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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?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 14-Oct-12 22:54:37

I'm not a feminist. I don't agree with sexism, but i feel extreme feminist treat men very unfairly. I will not support that.

threesocksmorgan Sun 14-Oct-12 22:56:37

yep been done countless times.
just a week or so ago
boring then
boring now

I think this thread was here the other day. Though I did a search and couldn't find it. Bla and bla.

JollyJackOLantern Sun 14-Oct-12 22:58:05

If you look at the thread about all men being potential rapists, you can guess why some women want to distance themselves from that brand of feminism. However, I think it is a dreadful shame that feminism has got the reputation of being joyless and humourless. I actually think that painting feminism this way has really helped the societal shift towards pornification and sexualising everything. We need to redefine feminism. Let's try to get rid of the weird assumptions people make.

A friend of mine actually thought that because I was a feminist, I would be anti-SAHM and pro-BFing at the expense of her mental health. I informed her that no, I would support HER choices because that is the essence of feminism.

Damn it Jolly! Ooooh look we have the same surname, we must be related!

JollyJackOLantern Sun 14-Oct-12 23:01:05

Ivor, that genuinely made me lol smile

FreudiansGoldSlipper Sun 14-Oct-12 23:02:48

I think many like to distance themselves from feminism for the fear of others thinking they are a dungaree wearing hairy legged dyke or hysterical bitter woman often how certain area of the press portray feminists

I am very proud to say I am a feminist and grateful for all those women who suffered and had to fight for change so I being a woman could have a better life

The fight still goes on

Cozy9 Sun 14-Oct-12 23:04:15

I don't think feminists do themselves any favours as far as PR goes most of the time. Maybe it's just the extremists that bring attention to themselves.

JollyJackOLantern Sun 14-Oct-12 23:05:13

This hasn't started well and probably won't end well.

EmBOOsa Sun 14-Oct-12 23:05:44

Not self identifying as a Feminist does not necessarily equal not wanting equality for the sexes. It is entirely possible to want equality without applying that label to yourself.

Personally I prefer to say I'm an Equalist.

Which, before anyone says it, doesn't mean I think things are equal, it means I think they should be.

Anyway what does it matter which label we use? As long as we are working towards the same end goal? I'm not bothered if you don't want to call yourself a Equalist, why does it matter to you what I call myself?

fishface2 Sun 14-Oct-12 23:09:38

Women don't identify as being feminists because they don't want to be unattractive to sexist men. It's very sad and Yanbu or boring. I love all feminist discussions. I love being a feminist. I might get a t-shirt.

ecclesvet Sun 14-Oct-12 23:10:26

AIBU to not understand the words "I'm not a Tory".

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-Tory standing, could you please explain to me which part of 'working hard to get where you are' you disagree with?

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

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:10:44

Yes read the links to the threads OP, that'll answer your question.

marriedinwhite Sun 14-Oct-12 23:11:08

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

I do believe that women and men are equally important and should have equal opportunity to achieve what they want to achieve but I also believe they are different and have different needs and different skills. That belief didn't stop me earning 6 figures in my 20s and 30s, didn't stop me owning a house in zone 2 London, didn't stop me having 8 years at home with my children, being a brilliant cook, running a nice home, or having a great husband who treats me with respect and as his equal as a human being, a woman and the mother of his children. It also didn't stop me being very successful on a male dominated trading floor. Supporting my husband is not a weakness.

My two SILs are feminists; they lead rather miserable, glass half empty lives, have never done a professional job, claim to hate housework and dislike cooking, and refuse to have their hair styled or shave their armpits as a matter of principle. They went to Russell Group Universities, they argue with their husbands over cooking, cleaning, childcare (neither work full-time; one rarely and both have opted for low stress, low paid jobs and have uninspiring husbands who find everything boring). I don't understand it.

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:11:57

Oh thank God we have fishface to speak for us all.

That's the topic pretty much over and done with then.

Oooh I want a go

AIBU to not understand the words "I'm not overweight".

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-fat standing, could you please explain to me which part of 'Fuck me those biscuits look amazing, I might have those for dinner' you disagree with?

Alternatively, you could (gently) explain to me which part of that generic description of shitting-up-the-diet-constantly that I seem to have misunderstood?

bushymcbush Sun 14-Oct-12 23:14:05

McHappy, surely what you mean then is you're not an extreme feminist?

MrsTerryPratchett very good point about the poor image of feminism paving the way for the over-sexualising and pontification of today's society.

Thanks for the links to the other thread - I guess I'm not on MN every minute of every day so I miss quite a lot. But if you think my thread is so boring and old, why the fuck did you bother posting on it? Does it make you feel good to belittle people who haven't seen the same threads as you threesockmorgan? hmm

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:14:11

Ivor grin grin

EmBOOsa Sun 14-Oct-12 23:14:52

Ah yes, forgot to say not to worry about what reasons we give for our decisions, I'm sure some lovely enlightened person will be along soon to tell you why we really do it. After all we can't possibly be expected to know what we actually think hmm

NotInMyDay Sun 14-Oct-12 23:16:21

Because "feminists" are all to often telling us off for things we like doing. Such as removing all the hair from our fanjos.

Also if you truly want equality between the sexes then you must see that the name feminism is ridiculous.

nailak Sun 14-Oct-12 23:18:02

I am not a feminist,

on another thread I tried explaining some women like doors being opened for them, meals being paid for them etc, and was told that is being treated like an infant.

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

I do believe in equal pay, discrimination laws, protection against harassment etc

WorraLiberty Sun 14-Oct-12 23:18:44

I just don't like labels full stop.

I'm a human being not a post it note.

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!

crackcrackcrak Mon 15-Oct-12 00:03:27

I am a feminist. I am attractive, I wear make up and dye my hair and remove body hair. I like to be sexy and feminine. I am unashamed of being a woman.

I have been discriminated, abided and attacked because I am a woman. I also now work in an environment where men are able to work together with women and not be a nuisance. Now I have seen its possible I'm even more feminist.

I don't hate men.

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:06:31

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

I agree with that statement. And I am a feminist. Different but equal.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Mon 15-Oct-12 00:08:05

I am a feminist. I also don't hate men.

I identified as a feminist before I joined mn. Then I realised, or actually I was told I am not a feminist so now I don't call myself a feminist on here or in real life.

NellyJob Mon 15-Oct-12 00:09:27

I am attractive, I wear make up and dye my hair and remove body hair
so do you mean you wouldn't be attractive if you didnt shave your fanjo?

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:10:09

Runy, can you explain why you changed your mind please?

grovel Mon 15-Oct-12 00:11:52

Nellyjob smile

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

^I am attractive, I wear make up and dye my hair and remove body hair
so do you mean you wouldn't be attractive if you didnt shave your fanjo?^

Those two things are not mutually exclusive in that sentence.
Just part of the same list.

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:13:04

Sorry I meant mutually dependent, not exclusive.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Oct-12 00:14:33

I identify with what Ruby said. Having been criticised by some of the "militant" feminists on MN it's certainly left me feeling that if their views are what feminism is, I don't think I'll describe myself as one.

NellyJob Mon 15-Oct-12 00:14:43

bit of a giveaway comma though, isn't it 'BushyMcbush'?

crackcrackcrak Mon 15-Oct-12 00:16:11

Obviously - if you don't shave your bits you're a minger! wink

Am I Runy?

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 00:21:44

A large part of being a feminist is having the courage of your convictions

If a couple of strangers on t'internet make you wimp out, that's a bit wet, IMO

There is room for several strands within feminism if you stand your ground

If you spot your dummy out, it makes you equally as aggressive in a passive way

Much like marrieds post above, which actually comes across as woman-hating

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 00:22:16

Spit*

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:22:55

Nellyjob, see what you mean about Crackscracks use of comma but what's your point? If removing body hair makes her feel attractive does that mean she can't be a feminist at all, of any kind?

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:24:05

Yes Ruby you are indeed Runy, sorry!

NellyJob Mon 15-Oct-12 00:25:15

no she can be what she likes, feminism is about respecting choices I think, I was just pulling her leg.
I suppose we are all feminists really but some types I met in the 80s kind of put me off the word.....for example..dismissing cheap and desperate prostitutes as 'not women'.

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 00:26:07

I've just typed and lost a long post OP but to cut it short...

It seems to me that the majority of women who openly label themselves as feminists are ok...they seem level headed and open to debate.

However, the minority of rad fems can and still do the most damage with their extreme views and bullying of any woman who doesn't 'fall into line'.

I grew up in the 70's and 80's as the daughter of Irish catholic parents and I was so very proud of my heritage (still am).

However, when the IRA started their bombing campaign, I would rather have pulled my eyes out with rusty spoons than admit I was of Irish Catholic decent at that time.

I imagine a lot of Muslims felt the same way after 9/11.

So whilst a relatively small group of people shouldn't hold all the cards, it seems that they often do.

I will never call myself a feminist whilst there are rad fems around who might make people think I share their views...hence the reason I will only label myself as 'me'.

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:27:12

And indeed Ruby, perhaps it's the fake nails that class you as non feminist in the minds of some?

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 00:28:23

No feminists I know dismiss prostitutes as "not women"

They leave that to the johns and their supporters who see prostituted women as something "other"

crackcrackcrak Mon 15-Oct-12 00:29:56

I find some of the posts so disheartening. Do we really have to explain that feminism isn't really about bra burning and man hating? Do some women really, truly not get that?

I find marriedinwhite's post quite bizarre.

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 00:31:31

They leave that to the johns and their supporters who see prostituted women as something "other"

And if the prostitute is working for herself only?

You know 'johnless' cos she's a business woman and can succeed in her chosen career alone?

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:31:48

So Worra, if you were a Muslim (and you might be for all I know) would you refuse to label yourself as such until extremist wings such as the Taliban have disappeared?

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:35:56

All that happens when we disa ssociate ourselves from a group because we don't agree with the extreme end, is that the extreme end become even more visible and representative of the group as a whole.

Well a highlight of my feminism experience on mn was being told that I was directly responsible for the recent rape of a 3 year old girl. That was by a member of the mn feminist 'royalty'.

I don't think its fair to say I wimped out because of a few post on the internet. I think a more accurate description is that certain posters on mn, have feminism as their cause (and good for them), this means they are very educated and knowledgeable on the subject, they're up with whatever current core feminist thinking is. Other posters may not have it as their cause but they are educated on the subject. Then there are posters like me, I felt I was a feminist based on what my mother had told me and I had learnt at school, which was the simple definitions about equality and equal opportunities.

I felt I had lived a feminist life based on the definitions I had been given; I was educated, worked, had my own business, employed other women, voted, had freedom of choice, was not oppressed by wages or my boyfriend/husband, didn't find having children detrimental to my career etc. I cam on mn and encountered groups of posters who were talking about certain texts, the issue of the patriarchy, being told that I was oppressed I just wasn't aware of it, being told that no I was brainwashed into making certain choices, I was an abuse and rape apologist etc etc. It made me aware that there was this whole culture around feminism and a group of ardent feminists which had views I completely disagreed with so I disassociated myself.

I just live my life and make decisions based on if they seem right and fair, not so they align with an agenda I need to maintain in order to be a feminist.

NellyJob Mon 15-Oct-12 00:37:26

that is so true bushymcbush

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 00:39:46

Yes bushy that's exactly what I was saying.

Not sure if you read me correctly...if you did you'd know I'm Irish Catholic.

But what I'm saying is, many people are proud to shout about who they are and what they believe in...until a small hardcore group of twats come along and embarrass them into silence because they don't want to be publicly associated with those people.

Fair enough a strong person wouldn't let the minority cloud their beliefs but not everyone is strong enough to fight against the idiots who (ironically) believe in the same cause that they do.

I suppose 'slowly slowly catchy monkey' springs to mind rather than an iron fist.

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:40:05

Crackcrack, I agree that marriedinwhite's post is very odd. A bit boasty. And she clearly doesn't like her SILs much.

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:45:11

Worra you said you were the daughter of Irish Catholic parents. You still could be Muslim now!

NellyJob Mon 15-Oct-12 00:47:51

Marriedinwhite forgets that without feminism she would be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. In Zone 2 or not.

bushymcbush Mon 15-Oct-12 00:52:04

I think it's done feminism a massive disservice for the majority to leave it to the rads. No wonder it has such a bad reputation.

I live in a part of the UK where there are a lot of Muslims. Many are my colleagues and associates. I don't think of extremists when I see Muslims. I just see people. If they all denied their Muslim identity, and I only knew of Muslims what I hear in the news about Abu Hamza and Al Q'aida and the Taliban, I would have a very skewed idea of what the Muslim faith was all about.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Oct-12 01:22:41

OK: marriedinwhite might not be keen on her SIL's but I don't see what's "woman hating" or "bizarre" about what she wrote.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Mon 15-Oct-12 02:55:40

I always thought myself a feminist, that was when I thought feminism was about equality, I was raised to be equal to men, the feminism that I see spouted on various websites including mumsnet is the opposite of that.

I don't hate men, I don't believe that women are always the victims, I don't accept that adult women are incapable of taking responsibility for their decisions, I realise that just as some men are bad, so too are some women...I know that a female accountant is not in an inferior position to a male minimum wage worker due to her sex.....

