Depsite what some people might think, I don't consider myself a feminist. I do believe that women should be empowered, independent and fulfilled - with or without a man. I do believe women should be treated equally, and have the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as anyone else.
The thing is - I believe that about everyone. I think I sometimes sound like I'm preaching the woman's case because I speak from that perspective - but that's because I'm a woman. It's really the only perspective from which I have a view.
Feminism is defined as "the doctrine advocating social, political and all other rights of women equal to those of men;" and "an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women." To me, a feminist is someone who is actively engaged in that fight. Who believes that women don't enjoy the same rights as men, and who believes that is something for which we need to fight.
I'm not debating whether we do or we don't - mostly because I'm in no mood to research facts, and I suspect even if I was, I'd find plenty in support of either position. The fact is - I've never had to fight for my rights as a woman. I've never been shut out of a club or a job because of my gender; I've never earned less than my male counterparts; I've never been pregnant, so I've never experienced any related prejudice or challenge; I've grown up in a world where my reproductive rights have always been respected.
Since I've never had to fight for equal rights, it seems hypocritical that I would call myself a feminist - someone who actively fights. Plenty of women came before me who did fight for those rights, so that women like me could be in a position to say, "I've never...." It seems disrespectful for me to align myself with them and their heroic efforts - so I won't.
I suspect those women hoped that eventually there would be women like me. They fought and argued and lost and won battles - all in the name of equality. The whole point being that one day, women wouldn't have to fight anymore. The point was never for the battle to keep going - the idea was to win, right?
I guess if I can say "I never had to...." - I'm proof of some victory, no matter how small.