Would a real feminist care?

(27 Posts)
fluffyduckie Fri 27-Dec-13 18:33:05

I work with a few women at work and one is quite a bit older than me and has recently become a feminist. She has never really liked me (not sure why!) but has now decided that I represent everything that a feminist should hate. I don't know if it is just that she has some major issue with me and saying she is a feminist means that she feels free to express this.

Basically her issues with me are that I am a "walking 1950s stereotype" pretty much because I am kind of old fashioned, like girly things, am quite domestic and crafty (interests rather than actual skill) and I like to read old books and magazines. I know that I am old fashioned in some ways but I look reasonable normal (she objects to hair accessories) and I don't dress or act like I am from another decade.

So I think that it is just that she has an issue with me but she has said a fair few times that any feminist would have an issue with my interests. I like domestic stuff but I don't go around proclaiming that everyone should think exactly as I do. There have been issues before between us with sarcastic comments and digs but she has never really been open about it until now.

SunshineOnACrappyDay Fri 27-Dec-13 18:38:13

She sounds like a cow. Hang around this section for long enough and you'll see how feminists, like any other group, don't agree on everything.
I'm a feminist and there are things that I care about that other feminists don't, and vice versa.

I'd suggest telling her to (politely) fuck off, and if that doesn't work then talking to your boss.

poopooheadwillyfatface Fri 27-Dec-13 18:39:47

There's no rule that if you identify as a feminist you cannot like or do traditionally female hobbiesgrin
I like to knit. Maybe I'm only allowed to like knitting if I make myself a balaclava and don't wear makeup under itwink
lots of people are a bit odd, maybe she's one of those people.

NiceTabard Fri 27-Dec-13 18:40:30

No she just sounds like a total cow.

Feminist thinking is around how groups of people and structures in society work to result in women getting the shitty end of the stick and what can be done to change that.

It is most certainly not about criticising individual women for their interests and hobbies! Objecting to hair accessories? WTAF???

It deffo sounds to me like she is using it as an excuse to be horrible to you.

Her behaviour is also out of line in the workplace if she is laying into you on a regular basis. ie bullying. It's not on to spend your days at work attacking your collegaues personality, interests and hobbies.

SilverApples Fri 27-Dec-13 18:41:31

No, like a Born Again Christian or an ex-smoker, she's bossing you around and telling you that your choices are wrong. What we used to call being a chauvinist.
Being a feminist means you are in charge of your choices. Not what you look like, or what you choose to read.
She's both ignorant and rude.

She is not a very good feminist if she's denouncing you for your clothing/personal taste.

She's just being a dick and hiding it behind a 'Feminist' banner. Call her out on it!

SilverApples Fri 27-Dec-13 18:42:56

Oh, and I'm a feminist in my 50s. fsmile
Don't let her squish you with her ridiculous ideas of how you should behave.

wonderstuff Fri 27-Dec-13 18:43:07

Feminist = wanting equality between men and women. You can craft, you can clean, you can coordinate scatter cushions or whatever. Plus like all beliefs you can disagree but respect someone's right to an alternate view.

She sounds like a cow.

CrockedPot Fri 27-Dec-13 18:43:54

I would stop the digs and bitchy comments by asking her to have a frank and open discussion on what 'being a feminist' means. I Would tell her it means freedom to choose how you live your life, freedom to follow the hobbies and interests you have, and freedom to dress how you want. I am a feminist, and happy to declare myself one, but I loathe this ridiculous idea that feminism means you have to dress/think/act in a particular way. It puts everyone's backs up and puts people off the whole notion of the movement and what it should be about. Talk to her, she might learn something.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 27-Dec-13 18:44:14

Feminism is not about hair accessories. Making and reading old magazines is absolutely not anti-feminist.

Recently become a feminist. You got to laugh!

MrsWolowitzYouAMerryChristmas Fri 27-Dec-13 18:46:40

She sounds horrible. Don't let her bully you.

No, like a Born Again Christian or an ex-smoker, she's bossing you around and telling you that your choices are wrong.

hmm Sterotyping there much?

lemonmuffin Fri 27-Dec-13 19:06:55

she sounds like she has some issues tbh.

stay calm and don't let her upset you.

