Vocal and unabashed

PZ also did a post on Liberal Will, which has a squillion comments which include a sub-theme that Rebecca and I are not/are “radical feminists” and what is a radical feminist anyway.

The sub-theme starts with

although someone did allege Rebecca Watson and Ophelia Benson were “radical feminists” — they’re really not —

They may not be, but they sure give off that impression.

and continues with several people saying “under what definition?” Ibis gives the right answer.

When people call Ophelia or Rebecca “radical feminists” they are using the term as a slur* for “vocal, unabashed feminists”. Just like when people use the term “militant atheists” they are not using it for atheists who are running around with assault rifles and a plan to take over the government, but rather as a slur for “vocal, unabashed atheists”.

*mostly because they misunderstand the term entirely and think it refers to women who hate men and want to oppress them as some kind of revenge fantasy payback

Quite. It’s just clueless. “Radical feminist” has a meaning, and I don’t fit it at all. (Neither does Rebecca.) I’m a boringly normal liberal feminist.

Obviously the underlying assumption is that any kind of feminism that goes beyond suffrage and equal pay is “radical” and crazy.

The thing is, it’s possible to be boringly normal liberal feminist and still be the kind of feminist who really does think that feminism matters and that it hasn’t “won” yet, and that there still is a lot of stupid sexist shit embedded in the culture, in habits, in ways of talking and behaving, in the media, in sport – you name it. I’m absolutely that kind of feminist…and I do self-identify as a radical, broadly speaking. But “radical feminist” has a specific and rather narrow meaning, and I’m not one. But vocal and unabashed? Hell yes.