To get annoyed when other women say "I'm not a feminist"

(1000 Posts)
Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:14:14

As if it's a dirty word and a shameful thing to be? I hear it every now and then and always question it. Someone said it today and I'm annoyed again.

Do some women not realise that women didn't used to be allowed to go to university, get divorced, own property or vote?

Rant over.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 21:16:01

I think some women don't understand what feminism actually is or how many things they think/do/say actually do make them a feminist.

It's a bit dim but not an awful lot one can do about it.

I concur

picnicbasketcase Sun 30-Jun-13 21:16:24

I think sometimes people say it not to mean that they're not in favour if women's rights, but more that they don't want to be seen as being like exaggerated militant man-hating stereotype of what some people think a feminist must be like. IYSWIM.

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:17:26

I know what you mean! It annoys me too.

DuchessFanny Sun 30-Jun-13 21:17:51

I think picnic has it right

DamnBlast Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:00

Yes! But i discussed being one at work and someone said i wasn't as i don't mind doors being held open for me! FFS!

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:12

Or is it worse when someone says they are a feminist and then do and say unfeminist things?

Either way it's not giving an accurate picture of feminism. We just want more fairness which is quite cuddly really

MsVestibule Sun 30-Jun-13 21:20:43

I have occasionally challenged people who say this, e.g. "so you don't think women should be as well educated as men?" and "do you think employers should be able to pay lower wages to a woman simply because she is a woman"? It probably does no good, but makes me feel better.

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:20:48

I always reply by "how would you define feminism?"

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 21:25:51

I agree with picnic
Actually I thought I was one until I'd been posting on here for a while. :-)

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:26:49

I think part of it is because people think once you have won rights you get to keep them forever. But history shows you have to run to stand still when it comes to rights. So people may think Oh look, everything's great now and anyway what about the men, and may think feminism is fighting for something more. It's something you hear a lot of 'I support equal rights but these feminists want to go too far.
A lot of feminism is about guarding what we have. I think a lot more people would concur with that, but that entails taking a very long view and most people - imo - deal more with the here and now.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 21:26:59

Most decent people - and I include men in this - are feminist in their actions and opinions, they just don't choose to self-identify as such. Particularly young women I find don't really believe they need to have a feminist identity. That does often change though.

But I agree with picnic, often it's the image of feminists as being hairy joyless men haters that people are rejecting. Of course, feminists aren't like this at all (although tbf it's completely up to them if they are.) and are simply 'normal' people who happen to want equality.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:27:50

I agree Wilson

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:29:01

I'm not sure there is a general consensus on what a feminist actually is, although I feel every woman should be one.

There seems to be a lot of "Well you're not a proper one because you do/don't do this" in the world, which is a bit depressing.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:29:59

you know sometimes on here especially women slate other women for not being feminist enough . I think I am a feminist I have been told several times by mumsnetters I am not

GameSetAndMatch Sun 30-Jun-13 21:29:59

I agree with picnic too.
and in picnics definition, i will say I am not a feminist.

TeacupTempest Sun 30-Jun-13 21:30:27

Yanbu!

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:35:14

What is the mumsnet definition of a feminst? <curious>

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:35:49

IT varies Nick confused

NotYoMomma Sun 30-Jun-13 21:38:09

Wasn't it Virginia woolf who first said feminism was a corrupt word, despite being a feminist herself?

Changeasgoodas Sun 30-Jun-13 21:38:59

YANBU

I too say - so you would like to have no vote? No right to your own income? For your husband to have the right to get you sectioned if you "play up"? etc. etc.

SugarandSpice126 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:40:51

nickabilla I ask that question - they always look a bit stumped for a moment..it's very satisfying.

hermioneweasley Sun 30-Jun-13 21:40:56

I agree that it makes the speaker sound uneducated at best. Fortunately it's been years since I heard it - all the women I work with start sentences "as a feminist". grin

You see, I thought I was a feminist. And then I started reading more around the subject and browsing threads on here and I have realised that I definitely am not a feminist.

I believe in equal rights for all. But I am not a feminist. I don't fit any of the descriptions of different types of feminism, although some of my beliefs do, I cannot call myself a feminist.

I got told by a friend that she thought I wouldn't support her bottle-feeding because I was a feminist hmm I told her that, on the contrary, my feminism meant that I would go to the barricades to defend her right to choose what to do with her own body and her own life. She was very confused.

Feminists are ranty, scary, hairy, man-hating lesbians, every one. Not a panoply of women with their own views, sexuality, likes, dislikes and ideas. The patriarchy has certainly done it's job with the advertising.

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:43:49

StarfishEnterprise - can you explain and give some examples of why you aren't considered a feminist?

I consider myself a feminist in that I want equal rights for woman but would like to learn a lot more about the subject.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 21:44:07

I don't give a shiny shit what the MN definition of feminism is and I don't think its down to any one group of women to define it, or more particularly, to define my beliefs and give me the nod to join the party. I self-identify as a feminist and I dont need anyone else's approbation.

My personal definition is I believe in equal rights for all people, as simple as that. Where it gets a bit trickier on here is when people defend the sex industry and still call themselves feminists. I find that very hard.

I suggest liberal feminism, Star if you fancy a dip.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 21:45:52

YABU, because the word feminist means different things to different people.

I don't like the stereotypical image of a feminist that I know of, I don't identify with it, so I don't call myself one.

If we could agree that feminists can love all things pink and girly, can flutter their eyelashes to make men do them favours, and can be perfectly happy doing traditionally female jobs for their husbands who don't have a clue how to turn on the washing machine, then I will call myself a feminist. I can do all those things as well as appreciate my right to vote and have an education.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:50:38

well if men flutter their eyelashes at you to make you do something for them we'd have equality CloudsAndTrees. But one set of people are seen as decorative and one set of people have power and imo that's got to change

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:52:13

I do as well. What do they mean? that they don't care about poorer more vulnerable uneducated women? or that the fact that women still earn less than men is fine with them, that a postman or a bin man earns more than a child care worker or a cleaner? or, that they are relaxed about the fact that women are judged more on their looks than men are, that there is more pressure on women than on men to be thin, to be young, to be 'pleasing'. Or do they not worry about the fact that rape is a crime that goes unpunished pretty much. or do they mean that they're pretty, men like them and heaven forbid they lose men's approval! I seriously don't know what women can possibly mean when they say they're not feminists! Some thing like "i'm alright jack" confused

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:52:58

SinisterSal - Good answer, admittedly I wasn't sure where to start in reply to your post CloudsAndTrees!

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 21:53:27

I'm not a feminist. I don't think anyone should fight for equality to the detriment of another group of people. That's not equality, that's vying for dominance.

I had high hopes for liberal feminism TerryP when I realised I definitely wasn't radical. But then when I read around it and discovered that (and I think this is right), the central pillar of liberal feminism is around changing laws and the judicial system. It didn't seem as simple to me as that.

It also seemed to me that liberal feminism involved women becoming more like men and devaluing 'traditional' female roles (which then means men are less likely to want to do them too).

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:56:33

Souredstones - Can you explain what you mean? Who is vying for dominance and who is fighting for equality detrimental to?

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 21:58:08

See Clouds, that's one of the things that really makes me eye roll - who says feminists can't or shouldn't like pink and girly things? I don't know any feminists who would have an opinion on your preferences. It's completely up to you - your choice.

in general however feminists may have opinions about whether a pink 'princess' culture is good for girls. They would also probably have opinions about how boys feel about 'girly' things and how those things came to be defined as 'girly' in the first place. They would be concerned if societal expectations kept girls involved with 'girly' stuff like being in charge of compassion rather than being in charge of a boardroom. But I don't think the things you like are any of my business, really.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:58:59

Ah right, :-| clouds, I see, I am filing you under "I'm alright jack". bECAuse as part of a couple you're doing ok.

MarinaIvy Sun 30-Jun-13 21:59:40

YANBU.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:00:15

Souredstones, that's ridiculous. Did your husband tell you that?

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:13

I'm going to bed now but will be back tomorrow smile

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:13

Soured, I think that's pretty simplistic. I'm definitely not fighting for dominance. But I do believe in male privilege, and that for there to be true equality some privilege will have to be given up. And that act of reducing male privilege is seen as taking something away. Because it is. No-one wants to give stuff up, do they?

bumbleymummy Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:43

Another one agreeing with picnic.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:55

This seems like a good place to point out that one of the core achievements of classic second wave feminism (both radical and liberal elements) is the anti-domestic violence movement.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:59

That's what puts me off liberal feminism too Starfish. I am not a girly girl , but a womanly woman - think crafty jammy WI rather than girlband type of thirtysomething. I love all that housewifely stuff. Valuable skills imo.
It reminds me of the bit at the start of Sex In The City - Carrie says she is going to start having sex like a man, and this is hailed s an uber feminist moment. Oi, Carrie NOOOO! If she said 'I am going to continue to be true to myself and have the kind of traditionally female perspective on sex that feels right to me, and if men don't like it fuck em' That to me would be a feminst programme. But I'm not the Pope (Mope?) of feminism so ignore me.

(thanks Niccabilla smile)

SaucyJack Sun 30-Jun-13 22:02:20

YABU. A true feminist would respect any other woman's right to choose to identify herself however she deems appropriate.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:03:11

Well, everything I've read and seen about feminism is on a sliding scale from better workplace treatment through to the hardcore 'everything is a about the shitty patriarchal society we live in and all the worlds ills are to so with men, down with men'

No one is equal. By nature of our differences we are not equal to or better than men, we are women. We are different. Men are not better than or worse than or equal to women. They are men. We are people. Together we make more people. All the rest inbetween is filler. Yes fight off horrific injustices towards women such as those we see from the Middle East etc. but surely a lot of it is more a human rights issue than a feminist one?

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:03:49

I just don't like labels

As soon as you openly label yourself as anything, people tend to expect you to agree with everyone with the same label.

Even if those people are utter fools and you'd never want to be associated with them or their behaviour.

I believe in equality and fairness but I won't be giving myself labels that mean complete strangers think they know what I think and feel.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:04:06

I am a feminist but I find the way some self identified feminists argue and talk to others really off putting and I can understand why this puts some women off as also identifying as feminist.

For example, the only time I have felt threatened and bullied on this site in five years was by a self identified feminist who felt it appropriate to stalk me across other threads and call me a rape apologiser.

Interestingly, she also assumed I was a man which for me underscored how closed minded she was; she just couldn't accept that a woman could hold the views I did.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:04:09

My husband doesn't think for me. I am capable of independent free thought, I resent the implication that I'm a little meek sheepish kept woman, I'm far from that.

I also got totally put off feminism based on the argument I see here that it's alright to insinuate unsavoury behaviours are the domain of an entire gender because it's a 'class based analysis'.

That always just sounds like an excuse for saying something rude and unnecessary about men. It may not always be meant that way, but to outsiders of said 'class based analysis' it is often misunderstood and, I suspect, there are some feminists who like it that way. It's provocative, after all.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 22:05:15

Who said Sex and the City was a feminist programme in the first place though Sal? I mean, did you see the second movie? If that's feminism then we're all doomed.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 22:05:15

I just get sick of having Caitlin Moran quoted at me ...

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:05:59

Another mum said to me the other day in the school playground t'other day 'cor you're a real feminist aren't you?' I said "damn right I am.'

I believe I have converted 2 other school moms. So far.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:07:12

It's not a cause to convert people to though.

That Implies there is a fight to be had, a side will win, brings me back to the whole vying for dominance thing

Elquota Sun 30-Jun-13 22:07:26

YANBU.

Presumably anyone who isn't a feminist won't be taking advantage of everything feminists have enabled us to do, such as voting, moving towards equal pay, being allowed to get a degree, a choice of job, not being male property etc. hmm

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:08:34

do you understand that equality is not dominance??

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:08:54

Surely you agree with Better workplace treatment though Souredstones? (Not to sure about Down With Men, don't see much of that)

Spero so one feminist is a meanie? Feminists are only human, good bad or indifferent. It's annoying but shouldn't discredit the movement, which is about more than individuals.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 22:10:35

I did ok when I was single too Zynia.

Wilson, everything you said in your second paragraph is why I don't see myself as a feminist. I simply don't care about that stuff, and I feel that I should care about that stuff if I'm going to be a feminist.

That's why it all comes down to what you define a feminist as. I want equal rights, equal pay and all that, but is that enough to make me a feminist?

I don't think it does, because wanting those things just seems like normal common sense to me. But then other women like the OP seem to think I'm annoying simply because I don't have the same opinions as she does.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:10:40

But we aren't equal. We're not lesser, were not better and we are also not equal.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:11:11

I'm so behind - this thread is moving so fast.

Wilson I seem to remember LOADS of feminist talk about SATC when it started. Didn't see much of it at the start and definitely not at the end. But some people did.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:11:27

Better working conditions should be standard for everyone. Male or female.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 22:11:52

I am a feminist but I find the way some self identified feminists argue and talk to others really off putting and I can understand why this puts some women off as also identifying as feminist.

I do think sometimes that we hold femisim to higher standards, just because its a feaml thing. If you replace the word 'feminist' with 'woman' (or even 'man' in the above quote) you'll see what I mean. Ther will be some feminists I don't agree with. There will be some feminists who are rude, threatening, or just plain stupid. It's a broad church. It's unrealistic to expect every feminist in the world to agree with every other one, it's unrealistic to expect every feminist in the world to play nicely all the time.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 30-Jun-13 22:11:58

well all the women I know want to have their wages paid to themselves, decide who they marry or have a relationship with, who they vote for, to be able to earn as much as a man doing the same job, to have the right to divorce so all the women I know are feminists

But sadly I do know a few that would rather say they are not a feminist as being a feminist may mean others think you hate men

they tend to always fight for the menz too hmm

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:12:32

in my particular example it was because I told said mum that it was ridiculous that she worked FT (as an HR Manager) 40+ hrs p/w - her dh is a self employed builder - and all the housework falls to her. I said you're both equals, you both work FT (in fact she works more hours than him) so the housework/childcare should be 50-50. And don't take any crap.

And she said 'god you're a real feminist aren't you?' And I said Damn right I am.

Cos I do think that's ridiculous.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:11

Do you mean treated equal

Or do you mean the same? Souredstones

I believe we are not traeted equally

I believe the differences between us are massively overstated, mostly irrelevant until it comes to sex and reproduction, and massively exacerbated by upbringing.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:32

I'd argue that's a human rights thing though freudian because other groups fight for those issues too. It's not exclusively a female issue.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:42

but did you have CHILDREN then clouds?

The sacrifices of parenting affect single mothers far more. Is this something that just doesn't affect you as you are in a relationship? If it doesn't affect you and you don't care, then that's honest but it doesn't mean (surely) that you don't SEE that there are more vulnerable women than you. Single women with dependents. Immigrants. Low earners. Does the law protect these women satisfactorily? or is it just taken for granted that they earn less, bear the brunt of the sacrifices for parenting and aren't protected properly by the law.

Elquota Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:49

> I am a feminist but I find the way some self identified feminists argue and talk to others really off putting and I can understand why this puts some women off as also identifying as feminist.

Why? If you see some women arguing at the shops, does it put you off shopping and being a woman?

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:13:50

Not one feminist is a 'meanie'. Nice way to trivialise my point.

That was simply one example of the many bullying, condescending and irritating types who self identify as feminists on the internet.

I thought it highly significant that on a forum this large and given the length of time I have been involved that it was a feminist who was so disturbingly and persistantly unpleasant.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:14:34

There is a particular stance of argument from feminists which is aggressive and tedious; yes, it does put me off.

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:14:37

Souredstones do you believe in equality between people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity? Genuinely interested

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:14:58

Again we aren't all equal.

Everyone seems to complain they want to be treated as an individual and then on the other hand says they want to be treated equally. Which do you want because you can't have both.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:16:35

I believe no one is lesser than or greater than any other individual. But we are not equal because we are all different. We all deserve to be treated fairly and with dignity but also whilst acknowledging we are all different.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 30-Jun-13 22:16:35

I have posted this on other threads in the past:

thank a feminist

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:16:40

yes, it is around sex and reproduction that the issues present.

eg clouds at the moment employers probably have a logical reason to discriminate against women of childbearing age. Remove that reason by giving men more inducement to take paternity leave. make it culturally acceptable bit by bit until men can just announce that they're splitting the paternity leave fifty fifty with their wives. Is that dominance or equality souredstones????

Elquota Sun 30-Jun-13 22:17:16

> Everyone seems to complain they want to be treated as an individual and then on the other hand says they want to be treated equally. Which do you want because you can't have both.

Yes, you can have both. Equal opportunity isn't the same as equal outcomes. Give everyone equal chances and then they will show you what they can do as an individual. If you make assumptions from the start (you're only going to be given this task because you're female) then that's not individuality, it's lumping people together because of their gender.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 22:18:15

Clouds not everyone can engage with every thing - who has the time for a stqrt? Certainly in my 30's I was hustling and working and not really engaging in feminist opinions. That co-incided with my 10 years in banking mind you, so I guess i was fighting the good fight simply by turning up to work with a vagina grin

I am engaging much more with feminist theory now, but find its so much to do with how I want to parent that it's not difficult to 'live' it more.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:18:58

'Better working conditions should be standard for everyone. Male or female.'

But when one gang of people have specific concerns, requirements etc shouldn't they get together and campaign for them? Shouldn't the other gang get behind them and support them?

If it was wheelchair users for example. Would it be ok to say There should be better access for all. Or should you say The wheelchair users need x, y and z. Saying everything should be great for everyone is one thing. But identifying a problem, or a particular set of problems, and trying to remedy these specifically is another.

Sorry Souredstones I seem to be picking you up on everything but it's just we seem to be on a bit of a posting tag team

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:19:15

I don't hold women to higher standards because they are women.

I am capable of identifying and being annoyed by knuckleheaded male contributions to 'debate'.

What I find disturbing is when I have attempted to join discussions held by feminists. I get a very clear impression that if you don't 'toe the party line' you are dismissed in quite aggressive language, accused of all kinds of horrible things - even being a man.

I think the debates about feminism/transexaualism are illustrative of this point.

I like people who will argue reasonably and fairly, not simply attempt to shut down debate with squeals of 'you must be a man!'

And sorry, but this is how I have consistently found a lot of feminist debate to be.

I am not asking anyone to agree with me. This is my experience. It does make me wary of identifying as a feminist.

I'm always irritated when women say they aren't feminists. Especially when they are enjoying the freedoms that previous feminists got them (which is 9/10 the case). But I've learnt to live with it. Don't call yourself a feminist if you like. Chances are you're living like one. If it walks like a duck .....

Feminism isn't about getting more than men or dominating men. It's about not accepting poor treatment or limited choices because we're women.

We are equal to men. Men are equal to women. In fact differences between genders are greatly exaggerated. Just as differences between "races" are. (There's just one human race).

I'm yet to see someone bang on the door of number ten and hand back their right to vote because feminism isn't for them.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 22:19:52

Zynia, I was a single parent for four years, but what's that got to do with anything? confused at all your assumptions. I'm capable of thinking outside my own circumstances, thanks.

I can see that there are women more vulnerable than me, but then there are plenty of men in the world that are more vulnerable than me too.

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:21:34

I think you are confusing equality with uniformity, souredstones. There is a difference.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:23:02

Spero I didn't mean to trivialise, I meant to post fast because the thread is moving fast and was perhaps too flippant - apologies.

Zynia41 yes, it is around sex and reproduction that the issues present. Except it's not just that is it? It has nothing to do with pink/blue balloons being brought into the maternity ward, or more boys than girls doing Maths & Science at school with all the implications of that. Those are the things that society fosters, imo.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:24:30

So what, you were a single mother for four years and either 1) the financial sacrifices of parenting were equal and if so GOOD, that is as a result of previous feminists, or 2) you bore the brunt of the sacrifices for parenting, financial, hit to your career, your time, your freedom - and yet you thought, this is FINE confused

I don't think you have any coherent philosophy to explain why you are NOT a feminist. Liking pink doesn't mean that you can't be a feminist.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:24:46

SinisterSal - thanks, I don't think it is a trivial point. I think it explains why a lot of women don't want to say they are feminist.

