As I read more feminist blogs, and think about feminist issues, it's really, really apparent to me that feminism has become very diverse and people's views have very oddly been divided.
Simultaneously, some people think that feminism is old and not current, and in the States, a cheerleader is legally required to cheer, by name, for the man who raped her. (Trigger Warning on the link for rape and outrageous legal decision.) How does anyone reconcile that? How can the need to fight for equality be out of date when things like that can happen in the United States? How can one in three women experience sexual assault (according to Statistics Canada, 1993 study) and have feminism be old?
Even in some blogs I have read, the very term is an issue to be disregarded and replaced. Sometimes there are good reasons, sometimes there are bad ones. I will always use the term feminism because of the history behind it, the weight of the word, and not wanting to leave the term to be used by the likes of Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell.
(trigger for homophobia and misogyny)The problem I've seen with a lot of people is that they ascribe a too-narrow mindset to the term 'feminism.' It becomes 'unfunny dykes,' 'women who want to be better then men,' 'shrill harpies,' 'women who are trying to make it sound like equality makes women lose something,' or 'white women who don't think about issues that don't affect them personally.' The worst part is, sometimes these labels can apply, sometimes people in the movement personify both valid and invalid stereotypes.
To me, feminism is about equality. Flat-out equality. Not of the sexes, and not of the genders, about every kind of person. To me, feminism is believing that a person is a person, no matter what the differences between different kinds of persons there are. Feminism is a lot like social justice, and it really should be synonymous with the term.