Women who are "independent".

(31 Posts)
takingfive Tue 27-Aug-13 08:51:56

I've been mulling over the idea that most of my friends (age 30s-40s) see themselves as independent.

Am I wrong to think that this is an unreasonable description if they are clearly financially dependent on a man or, in some cases, have become financially independent through divorce because of the settlement they won? I suspect they use the term "independent" to mean they have separate social lives, make their own choices and don't feel obliged to be at their partners beck and call.

But to me, the term "independent" means being a woman of means rather than it being a social status. And I see financial independence as essential for living life as a feminist. So if you are reliant on a man or have been provided for as a result of a past relationship with a man, then surely you cannot call yourself a feminist

takingfive Wed 28-Aug-13 15:08:05

I really appreciate these comments as I have genuinely got the notion stuck in my head that being true to yourself as a feminist means that you have to be financially independent.

BitBewildered Wed 28-Aug-13 19:29:31

So if the welfare state is a wholly patriarchal construct (Bitbewildered, 19:29), why isn't it discriminatory?

Just so we're clear, Ongle, I said the state is a patriarchical construct.

They are discriminatory. I'll assume you're talking about discriminating against women, so let's look at women in the civil service. Women held 53% of posts overall in 2011 according to the ONS. However only 37.1% of senior roles were filled by women in April 2012. That's not very equal, is it?

TheDoctrineOfPositivityYes Wed 28-Aug-13 20:00:05

Hello again, Ongle.

I read BitB's post as saying that a woman who is financially supported by a man (father, DH, brother, whatever) could be a feminist just as one financially supported by the state could be.

OP, I can vote however I like whoever "pays my bills", support or not support environmental causes, campaign on health issues or whatever, and feminism is a social and political movement like these.

tribpot Wed 28-Aug-13 20:11:30

My DH is a SAHD, thus being a trailblazer for the brand of feminism I subscribe to, which looks to give men the same 'choices' as women, as well as vice versa. So I would argue he is living a feminist lifestyle whilst being financially dependent on another person.

On the other hand, from a personal perspective I would not want to be financially dependent on anyone - even on him. It would make me feel very uncomfortable. My mum is a staunch feminist and has always been a SAHM so this isn't particularly learnt behaviour - my step-dad is also a feminist and there has never been any question of equality in their marriage.

BitBewildered Wed 28-Aug-13 20:30:54

Yes Doctrine, that's exactly what I meant.

Some women cannot do paid work because they have physical/mental health problems which prevent them from holding down a job. That doesn't stop them being feminists even though they have to depend on family/the state/friends/a partner.

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