ZOMG guys. This is kind of a big deal. Liora (yes, the famous Liora) wrote a guest post for us, and it's more than amazing. The timing of this wry and witty post is perfect for me as I've been called a number of names lately, one of which was supposed to be the most offensive: I am apparently a "bigoted feminist". They wrote "feminist" as if it belonged in the same category as puppy skinners, Ponzi schemers, and Jerry Sandusky... which is just silly. This misconception is a large and fundamental obstacle for the progress we need, and someone gotsta explain it correctly. So, allow this gal:

Feminist: (noun) A man-hating, woman-elitist, baby-killing, money-grubbing, lesbian

The above is what I like to refer to as the five headed monster.  In reality, the five headed monster can have infinite heads, but the body is always the same.


The title “feminist” makes men, women, and gender-anonymous people shake in their boots.  It comes in the night, unshaves your armpits, makes you shame your stay-at-home mom, and picket strip clubs.  Additional side effects may include: buying organic coffee, yoga, asking for government handouts, insisting men be treated badly, enjoying sex, and reading Betty Friedan.  It is everything you don’t want to be, according to the people who don’t want you to be a feminist.  “You don’t want that,” they whisper maliciously.
You know what you DO want, though.  You want people to be treated equally.  To have fair pay, to have fair access to birth control.  To not have your womanhood be treated like a pre-existing condition.  To go to your gay friend’s legal wedding.  To have body autonomy.  To have your medical discussions between you and your doctor, not you and your congressman.  To be CEO, not “female” CEO.  To paint your nails and wear a skirt without being accused of “asking for it.”  You want it badly, and you want it now.  

Here’s a secret.  Feminism is many things, but most importantly, it’s what you make it.  If you want gender equality, you are a feminist. If you don’t think porn is evil, you’re a feminist.  If you want fair pay, you’re a feminist.  Stay at home mom? Feminist.  Cisgendered? Feminist.  LGBTQQI?  Feminist.  Shave your legs? Guess what.  Feminist.

Feminist, unabashedly, has a sordid, dark, and ugly past.  It’s full of people, radical people, some of whom did and believed in great progressive ideals, some of whom behaved more like the five headed monster.  However - why should this mean we throw away a word that stands for our equal rights as women?  Why should we change what we call ourselves for fear that someone will think we are a five headed monster?  Instead, why can’t we work to change the perception of feminism?  There have been controversial figures and actions in all battles for civil and equal rights.  Women are a part of all walks of life! We deserve to be equal.  And if we aren’t, we need to be strong enough to demand it, vote for it, and stand up for it.  

Do not allow someone to remove the word feminist from you because they say that all feminists are five headed monsters.  Do not allow them to contort a beautiful and noble call for freedom and liberty into something ugly and wrong.  Do not allow them to oppress you into thinking that you do not deserve equality because you are a woman, because you are gay, because you are a different race or religion.  Stay strong, be resolute, be eloquent.

Feminism is not the advancement of one gender over the other.  It is not about a call to oppress the oppressors.  It is about raising ourselves out of oppression.  It is about recognizing that there is something wrong, something terribly unequal, and not ignoring it.

Heed the call.  Don’t be scared - no five headed monsters here.

Oh, Liora, I have no words. Visit her kickstarter here. I'm serious. Visit it.


  1. Feminist and proud. Always.


  2. I've been a feminist since before I knew the word feminist. At least that's what I'm told.

    There are few phrases in the world that make me want to stab myself in the brain more than, "I'm not a feminist but....."

  3. Fab post! To many believe you have to be head of the company to be a true feminist when it's all about what you want for yourself not what others believe you need to be.
    Thank you

  4. I find it incredibly frustrating that such negative connotations can do so much to a movement. To have the feminist momentum slowed for any reason is ridiculous, doubly so for simply having the name of the movement contested.

    Equal effort deserves equal recognition, monetary or otherwise. Always.

    Thank you for continuing to encourage the free and empowered thought and speech of women everywhere.


  5. I would like to briefly add - the five headed monster also includes acting badly, stomping around, oppressing other people. I re-read just now and want to make clear that there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian.

  6. I've always considered myself a supporter of civil rights, in that I recognize that there in inequality between races and sexes. Is there a blanket term for both? Great post, I very, very much enjoyed reading it.

    1. I think some people would say the blanket term is humanist or egalitarian. I love both of those words, but I don't think I could ever abandon calling myself a feminist, though I also consider myself to be a humanist.

  7. I sent this post to my philosophy teacher who is also the coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies program at my school (Alverno College). Beautifully said.

    1. And it made me smile to get the post! Thanks, Cassie, for pointing me to this blog!

  8. i love every word of this! my boyfriend turned to me the other day and said, "i don't understand when people say they aren't feminist" — swooooooon!

  9. I love every bit of this post.
    So well written. Makes me proud to be a feminist!


  10. Ah, people always have to stereotype and put us into tiny little boxes. This reminds me of something Caitlin Moran said in response to a survey that said only 27% of women would consider themselves feminist. She said "What do you think Feminism IS, ladies? What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right to not be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?"

    Feminist needs to stop being a bad word or it's going to become like cunt. Loud and proud!

  11. This is an old thread I stumbled across. The importance of the ideals is so out of proportion to the label.

    I'm not a woman, so there is always the chance that there are subtleties, or even worse, non-subtleties that I am unaware of. Okay, I'm done with my legalistic hold harmless ramblings to protect myself from my own ignorance.

    I'm a man who does not give much weight to titles, labels, or isims of any sort really. I'd like to believe I am more focused on intent, purpose and even perhaps truthfulness. Having said that, words have power. Unbelievable power.

    The power of words is not ours to control, only our reaction to them is. I won't claim to understand all of what the title/label feminism encompasses. What I will say is in the end it just doesn't matter.

    Fight for what you believe in. Fight for what is important to you, personally. Fight for what is your due, however you view it. Just don't get distracted over what other people wish to call you for having the courage to fight.

    I admire anyone who is willing to stand up and be heard. Who will argue their point with logic, not rhetoric, facts not statistics and most importantly with heart and faith that your cause has real merit.

    Do women get treated differently then men? I don't know. I don't have the context or experience to know anymore than I do to say that people of different nationalities, skin color or religion get treated any differently.

    My point is if you feel you are being treated unfairly, then venture forth and fight to eliminate the inequalities you face! Let those who sit on the sidelines, unwilling to become involved worry over silly labeles, names and stigmatisms.

    This is my country, the land of the free, because of the brave. As a former Marine, I stood up, and still stand for individual liberties. Regardless if you are alone, or you are legion in numbers. Never stop fighting! You only lose when you give up.

    There is nothing more important to fight for than equality, whatever the form, embodiment or circumstances. Regardless if you like or loath the word feminist, if the ideals are correct does it really matter what others call you?

    Just my $0.02 USD Fight the good fight knowing you are not alone.



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