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My perspective of feminism has been heavily influenced from different sides... but I think that's actually helped me to form my *own* ideas concerning it. In school I've been taught that feminists are liberal women with good intent who fight for women's rights. History textbooks are filled with proud pictures of women marching in the streets, campaigning for things such as women's suffrage and an end to sexual discrimination. This is probably the politically correct world's view of feminism- the proud, the strong, and the mighty. I'm sure you've all seen he infamous poster of a woman with her arm raised high, proudly advertising the motto: "We can do it!"

From another side- My father (whom I love very dearly, I might add before I openly display his slightly biased view) views feminists as hardcore, butch, fight-to-the-death women. A disagreeable woman is a "hard-headed feminist" who's trying to feel empowered and make men buckle under her will. Control of all the men in society is the ultimate goal of women. All women these days are feminists: they never listen to their husbands and fathers, and they're always bound and determined to have their way. It's all a scheme to overpower the men. My father's not a woman-hater, and half of his opinions are said lightheartedly, but nevertheless, years of hearing it has certainly made me a bit opposed to that view.

In *my* eyes, feminisim is to be proud of one's gender. (Well, I guess that doesn't exactly work if you're a male.) So we'll say a feminist is a woman who is proud of her gender, not ashamed by it, and refuses to be limited because of it. In that respect, I could probably classify myself as a feminist. I'm not hostile about a woman's place in society, and I don't do things that are considered a challenge to women (ie- applying to men's military school) specifically to demonstrate the point that women should be treated equally. IMHO, it's best that people hold their own views and be fair. It's counter-productive for women to HATE men... we'd be the same as the men who hate feminists. General acceptance of all of society is an ideal (but likely unreachable) compromise.

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