I appreciate why there is anger and robust expression of certain points. But I resent being told that if I hold certain views I must be a man.

Technotropic Sun 30-Jun-13 22:25:03

Presumably anyone who isn't a feminist won't be taking advantage of everything feminists have enabled us to do, such as voting, moving towards equal pay, being allowed to get a degree, a choice of job, not being male property etc.

I see that comment made a lot and often wonder if black folks should all label themselves accordingly because of the struggles faced by blacks throughout history?

Personally I think people should be able to just not give a shit and get on with their lives without being made to feel 'honoured' or like they owe a lifelong debt to those who stood before them.

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:25:22

I've learnt a lot about feminism from Mumsnet and I now see inequality where I hadn't seen it before. I guess I just accepted things because they'd always been that way.

Now I'm much better at spotting (and arguing!) about these things in RL. My DH and my 3 sons also now see inequality where they wouldn't have done before...thanks to Mumsnet and I as the chair of governors at a very large primary school have often raised issues along those lines that again - nobody had identified as inequality.

So for that, I'll always be grateful.

But I've also been left open mouthed and shocked at times by the treatment of some female posters on here...by self proclaimed feminists.

Over the years I've seen people virtually bullied because they've chosen to remove their own pubic hair/shave their armpits. I've seen them jumped on from a great height because they choose to wear make-up every single day. I've seen their DP's called vile names because they're 'automatically in the wrong'...when women have done/said the same thing and been automatically in the right.

And as for the stupid immature word 'menz'. Well that's often used by women to insult other women who feminists disagree with.

It only takes a few bad apples to tip over a massive apple cart I'm afraid.

It's often those sort of people that women don't want to be identified with...and sadly declaring you're a feminist (or any other 'ist') my lead strangers to believe you're like them.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:26:44

You will not be surprised to know I agree with Worra

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:27:28

technotropic I think you'll find that African-Americans (and many Americans more generally) have a particular regard for people like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:27:35

Not confusing equality with uniformity at all

Better wheelchair access puts the wheelchair user into the same group as their peers though. If a fully able bodied person can get into a room but the wheelchair user can't then they aren't being treated fairly, level the playing field by putting the access in and fab, great stuff.

With workplace equality and feminism though the balance is tipping too far and I say this as a pregnant woman who has been a single working parent. It's now almost impossible to sack a poor employee, especially in the public sector where they take equality very very seriously.

You're talking to a person who doesn't agree with unions though.

I'll clarify this by saying, if a group shouts too loudly, stomps their feet too hard and demands too much they can end up waking away with nothing rather than the something they had at the beginning.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:27:57

I too have had my eyes opened by lots of thoughtful debate and new perspectives.

I have also been pissed off and angered by the dismissive, stupid and aggressive positions adopted by some.

They do the cause enormous harm.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:29:15

Cross posted with worra whose second half of her post more or less is a better way of saying what I wanted to in my last paragraph

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:32:09

'With workplace equality and feminism though the balance is tipping too far'

'You're talking to a person who doesn't agree with unions though.'

Riiiighttt.......

Maybe have a look at this, souredstones and start to educate yourself a bit

Technotropic Sun 30-Jun-13 22:32:10

skyler

Of course that's true but it is also possible to be black, not regard yourself as a black rights activist and simply live as an equal amongst white men/women. You can enjoy all the rights as white folks without someone reminding you about the work MLK did.

HairyLittleCarrot Sun 30-Jun-13 22:33:10

..."with workplace equality and feminism the balance is tipping too far..."

what with all these women disproportionately dominating the boardrooms, the government, these female captains of industry, the excessive wages in the hands of women.

yup.

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:33:26

How can EQUALITY tip the balance too far? Don't you see that that's paradoxical?

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:33:56

I'm educated enough to know how much of industry the unions ruined and how self serving they are.

But that's not for this thread grin

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:34:22

It's true Spero and I know a few bad apples shouldn't spoil the whole cart but they do. Especially in terms of not wanting to be identified with bullies.

Some women have been dictated to all their lives by men...and just when they start to see the light, they're often dictated to by hardcore feminists.

Just like the men in those women's lives, they think they know best and go all out to make them feel like utter shit for not making the same choices/holding the same views.

It's the same with breast feeders/formula feeders

You'll get some very knowledgeable, supportive people who help others and empathise with them.

Then you'll get the iron fist dictators that spoil it for the rest and make women feel like total shit.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:35:31

Hasn't it been proven that women who make it to the top of industry have a large number of male personality traits and raised testosterone levels compared with the normal female population

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:36:12

That's interesting worra, because I feel the same as you. MN has made me so aware of inequalities everywhere now, that the scales have fallen from my eyes and I see it everywhere now. I too wear make up every day. I have long hair, stay slim and wear nice clothes. I shave too- unashamedly - legs, armpits, bikini line, but I'm interested to read the threads that tell me (reasons why I may) do it. Sometimes, some self awareness is useful.

I don't see feminism as a dress code, or a style code I see it as a way to redress the imbalance.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:36:46

Skyler

It is tipping beyond equality though, especially maternity leave, it's running small businesses into the ground.

We can't have it all sadly

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:36:58

technotropic Of course not every African-American chooses to become a civil rights activist, but MLK day is widely marked within the Af-Am community and is an important moment for ALL Americans to remember the sacrifices and struggles of MLK and the broader civil rights movement. And that act of remembrance is a very good thing, in my opinion. It's a shame we don't have something similar.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:37:46

Rememberance of what though?

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:38:19

Ah sorry thought you were comparing MLK day to the feminist cause grin

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 22:38:54

Zynia, you have it with your no. 2.

I did think it was fine. In fact, I thought I was lucky that being female meant that it was fairly easy for me to work part time and have so much time with my children. I did feel like it was fine for my finances to take a hit along with my career so that I could concentrate on being a Mum.

My ex was/is the one that has to work full time and pay for what goes on in two homes, not me.

Feminism that took place before I was born has done me favours, I know that, but I am the same as anyone else who just lives their lives according to what's around them.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:39:31

But some feminists are not nice people. So are some environmentalists/nurses/trade unionists. But I don't hear that people don't identify with those causes because of the bad apples. Bad feminist apples do tend to be perceived to do more harm than bad environmental apples. Ok, that's a matter of perception, I may be wrong. But it is somethingthat a lot of people have noticed - it is a thing - I think that says something about standards.
Souredstones my wheelchair user analogy was to show that women couldn't & in many cases still can't do all that men can do in the workplace. Maternity being the obvious one. Statutory leave is our equivalent of an entry ramp, I suppose.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:41:19

You're so naïve. It doesn't work out so well for other women. It's alright jack syndrome. So long as your alright!

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:42:05

But can't you see that it has gone too far?

When I had my first I was only allowed 6 months off, now it's a year (not all stat but most of it) that's a year they have to pay me and employ and train a temp and pay all their benefits and rates too. Luckily I work for a very large corporation who can afford it, but what if I worked for a one man band type company that was barely keeping afloat. How is that fair on anyone?

Yes it's lovely to take all that time and come back to the job but that also needs to benefit the employer too, it's almost not.

It's not the concept of equality which is tipping the balance too far though, it's the 'equality' movement which is so focused on things like extending (already v generous) maternity leave and things like boardroom quotas which have the potential to do more harm than good if not handled properly.

The equality movement also by its very nature seems flawed to me because it's focused on equality for one gender, in becoming more like the other gender. It needs to go both ways. What about men who want to go against traditionally male social customs, say being home makers?

I just know there'll be a feminist somewhere reading my post and getting cross about me whining 'what about the menz'. Well yes, because women do not exist in a female only vacuum.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:43:16

Feminism that took place before I was born has done me favours, I know that, but I am the same as anyone else who just lives their lives according to what's around them. said Clouds

I totally agree with that. Most people do and indeed should live that way.
But my first post on this thread was to the effect that rights are hard won and sometimes hard maintained. Feminists do a lot of maintaining work (think abortion rights for one example) and tbh I would expect people to be vaguely pro feminist for that alone. Or at least not actively anti-feminist For what my expectations are worth, i feel I must say!

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:43:25

Not really zynia. I see that there are cultures that are at least 100years behind us on many human rights issues including the treatment of women. But they are that, human rights issues, not feminist ones.

Technotropic Sun 30-Jun-13 22:44:02

skyler

Of course but the comment made earlier was one sarcastically commenting on women who don't identify as feminists. Like they should be wearing the label because they now have the freedom to vote etc.

No woman should have to identify with feminism. Sure women can appreciate the freedoms gained but neither should they face criticism if they don't.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:44:09

Exactly starfish

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:44:33

Worra explained why the 'bad apples' matter so much in feminism.

If you are bullied and displaced by men, seen as lesser... then you get the same treatment from so called 'feminists'. That is why it is so signficant.

It really isn't the same as saying, o well there are unpleasant people in every kind of field.

It is the particular kind of bullying self righteous close mindedness which is so damaging.

thebody Sun 30-Jun-13 22:44:47

The law should exist to defend the rights of everyone.

As to how women choose to live their lives, up to them.

Anyone dictating to anyone else be it about politics, religion or parenting is as funny as its sad.

Fuck off is a single phrase.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:47:15

It's not gone too far - in Scandinavian countries, maternity leave is 2 yrs. We're nowhere near that.

All the statistics show that women still do the lionshare of the childcare and housework - even when they work equal hours to the menz.

The fact that 'women's work' is still is our lexicon (and it is - I hear it fairly regularly) show that feminism is still needed.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:47:22

starfish Most feminists I know want the Scandinavian model of parental leave - something like this from memory - split into 3 batches. First for mother to get over the physical ordeal, establish bfing if preferred, bonding, Second & third tranche to be split equally between parents. This promotes bonding with father and child, stops the employers of women being the ones to take all the 'risk' of employing babymaking age people, and promotes an equal division of home labour, without it passing by default to the woman.

It's not feminist to tell women how to live. That dictating IMO.

There isn't one female voice just as there isn't one male.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 30-Jun-13 22:49:49

but fighting for equality is not something men have had to do, men becaue they maybe xyz have had to and sadly still do (along with women) but it is not becaue they have a penis while women simply because they are a woman has not had the same rights and is still often not treated as an equal even in the uk in 2013

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 22:52:09

You're so naïve. It doesn't work out so well for other women.

It's not naive, it's seeing it differently.

I know that there are countless issues in the world that are harmful to women, but I see that there are countless issues that affect men as well. I'm with Souredstones on that, these things are human rights issues, not feminist ones.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:52:14

I just switch off when people become patronising whoever they are.

I also switch off when people talk about 'menz'

If mat/pat leave were split equally it would be great, give men the chance to be home makers. Some would thrive at it, but be honest, it's not really the place most men want to be. A lot are happy to be the breadwinner as many women are happy to stay home.

Women have driven themselves mad wanting to have it all and failing thinking they've let female kind down by not juggling it all.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:53:35

Gay men, black men, disabled men....all men who 'fight for equality'

Men face the same issues as women.

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:55:57

This thing about 'human rights issues' v 'feminist issues' is a false dichotomy, though, when you bear in mind that poverty and inequality disproportionately affects women. Across the world, at every level of society.

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:56:16

thebody sums it up perfectly for me.

And YY to 'the menz'

I'm sure it probably started out as an insult to men?

But now it's nearly always used by women to goad or insult other women's views, opinions and choices.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:57:12

Not all though souredstones there are some issues which just affect women, and some which affect mostly women, far more than men do (Not that men have none, of course they do) Everyone has the right to organise themselves and fight for issues which affect them. ergo, feminism. that's the difference between human rights and feminism, imo. I suppose feminism is a subset of human rights.

Messandmayhem Sun 30-Jun-13 22:57:13

This is moving too fast for me to keep up.

I think I'm a feminist. I don't think equality means being treat the same. For a person in a wheelchair to have equal access to a building they need new, different things in place. Ramps, wider doors, lifts, lower light switches and work surfaces. Equality means treating people differently, as individuals to allow equal opportunities. I want to vote, I want the right to work and be paid equally and I want men and women to be treated equally in terms of parenting. I want to live in a world where women aren't being killed by their partners and ex partners. I want to live in a world where rape is taken seriously. I want to be judged for who I am and not how I look. And I think that feminism is about those things.

I have made and still make choices that some feminists might think are anti feminist or whatever, BUT I don't think that prevents me from being a feminist. It just means that we all think about these things differently. And since feminism encourages free thinking and women making their own choices I think that feminists can hold drastically different views on things and still be feminists.

I haven't actually done much reading on feminism and feminist theory, I just think it makes bloody good sense.

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 22:57:58

souredstones between the contradictions in your posts and the 1950s attitudes, I don't know where to begin....

tangier Sun 30-Jun-13 22:58:13

God this thread is depressing. I cannot believe that in the 21st century there are so many woman who can't see the work still to be done.

As someone said upthread, how many female MPs, judges, CEOs are there?

Yes, we have made great progress in the last 30 years but, until we are truly equal with men, the feminist message needs to be heard.

not yet Freudian, but should they want to have more freedom to choose their path in life, men might want to campaign to make it ok for them to be homemakers, for example.

It's too late for me to be eloquent and coherent so I'm going to stop there and go to bed!

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:59:25

Find a point and start there rather than trying to find a way to insult me.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:01:16

I love it when my point is proved without me having to do anything

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:01:19

IMO all feminism asks for is the same rights as men - the right to equal status in society. The right to carry on at a job after having a baby, the right to be a parent and stay in the same job, the right not to be seen as a second class citizen, a sex object, someone who should just look pretty and be caring.

The right to be recognised as of equal intelligence and capability as a man - regardless of whether we have children or are of child-bearing age or not.

The right to be taken notice of, the same of as any man. It doesn't currently happen - every study on this shows that - contrary to women being known as 'chatty' - males do more of the speaking in debate/meeting type scenarios. Their word tends to carry more weight, they are more likely to be taken notice of. This is true in every place - from every workplace, through mainstream media up to government.

Beautifully illustrated by R4 'Today' programme having a recent debate on breast cancer and it's treatment - with 3 males and no females.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:01:30

Anyway my iPad is dying and I feel sick, I hope this thread is still here tomorrow night so I can read it through. It's been a great discussion.

Mindyourownbusiness Sun 30-Jun-13 23:02:39

YABU - quite an ironic question really from someone who by their own feminist definition is supposed to be a supporter of freedom of lifestyle choice, views etc. and freedom from oppression and dictation for women hmm .

FreudiansSlipper Sun 30-Jun-13 23:02:41

that is what I am saying it is because they are .... men and xyz women having to fight too

it is not simply because they have a penis

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:03:05

tangier I agree there is mountains of work to be done.

But I just wish the enlightened ones would spend more time getting on with that work, than slagging off other women who are not at the same knowledgeable or mental stage as them.

The expression 'slowly slowly catch monkey' springs to mind.

As has been said by many posters...some of us are just waking up and seeing what's been staring us in the face all our lives.

That's a good thing and should be encouraged...not spoilt by hardcore, impatient twats who want to rule those women's thoughts with an iron fist.

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 23:04:32

Male personality traits? Most men happier to be 'the breadwinner'?

Men face the same issues as women?

Very depressing.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:05:32

Yes - just the same. that's all. Even the right to be wrong or rude a bit bloody stupid without it counting against us all.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:05:52

Exactly. Calling me a 'rape apologist' when I said I would encourage my daughter NOT to go out and get so drunk she didn't know what she was doing does bugger all to help me change my obviously unhelpful and disgusting mind set.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:06:43

Well a lot are, a lot of people are very happy being part of a traditional family, what's so wrong with that?

Yes gay MEN, black MEN, disabled MEN all have equality fights, they're men who have similar issues to women.

Go figure.

Right I must go to bed.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:07:32

It is my experience that most - but not all - men do not want to be as involved with child care as most - but not all - women.

Being told that my views are 'depressing' or 'annoying' is, I am afraid, highly unlikely to make any dent in them. But will think that my detractor is a twat.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:07:37

Spero - what did you JUST SAY? If your daughter went out and was raped - would you question her on how much she had drunk??

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:08:30

Oh god yes

The bloody 'apologist' word springs up everywhere on some threads

But again, it's mainly used by those who are too lazy, pig headed or jaded to actually write a decent and informative post.

Just chuck the word 'apologist' in, include a hmm smiley and the job's a goodun for some people.

Sparklyboots Sun 30-Jun-13 23:09:31

In the case of mat leave, asking how it is fair to.give women a year off is just an example.of.How you can be blind to.structural inequality.

The resources - working hours, skills and material resources - that a parent puts into a child far outweigh the cost of a year or two year mat leave. And the returns for society as a whole are massive - parents produce the consumers and workers.of the future who will both drive the economy and support the state.in taxation and economic output. What is not fair is then expecting one individual to put in the lion's share of that input but for them to be disproportionately penalised in terms of their own financial standing and their future prospects, not to mention both their social.standing and agency in relation to those who chose or are unable to participate in child rearing. The current arrangements may not have solved so much as delegated those problems, but in the interests of equality it is not right to seek the reduction of support to working parents, rather one needs to create a model of business and state relationship that does not either allow the market to dictate prices that can't support equality in the society it is dependent on, nor a state which depends on the production of well adjusted and educated workers but does not fully support that production.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:09:41

Mindyourownbusiness How is starting a thread on the internet dictating, or oppressing? In the world? I think when it comes to these kind of Whither Feminism? discussions we get a bit caught up on the internet side of things rather than reality.
Saying stuff on the internet - good bad or indifferent - is not the same as being paid less than your male colleague for example or even giving a fiver to the local WA.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:10:08

Sigh.

Here we go again. To be clear. There is never an excuse for rape. Men who rape should be treated as serious criminals.

But it is very very disturbing to see that the prime idea of a good night out is young women who want to get so drunk they don't know where they are or what they are doing. They don't have anyone looking out for them. They don't value themselves or their own safety. I will teach my daughter NOT to do that.

Do feel free to now follow me over to other threads and call me an apolgiser for rape. This seems to be par for the course.

skylerwhite Sun 30-Jun-13 23:10:29

No, souredstones I'm afraid I disagree: while of course gay men (and women), black men (and women) and disabled men (and women) are all engaged in struggle for equal treatment, they all face different forms and manifestations of prejudice and disadvantage. Just as the structural inequalities weighted against women are distinct in and of themselves.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:11:16

Apologist is a sharp word that provokes bristles. It has it's place.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:12:10

It's not par for the course Spero It's not the norm. Though it happens

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:13:00

'Apologist' is lazy and insulting short hand for people who can't debate, who just have a drum and want to bang it as loud as they can.

All you do is make noise and be irritating.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:13:05

40% of rape victims are drunk.

Why would you consider this a particular risk? Unless you wanted to contribute to victim blaming?

MorrisZapp Sun 30-Jun-13 23:13:52

Feminism isn't about thinking that everything women do and say is beyond question or debate. You can be a feminist and disagree with things said by women.

There is no contradiction in finding non feminist women annoying.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:14:04

But it is very very disturbing to see that the prime idea of a good night out is young women who want to get so drunk they don't know where they are or what they are doing. They don't have anyone looking out for them. They don't value themselves or their own safety. I will teach my daughter NOT to do that. said spero

That is a good observation, worthy of a thread of it's own I think. Unless that makes me a hand wringing Youth of today Don't Know They're Born type

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:15:46

Victim blaming! I nearly have a full house on my feminist bingo card.

