Words I Hate

“I’m not a feminist, but…”

I can’t help but cringe any time a lady starts a sentence that way.

On The Office this season, Phyllis used that buffer when complaining about the new boss, DeAngelo Vickers. I rolled my eyes, but it was kind of perfect, because Phyllis is totally the kind of person who says this. And what do women mean when they say “I’m not a feminist, but…” before expressing a feminist thought? They mean, “I want you to know that I’m not crazy. I’m not a threat. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I don’t hate men.” I always wonder: What do they think feminism is?

In college, I took an Intro to Women’s Studies course. Big mistake, ladies. If you have an interest in Women’s Studies, an intro-level class is the worst possible environment for you. At least, this class was. It was full of ladies with absolutely no interest in the subject matter who thought this would be an easy A. During a group project, a lady actually told me, “I would like to be a feminist in the 70s, because they had really great style. I mean, they had long hair and they still dressed really feminine. I don’t want to be a feminist now because they’re so butch, and they cut off their hair.”

Whenever I’m confused or surprised, I’m rendered temporarily mute, so I’m pretty sure I just stared at her until she started talking to someone else. I just don’t know where this lady got her crazy information. Like, did she just see a picture of Gloria Steinem in the 70s and compare that to, I don’t know, Demi Moore playing G.I. Jane?

Here’s the dictionary definition of “feminism,” taken from merriam-webster.com:

The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

That’s it. Really. A feminist is simply someone who believes women are equal to men. So unless you’re a complete and total jerk, you’re a feminist. Yes, even if you’re a man. Please do not get up in my face about how “feminists hate men,” or how “feminists are angry.” Shut up, Rush Limbaugh! You don’t have to march, you don’t have to be an activist, you don’t have to be a lesbian, you don’t have to call out all the sexist dudes you run into every day, you don’t have to have an opinion one way or the other on Sarah Palin, you can still enjoy The Hangover 2 if you’re into that sort of thing, you can get married if that’s your style, WHATEVER. All you have to do is believe men and women are equal. Get with the times, Phyllis. We’re all feminists here; let’s OWN it.

Oh, and this might counter the point I just made, but, um, I found this book. And now I kind of want this book.

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