I don't know why I bother.....anyone else the same?

(221 Posts)
mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 10:58:30

I use Facebook. Put up funny posts, pictures...bla bla bla.

Everytime I post something I usually get about 30-40 likes.

Yet EVERYTIME I post something vaguely feminist. Blank. Zero. Occasional like.

I find it so depressing. Today I have posted about International Women's Day and linked to the letter in the Guardian.

How do we break down this wall of silence?

Why do people not want to be associated with 'ranty feminists'?

Our communication seems to be very isolating, even though it's not meant to be.

Qu's I ask myself....

Why can people not see what I can see?
Is the harm done to them so 'normal' that they can't see it?
Are they scared of being ostracised into this rad fem group if they speak out?
Are they afraid of losing their families/jobs/attractiveness to males?

I just wondered if we could have a discussion and try and learn what is it that non feminists hear when they hear a feminist talking. It might help us improve our communication.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:03:35

Hi lemonmuffin, so for these reasons (because you feel patronised, like feeling attractive to men and don't identify with radical feminism) do you avoid identifying yourself as feminist?

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Mar-13 12:05:38

From my point of view as a man I would not like/endorse/repost any feminist post that I saw on my various social profiles.

From my own singular point of view I don't believe that I can add/take anything away from the feminist debate due to my gender.

My own view of feminism is that the principles are sound but like any cause that is trying to gain equality the message can get lost with the extreme fringe views.

I have a partner and 2 daughters, my respect and admiration of them is equal to that of anybody I respect or admire and my message to my daughters is go to school, work hard and become a lawyer because one day, somebody will tell them they cannot do something due to their gender. At this point they will be equipped to challenge and redress.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:13:02

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Do you challenge sexist and misogynist statements when you hear them Fallen? I hope so...

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Mar-13 12:16:39

Only if its directed at me or mine.

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:18:00

The answer is in the question. I mean, you ask the question 'why can't others see what I see?' This is insulting to others and suggests that feminists like yourself are the only ones enlightened enough to see the light.

The answer as to why people don't want to engage you on the issues is in your question

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:26:02

MTS I didn't read the OP that way. It seemed to me like more of a cry of frustration "why is it just me that notices this?" rather than a condescending "why can't they see, the idiots"

I must confess that I also am surprised when people don't see the many inequalities that appear (to me) to abound in society. I don't think people who don't notice them are stupid necessarily, merely that the interpretation that screams out at me doesn't scream out at them grin!

But perhaps you could explain things from your perspective? Do you see a society where things are pretty much equal now?

lemonmuffin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:33:11

As a brief answer I would say, yes to that question. There are several issues where I do agree with the feminist position, eg equal pay, domestic violence, and the very low rate of rape convictions.

But there are so many other times when I find the feminist position completely at odds with my own. I know it's all very subjective but I find some of the attitudes baffling and very alienating. So for that reason, no I probably wouldnt identify as a feminist.

lemonmuffin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:33:57

Sorry, that was in reply to Promqueen

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:37:02

"But there are so many other times when I find the feminist position completely at odds with my own. I know it's all very subjective but I find some of the attitudes baffling and very alienating"

Could you give some examples lemonmuffin? I'd like to understand your position better.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 08-Mar-13 12:40:25

I agree with you OP, I just heard a comment read out on This Morning "I don't agree with feminism, I agree with equality"... Aren't they the same thing?

Viviennemary Fri 08-Mar-13 12:42:05

I can quite understand why people avoid this topic. I once or twice posted in the section on MN. And got told off because apparently what I said wasn't in keeping with their views. So I just avoid from now on. It's not worth the hassle.

Viviennemary Fri 08-Mar-13 12:42:41

I didn't even realise this was in that section or I wouldn't have replied. Sorry.

FrothyDragon Fri 08-Mar-13 12:44:28

See, I find I can get somewhat equal responses. I think I've got to the point where a) a lot of my friends ARE feminists or share my interest in ending male violence against women and children and b) a lot of my friends and family just accept that, to me, it's the same as them posting about their favourite band/show etc... I find that my statuses about domestic violence and/or abortion can, if posted at the right time, generate a hell of a lot of discussion.

Maybe I just have an odd mix of friends. scratches head Actually, cut the "maybe".

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:47:01

In my youth tv news readers were invariably middle aged white men. I still remember the fuss about Angela Rippon and whether an attractive female newsreader could be taken seriously. Asking such a question was highly insulting to women IMO.

Then there was my mum. She wanted a bank loan to buy a shop but the bank would only lend her the money if my dad was a co signatory.

Those days are behind us IMO. Today, most of the graduate women that I know are in successful jobs with some earning more than their DHs. Are there more men in positions of power than women? Sure. Is sexism involved? In some cases probably but in others the woman values family life more and isn't as alpha male-ish as the guys in jockying for promotions.

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:48:41

... My post was directed at prom.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:53:14

I can't respond to you with as much thought as I'd like to right now MTS due to an impending deadline, but I'd like to come back later and do so if that's OK?

lemonmuffin Fri 08-Mar-13 13:01:06

One example springs to mind Promqueen. (it's pretty trivial I'm afraid but the best I can do while getting ready for work!)

