Name: David Kinney
Occupation: Asset Manager
Location: Arlington, VA
How do you define feminism?
I try to define feminism as broadly as possible. I don’t really think it is my place to tell women of they are or are not feminists. For a basic definition I would define it as a movement for gender equality. I think that leaves plenty of room for interpretation. I will say that I do love learning about all the different waves and sub-genres within feminism, it really is fascinating.
When did you first identify as a feminist?
Since self-identifying as a feminist I have come to realize that my mom raised me as a committed feminist without me knowing it. But I only started calling myself a feminist since my wife and I found out we were expecting a baby girl. I felt I couldn’t just act like the stereotypical dad, it wasn’t who i was or wanted to be. I wanted to raise a ridiculously strong, independent, thoughtful girl. Both my mom and my sister are feminists, so I decided to start reading feminist blogs for ideas and in the process learned a whole lot about women, the world and myself.
Has your definition of feminism changed over time? How?
Definitely, my definition has changed. I was raised believing in gender equality, but it was never called feminism. Because of that I think I thought that feminism was full on complete social justice and always walking the walk no matter what the cost. It wasn’t something to be mocked or belittled but it wasn’t for me either. Once I learned about trade-offs and economics in college that notion of feminism became something that was well-meaning but often misguided. Only after I started reading more did I realize all of the internal divisions and contradictions within feminism meant it couldn’t be the utopian stereotype I had imagined. After that, I more or less realized I had basically been a feminist my whole life (with more than a few lapses).
Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist? If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?
I just started self-identifying as a feminist and have even kept that fairly low key for the moment so I haven’t had too much resistance yet. I have had some resistance when pushing back on some ideas or notions my friends have expressed but nothing out of the ordinary for political discussion in DC.
What do you see as the future of feminism? I think the future of feminism for the next couple of years lies in three main areas. In no particular order:
1. The defense of reproduction rights within the U.S. as a multitude of anti-abortion measures are pushed harder and harder by conservatives.
2. The fight for women’s rights and gender equality internationally, where most countries are far behind the United States and other developed nations.
3. Trying to build feminism by adding to its numbers. Basically exactly what this project is trying to accomplish. Too many women (and men) believe in gender equality but aren’t willing to add their voice in support of feminism.
David Kinney spends his day job working for the man and his nights spending time with his wife and daughter. When not doing any of these things he writes about feminism at www.feministfather.com and as feministfather on Twitter.
If you would like to participate in this series, please contact me for more details!