I do not wish to blame anyone. I simply think it is very very sad that a whole generation of young women seem to have such little sense of self worth that they wish to spend their evenings getting so drunk that they can't remember the next morning what they did the night before and who they did it with.

I think that is very sad. I hope my daughter will have more self esteem.

In what way does my sadness impart blame? Ah, in the world of feminist debate of course.

Again, I do enjoy my points being so well made by other people. Saves me quite a lot of effort.

LondonMan Sun 30-Jun-13 23:16:54

The patriarchy has certainly done it's job with the advertising

Yes, to ensure maximum effect, we fine-tune strategy regularly at our secret meetings.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 30-Jun-13 23:17:12

you are moving away from the argument as black women, disabled women and so on will face discrimination

But it is not about them having a vagina

all discrimination is wrong equality is a right everyone should have but men are not discriminated against because they have a penis women are because they are not men

Inertia Sun 30-Jun-13 23:18:15

I get annoyed with the people who denounce feminism, as if seeking fair treatment for both sexes is somehow seeking to elevate women to the level of wannabe goddesses whose only aim is to trample men and industry into the ground. I also get annoyed with the propagation of the idea that all feminists are the same, seeking to enforce some kind of party line.

If people (male or female) choose not to identify as feminists, then that's their choice - part of the freedom that feminism has brought is the autonomy that women have over their own lives in comparison to other periods of history (though obviously there are many parts of the world where this is not the case).

Courageous actions by women have brought us (in the UK) many rights which seem so obvious that we're in danger of taking those rights for granted- the right not to be the property of our fathers or husbands, the right not to be raped, the right to vote, the right to equal pay for equivalent work, the right to make our own reproductive health choices. (And similarly, as workers we take for granted many of the rights that the unions fought for e.g. maternity pay, health and safety legislation, paid holidays- these are currently in danger of being eroded).

And for those who genuinely do believe that feminism has gone too far and that women should not have these freedoms and rights- I guess you can make the choice to renounce your own entitlement to maternity pay, you can choose not to vote, you could hand over decisions about your health to the man you understand to have ownership of you. If you want to demonstrate your lack of belief in unions, you could insist on working through the year without holidays, and perhaps negotiate a clause in your contract giving your employer free rein to make you redundant without compensation, or sack you without justification.

There are many human rights issues to be addressed around the world. But the unavoidable fact is that in some places, women are subjected to abuse and refused rights because they are women. In some places, people of different races, or different religions, or no religion, suffer human rights abuses, and this also needs to be addressed. But the fact that some men are also victims doesn't mean that no women should have their human rights supported.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:19:01

You have a very low opinion of women. Not all women go out and get legless drunk all the time. Just like not all men go out and get drunk and look for fights all the time.

Women get raped in all situations - the advice not to get drunk is unrealistic. It can happen to you anytime.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:19:30

The familiar knot of irritation in my stomach and eerie sense of deja vu confirms to me why it was wise to avoid the feminist boards this past year, and why I will continue to do so.

I hope that goes some way to answering your question op.

So sorry to have 'annoyed' you.

ANJALI777 Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:02

I agree with Starfish. Although women's rights have com a long way due to the feminist movement, for which i am grateful for, I am more pro equality than feminist. I don't think women are better than men. I think women should have equal rights as men, but men should have equal rights as women i.e maternity leave, part time working for family reasons etc.

There's a fine line me thinks.

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:03

Only rapists rape.

If my DH or any of my 3 sons happened upon a passed out attractive female with her skirt around her waist, the only thing they would do would be to call an ambulance.

That's because they are not rapists.

However, since the world is not full of decent men or women, I would be angry at any child of mine who got so wasted in a public place, due to their over consumption of alcohol, that they put themselves in such a vulnerable position.

Not wishing your offspring (male or female) to drink until they are unconscious in a gutter and putting themselves in a vulnerable position, isn't being an 'apologist' for anything.

It's called living in the real world....a world that contains nasty people of all ages/sexes/etc.

AKA common sense.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:09

But why Spero? Why do they think sex for eg is so worthless when it isn't? Arguably more so for women. It's a discussion we need to have.

LondonMan <twirls hair> hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

inadreamworld Sun 30-Jun-13 23:20:13

Agree with picnic. They just mean they are not some masculine man hating extremist. I am not a feminist according to the usual descriptions of feminism so agree with Starfish on that one too!!

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 23:22:04

But before I go, I will ask you Sabrina to come take a tour of Britains' high streets around midnight on a Saturday night and ask if my sadness for a generation is misplaced.

I am not saying getting drunk means you will get raped, but by all means, continue to tell me this is what I am saying. This is a well known and successful tactic to engage with people who disagree with you.

I wish there was a sarcasm font, but hopefully you get what I am saying.

Better go to bed now before I get ever more drawn in to what I am sure will not be a productive exchange.

tangier Sun 30-Jun-13 23:22:58

But all we as feminists want is for women to have equal rights as men. That's it. It's that simple.

Why would any woman not want that? I know my mother doesn't so I accept to some degree it is a generational thing. It doesn't deny women the choice to be sahm etc.

Rape though is a different conversation. It does annoy me that the onus is on the woman to avoid being raped rather than on the man not to rape.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sun 30-Jun-13 23:23:53

There's a whole topic for this - I'm sure you'll find some answers over there.

That 40% figure isn't useful at all really.

What would be useful is comparative stats on young women who get drunk on a night out vs those who stay in control and associated figures on how many of each group end up in situations that could cause them harm and how many don't.

Until I see such figures I will be taking a similar line with my daughter as Spero

MorrisZapp Sun 30-Jun-13 23:27:37

I'm not supporter of binge Britain. Binge drinking is only palatable when it is me doing it, not the fake tanned plebs.

But just wondering, what does our present drinking culture have to do with gender or feminism? Do women have different livers or something?

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:28:35

Spero I have engaged with you. Now you are being rude and dismissive. What should I conclude? Tongue sort of in cheek

worra agree. Only rapists rape. Skirt/no skirt/tracksuit/drunk/going to mass/going to dogging site - none of it matters if you don't meet a rapist.

Nobody want their teen to go out and get so pissed they don't know what is going on. In these discussions though there is the undercurrent of in case she can't defend herself (at the variable miniscule window in which it may be possible) against rapists. Some people see this as expecting the woman to always defend herself against rapists, some see it as more akin to slightly turning the odds in your favour. Those are the wires that always seem to cross in these discussions

Technotropic Sun 30-Jun-13 23:29:14

tangier

The onus is always on the potential victim of any crime to minimise the risk of being a victim. I was at Tesco earlier and there was a sign in the car park telling me that car thieves operate in the car park. Strangely enough there wasn't a sign telling these thieves not to steal.

But ultimately I agree with Spero. It is not a good idea for anyone, male or female, to get so drunk that they are unable to take care of themselves. This isn't victim blaming. It's encouraging responsible behaviour.

Mindyourownbusiness Sun 30-Jun-13 23:29:37

I just find it ironic that someone who defines themselves as someone against oppression or dictatorship etc etc for a particular group of society then asks if it's unreasonable to get annoyed at other members of that group who don't define themselves in the same way.

That may not be oppression or dictatorship in itself but it is along the same lines of thought that lead to these two evils.

IMO of course.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:29:44

spero - I do know what you mean. Sadly I do. I have been (more than is probably good for me) a patron of drunken high streets at club chucking out time, than I should have. Prior to having dc that is... such is life.

I would no more advocate to my dd that she go out and get rat-arsed to that ectent than she go and become a lapdancer (it's not empowering). But I just think that it's so unebelivably ignorant to say getting very drunk will get you raped because... well because, so many women experience rape in other circumstances. When they're not even drunk. It's a red herring.

Upwards of 80% of women raped will know and trust their rapist. 60% will be stone cold sober. I just think the whole 'don't get drunk' thing
is just another way to dictate to women how they should behave.

Saidar Sun 30-Jun-13 23:29:49

"YABU. A true feminist would respect any other woman's right to choose to identify herself however she deems appropriate." THIS.

For me being a feminist means deciding what you want to do with your life, and doing it. Think about why you want to do it, and make sure it is what makes you happy, not what is expected because of your gender/class/other thing that is not important, and fighting your hardest to do it while supporting others in the choices they have made by challenging unfairness.

Probably embarrassingly simplistic, I've never discussed feminism with anyone other than my partner.

Men and women do process alcohol differently morris but that's another thread!

honeytea Sun 30-Jun-13 23:32:29

I am all for equality but I feel that in the UK at the moment men get a bad deal in the areas of life that really matter. I think the lack of paternity leave is a much more pressing issue than the pay gap between men and women. It also saddens me that in families where the parents are separated it is rare for the care tobe split 50/50 with the mother normally getting the greater share.

I live in Sweden and the parental leave is amazing, you are encouraged to split the time 50/50 and if you do that the government gives you a 1.5k bonus. The vast majority of women go back to work, I have never met a sahm ( childcare is hugely subsidised, child benefit that everyone is entitled to covers full time daycare) kids who's parents have split up spend equal time at each parent's house.

I was brought up by a feminist mum, I went to greenham common and was told war is caused by men, I wasn't allowed a Barbie, I only had one dress it was made of brown corduroy.

I have a baby boy and I feel there is more to fight for with rights for men than women at the moment. I am very grateful that we live in a country where he can grow his hair long and wear any colour he likes and be an involved father and have equal rights over his children which are surely so much more important than how much he gets paid. I would not consider moving back to the UK because I think it would be very hard to grow up o

honeytea Sun 30-Jun-13 23:33:08

.. ( stupid phone)

Male in the UK today.

needaholidaynow Sun 30-Jun-13 23:34:44

I have no idea at all what feminism is all about to be honest.

And yes I am a woman.

Saidar Sun 30-Jun-13 23:35:14

"I think the lack of paternity leave is a much more pressing issue than the pay gap between men and women."

The lack of paternity in some ways can be blamed for the paygap. No paternity means that a man will statistically take less time off than a woman if the two start a family. To an employer you could argue the man is therefore worth more.

Inertia Sun 30-Jun-13 23:36:02

Am I missing something here about paternity leave? I thought the rules had recently changed to allow fathers to take additional paternity leave so that the total leave could be split between both parents?

Saidar Sun 30-Jun-13 23:37:12

I'm not seeing it in practice at my workplace Inertia, a young man has started a family and he get's two weeks off paid. I'm in Scotland.

WhatICallAUsername Sun 30-Jun-13 23:37:15

This is what I think of when someone says they're "not a feminist":

areyouafeminist.com/

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:38:17

Well that's gender equality for ya honeytea. You may thank feminists for that

honeytea Sun 30-Jun-13 23:42:45

Lots of my friends are starting families at the moment and not one of the UK bassed dads are taking anything more than the 2 weeks paternity leave. I feel so sorry for them, a bond with your child is surely the most important thing in life, I think we should be fighting for better rights for fathers rather than concentrating on pay scales.

Devora Sun 30-Jun-13 23:43:34

I think women say they're not feminists primarily because they don't want anyone thinking they've caught the gay. Secondly, because they don't want men thinking they're dreary rad 80s hasbeens.

In other words, they don't want to be me grin

Sparklyboots Sun 30-Jun-13 23:46:06

Better paternity leave is a feminist goal; current workplace inequalities around parenthood are disproportionately experienced by women. To think that mat leave is about women's rights and paternity leave is about men's rights is to misunderstand feminism, which has a problem with PATRIARCHY and not with MEN.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 23:46:26

Which feminists are doing honeytea. Most think bonding with baby, child rearing, parenting is so important and should be shared between both parents. the rough and the smooth for both parents.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:47:19

Reasons to marry a feminist man: "hey, you're as entitled to an orgasm as I am..."

Technotropic Sun 30-Jun-13 23:54:04

This is a genuine question but I always wonder when I read that women only have feminists to thank for XYZ.

At any given time in history we are only able to deal with the cards we have been given. Thus we are not responsible for the inequalities before us but only for the here and now.

So when feminists fight toward something e.g. the vote, and the government agreed that it was the right thing to do, who should be thanked? The feminists for asking or the government for accepting it was the right thing to do? It seems to me that a lot of thanks goes to feminists but very little for those men in power that were strong enough to go against years of oppressing women to change things for the better.

The same goes for all other laws that have been introduced or attitudes that have changed over the years. Change doesn't happen in a vacuum. Change happens when people want to change and if men didn't generally want to move toward equality then it simply would not happen.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 30-Jun-13 23:59:02

Honeytea, I really do believe your attitude would change of you had a daughter. I'm sure you'll find that hard to believe, but it would.

Inertia Mon 01-Jul-13 00:02:27

But if the legislation is in place to allow men to use some of the leave allowance, then surely it becomes the choice of individual families how the leave is split, rather than it being a case of men having insufficient rights? I agree with Sparklyboots and Sinistersal's posts above- both parents should have the opportunity to play a significant parenting role. How is it the fault of feminism when men have the legally enforceable right to paternity leave but choose not to take it?

I don't have figures to hand, but I'd be willing to bet that the reason that the majority of families are not using their paternity leave is that the father is better paid, and it makes more financial sense for the mother to take a 'pay cut' in terms of going on to SMP. Which brings us back to the question of equal pay.

Sparklyboots Mon 01-Jul-13 00:04:08

Lols. Thanking someone for stopping oppressing you. No wonder the fems are so unpopular, they haven't been writing enough thank you notes.

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 00:10:52

Technotropic I think you might have an over-generous perception of the reasons change occurs - particularly in systems of oppression. It's not always because those wielding power suddenly wake up and think 'we've been so mistaken all these years!'; more often than not it's a minor concession in order to stave off greater demands and/or in order to profit politically or financially.

Although in fairness to Lloyd George he was a long-standing supporter of female suffrage as well as an incorrigible shaggier despite the suffragettes bombing his house before the war.

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 00:11:33

Shagger, not shaggier! grin But he did have a fine head of hair, the Welsh Wizard.

Mindyourownbusiness Mon 01-Jul-13 00:12:39

Techno there is a similar train of thought about people who don't or wont join the union in their workplace. Some think they shouldn't benefit from the pay rises and the better working conditions that the paying union members have fought for.
But some people, very low paid workers for example really genuinely cant afford the seven or eight pounds a month for the subs. Some just believe in their employment rights which they hold with or without union membership and genuinely think why should l join a special club and pay for the priviledge to get treated how employment law already says l am entitled to be treated anyway.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 00:27:26

Sparkly

Are you being deliberately obtuse?

If a man grows up in a society that he had no influence over and gets in a senior enough position to change society then what oppression are you talking about? Is he responsible for what happened prior to getting into office?

Do you think the Jews are deluded for holding Oscar Schindler in such high regard?

zzzzz Mon 01-Jul-13 00:35:16

I would never identify myself as a feminist. It isn't a label of any importance to me. In the same way as I wouldn't say "I'm a non-racist" or a "non-disablist".
Even if I could tick "yes" to everything on a "this is a feminist" list I don't think it would be something I flaunted. There are just so many more important things.

SinisterSal Mon 01-Jul-13 00:48:26

is it because it doesn't need saying such as of course you're not a racist?

Or what do you see as more important? Rights for 50% of people is pretty important, in my book! Nowhere in recorded history have we had real equality.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 00:53:13

Skyler

Maybe I'm being over generous, maybe not. Sadly none of us know exactly what has motivated change through history. However, the steady shift in the uk, toward equality of sorts, would suggest that people are morally capable of making their own minds up and making the necessary changes. If people generally didn't think something was a good idea then they wouldn't do it. I think most people understand that equality is a good idea.

zzzzz Mon 01-Jul-13 00:58:01

Lots of the things being described as "feminist" I wouldn't feel the need to highlight.

I would say OP was BU because she is annoyed that her burning passion is not shared by everyone. I also wonder why it is women not self identifying as feminist that irritates, not everyone?

I see lots of things as more important. I am relatively busy and feminism isn't something that I think about a lot.

sashh Mon 01-Jul-13 03:18:38

Hasn't it been proven that women who make it to the top of industry have a large number of male personality traits and raised testosterone levels compared with the normal female population

Nope - that's the patriarchy talking. That's the kind of thing that makes women believe they are not good enough to even apply for certain jobs let alone reach the top.

In fact I don't think there are 'male personality traits', we just assign certain traits to men.

Things like competition is thought of as being male, but did you see the Olympics?

What about competitive parenting?

On the thread about things people don't do there is mention of donkey stoning the front step, that again was competitive.

We are constantly having male superiority thrown at us. Men's football is on TV, women's isn't.

Wimbledon this year is all about Murry, when Robson is doing just as well and is in the same stage of the competition. Even when the BBC does report this, it puts Murray first.

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23118013

In fact have a look at the BBCSport site

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/

count the number of women compared to the number of men. We have to pay the same licence fee but we don't get to see women's sport.

SinisterSal

You mentioned the WI / housework and that you like that. How often do you see anything about that on the BBC, that you pay for?

Things that are seen as traditionally women's roles such as baking are only ever shown in a male context.

If the BBC started a 'How to make Jam with the WI' show tomorrow, I guarantee that there will be a male presenter.

Equality for me is white able bodied male should not be the default.

Well I hate the word, so i would say I am pro equal rights, not feminist. It sounds like all those negative words to me - racist, bigamist, activist, opportunist etc... All sound negative. I also dislike being labelled as though everyone who believes women are equal hold the same views on what that means. For me it is a lexical issue.

foreverondiet Mon 01-Jul-13 07:04:26

I think what people mean is that its not their battle. Yes they want equal rights but they'll let others fight for it.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 07:17:29

I really enjoy these threads, the diversity of thought in them is amazing.
I do identify as feminist and have done for decades, but often find myself at odds with much of the thinking and many of the stances displayed on the boards here.
Which is more important?
That a woman lives her life along broadly feminist lines, looking for equality for herself and others, pushing the boundaries of what is common practice if it is unfair and sexist, challenging assumptions as to what is a woman's role, image and place in society, building on the rights achieved so far?
Raising her children to have the same values, and to challenge inequality?
But saying 'I'm not a feminist'
Or a woman who proclaims herself a feminist yet uses the word as a way to be dismissive of others who don't hold the same ideals, calls other women rape apologists and insists that their thoughts are shaped by the patriarchy and thus not their own, who seem to set themselves up as the touchstone of what is true and then gets hurt and aggressive when others say 'I'm not a feminist because I'd have to be like you'

I struggle with women, is it the third wave or the fourth? who are choice feminists and think that pole-dancing, porn and being a WAG with added silicone and botox is a feminist stance.
But that's my personal problem, and my age and the values I have. They probably are feminists and I can't see it.
I look back all all the things we did and were part of in the 70s to gain the basics like the right to equal employment, the sex discrimination laws and the right not to be raped in marriage and I wonder what happened to the clarity.
The idea of feminism has evolved and morphed.
Now there are thousands of women I see living feminist lives with confidence and pride and raising their children with those attitudes who reject the label.
Why does it matter that they don't wish to define themselves? That they see a definition as restrictive?

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 07:52:53

Very good post eyes. You said what I wanted to say, without being rude.

Sorry for my rudeness, but this has riled me or a number of years.

Funny how when I say that it is a shame young people - men and women - have such little self worth that they repeatedly abandon their autonomy or drink, I am told that I am just 'trying to tell women how they should behave'...

But when I contribute to a thread on hiring sex workers for disabled people I am told that NO woman could ever genuinely consent to sex for money and now I am an apologist for sex trafficking.

It seems that some feminists cannot accept the broad church of female experience and they react with aggression if challenged.

I note Suzanne Moores recent refusal to use term 'sex worker' and how she prefers the term 'whore' instead. Nice. Yet I am the 'victim blamer'

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 08:00:48

Spero, your point about not wanting your daughter to get paralytic struck a chord with me.
DD is 22, DS is 18. I want neither of them to ever be so drunk that they are not in control of their own decisions, or able to attempt to protect themselves or call for help if attacked. I don't understand why that is an issue.

