To feel a bit bereft now that the Reasonable Feminism thread is full?

(42 Posts)

I feel as though I have no purpose in life. Floating, aimlessly, drifting between other threads, posting listlessly but not really, you know, feeling it... grin

kim147 Thu 04-Jul-13 19:44:31

It's always the same when a good thread reaches 1000 posts. You put in all that effort and it slowly vanishes over time.

Eyesunderarock Thu 04-Jul-13 19:45:35

But you were marvelous darlink, simply marvelous.
Start another one.
Oh, you have. grin

grin eyes It helped me though a difficult chest infection. For, oh, whole minutes at a time I could forget the wheezing and the rest of it.

Eyesunderarock Thu 04-Jul-13 19:56:21

It helped me over my crisis when I remembered what it felt like to read a strong feminist message from an articulate poster with a sense of humour.
For which I am grateful.
I too have a magnificent chest infection in a somewhat unimpressive chest.
It has beaten back two lots of ABs and is headed for round three only slightly dented.
And I have series 1 & 2 of GOT. smile

Are you me? shock though I am only half way into my first pack of antibiotics amateur

I am almost at the end of season 1 GOT, season 2 is being delivered tomorrow. Purely medicinal, you understand...

Eyesunderarock Thu 04-Jul-13 20:02:22

Absolutely. smile
I love a bit of fantasy, RL can get tough sometimes.

I was thinking about what someone said about the men's roles on GoT, comparing the number of men who died violently while the women hid...

It has just occurred to me that men and women in pretend kingdoms in medieval times had two stark (boom boom) choices: die violently in a battle or die violently in childbirth.

Eyesunderarock Thu 04-Jul-13 20:38:52

Or join the church.

SigmundFraude Thu 04-Jul-13 20:40:25

I'm feeling bereft somewhat Buffy. Although aren't you nearly better and clearing orf back to work?

skylerwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 20:45:47

Yay! Another one

Sterling work throughout, Buffy.

I hope Spero comes back to this one, as well, as you put a great point to her (about disadvantages down to education/class v disadvantages down to gender) that I would like to hear her take on.

Hope you feel better soon.

I am feeling much better thanks. Walked the kids to school for the first time this week (my parents have been coming over to walk them this week, thank goodness for them) and we kept having to step aside so frustrated normal speed walkers could be about their business grin

I have high hopes for tomorrow!

skylerwhite Thu 04-Jul-13 20:51:21

Shame the original OP didn't participate much in the latter stages of the thread. It was an interesting question she posed that I'm not sure we really got around to addressing.

Technotropic Thu 04-Jul-13 21:06:10

Damn, do some work, drive home and the thread is full sad. This is a long shot but.................(hoping for another 1000 wink)

Techno let's for a moment assume that you are correct about why we ended up with the culture and gender roles that we have got. Your argument is very logical.

Why should that continue?

I think it should continue for those that are happy to carry on that way. But for those that don't then that's jolly fine too. Mission Impossible perhaps?

From the many threads I've read before, I have a bit of a problem because I generally believe gender roles were arrived at largely by cooperation and evolution; because it was the most effective way the human race was ever going to succeed in this harsh environment. Thus whilst the system may have flaws, its flaws should not a burden for modern man to bear and be criticised for. As I mentioned a long time ago now, we can only deal with the status quo as we've found it. It's not the sole fault of man so is unfair to lay it all at their feet. I believe this is what patriarchy theory tries to do and why, in turn, the extremists see men as the problem.

Men are not the problem. They certainly ain't perfect and some things need to change but men are as much of a problem as women are. controversial maybe but I like to think that women are at least 50% accountable for the system we live in.

Re: Game of Thrones, I realise it's all fantasy but I can imagine the carnage wasn't far from the truth, with men rarely seeing out old age. IMHO I don't think life was a bed of privileged roses for men throughout most of history. I'm not saying women didn't suffer by any means but life has certainly never been easier.

Get well soon BTW Buffy

Aaaaaaand we're back in business grin

Thus whilst the system may have flaws, its flaws should not a burden for modern man to bear and be criticised for.

