What made you a feminist?

(105 Posts)
SugarMousePink Fri 19-Mar-10 07:18:06

Tried to start this thread last night but MN was so busy it kept timing out!!

I thought it would be interesting because I'm a nosy old bag to find out how people have become/are becoming feminists.

So - spill the beans! Were you raised as a feminist? Did it develop later in life? Or do you just like dungarees? grin

NameWithDrawn22 Mon 04-Mar-13 13:17:47

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slug Mon 04-Mar-13 13:25:34

I'm assuming Rapeseed is one of those straw feminists so beloved of the MRAs.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 05-Mar-13 00:30:38

This is an interesting thread and I'm glad it was bumped and that I missed the MRA comment - result!

FreudiansSlipper Tue 05-Mar-13 10:26:15

the woman in my family are very strong. They did not always have feminist views because they had been conditioned by family and society but I was made aware from a very young age that they had to put up with so much just because they were woman and I should not do so

so from a very young age also influenced by some great teachers I remember one having a very loud argument discussion with a parent who had allowed his son to look at porn magazines her saying this degraded all women has stayed with me as they do. We were 12/13 at the time this boy already had a terrible attitude towards females

LizbethK Tue 05-Mar-13 23:28:08

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MarinaHantzis Tue 05-Mar-13 23:53:56

My dad left when I was a baby and my mum brought me up alone while working 3 jobs.

KRITIQ Wed 06-Mar-13 00:07:08

I watched part 1 and 2 of Makers: Women Who Made America and remembered with fondness how and why I identified as a feminist when I was about 16.

I was one before that, but only really picked up on the term when I read some literature from the ERA YES campaign in what was sadly, shortly before the Equal Rights Amendment failed to pass the Illinois General Assembly and never became part of the US Constitution. Things started to lurch back to the right around that time generally. The programme reminded me of how the gains for women's rights started getting clawed back, bit by bit, but my 16 year old self would have never imagined, for example, that abortion rights would feature so prominently in the presidential election last year. Gah.

Anyhow, the programme might not make that much sense to those who didn't live in America at the time, but probably still worth a look to compare and contrast how the movement evolved here and there. Lovely to cheer Shirley Chisolm and boo Phyllis Shafley (who's still alive and still an arse, damn it!)

KRITIQ Wed 06-Mar-13 00:10:14

Ah, didn't realise this was a zombie thread. Anyhow, hey, check out the link! smile

Startail Wed 06-Mar-13 00:23:20

I was born one.

I was cleverer than any boy I met up to the age of 18, so I expected to be respected as such.

Resented massively having to wear a skirt and not do wood work.
And felt equal pay etc. we're total no brainers.

Never thought that 35 years or more later that I would still have to call myself a feminist.

Skirts and high heels being thought of as necessary for apart work wear. Far worse gender segregation of toys and clothes for children. I never wore pink and rode a orange off road bike.

Still awful unfairnesses in parental leave and the assumption mother will pick up all the child related stuff.

DD2 still has to ask why women's football gets no TV time and why they have to play pricy netball.

The Internet has made porn and sexual bullying worse.

Religions seem to remain or become more institutionally sexist.

There are still too few women in politics and business.

If you had asked me at 5 or 15 is I was a feminist I would have said yes.

I'm sorry to say I will still have to be one until the day I die.

Buffy85 Wed 06-Mar-13 00:40:34

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Hazlett Wed 06-Mar-13 00:43:18

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TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 06-Mar-13 00:51:13

Personal safety issues in my teens.

Mumsnet in my thirties grin

BrendaWendy Wed 06-Mar-13 01:16:45

Whilst I am a proud feminist, I feel misandrists who want to be more than equal give us a bad name. The very women who marched and protested who inspired me as a child would be ashamed of these 'feminists'.

BrendaWendy Wed 06-Mar-13 01:21:46

Startail, I think maybe you overestimated being cleverer than all of the boys you knew, since you don't know the difference between were and we're.

Hazlett Wed 06-Mar-13 01:22:04

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JaneyH14 Wed 06-Mar-13 01:24:56

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Buffy85 Wed 06-Mar-13 01:27:14

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toothfairymummy Wed 06-Mar-13 01:31:43

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Sunnywithshowers Wed 06-Mar-13 12:49:40

I can't remember a 'eureka' moment as such. I've become more of a feminist the older I become.

I made a complaint at work about a man having a semi-naked woman as his screensaver - that was the late 90's.

BrendaW I agree with Hazlett that women shouldn't hold themselves back - they should be whatever they want to be. And how many misandrists do you actually know?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 06-Mar-13 12:53:27

DD2 still has to ask why women's football gets no TV time and why they have to play pricy netball.

I assume you mean prissy? Does she think that because it's predominantly played by women? i.e. because it's a woman's sport it can't be as good as a "men's" one?

WoTmania Wed 06-Mar-13 13:41:30

I think I've always been a feminist but didn't realise until I became a SAHM and saw the difference in the way I was treated and society's expectations of me in that role.

seeker Wed 06-Mar-13 13:44:26

I was born a woman and I have a brain- therefore I am a feminist.

eavesdropping Thu 07-Mar-13 12:06:02

what seeker said grin

I think for me, it was my mother's influence. She is a feminist and growing up, I took on her views on various things such as Page 3. I remember first hearing the term "glass ceiling" from my mum at quite a young age. I come from the kind of family that has "proper" discussions about politics, current affairs etc., so feminism was just one more thing we would talk about.

It has surprised me in recent years to discover that not all women would call themselves a feminist. To me it seems such a basic and ingrained thing to be if you're female.

Deliaskis Thu 07-Mar-13 17:32:53

I have never identified myself as a feminist, at all, didn't really get it, for a variety of reasons (mostly positive ones, like good role models and strong academic presence etc. which meant I never saw being a woman as an 'issue' for me growing up or in early adulthood), then I had a baby, and started to become a bit incensed at the presumption that goes with that role, which made me start to re-think my take on being a woman in general as well as being a mother.

Coming on here has made for thoroughly thought-provoking reading and is helping me shape how I feel.

Still wrestling with personal anxieties about appearance (I'm more Miranda Hart than...well...any of the other midwives no CTM), and searching for the elusive middle ground on that.

So I guess I'm a fledgling feminist, still figuring it out, hoping that I find a place for me to just be me, and that I can have my thoughts straightened out in time to pass the good stuff onto my daughter.

Dx

badguider Thu 07-Mar-13 17:44:43

I was raised in a very equal household in a 1970s gender-neutral way (dungarees and lego) and excelled at maths and physics which I was encouraged to do at school because it was the late 80s and early 90s by the time I went to uni to study those subjects and people were quite into encouraging women into STEM subjects.
I never felt disadvantaged by my sex so never felt the need to devote much time to 'feminism' as a cause.

I realise now that I subconsciously spent time in company and situations where I was treated equally - I did martial arts at uni which were very mixed sex sports clubs, and I spent time with environmental activists and geographers in pubs where everybody of both sexes wore jeans and grubby jumpers rather than clubs where people dressed up to their gender roles smile

As I got older I gradually realised that there are many many women who do not have the priviledges I have had of being able to surround myself with likeminded people and also that there are situations in society where you have to interact with sexism and deal with it rather than always being able to build a bubble round yourself.

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