Feminism for Dummies.

(210 Posts)
Ilovemyself Mon 20-May-13 20:45:45

Ok. Here goes.

Apologies if I have offended anyone with my posts since I started using the site. I certainly didn't mean to.

I am all for equality, be it based on sex, race, sexuality, or whatever subculture you area member of.

I have been surprised at the level of vitriol aimed at me because of my (rather poorly worded )comments.

I understand that in every fight for equality there will be those for who the fight is an ever consuming thing. And there will also be those who have been down trodden for so long they will snap at the slightest thing against them. And that there will be those who feel that because they have been oppressed for so long it is their right to be in a dominant position.

For those that want to tip the balance in the opposite direction, I will always disagree. Equality is what we should aim for in all walks of life. These are those who I referred to when I said taking things too far - for promoting something other than equality.

But for the other groups, should I walk on eggshells for fear of offending them, or should say my piece, apologise if I offend, and carry on.

Or am I completely wrong in viewing feminism as a fight for equality when it is actually a fight for women to be in a dominant position over men.

I hope I get some answers here - I certainly don't want a repeat of the last 24 hours. Thanks all.

Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 13:03:01

I see where you are coming from about the other thread. Perhaps because most of my friends and I don't see an issue with being a stay at home dad, and consider our wife's to be our equal ( or anyone else for that matter, male or female) that I have struggled with the patriarchy side of things.

Like I said, I just see everyone else as equal to me so that is clouding my view of how others view the world and others.

I really appreciate your time. I know I may have come across as stand offish and trying stir up a hornets nest but that is so far from the truth it is unreal

WilsonFrickett Tue 21-May-13 13:05:38

Yet you've still ended up in the position that you earn most of the money, or have the greater earning potential, thus now limiting your choices to be a SAHD. Because the patriarchy is at heart a capitalist club for men - it's influenced you without your choices, maybe even without you knowing it.

Anyway I must get on with some work! grin

TeiTetua Tue 21-May-13 13:25:04

WilsonFrickett said this:
"But civil partnerships and marriage are not the same thing, culturally or legally."

In fact a civil partnership is legally the same as marriage. It's interesting that such a simple thing is so difficult to believe, and maybe it's proof that the other part of the sentence--that they aren't the same "culturally"--is actually correct. Even if they're the same, we just can't bring ourselves to accept it.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_partnership_in_the_United_Kingdom

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 13:43:18

If you want matriarchy to be declared and women "shit on men for a few thousand years" I just hope you are not white because by your theory all white people should be put into slavery for a few hundred years to make up for our past.

I never said I wanted that I said it would make things "equal" as we are forever told to dare not want more than equal, by the very men who are currently enjoying the privilege of being more than equal. The fact that you are "all for equality" and see your wife and other women as equals doesn't matter. You are not every male on the planet. Your wife is not your equal in society.

The very fact that you feel totally within your right to come on to a female centric forum that discusses feminism and women's rights and assume you deserve to be the center of our discussion and spoon fed ideology while telling women what they are or not allowed to want "more than equal" while enjoying it yourself is the epitome of privilege. I don't want a matriarchy but if I did why would that be so wrong? Men currently enjoy living in a patriarchy wouldn't i be fair for a woman to want the same?

Am I white? yes I am, have I benefited from my whiteness in society? Absolutely I have, which is why I don't feel it is my place to go in to forums for minorities discussing race and improving their lot just to tell them I hope you don't want more than equality. I hope you don't want what I have while insisting they then explain it all to me while refusing to do any research myself first.

And if I did that I would certainly not expect to tell them off for the way they spoke to me.

I do go on forums for people of color but I don't post, I find it interesting and I want to be an ally, but I also realize that while I have much to learn that white voices are more than represented everywhere else. It isn't my place to tell people how it's done. or how it should be done especially while enjoying my privilege.

You never responded to my question, do you call out all types of sexism? So if your colleague in the next desk calls a woman a girl, or a bird, or makes an inappropriate comment good or bad about a woman's looks. Do you speak up? Do you write letters to advertising companies who insist that men are the only ones who drive cars and women are the only ones who clean houses?

