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Women answer: Do you consider yourself a feminist?

There’s a lot of polarizing discussion about feminism and what its place is in our lives. But discussing women’s lives and the issues that are important to them is fundamental to knowing how to move forward. That’s why we asked women from the Experts Among Us community if they saw themselves as feminists. Below are some of the answers that really struck us.

YES, I am a feminist

“I believe in equal treatment for all people. I have a teenage daughter, and I want her to grow up demanding equal pay and equal treatment for herself. Feminism is about equality, so, yes, I’m a feminist.” — Rachael Moshman

“I am a feminine feminist. I believe very strongly in the power of my feminine essence and all that makes me a lady, woman, girl, broad, goddess — however you say it. I have done things in my life I was never supposed to even dream of doing and been successful at them. That I am a woman doing it makes it all that much more special for me.” — Kalisha Buckhanon

“You’re damned right I’m a feminist! As a female business owner, I had to be. I’ll never forget when I signed my first lease on an office in New York City. It was a pretty well known office building, and when the representative from the moving company came to my old office on Long Island at the time, I greeted him. He asked for “the president,” and I said “Yes, can I help you?” And he said, “No, the president — isn’t HE here?” And to make matters worse, I gave the building blueprints of how I wanted the office renovated. When the contractor had a problem, he said I should come in so they could show me the problem as I probably couldn’t read a blueprint. And who do you think drew them up in the first place?” — Jane Coloccia

“Since I aspire to create a life that speaks to every part of my being, regardless of societal norms, I would definitely consider myself a feminist. For me, feminism is defined as the power of women to create their version of what it means to be a woman.” — Marquita Goodluck

“Yes but also a male-ist. I support humankind in general and each person living to their maximum potential.” — Bonnie Bruderer

“Why must feminism still be seen as the exception to the rule rather than part of human rights? So, I’m a feminist because I’m a humanist.” — Jessie Weiser

“I celebrate equality among all, men and women, and even more so celebrate the cultural shift that is allowing us to explore and embrace new opportunities to support each other and open new channels for collective growth. Feminism isn’t a brutal word anymore.”  — Katy Blevins

“When a woman moves forward, I believe she takes the whole new generation along with her. To me, a woman not only gives birth but creates a whole new world with new thinking. With her new forward thinking, she can instill rights, education and values in her children. She is the forward movement. So, to me feminism does not mean fight for rights or equality, as fight is a negative word. To me feminism means moving forward whether anyone supports you or not.” — Sunita Chabra

NO, I am not a feminist

“I don’t consider myself a feminist because I feel that feminism is not inclusion, intersectional, and it’s often used for the privilege.” — Andrea Imafidon

“I am all for women getting the same equal rights as men in the workplace. I don’t think we need to be called feminists. IF we want equality, than women need to stop acting as if they are better than men. Notice the word — equal.” — Stephanie Dolce

MAYBE, I might be feminist

“The feminist movement has helped women to achieve success in the workplace, socially, as well as in marriage to gain equal rights, and those values resonate with me as a woman. I prefer to use the term Goddess when it pertains to relationships and the true female power.” — Dawn Michael

“If believing women are just as talented and capable as men makes me a feminist, then, yes, I am a feminist!” — Ashley C

Now it’s your turn! SheKnows and the Ms. Foundation have teamed up to host a video contest on The F Word — Feminism. You can submit an original two- to three-minute video describing what feminism means to you by Feb. 19. You’ll be entered to win up to $5,000 in prizes, including $4,000 cash and a trip to NYC. Learn more about the contest, and read the official rules.

These responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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