This is totally off-topic. It's also a rant, which I don't usually do here. I usually write my essay-rants only for myself, just for release. But that's what happens when you have a blog. You get a soapbox, and suddenly you have to announce yourself to whoever comes along.
American liberals are always apologizing. Somewhere along the way (1980?) as the US became increasingly conservative, as liberals allowed conservatives to set the terms of the debate, and so, found themselves increasingly on the defensive - and indeed as the very word liberal became an expletive (anybody remember Michael Dukakis?) - liberals began to preface every opinion with a concession to the other side, and the telltale but. Of all liberal viewpoints, feminism probably took the hardest hit, but no opinion was immune.
"I'm against abortion, but I think women should have a choice..."
"Of course what Clinton did is disgusting, but I don't think it's our business..."
"I'm against welfare, but we have to have a safety net..."
"Sometimes the death penalty is necessary, but it's applied with racism..." (This is not heard much these days, now that it's again socially acceptable to be anti- capital punishment, but it was very popular in the 1980s.)
And my personal favorite
"I'm not a feminist, but..." Usually spoken by a young woman whose life has benefited enormously from feminism and who expects to be treated as an equal citizen.
Predictably, these days it's become fashionable to say "I support our troops, but not the war."
The hawk reaction to this statement illustrates how self-defeating this apologetic way of thinking is: it only enrages them. (If you don't believe me, do some googling.) Hawks claim that if you are against the war, you are against the troops, period. Throwing the yellow-ribbon crowd a four-word bone with a but attached will not placate them. And it won't open any eyes to the shame and hypocrisy of the US occupation of Iraq.
About the time I stopped standing for the national anthem, I realized I was through apologizing. Maybe that's when I stopped calling myself a liberal.
I don't support the war. I see the troops as victims. They are treated like shit and forced to do violence for no justifiable reason. Their presence in Iraq is an abuse of trust: they enlist to defend their country (and get an education), and are used as cannon fodder and tools of oppression. I feel great pain for them and for their families. But I neither support nor don't support them. The idea is irrelevant to me.
And while I'm at it:
I'm not against abortion. Abortion is as old as civilization and as necessary as any other medical procedure. It is often a necessary part of a woman's reproductive life, especially if she lives in a country without equal access to affordable health care such as the US. Women need abortions for a wide variety of reasons, and they should be able to have them. Period.
I'm against the death penalty. Always, for anyone, for all reasons. I am a survivor of a very violent crime, so don't talk to me about justice. I don't give a shit about the bible, so don't tell me an eye-for-an-eye. The government has no right to kill citizens. Period.
I am a feminist. You betcha bottom line I am. You might be one, too. But to find out, you gotta know what the word means.
We now return to you to your regularly scheduled we move to canada, and the friendly, congenial host you have come to expect.