Can Someone Explain Feminism to me.

(201 Posts)
StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 14:16:05

Because I think although it means equality (does it??) the fact the word starts with FEM is not a neutral word.

If it was 'peopleism' I think that would make more sense to me.

There isn't a 'maleism' is there?
Or is that because they don't need it?

I'm not very intellectual and that sounds like a silly question but do you get me?

I have tried to look it up on the internet but it all gets a bit complicated.

mindosa Wed 16-Jan-13 15:34:11

For me, feminism is equality for the sexes.

I think the most idiotic thing any woman can say is that she is not a feminist. Discrimination still exists and equal pay for equal work was only made lay in the US 5 years ago via the Lily Ledbetter act.

It isnt anti male or anti femininity and you can work at home and still be a feminist.

AnyFucker Wed 16-Jan-13 15:34:17

There is a woman saying on another thread that porn use by men is A-ok because she does it too.

That isn't feminism.

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 15:37:36

think about how any choice or decision you make will impact on other women

I have been doing this lately.

It's MN fault. I've re thought loads of things about my outlook and changed lots of things due to having questioned my motives for certain things.

Why now?

Well partly because I've recently identified as Child Free and with that comes certain thoughts and feelings internally, as well as how others seem to view the term.

Then feminism came into it as I've been recently looking at other issues that come up out of the prescribed 'life script'.

I've been asking recently
WHO AM I

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 15:42:41

I think the child free life style is definitely one helped by feminism, which is odd because I have seen some rampant misogyny on some child free sites. They take the child free idea and turn it on it's head so it is very anti woman (mother) which I don't like. So keep that in mind if you are looking for others in your situation.But women deciding for themselves what to do with their life and body is the heart of the feminism movement.

BiscuitMillionaire Wed 16-Jan-13 15:45:11

I like Caitlin Moran's definition in How to be a Woman. Sorry for the inexact paraphrase, but something like:

Check your pants.
1. Do you have a vagina?
2. Do you want to be in charge of it?
If your answer to both questions is yes, congratulations, you're a feminist.

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 15:46:11

They take the child free idea and turn it on it's head so it is very anti woman (mother) which I don't like

Yes and seeing as I have a very nice Mother I don't like this either.

I was a bit afraid of saying CF as you get lumped with the exremists.
Maybe a bit like I've assumed about feminism wink!

So keep that in mind if you are looking for others in your situation
In a way I don't need supporting on that score, I'm quite comfortable in my position on that score, so I don't need do do mothers or indeed fathers down, personally.

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 15:47:50

And to be clear it's child free mainly because childless assumes I am less of something or that something is missing.

Which I am not.

Your not missing something you've never had, nor require or want

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 15:50:11

Not support as such, but sometimes it's nice to have friends who haven't got to make babysitting arrangements!

Sorry if you thought I was lumping you in with that, just warning you of the possibility of it if you are trying to get in to feminism.

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 15:51:41

Your not missing something you've never had, nor require or want

yep, language is important. Another important point made by feminism.

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 15:54:17

That's okay. I would not be so stupid as to come to Mumsnet and be horrible about parents ;) and I see your point about it not being conducive to feminism. I wasnt thginking you were lumping, more worried I would come across wrong over CF and what it means to me.

In fact I came and stay due to the massive wealth of information here due to the fact it's frequented by lots and lots of women.
(That's not to say I don't see the men post as well!!)

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 15:55:06

Not support as such, but sometimes it's nice to have friends who haven't got to make babysitting arrangements!

oh and also won't try and make you feel like you are "missing out" as some people with children do. Some people can't understand that some people really have no interest in having kids. I always assumed I would be child free then one day it was like a switch flipped, but before that I had no interest. So I understand how it feels to be told you will want babies etc..which is patronizing and annoying, I did change my mind but I suspect most people won't change their mind.

