Feminism and gender equality

(130 Posts)

Whem I was first persuaded to unhide the FWR boards and take a look around, I was of the opinion that I wasn't a feminist because I believe that everyone should be equal. I was told that actually that is a basic tenet of feminism.

Now I see on the male circumcision thread numerous posters saying that feminism is nothing to do with gender equality, that they are different things.

Which is it please?

nina17 Thu 21-Feb-13 18:03:03

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BubblesOfBliss Tue 19-Feb-13 13:51:17

Just to let you know PQW - it wasn't nasty in this case - just tiresome and repetitive - bringing up the same ancient AIBU thread to supposedly confute the validity of feminism by suggesting that women are the matriarchal conspirators of endemic violence against men or some such thing.. it was a yawn thing.

PromQueenWithin Tue 19-Feb-13 12:47:57

Argh, just missed that deletion! I can't help thinking that HQ should let some of these stand so that their unpleasantness* / idiocy / bigotedness / whatever they said could stand and be examined for what it really is.

*unless it's really nasty and could upset people

seeker Tue 19-Feb-13 05:36:11

You're back! You know, you could always have a go at joining in the discussion - it's interesting and you might enjoy it.

Feminist12312 Tue 19-Feb-13 03:55:39

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AmandaPayne Mon 18-Feb-13 20:55:28

God, I can't stand it. There is no male equivalent - except sissy. No 'janegirl'. Can you imagine the reaction if you called a boy that - the reaction you'd get from a parent that their boy was playing at being a girl. And that's before you even get me onto the wrongness of saying that a given activity -climbing trees say- is boy behaviour.

Yes, DD is almost praised for being 'tomboyish' and it annoys me. She's just who she is. (DH got quite cross with the Octonauts annual when it referred to one of the characters as a 'girly girl', he hates that phrase).

AmandaPayne Mon 18-Feb-13 20:43:45

Should I add that to my never ending pros and cons list of having a third? Pro - Populating the country with feminists.

Lessthan - Yes, exactly. A girl can be 'like a boy' because that is aspirational. For a boy to 'act like a girl' is degrading, because deep down the view is that being a girl is degrading. Which brings me onto the 'cries like a girl' type comments that get made. I have actually pulled someone up on that in the middle of a business meeting. I was a bit blush afterwards as it really wasn't the place for an active rant as opposed to a raised eyebrow and a quiet sigh, but it came out automatically.

Well, exactly.

I love the idea of feminists procreating earnestly in order to further the movement. grin

But there is some truth in it, isn't there? There must be millions of women who kinda want things to work differently, and I'd be surprised if there weren't also millions of men who want that. And that is just ignoring all the other situations where we actually have to fight our partners. I'm not belittling that at all. It's just it seems such a waste of time that you will get a couple, where the man genuinely is better with the kids, and the woman genuinely is good at her career -and the the whole of society is geared up to saying that is abnormal and making it harder. confused

Lessthanaballpark Mon 18-Feb-13 19:25:46

Yeah but even if you do have a child LRD and feel all those surging hormones telling you that you have to be with your DS/DD all the time..... it doesn't follow on that you don't want an interesting career, lots of intellectual stimulation, fun nights out with your friends or that you will get oxyfuckingtocins from doing the ironing!

Personally I think feminists should propagate like crazy! That way there'll be lots of little righteous nippers going out into the playground and challenging sexism wherever they see it.

That's the way to do a world takeover!! grin

Oh, that's good to hear. If on the offchance we do manage to have a baby, DH wants to stay home with them so it is always good to be reminded there are real couples who just naturally do this, who naturally find the man is better with the children.

I do think it has to be the way forward, doesn't it?

He is, and I think on the whole he's far better with the children than I am!

Your DH is obviously lovely. smile

Btw, I should be prefixing everything I say with a big pinch of salt because I don't have children. Though I have noticed recently that people are very keen to tell me how I will likely hit 30 and suddenly want babies whereas DH won't. And this is partly why I think the concept of gender equality is actually quite important. Because I need to be able to say, look, what is it about us that makes you assume you know which of us is the nice, domestic type who wants a baby? Are you sure DH won't also get broody?

Constantly, the answer is that (apparently) I get all hormonal and DH doesn't, but closely following on from that is the idea that if we had a baby, I would be home with it most of the time and DH wouldn't, so naturally it would matter more to me. When people say that, that's when I really need to push the idea of gender equality in their faces.

I have a girl and a boy. They're being brought up exactly the same way - 3yo DD loves Octonauts and pirates, while so far 13mo DS' favourite toy is his doll. grin Fortunately I have a DH who shares my opinions on toys and gender and all that.

Oh, absolutely. I think that's exactly right.

Lessthanaballpark Mon 18-Feb-13 19:10:20

Yeah totally re. the men and babies thing. But somehow, I get this kind of feeling, that the reason why men / boys are steered away from all the caring / nurturing stuff is because it's beneath them. "Don't be a girl" kind of thing.

Which is still kind of sucky for the sweethearted boy who likes kids, but sucky for different reasons.

grin I heard the gruff voice.

OMG, yes. So annoying!

joyful - yes, I agree with that too. I think often it is used that way.

I do think it is right, though, that sometimes it's used to distract from the issue. I think the thing is, some malicious or self-serving people will always fix on terminology and twist it. And that is what is happening here.

It is horrible because it makes rifts within feminism between people who are beginning to work out their ideas and people who've seen the pisstakers before. And IMO lots of the disagreements amongst feminists are really productive, but this one isn't.

Lessthanaballpark Mon 18-Feb-13 19:06:34

OMG LRD is there anything more annoying than when there's been some kind of office sexual harrassment case and the yahoo posters are like "yeah, well you women want equality in the workplace, then you get it and start whinging".

I was doing a gruff voice as I was writing that quote BTW grin

Oh, I'm not sure I deserve that since I've spent this whole thread being conspicuously slow on the uptake. But thank you.

It is so important, though, isn't it? It fascinates me. And then of course you do get into the collateral damage stuff, in that men do get told they're not so good with babies as women. But broadly, it is so clear that men get this encouragement they don't even ask for - it's just there.

I disagree that the term 'equalist' is used to distract/confuse the matter of women's oppression and make it all about men. I think a lot of the time it is used by people like me (or at least like I was) who want the sexes to be equal but think that feminism doesn't want that.

Lessthanaballpark Mon 18-Feb-13 19:02:03

"It means treating them fairly to make up for the inequality in the world. "

Oh bless, LRD, that's gonna be my new mantra. My new definition of feminism. Ta thanks

Plus, by the time boys and girls have grown up they have experienced such different cultures so as to be practically different species (slight exag) so I think a certain amount of positive encouragement of women is definitely called for. Men don't need that encouragement because no one has ever told them they can't do stuff.

No, but I completely know what you mean. It matters. It's why positive discrimination and women-only spaces are important. Because we're in effect trying desperately to achieve anything vaguely resembling equality for women, and some of the ways that's done, look to idiots like preferential treatment.

Lessthanaballpark Mon 18-Feb-13 18:56:28

"Treating men and women equally leads to more inequality."

Haha just read myself and barfed!! Really Lessthan! I meant in some instances mainly physical, or like Bubbles pointed out where women are at a disadvantage because of the actions of men*.

*disclaimer: certain men, not ALL men, but enough men to affect ALL women

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