When exactly did feminism become a dirty word?
Ever since I started blogging angry guys used to shoot the word feminist at me as if it was an insult! Hell, what? So, I am a feminist.. Why does it make you mad? And why the heck do you suppose that calling me a feminist would hurt me in any way? In fact, I am happy to be called a feminist. I wish I was a real feminist (being a women rights activist). Being labelled a feminist is a big honor. Would you be pissed off if people pointed at you in the street and said "Hey, this is someone who believes in human rights"? I suppose not. So, what makes those men assume that calling me a feminist would be counted as a negative remark?
In my attempt tp search for an answer, I remembered a very old incident. My colleagues had arranged an outing (including family members and friends) and it was really huge, we occupied half the restaurant where we met. One of my colleagues had been recently engaged and her fiance came along with her. The guy was so full of himself. He would fit perfectly in the category I previously described in "Your Guide to Dating an Egyptian Man" as Mr. Know-it-all.
Casual talk started until bit by bit they developed into discussions. Of course this guy couldn't miss the chance of having such a big audience, and he was determined to be the star. He started commenting on every single thing being said. I just kept observing him and was feeling satisfied that I was entertained for free (as the food served was not good enough for my taste). After about an hour, the stage became totally his. Many of those who were talking gave up because they didn't want to get embarrassed. He just kept saying "You are wrong" to anyone who disagrees with his opinions about anything.
Usually when the situation sinks into this boring phase I focus on making a polite exit. I was calculating what I had ordered to get ready to leave, when I heard this annoying guy talking about the deteriorating morality in our today's society. According to his genius analysis, the reason was that nowadays mothers go to work and are not spending enough time with their children. At that point I didn't bother saying anything, cause I thought others will take care of that. Just get me out of here for God's sake. To my amazement, nobody did. I found myself saying "You are wrong". He gave me this look of "and who the hell would you be?" but I just looked him in the eye and told him about all the social, political and economical factors behind declining morality. All those who were silent were now cheering. I could see that his ears were about to smoke, and instead of trying to convince me of his point of view, he just gave me a suspicious look and said "Are you a feminist?"
Me (laughing my head off): I believe in feminism, yes.
Him(looking puzzled): So, that makes you a feminist.
Me: Not necessarily. Not all of those who believe in feminism are feminists, but certainly all feminists believe in feminism.
Him(seriously staring): What's this? Philosophy?
Me (sensing the growing tension): Well, philosophy does involve logical thinking, but no, I did not intend to sound philosophical.
Him(cunning smile): You are a feminist. Don't deny it.
I will never forget the way he said it. It was as if he discovered a communist at the time of Sadat. I didn't really bother then. He seemed ignorant enough and I hate wasting my time on those people. But I remembered this now after I received all of "you are a feminist" comments. Well, I carry the label with all dignity. I am not ashamed of the sticker you tagged on me. And let me from now on be "Fantasia the Feminist". What a lovely name! Thanks for the title guys.