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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.

StickEmUp Wed 16-Jan-13 22:51:40

Well theres about 4 other people in the country whose not related to me with m ugly horrible name lol. So i really cant confirm or deny grin
BUt your right.

MMMarmite Wed 16-Jan-13 22:55:27

"StickaEmUp- I think the issue I have had with this is I have often heard women say what you said, but I have never heard a man say it. and I have never heard a woman say "I loved my name and hated his, so he took mine"

I asked my brother about this, he said he'd read an article analysing which names are correlated to success in life (those near the start of the alphabet and those having positive connotations apparently), so he's gonna base his decision on that!

AnyFucker Wed 16-Jan-13 22:56:51

I had an ugly maiden name ("maiden" ...how quaint hmm ). Really ugly. I got the piss taken out of me at school for years

It's the sort of name that will always attract negative attention and hilarity. I would have married anyone to get rid of it (just jokin' DH...)

AnyFucker Wed 16-Jan-13 23:47:31

I must have been sent to Coventry. I keep killing threads.

Sunnywithshowers Thu 17-Jan-13 01:16:56

When I married my XH we went double barrelled. I divorced him because he was abusive and reclaimed my own name. I've married again and have kept my name. It's mine, it's unusual and (most importantly) I like it.

I think that having the choice matters - compulsion to change your name is one thing, deciding to change another entirely.

And as for obeying... ha de har har to that one. I am married to a man who I love and respect, and who loves and respects me. Neither obeys the other.

sashh Thu 17-Jan-13 03:30:07

The simplest explanation I came across was this

Stick your hand into your pants. Do you have a vigina? Do you think you have the right to control your vigina?

If you answer yes to both you are a feminist.

I loved my name and hated his, so he took mine my parents local paper had a short piece about a groom taking the bride's name about 20 years ago.

Quick google and:

times247.com/articles/groom-takes-wife-s-surname-via-new-france-law

www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/fashion/weddings/shayne-adler-michael-sirlag-weddings.html?_r=0

www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/local-headlines/groom-takes-bride-s-name-1-148844

StickEmUp Thu 17-Jan-13 09:24:02

Using the 'if you have a vagina and want to control it= feminist'

I take it a man can't be a feminist?

I'm pretty sure after a discussion last night DH is into equal rights for women etc but ... yes he is a man.

"Using the 'if you have a vagina and want to control it= feminist'

I take it a man can't be a feminist?"

That's why I have a problem with that definition, but then some do believe that men can't be feminists.

As for taking the husband's name, I know that if we split up (looking increasingly more likely) that I'll want to keep my married name rather than go back to my maiden name. I just like the name more.

MiniTheMinx Thu 17-Jan-13 09:37:46

I think men can be supportive. Not sure whether I accept men calling themselves feminist. For me it would seem that within society where men already have privilege that they might also want to take up a similar position within feminism.

MiniTheMinx Thu 17-Jan-13 09:41:08

I'm not married, never had any desire what so ever to tie the knot. Been with DP for 16 years and we have 2Ds. I like my name, maybe I was just lucky. Although I do have my father's name, not sure if that is better or worse because it just feeds into that patriarchal practice of passing on the father's name. Dp wanted to get married, he wouldn't take my name, he's happy with his also. Kids have both our names.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 09:54:53

Some people prefer the term pro-feminist for men, or feminist-supportive.

FWIW

I am not very girly. I don't shave my legs, I don't often shave my armpits, unless (sorry if TMI) sweat is getting trapped in the hair and causing a smell, or if it's summer and I want to wear short sleeved tops - so I suppose, I do care if people notice. However it's become so normal for me not to shave my armpits now that I sometimes forget and wear short sleeved tops with little bushes grin

I don't wear make up and I generally keep my hair very short. It's long at the moment, only because I can barely find the time to go and get it cut, and I can't find a salon which doesn't immediately make a face when I say I want my hair cut short hmm unless they charge over £40 for a haircut which I just can't afford.

For me this is not a feminist statement per se, more laziness. But also I suppose rooted in an "If men don't have to do this, why should I?" kind of viewpoint.

