As a woman and a writer, I ask myself this question everyday. The biggest quandary with respect to calling myself a feminist is that there is no one definition for the word. While to some feminism means equality of men and women, to other more radical thinkers it is one which asserts that society is a patriarchy where men are the primary oppressors of women. Over the years it has been loaded with so many attributes, some of them, if I may add: I do not agree with.
That said, here's the other side:
Despite my disagreements with certain radical ideas of feminism, I believe that for any movement to succeed it has to pass through a radical phase. All ideas that seem radical, communism, even non-violent struggles and satyagrahas, needed to shock society with their absolutely different ideology in order to make a dent on people's minds.
Imagine a world where we trust the systems as they are, believing that progress would happen slowly within existing paradigms... in which case things probably won't change at all. Every event that changed the history of the world was radical in its times, and feminism is one such. It had/has to be RADICAL.
Sometimes, women MUST lose their patience and rage. The radical feminists are those Kalis. They needed to remind the world of the power of the feminine. I am glad they did so.
But, other women are not so lucky. In India, where the Kali cult is so vast, women are still oppressed, raped, burned. And it makes me ANGRY. Sometimes I wonder, who do we blame, the mother for bringing up her son with no morals, the father for treating the mother badly in front of the son, the government for doing nothing to change reality, religion...?
Today, after waves of women's liberation struggles, feminism, postfeminism, no-isms, we are still at the same place. Women are in chains. Maybe not all of them, but to use one's sex against one is a pathetic state of humanity.
Personally I am always wary to call myself a feminist because I fear people would look at my work differently if I did so. Some men might not even read me. Although, now I think the time has come for me to choose.