Do you protest in favor of women's reproductive rights? Are you in the UK do you realize that women in NI don't have acceptable abortion rights?

If you aren't doing all of those things being an ally why are you here now?

it's obvious I am defensive

Well, don't be, why should we expect you to be defensive but all be forced and expected to be polite in response.

you are obviously very bitter

well yes, maybe I am. Making a 1/3rd less what a man makes for doing the same job and realizing that because you live in a family of women that statistically several of them have been raped (even more than you already know to have been raped) and that because you have decided to be a sahp you are basically a non entity in society will do that to you.

Why not start with a forum for men that teaches about being an ally about understanding feminism?

goodmenproject.com/

WilsonFrickett Tue 21-May-13 13:43:36

No, actually, it isn't. It doesn't give the same pension rights and it isn't recognised in every country.

more info

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 13:46:36

thats a good point wilson, and if you wanted to move with your partner to another country you might not be able to get a spousal visa for your partner.

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 13:51:35
Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 14:03:18

Hullmum. I can understand why you are unhappy with the past, but do 2 rights make a wrong. If you dare to want to be more than equal then all you want is for the balance to tip the other way.

I have never said that oppression is right in any form.

And why can't I come on and ask questions. It seems more and more that it is simple. I am a man so I don't count. Well fair enough. You are entitle to your view as I am mine. Like is said, it is easirt to ask from experts and get an understandable answer than read through books and web pages and get the wrong end of the stick

The trouble is, unlike WilsonFrickett you are automatically on the offensive and shoot me down. If you are not interested in helping me understand then fine, but don't have a go at me for wanting to understand

Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 14:07:10

Oh and thanks for the goodmenproect link. That is at least something I can view and learn from

TeiTetua Tue 21-May-13 14:11:07

Can you explain the pension difference? Stonewall doesn't seem to have anything to say about it:
www.stonewall.org.uk/at_home/civil_partnership/2620.asp

As for foreign countries, you might as well say "The law discriminates against women" and then if anyone asks for details, say that in Saudi Arabia a woman can't legally drive a car. Foreign countries may well do some awful things but if we want to talk about them, it's understood that they're out of our control. Unless we make it clear, I think we mostly assume we're talking about the UK.

There was a question raised in Parliament about civil partnerships and pensions, and I think the issue there was that if heterosexuals could have "civil partnerships" as an alternative name for "marriage", enough people would do it that there would be some serious amount more paid out in the form of pensions to partners of people who had died. But that's really recognizing that in the absence of a legal contract, people may be worse off.

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 14:18:53

[gives up]

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 14:19:58

oh and if you wanted to look less like a troll you would respond to any of my post, not just whine.

Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 14:23:52

I am glad you give up hull mum. It might mean some of the more helpful people have a chance to assist.

I had no more say in my gender at birth than you did. If I had asked the same questions as a women would you have been so rude? I doubt it.

Shall I give up myself? No, because I do believe equality matters

Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 14:28:58

Sorry, in response to your question, no I don't email or write to organisations I deem sexist. I hadn't even thought of that.

But yes, I have stood up to male colleagues about their comments about woman and have said that they are unacceptable. I have been to my HR manager when my MD made a comment that he would double someone's bonus if they slept with a female member of staff at the Christmas party. And I have actually got in a physical fight over the with a business partner over the appointment of a female where his reason for choosing her was she was " a pretty little blonde" whereas I hadn't even thought about looks, just who was most suited to the job.

Does that answer that question

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 14:30:38

I think the fact that you deliberately ignored on 2 occasions every comment I made about what you could be doing to help women in the patriarchy you live in now, to harp on about a matriarchy which could never happen means the other posters will see you for what you are too.

So don't get too excited, we've had better trolls trying to take discussion away from where it should be

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 14:31:44

And I have actually got in a physical fight over the with a business partner over the appointment of a female where his reason for choosing her was she was " a pretty little blonde" whereas I hadn't even thought about looks, just who was most suited to the job.

hmm

Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 14:42:21

Hullmum - so you think I am troll? Go and read the post I put about an issue with my twin daughter. If I was a troll would I put that.