I'm sick of accusations of 'victim blaming'. Everything is victim blaming according to feminists; posters warning women about drink spiking, police releasing 'safety tips' to reduce vulnerability to crime, telling your daughter to get a taxi instead of walking home alone drunk at three in the morning, advising her to stay with her friends on a night out and not to go off with any strangers.... Feminists can't cope with the thought that some violent people are women, if you distinguish between a female thug who likes fighting with everybody including their partner and some poor, terrorised woman who is trapped in a terrifying relationship with a violent bastard then you are a victim blamer who is saying that female violent thug deserves it, we're supposed to pretend that both situations are the same when in reality the only commonality between the two women is the fact they both have vaginas.

Feminists make feminism unattractive because they view everything as male aggressor vs female victim, most people judge what they see in the world around them as right/wrong, good/bad...sex doesn't determine that.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 06:03:25

I don't need a label to believe in total equality. If I had to pick one I'd probably go for equalist too.

I am the main breadwinner in our house with a high level job in a male dominated industry, have worked hard to bring in better career prospects for women in our company, mentor young women at work, have brought in lots of "women friendly" policies at work like improved maternity pay, flexible working, pay transparency and equality etc, challenge sexism at every turn, am educated, a mother, financially independent, used to work in helping women with children from non traditional backgrounds access higher education and have provided counseling to women who have experienced sexual assaults and domestic violence. I believe women should have equality financially, politically and socially.

But I shave my fanjo so apparantly I can't be a feminist, which is a shame as I think I would make a good one.

Still if it involves telling other women their choices are a) not valid and b) not actually thier choices as they have been brain washed and are incapable of independent thought, I'll give it a miss.

JollyJackOLantern Mon 15-Oct-12 06:09:25

My stance on feminism is not based on the fact that the stereotypical view of feminists is unattractive.

Although I believe in equality and agree with the dictionary definition of feminism, I do not want people to think that I associate myself with some of the views held by some feminists.

1. I absolutely disagree with women only lists for parliament
2. I do not think that abortion, breastfeeding are feminist issues as they are not applicable to men therefore the sexes can't possibly be treated equally
3. I do not feel any affinity for other women just because they are women. And I don't have any desire to idolise successful business women just because they're women

There are lots more, but it's too early to marshal my thoughts terribly coherently. I did post on the other thread a few times, probably under a different name though.

Fairylea Mon 15-Oct-12 06:14:33

I hate radical feminism.

It seems it's choice they want
.. as long as that choice isn't shaving your body hair or watching porn (even as a woman watching porn, not that I do but if people want to that's fine).

Basically there is an element of everything we find acceptable being so because men have made it that way and I simply don't agree... otherwise you are effectively saying the decades of women before us have made no difference whatsoever to our choices and views. If that makes sense.

And yes I will keep shaving all my body hair because in relationship or not, I like it. That's my choice and not because I'm forced or pressured into it.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 06:16:20

Well what a blooming patronising OP.

But ignoring that, I'll try to answer. I won't call myself a feminist as in practise, it doesn't seem to equate to what you describe.

I grew up when being a feminist meant reading Spare Rib and blaming men for almost everything. Or that is what it seemed to mean. I tried it; I was very young, I ended up realising that men were just people, and there were good elements and bad among them. But before that I managed to fall out with a lot of decent people just because they were male.

It was a poor influence the way it was demonstrated to me. That's not to say my experience was right, or usual. but it left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.

And now when I see people on MN trying to link everything that's wrong in the world with one issue - namely the patriarchy - it just makes me sad and a bit fed up. That's not the ONLY THING.

Not everyone does it. But some people seem to take great satisfaction in finding yet another reason why being a bloke is a bad thing, or something to be resented.

There is so much anger towards men in general and that is unnecessary.
I totally, absolutely agree with equality but that doesn't mean I want to focus on the problem of sexism to the exclusion of all the other problems there are. I think it gets things out of balance sometimes - by glorifying females and demonising males, we are missing an awful lot.

Again - not all feminists operate in this way. It just seems rather common practise.

Yes there is inequality still. There always will be while men and women are fundamentally different. We have to work with it though. Take the best of both.

I think if you concentrate solely on this issue it's like making a roast dinner with really exquisite stuffing, and because you spent so much time on the stuffing, the meat, potatoes and everything else are a bit rubbish.

It's all about balance I think.

HecateLarpo Mon 15-Oct-12 06:18:38

I did not believe myself to be a feminist. i can't speak for anyone else, but the reason I didn't is because I didn't understand what feminism actually is.

I bought in to the propaganda about it that is designed to silence women, keep us 'in our place' and stop us from fighting for true equality.

It is actually down to MN feminists that I have changed my view. I have been challenged, argued with and explained to (and challenged a bit more grin ) and now I can't believe I ever used to say "I'm not a feminist, I believe in equality for all people" as though feminism is about preventing that or something!

I didn't understand where we actually are now as women, it is quite hidden in this country. The greatest thing the patriarchy has ever accomplished is convincing women that they have equality and are empowered. It is only when I have come to really challenge myself and look that I can name example after example after example of how that is not true.

HecateLarpo Mon 15-Oct-12 06:22:43

Oh, and I'll give a quick visual example.

GQ men of the year

GQ woman of the year

spot the difference...

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 06:24:04

That's true Hecate - I don't seek to propagate the myth that women are yet equal, in this society (or any other I can think of).

I don't believe we have it as good in many ways. That's not the point though, to me. Yes that is a problem that exists. And I will try to fight it.

But I don't think that makes me a feminist. just the same as someone overly concerned with the rights of men isn't truly fighting for equality - but defending masculinity in every situation - I don't see the need to promote being female, to set it up as something perhaps more worthy than being male, more amazing than just being a person of one sex or the other.

I think very very often feminism promotes being female and that to me doesn't feel right. I think it's vastly counterproductive.

If it were not, then every single woman here would claim to be, and aspire to be called, a feminist.

Many of us do not wish to have any association with that word - and that to me indicates something is wrong with the way it comes across. Could be afundamental issuewith the term or it could be misperception but after months or years of the FWR topic on here, nothing has changed, huge numbers of people still don't want to be associated with it.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 06:25:24

To sum that up - I don't necessarily think feminism (depending on definition) is wrong;

I think it is GETTING it wrong.

Timetoask Mon 15-Oct-12 06:29:56

I do believe that women and men are equally important and should have equal opportunity to achieve what they want to achieve but I also believe they are different and have different needs and different skills.

Spot on.
Women and men are different, we should accept and celebrate the differences whilst also encouraging young girls and women to be the best they can possibly be, to be independent but at the same time to acknowledge the importance of the man in the family.

Some of the threads on here, in my opinion, send a message about men being second class citizens that the world could do without. As the mother of boys I find it deeply sad.

WofflingOn Mon 15-Oct-12 06:34:10

But why would the Woman of the Year accept that photoshoot that made her look like a classy piece of Amsterdam window dressing?
Why didn't she say 'No. I'll keep my clothes on, thanks' ?
More depressing that the WOTY was another singer/songwriter when there are so many more interesting women out there, making a difference and being successful who don't fit the stereotype of MTV sex.
But I could be mistaken, is she renown for anything other than being pretty and a singer?

HecateLarpo Mon 15-Oct-12 06:36:40

I know exactly what you're saying, but I see it differently.

I am going to use something totally different in order to try to say what I mean. It is different, but there is a point to the following grin

My sons have autism. they need full time support. Is it promoting disability to give them 1:1 support and to fight for the hours on their statement and to pour resources into them. Or is it recognising that they aren't on a par with neurotypical children, that they are starting way behind them and in order to bring them forward so they have a hope of being at the same point, they need fighting for and they need to be given advantages. Equality is not about treating everyone the same, it is about treating everyone how they need to be treated in order to level the playing field. This may mean that you pursue equality by making an inequality.

Now, I know that there are many many differences and I am not telling that in order to liken disability to feminism, but rather to find a way that I can explain what I mean - that when you are not starting from the same point you need more in order to get you to the same place as the people who started way ahead of you are. Otherwise, you'll never stand a chance of getting anywhere close to where they are.

Fairylea Mon 15-Oct-12 06:38:48

But GQ is aimed at men is it not ?

So of course the woman is going to be sexualised. It's marketing to the target audience.

The same way that loose women have a half naked man spinning a wheel for one of their segments.

HecateLarpo Mon 15-Oct-12 06:41:30

And that's part of the problem, woffling. A society that convinces women that their worth is their tits and arse. that what matters about a woman is how she looks. Her desireability.

You see it all the time. The music videos with the fully clothed men and the near naked women. The older male presenters valued for their experience paired with the young and pretty female presenters valued for their looks.

Yes, in an ideal world, women would say "WHAT? You want me to do WHAT? Oh no. I am worth more than that." but we're all part of the society that's giving us these messages and I don't think any of us are unaffected by that.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 06:45:44
Kalisi Mon 15-Oct-12 06:46:06

I'm not a feminist because I can't be bothered. I'm the reason it's all gone to shit blush

Fairylea Mon 15-Oct-12 06:47:07

But to be really difficult you could turn it on its head and say well maybe women would rather see other women as sexual sometimes rather than men... if a man drops his trousers it's funny, if a woman does its sexy. Maybe women are just sexier... maybe thats real feminism - being able to use our sexuality.. or choose not to, you only have to look at things like dragons den, the Olympics and the whole host of other women in the media to know it's not all about looks.

But if I watch a music video then personally I have no problem with seeing a few women dancing in bikinis while the man has his clothes on.

I do feel music videos are becoming more racy and should probably have certificates and watershed times on them but that's not a feminist issue... no more than an 18 film for example.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 06:47:30

I know Hec and I take your analogy as it's intended.

But somewhere in the bit about fighting, I get lost. And I think feminism does, too.

I'm not sure if it just goes way over the top. Like if disabled, or AS people made out that physically functional or NT people were rubbish.

That wouldn't achieve anything and it would make the world hate them (even more?)

I say this as someone probably on the spectrum, and no offence intended as I know that isn't your approach at all.

But if it was, like it seems to be for a lot of feminists, it would be potentially very counterproductive for your wee boys.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 06:50:44

I hope in that muddled up post you can find the gist of what I mean...just that fighting for equal rights should never mean seeking to injure/harm/take apart something that already has the same advantages we want.

Can an advantage be something separate or does it always implty superior rightsd - does it need a counter to exist? Maybe it is the wrong word - I mean to try and take away what men have so we can have it instead, is wrong.

HecateLarpo Mon 15-Oct-12 06:58:29

That's true - nt people are not rubbish, it's just that people on the spectrum have the right to the same life, same advantages, same outcomes as them.

It is different in that some people on the spectrum are not able due to their disabilities to ever achieve that no matter what help they have, whereas women as a group do not have that and with the same opportunities and if women were seen the same way as men, there is no reason why they wouldn't be in the same place, which is one of the reasons I'm a bit eeek about trying to use it to explain what I mean, but I have a tendancy to waffle and I'd never get to the point otherwise grin

ha! As if that wasn't waffly. grin

Yes, I am very protective of my sons and will never agree that them being male makes them bad in any way and I get angry at the suggestion that simply being male makes you wrong grin but at the same time, I do see a big gender inequality that needs to be addressed.

I don't like our sexualised society full stop. But I don't think anyone can claim that men are sexualised like women are. There's so much more to a person than their shagability. Why is that what matters most of all? We're not rutting animals. [cat'sbum mouth]

On an unrelated note, Severed, may I PM you re the asd? I won't be at all offended if you say no, but I have something you may be interested to know about

HecateLarpo Mon 15-Oct-12 07:00:47

It's seven o clock in the morning, Severed - what the hell are we doing? grin

SoupDragon Mon 15-Oct-12 07:06:59

Does it make you feel good to belittle people who haven't seen the same threads as you

OP, does it make you feel good to patronise those who do not label themselves the same way as you do?

I'm not sure your original post could be any more condescending. That is why I would never call myself a feminist - their behaviour on MN has seen to that.

EdithWeston Mon 15-Oct-12 07:10:30

I find it's always more interesting when there are threads outside the FWR forum which discuss feminist issue, for there is a wider range of views and sometimes more vigorous, generally better debate.

So i've concluded something is wrong sometimes with the label "feminist", and the stifling of debate seems to be part of that. And one that seems more concerned with staring up its own bottom (with the endless, regularly recurring threads about the nature of the "space").

The term "feminist" is meant to be much more than that; it's not meant to be monolithic (I remember talking to someone who could discuss at length every shade of meaning of every utterance of infighting Communist party leaders in Russia but simply could not /would not see that feminism was nuanced. So either "feminism" is manifesting itself as a narrower concept than intended, or the term is irreclaimable.

differentnameforthis Mon 15-Oct-12 07:11:52

I just don't like labels full stop

Agreed!

I don't want to be called anything except my name (mum is OK if I gave birth to you, & Oi..by my dh smile ). Not feminist, not yummy mummy, not scummy mummy, not milf... not anything!

What is the obsession with having to label everything/one? I want people, all people, to get a fair go at everything/anything they want to do, I want things to be equal. I don't need a name to want that!

differentnameforthis Mon 15-Oct-12 07:26:12

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

So women don't want to be feminists because men constructed a stereotype to turn us against it?

That's a huge leap! Perhaps they don't want to be feminists because feminists (some not all) have created a stereotype that puts them off? I.e that all the bad in the world is down to men!

