Nowadays, some women think this term has become a dirty word, conjuring up the stereotyped vigilante, frothing at the mouth, man-hating lesbian from the 70s. 


In a recent focus group, a few young women said, "Id be a feminist but I dont hate men." 

But some who fought those earlier battles believe that the word itself has been co-opted by the political right, as part of a backlash against womens rising powers. 

Either way, a feminist believes in political, social, and economic equality between the sexes. 

And, yes, men can be feminists, too.


Susan Faludi coined the term as her 1992 book title, nailing the idea that the progress among women produces more than good feelings and higher salaries. She opined that men and non-feminists were actively fighting back against the strides made in previous years, changing the battlefield and raising the stakes for all.