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10 Lesbian and Bisexual Women Answer: "Are You a Feminist?"

10 Lesbian and Bisexual Women Answer: Are You a Feminist?

10 Lesbian and Bisexual Women Answer: Are You a Feminist?

Some answers may surprise you.

“Feminism." It can be a pretty dirty word, even amongst lesbian and bisexual women. SheWired decided to ask a bunch of queer gals if they considered themselves feminists… and some of the answers were fabulous and some a little disappointing. 

 

What those in the "yes" camp said: 

“Can you actually be a queer woman and not be a feminist?” - G, 63

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Well, indeed - you'd think that being a woman who loves women might carry with it some recognition of the fact that a patriarchal society isn't the way to go. 

 

“For years I avoided calling myself a feminist because it felt like such a lesbian stereotype. Truth is, I didn't really know what it meant. It dawned on me one day that I'd been a feminist all along.” - Elaine, 24

Too many women actually are feminists but terrified to use the word and in many cases unaware of its actual definition. As for that ubiquitous “hairy dungarees-wearing lesbian” jibe, pah - feminists come in all forms. If that means some of us are hairy, wear dungarees and sleep with women, so what? 

 

 

“I learned about feminism from my father, which surprises a lot of people.” - Rose, 42

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Yes, men can be feminists too (feminism wouldn't have much of a chance if they couldn't)! It's amazing just how many people don't realise this and assume it's an “us” and “them” male vs female movement aimed at getting men to grudgingly hand over rights. 

 

“We make up just over half the human population! Of course I'm a feminist!” - Jaycee, 27

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Indeed - an oppressed majority, no less. 

 

 

“Men and women are different but that doesn't mean they aren't equal.” - Dani, 39

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Largely speaking, yes. We do have pronounced differences (although there is a pretty glorious spectrum within that). But those should be accepted and celebrated, not used to try and assert superiority. 

 

What those in the "no" camp said: 

“Not really interested in all that political stuff.” - Emma, 21

But in being an out lesbian, you're already committing a political act, aren't you?

 

 

“No, because I have guy friends and I don't think women are better than men – well, except in bed, ha ha!” - Alice, 18

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Sigh. Feminism isn't about thinking women are more important than men. It's about fighting to achieve equality between men and women. Head. Desk. 

 

“I don't think we really need feminism in this country anymore...” - Janelle, 32

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Where do I start? Men being paid more than women for doing the same jobs, sexual assault, sexual harassment, media objectification… And even if you were living a utopic life in a totally equal society in the US, isn't it a bit selfish to only worry about women in your own country? 

 

 

“Just because I'm a lesbian it doesn't mean I have to be a feminist.” - Sarah, 40

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It does seem a little incongruous not to be, though. See first quote/response. 

 

“I'm not a feminist, I'm an equalist.” - Eloise, 26. 

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A controversial one! Feminism is equalism. It's just called feminism because it's a reaction to male oppression: an attempt at achieving balance where it doesn't yet exist. There's a strong argument for renaming feminism “equalism” but the problem with coining new terms is that it can tend to confuse people who are only just wrapping their heads around the original word and its meaning. 

 

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Charlotte Dingle