Latara Mon 15-Oct-12 07:28:56

I am a feminist.

I also try not to be sexist in my attitudes towards men.

How can a woman look at the world today & not be a feminist??

Latara Mon 15-Oct-12 07:33:15

I am a feminist - my favourite colours are pinks & reds; i dye my hair; i look very feminine - but i also believe that women should be treated equally to men.
That is why i say i am a feminist.

Our physical differences are real & should be acknowledged; but men & women are equal in worth.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 07:34:26

I am a humanist but I think you have to be a feminist if you are a humanist. i am not particularly bothered by the politics of feminism and i don't even hate the government. I do, however, struggle with the covert and blatant discrimination in the UK. People are so bloody right on, yet the last time I worked there I was senior management in a school but for some reason it was my job to serve the headmaster tea.
In the Middle East, you probably won't believe me but in my company (40,000 employees) women are positively discriminated very aggressively. Somehow it seems to work. Most layers of management are headed by female Qataris. We were sceptical at first but my God, these women are massively educated (mostly at Leeds University-why??) and ace to work for. No shoulder chips, just professional management. The men who work with them have respect in my experience. Maternity leave is as long as you feel you need and the law is that your job has to be held open for 5 years unpaid if you want to stay at home. I appreciate that they have the money and are a new country able to create a new culture but it really is interesting that it has turned round so quickly.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 07:36:10

And a quick straw poll of my Arabic colleagues says "of course we are feminists", I guess when you have less liberal regimes on your doorstep you don't think it is a bad word.

WofflingOn Mon 15-Oct-12 07:40:34

So why do feminists get irritated that women are saying they are not feminist if they are making feminist choices? Living feminist lives and raising their children with feminist ideals even if they shun the label?
Does it matter?

mutny Mon 15-Oct-12 07:44:09

I would ask why does it matter what we label ourselves?

on here a few weeks ago a 'feminist' posted that any women who dye their hair, shave their legs or wear make up were stupid. That she would only acknowledge a woman as intelligent if they looked how she bought they should. She did get the irony. because she labeled herself a feminsit, she felt she had the right to tell other women what they should wear, how they should look etc.

That's why poeple back away fro. The feminist label. Because there are a few feminist that are not at all. They just like to judge women and put them down.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 07:45:26

Yes it does matter. Feminism isn't lesbians in dungarees and Greenham Common. Feminism is being free, there are many women in the UK who are not free.
I grew up in the 80s with a Greenham Common mum who wore boiler suits and hated men (only for a while when it was trendy). It didn't empower me. The fact that she is a strong woman who has succeeded in life through hard times and has always supported her daughter's choices, even the crazy ones is important. She has her own house and I know if I ever need to, I can go there tomorrow. I admire the way she has supported us but at the same time encouraged us to bugger off and get on with our lives.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 07:46:43

Wow, I am a feminist with a boob job, Botox, lasered bits and shaved legs. I earned every penny to spend as I wished. That is feminism in the same way the Daily Mail is a Newspaper.

AbigailAdams Mon 15-Oct-12 07:47:39

Yep Worra, all those radical feminists bombing and killing innocent civilians. I can totally see why you don't want to associate yourselves with feminism.

mutny Mon 15-Oct-12 07:49:46

Yep Worra, all those radical feminists bombing and killing innocent civilians. I can totally see why you don't want to associate yourselves with feminism.

Totally missing the point.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 07:50:47

Theo, I am assuming your snarky post was aimed at Latara.

If it is, then you will notice she said her belief that women should be equal to men is what made her a feminist.

WofflingOn Mon 15-Oct-12 07:51:14

' The fact that she is a strong woman who has succeeded in life through hard times and has always supported her daughter's choices, even the crazy ones is important.'

Exactly that. Speaking as one who used to visit the GC camp with collected donations, wore dungarees and still doesn't dye, thread, fuss with my pubes or wear heels.
Those are my choices, because that is my comfort zone. Noting to do with being a feminist.

WofflingOn Mon 15-Oct-12 07:55:14

AA, back to the 'Wot about them homocidal femacidal menz?' statements?
This was quite an interesting debate,but possibly as Edith said:

'So i've concluded something is wrong sometimes with the label "feminist", and the stifling of debate seems to be part of that. And one that seems more concerned with staring up its own bottom (with the endless, regularly recurring threads about the nature of the "space").'
And the warmongering of men. But of course, the white feathers handed out by women in WW1 to those that hadn't volunteered was because they were deluded victims of the propaganda of the patriarchy.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 07:58:01

Wow, I am a feminist who dismisses other women because they are different to me and make choices I disagree with . That is feminism in the same way the BNP is a political party.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:06:23

Snarky? Where? I was agreeing mainly, not snarkiness I promise. Please let me know where I was snarky and i will sincerely apologise. I am a feminist, I do have Botox and a boob job because it's my choice. I WAS AGREEING WITH LATARA. It's not always a bunfight.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:08:01

Talk about snarky, how bitchy are you? Jesus, I was agreeing.
I meant that saying people who DO shave their legs etc are still feminist and intelligent.
Fuckinghell.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:09:16

To clarify.
Feminists who say women should not shave their legs etc are extreme in the same way the views of the daily mail are extreme. Ok?

Proudnscary Mon 15-Oct-12 08:10:30

I know what you mean Latara. And actually Theo, I am a hair dyed, lasered, high heels wearing feminist - I might even try Botox one day.

I now say 'I'm a feminist' on here and in RL because it's shorthand for saying I'm for equal rights and I'll come down on you like a tonne of bricks if you say something dodgy about womens' place in society or something in the news etc.

I also say it because other women I know in RL would never say it, because - like some on this thread - they don't want to align themselves to the stereotypical feminist. And I'm not that stereotypical feminist - so they can see that not all feminists are of the dungaree wearing ilk.

In actual fact I know pretty much fuck all about the different strands of feminism, certainly the more extreme/political. Oh and all these rad fems running amok all over Mumsnet ...where?! What threads? I don't see this at all.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:10:40

Who have I dismissed?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:12:48

Again, I do have Botox and have had a lot of stuff done. So what? How does that in any way affect my ability to make decisions as a womwn?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:13:55

I raerly find anything radical about the MN Feminists except they are generally capable of rational conversation without resorting to insults. Unlike the mum threads, dog threads and threads about any type of ingestion.

limitedperiodonly Mon 15-Oct-12 08:25:26

I was accused of being a RadFem recently. I was bewildered but I suspect not as bewildered as those doing the accusing.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 08:35:01

I apologise for mis-reading your post Theo.

I thought you were saying that having those things meant that you could not be a "proper" feminist.

Which is how your post read to me. It was not clear at all you were saying you had those things and did not believe they impacted on your feminist credentials.

But I misunderstood and I apologise.

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 08:41:52

"Because "feminists" are all to often telling us off for things we like doing. Such as removing all the hair from our fanjos."

What else do feminists tell you off for doing?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:46:37

Cat, sorry am in a post surgical fog. Didn't meant to be so defensive.
Can we change the term "bunfight"? It sounds way too ladylike. I would prefer "throwing a spanner" or a favourite from my schooldays, "bundle".

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 08:48:49

In fairness though, a lot of the women who post on here are obviously academics who have studied this at a very different level. I think it gets confusing when the individual is labelled as wrong for doing something like shaving when they are really commenting on years of the actions of society. It gets too personal and microscopic.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 08:50:41

Ha ha ........ I love "bundle" grin

I honestly just mis-read you, sorry. I thought you were having a pop at Latara and it was me who was therefore being defensive

Hope you are recovering well from whatever sugery you have had.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 09:17:07

Thanks cat and sorry again. Pethadine is great but seems to have affected my brain!

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 09:41:41

Yep Worra, all those radical feminists bombing and killing innocent civilians. I can totally see why you don't want to associate yourselves with feminism.

See it's pointless contributions like that, that make me wonder why you didn't just type "iu[jeiotjeofoiu(*&(7098"

For all the good it did your 'argument' (whatever that is) you may have well have done.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 10:24:23

WorraLiberty upthread you compared feminists to the IRA and extremest terrorist bombers. Didn't you? confused

You said you didn't want to identify as a feminist, due to extremism and terrorism, in the same way the IRA put you off identifying as an Irish Catholic.

I think it is awful that there are women bombing, shooting, maiming and killing people in the name of feminism and I can understand you wouldn't want to support gender terrorism.

sad

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 10:28:21

Often, when people say they're "not a feminist" they then go on to give many examples which really are not what feminism is.

The more non-stereotypical feminists speak up and claim the word feminism for themselves, the more those who wish to stereotype us will have no leg to stand on.

mutny Mon 15-Oct-12 10:35:16

smashingturnips that's not what words said at all. Either read the posts properly or just don't bother at all.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 10:36:38

Hecate I'm sorry, I actually switched this thing off after posting as I knew I'd never make it to school otherwise smile yes indeed - what were we doing up at that hour having a philospohical debate??!

Thankyou for the offer to PM me - I am interested in hearing whatever it is! Really nice of you.

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 10:38:05

Really Turnips there are reading and comprehension courses you can take to help you with your problem.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 10:39:36

Ebook, could I just say having read your last post that I don't understand what people think is the possible motive behind other women not wanting to associate themselves with feminism.

Surely the end goal is what we all want? In which case why would some of us not wish to adopt the name 'feminist' - it must be something associated with that word which puts us off.

Nearly everyone on this thread has said, yes, we want equality. So why on earth would we be objecting to the label of feminism, if that, to us, represented the same thing?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 10:47:26

WorraLiberty, I have read your post really carefully.

It says that you don't identify with feminists just as you don't identify with the IRA and understand why Muslims don't wish to identify with religious terrorists.

Your post places feminists on a par with the IRA and terrorist bombers.

Seems to me that it is perfectly understandable not to want to be associated with women who bomb, terrorise and kill in the name of feminism.

Or it would be if there were any such women.

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 10:53:03

Again you really should take up that course Turnips

Then when you re-read it, you'll see I haven't mentioned women who bomb, terrorise and kill in the name of feminism.

It's quite clear (to me anyway and I suspect to anyone with the ability to read and digest) that I'm pointing out how and why people feel too horrified/embarrassed to admit to being <insert label> due to extremists.

Or you could of course continue to sit here all day and deliberately misunderstand what's written before your eyes.

It does provide a bit of amusement to an otherwise serious thread though, so do carry on.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 10:58:16

Oh right.

So you mean women who Say Stuff or Write Books about women's issues put people off feminism in the same way that people who bomb, maim and kill put people off identifying with religion?

mutny Mon 15-Oct-12 11:01:22

smashingturnips why are you purposely mid interpreting words. There must be a reason. Because its clear that is not what she was saying.

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:02:40

Are you deliberately being obtuse or are you honestly not 'getting it'?

It's hard to tell but I think I'll go with the obtuse because I genuinely don't think anyone could be this...what's the polite word for dim?

I've thrown you enough bones now Turnip if you're that bored you could always trawl MN for something else to misunderstand.

I hear someone made a typo in chat earlier on. Why not hunt it down and have a field day?

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 11:05:52

> why would some of us not wish to adopt the name 'feminist' - it must be something associated with that word which puts us off.

But if the associations and stereotypes are incorrect, then why be swayed by them?

FreudiansGoldSlipper Mon 15-Oct-12 11:06:42

i do not know anyone who is is embarassed to say they are a muslim, catholic, hasidic jew and so on because they know what there beleifs are and that extremists are just that extremists

i do know many who are fed up with having to justify their beleifs but not embarrassed

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:08:01

Turnips, Worras post was very easy to understand.

It would be very difficult to make the leap you have made. I am confused by how you got that from what she posted

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 11:08:22

Well surely it has to be one or the other? confused

Either feminists kill, etc just like the IRA/terrorists/etc and therefore put other women off identifying with feminism.

Or they don't kill, etc but put people off feminism by saying stuff and this is comparable to the actions of the IRA/911 bombers.

Otherwise why bring the IRA and 9/11 bombers into it in the first place?

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:09:15

Did anyone say "feminists kill" at any point?

Am I reading a different thread to you turnips? hmm

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:10:25

Listen to Catgirl-she is very reasonable wink

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:11:01

No dear feminists don't kill LOL

Now about that typo in chat...

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:11:17

It's much easier when you live next door to Saudi, nobody is embarrassed to call themselves a feminist.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:11:43

Ebook, yes, but how did we reach those misperceptions in the first place?

iyswim - it's not that we are secretly desperate to defend the patriarchy and suffocate any threat to it.

It's because a lot of us have experienced a kind of 'feminism' (or people claiming it's that) which ultimately put us right off it.

Maybe this isn't true feminism. But there seem to be so many people who act in a horrible, aggressive, militant way and say, this is feminism. And a lot of us don't know enough to say, no, it's not you're not a feminist, that's not what it represents.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:14:03

AbigailAdamsMon 15-Oct-12 07:47:39

Yep Worra, all those radical feminists bombing and killing innocent civilians. I can totally see why you don't want to associate yourselves with feminism.
_______

does this help, Worra/Turnips? It's the only reference to bombing that I can find on the thread and I read it as sarcastic.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:14:12

My mum who wore boiler suits in the 70s (and is ace by the way) now can't switch on the tv without her man. She spent most of her adult life alone and is now enjoying an EQUAL and LOVING relationship. Surely that is all that we are looking for? Whether the love of her life was a man or a woman, aren't we just seeking freedom and individualism?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 11:15:29

No catgirl - I don't think anyone said 'feminists kill'.

