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  • Diana Schneidman

Yes, I am a feminist


My step-daughter Kim recently turned me on to a terrific book about the state of current feminism. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters by Jessica Valenti (Seal Press, 2007) overviews current feminist issues in the mouthy voice of a 30-year-old blogger.

That’s because she is a blogger. (I’m adding feministing.com to my list of daily good intentions. http://www.feministing.com/

She sets up her issues on page 5 with an intro I love so much that I read it back to Kim. Here goes:

What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.

You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!) skank.

Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”

Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult.

Never thought of it that way . . .

The feminist issues that most resonate for me swirl around the themes of daring to be big, not just thinking big.

And with being big comes talking big. By that, I mean expressing strong opinions with strength. Sure there’s a valid opposing argument to every statement with any heft. But I want to be the woman who says what she means without equivocating it down to mush.

Hmmmm, lots of fascinating ideas here to wrap my mind around.


Originally updated 2-6-09

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