Where did all the Feminists go?

(699 Posts)
Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 19:43:34

MN seems to have had a reorganisation of FWR when I was on holiday and me no-likey. Why do we now have a Rad fem section and Feminist light chat. So many of the dynamic, knowledgable and interesting posters have disappeared. I have to say that some of the more radical stuff posted really made me think about my views and re-align them. There doesn't seem to be much of that anymore. I am disappointed to be honest.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 20:04:44

There no section called feminism light topic
radfem topic initiated by mn, and IMO a good move
numerous posters complained about hectoring by vociferous posters

enimmead Sat 22-Sep-12 20:06:04

I don't really think the Rad Fems have gone too far. The Rad Fem topic seems to not be used.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 20:14:14

I don't know if people hav disappeared or not
mnhq had to address the points raise about the tone of posts on fwr
the fwr is as good as those who post it's not defined by any particular posters

I miss Leningrad. I know she's still 'around' but I miss her.

The 'radfem' topic (as this thread demonstrates) doesn't shut out the hectoring by vociferous posters, and I don't think anyone wanted it at all.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 20:47:56

I can't see any hectoring on this thread
hectoring requires a heated disagreement or contention
no one disagreeing yet

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 20:48:41

Yes - No-one in the RadFem topic. sad I want to see the RadFems! It was the hardcore and knowledgable ones that made me THINK about stuff. It is very sad if they don't post anymore.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 20:50:37

not the case no one wanted rad fem topic
mnhq initiated it after feedback by other posters
obviously mnhq wanted it enough initiate the fwr topic

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 20:56:48

I want to hear about all elements of Feminism really - don't want to go to a special place where they only chat about what you know,

TunipTheVegemal Sat 22-Sep-12 20:59:45

The radfem topic went didn't it? I can't find it and I assume MNHQ got rid of it when they realised it wasn't what people wanted.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:00:50

fwr is pretty varied and lively
if your keen on a particular subject,post
I think the changes good.less combative,less attacking

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 21:01:42

My "enjoyment" of FWR to date - though I would hesitate to use the word enjoy - is that my views - formed under a patriarchy - have been challenged and discussed. I have really thought about things I held dear, and changed my mind. I would not have done that without the RadFems, and fear that no MNetter unsure about things will ever dare to venture there...

LurcioLovesFrankie Sat 22-Sep-12 21:05:31

As I recall the bun fight in the summer, various non-rad-fem posters (who might self describe as liberal feminists, choice feminists, "I'm not a feminist buts", you'd have to look up the threads) asked for a rad fem section where the rad fems could safely be coralled. Not surprisingly many of those posters who self identify as radical feminists (I'm heading that way myself, partly helped along by some of the extremely articulate posters on mumsnet) didn't like this at all; it felt too much like being sent to coventry. So no one uses the rad fem section, because the radical feminists still here don't want to be marginalised, and some felt so marginalised they left entirely.

I think there was the occasional case where perhaps an individual poster went too far and a robust defence of radical feminism strayed into the regions of personal attack, but that was balanced by posters of a liberal/non feminist/anti feminist persuasion who were determined to take offence not at personal attacks, but simply at people holding and being prepared to argue for alternative and more radical positions. I'd say the overall standard of debate on here has dropped off a bit. There's still some really good, insightful discussions, but a lot of rather genteel avoiding of the point going on too. The Naomi Wolf webchat was pretty good, though.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:11:17

lol that's not how it was,but don't let facts disrupt you
mnhq initiated radfem topic,due to feedback received about fwr topic
unfortunately some found that fwr could be a harsh enough place.which was shame

LurcioLovesFrankie Sat 22-Sep-12 21:31:26

Funnily enough I thought you'd probably remember events differently, ScottishMummy, but never mind. I think it's pretty incontrivertible, though, that the rad fem section was not asked for by the radical feminists, and at the time (when MNHQ floated the idea) most of us said we thought it was an attempt to marginalise and quarantine the radical feminist voices on mumsnet.

I also think there is a strong element of patriarchal expectations about women's style of discussion at issue. (And this bit is not aimed at you, SM: I get the strong impression you can more than handle a robust discussion wink). Some posters didn't like other posters getting angry about issues. And radical feminists are often angry, justifiably so, because there's a lot to be angry about - domestic violence, rape, FGM, forced marriages, women's marginalisation worldwide, unequal pay, etc. The list is huge. But according to the patriarchal world view, women aren't supposed to get angry, that's unfeminine. So when a woman gets heated or angry in a discussion, this is somehow taken as beyond the pale, and others (including some other women who have internalised patriarchal values about appropriate female behaviour) try to silence angry women, or dismiss them as over-emotional (actually, I always find it remarkable how articulate and able to step away from the personal and draw intellectual lessons of value from their experiences some of the posters on here are, especially some of the rape survivors). I still stand by the view that I hardly ever saw self-identified rad fems stoop to personal attacks, though. And some of the cases which were described as bullying behaviour simply looked like someone who didn't like being disagreed with.

