Journeys with Julie- My Take on the F Word

As someone who often speaks out about issues related to women’s rights, I’m often deemed a feminist by my friends and family. However, I’ve always shied away from this title, preferring not to be labeled at all.  Frankly, I just don’t like being called a feminist. Yes, I agree with equality for women and, yes, I think feminists are doing great things, but I also have some reluctance in donning any sort of label at all. Here are my reasons:

1) I can speak about women’s rights without being labeled a feminist just as I should be able to speak about liberal issues without being labeled a Democrat. Labels often can be limiting, conjuring up a set of requirements one must fit into in order to be a part of that group. Feminism, for me, is about breaking down those labels and allowing women to be whoever they want to be, without any label or judgment attached.

2) Feminism is still a dirty word.  Today, the new “F Word” is feminism because feminism carries around so many negative connotations. Thus, feminists often have to first break down all the negative stereotypes associated with their title before getting to what they really want to say.

3)People tend to assume feminists are only women. This isn’t true, but people see female within the word feminism and think only women can be feminists. In fact, a quick Google search proves that men largely misunderstand feminism and need their own guides and playbooks to being a feminist themselves.

4)Eventually, I hope we won’t need the word feminist at all.  It is my hope that, in time, people won’t feel it necessary to identify as feminist because women will be equal, or at least a lot closer to equal than they are now. One day, this word might just lose value and meaning because we will live in a much more inclusive and accepting world.

5) I believe in equality for all, regardless of age, sex, gender, race, etc. Just as I don’t have terms for my belief in equality for all races, I don’t have a term for my belief in equality for all genders.

-Julie Wagenblast
LeadHer™ Intern, Campus Calm™
Learn more about Julie here.


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