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 08:17:25

It must be because there is a fear that I am 'blaming' young women for getting raped when they get so drunk they can't protect themselves.

As I have said, the only 'blame' for rape lies with rapists. One thing I will give enormous credit to feminist campaigners is their insistence that the focus should be on telling men NOT to rape, not insisting women protect themselves.

But re drunkenness and rape, for me the risk of rape is not the most relevant consideration. I would like to know why anyone would think so little of themselves that they would repeatedly risk serious harm from abuse of alcohol. This is serious harm from impact of drink itself, risk of accidental injury, and yes risk of assault.

But the saddest case I recall recently was the young dental nurse who died of hypothermia outside her sisters house - to drunk to even put her coat on.

Yet when I raise these concerns I am told I am just 'telling women how they should behave'.

In what world is this kind of behaviour 'feminist' ? It is sad and bloody stupid and needs challenge.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 08:23:02

I have the advantage of having one of each and giving the same advice to both.

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 08:27:21

Statistically, isn't it young men who are at most risk of attack on a night out?

I think we need to be challenging this depressing nihilistic culture for all young people, but god knows how seeing as it is unlikely a lot of them will ever have much to aspire to, certainly not a home of their own.

And I think it is important for feminists to unpick why they will support certain kinds of destructive behaviour from women such as excessive reliance on drink, but adopt an aggressive paternalistic attitude against others, such as stripping or selling sex.

Is it just because the latter two are seen as directly benefitting men?

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 08:40:15

grin Dunno, I disapprove of all of it. Is that because I'm an old-school feminist or because I'm an old bat?

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 10:01:58

Probably old bat status. I think the older you get the more you appreciate your mortality and realise that using the Telecom Tower as a homing beacon to get across London due to extreme drunkness is not v sensible. Ahem. But at least I can lecture my daughter from position of authority.

Sadly, I think I will have to stop dithering and say I do not want to identify as a feminist. I watched from the sidelines in horror as the whole Suzanne Moore/intersection debate unfurled. I don't want to be identified with a movement that 'debates' in such an aggressive and destructive way.

I shall continue as a humanist. I don't like anyone being denied the opportunity to use their skills or live their life because of some one else's bigotry.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 10:14:02

I shall look out for you in the various debates and AIBU bunfights. [smile[
I think if you live a life that does as little harm as possible and tries to actively change things for the better, that you attempt to leave the world a little happier and better for your presence in it, the label is unimportant.

SoupDragon Mon 01-Jul-13 10:16:31

they don't want to be seen as being like exaggerated militant man-hating stereotype of what some people think a feminist must be like

This. Some people, a minority, make it a bad name. It's why I have the feminism boards on MN hidden.

Picturepuncture Mon 01-Jul-13 10:19:20

Spero fwiw I agree with nearly everything you've said on this thread.

I'm a feminist.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 10:22:25

Mindyourownbusiness Mon 01-Jul-13 00:12:39

That looks to be a fair analogy IMHO

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 10:24:06

I dislike the level of anger levelled at other women on many FWR boards, not a wide enough playing field for my taste.
But then I also get tangled up with accusations of my victim-blaming when I see it as taking responsibility for your choices as an adult.
Or when I think the need to protect children should be the priority in an abusive relationship.
But I don't hide the boards, because they make me think about why and what in more detail, and I like being challenged in my own head. If it gets too intense for me, I just leave the thread.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 10:32:16

Agree with Spero, Worra and Eyes.

It amuses me (only mildly, though) when these threads pop up. They're generally started by posters who mostly frequent the Feminist boards and then leapt on with delight by the rest of the posters from that same place. Maybe it's too quiet there?

I dislike the word 'feminist'; it has many, many negative connotations and deservedly so. The moderate voices get drowned out, which is a great shame as the moderate voices are really what I think the 'masses' would actually listen to. It was a moderate voice who made me stop and think about many issues. Had a plague of activists bellowed those words at me, I would have stuck my fingers in my ears.

Why not live and let live and let women attach labels to themselves - or NOT - if they so choose? They have that individual right. To get worked up when a woman chooses not to affix a badge of your choosing just means that you will need to keep getting your blood pressure checked.

I see no benefit in trying to provoke posters by starting these threads if all you're going to do is berate them for not 'toeing the party line'. You're doing a great disservice really, in my view.

... oh, and if life really isn't the end, I will be sure to thank Emily Davison for her part in making life better for women. She actually did what many others are still, figuratively, taking credit for...

Mintberry Mon 01-Jul-13 11:11:39

I think that the issue is with third wave (post eighties) feminism, which gets a bad press for (arguably) going too far. For example, I have seen women being made to feel guilty for preferring to be a SAHM and being reliant on their male partner, even though child care is something they care passionately about and entirely their choice. There are also the images of bra burning, and growing out body hair, which, though it is stereotypical, also gives feminism a bad name and makes some women feel it denies them their femininity.

However I doubt these women mean they wish that first and second wave feminism never happened, as it brought them the rights to vote, have an education, etc. They just mean that they don't identify with what feminism has gone on to be.

So, when women say they 'are not feminist, but...', it seems to me they mean they are not third wave feminist.

I remember in a feminism class at university we all had to read a 20 or so page article about how offensive it was that men dared to hold the door open for women in restaurants. hmm Meanwhile, there are women in the world being married off to old men at the age of 11, but oh no, white middle class women are having the doors held open for them in restaurants, that must take priority. It's no surprise women are put off.

Isn't it a bit like racism though?

If you hold racist views, you a racist, regardless of whether you self identify as one. In fact, I would think most racists would say they aren't. It doesn't matter if they don't want to associate themselves with other racists who they think are too mean or who have treated them badly.

So if you believe that women should be treated equally and should be afforded equal status and rights, then you are a feminist, regardless? You can admit it or not admit it. You're still a feminist.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 11:32:03

Thought-provoking post for me, Mintberry. It strikes a chord with me. The 'outlandish' activism might make sense to third wave feminists but none at all to those of us who don't identify with that.

I'm deeply saddened and angry by the fact that there are young girls married off to older men in the world, that's a very good point - yet too much focus is still on small niggles in the western world of door-opening. It definitely puts me off.

I'd like a term for somebody who hates labels. I really hate them. That's what I am, then, 'an opinionated and active non-descript' and happy to be so.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 01-Jul-13 11:42:47

I think women should have the right to be what they want. And that includes being a dependent home maker if they so desire. Does that make me feminist? Or not feminist?

Remotecontrolduck Mon 01-Jul-13 11:51:35

My stance is pretty much the same as eyes. Of course I'm a 'feminist', I support equality, who wouldn't?

However, I have a major issue with some of the more 'radical feminists' and don't really venture onto the feminism boards here, or indeed feel comfortable labelling myself as anything. There are a vocal minority which I feel stretch things and actually are pretty insulting and belitting to women. Want to stay at home? you're a failure. Someone says they like make up or heels, 'nah you can't possibly, you're a victim of the patriarchy'.

I would personally be more comfortable with a feminism that celebrates all types of women, not just ones that fit in with the narrow definition the more radical feminists believe in.

Remotecontrolduck Mon 01-Jul-13 11:53:58

Also Mingberry's point, I just get tired with every.little.thing being some kind of feminist struggle. A man opening a door is just a nice thing to do, there really are bigger fish to fry out there.

Remotecontrolduck Mon 01-Jul-13 11:54:19

Er MINT not Ming!! Sorry!!

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 11:54:32

For me it would be about the level of respect and the balance within the relationship, Saggy.
I have several friends in relationships that are strictly divided along gender lines, because it works very well for them. But they raised all 4 of their children without that becoming a problem, she taught both their sons to cook, and one excels at it whereas the other can keep himself alive.
Likewise, the oldest DD is in a very different sort of relationship to her parents' and no one has a problem with it.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 11:55:50

'A man opening a door is just a nice thing to do'

Both my men open doors for people regardless of gender. As do DD and I.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 11:57:02

Anyone else waiting for someone to come along and tell us we've all got it wrong? grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 01-Jul-13 12:01:38

I do that too, Eyes, it's mannerly smile

<waits for the descent of harpies at the flagrant inclusion of yet another word with 'man' in it... [shock}>

Idly ponders whether to get up a posse to get it changed to 'menz-erly'... <decides not to> grin

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 12:04:05

I suppose it's that I pick my battles carefully and always have, there are some truly foul things that get my feminist hackles up and are worth the rage IMO.
And others that are not.
But if everything is a 10 on the outrage scale, I overload.

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:04:56

A man opening a door is a tiny problem in comparison to all the other serious problems women have in the world. But I still would rather a man acted in kindness towards me because of me, not simply because I'm a woman. I open the doors for anyone, because it's just general kindness, not because I think the other sex need it more. For the same reason, I pay half on dates.

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:06:07

I meant to expand on the last sentence but decided not to, so I know it sounds a bit stuck-on now, sorry!

SoupDragon Mon 01-Jul-13 12:07:52

Isn't the door thing a red herring? People should hold doors open for other people out of politeness.

Remotecontrolduck Mon 01-Jul-13 12:08:27

I also open doors to anyone, regardless of gender.

I wish being a SAHM had more respect, by both men and some women. It's absolutely a worthwhile, valuable occupation.

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:10:15

Agree that people should just hold doors open regardless of gender. But some (possibly older) men do it because they were taught they should do it for women in particular.

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 12:13:03

Being a SAHM should be given more respect, it's one of the most worthwhile jobs there is. I think the reason it's not is that it used to be solely the woman's domain, whilst the men went out and did the big 'proper' jobs to bring in the money. Women couldn't possibly have coped with such difficult 'proper' jobs, and thus there were a lot of very bored housewives with little stimulation.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 01-Jul-13 12:38:58

But isn't women being the home makers, and being the weaker sex a hang over from the days when being the male meant defending the family, hunting, doing back breaking physical labour and possibly hand to hand combat? It's the order of nature. Males defend and provide, females raise young? The reason we have breast and men are stronger?
Obviously nowadays, due to the way we live, things are changed beyond recognition, and there are no clearly defined roles, but its only recently that the lines have become blurred? It's only really since the development of formula milk that women have been freed from the home?

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 12:49:10

The majority of millworkers were women, doing extremely long shifts.
Coalmining and steel required a lot of physical strength, so were male-dominated.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 12:53:54

many poor working class women didn't stay at home to look after children they had to go to work (not a clue how they fed their babies though) but they still went out to feed their families, and keep a roof over their head, please nobody take this the wrong way but being a SAHM was for the middle and upper classes ,

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 12:55:53

most women of my grandmothers generation went out to work at 14 got married had babies and still worked,

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:20:05

But do you think the men took any more responsibility for the children, even if mother had to work? I think they were still thought of as mother's responsibility overall.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 13:32:23

oh goodness me no the men didnt do anything I don't think I know my grandad died in her late 40s so my nan had to go full time and look after children

Biscuitsareme Mon 01-Jul-13 13:34:19

SaggyOldClothCathPuss: throughout history, all over the world, women and men have had to do hard labour in order to feed themselves and their families. Working the fields is hard work, and has historically predominantly been a woman's job. Same with animal husbandry. Running a house, while raising children, is hard work. All of these things require physical strength, and the first two require working away from the home.

Problems arise when we see positions that bring wealth, power and decision-making as a logical progression from the 'hunting/hard labour' 'away from the home' that men with 'military strength' historically engaged in, and justify the lack of female representation in those areas accordingly.

Much more significant in Western history was the exclusion of women from education, from the church hierarchy (i.e. they could become nuns but not bishops, archbishops, popes), and from public office. And general lawlessness outside the home.

The 'prehistoric' hunter/gathering & childrearing model has been used to justify gender inequality. If that mode of thought works for you, fine. I just hope you realise that to use it as a basis for male and female roles is a bit suspect.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 14:06:31

It astonishes me how many women consider themselves 'feminist' without a seconds thought. There is a very dark side to feminism and although I hold many beliefs that might be considered 'feminist', there is absolutely no chance that I would ever label myself as one. I consider feminism akin to a cult, and anyone who dug around enough would understand exactly why I think this.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 14:15:07

Cor, really? A cult?
I've always seen it as a spectrum, from deepest magenta to pale rosewhite, rather like a tree, and different people are at different places. Some are firmly stuck on branches and aren't moving. Some are travelling, but not all in the same direction.

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:29:14

Feminism is a cult?! That's a new one... I don't think 'many women' do consider themselves feminists without a second thought. There is a dark side to everything, and some people take everything to an extreme. Eg someone being a Christian. I'm sure there are 'dark sides' in that there are some cults and sects that define themselves as "Christian" but have very extreme views, but that doesn't mean nobody else should define themselves as one.

Could you expand on what you mean?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 14:50:35

OK. I think one of the most concerning threads on a forum I ever came across was one where a woman had been sectioned and was talking to a feminist. The sectioned woman was obviously confused and in distress. The feminist was insisting that this woman ignored what her mental health team were telling her and to speak to a feminist counsellor instead, just in case the mental health team messed with her mind.

Suggestions that only feminist counsellors/lawyers are used in case they are indoctrinated further by non - feminist professionals. It's all a bit Scientology to me, smacks of 'auditing'.

Telling women that they are never responsible for their own actions, that 'patriarchy' controls everything.

Patriarchy theory/propaganda itself.

The 'women as victims' mantra.

The 'If you're not with us, you're against us' mentality. Not allowed to 'talk about teh menz'.

Shaming tactics.

Etc...

And the 'look what suffragettes did for you' riposte is growing tiresome. No-one says anything about WWI/II soldiers giving women/men the freedom that we take for granted.

internationallove985 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:51:21

No Y.N.B.U for having an opinion but neither am I when I say I'm not a feminist. I don't really get on with fellow women to be honest. I much prefer the company of men. I find the opporsite sex much easier to talk to. I always have done. I mean I am civil them (women) because I have to be, but I feel as though they are always sizing me up.
I hope my post does not offens anyone but this is a public forum after all and opinions thoughts and expereinces will differ. xxx

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Jul-13 14:51:30

I don't think it's a cult but I do get the impression that a minority of posters on here are somewhat brainwashed.

It's often quite clear in their posts on various subjects, that they are completely against men and will always take the side of the woman, even without asking any questions. The ones I'm thinking of, will often overuse the words 'patriarchal society'.

A minority but none the less I do get the impression they've been brainwashed.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 14:52:59

See, in my world you are talking about one deep pink branch of the tree called feminism.
You get extremists and enthusiasts in every area of debate.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:00:21

a cult wow really confused I do think some women will side with only other women and sometimes demonize men and they are actually a rare side of feminisim but a cult hmm

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:01:38

international you sound insecure about yourself perhaps that is why you just get on with men

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 15:03:52

Feminism is a cult? There are weirdos everywhere. The fact that there are extremist feminists is not an indictment of the movement.

I consider myself to be a feminist. Not a modern feminist.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 15:07:44

Wow. I frequent the FWR boards and feel very at home there. I have been a SAHM and wear makeup. I even shave my legs when I can be arsed

I can do these things while being aware that society seems structured to benefit and value white, able bodied men and further, that this might shape the way we all judge and choose.

I would not dream of telling others how they should live, but I am guilty of a slight hmm when people say that their choices are totally independent of culture and have no historical context.

Without wanting to get into a big epistemological debate, I wonder how people can be so, so sure that their choices aren't influenced by our culture, which I believe to be broadly patriarchal.

Am I missing something? Or perhaps I am a brainwashed harpie confused

Be gentle, I have a chest infection and am typing slowly on an iPad that keeps autocorrecting in a way I don't like grin

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 15:13:37

(Nods head) I too wear makeup and have been a SAHM.

I hate the idea that feminists look a certain way.

That being said, I am saddened when I see young girls dress in a provocative way under the pretense of sexual freedom. I don't think this is what my grandmother fought for. Everyone's got their own offshoot of feminism, I suppose.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 15:21:12

You see, I think that when young girls dress in a provocative way under the pretense of sexual freedom, this is in fact one consequence of a <whispers> patriarchal society. I do not think it is empowering, though it might make them feel great and they choose to participate freely.

But I don't want to rant at them or try and take away their choices, I would like the underlying structure to be challenged, so that young women felt empowered by doing things rather than by conforming to a particular way of dressing or a particular role (e.g. being nurturing).

I actually find AIBU much more scary than FWR <braces self>

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 15:22:35

The feminist counsellor thing is ridiculous. There are many bizarre/extreme people in the world. Some of them are feminists. That does not mean feminism = ridiculous. Feminisms are individuals.

PromQueen I don't get it when people somehow think that they are untouched by culture and that it is just their completely objective choice. For example, I'm about to go out in a shortish skirt, and I shaved my legs. Why do I shave? Because the idea has developed that women that have hairy [insert legs, armits] are disgusting, dirty, unclean... It isn't a massive coincidence that society has developed this view recently AND that lots of people on this forum now shave. Sadly, though I hate admitting it myself, it's societal pressure making you shave, not just "you".

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:24:06

I dont want to see young girls aspiring to be something they are not and some of the clothes they choose to wear has me gobsmacked but again It is their choice to dress that way ( am i contradicting myself)

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 15:26:36

mrsjay could you clarify what you mean by 'something they are not'? I'm not sure I understand what you mean...

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 15:26:55

A lot of ex-feminists have described feminism as a cult. I guess they know better than me.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:27:43

I meant the clothes and Tan of people from T V TOWIE KARDASHIANS etc i just dont like it,

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 15:29:32

Got it, thanks

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 15:30:13

A lot of ex-feminists have described feminism as a cult.

Like who?

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:30:31

you know sometimes things sound better in my head than actually typed out blush

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 15:30:47

I lay a lot of problems at Kim Kardashian's feet.

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 15:37:15

I just had a laser beam fired repeatedly at my vagina today for the purposes of hair removal, so I suppose I'm not that much of a feminist, am I?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 15:39:10
mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:42:55

does that hurt crowler sorry to derail the whole thing with trivia

Sigmunde you have just summed up in your 14:50 post a good number of my own reasons for not subscribing to feminism.

All the talk of 'but be thankful for the suffragettes' is notable but women being granted the vote came at a time of great political reform which also included granting voting rights to disenfranchised troops etc.

Asquith was all poised to grant women the vote back in 1912 but was afraid so many new voters might vote against him. It was largely women's contribution to the war effort that helped seal the deal in the end. Not feminism, per se.

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 15:52:06

Crowler I honestly don't know - I wax and shave and it makes me feel very unfeminist as I know it's a cultural thing that women feel they have to do. But I think a lot of modern feminists wear make-up/shave etc. Bit of a minefield!

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 15:53:32

StarfishEnterprise

Agree. People should also not forget that most men did not have the right to vote (not just those that fought in the war) and only gained rights to vote at about the same time as women. History has a way of making out that men had been voting since the dawn of time but this is not the case. Only the privileged few were able to vote.

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:54:07

I was told I kid you not i was letting down the sisterhood because i dyed my hair the comment appeared on a light hearted thread last year i was bemused

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 15:55:09

Agree. People should also not forget that most men did not have the right to vote (not just those that fought in the war) and only gained rights to vote at about the same time as women. History has a way of making out that men had been voting since the dawn of time but this is not the case. Only the privileged few were able to vote.

^^ that, poor people including men were not allowed to vote

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 15:56:00

Starfish and just why do you think Asquith was poise to grant women the vote in 1912? Surely you must know that there had been an extensive women's suffrage campaign underway for quite some time, and distinct from the other campaigns to widen the franchise. He didn't just think of it out of the blue, and to divorce that policy from the extensive campaigning and activism that had been ongoing for years beforehand is simply ahistorical.

And Sigmunde are you being mischievous when you say that there isn't much talk about being grateful to soldiers of WW1 & WW2 for the liberties they preserved for us all? Remembrance Day, for a start (although I'm not sure which liberties the soldiers in WW1 preserved for us all, hence the widespread perception of a pointless war and a wasted generation etc).

