I am undecided. By the definition that many of my fellow bloggers give, I am. But the definition that was shoved down my throat for four years at a Catholic Liberal Arts college left a bad taste in my mouth and when I think of "feminism" it tends to be the kind that Jessica Valenti is talking about in her article below... a form that doesn't think much of women in reality... and seems to think that we're all to stupid to make our own decisions (and if our decisions don't match hers then we have no right to use the "f-word" as she calls it.
Here's a bit from Jessica Valenti's opinion piece "The Fake Feminism of Sarah Palin":
...So Palin's "feminism" isn't just co-opting the language of the feminist movement, it's deliberately misrepresenting real feminism to distract from the fact that she supports policies that limit women's rights...Actually, I think Robin of Berkeley gives a better description of what I saw when I was a radical liberal working for a non-profit in Berkeley... Of course I'm sure Ms. Valenti would just say that I'm too dumb to realize that I'm wrong... she doesn't seem to think all that much of women, especially women who think for themselves rather than just shouting popular liberal myths in angry tones...
...Now, there's no grand arbiter of the label, and the tremendous range of thought in the movement means there isn't a singular platform one can look to as a reference point. And the sad reality is that there are plenty of self-identified liberal feminists who exhibit not-so-egalitarian ideals, such as racism or homophobia. So is it possible to exclude women such as Palin from feminism if we don't have a conclusive definition?
Absolutely. If anyone -- even someone who actively fights against women's rights -- can call herself a feminist, the word and the movement lose all meaning. And while part of the power of feminism is its intellectual diversity, certain things are inarguable. Feminism is a social justice movement with values and goals that benefit women. It's a structural analysis of a world that oppresses women, an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.
What Palin is peddling isn't feminism -- it's a manipulated buzzword being used to garner support for a party that time and time again votes against women's rights. Palin isn't trying to further a movement for justice or equality; she's shilling for women's votes -- a "stampede of pink elephants," she says -- for the midterm elections...
...But feminists -- or anyone who cares about women's progress -- need to stop Palin from turning feminism into yet another empty slogan. Because "sisterhood" and meaningless rallying cries aside, American women need real feminism in their lives, not just the f-bomb.