21st century feminism

Monday, 15 February 2010

Love it or Loathe it?

I can’t start blogging without recognising the obvious: feminism is not exactly a loved and cherished ideology anymore. In fact you are probably more likely to find people actively wanting to disassociate themselves from it than claim the title. I don’t fall into that category.

Whenever I lecture on feminism I am keen to point out to those (in the mixed gender classroom) who want to distance themselves from the term, that the very act of being there – women receiving a graduate education and men happy to be educated alongside them, to the same degree-level – is a political alignment with core feminist values.  This is not always happily received, but the point is made, love it or loathe it feminism is responsible for many values, rights and privileges that we take for granted today: women’s education, women’s rights to own property, women’s control of their own bodies, women with careers… I could go on.

Feminism-by-any-other-name? Feminism-by-stealth? I don’t know…

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