I find with many men they think they are feminist, they even come across as feminist, believe in equal rights, would never think less of a woman because she is a woman etc, but they still have underlying sexism there which they probably won't notice, and worse - you won't notice until you get into feminism and then it will annoy the crap out of you grin

This is a stupid example but my boss is one of these men, he treats the men and women at work exactly the same, doesn't make sexist comments, etc etc. But when we all went on a night out and I accidentally let out a burp because I was a bit drunk, he looked disgusted whereas he would have laughed if a man had done it. So there you go - underlying belief shows itself there. I get cross with DP when I notice him doing it and he gets totally bemused etc! And yet he's definitely in agreement with me about most things feminist.

BertieBotts Thu 17-Jan-13 09:55:54

Oh and I'm getting married next year and am planning to take DP's name. DP, me and DS all have different surnames currently, that's fun!

StickEmUp Thu 17-Jan-13 10:19:30

he looked disgusted whereas he would have laughed if a man had done it.

This is what pisses me off in life. I think it's hilarious I have some very feminist views on things but was pout off by not being allowed to shave my legs grin

Well we live and learn, don't we.

MMMarmite Thu 17-Jan-13 10:23:45

Don't worry, we don't line people up in shorts for their feminist leg inspection :D

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:26:18

It's about being really dainty and wearing pantyhose

MMMarmite I've got brilliant images in my head, someone walking up and down a line of women with a measuring tape, saying "you leg hair is too short, it's below regulation length!"

MMMarmite Thu 17-Jan-13 11:04:33

grin MurderOfGoths

StickEmUp Thu 17-Jan-13 11:10:21

pantyhose I'm only young what even is that grin

slug Thu 17-Jan-13 11:27:00
StickEmUp Thu 17-Jan-13 12:48:28

Thanks slug I am indeed very interested.

The Every Day Sexism was quite horrific.
I thought it would be passing statements, almost laughable things, but men shouting cunt at a women in the street.

I'm probably shocked as I am lucky that's not happened to me.

Actually, a man came up to me out clubbing one day, I thought he was going to ask me out but instead he said I was too skinny and that I looked discusting.

feministefatale Thu 17-Jan-13 15:48:38

I think a better definition would be do you think every woman should have control over her own vagina.

I know plenty of women who think they know fine for themselves but also feel they can make decisions for other women and their vaginas.

I have met one self proclaimed male feminist and I would call him a feminist. Have known a few men who definitely have feminist ideas but wouldn't call themselves feminist. Dh wouldn't call him self a feminist but he definitely believe in feminism, although he still doesn't get what it's like to deal with sexism which can wind me up sometimes.

It's not his fault though. He's English, He's a white male in his 30's. I am sure he has never been discriminated against in any real way. He just doesn't understand.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 17-Jan-13 15:49:48

Panty hose is American for tights.

I was happy to take XH's name on marriage as I was still young enough to believe that if my mother did it it was the right thing to do, kind of; anyway I prefer his surname, and would keep it even if I married again, probably (not that I have any intention of doing so unless the prospective groom is very, very rich!). I did not promise to "obey". Which is just as well, because XH is an idiot, and I had to do an awful lot of not obeying just to keep the family's heads above water. He hated me having my hair cut too, though I never did it short short. (He also said once "Married women don't go out with their friends", but later denied he had said or ever would say such a thing. Probably because of the extremely short shrift he got when he did say it.)

The question earlier, about whether you are a feminist if you don't shave your legs because your husband prefers you not to, doesn't seem to have been answered. It seems pretty obvious to me that if you're quite happy to go along with what your partner prefers then there is no problem. It only hits the feminism buffer if you want to shave your legs but are denied the choice due to his preference. They are your legs, after all.

Those short haired women in the links look absolutely stunning, don't they, and totally feminine.

marriedinwhite Thu 17-Jan-13 19:39:44

My grandfather took my grandmother's name in 1934.

He was Russian; she was English. It was considered more appropriate.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 17-Jan-13 22:58:35

Wow, AF, if your maiden name got lots of negative attention such that you preferred to adopt the married surname of Fucker, well, the mind boggles wink

I kept my birth surname and rarely wear make up. I shave my legs and worry about my cellulite. I acknowledge all my choices and I know which are feminist and which aren't - and if I'm not sure, I ask myself if a man would worry about it, or I ask on here and try not to feel defensive if my judgement was wrong smile.

Welcome to being a feminist, StickEmUp. It rocks.

AnyFucker Thu 17-Jan-13 23:06:17

Heh. It really was that bad.

It was my father's name. All the more reason to get it the fuck away from me.

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