No, modern men certainly should not be criticised for the way that the system evolved. I don't see why we can't criticise the system itself though, and also criticise the way that it facilitates and excuses the behaviour of some men. Men like the one on this thread

I like to think that women are at least 50% accountable for the system we live in

As do I, and I also think that the feminist movement has, is and will continue to make a valuable contribution to the work of improving the system for all. Partly by exposing the hidden structural inequalities, part by campaigns for specific things, like the End Violence Against Women Coalition, for example.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 04-Jul-13 21:37:44

I have no idea what the old thread is about, but I shall wade in (testing depth of water with both feet...)

"...gender roles were arrived at largely by cooperation and evolution..." John Stuart Mill disagreed in The Subjection of Women, talking about the place of women in Victorian England. He reckoned the state of affairs was the legacy of the use of force. He reckoned that the conclusion that this is a "natural state" is fallacious, because we have never known any different - that it's not as if we tried equality and concluded that it was a bad idea. He said that, in any case, it didn't really matter because we could find out by just freeing women from all these constrains and we would then know what they are capable of. He said why didn't we do this, and was it because we were scared that when women found out what they were capable of they might not want to do as they were told any more.

I love JS Mill.

Hello Copper!

rubyanddiamond Thu 04-Jul-13 23:21:34

I hope you can carry on the discussion here - the other thread was making me think a lot about my position on the feminist-nonfeminist scale smile

Another thing that bugs me about feminism is that it's portrayed as a women's issue, and hence not something that concerns men. In the press, articles about feminism are normally in the "women and lifestyle" section - where's the "men's" section?? It leads to a mainstream of subjects that affect men, and the side topic of women's issues. I don't know how this comes about - is it that the press is run by men who relegate feminism to the sidelines, or that feminists are reluctant to engage with men? Whatever the underlying reason, the effect is to make me reluctant to say that I'm feminist because, being female, I don't want to sound like I'm only out for myself at the expense of others.

In fact, I think that many sectors of society would benefit from more diversity (not just gender, but different background/class/race etc). But I think too much is made of the obstacles that particular groups face, rather than the benefits to everyone of diversity. For example, I think that the country would benefit hugely from more working-class in government (which is easier for me to say as I'm not personally involved!). But telling the current government all about the obstacles that the working-class face in getting there does nothing to persuade them that they should do something about it. And things won't change unless they are on board! The same with feminism - I don't believe that anything will change until the issues are seen as men's issues too.

WilsonFrickett Thu 04-Jul-13 23:35:58

Ruby!

I didn't get back to the original thread but you said that thing, hang on...

WilsonFrickett Thu 04-Jul-13 23:45:43

I think I'm far more fortunate than much of the population (although that doesn't stop me noticing that the men in my position are more fortunate than me).

Just the perfect definition of privilege, something I have really struggled to define in terms of my own privilege. Thread ended before I could say thanks

Another thing that bugs me about feminism is that it's portrayed as a women's issue, and hence not something that concerns men.

Here is an excellent example of how this doesn't have to be the case.

...mainstream of subjects that affect men, and the side topic of women's issues. I don't know how this comes about

Yes! angry It's like all women care about should be is family issues, getting a <insert season> body and criticising other women's outfit choices. Oh, and the odd feminist opinion piece. Where as men care about Everything Else. How did that come about? Part historical, there were male and female spheres of influence. Partly that decisions are made by men. Mainly, I think, that decision-makers, male or female, assume that this is what women want (they buy papers, don't they?) and if they change it they might risk <gasp> selling fewer papers! I also think that this division is what many women do actually want.

My view, if you're interested, is very much like the Let Toys Be Toys campaign. Put all those things in the newspaper, just don't brand them pink or blue! Except in the Daily Fail. That should just be burnt by its printers as it comes off the presses

<being female, I don't want to sound like I'm only out for myself at the expense of others>

I think feminism is a woman-centred movement, and I am not ashamed of that. I find it easy to think how feminism would benefit everyone other than a small cadre of powerful men of a more equal society. Such as men enjoying greater freedom from masculinity, sharing the role of bin person equally grin etc, if that's what they want.