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 15:59:48

Technotropic you're wrong, I'm afraid. Approximately 60% of the adult male population (over 21) had the right to vote prior to the Representation of the People Act in 1918. And 0% of women. After 1918, only women over the age of 30 could vote, and even then they had to meet some property requirements. All property restrictions were abolished for men in 1918.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 16:05:38

No, not at all. Of course, there is remembrance day, but day to day, I do not hear it mentioned. I am not constantly told that these men died for me as a way to make me shut up.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 16:11:47

Skyler

In early-19th-century Britain very few people had the right to vote. A survey conducted in 1780 revealed that the electorate in England and Wales consisted of just 214,000 people - less than 3% of the total population of approximately 8 million. In Scotland the electorate was even smaller: in 1831 a mere 4,500 men, out of a population of more than 2.6 million people, were entitled to vote in parliamentary elections. Large industrial cities like Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester did not have a single MP between them, whereas 'rotten boroughs' such as Dunwich in Suffolk (which had a population of 32 in 1831) were still sending two MPs to Westminster. The British electoral system was unrepresentative and outdated.

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/citizenship/struggle_democracy/getting_vote.htm

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 16:12:52

And your point is?

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 16:13:03

Reading the op again, it occurs to me that we haven't really discussed the point the op raised: why do some people think that being a feminist is something dirty, to be ashamed of?

So far on here, those who do not wish to identify as feminists have said that's because they've found some feminists to mock their choices or bully them for things they've said, to say things they don't like or agree with or that they want to go "too far " and dominate men. Is that a fair summary?

But I'd observe that the same could not the same be said of people wi opposing views on whatever side of any debate. First thought of an example was abortion rights, but that's feminism vs. not feminism, isn't it? Maybe you'd say not... Uh, maybe another example is left / right politics? Robust debate, but less vitriol than gets thrown at feminists. Or maybe not <watches argument sail out of window>

So, I've not heard many people say "I believe in small government, low taxes and working hard to support yourself, but I'm not a conservative (said with great horror)

Um, anyway, I'll leave that to stand in the interests of debate and perhaps learning something from the replies...

Yet there does seem to be a special sort of disdain reserved for feminists that feels (to me anyway, who always strives for politeness and respect despite being fairly rad leaning) to be a bit unjustified.

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 16:18:39

Mrsjay, it doesn't! And it works. And, it was extremely cheap thanks to Groupon.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 16:19:19

And your point is?

Have you just forgotten the last few posts? I thought it was quite aparrent but I guess not.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 16:20:38

'I lay a lot of problems at Kim Kardashian's feet.'

I lost interest when I realised she wasn't a Cardassian.
I agree that everyone is a product of their culture and history, both personal and that of their country.
One of the interesting things that happened in the late 60s and early 70s with the availability of contraception is that many young men saw that as fantastic, and an obstacle removed. So they pressurised women for sex under the guise of freedom and empowerment.

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 16:22:21

No technotropic, my point was that while 40% of men were still disenfranchised prior to December 1918, 100% of women were. If the 19th century saw an expansion in the franchise, the fact remains that women were at the very bottom of the heap in terms of electoral rights, and even then had to meet property qualifications which had been abolished for men.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 16:38:23

Skyler

I don't know where that 40% you've quoted comes from (reference required perhaps?) but the thing is, the vast majority of men had never enjoyed voting rights until things started to slowly change in the mid 1800's. So you are at best looking at a 50 year period where men enjoyed slightly more rights than women. Given governments in the UK did not start until the 1700's then this 50 year period is almost insignificant; especially given that the masses had no rights whatsoever when the monarchy ruled the land.

So is the basis of women's sufferage merely about a 50 year span when women weren't allowed to vote and almost half of men weren't either?

mrsjay Mon 01-Jul-13 16:52:02

Mrsjay, it doesn't! And it works. And, it was extremely cheap thanks to Groupon.

I was thinking about it for the bikini line well i say line it creeps to my knees sigh

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 16:54:42

I love the way these two conversations about women's suffrage and the benefits of laser hair removal are entwined on this thread about how horrid and pointless feminism is. Delightfully ironic!

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 16:57:53

It's from Ross McKibbin's PARTIES AND PEOPLE 1914-1951 technotropic.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 01-Jul-13 16:59:41

Have not read the whole thread. But what does being a feminist mean. If it means wearing bovver boots, dungharees a spikey hair cut and growing forests under your arms with and bra-less boobs dangling round your knees, then no I am most definitely not one.

bumbleymummy Mon 01-Jul-13 17:01:54

I agree with Spero and Worra as well.

Sad to see the whole 'apologist' thing trotted out again.

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 17:03:08

amother can I ask why you think that is what being a feminist means? Do you know many feminists like that?

redrubyshoes Mon 01-Jul-13 17:15:20

My late and darling Dad worked for 35 years in a factory and the work eventually killed him. He once went on strike for seven weeks when I was 8 years old without pay because men were dying/being killed through industrial accidents every other week.

I remember that year because my brother and I got gifts from a second hand shop for Christmas. He fought for hard hats, safety mats, steel toe caps etc. and my brother and I understood totally.

If you 'aren't a feminist' then think back to the women who fought for:

1) Maternity pay.
2) Your husband cannot beat or rape you and get away with it.
3) If you father a child then pay for it (still a lost hope).
4) The right to vote
5) Own property
6) Have a bank account
7) Take out a mortgage
8) Terminate an unwanted pregnancy
9) Leave/divorce your husband

etc
etc
etc

If you 'aren't a feminist' then recant on your rights to the above that were so bravely fought for.

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 17:22:34

Rubyredshoes- nicely put.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 17:23:31

Feminists seem to take a lot of credit for things (such as the above list). Was feminism really responsible for all of it? Evidence?

I don't very often thank Alexander Fleming whenever I need penicillin, and without anti-B's we'd all be in a very sorry, possibly dead, state. Just doesn't seem necessary to be grateful for every last mortal thing I take for granted. So why do I have to be in a perpetual state of thankfulness to feminists?

Crowler Mon 01-Jul-13 17:24:04

amothersplaceisinthewrong, we've been toiling away to define feminism, thank god you came in to clear it up.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 17:25:54

Amothersplace oh no! I'm doing it all completely wrong sad <hands in Feminist ID badge>

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 17:27:51

I don't think perpetual gratitude is needed sigmund but then, neither is perpetual disdain for those that presume to see things in a way that is different to your worldview smile

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 17:29:39

'I don't think perpetual gratitude is needed sigmund but then, neither is perpetual disdain for those that presume to see things in a way that is different to your worldview'

If it isn't needed, then why am I asked for it. The perpetual disdain works both ways, believe me smile

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:31:01

well rubyred some of the things that got achieved led to new problems that society is suffering from.

not achievement brings only positive changes. so although I benefit from a lot of things that feminists achieved, some of those things have backfired spectacularly.
so no, I don't want to call myself a feminist.
the same way as being brought up in communist Hungary benefited me in a lot of ways - but I don't call myself a communist either.

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:31:42

*no achievement
not *not

twatphone

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 17:34:30

I think historical awareness is always a good thing. Recognition of the struggles of previous generations to secure rights that enrich and enable our lives today is a good thing. Recognition, not gratitude.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 17:37:25

I used to think that women who wanted things like votes and to be allowed to own property could not be anything other than feminists till someone wise over at FWR pointed out that it was perfectly possible to be glad for those things and at the same time feel that no more needed to be done. If that is your belief, I respect that.

I would like it if you would respect my right to disagree, but hey smile

For me, I quote from a lovely t-shirt I just found while searching for a picture of a feminist that would illustrate the bovver boot stereotype: I will be a post-feminist in a post-patriarchy.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 17:41:08

What's wrong with gratitude? I am grateful to the suffragettes and to those that fought for things like the equal pay act. I'm grateful to today's campaigners who fight for things like an end to violence against women, for women to be represented on bank notes and for Facebook to act against the vile abuse against women and girls that is posted every day (to name but three I've seen this year).

Do you dislike gratitude because it implies obligation?

redrubyshoes Mon 01-Jul-13 18:05:19

AmazingMumofsix

One of closest friends was brought up in Communist Hungary and she is a verdant feminist. She goes back three times a year and sees the abuse that women are subjected to (and allowed to be subjected to by men) there is NO help there for women or children being abused.

Her niece works in an orphanage where there are sixty babies to one 'nurse' to care for them and the majority of those babies are girls that have been dumped there. No one wants to adopt them.

They are basically, fed, changed and put back in the cot until the next feed, change or tied up if they are old enough to try and walk but many of them do not get past the walking part as the mental damage has been done by then.

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 18:06:52

rubyred I believe you.

I

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 18:11:42

Redruby, of course I recognise what those men and women fought for - as I enjoy my mortgage as a single mother, I thank them every day.

But I am sure they would understand why I don't wish to indentify with many who call themselves feminists today.

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 18:18:57

I have no problem with gratitude promqueen, but I think sigmunde does, as hu keeps going on about it. I was just trying to present the recognition/gratitude thing in a way hu might find more palatable smile

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 18:24:11

Spero I remember one of your threads about disabled people and sex workers and I do think you were treated badly there.

I am angry too, about the way women are still treated like second class citizens, the sex class (as someone, I forget who, said). I am angry that despite being an intelligent and educated women, many, many men assume I won't understand things and talk down to me.

But because on here we are not debating with the representatives of this culture (unless trolled by MRAs) we end up lining up on opposite sides and the anger is channeled at each other.

I think this is a shame and a waste of energy.

Talking about young women and drinking in the context of personal safety is a minefield, but I do not think you were saying (not on this thread, didn't see the other) that intoxicated women are responsible or partly responsible for their attacks. For some people, this topic cuts close to the bone, and there is so, so much victim blaming out there that it's a difficult topic to discuss without emotions running high.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 18:25:19

* badly by a minority there

Dunno where that edit went.

redrubyshoes Mon 01-Jul-13 18:28:40

Spero

I could never understand either when I worked in an auctioneers when grandchildren flogged off their grandfather's war medals for a few quid.

He went to hell and back to earn them. We didn't. We just enjoy the benefits of their sacrifice. I understand many of them didn't have a choice either way.

Women FOUGHT for their rights against an aghast and misunderstanding world.

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 18:33:34

Promqueen, that is interesting, I didn't feel badly treated but I was getting very irritated by the knee jerk response from some that it was simply impossible for any woman to consent to selling sex and that anyone who said it was, was effectively supporting the traffick and forced prostitution of young girls.

Of course I accept that exploitation and abuse is a huge problem in the sex trade. But I just cannot accept that NO prostitue ever has been able to make an informed choice about her trade. Also, I found there was a horrible whiff on that thread that disabled men were just disgusting exploiters. I do wonder what the response would have been if I said I was a disabled gay woman who wanted to pay for sex with another woman?

I was to asking for people to agree with me or defer to me as a disabled person, but the lack of any compassion for the disabled, coupled with the arrogant disdain of some posters who claimed to speak for all women over all time, just further compounded my unease with whole business.

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 18:34:47

Redruby - maybe they were desperate for money? How can you judge unless you know? I wouldn't hold on to a medal if my daughter was hungry.

redrubyshoes Mon 01-Jul-13 18:47:22

Spero

Not one of the people who flogged off their grandpa's medals 'needed' the money. You do not have a flash car and a big house if you did.

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 19:01:35

Ok, then they are sad twats. Not sure what this has to do with the argument however.

Of course we should honour those who suffered and died for us - almost exclusively young men when it comes to war.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 19:19:11

Sometimes it makes me sad that feminists are held to such high standards. We must be polite and friendly at all times. We must never judge anyone's choices, even if we suspect those choices contribute to a culture that oppresses us and our dds. We must worry about more serious problems before we can think about and tackle the issues that are important to us. We must be careful about the words we choose, to qualify them and always be ready to agree that there are no absolutes and that some men have terrible problems to face too. We must not imply that we think someone else's analysis of a situation is flawed because they arent clever enough. And we must be polite. And friendly. At all times.

And yet there is such injustice that it screams out to me every day! I wonder, how do you not see this the way I see it? It does make me angry, sometimes I think what people have said is stupid, blind. Woe betide me if I express this belief though, because look, see, I've proven your point: all feminists are crazy, brainwashed, judgements harpies who only care about picking apart and criticising other women's feminism.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 19:19:45

Wow, that was wonderfully cathartic grin

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 19:21:36

*judgemental

The typo spoils my post vent euphoria, but only a bit

flippinada Mon 01-Jul-13 19:36:20

PromQueen I hear you, good post.

This has been a very interesting thread to read and is a perennial MN favourite.

I'm avowedly a feminist and don't mind saying so. If anyone doesn't identify as a feminist that's fine, it's a shame but the world won't end will it.

Now, I'm a white, well educated middle class woman in a first world country so pretty much sorted when it comes to privilege; not that it's a guarantee of anything but I'm better off than many. But a hell of a lot of women don't have my privilege and get a really shit deal from life but then so do some high status women. Look at Nigella Lawson - case in point.

To be honest I understand why people turn away from it because once you see and know things you can't unsee them or not know them.

Badvoc Mon 01-Jul-13 19:42:01

I think people confuse feminism with consumerism.
Eg: they want it all.
No. We just want to be treated equally.

redrubyshoes Mon 01-Jul-13 19:53:49

Spero

Sorry to not come to the point I was trying to make re: war. Like a true feminist I am running around doing several things at once! (irony - I love it)

Where in the country is a cenotaph with the names of women who gave their lives for their country? I know of one or two. One or two out of thousands of cenotaphs.

Nickabilla Mon 01-Jul-13 19:59:30

Wow, just logged in and it's taken me a while to read through the thread, some amazing posts & opinions on here.

Spero Mon 01-Jul-13 20:00:31

I don't hold anyone to such high standards! Be angry, be brusque, even be rude. But don't have one size fits all responses about victim blaming or being an apologist or any of that old crap.

And for the love of all that's holy, don't assume I am a man just because I don't agree with you.

That's all I ask. It's not so much is it?

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 20:13:23

My rant wasn't directed at you Spero. It just sort of bubbled forth.

My observation is simply that lots of the objections to feminism raised in this thread seemed to me to be about style and tone of posters in FWR rather than the actual thrust of feminism, which is that women should be equal to men.

May I ask, are you more concerned about young women becoming vulnerable by excessive drinking then young men? Because if you are more concerned about this, I would wonder why so, given that young men are more likely to be assaulted on the street.

If you are truely equally concerned about young people's drinking and the consequences for their health and personal safety, I'd consider saying that, rather than saying that you'd not want your dd to put herself in that position. The latter rather invites misinterpretation. You may not care about that distinction now, I realise!

If you would be more worried about a young woman in that situation, then respectfully I'd suggest that you'd been conditioned by our culture that regards women as having a duty to protect themselves from sexual assault, rather than men to not assault. Note my emphasis on our culture, not on an assumption about your overt opinion on the matter.

wordfactory Mon 01-Jul-13 20:18:00

Why do people over complicate things?

Being a feminist just means that you think men and women are equal and should be treated equally.

How any woman has an issue with that, I simply don't undertstand.

word in principle I agree. If that was all the term feminist meant then I'd find it easier to still define myself as one.

The reason I don't is because of what I now know about feminism as a movement and what I have read about the varying different schools of thought, e.g. liberal/radical etc. I just don't subscribe to their fundamentals or (from what I've seen on here) the way they conduct themselves in relation to men, and women who don't share their views.

I don't want to label myself a feminist when so many feminists I have encountered make my blood boil.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 20:28:40

The aims if feminism are simple. The process by which they might be realised...

Not so much grin

wordfactory Mon 01-Jul-13 20:31:48

starfish you can say that about any ideology.

There are people fighting racism who make my blood boil. But I don't stop describing myself as against racism.

Methodology will always differ, but it's the fundemental idea that matters!

wordfactory Mon 01-Jul-13 20:32:46

Prom yes indeed.

But the fundemenatl principle remains sound. And so I'm proud to stand by it.

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:34:56

I agree with starfish

building women up by bringing down men is just as bad as bringing women down to build up men.

which is what feminism seems to be doing nowadays.
no thank you.

wordfactory Mon 01-Jul-13 20:37:56

How are men being brought down?

I hear you word, it's more than the individuals, it's also the so called 'basic tenets of feminism' and, of course, all the 'whataboutehmenz' guff that I just don't want anything to do with.

wordfactory Mon 01-Jul-13 20:41:53

The reality is star most feminists have sons, husbands/lovers, brothers, fathers.

We love them dearly.

We don't want to take priority over them.

But some shit just has to stop.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 20:45:04

Why do people over complicate things?

Being a feminist just means that you think men and women are equal and should be treated equally.

How any woman has an issue with that, I simply don't undertstand.

You tell me why feminists have to over complicate things lol.

It always makes me chuckle when people say, "but it simply means you believe in equality". It's like one of those con jobs where people take the bait then end up thinking WTF have I gotten myself into!

Start talking about patriarchal structures and all that jazz and people start to switch off. Is this perhaps why the 'Feminist Theory' section in FWR is so bare wink

PromQueen has it spot on when she says, 'not so much grin'

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 21:04:27

But the problem is, the reasons why there is inequality in society are complex. Wishing the answers were simple and user friendly won't make 'em so. blaming feminists for discussing their complexity makes no sense, in my view.

And in what way do you think feminists seek to bring down men? I am not asking in an aggressive 'show me some evidence' sort of a way. I would genuinely like to understand why you think this.

exoticfruits Mon 01-Jul-13 21:17:04

I thought I was a feminist until I started reading MN. I am put off feminist threads because only one view is accepted and I have even been told not to post! To me feminism is about choice, but I am told it is not- you have to make the 'right' choice. The thing that annoys me above all else is that if I take an opposing view it is because I don't know any differently or because I haven't been 'educated'- it is never accepted that I have had the same information and made a different interpretation or choice. It is all very patronising.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 21:19:24

It depends on your POV PromQueen

I can go about my business treating everyone with the utmost respect and not imposing on anybody. It's really not that difficult to treat different races, abilities or sexes as equals. It just requires a little bit of thoughtfulness and consideration. You need not philosophise about social constructs and structures and I can imagine that this is not what the majority of the public want to do either. It is very thought provoking but not everyone wants to take the time grappling with philosophical ideologies just to treat someone as an equal.

There are many notable feminist academics who are supremely intelligent. Sadly not all of us are gifted with the same level of intellect so reading even two lines of a feminist abstract would tie many of us in knots (same goes for any abstract come to think of it). Thus some of it is a bit 'intellectualist' if that's a word lol. Make it comprehensible for the base person and you might have something smile

I've encountered the 'let's bring down the men' mentality among feminist groups, and almost religious following of Andrea Dworkin who I have seen quoted as saying this:

"I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.”

exoticfruits Mon 01-Jul-13 21:20:19

Equalist probably sums me up.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 21:28:41

Men are 'brought down' in a whole host of ways. Family courts, destruction of industries, feminisation of the school systems, masculinity being treated as a disease that needs to be cured, lack of DV resources (about 3 safe houses for men, about 4000 places for women), less funding in health care, more dangerous jobs, society's general attitude towards men...that they don't need help and can cope, despite the high suicide rates amongst men, higher homelessness, when a boy is seduced by an older woman the comments are usually 'lucky him, bet he loved it' etc etc etc....

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 21:29:48

Far more likely to be violently attacked or killed on the street.

This blog post makes quite interesting reading Why I am not a Feminist

I haven't read around the blog and have no idea who the author is, but it seems relevant in the context of this thread so I thought I'd post a link.

