What is Feminism?

I once commented on L’Hote, after its proprietor had accidentally run afoul of Tiger Beatdown, that: “feminism is a philosophical concept, not an objective thing. And because it has no real objective truth, it can ultimately only be determined by what people believe it to be.”

I guess what I was driving at with that comment was sort of the same idea that Paul Graham articulated when he wrote: “Most philosophical debates are not merely afflicted by but driven by confusions over words.” Feminism is a philosophy, and thus it is fundamentally subject to what we think “feminism” means, and that is subject to whatever any given person wants it to mean.

I am reminded of this by the news that Sarah Palin has been trying to claim “feminism” for the conservatives. Feminists are, of course, upset–or should I say that those we typically call “feminists” are upset; for what does it truly mean to be a feminist?

The real question, I suppose, is why does Palin wish to reclaim that word for the Conservatives?

What's your stake in this, cowboy?