The Survey

The Survey

The survey was distributed in hard copy and online to people involved in manifestations of feminism which had formed in the UK since 2000, with a request that it be passed on to individuals involved with their activities. These included four conferences, events or festivals, and over 50 local and national organisations, and web-based groups. All those who identify as feminist or pro-feminist were asked to complete the questionnaire and were assured confidentiality and anonymity.

1265 people completed the questionnaire. Approximately two-thirds of respondents filled it in online; the rest filled in a hard copy version.

The survey was just one part of the research for the book. The results should not be assumed to represent all feminists, as this was not the intention. In addition, all surveys have their limitations in the questions the researchers chose to ask, who was targeted and who chose to respond. We learned a lot from doing this survey and there are certainly a few things we would have done differently over again, which we might write up at a later date.

That said, the results are interesting and we hope they’ll spark some useful debate!

For the full results, please see our book.

However, we will be posting some information from the survey on this website, mainly from the free text answers that can’t easily be represented statistically.

The survey questions

PART 1: We would like to find out a bit more about the types of people who call themselves feminists or pro-feminists. Please tick the relevant box or write in your response as requested.

1.1 Do you identify as: Female / Male / Other
1.2 Your age
1.3 Ethnicity
1.4 Sexuality
1.5 Religious or spiritual views
1.6 Highest level of academic education (including current studies)
1.7 Have you ever undertaken any academic study on feminism or women’s studies?
1.8 If yes, please describe
1.9 Current location in UK

PART 2: Tell us about how you came to be a feminist.

2.1 Please tick the statement which best reflects you:

    • I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a feminist
    • There was definitely a noticeable time in my life when I ‘found’ feminism

2.2 If you ticked ‘there was definitely a noticeable time’; please explain what sparked your interest?
2.3 At what age did you start to identify as a feminist?
2.4 What has been the biggest influence on your development as a feminist? (Please pick one only)

    • Internet
    • Reading feminist books/magazines
    • Meeting other feminists
    • Brought up as feminist by parent/carer
    • Academic study
    • Other

PART 3: Tell us about your feminism.

3.1 Do you particularly identify with any of the following types of feminism (tick all that apply)?
3.2 How important is feminism to you?
3.3 Please list the three feminist issues that most interest or concern you
3.4 How similar do you think the important feminist issues today are to those of the 1970s?
3.5 What do you understand the term ‘feminism’ to mean? [free text – see website]
3.6 Do your friends share your feminist values?
3.7 Have you experienced any negative consequences of embracing feminism?
3.8 If yes, please describe
3.9 Who inspires you most as a feminist?

PART 4: Please tell us what sort of feminist activities you are involved with.

4.1 From the list below, please tick any activities that you currently take part in (a list of different types of activism was given)

PART 5: Your view on UK feminism today.

5.1 Based on your experience of feminism in the UK today, please read the following statements and indicate whether you tend to agree or disagree with each statement.

    • The feminist movement today is too diverse to be effective
    • We need a set of goals that everyone can agree on
    • It would be wonderful if more people called themselves feminists
    • Too many people are calling themselves feminists who don’t have feminist views
    • It’s a good thing that feminism does not have any visible ‘leaders’
    • It is more important to fight for political change than cultural change
    • Both cultural and political activism are important
    • Feminism today is too internet-based
    • The internet has been instrumental to today’s feminist movement
    • There seem to be more feminist actions/events/groups than 5 years ago
    • A resurgence of feminism is occurring in the UK
    • There is too much talking and not enough action
    • Women-only spaces are under threat and should be defended
    • Men should embrace feminism
    • Feminism should address men’s concerns (e.g. deconstructing masculinity) as well as women’s
    • I feel positively about the term ‘third-wave feminism’
    • Feminism was better in the 1960s/70s
    • I feel optimistic about feminism’s future
    • Feminism is too white and middle class
    • The diverse range of opinions within feminism today is a strength

5.2 How well do you feel that current feminist groups/organizations/networks/online communities meet your needs?
5.3 If there are other sorts of groups/organizations/networks/online communities that you would like to be join or to be formed, what are they?
5.4 Do you tend to find yourself working or interacting with feminists who are:

    • Mainly your own age
    • A mixture of ages
    • Mainly of a different age from you
    • Do not interact with other feminists
    • Don’t know / unsure

5.5 Why do you think this is? Please explain your answer
5.6 Do you think men can be feminists?
5.7 If you wish, please explain your answer