Young women's attitudes to feminism

(31 Posts)
LaraInTheSky Tue 29-Jan-13 13:22:52

"I believe women should have equal right and I believe in fighting for the rights of other women, but I'm certainly not a feminist"

I certainly think that if you believe in fighting for women's rights and that if you want to be treated equally at work, at home, everywhere, then you are by default a FEMINIST.

Is this just a problem of semantics? Is it only a question of giving feminism a different name - "Fred", for example - for people to take it seriously these days?

But I guess the big question will remain: why are you not a feminist?

I just wanted to have some of your thoughts on young women making statements like the above, and apart from the usual "feminism is aggressive and unladaylike", why do you think young women are not interested in it?

LaraInTheSky Sun 03-Feb-13 12:58:32

Thank you so much for all your comments. The reason why I asked about "young women's" attitudes to feminism is because I was reading about recent surveys conducted on the topic that show that it's mainly young women who don't feel identified with feminism, whereas a lot of older women - not all, of course - tend to be more comfortable with the label.

I guess the answer to this was given on this thread already. When women are young, they feel equality in all areas of their lives has been achieved somehow and they are happy with the situation as it is. They are given the same opportunities in education, at work, in the professions as men, and they're able to participate and compete at the same level.

It's only when women become mothers that the expectations on them and on men seem to be, if not a lot, slightly different. That's when they start to see themselves as at a disadvantage, and when feminism makes more sense.

It's true that it's easy to default to the old "nature's argument" to sort of give up the fight in some way or another. "Well, men and women are different and they want different things from life, so there's nothing wrong with giving up your work, personal development and your career to stay at home to look after your children". And that's why men achieve positions that empowered them, and women end up disempowered in the social and economic structure that they operate.

I think there's a lot to be done to achieve real equality, mainly equality at home, and that's why feminism should be kept alive. There is also a long way to go in terms of legislation to fight against rape and gender violence, to legalise abortion across the world. There's so much to do that I'm honestly surprised any woman in the world, whether young, middle aged or old, could resist being called herself a feminist.

grumpyinthemorning Mon 25-Feb-13 14:23:28

There will be no need for feminism when there is true equality in the world. As we do not have complete equality, feminism is still needed.

I'm 23, and proud to call myself a feminist. I fully believe that men and women should be equal, and that will only happen when societal norms are challenged. I am not a ditzy girl looking for a man to take care of me. I am also not an aggressive, pseudo-masculine alpha female. I am not a trope, I am a woman, a human being with a mind of my own, equal to any man or woman in the world.

The trick will be convincing the rest of the world, but nobody ever said this was easy...

StickEmUp Mon 25-Feb-13 21:20:00

I recently posted here I didn't know what feminism was. I thought I couldn't be a feminist if shaved my legs.

I am 29, am I a young person?

Anyhow, I was totally set straight and within a few days I called myself a feminist on here.

I wonder also if people don't want to identify as that kind of means, I think, you have to give up certain perks in order to be one.

Such as, occasionally I flirt at work to get something done.

When I really analysed it, I thought it was a hideous practice.
I am a natural flirty person, I do the same thing with women really.

Anyhow, I believe that calling yourself a feminist also requires action, and I think that puts the fear into people 'well that means I have to do something'

I've not read the thread, these are my first thoughts.
I'm willing to be put right if I am wrong.

BettyBlueBlue Tue 26-Feb-13 12:30:46

I think you can shave your legs, be flirty, wear pink, read Vogue etc etc and still be feminist.

The problem is when your life becomes all about being flirty and girly and pink so that men see you as a desirable partner, someone they can marry and support for the rest of their lives. It's to do with why do you do those "girly" things. Do you do them because they're just fun but you continue pursuing your own life, career and indenpendence as a human being?

The problem is that being a woman these days is too confusing. It becomes too confusing from the moment you are born and you're given pink clothes and flowers just because of your sex. When you're given a Barbie and a pink castle to play with. From then on, the confusion just goes on and on until you reach certain age when you can analyse all the rubbish you had to put up with just because you were born a girl and start making your own decisions, and thinking about what your really want from life.

All you need to do is look at the directors' boards of most companies and parliaments around the country (and the world) to realise why feminism is still so badly needed. They're all full of middle aged men!

StickEmUp Tue 26-Feb-13 12:35:51

to do with why do you do those "girly" things
This is a good point, I'll have to think and come back.
At this point I am 'not sure'.

BettyBlueBlue Tue 26-Feb-13 12:51:08

Stick, well, just food for thought, if anything. Thinking about stuff is the best starting point to decide whether you want to call yourself a feminist or not.

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