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Hi there,

I have taken a women's studies course in university for the past year and I am just stuck with the question of why is the word feminist controversial and radical. I was just wondering if you would maybe be able to help me with this answer.

I am still confused.

Thank you for your time



Lacey --

In part I think that feminism is controversial because people don't know what it is -- they misinterpret it as being a movement that wants to blithely take power away from men and give it to women.

They also think that it's a laundry list of irrelevant requirements -- you must not shave, etc... The other reason that many people reject feminism is because people do know what it means and fear that they either aren't worthy of the label (i.e. they aren't resolved enough with their body image issues or political enough with their school's policies) or they aren't strong enough to use it.

Feminism does require some responsibility to speak up and to take action and sometimes people fear that will require them to challenge things and people they like and also that they don't want to disrupt things. In reality though, more people simply live feminist lives even if they don't use that word. I think it's important to prioritize those actions than the words.

I hope that helps,

-- Amy