But feminism is a woman-centred movement, and I think women need it to be. It interests me to think about why half of the world's population shouldn't try and improve their lot and the lot of others who share their sex. It's not as if we're a tiny minority asking for a disproportionate share of attention and resources, is it! Is the problem that we are so many? That we are not separate from men in the private sphere and in many societies we aren't separate from them in public spaces either. Is it because the hidden expectation that women should put the needs of others before their own so ingrained and so hidden that we don't realise that we are influenced by it when we feel disquiet that we should't work for women's rights and opportunities, because that would be selfish?

I don't know, but I think that these are vital questions to ask ourselves.

telling the current government all about the obstacles that the working-class face in getting there does nothing to persuade them that they should do something about it

I agree with the other things you said about diversity too ruby but I thought this point was particularly interesting. I don't think that telling the privileged (on the whole) people in government that they need more working class people would make much difference to the situation. I suspect they would share the thoughts of many on here when they say: "Sure! Great! I'd welcome any woman of colour from a poor background who is willing to work as hard as I have had to work to get here." Thus totally and utterly missing the point, in my view. But as we've seen on this thread with the many intelligent, educated and compassionate women who think exactly the same about women generally and haven't changed their minds despite the efforts of other intelligent, educated and compassionate women to suggest an alternative way of looking at the issue. smile

I don't believe that anything will change until the issues are seen as men's issues too.

I think some issues are men's issues too. Stigma about rigid gender roles and associated sharing of parental rights, for example.

But what about things like the issue of consent in rape cases? Currently, the burden is on the woman to prove that she didn't consent. What if it switched to the man had to prove that she did? Many decent men (such as my DH) would have no issue with that and would in fact prefer it. Because such men believe women are really, properly equal and wouldn't want to rape one whatever the legal definition of the term, because it would be wrong. But I've seen this discussed in the news, and some of the comments by 'ordinary' men! Don't look at the comments Buffy! I know... I know...

And yet another one. The page 3 question. Even DH takes some convincing on that one to be honest. He see's my perspective, but also he thinks breasts are pretty. So, men's issue? Not so much. Normalisation of naked women next to a mocking caption that screams "women! You are stupid and only there to give us hard ons, we despise you". Men's issue? That's a hard <phnar> sell.

Dear apostrophe pedants,

I know.

Yours faithfully,

Buffy.

rubyanddiamond Fri 05-Jul-13 11:32:23

Thanks wilson blush glad to hear some of my words make sense!

Is the problem that we are so many?

I think it might be a problem, because it means that feminism has to cover so many different things. The issues facing me are very different from those facing poorer women, or women in less liberal countries. And, to be honest, just the fact that I'm a woman too doesn't give me any particularly good insight into issues that other women might face.

Then there's the fact that women in particular come under a lot of criticism for speaking out, because it's assumed that feminists are, or should be, talking about all women. Just look at, for example, the criticism Sheryl Sandberg got for daring to write a book aimed at a particular class of women, even when she explicitly said that's what she was doing. Similar books written by men get called inspirational and insightful.

"Sure! Great! I'd welcome any woman of colour from a poor background who is willing to work as hard as I have had to work to get here." Thus totally and utterly missing the point, in my view.

Exactly! But replace 'woman of colour from a poor background' with any other category of person, and I'm sure almost anyone could happily utter that statement. Everyone likes to think they've worked hard to get where they are in life, and they don't want to be blamed for keeping others down.

So I think a better way is to convince those in charge using other arguments that it's also in their favour. For example, a lot of current articles about women in the boardroom/high-powered positions etc. contain stats about how diverse teams/boards perform x% better, which is an argument that convinces many (but not all) of those in power. The language used tends to be different, it's less about how much harder it is for the little women to get to the top because they're being kept down by the men, and more about how companies would benefit from a more diverse workforce at all levels. There's a lot more positive language, talk about solutions and some attempt at identifying reasons and barriers without placing blame at the feet of those (men) currently at the top.

I do see your point though about some issues being purely women's issues and what do you do when it's not necessarily in men's favour to change the status quo?

Here is an example of the additional pressures women face that men don't.

Ya don't see articles discussing how much nippleage or bulge it is "appropriate" to see in males in the public eye, now do you? 'cause they are judged primarily on what they do and say not what they wear or what their bodies look like.

OK, as you were grin

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