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Do Tell: What Does It Mean to Be a Feminist?

The week the Dalai Lama summed up his definition of a feminist, something he claims to be, very succinctly. He said:

"I call myself a feminist. Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?"

Earlier this month we discussed what it means for a woman to be "empowered," and we noted that there have been various varieties of feminism through the years. Do you, like the Dalai Lama, subscribe to his simple definition of feminism, or has the evolution of the women's right movement impacted what it means to be a feminist?

What do you think it means to be a feminist?

Image Source: Getty
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dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
I think it's about fighting stereotypes in adverting and everyday life we don't always see. Fighting the subtleties that undermines our equalities. Like the reasons we have cheerleaders and every household cleaner has a commercial with a woman using it.
MissSophia MissSophia 7 years
To me feminism means being uninhibited to do what you want to do. Wether you dream of being the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or being a stay at home to wait hand and foot on your husband. It's all about choice.
Advah Advah 7 years
That men and women are equal, ie have the same rights.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I prefer "humanism" too. For the sake of the question though, I also agree with anonymous, I don't think there is a set definition, I'm all for people being who they want to be, standing up for what's best for themselves. And for people not dictating to others how they should live their lives.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I like the Dalai Lama's definition.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
I agree, nyx! I like that term much more. =]
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 7 years
mamasita, I've heard the Dalai Lama called many things, but "insightful and groovy" is a first! I bet he'd love that. :)
dancinlaughin01 dancinlaughin01 7 years
feminism is the belief that women are human and i have no clue why any woman or man wouldn't believe that.
nyxmoxie nyxmoxie 7 years
I don't believe in feminism. I believe in humanism. Rights for all men and women.
b1uebunn b1uebunn 7 years
Yeah, I totally agree. Feminism is simply wanting women to have equal rights and protections under the law. Feminism is not selling a woman short based on her gender.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I love his definition. The one I always use is "feminism is the radical idea that women are people." It always drove me crazy in law school when my female classmates would say they're not feminists - to me, if you think women should have the right to make life decisions for themselves, such as the decision to attend college and get a job, you're a feminist. It's as simple as that.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
That was pretty well put, Anonymous. There isn't one single, universal definition. For me it is about choice and not just women's rights, I think a feminist can identify with any group who has struggled (or still is) for equal rights. And it's not 'done' as one of my professors recently suggested. I may be free to choose and my rights are recognized, but that's not the case for everyone.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
how succinct "fights for" or "believes in" or "supports equal rights for women" all sound about right
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
totally agree with him, just another reason he's such an insightful, groovy guy
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