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You probably think feminism is about you, don’t you, don’t you, you’re so vain…

Dear GMP,

There is something that truly upsets me about knee-jerk negative responses to the terms “feminism” and “feminists.” Sure, there is the annoying fact that they are mainly based on uninformed, stereotypical perceptions. Yes, there is the shallow reality that they are often perpetuated just because they are the “cool” thing to think. But what bothers me the most is the level of hostility and anger felt towards an entire group of people, as if we feminists are all the same, and are all anti-men.

Here’s a thought: maybe feminist doesn’t mean “man hater.” Maybe feminism is about the fact that it isn’t all about men, for once.

And here is my question: Is that not okay with you? Can there not be a term that refuses to be defined purely by its relation to men? Are we not seeing the irony of your opinion of feminism here, one of the very reasons it is so important?

I am sick of this attitude and only just realizing it. Why do men always seem immediately defensive when I mention that I studied Women’s Studies in undergrad, want to further women’s rights, or simply that I identify myself as a feminist? To me, it’s not a big deal to be a feminist because I understand feminism and its goals. I know that every individual can choose how to live and define his or her feminism. And, most importantly, I know that the heart of feminism is solidarity and ...