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Hello, my name is Sanita and I am writing a paper about the negative and positive implications of being labeled a feminist. Please send me any information you may have on this topic. Thank you, Sanita

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. I think the negative aspect of being "labelled" a feminist is that feminism shouldn't be something forced on you, but rather something that is chosen. Therefore, the labelling should come from the person. That aside, I think that other downside to identifying is that you have to deal with other people's misconceptions about feminism. However, once you eliminate the misconceptions people often realize that they are a feminist, too. For instance, when someone realizes that feminism is about the full social, political, and economic equality of all people--not about the promotion of women and the demotion of men or about whether we shave our legs or not or about who opens the door. People are likely to support it once they know what it is.

The upside to identifying as a feminist is that it is a sign of self-respect and self-confidence. Using it often means both that you are confident about who you are and what you want and also that you acknowledge that though your life may be more just than not, other people's isn't. Therefore, it means that you can empathize in the name of social justice.


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