I guess you don't believe what I have said about my experience of sexism in the work place. Well fine, you are entitled not to believe me. But I know what happened and that I will always stand my ground in those situations. And yes, i did get in a physical fight with my business partner. And he still won as he was the major share holder.

I may as well give up on trying to find out more. The more I ask the more I get flamed. Perhaps an earlier poster was right. I should just stick to the other forums on here where people actually want to help rather than argue.

HullMum Tue 21-May-13 14:58:03

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

Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 15:10:45

What a condescending reply. Well bow out then. I will continue to ask questions and I hope the more helpful that have given me useful comments will continue to do so.

Is it wrong to want to say you are the dad on a parenting website that is predominantly female. I did it as I DIDNT want to be looked at as someone I wasn't - pretending to be a mother rather than a father. But then I guess you will always look for the bad in everyone.

Oh, and I have signed onto the mailing list for the goodmenproject as well. But then I suppose that you think I am not telling the truth there either!

PromQueenWithin Tue 21-May-13 15:23:15

Hello.

Ilovemyself I can see that you're here hoping to learn from us. Would you do me a favour though? Would you read back through your own posts and reflect upon why you might have raised a few hackles?

I didn't see your first thread (well, I think I saw it when it had about 3 posts on, so that doesn't count really) so I have no preconceptions about you.

But, 'it's easier to ask experts than read books' well sure, but have you considered whether it's respectful to ask us so say experts to give our time to educate you, particularly given your rather confrontational style? We don't need to conform to your expectations of our behaviour or win you over, and we are very used to being talked down to and argued with by men, believe me.

I suspect you will take offence at my post, but I really hope that you can get through that phase and really think about what we've said and why we're a bit annoyed by your approach (not your questions and desire to learn, but the way you've spoken to us here).

PromQueenWithin Tue 21-May-13 15:32:49

This may be a double post, or it may appear after a reply from you which I can't see as yet.

I was just thinking of an analogy which might help you to understand why your approach here hasn't had the results you wanted:

I've engaged in arguments discussions on other forums with people who say things to me like "well, it's just natural that men want to look at pretty women, it's not sexist" and "it's just a joke, it doesn't mean anything".

Talking like that is just part of the culture of other forums, typically people who post in general forums or facebook haven't thought about ideas like socialisation and how it can shape what feels like free choice, so there's no point in assuming that they understand this. If I do, they will write me off as delusional or start prattling about "where's my evidence".

Here, the rules and norms are different: generally we all know about and support the idea that gender is socialised rather than innate, that feminism hasn't yet made such gains that it is no longer needed and other stuff that we take for granted.

So, you've not yet adapted to the environment here, hence you are receiving what you perceive is poor treatment from us. Just as people who mock feminists on more general forums are perceived by me to be unpleasant, uneducated fools; whereas to them and the majority of the other people there, they're just telling it like it is and nobody thinks anything more of it.

I hope that makes sense.

Ilovemyself Tue 21-May-13 15:33:47

Hi promqeenfromwithin

No I haven't taken offence. And I was not deliberately trying to be confrontational despite what some may think.

I was taken back by the rudeness and swearing. If I was taken incorrectly there was comment to say I was wrong or out of order. It was swearing and abuse from the word go.

I have always used reasoned argument not abuse to win arguments and I really didn't think that the people here would be any different!.

PromQueenWithin Tue 21-May-13 15:36:40

One person's 'reasoned argument' is another person's mansplaining unthinking acceptance of their privileged viewpoint though. Like I said, the rules governing our social interaction and the social norms on this board are a bit different. If you stick around, you may get used to it and come to understand us a bit better.

PromQueenWithin Tue 21-May-13 15:39:17

Also, generally speaking this board isn't about "winning" arguments.

sunshine401 Tue 21-May-13 15:53:05

These "Feminism" threads have really put me right off any idea of wanting to class myself as one.
I agree in equal rights for all not just a certain sex. The more so called "Feminists" conversations I read , the more I think it just a bitter load of rubbish. Yes we need an equal society but equal means equal not all for us women.

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