to not understand the words "I'm not a feminist"?

(415 Posts)
bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 22:51:17

I've seen this countless times on MN and I really don't get it.

Actually I've heard it quite a few times in RL too.

So, to those of you who are so keen to communicate your non-feminist standing, could you please explain to me which part of 'total equality between the sexes' you disagree with?

Alternatively, you could (gently) explain to me which part of that generic description of feminism I seem to have misunderstood?

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:20:15

I am not a feminist. Because "feminist" to me smacks of unattractive, unfeminine, stroppy, lefty, bolshy, demanding, unsympathetic and unloving.

I am attractive, feminine, easy going, (ok, a bit lefty), giving, sympathetic and loving.

And I am a feminist.

FromEsme Sun 14-Oct-12 23:20:21

NotInMyDay Feminists don't tend to tell women off for doing things they like doing.

fishface2 Sun 14-Oct-12 23:21:39

Surely everyone likes doors being opened for them. The question is do you Luke doors being opened for you because you are a woman?

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:22:41

From seriously they do...it's hysterical how they can't see the irony when they're accusing people of 'letting the sisterhood down' for making their own choices grin

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:24:35

I dont believe men and women are the same and should be treated the same in all situations.

'Same' doesn't mean the same thing as 'equal'.

fishface2 Sun 14-Oct-12 23:27:36

It is also hysterical that women can not see how they have been unfairly treated because if their gender.

I was talking to a woman the other day who was telling me feminism was all in my head, the only reason she is a stay at home mum us because she earns the lowest wage out of her and her partner like all if her friends. Funny that!

NotInMyDay Sun 14-Oct-12 23:29:57

FromEsme - I did generalise there and I know that's never good but many feminists do have a go at other woman for unfeministy <technical term wink> actions.

Fanjo hair removal is a no holds barred topic. Saying you just like it hairless is usually met with cries of,"but that's because bastard males have made you think you like but you don't as it makes you look like a pre-pubescent child"

<can of worms - open> Can't we all just get along grin

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 14-Oct-12 23:30:29

do all feminists speak for all feminists

No of course not and we do not all have the same opinions

but some like to over look that

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:32:17

Also, I am a feminist and I occasionally choose to shave my legs, armpits etc.

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:35:55

So where exactly has this unflattering image of feminism come from? I can remember a Viz character called Millie Tant who fitted the stereotype. But where does the stereotype come from?

WofflingOn Sun 14-Oct-12 23:36:35

'Feminists don't tend to tell women off for doing things they like doing.'

I've been a feminist for a long time, there are many different strands, attitudes and philosophies that can all be considered feminist.
Including the evangelical and polemic variety, and occupiers of the moral high ground. But those tend to be the ones that the antis think of first.

WofflingOn Sun 14-Oct-12 23:38:37

The unflattering image was prevalent in the 60s when women started articulating and acting in groups, but the idea that doing unwomanly things such as wanting a a university degree made you manly,unattractive, infertile and a lesbian was around in Victorian times.

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:39:15

I'm a School Governor and I can nearly always be heard in meetings saying things like, "Yes but how is that fair on both sexes?" or "Yes but what sort of message does that send to both sexes?" or "Yes but surely that policy is more in favour of male/female teachers?" etc....etc....

But I won't label myself

Not only because I don't think humans should have labels, but because some of the extreme nutters on here have put me off ever uttering the word 'feminist'.

I've seen posters label themselves as feminists and still be torn to shreds by those who feel they are 'considerably more feminist than yo..."

My personal opinion is I'd rather label myself as being me and that will do nicely. Everyone else can do whatever suits them.

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:39:18

(Thinking out loud)

I suppose the stereotype is in fact a patriarchal construct designed to turn women off feminism so we won't get too powerful ... sadly it's working sad

WofflingOn Sun 14-Oct-12 23:41:05

I think how you live your life, and the values you hold are a clearer indicator of whether you are a feminist or not than a label, or a badge.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Sun 14-Oct-12 23:41:32

Marriedinwhite,, that is quite the most judgemental and diminishing piece of propaganda you have spouted there

Which is rather ironic

Interestingly, your user name autocorrects to 'corrosiveness' on my phone smile

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:47:40

I'd rather label myself as being me and that will do nicely.

Good point Worra and I largely try to follow the same principle in my life. I'm curious though about why women are sometimes so very keen to disassociate themselves from feminism even when feminism isn't under discussion. For example on threads about DHs watching porn people often comment that they don't agree with the porn industry 'but I'm not a feminist'. It always leaves me thinking 'who asked you?' and 'why so keen to tell us you're not?' and 'what's wrong with being a feminist anyway?!'

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:52:01

I suppose the stereotype is in fact a patriarchal construct designed to turn women off feminism so we won't get too powerful ... sadly it's working

And there it is! grin

The stereotypes that I see on MN are alive and well and being kept alive and well by female extreme nutters imo.

Those who suck the joy out of almost everything...those who see inequality when there is none...those who persuade women they don't know their own minds because they've been conditioned by society into removing their pubic hair...blah blah blah....

Instead of automatically blaming a patriarchal construct, look a little closer to home and if/when you see women being what I can only describe as 'bullied' by rad fems...stick up for them and help to clean the tarred image of feminism if it bothers you enough.

NotInMyDay Sun 14-Oct-12 23:55:57

Worra I think you are saying what I was trying to but much more eloquently. So I'll just say.. "yup. What she said"

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:58:57

Worra I'm not 'automatically blaming' anything, I am just musing and discussing and inviting opinion.

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:59:30

Me?? Eloquent?? Worra fucking liberty shock grin

ilovesooty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:59:42

I think it is a dreadful shame that feminism has got the reputation of being joyless and humourless

I didn't know feminists (or many of them) were so earnest until I started posting here.

I belive in equality of opportunity but men and women are different.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Oct-12 00:01:33

The stereotypes that I see on MN are alive and well and being kept alive and well by female extreme nutters imo. Those who suck the joy out of almost everything...those who see inequality when there is none

Absolutely.

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:02:03

I honestly haven't seen any of the rad fem bullying going on, but I'm not on MN all the time so I miss a lot.

Could someone link a thread where such bullying has taken place please? Particularly bullying of less extreme self labelled feminists.

NellyJob Mon 15-Oct-12 00:02:52

Q. How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. That's not funny!

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