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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?

eBook Fri 19-Oct-12 19:23:36

> Is it too simplistic to say that there appear to be feminists and Feminists with a capital F?

grovel that would make perfect sense. It would be very useful to be able to distinguish the two equally valid definitions of the word.

seeker Wed 17-Oct-12 15:37:38

"Why does someone need to align themselves with feminism in order to ensure equality?

Ah! Now that is a significant question. What else is feminism?

Raspberrysorbet Wed 17-Oct-12 14:54:32

<wonders if, in all of time, men have ever, ever had to have this discussion>

PosieParker Wed 17-Oct-12 14:18:08

Erm because that's what feminism is and why would you want to dilute the aim of equality by not aligning yourself with feminism.

EmBOOsa Wed 17-Oct-12 14:15:57

Why does someone need to align themselves with feminism in order to ensure equality?

theodorakis Wed 17-Oct-12 14:08:49

I don't know a single Muslim woman who isn't a Feminist. Like I said, living a 35 minute drive from the Saudi border who wouldn't be?

PosieParker Wed 17-Oct-12 13:38:50

Because they refuse to align themselves with something that ensures their own equality.

EmBOOsa Wed 17-Oct-12 13:13:29

"And women that say "I'm not a feminist" do their gender a disservice."

Why?

PosieParker Wed 17-Oct-12 13:12:46

I'm not surprised that women who identify themselves as Muslim aren't feminists....that would be quite a trick.
And women that say "I'm not a feminist" do their gender a disservice.

Notafoodbabyanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 13:06:49

Hahaha... Went for a shower and came back to find myself drilled into a hole in the ground sucking up tea through a twirl straw. Delicious! And quite cosy!

grin

Raspberrysorbet Wed 17-Oct-12 12:26:55

Mmmm.....<picks biscuit crumbs off top of baby's head>

catgirl1976 Wed 17-Oct-12 12:23:10

grin

I want chocolate now...................

Raspberrysorbet Wed 17-Oct-12 12:22:10

I do that too cat!

I'm still a feminist though grin

catgirl1976 Wed 17-Oct-12 12:20:08

I love Twirls. I dip them in my tea <common>

sometimes I try to such the tea up through them like a chocolate straw

Raspberrysorbet Wed 17-Oct-12 12:14:56

Yup, me too. In fact here, have this actual Twirl.

I was getting the fed ups from having my tonal comments ignored by everyone apart from cat

WorraLiberty Wed 17-Oct-12 12:14:54

Yes keep twirling

I want to see if it's possible to drill yourself into the ground grin

catgirl1976 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:59:16

Twirl again as you've summed it up well for me too

(which I'm greatful for as I just get frustrated and become incoherent with nnggst)

Notafoodbabyanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 11:51:44

Why thank you Worra.

<twirls>

grin

WorraLiberty Wed 17-Oct-12 11:24:37

I totally agree with everything you've said Notafoodbabyanymore

You sum it up rather nicely for me.

Notafoodbabyanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 11:18:34

Why doesn't anything to do with pubic hair count?

If I've read correctly (and I apologise if I haven't) some people have been told point blank by self proclaimed feminists that if they remove their body hair, they are only doing so because they've been brainwashed by the patriarchy to think that they have to to attract men, and therefore they are not "proper" feminists.

Can you really not understand why that might make some people feel like they don't wish to identify themselves as feminists?

EmBOOsa Wed 17-Oct-12 10:55:54

"Doesn't it matter? I am just bemused by all the women who say something like "I'm not a feminist because I don't agree with the things feminists believe" but don't say what those things are."

In this particular discussion what those things are isn't actually the important part. I haven't gone into it because I suspect it will take the thread off on a tangent of either, "well I don't know any feminists who believe that" or the thread will suddenly become all about why you should agree/disagree with that view.

Still I keep coming back to, why does anyone care what I label myself as?

grovel Wed 17-Oct-12 10:23:49

Is it too simplistic to say that there appear to be feminists and Feminists with a capital F?
The former don't define themselves as feminists but agree with the broad principles of Feminism (equality etc).
The latter put Feminism at the forefront of how they live their lives and fight for the cause wherever they see a problem - whether it affects them directly or not.

aurynne Wed 17-Oct-12 10:22:33

Interesting point of view seeker... I guess I don't call myself a feminist because I don't give priority to women's issues over any other person's issues. I don't feel more inclined to speak out when anti-woman views are expressed than when anti-men, or anti-animals, or anti-gay views are expressed (and I speak strongly against all these views, believe me). So same as I don't consider myself an animal rights activist (even though I adore animals and I don't want them to suffer), likewise I don't consider myself a feminist, even though I know am equal to any other person, man or woman.

I don't know whether or not you can "only" be a feminist if you're campaigning, but that is the way I determine whether I call myself something or not. Perhaps the only thing we are dissenting about here is how each person judge themselves in several areas of their lives, and how they choose to express their belonging or lack thereof to particular movements or ideals. In which case, none of us are really wrong, we simply have different ways of measuring. I really have no problem, and will throw no tantrum, if someone else considers me a feminist even though I don't. I just find it funny that other people are really that bothered by the opposite situation!

seeker Wed 17-Oct-12 09:55:36

That's interesting, aurynne. So for you, you can only be a feminist if you are actively campaigning?

For me, feminism can be about that. And certainly was when I was a young woman. But mostly it's about how I live my own life, how I bring up my children, how I interact with others and make decisions for my family. It's about making sure that I know what the people I vote for think about issues that particularly impact on women. And it's about not being afraid to speak up, on line or in real life when anti woman/ anti feminist/victim blaming views are expressed

And I have to say that to my mind, many of the causes you mention are to a greater or lesser degree, feminist issues!

aurynne Wed 17-Oct-12 09:45:05

I don't find feminism unpalatable, and if I was a feminist I would not be put off by extremists within the movement (as I am not put off by extremists in other movements I am part of). In my case at least, it is much simpler really... there are other movements I happen to advocate for right now, and feminism is just not one of them. There are children starving, or working for a pittance in sweatshops, girls being burnt with acid, blind people who can't afford a simple surgery to give them back their sight, animals being treated with cruelty... the lists of worthwhile causes to fight for is endless, really, and a person can't be an advocate for every single one of them. Every person devotes themselves to particular ones. And we have the freedom to choose which ones. So no, regardless of how much some people here moan and stump their feet, I'm still not a feminist.

Why are some of you guys so intent on telling people what they are? Don't you think the women you are talking to are intelligent enough to know what they are, so that they need you to tell them? Not a very feminist behaviour that one, sister :P.

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