The Feminist can be defined much like any other group. There are the "fundamentalists" that give it the negative connotation. A "Militant Feminist", or "Womyn" does not speak for most independant women that I've come across (same with Islamics, Christians, etc), but the TRUE feminist isn't an outright bitch for the sake of being a bitch "just because she is a woman".
She doesn't think the world owes her anything that she didn't earn, and certainly isn't owed anything "just because she is a woman". BUT, she doesn't let being a woman hold her back. She doesn't let just being a woman prevent her from following a career goal or any other goal. She doesn't let anyone trample on her because she is "just a woman". She does deserve respect, but only because she earns it.
I liken it to me being a Christian, but certainly NOT wanting to be associated with that group that protested at the marine's funeral.
I was raised in the deep South, as a traditional, stereotypical "Southern Gentleman". You would think, given the stereotypes out there, that my house would be my castle and my wife my servant.
It was not his way for my Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, etc. The only difference between the sexes came in the form of "a man doesn't hit a woman" and the "opening of doors". (for the record- I was raised with two sisters (one older) and have still to this day never struck a female. I may have missed about 20 doors in my entire life and those were because I wasn't paying attention (this has been the hardest one for EVERY one of my past girlfriends to get used to- wife included))
My wife has a career. Our home life is a PARTNERSHIP. In her independance, she has NEVER tried to manipulate, control, or take away from my role as "man of the house". If anything, she would be disappointed in me if I didn't act like the man of the house (she has told me she wouldn't have married a pussy). BUT, she would never let me abuse that, as well. (Something I'm sure that we BOTH consdered before marrying each other).
But to answer the original question: American women only suck if they think well enough of you.