Feminists putting women off feminism were compared to terrorists affecting how people identify with religion.

Feminists were compared to people who kill others in the name of a cause.

I'm now at a loss as to whether that is because;

a) people believe that feminists are terrorists

or b) if it is because they believe that saying stuff about women's issues is similar to killing people.

Not that it matters terribly I suppose, because a) is obviously not true and b) is obviously ridiculous.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:15:33

Oh sorry, ignore me...just found Worra's post.

I'm floundering, need to catch up.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 11:19:41

No, it does help SeveredEdMcDunnough. It seems that AbigailAdams saw it the same way as me.

That it is fair enough to want to disassociate oneself from terrorist feminists.

I just don't think there are any!

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:20:05

It's understandable Ed considering the tangent the thread has taken....

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 11:20:37

"So why do feminists get irritated that women are saying they are not feminist if they are making feminist choices? Living feminist lives and raising their children with feminist ideals even if they shun the label?
Does it matter?"

I asked that earlier Woffling, no reply though.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:21:11

Turnip............

I think Worra was saying that extremism can give a movement very bad PR which can put people off from becoming involved / identifying with it / finding out more, be it political extremism like the IRA or religious terroism like 9/11.

She wasn't saying that feminists are comparable to terrorists.

And I am totally reasonable, as endorsed by Theo grin

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 11:26:23

> Ebook, yes, but how did we reach those misperceptions in the first place?

Some of it is to do with myths and exaggeration. For example feminists are often called "bra burners" but no early feminist demonstration actually involved burning bras.

It's also to do with the media having perpetuated anti-feminist myths over the decades, with put-downs and stereotypes of women who wish for equality. For example the Daily Mail often has an anti-feminist slant. And there are many who are quite ready to believe the articles.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:26:32

Maybe some Feminists are terrorists. People who are against animal testing or GM or air travel become terrorists to make their point. Surely terrorism is an action rather than a label. I have a vague recollection of my mum's friends meeting about bra advertising and they were fairly militant. I think (don't want to libel her but..) my aunt once shoplifted a whole shelf of "cross your hearts" and they had a ceremonial burning on Dorchester High Street.
Now meeting your mum in those circumstances on the way home from school IS embarrassing and enough to make you want to go out in full regalia every day, lace and ribbons and all!

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:27:53

Ebook, agree that the media is often anti feminist but not just the Mail. Actually the Guardian comments are often quite sniffy, especially when a woman is writing about a woman.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:28:21

Catgirl does it again grin

Was it you that sorted out the multitude of misunderstandings the other day, as well - with me and Shirl?

Or maybe it was someone else. I thought it was you.

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 11:28:26

Sure, it was just an example.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:29:29

I see what you mean, ebook - I like to think I can see beyond that stuff though, and I still don't want to call myself a feminist.

I mean the mail isn't just anti feminist, it's totally anti women.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:29:34

Guardian writers often start with the caveat "Now I am not a dyed in the wool, bra burning dungaree wearing Feminist BUT..."
I don't care if they are wearing Vuitton sling backs, their writing is often as skewed and anti women than anyone elses.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:29:55

and I don't read it.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:30:22

I think it might have been... grin

I'm on a roll........maybe the UN could use me in some way?

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 11:31:54

Tell you what, let's try rephrasing Worra's post in a way that cannot possibly be read as likening extreme feminists to killers. Seeing as Worra had a very good point, which has got lost in this bizarre tangent.

How about, some people will refuse to call themselves Catholic, despite agreeing with the core beliefs, because they don't want to be associated with the more extreme view of homosexuality needing to be cured.

Or, my own personal example, I refuse to call myself Wiccan because I don't want people to assume I agree with the more nutty extreme views. So instead, if I have to choose any label, I go for the more general label of Pagan.

So for me it is more like this..
Equalist is to Feminism like
Christian is to Catholicism or
Paganism is to Wicca

While in each of those examples the core beliefs are exactly the same, identifying with the more general label cuts out having to explain to people that you don't agree with the more extreme beliefs.

So rather than me saying "I'm Wiccan but I'm not one of the people who believe fairies faeries exist", I can just say, "I'm Pagan".

And as for the "If you don't call yourself Feminist why are you against equality for women?" argument, it's as nonsensical as saying "If you don't identify as Catholic then why don't you believe in God?". Because it is making an assumption that if you aren't part of a sub group then you can't possibly be a part of the larger group.

SeveredEdMcDunnough Mon 15-Oct-12 11:32:01

Yes they probably could CG grin

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:32:42

We have the Climate Change conference in Qatar soon, maybe you can be the UK delegate, nice sunny warm weather and a lovely hotel room. I would much rather we could elect you Cat, rather than the usual stuffy old farts too scared to rock the oil boat.

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 11:39:12

Equalism and feminism are completely different things. Not comparable at all!

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 11:40:14

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that paganism and Wicca aren't points on a continuum either!

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 11:40:48

Yes, it does help when you take terrorist/killers out of the equation!

Otherwise it looks like one is comparing 'extreme feminists' with terrorists and murderers.

Best just to avoid such a silly comparison in the first place IMO!

I'm not sure what an 'extreme feminist' is, but I'm pretty sure they don't bomb anybody.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:42:13

Oooh that sounds lovely Theo! I could do with some sunshine.

I shall sort the issues in no time and breathe a bit of life into the delegates. grin

Funnily enough, I work in energy so could talk at length about classification of the caspian sea or something but I get enough of that normally....

I reckon what we need to sort this out is a big night out and then after enough drinkys, we can agree to call it a "slake" and everyone will be happy grin

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:42:23

Catgirl and EmBOOsa thank you grin

Fuck me that was hard work but I think you may have both cracked it

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 11:43:36

seeker Wicca is a branch of Paganism. And I've no idea why you think Equalism has no relation to Feminism.

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:44:27

Best just to avoid such a silly comparison in the first place IMO!

Yeah but you seemed to be the only person on the thread who didn't quite 'get it'.

I'm not about to start typing for the minority.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:44:38

They are not comparable but without the Feminism of the 1970s and 80s we would not have the equilibria we have now. Surely you can agree with that.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 11:47:04

Mmm, it does appear that 'extremist' is generally associated with violence.

The term extremist is often used with reference to those who use or advocate violence against the will of society at large, but it is also used by some to describe those who advocate or use violence to enforce the will of the social body, such as a government or majority constituency. Those described as extremist would in general not accept that what they practice or advocate constitutes violence and would instead speak in terms of acts of "resistance"or militant action or the use of force. The word violence cannot be regarded as value-neutral. Ideology and methodology often become inextricably linked under the single term extremism.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremism

Perhaps a bit of a minomer for the feminist movement then as it isn't a violent movement at all.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 11:49:37

WorraLiberty - could you expand?

Do you mean that you weren't comparing feminists to terrorists at all then?

Why did you bring up terrorists?

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 11:49:53

Who is on here arguing that feminism hasn't made huge differences? We're just saying we don't want to use that label.

Also, as I said in my very first post calling myself an Equalist doesn't mean I think things are equal. To me (and everyone else I've spoken to who identifies as Equalist) being an Equalist means wanting and working towards equality for everyone, so encompasses Feminism/anti racism/anti disablism/anti sexism/etc.

And still no one has told us why they care so much that we don't label ourselves feminists? Especially in the cases where we are totally in support of equality and/or trying to make a difference in that area.

shock How on earth has such an obvious comment by Worra caused so much discussion?!

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:52:47

Yes of course I could expand but it's like pissing in the wind Turnips

If you can't understand what most other people here see as fairly clear, I genuinely can't help you.

I thought Catgirl and EmBOOsa had made a breakthrough but sadly it seems not.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:55:36

Worra How is it like pissing in the wind?

There is no wind and no one is actually urinating therefore I refuse to understand you post and am going to get really hung up on the lack of actual urination and decide you have actually decreed all posts to be piss and take great offence at that.

And refuse to move on from that position

grin

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:56:51

catgirl!!! grin grin

Clearly I'm saying all feminists throw piss bombs at people on windy days...

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:57:14

Why are you all being so civilised, I was looking forward to a Bundle

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 11:58:00

Sorry wrote that before you brought in the piss bombs. Are they like those little water balloons that you pee in?

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 11:59:04

theo Apparently Ocado bags are good for holding urine grin

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 11:59:07

That's exactly what you are saying.

You hate feminists and you think they all smell of piss

Shame on you for mentioning piss and feminism in the same thread. Clearly you are unable to distinguish between the two.

I am angry. Raaaah.

<bundles Worra to please Theo>

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 11:59:50

To a bundle of what theodorakis. A bundle of clothing? A bundle of bollocks and barnacles? You really must be more specific otherwise you're just going to be misunderstood....

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 12:01:43

That's ok WorraLiberty if you don't want to answer simple and straightforward questions.

I'll just assume that you mentioned feminists and terrorists as two examples of what you understand to be extremism and then we can just agree to differ on what extremism is.

(I think it is the organised use of force, threat, hate speech or violence for political purposes.)

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 12:01:45

You hate feminists and you think they all smell of piss

Finally someone understands me grin

That's a joke by the way...I don't hate all of them wink

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 12:03:27

Turnips feel free to assume whatever you like - whether it be true or a figment of you're somewhat 'alternative' imagination.

I mean why break that habit now you're this far into the thread....

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:03:52

A bundle is a group of objects bound together

Theo - are you saying women are objects that are bound?

How mysoginistic of you

We are not objects. We shall not be bound

shock shock

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 12:03:59

I suggested upthread we renamed the bunfight. It is just too ladylike and makes me think of Boden clad ladies chucking aga baked fancies at one another. I suggested bundle as it was a favourite at school, everyone jumping in and yelling, the ones on the outside join in because it is happening and don't even know what the fight is about. I was usually the kid inside the bundle.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 12:05:27

There was a tribal yell at the gates at 3.30 BUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNDLE! and everyone would run forth. Maybe that was just my school in the 70s

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 12:05:58

Are you comparing piss soaked feminists to Agas now theo?

Worra fuckin liberty! angry

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:06:10

You must have gone to the same school as me Theo grin

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 12:06:57

Haha we used to have the same tribal yell at my school grin

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 12:07:06

Glad the joking and sniggering is about piss and wind and me and not the IRA or religious terrorism.

Most excellent change of subject.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 12:08:09

I love this thread. I am off work but am seriously considering quitting if every day is like this.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 12:08:34

smashing As far as I was aware extremist just meant someone who holds more extreme views. Often they defend those views using violence, but the word extremist doesn't actually refer to violence.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:08:53

grin I really must go and tidy my room

<disclaimer, I am not 16, just a slattern and I can't see my floor for clothes>

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 12:09:26

So you're saying the IRA and religious terrorists smell of piss, wind and you?

Blimey....

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 12:10:40

Then hang your carpet in the wardrobe catgirl what's wrong with you? grin

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:12:26

Genuis plan......................... grin

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:13:13

Piss, Wind and You

Fantastic name for a fragrance.................I;m going to bring out a range

Imagine the adverts. I;m seeing something arty with a sexy, breathy voiceover

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 12:18:01

Right.......am off to tidy up

Have a fun bundle.......I'll be back later for a fag round the back of the bike sheds grin

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 12:18:26

Finding the personal attacks in your posts a bit tedious TBH WorraLiberty.

I don't think I really identify with the 'different types of extremist' mental gymnastics.

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 12:20:06

Right so now you're saying women should be ashamed of their natural body odor and cover it with pissy perfume??

And that all women smoke and ride bikes?

Unbelievable!!

Good day to you! angry grin

limitedperiodonly Mon 15-Oct-12 12:58:33

I managed to get turnip's point. I also find it tiring to explain to people my entirely mainstream feminist views who are either dim or intent on labouring a feeble joke. I suspect the latter in this case btw.

My father was Irish and I never felt the need to hide my identity through the IRA's mainland campaign. He had a london accent, absorbed but not deliberately, and being british I obviously had one too. My family credited people with a little more imagination and those it was wasted on we pitied.

I expect moderate Muslims feel the same way and have no reason to explain themselves either.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 13:03:53

Would you like a lie down limited?

limitedperiodonly Mon 15-Oct-12 13:22:09

Thanks for your concern catgirl but it's not necessary. I said I find obtuseness tiring, not debilitating.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 13:29:05

Just returning to the bunfight thing, I am considering a thread to suggest a change to bundle. I have just spoken to an old friend who confirms I did indeed stop her scratching her twin sister's eyes out out a 1986 after school bundle, she recalls "I was just joining in, caught up in the moment. I had no reason to fight with __, we were actually very close. It was just was what everyone else was doing" Neither of us can remember a good reason for any of the bundling, whatever had started as a small disagreement between 2 people resulted in a free for all, a bandwagon on which everyone willingly jumped.

My husband is a headmaster and says that any bundling on here WILL be dealt with. It's ok, I have just lobbed a rock cake at him.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 13:48:43

Ok, let's try this again shall we?

