Reblogged: On outing yourself and doing the heavy lifting

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August 1, 2013 by aggiesez

Reblogging here and excellent blog post by a poly guy who’s also a friend — and a thoughtful writer. In this post, he says:

If I were to wait to identify as feminist until feminism as a whole only represented views that I, personally, identified with, I would probably be waiting until the hard parts were already over.

Oh, hell yes. In fact, this point applies to almost any choice to out yourself in any way, including as polyamorous or nonmonogamous.

Choosing to out yourself in any way (including claiming an identity label, whether it be “feminist,” “poly” or even “Republican”) is a very personal choice. Some people really struggle with it.

Sometimes this concern is based on concrete concerns such as: I’m afraid that if I’m out as poly, I might not get promoted at work. Or: my ex-spouse would challenge our child custody arrangement.

But very often, people choose the closet because they fear ostracism, stigma, loss of status/opportunity, or challenging the beliefs or opinions of others (especially family of origin).

No one is required to be out, or should be forced to be out.

Still, consider this: If you wish the world was a friendlier place for people like you, and if you’d face little concrete risk (aside from stigma, and maybe straining some relationships) for you to be at least a little more out than you are, yet you still choose to remain as closeted as you currently are — then how exactly is that friendlier world going to happen? Who’s gonna do the heavy lifting?

Research to be Done

So, feminism.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking and talking, lately, about whether or not to self-identify as feminist. I wrote a post about it, had a discussion on the atheism plus subreddit, and have had a number of discussions with friends about it. One such friend lent me a copy of “Feminism Is for Everybody”, by bell hooks, after we talked, which was a helpful introduction to some of the history of feminism as a movement.

My chief apprehension about identifying as a feminist has been that there are a lot of feminists who hold views I am entirely opposed to, most (but not all) of which fall under the bracket of sex-negativity. I generally like my labels to communicate things about me that are true, and in some cases I wasn’t sure feminism was a label that would do this.

That said, one of…

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