Walking along the street last week, stopped to cross the road at traffic lights. Noticed lorry driver pulling up at lights and quite blatantly checking me out while I waited to cross the road. I grinned at him, he smiled back and winked, then drove off. I walked away with a spring in my step thinking yes! Ive still got it.

Now as far as I can make out the feminist reaction (after reading the sexual advances thread) would be: FFS can't I even walk down the street without some twat gawping at me and making me feel uncomfortable, I'm sick of it, how can we stop it?

that's what I find baffling.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 13:08:00

No actually (I should be working too!) I do know what you mean with the lorry driver thing. As a completely self-identified feminist, I still think that of course men and women can have very positive interactions like this that leave both parties feeling great.

The issue is when one party (frequently the women) is left feeling quite the opposite because she's been insulted or treated like a piece of meat. I can quite see how men might throw up their hands in frustration "but how can we know which is which?"

All I can say is in my own personal experience, the difference between those two scenarios is the respect (or lack of) that the man shows to the women and his willingness to respond appropriately to her signals. It's vague, and wouldn't be much use as a "men, know your limits" style public information film, but hey, anything as socially negotiated as this can't be set in stone.

Apologies for the ramble.

mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 14:13:23

And the question is also why you would need a lorry driver to make yourself feel better about yourself?
Women are less able to validate themselves is the argument....and rely on men to do it for them.
When you say "I've still got it".
What is 'it'?

I'm really not trying to be obtuse, I really want to understand.

curryeater Fri 08-Mar-13 15:11:05

I find questions like this really interesting, but I find the answers often only take me so far in understanding.

bingodiva - "i am an adult and have a brain to think for myself - i dont need someone else shoving their belief down my throat at every opportunity - refer back to ranty femenist."

the two things that come up for me out of this are:

1. your beliefs in themselves - you are not feminist, I guess? Because you don't think women should be treated equally to men, or because you think they are and there is no problem, or because you think it doesn't matter and you have other things to think about,or because you think the costs of equality are too high (life style, friction, loss of harmony and mutual understanding, whatever) or other reasons?

2. The responses of others to your beliefs - do you think feminists are more or less likely to give you respect for having your own views than, say vegetarians (if you are not one)? - or any other people you don't agree with, tories if you are labour, or vice versa? do you have examples of this?

Something has occurred to me - do non-feminists find feminists more annoying than other people with political stances that they don't agree with because of the "the personal is political" thing - because feminist views sneak up on you and ambush you in your own house over the washing up, not just when you have your serious head on watching the news and have already decided to care about wars and famines or whatever?

delboysfileofax Fri 08-Mar-13 16:05:43

As someone who reads this board every day I can honestly say the reason I wouldn't comment on feminist issues is the massive aggression put towards me on other non FWR threads. Granted it was on a topic which is a big deal to feminism (strip clubs) but the level of abuse I got was amazing. I was accused of "wanking over" the domestic violence threads and also of lying ref working as a doorman there

It does seem as soon as a poster questions something about feminism, especially as a male they are jumped all over. I was and still am interested in feminism as I have never met anyone who would identify as a feminist and was interested as to what it was really about. The more I am reading about it though the less I understand it.

Darkesteyes Fri 08-Mar-13 17:02:39

OP i know how you feel. I got into a massive row on a womens mag fb page last year when they kept printing derogatory articles about mums on benefits. And the bile and mysogyny spilling forth from other women was astounding.
And a guy i was at school with keeps sharing stuff from the Lad Bible so it keeps appearing on my feed. This is a 40 yr old man with a young daughter hmm Speaking of that has anyone clocked Danny Dyers Twitter feed. I dont follow but something of his got retweeted into my timeline so i had a nosy and i wish i hadnt. Bloody vile.

BettyBlueBlue Fri 08-Mar-13 17:29:14

I noticed the same on FB too. I think the reason is that I don't know anybody who'd call herself/himself a feminist among my friends. Even one who's very clever and successful and even supports her husband would not call herself a feminist.
The only person in my life who I know calls herself a feminist is my stepmum, and she's 72! And not on FB smile

Paleodad Fri 08-Mar-13 17:51:32

in this spirit of increased communication, and apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, but can i ask what would distinguish 'rad fem' perspectives from more normative feminist perspectives?

I'm like frothy - I have lots of feminist/pro-feminist mates on facebook, though that's been quite gradual. It's funny, actually, a lot of us realized we weren't posting as feminists much because we worried about the reaction or that we were going to make people think we were 'ranty feminists', so there's definitely strength in numbers.

Something I think can be easier for newbie feminists or people for whom it's not a huge interest, is all the human interest stuff. I know when I post certain things, a few people don't care for it. But some really unexpected friends and relatives have said nice things when I've shared posts about, say, remembering the life of early women inventors or women who are often overlooked for their work in science. I can see why because I love that sort of thing too and facebook is the right medium for it.

Today I shared a post from a lovely mate of mine about international women's day and it's just gone everywhere, it's really nice to see people celebrating something positive rather than seeing feminism as negative today.

(paleo - dunno, I'm never sure what a normative feminist perspective is. I think it would vary depending who you asked. But 'radical' comes from the word for 'root', as in root cause. Rad fems are those who think the root problem is the patriarchy - as opposed to, say, marxist feminists, who - obviously - feel Marx's theories are really important too.)

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