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So You Say You’re a Feminist

5 years ago by

So You Say You’re a Feminist

Maybe you should be friends with Emma Watson?

The UN Goodwill Ambassador recently started a feminist bookclub, perhaps you’ve heard about it via Twitter? If, like me, you’ve never been one to tweet your life’s musings, you might have missed it. But lucky for us, we can still join and partake in the wonderfully women-empowered reading group, aptly titled “Our Shared Shelf,” all summer long.

It’s incredible to see other women get involved, like Gloria Steinem who did an interview with Emma after the bookclub read her memoir My Life on the Road, as their first pick.

Feminism is really having a moment with the youth, and I think that in itself is empowering! I’m going to get on the bandwagon and start reading May’s book of choice: The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson.

Signing up here – will you join in?


Add yours
  • I’m always interested in a good book, that’s for sure.


  • i am a feminist! we all have to be for a better future! :)


  • I realize we’ve come a long way from the days when men would say, as my boss once said to me, “the trouble with America is women like you–white, educated, married and you refuse to have kids!” True story. And when I complained, the higher-up bosses didn’t see any problem. I quit not long after and eventually did have kids, but on my terms, not Mr. Macho’s (OK, he was an equal-opportunity bigot as he also was racist). But we haven’t come far enough. At all.

  • C’est vrai que ça donne envie et confiance pour rejoindre ce mouvement!


  • Jessie Buckmaster May, 16 2016, 6:19 / Reply

    Yes! Love Emma and Our Shared Shelf. I enjoyed “My Life on the Road” and I’m just finishing up “How to be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran for last month’s book. As a woman in a very male dominated industry (construction project management) I need all the feminist encouragement I can get!

  • I love what the information age and radical transparency have ushered in: an actual movement with teeth (not just lip service) towards equal treatment!

  • Cool!


  • Haha, probably not! I get feminists but don’t think I could ever be one myself, it’s just a bit too extreme for me x


  • c’est une super idée, merci !

  • MerveEla May, 17 2016, 8:51 / Reply

    It’s very nice to see this post!

    I have been longing to see a post on feminism on here. As a multiethnic, non-binary global citizen though, I beg that we all keep #intersectionality in mind as we approach anything in life. Once we learn to be sensitive it really doesn’t take much to be more inclusive no matter what our topic is.

    With much love, thank you Brie!

  • Garance & team !

    Just had an idea! Start an online bookclub and have podcast discussions where some of the online readers who join can contribute to intellectual/ diverse conversation about the book.. maybe every third or half way/ end of the book…?

    Could be fun!

    xo- annika

  • Natalie May, 17 2016, 9:48

    Hi Annika! What a fun idea, thanks for the suggestion! x Natalie

  • muswellmummy May, 17 2016, 10:28 / Reply

    Sorry, but I have to respond to Lauren: how is asking for equal rights and treatment for women extreme? Was asking for equal rights and treatment for African Americans in the US (I guess you wouldn’t include African American women) extreme? All feminists want is for women to be paid the same as men and treated fairly. Is women being granted the vote extreme? We should dress how we want, have kids if we want, have jobs if we want. I think treating more than 50% of the world’s population as second class citizens is extreme.

  • Thanks MUSWELLMUMMY for raising that! I love this blog too much to start any ugly fight about feminism here but I do think that its important to break this weird idea people have that feminism is an extreme stance. I venture a guess that not one person who visits this blog believes to their core that men are fundamentally better than women. If you like the idea of world where women can do things like sign a lease without needing a male relative or husband’s permission and where men can express emotion, care for their children and enjoy the occasional knitting session without having their masculinity/sexuality questioned then congratulations! You are a feminist! :) That’s really all there is to it. Its not some nasty extreme position, its basic human rights.

  • Madame Stramash May, 17 2016, 11:19 / Reply

    Thank you, MuswellMummy. I was puzzled by that same comment; I think that the difficulty is that “feminism” is understood differently by different people. Like you, I simply take it to mean “equality” – of rights, of opportunity, of treatment. Somewhere along the line the term acquired all kinds of negative connotations – for some, at least. There is a generation of women – often, ironically, younger (ironically, given that they have benefitted most from inroads made by previous generations) – who understand the term differently than I do. I’d love to know what is meant by “extreme”. Continuing to have to fight for issues such as reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, even today, in the 21st century, is just one example of why we continue to need feminism.

  • Madame Stramash May, 17 2016, 11:22 / Reply

    And PS: May I second Annika’s suggestion? Lovely idea!

  • samantha May, 17 2016, 4:55 / Reply

    Hopefully the label “feminist” will be moot soon. Since it feminism means / implies equality in rights for all persons, everyone who is not is a feminist is supporting discrimination of girls and women. It’s as simple as that.

  • Quote from wikipedia: “Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminists typically advocate or support the rights and equality of women.
    Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women’s rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to promote bodily autonomy and integrity, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.”

    Sadly, it is true, that these ideas are still considered to be extreme in quite a lot of places in the world. But if one reads and comments on this blog, most likely he/she doesn’t live in one of them, which is something to be grateful for…
    If you share these ideas of gender equality, it means you are a feminist, and there’s nothing extreme about it, and it doesn’t have to be manifested in public statements, hating men, not wearing a bra, not shaving or corresponding to any other stereotype associated with it. And if you are a western women, using your rights (see the quote) that you enjoy thanks to the feminists of this and the previous generations, then I find it strange and hypocritical or at least ignorant to call feminism extreme.

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