Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Coming Out" of the Feminist Closet

Have you ever had to "come out" to friends, family or co-workers? And by "come out" I'm not talking about homosexuality - I'm talking about that other dark secret... feminism.

Admitting that you're a feminist can be hard in our society. Do you tell someone on a first date that you're a feminist? When do you become comfortable enough with your co-workers to call them out if they're saying/doing sexist shit? These are all very tricky questions.

I proudly list my experience hosting a radio show on my resume, but I never mention that it's a feminist radio show. Often times I've been asked in interviews, "So, you host a radio show. Tell us about that." I've discovered how hard it is to talk about the show without mentioning the "f-word." Usually I just give a vague answer like, "Oh, I host a talk show discussing local and global issues..." but if I think the interviewer is cool, I might throw in, "and it's about women's and gender issues." I've never used the word "feminist" to describe the show in an interview. With all the stereotypes of "hairy, angry, lesbian feminists" out there, it's just too risky.

So, how about you? Who do you admit your dark secret too? And why the f**k does it have to be a dark secret in the first place?
Watch the video below (which is what got me thinking about this in the first place) and let us know how you deal with "coming out" of the feminist closet.

1 comment:

  1. I've been working at my office for over three years now and I've become comfortable enough to engage in conversation with a select few co-workers about my feminist values. These select few include three people:

    One who is gay/considerably left-wing/male, another who is straight/quite liberal/male, and the third, a slightly confused, outwardly "conservative" but open-minded straight female. I've mentioned their sexual orientation because in my opinion, gender roles and sexuality are important aspects of my own feminist ideology.

    I try to limit the extent of our discussions because I see potential for things to get heated in ways that could be deemed inappropriate in the workplace but, nonetheless, I appreciate the opportunities for us to share our opinions with one another.

    What I've notice about "coming out" to those who don't truly understand it is that most seem to accept it on a superficial level at first, but once the light is shed on some of the basic feminist ethics in a non-confrontational manner, they quickly figure out that feminism is not a vicious man-hating circle of women plotting the demise of their male cohorts.

    I am always excited about sharing my views but I try to be careful in regards to how I do it.

    Luckily, most people outside of my office are pretty understanding already, or else decidedly feminist also.