Long-held stereotypes of what a feminist supposedly looks like are slowly starting to fall to the wayside — thank goodness! But what does that mean for those out there who just need to know how to tag a feminist in the wild? To help out, we asked our favorite feminists what helps them stand out.
How can people tell you’re a feminist?
“People can tell I’m a feminist because I have blue hair and bathe in a fountain of male tears. Or is it by how many times I’ve been called a ‘feminist c***’ online? It’s SO difficult to keep up.” — Nina Bargiel
“I literally wear necklaces that say ”f*** the patriarchy’ and ‘feminist killjoy.'” — Patricia Valoy
“First, my laser eyes are activated by the words, ‘Well, actually,‘ and burn a hole in all those who attempt to ‘mansplain.’ I can’t help it, it’s instinct. Second, if one escapes a burning, there is my obsession with cats and inability to attract a man. But if all else fails, Vagina Dentata to the rescue! (At which point, it’s a bit, well, ‘too late’ for one to notice my incredibly dangerous, terrible, horrible no good, very bad belief that all genders are equal.)” — Alex Blank Millard
“My hairy legs and ‘I bathe in male tears’ shirt are usually dead giveaways.” — Allison Smartt
“They can’t. This is how I set my trap. Mwhahaha. ‘Come to me, tell me about your opinions,’ my kind face says. ‘Look at me, I am one of you,’ my cute femme clothes say. Then I pull the ol’ 1, 2, and before they know it, their Facebook wall is all Feminist Frequency vids and Jezebel articles. ‘Let me educate you,’ my social media presence says. That is how you can tell I’m a feminist.” — Emily Comeau
“I would guess the fact that I haven’t yet been traded for a dowry of two goats, six chickens and an acre of land probably gives something away.” — Shaindel Beers
“Usually it’s the screeching halt that comes to my laughter when someone tells an offensive joke. My unabashed confidence is also usually an invisible beacon, with the word ‘FEMINIST’ in blinking lights and an arrow pointing to my head à la Looney Tunes.” — Rachael Berkey
“My chronic singleness?” — Ashley Black
“I’d like to say it’s my tireless charity work with homeless kids, but it’s probably the nose ring.” — Jessica Sutherland
“This question reminds me of a high school friend’s husband who told his wife that I’m a bad influence because I’m a lesbian. He said this, by the way, as he was in the middle of physically attacking his wife. I think he meant feminist, but some people don’t really know the difference. I’d laugh if the whole thing wasn’t so awful.” — Leigh Shulman
“When I hand them my business card, and it says, ‘Professional Feminist.’ That has proven to be a fun way to start a conversation about how my work to promote women in STEM is feminism in action. I get a lot of nods and a few ‘hell yeahs!'” — Veronica Arreola
“Aside from my work as an intersectional feminist media critic, I think people can tell I’m a feminist by my behavior: I don’t snipe at other women, and I do everything I can to build them up — though I do critique them politically if, like Carly Fiorina or Christina Hoff Sommers, their ideas are regressive and based on inaccuracies. I don’t judge women’s sexual or romantic choices, I never engage in body-shaming (of myself or other women), and I actively try to increase women’s access to power by sharing my contacts, resources and ideas freely in order to help other women succeed.” — Jennifer Pozner
“Excellent question. The answer? Because I’ll tell them!” — Hanna Brooks Olsen
“People can tell I’m a feminist by what comes out of my mouth, by my published words and, most importantly, by my actions. A feminist can be wearing anything — or nothing; what she does is what matters, not what she looks like.” — Margaret Corvid