One of the words which bothers me is “strident”. Feminists are often called strident, whether they are or not. To be strident is to promote a particular point of view in a forceful manner. The word has underlying tones of aggression, yet I think that I would rather be called aggressive. (Somehow, it seems more honest to be “aggressive” than to be “strident”. Is this an example of gendered words?)
The truth is that I am no more strident than I am radical. Neither do I consider myself to be particularly the passionate — at least, not compared to other people. If I am being frank with myself, then I am probably better described as cautious and logical.
That’s not to say that other people should not be strident. Politics needs radicals. Politics and society both need people to push the boundaries, to relentlessly promote controversial points of view. Feminism needs it. Equality needs it. But not all feminists are strident, just as not all feminists are radical.