I was discussing feminist topics with a couple of friends last night when the issue of men and trans people being excluded from some feminist events came up. I was reminded of an old blog post of mine where I decided not to call myself a feminist as the pressure from certain types of feminist became too much (N.B. I have since changed my mind about this). However, now I ask myself why anyone dares to think they have the right to tell other people who and what they are. Just because you enjoy sex, you can’t be a feminist? Just because you don’t go on protests and write on posters, you’re can’t be a feminist? Just because you weren’t born (and remain) female, you can’t be a feminist? We can label ourselves however we like, thank you very much! Wiktionary describes feminism as:
A social theory or political movement supporting the equality of both sexes in all aspects of public and private life; specifically, a theory or movement that argues that legal and social restrictions on females must be removed in order to bring about such equality.
This was my favourite definition from my, admittedly rather brief, search as it mentions equality and doesn’t specify that this is only for women. (I’m not entirely happy with their use of the phrase ‘both sexes‘ but at least it’s more than one, which is a start.) In my opinion, anyone who is interested in feminist issues can call themselves a feminist, so why can’t all these people be welcomed at all feminist groups and events? I doubt I’ll ever be an activist but I don’t think that makes me any less feminist than someone who is. I wonder if I should start a feminist discussion group that welcomes anyone who identifies as a feminist?