The Question

By Liz Newbury, NOW Web Coordinator

I’m sure you’ve all gotten The Question — the question of “are you a feminist?” It may have been from a friend, a teacher, a parent, or a complete stranger. But at some point, at sometime, someone has asked you. And when we say “yes,” there’s the knee-jerk follow up of, “But why?”

While it boggles my mind that we still have to explain our desire to be affiliated with the women’s movement after so many decades, I can sort of understand the outsiders’ dilemma. Feminists have been made into a counter-culture, so when people ask me why I’m a feminist, it’s like they’re trying to understand why I joined a cult. And those outside the movement are trying to figure out the one thing — the “why” — that binds all of us feminists together and makes us different.

I always struggle with the why, because there isn’t just one thing that makes us feminists. How do you take such a complicated, diverse ideology and scrunch it down into a sentence or two?

When you get The Question, what do you say?

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