I think the term ‘feminist’ itself is polarizing in a reflexive kind of way. Personally I fully endorse equality at every juncture for women simply because it’s nonsensical not to. It’s my obligation to use my power and access inherent in being a straight white male to level the playing field wherever possible. I don’t lose anything by doing so. It only makes us all a better, stronger, more efficient society. These are Humanist concepts.
The term Feminist implies (if not in reality) a desire not for equality but for the very same superiority of power and access that men currently enjoy, so ingrained in our culture and society that most people I know can’t even grasp it. Texas governor Ann Richards once said of George W. Bush, “Poor Georgie. He was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run!”. She was talking about being born into money and access but the analogy is apt for virtually any male on planet earth in comparison to the women of the same culture. It’s lunacy. And yet for all my evolved consciousness, use the label feminist and I immediately envision Gloria Steinem smirking “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”. I reflexively brace myself for an emasculation. Whether it’s coming or not. Because branding. We need to come up with something new. Not to ease my ego but to better push the discussion forward in a way that will inspire more than the choir to get onboard.