Working from this paragraph
"How about, some people will refuse to call themselves Catholic, despite agreeing with the core beliefs, because they don't want to be associated with the more extreme view of homosexuality needing to be cured. "

In the same way some of us prefer not to call ourselves feminists despite agreeing with the core beliefs because we don't want to be associated with some of the more extreme views held by some feminists.

Note I wrote extreme views, not extremist.

And by extreme I mean "of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average" {ref}

Hopefully that's removed any confusion wrt feminism and violence

Now does anyone want to tell us why it matters that we don't use the feminism label if we are still trying to make things equal?

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Oct-12 13:52:56

theo there is always a reason to fight with a flat line and a comma...you just didn't look hard enough.

BUUUUUNNNNDDDDLLLE!!!

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 14:00:13

Because surely Feminism doesn't describe a particular person. Germain greer didn't do the term any favours because it is so evocative. mabe it should be changed. They changed Refugee to Asylum Seekers years back didn't they?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:00:26

I think we already agreed that it makes better sense as a concept once any mention of the IRA or terrorist bombers has been taken out.

Although TBH comparing feminists to people who think that homosexuality is an illness ain't great either.

Surely it is enough to say that you don't identify with a movement because you disagree with the ideology/views it promotes?

Is there really any need to paint these views as nutty/offensive/alienating/violent extremism? That sort of thing generally smacks of strawmanism IME (unless one gives an actual real commonly held example of such a view and argues why it is so nutty/offensive/alienating).

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:03:47

Surely it is enough to say that you don't identify with a movement because you disagree with the ideology/views it promotes?

No because that spectacularly misses the point.

The point being that many women do identify with feminism and the ideology / views it promotes but do not wish to be labeled as such as they do not identify with some of the extreme views held by a small number of feminists and do not wish to be associated with these views.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:10:06

Isn't that a bit cutting off your nose to spite your face?

What sort of views do you mean and do you have an idea of how rare/commonly held they are?

Wouldn't the feminist movement be stronger if women stopped distancing themselves from it on the basis of a small number of non-specific views (that are vaguely referred to as extreme but rarely actually defined or described)?

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:12:26

"Although TBH comparing feminists to people who think that homosexuality is an illness ain't great either."

Not comparing feminists, comparing the more extreme feminists.

"Is there really any need to paint these views as nutty/offensive/alienating/violent extremism?"

Because we're talking about the extreme views, yes.

"unless one gives an actual real commonly held example of such a view and argues why it is so nutty/offensive/alienating"

If it was commonly held then it wouldn't be extreme.

Will say again, agree with the core beliefs of feminism, disagree with the extreme views held by some feminists.

Still fighting for equality, just not using a label.

Still very interested to hear why it matters?

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:12:57

"Isn't that a bit cutting off your nose to spite your face?"

Why? What are we losing by not calling ourselves feminists?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:16:11

I'm very bemused by the idea that a woman would support feminist tenets/ideology etc but not want to openly support the movement because she is worried that people will associate her with a tiny number of extremists.

I suspect that a lot of the extremist stuff is just stereotyping and feminist bashing anyway. Seems a bit odd to buy into it/comply with it against a movement that you actually support.

Can't quite get my head round the point of that.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:18:48

What does openly supporting the movement involve?

Do I get a badge?

Or am I alright to carry on living a life that promotes equality for women in a real and practical sense whilst prefering not be labeled and not liking a label that (to me anyway) separates out people by their sex which has never struck me as a good starting point for promoting equality for all?

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:19:01

Well that's your choice. Personally I just find it easier.

Let's face it, the majority of the time I don't need to say what I identify as. So for the few times where it is expected/asked I find it easier to say I want equality rather than saying, "I'm a feminist but don't believe x, y and z".

I can't get my head round why anyone thinks the label is actually the important bit.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:19:05

Why? What are we losing by not calling ourselves feminists?

Solidarity.

And the weight it gives a movement.

I find it odd to focus on a tiny number of 'extremists' and distance oneself from a movement one believes in/issues one is personally affected by.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:21:19

It all depends on the context as well.

I am a feminist because I support equality for women and challenge sexism

However, I don't identify as a feminist first and foremost as I find it far too narrow a label and my desire for equality and dislike of discrimination goes far beyond that directed at or denied to women

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:21:58

I don't feel I need solidarity. I have solidarity from many other areas of my life.

As for giving the movement weight, I am tackling inequality whenever I can, why do I need to do it as part of a movement?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:21:59

Feminism will stop being a political movement with any kudos or power at all if women distance themselves from it because they are afraid of being associated with a stereotype or very fringe views.

<shrugs>

Easy win that would be for male dominated society.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:23:25

First paragraph, not my problem

Easy win? Why? You think that only those who identify as feminists will stand up against a sexist society?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:26:38

This is just basic politics people.

Lots of individuals struggling away as individuals to challenge the oppression of a group is less effective than those individuals joining voices and forces.

This is why marches, campaigns etc. are common political tools.

If we march on our own nobody notices or cares. Marching as a group with a common theme is much more powerful and forceful.

Of course that doesn't stop anyone going about their individual struggle too - it all adds up.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:29:17

You do know we can march/campaign/etc without calling ourselves feminists don't you? We are allowed to work with feminists aren't we? Or do we need to be part of the club in order to join in with the marches and campaigns? Are there badges and a uniform?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:32:28

It is so obvious.

"Eeeww you're not one of those mad loony extremist feminists I hope?"

answer a) "Oh god no! Not me."

answer b) "Feminists are neither mad nor extremist - they want equal rights and justice for women."

I think a) is likely to be less challenging of male dominated society than b) myself.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 14:32:29

Please can someone tell me what definition of feminism they are working from? Is there more than one?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 14:33:07

I would say B

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 14:40:01

smashing I think it's more along the lines of
- Are you a feminist?
- I believe in equality for everyone
and then on to whatever the conversation was about

Or
- Are you a feminist?
- Yes
- Oh so you think x?
- No, I don't
- Well what about Y?
- No
- Well I know feminists who think z?
- Well I don't
and then maybe we'll actually get around to the conversation we were having, or maybe we'll just go off on that tangent for a while and never actually achieve anything more than a discussion on what feminism is or isn't

Or
- Are you a feminist?
- Yes
- But you do x?
- Yes
- Well then you can't be a feminist?
- Why not? I think the sexes should be treated equally?
- Yes but by doing x you are bowing down to the patriachy and are therefore anti-feminist
- I'm really not, I agree with the core values
- I bet you think Y as well
- Yes, but I'm still a feminist
- No, you're not, you've been brainwashed by the patriachy
and so on and so forth

I'm sure you're now going to tell me that those examples would never ever happen though.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:41:23

That's right Smashing.

But you forgot that, when answering a) we would, of course, giggle, flick our hair and make the man a sandwich

hmm

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:44:32

I would answer

c) I am a feminist, if by that you mean I support equality for women and find sexism to be an unacceptable form of discrimination. However, I want equality for all people, not just women. I am not sure what you mean by "extremist feminist" but I do not consider myself to hold extremist views, no. Perhaps, you could expand on what you mean by that?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 14:54:02

I do hold some extreme views cat. Red wine must be French, gin must be Gordens. Would rather go without if not. In terms of feminism, I would like to have one weeks editorship at Heat magazine. They really seem to hate the 99.999% of people who buy their rag. I would make sure the building was empty and then fill it with (non branded) custard, right up to the roof.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:56:15

grin but what about Barolo? That's yummy....surely you could make an exception

I tell you what does get my hackles rising......girls toys. I went round ToysRUs with DH recently and we were both greatful DS is a boy due to the utter horror of the pink plastic tat and bratz dolls on offer for the girls sad

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:57:53

Since when was feminism defined as believing in equality for everyone?

Seriously. We should be allowed to say that we fight for women's rights without having to reassure the world that we are intent on looking after absolutely everyone. It is too big an ask IMO for feminists to have to take all the world's injustices on board in order to be allowed to challenge female oppression.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 14:58:51

It isn't

Hence me not identfiying as a feminist first and foremost.

FFS

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 15:04:27

"Since when was feminism defined as believing in equality for everyone?"

Seriously? It isn't. Which would be why some of us don't identify with feminism.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 15:14:56

Feminism is about addressing the injustices women face due to their sex.

So no, it isn't about addressing all the problems that occur in a hierarchical society (an herculean task).

Identifying as a feminist doesn't mean that you don't support equality for all.

It just isn't the political focus of feminism - IMO for two main reasons;

1) It is too big a challenge for one group to take on all the world's injustices (especially when that group is not the one that holds the reins of power).

2) Non-privileged groups tend to understand that they cannot speak for other non-privileged groups as they do not share the same lived experiences.

Women don't have to apologise for looking out for women's rights and not putting themselves to the back of the queue.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 15:17:36

Did you post on the wrong thread there? confused

I don't think anyone needed or asked for an exaplantion of feminism

I don't think anyone apologised for looking out for womens rights either or put themselves to the back of the queue

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 15:19:22

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 14:32:29

Please can someone tell me what definition of feminism they are working from? Is there more than one?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 15:19:54

I don't think feminism is just about addressing issues. It is, to me at least, about being a woman as well as a human and admitting that men and women are not the same but ARE equal.
NB. If OH is reading this, you are superior when it comes to dog shit and spiders.

SigmundFraude Mon 15-Oct-12 15:42:55

A lot of people seem to think that feminism is about equality, and declare that they are feminists due to this belief.

Feminism, the fight for equality by focusing entirely on women hmm

kim147 Mon 15-Oct-12 15:52:16
SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 15:59:07

I don't think feminism does entirely focus on women.

Lots of feminism is about focusing on the status of women and men within male dominated society/attitudes to and behaviour of perpetrators of violence against women, etc.

Often it is about taking the focus off purely women (in rape for example).

Notafoodbabyanymore Mon 15-Oct-12 15:59:13

This thread is ridiculous. The end.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 16:20:09

It was fine during the day. We managed hours without any sceptismo faces. I am obviously too thick to post after 4pm

Notafoodbabyanymore Mon 15-Oct-12 16:41:00

It has made me chuckle though! Let's all just have a brew and relax. (As long as the person who boils the kettle isn't doing so just because she has been brainwashed by the male dominated culture into believing she has no choice but to do so...)

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 16:54:54

Is it too early for a wine?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 17:19:38

Oh I wish, not sure the pethidine would go well with it! I will ask the nurse though, she may be kind. I have a huge plasma tv and a 3 piece suite in my room so it follows that a wine list should be available. French of course.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 17:21:39

Pethidine is crazy stuff, are you ok?

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 17:28:01

Yes am feeling quite jolly! Hopefully going home tomorrow although am becoming a bit institutionalised, salivating when I hear the tea trolley!

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 17:29:36

Haha, oh yes, I remember getting home from hospital and wondering why I had to go prepare my own food again grin

digerd Mon 15-Oct-12 18:16:01

My thoughts about Married in White were

Wow, how wonderful, lucky you, enviable , I agree with you
There was no smugness implied, but can understand how some would infer that. Jealousy ??!!!!.

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 18:26:30

It's funny,isn't it? Nobody ever says to people fighting for equality for people with disabilities "oh, but that's not fair, you should be fighting for the rights of black people as well". Or to anti racism campaigners "But what about gay people?" it's only campaigners for women's rights who are expected to please evyone else as well.
Interesting that. An interesting reflection on women's lives generally.

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 18:34:09

Agree that united we stand, divided we fall.

Would one suffragette on her own have changed anything? I think not.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 18:36:03

Exactly, seeker.

It is not without significance I think that we women so often qualify our paying attention to our issues with reassurances that we have everyone's best interests at heart.

Perhaps a worthy sentiment, but I fear it is one that is easily hijacked and derailed.

(And typical of female existence.)

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 18:37:59

Agree seeker. Would anyone say to black campaigners "but what about all the white people?" The whole point of needing to campaign is that black, gay and female people have been the underdogs in history.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 18:48:14

"Nobody ever says to people fighting for equality for people with disabilities "oh, but that's not fair, you should be fighting for the rights of black people as well". Or to anti racism campaigners "But what about gay people?" it's only campaigners for women's rights who are expected to please evyone else as well."

Nobody is saying that here either.
No one is telling feminists what they should be doing, however those of us that don't identify as feminists are being told what we should be doing.

eBook Mon 15-Oct-12 18:54:22

"those of us that don't identify as feminists are being told what we should be doing."

Where? confused

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 19:04:06

There are lots of posts telling us that not calling ourselves feminists is totally inexplicable/makes no sense. And when things are described that way, it is usually with the subtext of "you should be doing" whatever it is about.

Of course if that isn't what is meant I am happy to be corrected, but would suggest reacting like it is a completely unbelievable thing to do is not the best way of going about things if you don't wish to seem to be telling someone what you think they should be doing.

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 19:09:19

Ok. emBOOsa- what are you being told you have to do?

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 19:09:38

That's a bit odd, boo. I for one have no wish for you to identify yourself as a feminist if a) you don't wish to b) you are not one

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 15-Oct-12 19:12:19

There's also a lot of posts with a straw-woman version of what the typical feminist is like. For what it's worth, I'm a feminist (and proud to be one). I also like men, have a sense of humour, have on occasion worn make-up, worry about the effect of the polarisation of gender stereotypes on boys as well as girls (I have a DS), think that marriage to the right person has a lot going for it, sometimes shave (though feel cross that I'm under immense social pressure to do so - unlike a man's beard, women's armpits aren't neutral territory to be shaved or not as a matter of aesthetic preference - if you're hairy, some people feel they can comment on your hygiene).