KaseyM Fri 27-Dec-13 23:46:10

She sounds horrid. Tell her that part of feminism is assigning value to the kind of traditional work done by women not looking down on it. And supporting each other. Silly woman, she has it all wrong.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Sat 28-Dec-13 07:47:13

She is being a nincompoop.

She sounds awful and is using the label of "feminism" to pick you to pieces - not ok. As others have said, cast your eyes around the Feminism boards. FWIW I identify as a feminist and wear makeup, LOVE cooking, keeping my house smart, etc and work a 60 hour week.
"She objects to hair accessories." Sounds like she has an odd perception of what "feminism"is!

BuffytheElfSquisher Sat 28-Dec-13 09:48:26

Tell her that she appears to have been conditioned by the patriarchy to regard traditionally feminine pursuits and accomplishments as lesser. Suggest that she reconsiders her feminist analysis wink

Seriously though. I am what many of my friends and acquaintances would regard as fairly hardline in the feminist stakes. Yet I also like to cook, make things and live in a hospitable home. For instance, right now dough for cinnamon rolls is rising in my kitchen, next to the (now rather nibbled) gingerbread houses I made with the dc. In a minute, I'm going to put in a hair accessory as a gesture of support to you OP. Feminists like your colleague give the rest of us a bad name, IMO.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Sat 28-Dec-13 13:16:32

<heads over to Buffy's for cinnamon rolls>

msrisotto Sat 28-Dec-13 13:23:01

No I kind of agree with SilverApples - People who are recent converts, often crow vocalise their opinions and piss people off! She may just be a cow who is using feminism as an excuse to bully you, or she might be a recent convert to feminism but hasn't realised that women aren't the cause and are not personally responsible for patriarchy.

BuffytheElfSquisher Sat 28-Dec-13 13:23:28

All welcome!

ErrolTheDragon Sat 28-Dec-13 13:25:07

Undermining other women in their choices doesn't sound like feminism to me.

Here's a quote from Caitlin Moran:
'You can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, “And are the men doing this, as well?” If they aren’t, chances are you’re dealing with what we strident feminists refer to as “some total fucking bullshit.”'

Well, AFAIK men don't typically go around bullying other men in the workplace on the basis of their hobbies or reading preferences. This woman is indulging in bullshit.

CaptChaosGlitteryBaubles Sat 28-Dec-13 14:01:22

I think I might cross stitch that quote from Caitlin Moran and hang it over my mantelpiece, in a very 1950's housewife style of things!

ErrolTheDragon Sat 28-Dec-13 17:36:18

I dare you to do this one as well:
".. here is the quick way of working out if you're a feminist. Put your hand in your pants.

a) Do you have a vagina? and
b) Do you want to be in charge of it?

If you said 'yes' to both, then congratulations! You're a feminist.”

Hey, fluffyduckie, chances are you're a feminist too!

TeiTetua Sat 28-Dec-13 18:42:37

Acknowledging that the woman who's being talked about seems like a pretty nasty person, I think it's wrong to apply the word "cow" to her, as several people here have done. Next time there's a thread on gendered insults, will we hear about when it's actually right to use them?

AskBasil Sat 28-Dec-13 18:54:13

I think Buffy is spot on - the way to deal with this woman is to ask her why she is so dismissive of crafts which have in the main been pursued by women and if she would be so dismissive of hobbies which are more associated with men. Also ask her where her feminist solidarity is and whether she thinks it's more of a problem that you wear hairslides or that your workplace is still likely to be a place where on average, the men get paid more than the women.

I'd also simply let her know that you know what she's doing - pretending that her new found feminist beliefs are some sort of carte blanche to do something which is completely unacceptable in the workplace, IE express personal dislike of a colleague on a regular basis. God if we all did that there'd be no end of tribunals. grin

No, a "real" feminist would never criticise another woman for her choices unless they were actively oppressing other women. Feminism is about changing the perceptions of society, not making women feel bad about who they are, even if you do think that particular woman is particularly cowed by the patriarchy. Feminism is about changing our societal set-up so that everyone is free to make their own choices with no expectations put upon them based on their gender.

She is apparently very confused as to the true nature of feminism and a very rude person to boot.

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