Are people scared to call themselves feminists?

It was not until the Suffrage movement in the late 19th century that there was substantial political change regarding women’s rights. Women who stood up for these rights were seen to be trouble-makers. Often, they were trouble-makers in their harsh tactics, but unfortunately, a lot of people felt there were no other options at the time.

The Oxford English Dictionary states Feminism to mean, ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’ This clearly shows that Feminism only exists on the basis that the rights between the genders is not equal and so the fights are to gain this equality. Why is it then that so many modern women are scared or don’t wish to call themselves feminists?

I decided to chat to some friends and colleagues to figure out what the barrier was with their relationship with the word feminist. Even the fact that I am writing a column on feminism will get some eyes rolling at the though. Why?

My good friend Rachel Davidson said “I feel that people use the word feminism to stand up for things that are not actually feminist. Many people now believe that feminists want to be better than men but this undermines the whole word. It is about equality and nothing else.”

This is clearly a big worry nowadays going by the opinions of so many of the women I have spoken to. One argument I heard was that women are now equal so the word is now out of date. I do believe that women throughout the last century have definitely broken through and levelled the playing field a great deal. Look at the number of females in leading political roles, even just this week. However, even if you may not be directly affected it does not mean that we shouldn’t fight for the rights of women all over the world.

I have never felt my gender to hold me back, and for that I am grateful. But I still call myself a feminist because I want to see women worldwide be able to feel the same way. Although I have often thought that we should get rid of the word feminist. There are many ways in which males are disadvantaged so maybe we should just call it equalism not feminism. Or perhaps just get rid of all words for this and just call you a person. After all, shouldn’t everyone be fighting for equal rights?

Throughout this short column I have simply discussed the word feminism and it’s future. I wonder if this will turn into some kind of social experiment to see what your first reactions are when you read the word ‘feminist’ in the title. Not again? Here we go? Or right on Nat’s Chat! …Let’s hope it’s the latter!

I am always open to suggestions on future topics to cover. Please get in touch over my facebook page or by emailing