NellyJob Mon 15-Oct-12 19:15:44

oh hell yeh I remember my moroccan mate (female) getting quite irate with me when she saw my hairy armpits in the swimming pool!!

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 19:16:05

I get the impression I am expected to identify as a feminist. There are definitely posts which suggest that agreeing with some feminist ideals isn't enough. Like I said earlier, if that isn't the case then I'm happy to be corrected, but that is how some posts have come across.

HappyHalloween smile Thank you

LynetteScavo Mon 15-Oct-12 19:43:43

I don't believe men and women are equal when it comes to having babies. I'm not talking "not the same". Women are superior, yet more vulnerable.

I also think it's easier just to say you are not a feminist than to have feminist challenge you. If you say you aren't a feminist they are more likely to give you up as a lost cause and leave you alone.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 19:49:15

I am a feminist.

But I do not like to primarily identify myself as such as a) I don't like labels and b) as labels go it is far too narrow

A bit like labeling an animal rights campaigner who didn't eat meat due to thier beliefs as vegetarian. Sure, they are vegetarian, but that's only a part of their values, not a full description

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 19:49:19

I think you might be referring to my posts EmBOOsa (no doubt amongst others) - happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

I'm not telling anyone what to do and I don't believe I have posted as such. I'm just bewildered by the notion that a woman who identifies with feminism generally would compare feminism to extremist movements or distance herself from the feminist movement on the basis of a few fringe views.

It feels like buying into and complying with a manufactured stereotype.

gordyslovesheep Mon 15-Oct-12 19:52:30

I don't believe men and women are equal when it comes to having babies grin sorry that made me smile ...it's like saying I don;t think tables are equal to manatees when it comes to being good at swimming under water grin

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 19:54:19

And I don't primarily identify myself as a feminist either - being a feminist is one part of who I am, it isn't the be all and end all of my identity.

I just think that it is a shame to splinter women's solidarity and power by focusing on the parts we don't agree on rather than the common ground that we as women have.

It feels like we are being divided and therefore potentially conquered. Which is a shame.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 19:56:21

But...........we are millions of individual people and feminism is heavily nuanced so we are not all going to agree on all things

The label is far less important than how people live and act surely?

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 20:01:05

Well I guess I don't really see 'feminist' as a label - more of a protest.

If women don't think that feminism is necessary or relevant that is something altogether different. But to agree with the need for feminism whilst not supporting the movement by the simple action of identifying as one of its number strikes me as contradictory. And potentially divisive and ineffective.

theodorakis Mon 15-Oct-12 20:07:39

Night all, the nurse is here with my meds. I have a feeling this will still be going when I wake up. Thanks for an interesting day, I have learned a lot.

katecreate Mon 15-Oct-12 20:26:11

I am a feminist. I also shave my legs etc. However, I do so in the knowledge that I'm not doing it solely for personal aesthetic preferences. Our choices are informed by the surrounding society- it's the norm for women to shave their legs so as not to appear "unfeminine". It takes a lot of courage to shirk this and I frustrate myself by not having the guts to forgo all the hassle!

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 20:29:17

I don't see it as a protest.

I see it as plain common sense.

And my actions make me an excellent feminist. It's just if someone asked me if I was one, I would say yes of course, although that is a by product of my belief that equality for all people is something to strive for. I also find feminism is a rather broad church, the extremes of which I do not always agree with. T I like the term equalist better, but in being an equalist one is automatically a feminist. At least the way I see it.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 20:51:18

Catgirl what would you say being an equalist means in concrete terms?

Is there an equalist movement with a concrete political analysis, literature and aims?

I ask because it seems so very broad a term that I'm not sure how it directly challenges the status of women and the discrimination we face. I'm never sure whether I think it is a worthy cause or a red herring (WRT feminism). Are there equalist forums and conferences that people contribute to? What has equalism achieved and what does it hope to achieve in the future?

Don't most (humane) people take it as a given that they want justice and freedom from oppression for all, but then accept that movements which focus on specific groups are necessary to achieve specific aims for those specific groups? Women have historically been expected to be the 'carers of the world' - can't we be our own carers too?

LynetteScavo Mon 15-Oct-12 21:12:50

8gordyslovesheep* Should tables and manatees be treated equally at all times? Should they have the same rights and protection?

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 21:12:55

It means I do not place the need to improve the rights and lives of women over and above the needs to improve the rights and lives of anyone else who requires such improvement.

I doubt there is a "movement" with specific literature and aims

Does that make it any less valid?

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 21:18:56

I suppose you could call it Egalitarianism if you wanted to but again........labels are just not my bag

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 21:19:43

But there is a fair amount of literature etc on that if matters to you..........

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 21:26:35

"It means I do not place the need to improve the rights and lives of women over and above the needs to improve the rights and lives of anyone else who requires such improvement. "

And this "anyone else who requires such improvement" would be.....????

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 21:30:34

Can you really not think of any other disadvantaged groups of people seeker?

I'll start.............

The poor.

SmashingTurnips Mon 15-Oct-12 21:35:13

But Egalitarianism is a vast vast subject. And it isn't an actual political movement - it is political philosophy.

I don't see how it translates into concrete action and improvement without addressing specifics.

catgirl1976 Mon 15-Oct-12 21:38:24

I've lost the will to live now so I'm leaving the thread

seeker Mon 15-Oct-12 21:40:29

A good plan when you're made vague and unsupportable statements. So much than actually thinking about what you mean!

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 15-Oct-12 21:44:14

Catgirl, let me ask you a question

When being "poor" is the over riding issue, who suffers the most, in your opinion ?

In my opinion? Women and children do. So, your example doesn't quite do the biz, IMO. Because being poor is also a feminist issue. The two cannot be separated.

Treats Mon 15-Oct-12 22:02:39

To pick up an example that someone (EmBOOsa?) was using earlier:

I'm a Catholic. I continue to believe in and practice Catholicism, for my own reasons - which (if I'm in the mood) I'm happy to explain to anyone. That doesn't stop me being horrified by the covering up of paedophilia and alienated by the Church's views on homosexuality.

But, if you asked me, I'd tell you I was a Catholic. I wouldn't try and deny or downplay it because I disliked these things that are done in the name of Catholicism. I want to stand up for the elements of the church that are loving and thoughtful and have compassion for humanity (which I strive to represent).

Likewise, I'm a feminist. Maybe there are 'extreme' views of feminism that I don't agree with or some people who claim to be feminists that don't really know what they're talking about. Or - more commonly, ime, - representations of feminism in the media that distort what it really is.

But, if you asked me, I'd tell you I was a feminist. Because that's what you are if you believe that women should have the same freedoms as men. You just are - however much you might dislike some of the other things that are said and done in the name of feminism.

So, to go back to the OP's question - why would you not call yourself a feminist if that's what you are?

MarianneM Mon 15-Oct-12 22:10:49

SmashingTurnips - I appreciate your efforts, especially in the face of such idiocy as has been seen on this thread.

EmBOOsa Mon 15-Oct-12 22:58:16

"I'm not telling anyone what to do and I don't believe I have posted as such. I'm just bewildered by the notion that a woman who identifies with feminism generally would compare feminism to extremist movements or distance herself from the feminist movement on the basis of a few fringe views."

Glad to hear it, I apologise for misreading your posts.

That's fair enough that you are bewildered by it, I am equally bewildered by why it matters to anyone else what I choose to label myself. I guess it's best to just agree to disagree.

"Is there an equalist movement with a concrete political analysis, literature and aims?"

Does there need to be? I think probably I'd step away from that label too if there was, once you make something a (sort of) organised group you'll always get fringe views. And the fringe views tend to get the most attention. Personally I prefer to just get on with what needs to be done rather than have to spend time debating on whether I can still call myself <label> whilst not holding the fringe views. At the moment I only use the word equalist as shorthand for "I want equality for all".

"And this "anyone else who requires such improvement" would be.....????"

The menz of course. Or, more seriously..
- the disabled
- the mentally ill
- any minority ethnic group
- any "alternative" sexualities
- the poor
- the elderly
- the young
..and so on and so forth

Cozy9 Tue 16-Oct-12 03:56:31

Why do poor women and children suffer more than poor men?

CheerfulYank Tue 16-Oct-12 04:07:49

I'm another who totally considered myself a feminist before Mumsnet. Now having spent a bit of time in the feminism section...no thank you very much.

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 07:45:46

I am quite the opposite, i would have said I hated all the dungarees and lentils before i joined MN. In fairness I did have a mother who embraced feminism as one may take up a new hobby in the early 80s but she dropped it when it went out of fashion. For a few years all her friends left their husbands and used to do stuff like naked rebirthing between 2 sofa cushions and shoplift bras and burn them in street protests.
Looking back she was ace and I had a few teenage years of near freedom because she was so busy. As I said upthread, she now can't switch in the tv without her man.

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 08:13:15

Feminism. When you are calling other women idiots because they don't agree with you.......you're doing it wrong.

SmashingTurnips Tue 16-Oct-12 08:23:27

EmBOOsa apology accepted although TBH I'm very surprised that you misread my posts to the extent of them reading to you as though I'm telling people what to do.

I am bewildered by women who support feminism and see the need for it but refuse to identify as feminists themselves on the basis of being afraid of fringe views. I really really am. I don't get the point of it and to a certain extent it seems a rather dissonant position and one that depends on other women standing up and being counted and speaking out in individual support of the movement. I think that is why I care at all about this discussion. There are women who make themselves targets due to being 'out' as feminists and making our collective voices heard. If we cannot even stand in support of these women then I'm not sure we are very deserving of their energy and struggle.

And yes, a political movement does need analysis, literature and aims in order to actually achieve anything - otherwise it isn't a movement it is an academic subject. Such is the case with Egalitarianism - it is a trend of thought, a political philosophy, a subject to be studied at university.

Feminism is by nature and definition a grass roots movement. It is a movement born out of lived and shared experience, solidarity and support.

I'm also utterly bewildered by this swerving away from 'labels' indeed I'm a little hmm at the term label in and of itself as used here. It comes across as an entirely apolitical position and erosive of solidarity and the strength of numbers.

I don't agree that fringe elements of all movements receive the most attention. I doubt there are many people in the UK who know very much about the fringe views held in feminism. (I don't doubt that many people could tell you about the stereotype of these fringe views however.)

We have had plenty of posts on this thread citing these 'fringe views' as a reason for distancing oneself from feminism (even if one believes in the movement) but no actual concrete example of what these views might be.

If people are apolitical or don't believe in the need for solidarity or don't actually agree with the need for feminism, I can understand why the wouldn't wish to call themselves feminists. For a woman who does see the need and benefits of feminism, but disses the movement, bangs on about extremism or refuses to be even in spoken agreement with the movement by identifying as one of its number, well, that strikes me as attempting to gain a free lunch. And I think it is very destructive (even though that may not be the intention).

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 08:37:55

Free fucking lunch? angry

Words fail me.

And you wonder why MN "feminism" makes some women (who probably actually are feminists) want to distance themselves from the label

Way to advance things and foster solidarity. Great job.

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 08:38:57

Turnips, what you just said makes sense to me.

Blistory Tue 16-Oct-12 08:43:01

There is a bit of a tendency for women to dismiss feminism when what they mean to do is dismiss a particular feminist.

I don't reject my political beliefs just because I don't like the policitian who happens to be the leader of the party I support.

Seriously, what shame is there in being a feminist ?

SmashingTurnips Tue 16-Oct-12 08:47:14

Catgirl - feminism has achieved massive gains for the women it has been able to touch and make a difference to. For those gains to have been made, women had to stand up and be heard - often to the detriment of their careers and even their safety. I think we are all happy to accept the gains are we not? If we accept and benefit from the gains without supporting the people and movement who have been instrumental in achieving them, then yes, I think that is accepting a free lunch.

I can see why it happens in a sexist society but I think it is a major obstacle to feminism currently.

Thanks theodorakis (hope you feel ok today.)

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 08:48:58

Oh has it I didn't know that.

Could you be any more patronising?

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 08:51:22

I do bloody loads to support feminism. All day every day. I just find it too narrow a label to describe my political beliefs
.
I'm sorry you don't feel able to accept that people can believe in a broader spectrum and not support feminism at the same time.

SmashingTurnips Tue 16-Oct-12 08:53:52

Catgirl, I'm just attempting to expand on why I used the term 'free lunch' - you posted an angry emoticon at the term so I thought I would explain a little more what I meant by it.

Your above post is a personal attack. Fair enough if you disagree with my opinion, I'm all ears on why you think it is incorrect - I CBA to get into personal attack though.

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 08:56:21

Now if you'll excuse me I have to host a seminar ay an event designed to encourage and assist women to suceed in a male dominated and very tough industry and look at ways we can make it more accessible. Then I'm going to eat my free lunch.

But you carry on alienating people from feminism on an internet forum

SmashingTurnips Tue 16-Oct-12 09:01:36

Can one not be a feminist (i.e. a person who supports feminism) and other things at the same time though?