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 21:35:18

But Sigmunde none of these things - all of which concern me as a wife and parent of a boy - NONE of these very real issues are down to feminism. I would say most of them are down to capitalism but as I'm just starting to learn a little bit about feminism in the context of capitalism, I won't go further than that ATM.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 21:37:48

Recent feminist quotes:

'My own personal vision is that women will cure the sickness that ails men and that men will stay around, hunkered in their man-caves playing the ukelele, leaving us in peace at last. As to what that cure may be, my best bet is that what’s wrong with men is that their androgens need genetic modification.
I’m serious about this. If we can do it with corn, men ought to be easy.'

“Sexism” is a word that I’ve never used. I use male supremacy, female-hating, and maleness. Male rule.

'Male supremacy isn’t a feeling, it’s a fact: the slaughter of Female Being in all her manifestations. The destruction of the Daughter. Male parasitism. Females have powerful words that we can use. Not that the usage of words will get us anywhere until males are reduced to 20% of the “human” population. Then we can simply enjoy the usage of words at our leisure.'

'Females don’t have to kill baby boys. Just not nurture them. Females are forced to birth baby boys, but beyond that a female’s physical actions are her own.

Males will die without the constant infusion of female energy that they get from our wombs and from our lives. They are perfectly welcome to take the male infants from the hands of the midwife, and what they do with it from that point is their decision.

Females need to not be emotionally and intellectually invested in a male future.'

I think feminists need to accept that whilst some are completely about equality, people like me are reading stuff like this. And I know that some feminists on here think that the women who wrote this stuff are OK, and have valid points.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 21:39:40

This is the stuff that's horrifying, but it's just totally glossed over like the people who wrote this are irrelevant, but they're not. They're lawyer's and author's and childcare workers!

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:40:59

if I provoked a woman and got punched in the face she'd be charged for assault.
same between to men.
but if a man punched a woman it would become a feminist issue on top of the assult.

why?
if men and women are to be equal then punching each other should be too.
but it isn't, is it?

You'll never see a man and a woman opposite each other in a boxing ring either.

I will teach my sons to never hit a woman.
or a man. ( unless it's to defend themselves or others, I guess)

also women abuse men, children and each other too
verbally, emotionally, mentally.
just as wrong as a man doing it, but will they be called sexist pigs? I don't think so.

so yes, most of the things I have come across are about "let's make men weaker" as opposed to "let's make women stronger".

not good enough

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:43:47

and I agree with Sigmund very good posts

aurynne Mon 01-Jul-13 21:47:36

Feminism can be defined as a social movement, or an ideology. The fact that most women share some/most of its ideals does not turn every woman into a feminist. In order to be part of an ideology or movement, involvement, allegiance and personal time is expected to be spent at that ideology or movement.

I personally share lots of the feminist ideals. I also share lots of the animal rights ideals (but not all). I even share some of the Christian ideals, even though I am not a Christian (in fact, I am an atheist).

But sharing those ideals does not turn me into a feminist, an animal rights activist or a Christian. I simply do not belong to those movements.

So no, I am not a feminist. And if this statement makes anyone annoyed, that is their problem. In fact, I find it hilarious that a self-identified feminist would get annoyed at other woman identifying herself as she wishes to.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 21:48:35

'NONE of these very real issues are down to feminism'

The family court system is absolutely down to feminism, ditto the DV situation, ditto the feminisation of the school system, ditto societies views towards men. Feminists have pushed their narrative into the public consciousness for a long time now. It's not a good time to be male, that's for sure. Unless you have lots of money, in which case nothing ever really applies to you, regardless of sex.

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 21:50:05

I think that the people that call themselves "feminists" are at odds with the women who dont want the label.
"feminists" cant decided about make up
other women can.

"feminists" - or a large number of them, think most women are as physically strong as most men
I dont think other women do.

"feminists" are not afraid to be militant.
Other women dont want to be associated with that.

and the list goes on.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 21:51:11

Curse my iPad for I will type slowly and want to try and engage with these points properly. I will do my best...

Family courts. Would there be a greater likelihood of 50/50 custody if men did 50/50 childcare? Became SAHP? Worked part-time. Currently, they do not tend to. I think that this is a cultural thing that makes some choices more or less attractive depending on ones gender. Feminists aren't responsible for this, in fact most i know would like it to change.

Industry. Are feminists responsible for its decline? Hadn't heard that theory.

Feminization of school. Well, there are more female teachers, so it has become lower paid lower status. How feminised though and from when? What would a masculinised school system be like?

Masculinity. I'd say that the violence aspect of it could stand to be reduced some, no? I'm not a fan.

DV resources for me . If they are needed, they should be provided. Currently, my understanding is that there are a greater quantity of female victims, so they'd need more places. Also, historically, it has been a woman's issue so woman's groups have campaigned for it. This is likely to have led to a female bias in places.

Healthcare funding. Don't know about this. Perhaps you could elaborate?

Dangerous jobs. Women are excluded from such jobs? Sometimes by law, sometimes by the harassment and bullying them experience as, say the lone female armed response offices. Mostly by a culture that says such jobs are for tough strong guys not silly feeble girls. Feminists would like to see that gone.

Society's attitude to them. They are leaders, they are strong and clever, can make their own decisions and should be given power and respect. This leads to pressure, so perhaps if men would share, say, half the too jobs and positions of power, fewer would suffer these problems?

Homelessness, yes, a problem. How is this the fault of feminists though?

Seduced. If girl is seduced by older man, he couldn't help himself, she tempted him. What did she think she was wearing, anyway? Going out dressed like that, what did she expect, etc.

So, there are responses to most of those issues. There are more I could say about women's suffering. But, I think that most of these problems are due to patriarchal culture, which is what I would like to challenge. Not men themselves, because I think that while some men benefit, most could see their lives improved by its absence.

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:51:52

aurynne your last sentence made me grin

I also love the speeches about "me not being tolerant" by people who preach tolerance, yet unable to be tolerant towards me.

Eyesunderarock Mon 01-Jul-13 21:56:23

'To be honest I understand why people turn away from it because once you see and know things you can't unsee them or not know them'

Very admirable, flipinada.
Do you also understand why some of us become impatient or bored with the apparent pettiness of some of the squabbles that take place between first world feminists when there are indeed such appalling daily events happening all over the world?

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:57:09

re dangerous or underpaid jobs - I have never seen or heard of a woman being or wanting to be a miner or a bin-man.

I will reconsider being a feminist the day there's equal jobshare in these occupations.

flippinada Mon 01-Jul-13 21:57:21

I'm interested in the idea of how women and men being equal makes men weaker?

I thinks it's commonly thought equality means being exactly the same as, which isn't true. There's a really good picture which explains it really well, will see if I can find it.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:00:51

Ok so my slow typing has seen the thread move on.

trigger warning*

Sigmund I could find some equally unpleasant things said about women by men. Images they made of women beaten, abused, with bloody faces and black eyes. Lying at the bottom of flights of stairs in a broken heap with the caption "next time don't get pregnant". What would that prove? That some people have abhorrent views? How would we decide who had won our contest? By e quantity of examples we would find? By how violent they were?

I bet you're quite offended to have these lobbed at you as evidence of how "men" behave. But I'm not saying that, I'm saying some very nasty men made those images. Again, what does that prove, any more than the examples you found proves what feminists think?

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:04:18

I don't know anyone who wants to be a miner or a bin person smile. Aren't those jobs people who have fairly limited choices do?

That's one quote from someone unnamed you've found to prove what? That women aren't going to nuture their boys? It's just not true. That is not a message that's ever reached me in my near constant reading of feminist literature.

Actual real girl babies, however, are being aborted in their millions.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:06:15

PromQueen - I don't see patriarchy, I see matriarchy if anything, society is geared up to protect and cosset women. I know I have a good chance of having custody of my boys should DH and I split. I know I could shag some bloke, break DH's heart and then keep the kids and fleece DH financially for the privilege. I'm pretty confident that if I was attacked in a public place, decent men would come to my defence.

I don't have the expectation that I need to be the main bread earner, I can go part-time and no-one will bat an eyelid. The fact that I prioritize family over work is totally accepted. I can chill, nobody cares. If I don't work at all, that's OK. If I was a youngster again, I can expect to do well in school and be one of the majority of women who go on to uni..I know that if I dislike a flirty comment made to me at work, I can complain and will be taken seriously. I know I can take time off from work if I have a baby, up to a year if I like. I'm onto a good gig, no?

kim147 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:08:49

I think bin men are quite well paid if you believe the media. And people will always need bins emptying.

As for being a miner, I think it's a skilled job as well.

Are these jobs "male" only?

exoticfruits Mon 01-Jul-13 22:09:07

I have always thought it better to be a woman, Sigmund- I worked that out aged about 5yrs and brought up with brothers- it was far easier for me for many of the things you list.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:09:39

Well sigmund we really do see the world in a different way. What sort of changes do you feel are necessary to dismantle the matriarchy and liberate men? How would equality be different from the sort of thing that I would like to see?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:10:32

'I bet you're quite offended to have these lobbed at you as evidence of how "men" behave. But I'm not saying that, I'm saying some very nasty men made those images. Again, what does that prove, any more than the examples you found proves what feminists think?'

Of course those images are offensive, but that's the whole point, I find them offensive as well as finding the feminist quotations offensive. Feminists will defend those horrible quotations, try to explain it away. It's not the same. I KNOW that some men do evil things, I would never say 'Oh well, they didn't mean it'!

kim147 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:12:33

"I don't have the expectation that I need to be the main bread earner, I can go part-time and no-one will bat an eyelid. The fact that I prioritize family over work is totally accepted. I can chill, nobody cares. If I don't work at all, that's OK. If I was a youngster again, I can expect to do well in school and be one of the majority of women who go on to uni..I know that if I dislike a flirty comment made to me at work, I can complain and will be taken seriously. I know I can take time off from work if I have a baby, up to a year if I like. I'm onto a good gig, no?"

And a lot of this is what is needed to change to make society a much better and fairer place so men don't have these expectations and have as much choice as women - which is a part of what feminism is about. Making society a place where men can work part time / not have the expectation of being the bread earner.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:13:04

'Actual real girl babies, however, are being aborted in their millions'.

Actual real babies of both sexes are aborted in their many millions, a staggering amount, over the years in the West. Your point? It's worse if you know the sex? really? China will pay the price for it's stupidity anyway.

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 22:16:12

There are extreme views every where, especially in these days of the Internet search. But telling me, a feminist, that other feminists expect me to 'not nurture' my boy - I'm sorry, you are the first person to have expressed that view to me Sigmund.

Promqueen addressed your other points eloquently so I won't repeat, apart from to say it is sexist to assume that as a woman you are best placed to look after your children. But that sexism doesn't come from feminism. It comes from patriarchal expectations and the amount of involvement men have in childcare.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 22:18:55

I know I can take time off from work if I have a baby, up to a year if I like.

Only because of hard-won anti-discrimination legislation. Women fought for your maternity rights.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:19:41

'Well sigmund we really do see the world in a different way. What sort of changes do you feel are necessary to dismantle the matriarchy and liberate men? How would equality be different from the sort of thing that I would like to see?'

What would you like to see? Then I'll tell you how to dismantle the matriarchy.

kim147 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:20:14

A lot of your points about the expectations of what men are supposed to do - such as be the breadwinner, work hard and to prioritise work over family are at the heart of many issues on here - where women have the "luxury" of not having to worry about such things because no one bats an eyelid if they don't do this.

Maybe the world would be better if both parents could have the option of working part time (and maybe an expectation / support from employers and society that that's ok), and an ability to prioritise family over work - again with tacit approval that it's a normal and accepted thing to do in society.

But society has its expectations and norms. I hope this will change.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:21:06

'Women fought for your maternity rights.'

I didn't say I agreed with it! But a lot of women do.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:21:48

I do not agree with those quotes, taken at face value. Of course not. I have a ds and a DH and a df who I love. I have good male friends, too.

I would make two points, which I hope you won't seize upon as evidence of my evil. My points are:

1) sometimes, things can be satire. Deliberately provocative so as to make people stop and think, such as when genders are reversed in texts and people are horrified. Your examples don't sound like this, but we don't know for sure because you provide no context.

2) as far as I know, no feminists have killed, maimed or neglected boy babies because of their principles. Yet the images in my examples were of women who had been abused by men.

Finally, being part time and prioritising family isn't "chilling" in my experience. It's damn hard work, unpaid and unvalued. If we lived in a matriarchy, as you suggest, would women's work be so distained?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:22:36

'But telling me, a feminist, that other feminists expect me to 'not nurture' my boy - I'm sorry, you are the first person to have expressed that view to me Sigmund'

It's not my view, it's the view of a contributor from the now defunct RadfemHub.

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 22:26:43

A more generally accepted feminist principle is that the patriarchy hurts boys and men too. Why should my son work full time and never see his kids.* Why should the mother of said kids be the primary carer? Etc etc. feminism is good for everyone, IMO.

*he is only 7, I am projecting...

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 22:28:39

Do you not agree with maternity rights sigmund?

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:29:14

What would I like to see?

An end to the culture of violence against women. An end to violence against anyone actually.

Equal access to education, contraception and safe abortion, globally.

Women in 50% of powerful positions, owning half the wealth, globally.

Women and men taking parental leave equally and both feeling that if they wanted to be SAHP, they could.

Women no longer being the sex class.

That do for starters?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:29:55

PromQueen - the context for the comments are that they were responses to an article posted on Radfemhub. There are screen-grabs that I can locate, but not tonight as I'm knackered now. It is my belief, and I may be wrong (I don't think so though, knowing about who some of the commentators are), that it is not satirical. They were just a few of many, many responses on the blog.

I don't think looking after your children is disdained. In fact, a lot of people are critical of working mother's.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 22:30:22

That'll do for starters, promqueen.

kim147 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:31:37

sigmunde I hate to do this - I really am.

But you don't use apostrophes for plurals.

Back to the thread. Sorry.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:32:11

'Why should my son work full time and never see his kids'

But what if that's what he wants? And he's made to share 50-50? Who's that good for?

I'm pretty confident that if I was attacked in a public place, decent men would come to my defence.

You can find examples of how utterly misplaced this confidence is almost every day in the news. Women are frequently attacked on public transport and no-one lifts a finger to help them.

I don't have the expectation that I need to be the main bread earner.

But what happens if your husband changes his expectations of who should be the main bread winner? And regardless of your expectations, if your husband chose to abandon you and refused to support you and your children you would have no choice but to be the main breadwinner, unless you live on benefits. It's terrifyingly easy for men to completely avoid paying any child maintenance by claiming self employed status and not declaring any profit for tax purposes.

Do you not see that the examples you giave of why you're 'Allright Jack' are utterly dependent on the goodwill of not just other people, but men in particular?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:35:08

'sigmunde I hate to do this - I really am.

But you don't use apostrophes for plurals. '

You hate it but you'll do it anyway grin

I have apostrophe issues. It's genetic.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:36:28

'Do you not see that the examples you giave of why you're 'Allright Jack' are utterly dependent on the goodwill of not just other people, but men in particular?'

Perhaps they're not such wankers after all, eh?

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 22:37:16

Oh come on Sigmund, I was answering your point that feminism has somehow magically skewed family courts and law. If men want to gain residency in 50% of cases then they have to put 50% of the time in, don't they? I think you are bring obtuse now.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:37:54

But sigmund, you said going part time to spend time with family was "chilling". Implying that it was an easy, soft option open to cosseted women. Not that it was hard, valuable work.

Society is critical of working mothers, stay at home mothers, women who choose not to be mothers, young mothers, old mothers, mothers who are too thin, mothers who don't lose baby weight smile

Childcare is one of the lowest paid professions. Looking after ones own children attracts no economic reward. This suggests it has a low value and status in society. Not to say that capitalism is a good system by which to judge the worth of an activity. But it's the one we have now..

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 22:38:03

Too true, Lapsed. Look at Nigella.

It's interesting about the whole "I can leave my dh and get custody of the children and fleece him for wads of cash" type comments made by sigmund above (I know I paraphrased) because it does show absolute confidence that her dh will cough up maintenance. And perhaps he would, I don't know him. But only 2 out of 5 fathers do pay any maintenance at all for their non-resident children (source Gingerbread).

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 22:38:41

Prom. You said "Women in 50% of powerful positions".
Are they willing to be in 50% of the non powerful positions too. Such as dirty and menial "mens" jobs?

Prom, you said your self that you dont know any women who want to be bin men or miners.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 22:40:55

Sigmund

I just googled the quote you posted earlier and have found there are many such quotes and that they were uncovered by someone known as Agent Orange. Allegedly he infiltrated this 'Radfemhub' forum you're talking about. Many of the hundreds of posts/threads he uncovered were written by prominent feminists in positions of influence and authority.

[http://triggeralert.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/term-feminazi-no-longer-seems-like.html]

Shocking.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:40:57

No no, nobody is made to share 50/50 if they don't want to in PromQueenWorld. They simply live in a society that would facilitate a couple that would wish to. Where men and women are equally cosseted (to use your word) by parental rights.

And indeed, the right to work part time should they wish to, for other reasons, which would be their decision and their business.

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Jul-13 22:41:07

Refusing to support feminism because of a handful of anonymous quotes from a defunct website is laughable.

Does that mean they get to be in charge then Sigmund?

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 22:41:35
yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 22:41:47

Kim.
I think it is unfair to pull someone up on their grammar.
As a teacher, you will know that adults can have problems with that. It does not stop just because a child has reached adulthood.

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Jul-13 22:44:16

Dirty and menial jobs you say? How many male cleaners do you know of?

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:44:38

Well actually I said I don't know anyone who wants to be a bin person.

And yes, women would have to have 50% of the hard, undesirable jobs. Less than they have got now I'd guess. Who likes cleaning toilets or entry level carer jobs?

But now we are moving into a critique of capitalism, and there I am less well informed.

'Menial' i.e. the lowest paid jobs are overwhelmingly done by women.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:46:16

'An end to the culture of violence against women. An end to violence against anyone actually.'

There isn't a culture of violence against women. Many more men are killed and attacked globally. Women are more likely to physically abuse their children than men.

'Equal access to education, contraception and safe abortion, globally'

Yes, agree. Equal outcomes of education would be good too.

'Women in 50% of powerful positions, owning half the wealth, globally.'

Why? What do women bring to the table that men don't? Not many women are happy to prioritise work over family, which is why more women aren't in powerful positions, they don't want it. Even when they're practically shoved up there FFS! Why do they have to own half the wealth? I read somewhere that the wealth owning stats aren't as they seem anyway. Women SPEND way more than men do.

'Women and men taking parental leave equally and both feeling that if they wanted to be SAHP, they could.'

Whoever earns the most, works. That's just the way it is for most. My DH earning outstrips mine by a ridiculous amount. How's that going to work for us? Not going to happen unless both earn a good whack or don't mind living on crumbs.

'Women no longer being the sex class.'

???

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 22:47:34

Morris, I could write you a very long boring list of dirty, smelly, dusty jobs that most women wouldnt touch.
I will write it if I really must.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jul-13 22:48:12

Come late to this but had to give my tuppence worth.

people who don't understand what Feminism is and the divides that exist within Feminism are not dim.
it is hard to define and even though I understand a little I would never have called myself a feminist because I don't always agree with what some other person who was a feminist might say. So one would assume under these circumstances that they weren't a feminist.
Add to this the portrayal that Feminists are some militant hardcore tattooed skin head lesbians, I'm not surprised some people don't think they are feminists.
I taught a little bit about feminism to an A level sociology group, so these are the group of young people who will know differently hopefully. It was amazing what they admitted to believing what defined feminism.
So there are probably many feminists out there who don't know it yet, perhaps it is a good idea to teach feminism to all children, and let them make their own minds up.

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 22:48:17

Yy lapsed I'd rather empty bins than wipe arses, meself.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:48:27

'If men want to gain residency in 50% of cases then they have to put 50% of the time in, don't they?'

