My Dad Is A Better Feminist Than You Are

But It’s Time We Ditched the Term Altogether

Heather M. Edwards
Dear Men
Published in
7 min readAug 9, 2019


Terminator 2: Judgment Day. All rights © TriStar Pictures, 1991.

If the feminist movement is to achieve its highest and best ideals men need to be feminists and women need to stop calling themselves feminists. I’m sorry to say it but the brand has been compromised.

The feminist label is no longer as effective as the feminist movement. It’s actually become a detriment. It’s not fair, but it’s true. The marketing has to match the message, not detract from it.

Yes, that is kind of infuriating. But I’m not saying it to appease the MRA misogynists any more than I’m saying it to antagonize the true believers fighting the good fight. We can’t expend any resources on incels beyond our own protection. Just as I have benefited from the women who came before me, I am saying it to fight for the generations of women younger than I am and the girls who will come after them.

I have a brand new niece who’s always smiling. I want her to grow up in a world where her self-determination is untrammeled. These girls can be unshackled by the sexism I spent my whole life believing was a scientific byproduct of merely existing as female.

Perhaps it’s time to merge the brand with the Secular Humanists. Or just use the term humanists. Face it. The target audience is knee-jerk defensive. The target audience isn’t the men who spend their time seething on 4Chan but the men who don’t create socially damning consequences for their sexist friends, the ones who perpetuate impunity for acts of sexual aggression against women by rationalizing it as “not that bad” or “at least he didn’t rape you.” They will not listen to any capital F feminists “shrieking about toxic masculinity”.

When Bayer bought Monsanto they ditched the tarnished brand. Monsanto has long been vilified by farmers and scientists for their carcinogenic fertilizers. Vegans are now self-identifying as plant-based. No business-savvy executives cling to an outdated label out of principle if the product is no longer selling.

So do you want to be right or do we want to be heard? They have become mutually exclusive. In this case, I think we have to choose. And I’m taking my marketing cues from my dad. I never labeled him as a feminist but he truly is. And because he’s a…