Like Harriet Harman - she's a feminist but also a Labour politician. She does lots for women's issues but also for the poverty stricken/people in need of equal opportunities in general. It doesn't have to be an either/or. Feminism isn't exclusionary.

limitedperiodonly Tue 16-Oct-12 09:04:00

emboosa I don't think I tell other women how to be. If I did I'd expect to be challenged and would welcome it if I was. I'd pull up a bully lecturing other women too - though I respect people enough to let them stand up for themselves unless they ask for help.

What I do see repeatedly on these threads is other people telling me is how they think I should behave and principally how I should be constantly mindful of how I'm coming over when expressing mainstream opinions in moderate language.

I take responsibility for many things. Responsibility for the unreasonable feelings of others is a burden I will continue to resist.

Btw seeker, I agree with you again and many others.

SmashingTurnips Tue 16-Oct-12 09:04:29

Good luck with the seminar catgirl.

I have to go and do work stuff too (run a company that gives work opportunities to women) so no need to be snarky about internet forums, etc.

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 09:15:49

Thanks I am feeling so much better today and going home! Will miss the hospital though, feel very institutionalised.

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 09:18:53

Cat, If you have a transcript I would love to read it or see a video. I will not nick it I promise, I always cite and credit my sources. As we are in the same industry I know where you are coming from.

bushymcbush Tue 16-Oct-12 10:20:06

SmashingTurnips Having started this thread myself, debated for a couple of hours then gone off into RL for a couple of days, I've come back to read the ensuing discussion.

Can I just say how much I admire the strength and eloquence of your posts here and the unwavering logic of your arguments. You have at times been a lone voice on this thread, put up with a lot of goading and insults from others who became quickly frustrated that you refused to roll over and agree with them, all the while remaining very cool headed and polite yourself.

I couldn't have done it myself - I'm not nearly intelligent or eloquent enough.

Thank you!

Grateful OP

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 16-Oct-12 10:25:15

I agree, bushy

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 10:27:35

I think it has been a civilised discussion on all sides. It has made my hospital stay fly by and nice not to have ended in a bundle (see upthread for definition).

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 10:37:29

I will pm you some slides theo

aurynne Tue 16-Oct-12 10:44:36

A "feminist" is defined as "an advocate for feminism", which implies support and involvement in a movement. I am not a feminist, because I am not part of that movement, am not implied in it and I am not an advocate for it.

Some of my opinions coincide with some of the feminist ones. Likewise, some of my opinions coincide with particular political parties regardless of whether I vote for them or not. I even coincide in some opinions with the Bible and the Catholic Church, even though I am an atheist. But having similar opinions does not mean I am part of a group or an advocate for it.

I appreciate and understand the importance of feminism has had for me as a woman, and if I had been born some decades ago I probably would have chosen to be a feminist. But I haven't. Today, in my personal circumstances, there are other causes I have decided to advocate for. It would actually be an insult to feminists to call myself one when I have no commitment to that movement.

There OP, now you know how people can call themselves "not feminists". In fact, I find your inability to understand it a bit immature.

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 10:48:39

Thanks Cat! Maybe one day we will meet through our jobs!

EmBOOsa Tue 16-Oct-12 11:29:30

"I am bewildered by women who support feminism and see the need for it but refuse to identify as feminists themselves on the basis of being afraid of fringe views."

I don't believe anyone has spoken about being afraid of fringe views, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by afraid of them.

For me it has always been that I find it easier to distance myself from those views early on in a conversation by using a different label, rather than letting a conversation go off on a tangent about whether or not I support the more extreme views.

The reason I am not naming the more extreme views that I disagree with is because it is almost guaranteed to take this thread off on a tangent. Which isn't actually helpful to this discussion.

"If we cannot even stand in support of these women"

Why do we need to call ourselves feminists in order to support these women? And is it only possible to make sacrifices and put yourself at risk for women's rights if you call yourself a feminist?

limited I hope my posts aren't included in those you feel are telling you how you should behave? I don't think anyone should have to moderate how they express their views just because it makes others uncomfortable

"who became quickly frustrated that you refused to roll over and agree with them"

Who are you referring to there? I don't think anyone is looking for agreement, just trying to explain views when asked. Any frustration is due to explanations not being understood.

eBook Tue 16-Oct-12 11:50:01

I hope those who don't support women's rights are not themselves taking advantage of anything which previously had to be fought for by feminists, such as equal pay, voting, taking the pill if they're not married, property ownership if you are married, the right to not be discriminated against at work, attending a service run by a female vicar, or gaining a degree.

limitedperiodonly Tue 16-Oct-12 11:55:18

emboosa since you asked, yes they were, but it's all part of continuum and I found worraliberty's'posts worse for drawing irrelevant comparisons and imagining her personal experience defined the debate as well as being deliberately obtuse and goading. Also another poster (be along with her name later) who was flippant, rude, dismissive and arrogant and naive enough to believe her personal experience in male-dominated industry trumped everyone else's.

seeker Tue 16-Oct-12 11:57:57
limitedperiodonly Tue 16-Oct-12 11:59:52

The poster was catgirl. I find it so much clearer when people say what they mean.

eBook Tue 16-Oct-12 12:00:17

History of Feminism

"Most western feminist historians assert that all movements that work to obtain women's rights should be considered feminist movements, even when they did not (or do not) apply the term to themselves."

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 12:04:43

My personal experience as a woman manager in an Arabic oil company with hundreds of employees under me has definitely helped shape my opinions. As did living in Bangladesh and Africa and to a lesser extent, Texas.
You bloody try working in oil and gas before you patronise it. Actually by far the most difficult nationality I work with in terms of sexual crap (as in "banter" and bullying) have been dutch. Maybe it is just because they have spent so much of their lives offshore.

eBook Tue 16-Oct-12 12:05:28

EmBOOsa you don't have to call yourself a feminist, of course. However if you support equal rights for women, then personally I do think you are a feminist.

Definition of feminism: 1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. 2. an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.

I'd say you were in agreement with 1, even if you're not part of 2.

It's in the same way that if someone didn't eat meat or fish, then I'd consider them to be a vegetarian, whether or not they called themselves one.

bushymcbush Tue 16-Oct-12 12:05:41

Any frustration is due to explanations not being understood

No, there hasn't been any misunderstanding as far as I can see. Frustration has been due to failure to back down and agree. The long tangent about terrorism was not a misunderstanding. Smashing was making a bloody good point - that there is no useful comparison to be made between extreme terrorist acts and extreme talking / ideas.

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 12:07:12

eBook, I agree with you about voting etc. I also find your statement about feminism useful. I don't know much about the academic side of feminism, I have avoided it as much as i can.

EmBOOsa Tue 16-Oct-12 12:55:46

"I hope those who don't support women's rights"

I know I've never said I don't support women's rights.

So I'm a feminist whether I am happy to be or not?

bushymcbush Tue 16-Oct-12 13:39:35

But EmBOOsa, you bring me straight back to my original problem - if you DO support women's rights, why aren't you happy to be a feminist?

I believe in peaceful means of protest and diplomatic negotiation. Ergo I'm a pacifist.

I believe in looking after the planet, it's multitude of life and it's precious resources, ergo I'm an environmentalist.

I sit on the fence re religion, ergo I'm an agnostic. But I respect anyone's right to practice their chosen religion (as long as no one suffers in the practice) and welcome the diversity of cultures and ideas available to me, ergo I'm a humanist.

Oh, and I'm a feminist.

I own all these 'labels' and more (although I am defined by none of them). But I'm not afraid to stand by them, if asked.

EmBOOsa Tue 16-Oct-12 13:50:11

Quite simply, if I'm in a situation where I have to label myself I'd prefer a label that doesn't require either justifying why I don't agree with the fringe views, or explaining which views I do agree with. Saying I believe in equality in those situations is far easier than saying I'm a feminist. Saves going off on tangents.

Having been in situations where my views have been shot down due to someone saying either "you are a feminist therefore you believe in x, therefore you are mad and not to be listened to", or "you aren't a real feminist as you don't believe in x and therefore have invalid views", I've just decided it's easier to say, "I believe in equality". People then tend to have to look for another way to discredit my opinions rather than me handing them a clichéd stick to beat me with.

bushymcbush Tue 16-Oct-12 14:33:06

Perhaps that cliched stick might crumble to dust if more of us actually spoke up about what we believe instead of leaving it to the loony tunes (sorry rad-fems - I await my flaming) to speak for us. And perhaps more pertinently (given what prompted me to start the thread) stop actively disassociating ourselves from feminism.

And then, perhaps we can turn back the tide of sexualising and pornifying everything to do with the female in the media.

GhostShip Tue 16-Oct-12 14:44:53

Not read it all, its just the same old.

because some of the extreme nutters on here have put me off ever uttering the word 'feminist'

this is it for me though.

especially as I got a flaming the other day for DARING to defend sexism against men.

EmBOOsa Tue 16-Oct-12 14:50:31

Maybe, but I choose to spend my time/energy on other things.

seeker Tue 16-Oct-12 14:52:14

EmBoOsa, did I miss where you said whqt it is that you feel feminists are forceing you to do?

EmBOOsa Tue 16-Oct-12 14:56:29

You obviously did seeker.

But for you I will reiterate. I got the impression that I was being told I should be calling myself a feminist, but others have reassured me that isn't what they intended and I apologised. Hope that sorts that out.

grovel Tue 16-Oct-12 15:33:12

It's a British thing. Your average Brit (male and female IME) may agree with a certain way of thinking but back off public association with its protagonists if they perceive them as becoming too strident. It's uncomfortable.

Thatcher got re-elected 3 times because the great British public thought that the country was going to the dogs. Could you find many people who said they were going to vote for her? Could you hell!

I don't know if "strident" is the right word. I looked it up - "Loud, harsh, grating, or shrill; discordant." I certainly don't like "shrill" in this context.

seeker Tue 16-Oct-12 15:34:23

"I'm another who totally considered myself a feminist before Mumsnet. Now having spent a bit of time in the feminism section...no thank you very much"

It would be really helpful if you could say specifically why?

GhostShip Tue 16-Oct-12 15:34:28

^ don't agree with that at all

GhostShip Tue 16-Oct-12 15:34:42

sorry x posted

WorraLiberty Tue 16-Oct-12 15:41:37

limitedperiodonly you're entitled to you opinion if you think my comparison was irrelevant. It was relevant to me - therefore I posted it.

Re Turnip, again imo she was being deliberately dense and seemingly refused to so what so many others could clearly.

People are sill reading this thread and saying they don't understand why so many posters won't label themselves feminist...despite many people giving their reasons.

I don't think it's going to be a subject everyone here will ever agree on but there you go.

WorraLiberty Tue 16-Oct-12 15:42:13

refused to see

CheerfulYank Tue 16-Oct-12 17:42:00

It was me that said that Seeker smile Just marking my place...I will come back in a bit and explain.

CheerfulYank Tue 16-Oct-12 17:42:34

Me who said that? I who said that? confused

Blame it on the morning sickness.

WofflingOn Tue 16-Oct-12 17:55:47

I think it was OldLadyKnowsNothing and me who decided we'd be bad Feminists, long ago and far away on another thread, possibly in FWR..
You know, the battered old camper van variety, with a hotch-potch of repairs and uncertain paintwork. Doing our best according to our principles.
Not a specific brand, flavour or attributable philosophy, no mentor-like names to drop with quotations and the like, just feminists.
Plain and simple.

theodorakis Tue 16-Oct-12 17:58:37

Grovel, good point about thatcher.
As I said before, living 35 minutes from the Saudi border makes it much easier to accept the feminist label warts and all.

bushymcbush Tue 16-Oct-12 18:26:27

living 35 minutes from the Saudi border makes it much easier to accept the feminist label warts and all

A very interesting point.

How nice that we women in Western society have the comfort to choose whether we are feminist or not. We've already made the really important gains for ourselves - we can vote, go to university, own property, get a divorce, apply for any job we like - I mean, so what if millions of other women in other countries don't have those rights? Why should we call ourselves feminists for them?

Blistory Tue 16-Oct-12 18:45:40

I'm really beginning to wonder if anyone knows what feminism means ? Are we all arguing about different things here ?

I cannot begin to understand why, what I understand as feminism, is rejected by so many women. It's all very well to point the finger of blame at FWR but to reject such a positive movement on the basis of a couple of heated threads is unfathomable to me.

To those who don't reject it on that basis and support feminism but won't use the label, what it is about self identifying as a feminist that is so repugnant to you ? Do you not see that there is merit in identifying as a feminist or are there other negative connotations that I'm simply oblivious to ?

WofflingOn Tue 16-Oct-12 18:45:53

Although those women in turn might look at the squabbles and the shibboleths laid out here and think WTF?
and wonder why we were not campaigning as vociferously on the WR abuse issues that are killing thousands across the globe and have done for centuries.
Why are we not spending every iota of effort on those? Why the infighting and insults over nomenclature?