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 15:56:32

Mumsnet is great, I actually tend to ignore the child/baby stuff unless I have a question myself and stick to FWR and bunfights in AIBU

duchesse Wed 16-Jan-13 15:58:18

I think the issues that stem from the very word feminism often stem from male attempts to belittle the movement in the 1970s. That's when the dungareed short haired hairy lesbian stuff all started- ie if you are "feminine" care about your appearance etc then you are not a feminist. What started as a backlash against a perceived loss of a perceived power became a stereotyped endorsed by women as well.

I like Caitlin Moran's definition as well- it doesn't force any woman down a particular behaviour path or have any inbuilt expectations. It doesn't exclude anyone for any spurious reason. It's the most empowering definition I've heard.

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 16:02:42

I do get hassle over my choice at times.
EG if I am tired, and say so to a certain friend, well it's not as bad as the tiredness induced by being up all night with a baby.
Gosh, I'm in no doubt of that! But why it has to trump how tired I am I will never know.

Just an example, and by a very dramatict RL friend anyway wink

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 16:12:33

Something else that very much interests me actually is hair length.

tI cut my hair short age 13 and only gone back to a bob for a few months.
I then shaved my hair and now keep it about 2-3 inches long in a bit of a messy long fringe thing.
So for the most part of the last 16 years I have had very short hair.

About a year ago I was out for a meal with a group of people who work for one of my customers.
Sitting right opposite me, I don't joke, one of them said they would dump a girl at the point she cut her hair short and would not accept anything shorter than shuolders.

One of the others said 'what even penelope cruz' to which he said he would defo dump her if she cut her hair short.

He was a customer so I had to hold back but I've always been baffled by the the long or short hair thing.

Why do most women have long hair?
I always fancied men who had long hair! Which is I guess circumstantial. But still.

I recently said to someone it would be fun to shave my hair right off to see what I looked like.
His reply was 'what would your husband think'

Why does that matter!

!!!! I mean, please.

Maybe I am more of a feminist than I thought.

mindosa Wed 16-Jan-13 16:18:11

I am not sure why long hair is considered more attractive, maybe because men perceive women to be more femine with long hair - I dunno.
That customer sounds like a fool.

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 16:18:33

You should have said something! grin

I am sure penelope would have been devastated and then wink

Passive aggressiveness is your friend in those situations where you can't actually call someone a cunt but need to put them in their place grin

Gosh, I'm in no doubt of that! But why it has to trump how tired I am I will never know.

There is a really funny website that people send in screen shots of fb threads that have been mum jacked for lack of a better word. Can't think what it is called. But someone will say something like "been cleaning all day, place was a tip" and then someone will pop on to say you haven't got a clue until you have kids etc..

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 16:19:10

I always wondered what my bald head looked like hmm

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 16:27:13

I know I couldnt beleive he did it with me sitting there and to be frank he was pig ugly so maybe he was pretending to be picky to explain the lack of a queue of women. grin

So why are women more feminine with long hair?

I'd love to know.
My short hair never stopped me getting snogs and dates.

AnyFucker Wed 16-Jan-13 16:32:45

I have had short hair for many years. At the moment it is shorter than ever.

One of my exes hated short hair on women as it wasn't "feminine", so I made him help me cut my hair into a bob. grin

MiniTheMinx Wed 16-Jan-13 16:38:40

Your hair sounds cool ! I wish I had the confidence to cut mine off that short. As it is it's fairly long. Although I don't "do" beauty stuff, never shave legs or wear heels. I think for me, I quite like my hair long because I can hide. My father always said he'd be angry if i cut my hair confused but DP wouldn't care I'm sure.

Xenia Wed 16-Jan-13 16:42:33

The word might be deficient but the concept is equality for men and women at work, under the law and in the home.

It is what gave me the capacity to earn 10x my children's father and for him to do all the washing. It is what ensures men have as much right to be home with children as their wives. It is ensuring you do not get lumbered with more than your fair share of dull stuff at home.

It means not having your clitoris cut off as is the case for still 80% of girls in some countries. It means women having the vote in Saudi and being allowed to drive (not that they are). It means men ought to have their chidlren half the time after divorce and they are denied that often.

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 16:45:43
AnyFucker Wed 16-Jan-13 16:48:55

here is me my hair

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