Tag Archive: Anthropology


Check out a blog post I wrote for one of my classes:

http://blogs.umass.edu/satalay/2014/03/18/anthropology-that-anyone-can-edit-wikipedia-and-public-anthropology/

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What is a Feminist?

So one of the courses I’m taking this semester is Public/Engaged Anthropology, which is exploring how to involve communities at all levels of anthropology, from helping design research questions to producing the final publications to distributing the information. Thursday this past week I heard a guest lecture from Whitney Battle-Baptiste, a black feminist archaeologist (meaning she’s a black feminist archaeologist, and she does black feminist focused archaeology). She explained that for years she resisted the label feminist, because most of the African-American community views feminism as anti-family, anti-men, and fairly self-centered. And she eventually came to the realization that it’s not. Sure, there are feminists who might fall under those labels, but most do not. Battle-Baptiste stressed that “feminism” really is “feminisms” – it’s the idea of listening to multiple voices and allowing multiple viewpoints to be expressed. Her admission of this struggle helped me, because this is something I’ve struggled with. Since working at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum last summer, I’ve struggled with whether I should call myself a feminist. As a man coming from a white, conservative, Christian perspective, “feminism” came to me with a lot of negative connotations, just like it did for Battle-Baptiste. But I certainly support equal political and social rights for women. I support equal political and social rights for everyone, actually. And I love studying issues of gender, class, and social interactions. Therefore, I’m proud to say: I’m a feminist.

I made this declaration a few days ago on Facebook, with the hashtag #letthefiringsquadcommence. A lot of interesting conversations sprang up, and I think (as I expected) I sparked some controversy from some of my other conservative-minded friends. So my question is: What does feminism mean to you?