There are two types of (female) feminists. There is the type that will fight for the rights of women at whatever cost. They will do whatever it takes to show and prove that women can do everything that men do. Their measures will be embarrassing to themselves and their families; they will lose their dignity in the process, lose friends and lovers
, and some will even lose jobs in the process. This type gets things done, they get legislations passed, they get rapists convicted, they get less fortunate girls into school and they make ‘prodigal fathers’ provide child care to their kids.
The second kind of feminists also strongly believes in equality of the sexes but will be reluctant to go the extra mile. They want girls to have equal opportunities to boys, they want the criteria used to hire men to be the same used to hire women. They want to work hard and excel, and they don’t want to hear some moron saying they only got ‘there’ because they are female, or that they slept their way up. They want their daughters to grow up knowing they could be whatever they want to be no matter what. They want their sons to grow up knowing girls are equal partners and can as well kick their asses in physics class.
However, these women also want to be married to protectors and providers. They work hard, but they need to feel like their husbands will and can provide for the family. They want to feel like their husbands will know what to do about that leaking pipe in the kitchen (and, yes, they know that he is no plumber).
While the hard core feminist will not be embarrassed about her stand, the latter feminist will regard the word FEMINIST with the same regard children have for the other F-word. She will speak up for the rights of women, especially when it’s convenient, but when accused of being a feminist and being ‘what is wrong with the female population these days’, she feel very embarrassed about it and gets all defensive. She will recoil and try to explain her stand while clarifying that she doesn’t belong to the man-hating group of feminists. Speak of throwing your people under the bus!
I’m embarrassed to say, I belong to the latter group. We believe that because feminism is not like religion that clearly spells out a list of do’s and don’t’s, there’s no one right way of going about it. The means may not matter much, as long as we all arrive at the same end — gender equality. Nonetheless, I believe it is about time we spoke out more, mentored each other more and lifted up each other more. “A feminist is someone who believes in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes” — there’s nothing embarrassing about that.