At its core feminism is—or is supposed to be—about equality under the law regardless of sex. Sounds simple, no? Maybe even appealing? Absolutely! But the devil is in the details: women are diverse as a group, therefore their needs vary widely. Loads of women don’t see mainstream feminism including them, so they go on and live the lives they were living anyway—without feeling the need to label themselves as feminists.
But that hasn’t stopped me, and many other women who have rejected the label, from being constantly nagged about the f-word. Because apparently if you are a woman, you have to be a feminist. Which makes about as much sense as saying since we’ve all enjoyed the benefits of the Protestant reformation, this obliges us to become Lutherans out of gratitude.
So you have to be a feminist. Unless of course you’re not. Because there are plenty of people queueing up to tell us who is in and who is out in feminism: you can’t be a feminist if you’re Conservative, if you’re Liz Jones, if you’re the Prime Minister of Australia, a trans woman, a man, or Katie Price. And that’s just for starters.
It starts to look less and less like a movement that wants as many voices as it can get—and more and more like one that is prioritising the concerns of a particular slice of womanhood above all others.