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:27:41

Bar a couple of very early posters, I honestly haven't seen anyone (including myself) say they are not a feminist on this thread

I feel I have very clearly said that I am a feminist (and a very active one at that) but that:

a) I don't really like to label myself (be that label feminist, socialist, lib dem voter, marxist, tory or whatever)

b) I find feminism a fairly narrow label as I want equality for all people (and therefore for women, making me a feminist) but do not necessarily and automatically prioritise equality for women / womens rights over other disadvantaged groups or individuals and therefore feel it would be disengenuous to primarily identify as a feminist per se.

c) I feel some of the more extreme views of the broad and nuanced church that is feminism may alienate some women from feeling comfortable with identifying as feminists. As evidenced by women on this thread saying this is the case. I, for example, was pretty horrified and disgusted by the transgender thing and some of the "feminist" attitudes that were quoted.

and

d) that I feel some of the posters on MN who self-identify as feminists whilst being incredibly unpleasant towards other women who do not agree with them may also alienate women and make them less likely to wish to identify as feminists. Which is a shame really and it seems to me there are some posters on MN who preach feminism but certainly don't practice it, and actually, actively harm it. Also as evidenced by women on this thread saying this is how they feel.

I don't think I can make myself any clearer, but no doubt someone will prefer to read the above as:

"I'm not a feminist me, I love the menz sooooooo muchand I don't want them to go off me and think I don't shave my legs. I'll have the vote and shit though but I think feminism is unattractive to men so I won't say I am one.".

Blistory Tue 16-Oct-12 19:41:02

Catgirl, I understand that but can I ask what you think that refusing to use the label feminism achieves and whether by refusing to use the label, it somehow diminishes feminism ? Or could be perceived to do so.

Eg, you've stated that you're active in supporting feminism so if a young woman who heard you talk asked you if you were a feminist, what would your response be ? My own take on it is that by denying it, it gives a message that being a feminist is somehow negative whereas I think it's a label that women have to take back and use positively.

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 19:49:45

I don;t refuse to use the label, have never said I refuse to use the label and clearly do identify as a feminist, just not as my primary political focus

As I have already said on this thread, if asked "are you a feminist?" I would say something along the lines of "Of course I am. Why would I not want equality for women? Although, I actually believe in equality and improved rights for all people so perhaps it's a little too narrow a description."

I don't think that gives a negative message. Just an honest one.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Tue 16-Oct-12 19:56:43

I'm a feminist. I'm also a mummy, a feckin hard worker, a sister, a friend, a daughter, a lover of wine, a lover, a partner, a lover of cheese....

Ya get me? Innit?

bushymcbush Tue 16-Oct-12 21:04:59

Mmmm ... wine and cheese ...

[drools]

bushymcbush Tue 16-Oct-12 21:08:08

Catgirl I'm not suggesting it should be your primary political purpose. And if you do identify as a feminist when asked, I apologise for arguing with you.

My problem is with those who actively disassociate themselves from feminism like it's a dirty word.

SmashingTurnips Tue 16-Oct-12 21:10:31

Thanks for your really nice post upthread, bushymcbush. It meant a lot smile.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Tue 16-Oct-12 21:43:10

Wine, cheese and feminism bushy grin

catgirl1976 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:49:58

No need to apologise Bushy - I didn't think you were arguing with me, just discussing in a very polite and reasoned manner

Notafoodbabyanymore Tue 16-Oct-12 23:40:59

This is how this thread reads.

Q: If you don't identify yourself as a feminist, why not?

Loads of people give their personal reasons, and suggest that others may feel the same way.

Well, those reasons aren't good enough. You should call yourself a feminist,

A) to help the oppressed women in the middle east
B) to show your appreciation for the feminists who've gone before and won the rights you enjoy today
C) because you actually are one, so I'm going to call you that anyway.

Seems a bit crazy to me. I think if so many women feel that mainstream feminism is represented by the extreme views they have come across on MN and elsewhere, it's not surprising they don't want to be part of that, and it indicates a problem with how feminism is being represented by feminists.

It's no good telling people who have no knowledge of current feminist thinking and don't call themselves feminists "well, if you just start calling yourself a feminist, then tell people that you don't identify with the extreme views, feminism will have a better name".

That's like, for example, the Christian church saying, "well, you believe in God, so you're kind of one of us already, even though you don't call yourself a Christian, so if you could start calling yourself a Christian and outlining for others how you don't agree with the fringe views, that would help us with our PR."

No. If the church has a PR problem, they first and foremost need to address the people who do call themselves Christians and make sure that they're not misrepresenting the core beliefs.

Same goes for feminism.

SmashingTurnips Wed 17-Oct-12 00:41:47

We seem to keep coming back to this idea of extreme views. (And a general acceptance that they are extreme.)

Somebody said earlier that they didn't wish to cite what might be considered an extreme feminist view so as not to take the thread off on a tangent. Problem is though that by not actually mentioning what the issues are, this discussion remains a vague 'accusation' of extremism that is pretty subjective.

There are lots of people who might think that advocating a Nordic model for dealing with prostitution is extreme for example. (Plenty would argue that it is pretty mainstream considering it is an approach that has been adopted by mainstream governments.)

Same goes for quotas for political representation - lots of people think it is an extreme suggestion whilst plenty others argue that many mainstream countries and governments have adopted electoral quotas (around half the countries in the world use them).

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 00:53:10

Notafoodbabyanymore I'd disagree with your church analogy.

It's really more like someone who says they follow Jesus, but not calling themselves a Christian. Actually, if they're a follower of Christ, they are a Christian, because that's what a Christian is. Yes, others may misrepresent the faith but that doesn't change what you are and the word in our language which we have for it.

If someone was to not identify as being (for example) 35, or middle class, or left-wing, or pro-choice, or Asian, or lesbian, or atheist - even though she exactly fits the definition of those things - then she'd be incorrect. Other 35-year-olds may not look the same age, other middle-class people may make different choices, other atheists may be very pushy with their belifs. But that doesn't change you being 35/middle class/atheist.

I'm a Christian who rejects fundamentalist or extreme views. If we waited until others stopped "misrepresenting the core beliefs", we'd have a long wait! Why should I sit back and let those who I feel misrepresent Christianity take ownership of its name? No, I care more than that.

EmBOOsa Wed 17-Oct-12 01:15:18

"Why should I sit back and let those who I feel misrepresent Christianity take ownership of its name? No, I care more than that."

No one is saying you should. Just that we choose not to.

differentnameforthis Wed 17-Oct-12 01:36:57

"those of us that don't identify as feminists are being told what we should be doing" Where?

Really? It's the whole reason for this thread for a start!

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 01:41:49

So if someone said this

"I'm only attracted to people of the same sex. But I'm not gay, because some people who call themselves gay take part in protests which are too militant for me".

Would you believe them that they weren't gay?

EmBOOsa Wed 17-Oct-12 01:43:11

If they didn't want to call themselves gay I wouldn't argue with them about it. Why would I? It doesn't affect me in any way what they want to refer to themselves as

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 01:43:32

> I do believe that women and men are equally important and should have equal opportunity to achieve what they want to achieve but I also believe they are different and have different needs and different skills.

Surely it's more a case that different individuals have different skills, regardless of whether they're male or female?

differentnameforthis Wed 17-Oct-12 02:33:23

I hope those who don't support women's rights are not themselves taking advantage of anything which previously had to be fought for by feminists, such as equal pay, voting, taking the pill if they're not married, property ownership if you are married, the right to not be discriminated against at work, attending a service run by a female vicar, or gaining a degree

Wow!
No one on this thread, to my recollection has said they don't support women's rights.

Are you really saying that non feminists shouldn't have the benefits of modern society that you speak of?

Well done on proving that this thread IS telling people who don't identify with feminism what they should be doing

That's not a very feminist statement, is it?

Do people now understand why some women don't want to be linked to feminism?

aurynne Wed 17-Oct-12 03:29:27

"So if someone said this

"I'm only attracted to people of the same sex. But I'm not gay, because some people who call themselves gay take part in protests which are too militant for me".

Would you believe them that they weren't gay?"

No, this is not the correct comparison. The correct comparison in that case would be a woman who refused to call herself a woman ("being gay" is not a social movement), which is not what we are discussing here.

If you wanted to form a correct comparison that was relevant for this thread, you would need to use, for example, a gay person who did not identify with the "gay rights movement". Which, by the way, there are many out there. As I said before, having some ideas in common with an ideology or a movement does not magically turn yourself into a "member of the club". Being a feminist, in my opinion, requires an active involvement in the movement and a commitment to it. That's why I am not a feminist.

Notafoodbabyanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 03:34:39

Sorry eBook, just on my break at work, so might not be a very complete response.

FWIW, I am a Christian too, and I agree with what you are saying, but I don't think you quite got the point I was trying to make.

Several people on this thread seem to be ignoring the fact that feminism as a movement has a bad reputation. Whether that's deserved or not is beside the point. If so many women are of the opinion (right or wrong) that Feminism represents not only equal rights and opportunities for women, but a whole swathe of other viewpoints that they find unpalatable, or disagree with, you can understand why they might say "well, I support women's rights, but I'm not a feminist".

And, if this is the case, you can't just say, well, you should call yourself a feminist, or stop buying into the stereotype, or whatever. So many women are saying that their conversations and experiences with self proclaimed feminists have given them a certain negative idea about what feminism represents. So there's a problem with what's being communicated, or how it's being said.

I haven't explained that very well, but I'm rushing. Sorry!

GhostShip Wed 17-Oct-12 07:51:03

Good post ^

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 08:12:52

aurynne no, being gay isn't a social movement. The comparison I'm making is that both being gay, and being a feminist, have a dictionary definition.

Clearly the person is gay because it can be deduced from what they said. They fit the definition, i.e. someone who's only attracted to the same sex.

The dictionary definition of a feminist is someone who believes women should have equal rights to men. So if you believe that, you're a feminist.

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 08:16:34

Yes feminism is also a social movement, in its other dictionary definition.

1. someone who believes women should have equal rights to men
2. a social movement

You only have to fit one of the definitions in order for it to apply to you.

For example the word "gift"

1. a present
2. a talent

If something fits one of the above, not necessarily both, then it is a gift.

eBook Wed 17-Oct-12 08:18:06

So there are various combinations.

If you are 1, or 2, or you believe 1 AND take part in 2, you're a feminist.

Only if you fit neither 1 nor 2 are you not a feminist.

OTheHideousManateesOfMadness Wed 17-Oct-12 08:22:48

"So if someone said this

"I'm only attracted to people of the same sex. But I'm not gay, because some people who call themselves gay take part in protests which are too militant for me".

Would you believe them that they weren't gay?"

That's a poor example. More accurate would be 'I'm only attracted to people of the same sex, but I find Peter Tatchell and other high-profile gay rights activists a bit annoying and don't want to be associated with them. So I don't go round calling myself gay in case people think I'm one of those activist types.'

In fact there are lots of gay people like this.

seeker Wed 17-Oct-12 08:56:26

"Several people on this thread seem to be ignoring the fact that feminism as a movement has a bad reputation. Whether that's deserved or not is beside the point. If so many women are of the opinion (right or wrong) that Feminism represents not only equal rights and opportunities for women, but a whole swathe of other viewpoints that they find unpalatable, or disagree with, you can understand why they might say "well, I support women's rights, but I'm not a feminist".

I keep asking, on this thread and others, and nobody will ever tell me precisely what these unpalatable viewpoints are. What is it that feminists believe that other women disagree with? (and anything to do with pubic hair doesn't count!)

catgirl1976 Wed 17-Oct-12 09:01:25

Seeker it doesn't actually matter what viewpoints some women find unpalatable.

One woman may find supporting abortion to term extreme, another may not.

It's totally subjective.

Raspberrysorbet Wed 17-Oct-12 09:08:33

Seeker IME there are two aspects of feminism that some people find unpalatable. There are those who find the beliefs hard to swallow, who have a vested interest in the patriarchy continuing and there are those who find the tone of delivery (for want of a better phrase) of those beliefs difficult, challenging or downright aggressive.

Two very separate issues but unfortunately often with the same outcome.

catgirl1976 Wed 17-Oct-12 09:08:45

Plus - wanting to isolate the specific issues suggests that all the women who have said "I do not want to be associated with certain extreme views" all think the same views are extreme and agree on what those are. They probably don't - we are talking about individuals here, not a group with a single voice.

catgirl1976 Wed 17-Oct-12 09:10:14

And yes to what Raspberry says - in some cases it may be tone not belief

To use the Peter Tatchell example, it would be like a gay person saying "I agree with what Peter T says but I don't like the way he delivers that message. I find him too aggressive, hence I don't want to identify myself with him"

seeker Wed 17-Oct-12 09:15:04

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. I am a feminist, and I can't think of a single thing I believe that would make another woman say "oh, well, I refuse to call myself a feminist because I don't agree with Seeker on x issue."

I'm not a Conservative- but there are probably some conservative policies I agree with. I identify myself as a supporter of the Labour party, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything that Labour stands for - or, more importantly, everything that other Labour supporters say. But I'm still a Labour supporter.

So why does disagreeing with one thing a feminist says mean that you won't call yourself a feminist?

catgirl1976 Wed 17-Oct-12 09:17:42

It doesn't matter because they are specific to each individual woman.

You would have to ask each of them in turn.

Raspberrysorbet Wed 17-Oct-12 09:18:39

In those cases perhaps it is more about tone, as I said?

Not wanting to be identified with a movement which has methods of delivery you find disagreeable?

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.

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 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!

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.

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?

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?

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 11:51:44

Why thank you Worra.

<twirls>

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)

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

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

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 12:22:10

I do that too cat!

I'm still a feminist though grin

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

grin

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

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

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

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

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.

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 13:38:50

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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?

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.

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