This summer at Naughty in Nawlins – a two thousand person hotel take over swinger's convention in New Orleans – Sara and I bumped up against some issues regarding feminism.
After an engaging panel on slutshaming, Sara and I noticed that the swinger community deals with the experience of shame and owning the word "slut" much in the same way as our poly community in Brooklyn.
We did however notice, that the WORD feminism – as opposed to feminist ideology – put people on the defensive. In other words, feminist ideals made up much of the panel's conversation. But the panelists rejected being labeled "feminist".
Being feminist seemed to recall an era of bra-burning angry women. When in my mind, feminism has since been updated and that label is fundamental to pushing back against prescribed gender norms.
What do you think?
If you are communicating feminist ideals, is it better to avoid the label so that people don't get the wrong associations? Or do you think we should own the word "feminist" in the context of infusing it with the proper meaning so that capital "F" feminism continues to serve?
Please comment below.
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