Feminism is normally associated with angry, bra-less women with shaven heads and hairy armpits. The stereotype of a man-hating feminist is hardly flattering and is usually not considered something to be proud of.
It is for that reason that I've always been a bit dubious about full on announcing 'Yes I'm a feminist' and apart from the Doc Martens, I don't think I really fit the stereotype. I mean, I dye my hair blonde and wear lipstick, i have a boyfriend, surely that can't be me? These are all reasons that have been put to me when I let slip that I believe in equality for women and quite frankly, having to break down that I can dye my hair or dress however I want and still believe this is quite infuriating. Yet, as a woman, I honestly think that my feminist tag is the one that is the most important and I shouldn't be embarrassed about admitting to it.
So, what does feminism mean to me? Obvious as it sounds, to me it concerns equality for women. I know a lot of people think that women are equal, but look at the controversy currently surrounding female bishops? Most people define themselves as religious and whilst i have a lot of respect for Catholics they blame women for all sin. Ever. A little harsh? Or the impossibly high standards set for women, I often feel as if society has given me two options: to be a mother or to be a career woman AND mother. Oh and I have to be attractive at all times, have a perfect shape and make body hair a thing of the past.
It's been 84 years since Emmeline Pankhurst threw herself under the King's horses but I don't think the battle's been won yet and the feminist movement is still generally considered to be just as obscene. Why do you think this is? Do you think this is a fair view?
For further information I would highly recommend this website.
I have also written about the role of feminism in the world generally here and here.