Feminism is defined as the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. (Merriam-Webster.com) Many times the definition of the word has been misconstrued and manipulated to mean whatever people want it to mean at the time. Some people have a problem with the word because it starts with "fem" and they get the idea that it is some how only for women.
This is not the case, it does not need to be changed to humanist just to appease people because some words have masculine and feminine names... The human race is some times called "mankind." Women haven't whined about that! I think people would have less of a problem with the word if they knew what it actually meant and stopped making up definitions.
As a feminist, I think it is important to erase the taboo about the word and to embrace it's meaning so that more people can become feminists as well. Here are the ways to know whether or not you are a feminist.
1. You believe that men and women are equal.
2. You believe this equality extends to the workplace... EQUAL PAY!
3. You get angry when you hear that men in the government are deciding what women can and cannot do with THEIR bodies.
4. As a woman, you do not tear other women down. You lift them up because you know for us to rise, we have to rise together.
5. As a woman, you DO NOT tear men down. They are not the enemy.
6. As a man, you are not intimidated by a woman with power.
7. As a man, you do not assume that a woman who is a feminist is angry and man hating.
8. As a woman, you do not see men as a meal ticket or a financial savior because you can make your own money.
9. As a man, you know that a woman is not obligated to smile at you, sleep with you, give you anything.
10. As a man, you know that a woman isn't your property, your warm body, your lesser, but your partner and equal.
11. You do not subscribe to double standards. Both Men and Women should be held accountable.
12. You do not subscribe to gender normative behaviors. Men can love the arts, have emotions, wear nail polish and still be men. Women can watch sports, lift weights, not wear dresses and still be women.
13. You know that the fight for equal rights is important and should be fought until it is achieved. But also that it is a little redundant... Because you shouldn't have to fight for what you were born with.
If you read this list and thought... This is me. Congratulations you are a feminist. Now go forth and educate someone.