Slate has been hosting a debate this week over who gets to use the term feminist. The debate springs out of Sarah Palin's pushing her claim to the mantle. Here's E.J. Graff's take on the whole contremps:
Who gets to be a feminist? It's the wrong question. And debating it leads to the wrong answers. Identity labels always mislead.They don't disclose the contents of the bottle; they proclaim that the bottle is powerful, meaningful, and important. Debates over who gets to wear those labels are tribal battles about who runs the group and who gets to patrol its borders, about who holds power. Declaring that someone is--or isn't--"really" white, black, Jewish, Christian, radical, conservative--or feminist--says nothing about the value of particular policies, ideas, or goals...Here's the debate I believe is genuinely worth having: What would full equality look like--and what do we have to do to get there?