“I do not consider myself a feminist or particularly aligned with the feminist movement. I just know bullshit when I see it, and I’m tired of bullshit that involves the vapid, shallow arguments that crawl out of the comments section of every single website whenever this subject comes out. It feels like the same 50 people are just making dupe accounts across the Internet, and making sure to drown out any real conversation. Those people deserve a chance to be heard, and that includes the larger-than-you’d-think audience of women right here on Giant Bomb.”
I’ve received a fair number of questions about that paragraph’s opening line from my recent piece on the #1reasonwhy and #1reasontobe movements on Twitter.
There was precious little thought put into it, but clearly it stuck out to people, and maybe I should have given it more consideration before hitting publish. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed knows where my political leanings are. I’m as progressively liberal as they come, and proud of it. From my perspective, that obviously includes standing up and fighting for all manners of equality, whether it’s by race, gender, sexual orientation, what have you.
As a consequence, I don’t (didn’t?) consider myself a “feminist,” as it seemed like a bit of a stretch. My impression of the label was one of intense advocacy, an interest held above other ones. Like the paragraph notes, this was simply a moment where I smelled bullshit, and decided to comment on it. I do not otherwise spend my time considering the feminist movement, reading up on feminisms’ progress or lack thereof, and thus didn’t find it especially appropriate to take on the label. Instead, it just falls under my progressive beliefs.
Folks have suggested my line comes across as defensive, as though I’m afraid of saying I’m, in fact, a “feminist.” But I haven’t viewed it that way, and maybe I should? It’s certainly possible I view the label incorrectly, and thus framed myself in a way that isn’t representative of my views, since clearly I’m a champion of some or all of what feminism stands for. I’m open to feedback on the idea, even if it’s not an issue I’ve spent much time thinking about.
It’s odd to even be talking about this in the open, since one of the things Kotaku (then MTV) editor Stephen Totilo asked me to do was keep my political beliefs out of my writing and reporting. Clearly, I did a great job of following that advice as soon as I left!
(I also think it matters less these days, though I [largely] keep it out of my hardline reporting.)