Refer to my above comment. How can you put in 50% care AND earn the most. Unworkable, unfair, unrealistic.

flippinada Mon 01-Jul-13 22:49:16

"Dirty and menial jobs you say? How many male cleaners do you know of?"

Or care workers. Low paid, the vast majority are female. Not to be too blunt about it but they do deal with shit and piss as part of their job.

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 22:50:55

And actually, that is my reason about feminists.
That obvious things to me have to be pointed out.
Such as the most men are stronger than most women.
I find it tedious, and cant be bothered to point out and explain what to me are basics of life.

<decides to bow out at this point, but will provide the obvious list, if required, tomorrow>

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 22:54:26

But does anyone need to earn 'the most'? My point is, it's childcare that means men's earnings outstrip women. If childcare becomes more equal, so will earnings.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 22:54:27

But sigmund - who says men have to earn the most? Why can't women have the top earning jobs as well?

You don't think intelligence and aptitude are handed out along with a penis do you?

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 22:55:28

Isn't there? WHO called it a global pandemic... But, you know best.

Equal outcomes. Didn't they try and ensure that with the 11+ at one point? Boys had a lower pass threshold than girls when my dm kicked its ass in the 50s. I suppose we could return to this approach?

Women practically shoved up into powerful positions, eh? But dont want them. I disagree.

Could it be that women spend more because they tend to be responsible for household management? We'd have to have a look at the figures to understand that dynamic more fully rather than leaping to the conclusion that women are exploitative spendthrifts, I'd suggest.

What has been does not have to continue. Why do men's earnings tend to outstrip women's (not in my house, btw)? Oh yes, because women are lazy, just want to chill at home and spend their dh's hard earned cash.

You do not appear to like women very much. Is that what you intend to come across as?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:58:13

'Menial' i.e. the lowest paid jobs are overwhelmingly done by women.

Women could do better paid menial work farm workers, sewage workers, mine workers, potato picking, construction, street cleaning the list of non-exotic dull jobs are endless, and not all of them pay a pittance. I have never seen a female construction worker EVER. No a single woman holding those stop/go roadwork signs, no road workers, bridge painters, refuse workers, river dredgers..not one woman ever.

Feminists only want women to work in nice air-conditioned buildings, earning a shitload of money apparently. And the government wants to see more women in the top jobs so feminists stop moaning at them. So when you see a female MP looking out of her depth she probably wasn't there on merit.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 22:59:54

'But sigmund - who says men have to earn the most? Why can't women have the top earning jobs as well?'

Not me. Women can have the top earning jobs AFAIC (on merit). They just don't seem to want them.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:03:36

Yes, thanks, we know men and women have some physical differences, there is no need to list them for us poor dim feminists. Boy = willy etc. I geddit.

However, unless you want to argue that men are naturally more intelligent and suitable for leadership than women (a position against which I will argue with all at my disposal, there may be citations, cochrane database systematic reviews, epistemological and ontological arguments, it won't be pretty) then those differences are no justification for structural inequality

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 23:03:59

So women don't want the menial jobs. But they don't want the top-earning jobs either. So what do women want Sigmund? Chilling out and fleecing their DP's for maintenance? I'm not buying that tbh.

Messandmayhem Mon 01-Jul-13 23:04:01

I'm quite shocked at some of the things I'm reading here tbh. It's one thing to say you think feminism isn't needed because things are equal but another altogether to say that men have it bad because of load of sexist patriarchal bullshit some imagined advantages women have.

If women's work is so valued, why are so few men interested in entering the poorly paid jobs that are typically seen as women's jobs? Nursing, primary school teaching, cleaners, school lunch ladies people, school lunchtime supervisors, nursery nurses and so on and so forth. As for women not wanting to do "men's work" I suggest that women and girls are pushed away from certain jobs from infancy. They are told that girls don't get dirty, girls don't do that, that's not safe for girls, you wouldn't like it, you wouldn't be strong enough etc etc etc. The dirty, menial work my dad does is better paid than the nursing job I used to have and I wanted to do his job as a teen, but he talked me out of it because he was worried I'd be bullied by men who didn't think women could or should do an outdoor, manual labouring job. He was probably right, my friend was bullied out of an engineering job shortly before her apprenticeship ended.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:05:29

'But does anyone need to earn 'the most'? My point is, it's childcare that means men's earnings outstrip women. If childcare becomes more equal, so will earnings.'

What? I'm not qualified to do DH's job, and DH would be crazy to do my job for 'equal earnings'. It's going to take some bizarre logistics for two people to end up earning the same for different jobs (unless they do the same job!). I'm not really following you here. If DH did an equal amount of childcare to me (if his employers allowed him to work part time), he would still earn shedloads more that me.

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Jul-13 23:07:04

I saw two women in a white van today. They have a building business, complete with pink livery etc.

My mum employed female plumbers in the 1980's.

Did anybody see the docuseries last year about Smithfields meat market? An overwhelmingly male, macho atmosphere. One woman was featured, but the abuse and hostility she got from the men there forced her to quit eventually.

Do you think road crews would generally make female colleagues feel welcome?

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:09:20

You do have to take into account the psychological and actual barriers to entry of traditional, physical male dominated jobs though - jobs that were not open to women for generations because women are delicate, weak, pretty and need to be looked after. hmm

There are women construction workers, but I wonder how many of them struggle to be taken seriously in such a male environment?

Tbh, women have historically had many employment avenues in male dominated workplaces automatically blocked off, simply because they are women. They are then blamed for not doing these jobs in equal numbers to men.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:09:30

Takes deep breath.

Is there much point to this?

You: girls are shit!
Me: no they aren't!

Ad infinitum.

Messandmayhem Mon 01-Jul-13 23:09:37

Really Sigmund, never? Gee, could it be because women and men are conditioned to think that those are men's jobs, and discouraged from applying even if they want to, and that even if they do apply they are rejected because the men reading their application and conducting the interview are worried that she might break a nail while pushing a wheel barrow and end up cocking the job up for all the blokes who were doing just fine dammit until that frayed woman came along, with her hormones and her hair flipping?

Interesting thread this. Just to point out to yams that physiologically men are generally stronger than women, few would dispute that. Which is why, sigmund, the dv thing often find women on the receiving end. Not always, sometimes it's men on the receiving end of domestic abuse, I'm sure we can agree that there are nasty people of both genders.
To me it's about being treated equally. Not to be confused with being the same. That would be boring, as I tell my boys smile
I read an interesting book detailing the work to allow women higher education, and apparently it was debated with great intensity whether or not our wombs would not just shrivel up and fall out. All the blood being diverted from the abdomen to the brain. That tickled me. Both men and women held this view.
I want my boys to be treated equally in terms of education and work, personal views etc as long as they don't want to withhold that from others. For my daughter I would wish the same. FOr any of them to work if they wish and are able or to stay at home to raise their family. After all, the economy would crash pretty quickly if there weren't any people to make it go round.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:11:24

'Oh yes, because women are lazy, just want to chill at home and spend their dh's hard earned cash.'

Are you saying that these women don't exist?

'You do not appear to like women very much. Is that what you intend to come across as?'

I do like women, I know strong, successful (on their own merit)women. Success, btw, isn't something that I measure by how much they earn.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:11:37

If the barriers were purely physical, that would be one thing. My job is a desk one (big surprise to all) yet I still face a blanket assumption that I might be a bit dim from some blokes. I try and disabuse them of it grin

Messandmayhem Mon 01-Jul-13 23:11:42

Frayed should be dratted. I have fat fingers and autocorrect.

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Jul-13 23:13:17

PromQueen, I salute your work on this thread. You're saying very eloquently what I'm thinking.

Can't believe some of what I'm reading.

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 23:13:30

But why are there not women firms who do sewerage work, clean drains, women construction firm partnerships, women diving firm parnerships, women chimney sweep firms. I am sure women would employ them to clean their drains, sweep their chimneys etc. It could so easily be done. What is stopping that happening?
Answer, because the vast majority of women in this country do not want to do those jobs.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:14:58

sigmund - lazy people exist. It's not a woman thing hmm

Elquota Mon 01-Jul-13 23:15:16

> Personally I think people should be able to just not give a shit

Rather lazy and ungrateful, yes?

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:16:57

Nope not saying freeloading women don't exist. Are you saying freeloading men don't? If not, what's the point of your point?

You might like and admire some individual women, but what you have said here tonight drips with contempt for most of us.

I am interested to know, what women and men, if any, in the public eye do you admire and why?

but sigmund, your situation is not the only one in the world. Generally women were paid less even to do the very same job as a male counterpart. Same hours, same level, same skill etc. the same. But paid less because they were...wait for it...female.
That is the most pressing issue. Then we can discuss the nessecity or lack thereof for the massive paygaps across the work force, in another thread.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 23:17:35

So the million dollar question. How did we end up with the current status quo?

It is true to say that, excluding the extremes, women are as strong as men. It's also true to say that women are as intelligent as men too. In fact in almost every area, women are equally good at stuff as men.

So how did we end up with women as the oppressed class since the dawn of time till now?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:18:33

'So what do women want Sigmund?'

I suspect most women would want to be respected for being the individuals that we are. If I shave my legs and wear a T-shirt with the logo 'I wore this tight t-shirt to look alluring to men', if that's my choice, I don't want to be judged. If I want to clean people's arse's for a living, if that's my choice, I don't want to be pitied. If I don't want to align myself with feminism, that's my choice, I don't want to be belittled. Thanks.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:19:46

Yams you are assuming they there are no women in these roles because they don't want to be there. That is a possibility, but it is not the only (and not the most likely) explanation for their absence.

Ever tried to do something that is traditionally male dominated? How was your attempt to participa received? We're you welcomed?. Treated as an equal with something to contribute?

WilsonFrickett Mon 01-Jul-13 23:20:30

Sigmund, believe it or not, I'm not posting about you. I'm posting about general principles. Such as, if a man and a woman who are similarly qualified start out on broadly similar career paths, their earnings will generally stay around the same. Until the woman has a child. Then it all goes tits up.

But anyway. We don't agree. And given some of the posts on this thread where feminists have been accused of being harpies, cult members, bullies and brainwashed/brainwashes I'm reluctant to be your next anecdote so I'm out. Nice talking to you. Bed calls.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:23:17

'but what you have said here tonight drips with contempt for most of us.'

I don't know what to say to that really, I guess I can't do much about how you interpret my words.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:24:15

I don't want to be belittled either sigmund. You've made a villiant attempt this evening though.

I am interested to know, how do you feel about choices that have a negative influence on others? I ask because it is my belief that women whose choices include objectifying themselves for money or to feel good serve to restrict mine and dds choices not to be objectified by random blokes in vans fresh from reading the Sun and who now want to enjoy leering at and commenting on my chest as well.

No doubt you will have an interesting perspective here.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:24:38

Sewerage work is carried out by the main (huge and no doubt male dominated) water companies isn't it?

Likewise construction - large firms, fierce competition, good contacts, blacklists. One wonders just how seriously a female only construction company would be taken.

However, I believe female plumbing companies are becoming a modern-day succes story.

technotropic, one theory is because the advent of agriculture. Jared Diamond talks about that in the rise and fall of the 3rd chimpanzee.
As populations became tied to one place, women could have children more frequently, and came to be regarded as part of the cattle, so to speak. Elite classes could rise to lord it over the peasants, and hey presto: the patriarchy was born. I agree that this regime has oppressed both women and men.

AnnoyedAtWork Mon 01-Jul-13 23:26:10

All the vitriolic woman hating garbage on this thread by people who have absolutely NO CLUE what STRUCTURAL inequality means is the reason why we still need feminism.

People are afraid of identifying as feminists because their arguments get derailed by this shit that even other women have been brainwashed into believing. It's perfect. The patriarchy keeps us in our place, all by itself.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:27:56

No you can't do much about how I interpret your words. Do you care at all? Because I've made every attempt to respond politely to you in the hope that we both might learn from one another.

You've just chucked out statements about how awful most women are, exploiting poor hard working men, especially feminists who want to neglect baby boys. I don't think it would be possible for me to disagree with you more vehemently than I do.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:30:38

'I am interested to know, what women and men, if any, in the public eye do you admire and why?'

I quite like Jeremy Paxman, and Andrew Marr. I like talkers. I like Christina Hoff Sommers, Hillary Devey is great. I admire Lord Byron. Ditto most inventors (male and female) of stuff to make life easier. Oh and Charlie Brooker. I admire my sons. There are loads more, I'm sure, but I'm very tired now.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 23:31:34

> Personally I think people should be able to just not give a shit

Rather lazy and ungrateful, yes?

Elquota

Not really. You seem to believe that women who don't identify as feminists shouldn't take advantage of the freedoms that feminists fought for. Forgive me but that's a crap attitude and I think women should be able to choose for themselves without having it shoved down their throats.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:33:25

'You've just chucked out statements about how awful most women are, exploiting poor hard working men, especially feminists who want to neglect baby boys. I don't think it would be possible for me to disagree with you more vehemently than I do.'

Oh right, we've reached the shaming part. It usually happens when I don't back down.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:34:56

'I am interested to know, how do you feel about choices that have a negative influence on others?'

I'm done answering questions as you've gone into random attack mode.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:35:23

Well sorry, but you should be ashamed sigmund, some of the demonising of the female sex you've been responsible for on this thread is quite breathtaking.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:37:23

Oh here we go....you didn't get the response you demanded so I should be ashamed.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:38:27

I'm ashamed that I sat here trying to talk reasonably to the unreasonable AGAIN.

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Jul-13 23:39:07

Your posts are making less and less sense, Sigmund.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 23:39:23

Thanks turbo

But how did women let men get the upper hand, so to speak? Something must have happened with the dynamic of early groups that tipped the balance one way and has stuck through generations till it became ingrained in society.

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 23:40:35

grin at Sigmund trying to paint huself as reasonable

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 23:40:41

running. A female only construction company can start small. Like wise any of the other businesses I mentioned.

prom, if women are not made to feel welcome, start up by themselves.
Window cleaners, chimneys sweeps, van drivers and other jobs dont need much start up.

But the vast majority of females dont want to do this it seems.
Prom, ask around. And see for yourself just how many of your female acquaintances want these jobs.

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 23:41:01

turbo, there is a thread on here somewhere[unless it got deleted], where the vast majority of feminists[on that thread anyway] do indeed think that most women are as physically strong as most men. I was flabbergasted.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:41:13

I didn't demand any response sigmund - but I do object to an awful lot of the comments you've made on this thread - including accusing feminists of neglecting their boys.

You seem to argue that women are somehow lesser than men - wanting to relax and take it easy on maternity leave (with no pressure to be breadwinners - oh lucky us!) oh, but that's fine because we've all got the option of fleecing our husbands in a divorce...!? That's ok then.

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:41:52

It isn't random, it is very specifically in response to things you have said smile

I am interested in your answers to these questions because I have never conversed with someone who has your worldview.

But if course, if you're too chicken...

grin

But alas, sleep calls for now. Will be back tomorrow.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:43:47

Yams - of course. But they'd be operating in a hugely male dominated arena. It would be doubly difficult because I imagine most companies would smirk at 'another damn woman trying to a man's job.'

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 23:44:10

People seem to think that centuries of structural inequality can be overturned just like that. And that the career choices men and women make are not at least partly driven by inherent social assumptions around gendered work. I think it's rather more complicated than some posters are making out, especially around female builders, labourers, window cleaners etc.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:45:39

'Your posts are making less and less sense, Sigmund.'

The discussion kind of abruptly ended in accusations of my apparent unpleasantness. Very suddenly. Maybe that's the part that doesn't make sense. I was putting forward my reasonable thoughts when all of a sudden I'm told I loathe all women and want evil to happen to them!

I'm not suprised I'm not making sense!

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 01-Jul-13 23:46:37

I applaud PromQueen and the other feminists on this thread who have valiantly taken up our brief. I lost the stomach for it sometime ago, so I salute you. flowers

PromQueenWithin Mon 01-Jul-13 23:47:50

No, not that you loathe all women and want evil to happen to them. That your posts suggest you don't like women and your words drip with contempt. Perhaps I should have added 'in my opinion'

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:48:29

skylerwhite - What the living fuck is 'hu/huself'?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:49:38

I like women (as a group). What can I say?

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:51:00

'including accusing feminists of neglecting their boys.'

Want to point to that one?

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 23:51:15

running. I cant see the problem.
Surely women can manage to be a two man team chimney sweep, or drain clearer or whatever. They would get work, sure as eggs. [Mainly, ironically, because it would be women who would hire them! Because women on the whole are the ones to look online or look in yellow pages, or in local papers].
What difference would it make if all the others in Britain were male?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 01-Jul-13 23:51:30

Techno it was only at the agricultural revolution that property became important. The protection of property became important. This lead to the rise of the warrior to protect property and launch raids. Physical strength became premium and men took over.

With property comes inheritance. The desire to know who was yours lead to the control of women's sexuality. Women were only good for tilling the fields and bearing children. They became chattel.sad

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 23:52:28

oops. realise I made the error of calling it a "two man"!

skylerwhite Mon 01-Jul-13 23:52:55

It's a gender neutral term, Sigmund as I don't know if you or any other poster is male or female. Hu as in human.

Technotropic Mon 01-Jul-13 23:53:18

People seem to think that centuries of structural inequality can be overturned just like that. And that the career choices men and women make are not at least partly driven by inherent social assumptions around gendered work. I think it's rather more complicated than some posters are making out, especially around female builders, labourers, window cleaners etc.

Skyler

No more difficult than for any profession really. If you can have quotas and positive discrimination in place to enable women to enter parliament and as board members of multi nationals then it's not going to be difficult to have a campaign to get women in trades etc. There are increasing numbers of female engineers so isn't that difficult. It simply needs a push but I don't think many are interested in pushing i.e. females.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:54:47

yams - why do you think they don't? Possibly because these are male dominated industries?

It can't be because women don't like the dirty, low paid jobs. After all, women seem to be the ones in all the cleaning, caring jobs. They do the majority of nappy changes and unpaid domestic chores.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 01-Jul-13 23:55:17

We're not talking centuries, we're talking millennia.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 01-Jul-13 23:56:55

oops. realise I made the error of calling it a "two man"!

Which is kind of my point.

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:57:42

From Girl Writes What 'Femocalypse'........So, feminists are somewhat truthful when they claim that women were “owned” as chattel. A wife’s sexuality (NOT her person), was very much “owned” by her husband and it was in fact used as a means of production: The production of the husband’s own children.
But, as always, feminists are only capable of speaking in half-truths. The part of the “women were owned as chattel” song leaves out the second verse, which is “and men were owned as beasts of burden.”

SigmundFraude Mon 01-Jul-13 23:59:14

Hu..O right, never heard of that one. I'm a woman btw.

yamsareyammy Mon 01-Jul-13 23:59:25

running. Because women on the whole
dont want to work the majority of the time outdoors
because they dont want to work in the middle of nowhere
because they dont want to work in cold, or wet, or windy weather, for hours on end
because they dont want to work with their hands all day
because they want colleagues to talk to
because they dont want, on the whole, to work in dark, cramped, dirty spaces
etc

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 00:00:21

Why do you think that women want to do those things any less than men do?

Technotropic Tue 02-Jul-13 00:04:01

Thanks Dione

So are we now saying that men are most definitely stronger than women or that someone or some group decided that women shouldn't fight in battles alongside men?

Or perhaps protecting a woman that was vulnerable due to pregnancy /childbirth made the decision easier?

It still puzzles me how it came to pass, during this agricultural transition, that women allowed themselves, or were forced to become chattel.

Anyway off to bed but thanks for the discussion.

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 00:05:36

Women want nice,clean, air conditioned, offices.
With shops nearby.

They do not want to be in a van somewhere, with mucky hands,overalls on, with a packed lunch and a thermos.
If they did, they would be doing it wouldnt they?
And clamouring, and lobbying for the opportunity.

