Is it time to drop the word ‘feminist’?

Do you think men and women should have equal rights and status in society, and be treated equally in every way?
Are you a feminist?
Are your answers to these two questions the same or different?

The polling organisation YouGov randomly asked people in seven European countries one of three questions to ascertain whether they identified as a feminist.

“The first group were shown a question directly asking whether or not they are a feminist (this is the Word-Only group). The second was asked whether men and women should have equal rights and status in society (the Definition-Only group). The third were told that the definition of feminism was believing that men and women should have equal rights and status in society and then asked whether or not they are a feminist (what we call the Definition+Word group).”

The results were wildly different.

“In all countries, the vast majority of people in the Definition-Only group (80-91%) say that they believe men and women should have equal rights and social status. By contrast, the Word-Only group sees far fewer respondents saying that they are a feminist – between 8-40%.”

So is it time to retire the word ‘feminist’? If its associations and baggage are causing totally unnecessary, unhelpful division, perhaps we should set it aside. What do you think?

Head on over to our social pages to let us know your thoughts.

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