Words, words, them damn words

Andrea wrote an extremely thoughtful discourse on why she doesn’t like to label herself as a feminist. Her posting follows from a link to another equally thoughtful posting on the “feminist” label at Anita’s.

As we’ve seen, the word “feminist” brings with it so much baggage, good and bad. When I say I am a feminist, and don’t explain what this means to me, you’re going to attach to me whatever baggage you attach to the word — so I better define what I mean by “feminist” if I use it.

And when you say you’re NOT a feminist, if you don’t provide a definition of what you mean by your rejection of that label, then I have no recourse but to think you must be rejecting qualities I hold dear.

Words. Words. Them damn words.

It’s interesting because I read Andrea’s posting just after I read some essays about words and their effect, pointed out at another posting. Steve Himmer linked to a essay on the language of terror, and quoted part of it:

Words are pivotal for keeping us in this mess. And words may be crucial for getting us out.

Words. Don’t try these at home boys and girls, you could get hurt.

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