Commenter 1: I love this article so much. Totally agree with everything, and you hit upon my every reason why I do not identify as a feminist.
Commenter 2: Because you live in a flyover state and need boys to like you?
That pretty much sums up my interactions with "feminists" in college. The problem wasn't just that feminism has been hi-jacked by various other interests
, but that it always seemed to me, and still does, that many people who call themselves feminists have never considered that other people aren't like them. That they can bully other women with "check your privilege" but not understand that to be openly feminist and not harassed for it and to have less cultural baggage than other people is definitely itself a privilege. By cultural baggage I mean things like having spent decades of your life in a fundamentalist religion. Being taught certain things very counter to feminism when you are most impressionable.
If that's your situation, adopting feminism, particularly some of its more strident modern strains, probably goes against much of what seems intuitive to you. Depending on your situation, it may be even unsafe or make you subject to more discrimination to call yourself a feminist.
All I ask is more feminists should consider that there might be women interested in their ideas who might not be comfortable calling themselves a feminist yet. Who might like going to church. Who might own guns. Who think off-color jokes are funny and "trigger warnings" are baffling. Who might have more conservative ideas about things like family.
Personally it took me an entire decade of being out of the homeschooled/Evangelical world to feel OK with the idea of embracing feminism. And there are still elements of it that I have a lot of trouble embracing. I think what finally made me OK with calling myself a feminist was realizing I didn't have to like other feminists or have anything in common with them. And feminists don't have to like me either. That I can still make choices I believe in, and they can make choices they believe in. And the fact we can make these choices is really what matters.