When did you last see a thread on MN, saying, "I cant get into a male dominated industry"?
Never, to my knowledge.

I could go on and on about this. But I dont think I will.
Goodnight to all.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 00:10:07

Women want nice,clean, air conditioned, offices.
With shops nearby.

Please tell me you're not serious. Women do plenty of dirty work, outdoors, and menial. Historically and now.

Cleaners? Factory workers? Nurses? Midwives? Carers? Childcarers? Housework?

BegoniaBampot Tue 02-Jul-13 00:12:01

I have a female bin woman and postie - jus thought I'd add that.

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 00:16:22

Practically all the jobs you quoted running, are indoor jobs.
And if you take away the word "office", it still all applies.
And your name is not exactly "inoverallsanddirty" is it?

I am going to stop now. Because by this point, people will either agree with me or not. Adieu.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 00:17:48

xenia often quotes some great figures - Men own 99% of the world's wealth and earn 70% of its income. In the UK 4 in 5 men earn more than their wives. Women get saddled with dull childcare stuff and cleaning. Men have about 80% of positions on most boards, the cabinet and just about any institution you care to mention.

When on the whole men earn less than most women and the cabinet is about 80% female - then sigmund's idea that we live in a matriarchal society might be realised.

As far as the dirty jobs are concerned - women do plenty of the dirty work. Traditional male/female societal roles and expectations of the work sought by males and females are far more responsible for fewer female construction workers than 'women not wanting to work outside in a bit of wind.'

scallopsrgreat Tue 02-Jul-13 00:20:53

80% of farmers are women. Farming is generally done outdoors. I think women can cope with getting their hands dirty and working outdoors yamsareyummy

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 00:24:34

The common theme for traditional female roles seems to be they are generally low status, low paid and in 'caring' professions.

WilsonFrickett Tue 02-Jul-13 00:25:03

Where I am from, women were miners. Of course, where I am from is a by-word for dirt and filth, as women were judged for mining rather than mothering. But that's as may be. I guess we really can't have it all. Oh, and there aren't any mines any more.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Tue 02-Jul-13 00:25:18

OP:yanbu

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 02-Jul-13 00:26:06

Someone I know told me I'm not a feminist,.because I questioned why she tries to persuade her dd not to like pink, and stereotypical girlie things, and because I chose to be a SAHM.

Now I believe in equality, and freedom to choose. so If a girl wants to wear pink fairy wings, she should be allowed. Likewise a boy should. And if a girl wants to play football, or do karate she should be allowed.

So does that make me a feminist? confused

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 00:28:37

They can cope to a degree. But choose not to . Their choice.

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 00:29:56

But yes, there are woman farmers. Working just about always, with their men.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 00:31:45

Look up structural inequality, yams.

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 00:38:20

But there are thousand of ways for women to bust that. Some of them I have put on this thread.
I have said all I need to say on this thread. Goodnight all.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 00:41:07

But it's not as easy for women to 'bust' inequality as it is for men to just exist in a society that defaults to them - is it?

That's why there's a fight for equality.

Sparklyboots Tue 02-Jul-13 00:44:23

Know the discussion has moved on but I am the highest earner in my family by a mile but do more than 50% of the childcare (I have a part time post). When I take more hours, I will have to pay for childcare to cover the loss of my input (and will still be doing more than DP).

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 00:53:46

True equality would mean millions of females in all those jobs I mentioned.

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 00:55:10

There will be some men who wont like that grin

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 00:56:14

True equality would mean that male or female have equal opportunity to do any job. Doesn't happen.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 02-Jul-13 01:02:18

If there was anything even close to gender equality in the UK then 24 out 25 prime ministers last century wouldn't have been men.

If there was anything even close to social equality in the UK then a disproportionate number of them wouldn't have gone to Eton.

MorrisZapp Tue 02-Jul-13 08:29:13

Ineedayoninickname, yes, I'd say you are a feminist. Feminists want equality, that's all. Nowt to be confused about.

yamsareyammy Tue 02-Jul-13 08:32:29

running. I have beem having a think overnight.
And I realise that you are giving a somewhat wimpy view of women.
You are implying that because there are male dominated industries, that the wimpy women recoil from choosing them and entering them.

Well, if that is the case, they need to "man up".

And, perhaps, that is part of some of the real reason why women are not at the top of jobs across all sectors.

SigmundFraude Tue 02-Jul-13 08:46:44

'True equality would mean that male or female have equal opportunity to do any job. Doesn't happen.'

Say that to the successful women who HAVE made it (on their own merit). There are jobs that women simply do not have the physical capability for, but still they're shoehorned into those jobs in the name of 'equality'.

If I was PM I'd insist that feminists do all the really hard physical labour jobs, such as construction or roadbuilding or shipbuilding. I'd insist on women representing 50% of ALL jobs, not just the cushy high powered ones. Just for a year, and then see how much the calling for 50% representation continues. I'm guessing there'd be silence!

exoticfruits Tue 02-Jul-13 08:52:29

80% of women are farmershmm where on earth do you get that figure from?
As a woman, if I had a menial job I would choose indoor cleaning above being on the dustcarts or down the sewage works - I think most women would. I haven't seen an outcry on why can't more women go down the sewers.
Men are just stronger for some jobs. When I took part in a mock fire evacuation I was very pleased to be carried by a burly man who lifted me easily. My neighbour's mother had carers in- one day she was sent a man- who in their right minds thinks a 92yr old woman wants to be washed by a man? She sent him away to be told it would be 2hours before she got anyone else. My neighbour cancelled the carers and does it herself.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Jul-13 08:55:42

Very few people, men or women, want top jobs(which is just as well as there are very few top jobs). I would hate one - it would take away my life. I agree that we need more women in them but it is hardly going to be the aim of everyone. Lots of women just want a part time job to fit in with their life. A top job and lots of money wouldn't make up for me all the things that I would lose.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Jul-13 08:57:08

A top job would be like a prison sentence to me- something you might put up with for a few years to earn the money to retire from it and start living.

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 02-Jul-13 08:59:40

LMFAO at "cushy high powered jobs" lolololol

Idiot.

sashh Tue 02-Jul-13 09:04:15

Isn't the door thing a red herring? People should hold doors open for other people out of politeness.

It depends on why the door is being opened, yes it is polite, particularly if someone has a baby in a buggy, or looks like they will struggle.

There used to be a TV programme (think it was an OU one) and the opening sequence is a man opening the door for a woman, as she goes past him he turns and letches after her bum.

That is the only reason he opened the door.

If I was PM I'd insist that feminists do all the really hard physical labour jobs, such as construction or roadbuilding or shipbuilding. I'd insist on women representing 50% of ALL jobs, not just the cushy high powered ones. Just for a year, and then see how much the calling for 50% representation continues. I'm guessing there'd be silence!

Would you force men to work as carer's, hairdressers, cleaners, shop workers, nannies...

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 09:05:09

Good morning all grin

I don't know if there is any point in carrying on this discussion. Is there?

The I'm Not A Feminists see the same world as the Feminists, but its like one group is using a heat seeking camera and the other is using an ordinary one: both groups are looking at exactly the same thing but the picture is completely different.

For example, the hard manual jobs thing. The INAFs see that most of these jobs are done by men, and assume that this is because women don't want to do them; they're difficult, hard, dirty and physical, and women would prefer comfort and access to shops. So, men have no choice but to pick up the slack. Their summary: if women wanted these jobs, they'd have them. They don't have them, ergo they must not want them.

Fs see that most of these jobs are done by men, but assume that this is because historically, women were thought of as weak and excluded from them. They see that relatively speaking, these male dominated roles are well paid compared to their female equivalents. They also think that a woman trying to work in one of these roles would face significant barriers (including having to be better to be accepted, the likelihood of bullying and sexual harassment from colleagues) to entering these professions. Summary: many women might want these jobs. They could probably get them, if they worked really, really hard and put up with a lot of hassle from colleagues. But most can't face this long term, so seek out jobs with similar skill requirements (cleaners, factory workers) that are not so male dominated.

OTOH, the INAFs see that the majority of well paid, influential, powerful positions are held by men. The same argument follows: if women wanted those positions, they'd have them. Either they don't want them, or they're not good enough.

Fs think that women are good enough, but have read books like Delusions of Gender that review published research that shows men are listened to more than women, more likely to be given powerful positions than women and judged by less stringent criteria than women (the latter two shown by several studies where identical CVs with only the male / female name changed were judged and dealt with differently by a range of people). They've also seen studies that show women and men do similarly well, until women have children. Then women's earning and career crashes and burns and sadly, there is also a halo effect for childless women, because employers don't quite trust them not to procreate. Add this to the problem of how we judge men and women differently, and Feminists see a field that isn't level.

Chuck into this mix the 'knowledge' that INAFs have that most women want to be the primary childcarer, they must want this because that's what seems to happen, and they see a world that is simultaneously identical and completely distinct from the world that I and other Fs seem to see. Fs, OTOH 'know' that given a completely free choice, where social and cultural factors that shape us from birth are removed (not that such a thing is possible of course), most women might still want to be primary care givers. Or, they might not. Men might actually want this, and they should be allowed to have it.

The inverted commas around the 'knowledge' of INAFs isn't intended to be an insult, it reflects my belief that we can't trust our personal feelings and observations about a subject as complicated as who wants to be the primary care giver, because we cannot separate what a whole gender wants from the social and cultural expectations of what that gender ought to want.

I commend you if you've come this far! grin

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 02-Jul-13 09:07:54

Thank you Prom for that eloquent post .. At least we might understand why we disagree smile

AnnoyedAtWork Tue 02-Jul-13 09:08:36

I mean, we as in INAFs and feminists

I am def a feminist smile

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 09:11:33

There's an interesting study to be done about why manual workers chose the job they have. And indeed, whether they feel they chose it at all and whether they feel as though they even have a choice.

SigmundFraude Tue 02-Jul-13 09:13:26

'Idiot.'

Right back atcha.

kim147 Tue 02-Jul-13 09:19:32

There was also a study looking at the decline in "male dominated jobs" in the Welsh Valleys and the reluctance of men to apply for what are perceived as female jobs because of the "stigma" associated with that.

orca.cf.ac.uk/40622/

Technotropic Tue 02-Jul-13 09:28:35

The I'm Not A Feminists see the same world as the Feminists, but its like one group is using a heat seeking camera and the other is using an ordinary one: both groups are looking at exactly the same thing but the picture is completely different.

No, just cameras with different lenses. Neither is more sensitive or special than another, clearly.

People just see the world from different POV's. That does't mean discussions can't be had. If you don't want to carry on then fine but I'm sure many others will as it's been quite interesting IMHO.

But perhaps that's why women are still, in your eyes, at a disadvantage? If you're saying that women shy away from the challenge of entering a male dominated environment then maybe there's your answer. If you truly believe (as a feminist) that women generally do not have the tenacity then is this not why we live in an imbalanced society. Perhaps men therefore deserve to hold the dominant position? Certainly millions of years of dominance could suggest that this is the 'natural' order, whether we think it morally right or not?

Of course I'm in the INAF camp and don't think for one minute that women don't have the tenacity to mix it with men. I think women can do what they like and get where they want on merit and hard slog.

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 09:29:24

Thanks Kim, that's interesting. I didn't get into the range of possible reasons why men don't seem to go for the 'softer option' of female jobs. Stigma is one such reason, I'd suggest.

I'd also point to the length and complexity of my post above (sorry!) and use it to express my frustration with those who criticise feminists and say we turn them off by making unnecessarily complex arguments.

Because it's either a) free will is totally free and everyone has free choice: women not in top jobs? It's because they don't want them; or b) no, sorry, I think its more complicated than a simple matter of free will.

Thus giving plenty of ammo to another line of attack that I've seen on this thread: "you feminists make everything so complicated, I haven't read loads of feminist theory (actually, neither have I!), you are telling me I'm thick just because I don't agree with you!"

Like I said before, feminists see a complicated problem. Non feminists seem to see a relatively simple lack of a proper problem. So, no wonder you are frustrated with us, banging on about our beliefs!

flippinada Tue 02-Jul-13 09:32:21

PromQueen I have seen this discussion take place many a time. I've enjoyed reading your posts and I salute your tenacity and patience.

WilsonFrickett Tue 02-Jul-13 09:33:12
SigmundFraude Tue 02-Jul-13 09:35:42

I'm done with this 'debate' now I think. I've always felt that feminism is centered around one phrase, 'It's not FAIR'. Nothing I have read over the past day has changed my view. Feminists portray women as victims of the patriarchy, victims of men, incapable brainwashed idiots who wander around with their eyes shut. I find that quite insulting.

Truth is, a great many women actually LIKE their lives, and are rather fed up with being told that they shouldn't, that they're oppressed, that they should work in the sciences, as CEO's, as some high power something or other. A lot of women, like me, just wanted to nuture their babies and be a mum, and I feel that I'm castigated for it, and swept along with a feminist movement (as it changes society) unasked. I'm sick of being told that if I'm not for feminism, I'm against it.

Nobody is stopping you doing anything, only your own head. And, actually, I'd wager that most women agree with me.

Anyway, laters.

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 09:35:57

Technotropic I didn't mean to suggest that one lens was more special than the other. I just couldn't think of an alternative to a heat sensitive camera that would give a different picture. A UV one maybe?

It's not that I think women don't have the tenacity to make it in male dominated jobs. Clearly, many do. What I am trying to explain is that women hoping to make it in male dominated professions need to have more tenacity than men, because the barriers they face are higher

I would like men and women to need exactly the same levels of tenacity to make it in the same job. Not easier conditions for women, the same opportunities for men and women. And currently, women need more tenacity (I think) to get to the rewards men can reach, the barriers the face are higher than those that men face.

And this has negative consequences for men as well. All this about pressure to be the breadwinner, higher stress, higher suicide rates? Well what if men didn't feel this pressure? What if they shared it?

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 09:42:39

Sigmund, that's a shame because I've enjoyed trying to understand your viewpoint.

I do not think that pointing out structural inequality is the same as saying women are brainwashed idiots too foolish to understand their own oppression.

I, too, enjoy being a mother. I bake and make jam for chrissake! I am not a CEO or a scientist. I don't want those jobs. I like what I do, which isn't particularly male dominated.

But what I do not like is the blanket assumption by society that I am not clever enough to understand technical things, not tough enough to hack it at the top.

I also dislike the way that mothers and care givers are completely under-valued by society. I dislike the emphasis on only work outside the home being proper work.

Where we part ways is that I think feminism will help us make progress with these issues, and you seem to think its holding society back?

kim147 Tue 02-Jul-13 09:49:31

One of the biggest problems is the fact that part time workers in "career" jobs are not as valued and miss out on promotions / responsibility as they are not perceived as committed.

Science is one such thing - there was a thread on academia on FWR and the difficulties of it not being "family friendly" - publish or die and take the time to show committment to the job.

I've had the same argument with my sister - she looks down on part time workers who want a career as she feels they just aren't committed to the job.

If society and business adopted more family friendly policies and being part time was not seen as being bad for a career, then maybe more mums and dads would find the balance in a life and manage to develop a career and home committments as well.

SigmundFraude Tue 02-Jul-13 09:58:39

I'll pop back later PromQueen. To answer your last comment 'Where we part ways is that I think feminism will help us make progress with these issues, and you seem to think its holding society back?'

I don't think feminism is holding society back. I think it overestimates the amount of women who want a successful career (as a CEO for eg). It requires a sacrifice that most women (IMO) would baulk at (what about the successful career women who give up their career's completely when they have children?). I also think that it pays no heed to the women who like things just as they are, and enjoy their power over men. Yes, society at the top is unequal, but that really doesn't trouble me, I don't see it at my level. It will trouble me when I suffer for it.

Spero Tue 02-Jul-13 10:09:18

The thread has massively moved on since I last contributed, so sorry if this is now a bit off topic, but one post caught my eye, saying that feminism was about securing 50% of jobs for women.

I find that really odd. I want my surgeon, my fire fighter, my politician, my CEO etc to be the best person for the job, not someone shoe horned into a role on the basis that they do or do not have a penis.

If that really is what feminism is about then I definitely wish to dissociate from it.

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 10:21:52

I think it overestimates the amount of women who want a successful career (as a CEO for eg).

I think that this might be a misunderstanding. I do not think feminism assumes that every woman wants to be or should want to be a CEO. I think feminism is about seeking to remove the barriers that face women (relative to men) who want to reach a level they aspire to reach in any career that isn't traditionally a female job.

In my line of work, at my level, its about 50/50. At the next level up, its 80/20 in favour of men. This might be because my female colleagues and I lack ambition or are just not as clever as our male peers. I don't think so, however. I see no evidence of this in the attitude and outputs of my female colleagues. So, what's stopping us? You'd argue we stop ourselves. I'd say some of us might, but for the others something external, beyond our individual choices, is hindering our progress.

It requires a sacrifice that most women (IMO) would baulk at (what about the successful career women who give up their career's completely when they have children?).

I think being a CEO requires a sacrifice that most people don't want to make. I am just sceptical that such a great proportion of those that appear to want to make those sacrifices are men and I wonder (though I do not 'know' of course!) whether the gender balance among that pool of people willing to make the sacrifices is equally skewed towards men. No doubt you'd say yes, it's mainly men willing to sacrifice and work to get to the top. I'd say, we can't know this, because women are a) told for birth that this path isn't for them, and b) even if they work against this conditioning, the barriers they face are higher.

Regarding the women who give up highly paid careers when they have children, again you seem to assume that they have made a completely free choice to do so. Perhaps some have, and are very happy with it, regard it as completely natural and right. I am delighted for those women and I don't think anyone has the right to criticise or remove their choice to do this. I just wonder how many of them have made this free choice, versus the number that felt they should or were pushed aside once they had children. Those women, I would like to see given the opportunity to continue to pursue their career goals and have children, just as men are able to do.

I also think that it pays no heed to the women who like things just as they are, and enjoy their power over men.

I think that there are many women who are happy with the way things are and see women like me as a threat to a way of life that they're happy with. I don't want those women to change the way they live, I just want them to stop arguing against me when I try and level the playing field for myself, my daughter and all the other ads growing up now. I really don't see how levelling the playing field for other women means you have to change your life, nobody is arguing that you should be forced into the boardroom 100 hours a week! Nor do I think its fair that you want to restrict the choices of lots of women, just because you'd see this as a threat to a status quo that you personally are happy with. Isn't that a bit selfish?

I also think that the power over men that you believe you possess is more akin to the power that an engaging child has over an adult. You can make the adult indulge you and that makes you feel that you have power over them. But the adult can stop indulging you whenever they want.

I don't actually want power over men. I just don't want the deck stacked against me because I don't have broad shoulders, a deep voice and a penis.

PromQueenWithin Tue 02-Jul-13 10:27:42

I want my surgeon, my fire fighter, my politician, my CEO etc to be the best person for the job, not someone shoe horned into a role on the basis that they do or do not have a penis.

Trouble is, at the moment I think we have a situation where those people are more likely to be considered the best person for the job if they have a penis.

You seem to be arguing that women probably won't be as good as men in those roles, but will be handed them anyway because of feminist principles. Who knows, women really might just be thicker and less capable than men. But that there are some excellent female surgeons, fire fighters, politicians and CEOs, just fewer of them.

The point at which we seem to diverge is why there are fewer. At risk of boring repetition, non feminists seem to think that more men have these roles because they are better at them, stronger, more committed. Feminists think that more men have these roles because society assumes that they will be better at them, and that this should be challenged.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Jul-13 10:34:37

I would agree Spero- saying that you must make places for women is not what you want- they need to be the best person. Having said that I think there are outdated work practices that disadvantage women and have no place in 21st century.
I think very few people want the top jobs- they cause marriages to break u