
I found my answer:
I am not a feminist. I am a conflict theorist. I can work with that.
*IF* there’s a discussion of feminism, really, one should be more specific anyhow. It’s no a single ‘thing’. But Conflict theory bundles them all up together, along with Queer Theory, Men’s Rights, etc.