LurcioLovesFrankie Sat 22-Sep-12 21:32:27

d'oh, incontrovertible. 5am start, my brain is scrambled, must go to bed now.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:34:09

well you would say that wouldn't you
given it suits your opinion
such is the subjectivity of recall.people recalls in a way favourable to ones pov

It seems you think you're above subjectivity, SM?

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:37:31

mnhq were obviously sufficiently satisfied there was hectoring,bullying
as they responded to comments submitted
and speaks volumes that they considered some aspects of fwr problematic

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scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:42:31

i am subjective and my recall will be too,of course
mnhq initiated radfem topic in response to others posters concens
I dont expect radfems to be happy with mnhq decision.but hey mnhq they call the shots

And we get there in the end.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:45:39

run down feminism?not at all
rebuke hectoring,and name calling yes
And I wasn't only one to do so

lemonmuffin Sat 22-Sep-12 21:51:01

mnhq set up the radfem topic in response to the large number of complaints and reports they had from other mumsnetters about behaviour in the fwr section.

Read the infamous threads from a few months ago if you need to refresh your memory lrd.

SuperB0F Sat 22-Sep-12 21:52:04

It does seem like a bit of a vacuum has been created. And I don't think it has been filled by posters of the same quality, when it comes to the loudest voices. Many of the feminist posters I really rate simply don't spend every waking hour on mumsnet, so I don't hear as much from them as I'd like, in terms of quality debate and insight.

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 22:07:11

I quite agree BoF. The people who were truly inspirational to me just don't post anymore. And when we are talking of behaviour in the FWR topic - surely it was the MRA trolls that made it unpleasant rather than women discussing feminism?

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 22:07:45

It upsets me, as it feels like a few fuckwits have won.

I think I'm ok, but thanks lemon.

I doubt MNHQ thought that the best way to deal with bullies was to set up a section for them, as SM seems to imagine. I don't think MNHQ ever suggested they agreed that there was bullying going on, TBH. It's not their style.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 22:21:46

on the contrary mnhq acknowledged fwr had been problematic
mnhq clarified fwr is a topic about feminism,not feminist topic
it still remains a lively topic,and I enjoy participating on it

Not sure why the haiku-esque posts? Are we all being pretentiously avant-garde all of a sudden?

Sorry to reply in plain English, but that's not really true, is it, SM. HQ have said for yonks it's not a feminist topic, it's got nothing to do with the new section. And they acknowledge problems every time they comment on a bunfight. So you're not really saying anything relevant, I think.

Still, glad to know at least once person is enjoying you participating. smile

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 22:25:51

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AnyFucker Sat 22-Sep-12 22:28:08

I can only speak for myself here

I don't post much any more in any of the Feminist topics, because I didn't agree in the first place that there should be any segregation at all

I got pissed off with the goading and the derailing

I got nasty pm's and followed around the board, so that any posts I made anywhere already had an "agenda" in some people's heads

I got exasperated with passive aggressive handmaidens shouting the loudest and going on a campaign of reporting to shut down discussion

I felt angry that some of the more vocal feminists (if not the more "popular" ones) got hounded off for their clear consistency and strength of mind

but most of all I got sick of defending my opposition of the sex industry in a space that was supposed to be supportive of women's rights

no, scottishmummy, I didn't think it was a feminist space before you start, but the vitriol shown to anyone who wasn't a Christian Grey-loving, BDSM is simply women getting their jollies, escorting is girl power ^ believer^ just got too much

so I now feel FWR has been taken over by posturers and posers who post thread after thread without giving an opinion of their own, just to stand back and watch the bunfight

I can get that on AIBU, so FWR has lost it's special attraction for me that it used have, and that is actually a crying shame

Put down?


It's a joke, mixed in with a little bit of serious critique.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 22:30:23

I totally agree with you porto - I really enjoyed the MN section as it used to be, I learned a hell of a lot. Yes there was a bit of hectoring and stringent debate - good. Reading the posts and posting on them and discussing things I hadn't even thought about really changed my view on a lot of subjects.

I miss a lot of the posters who used to be prolific and the Naomi Wolf webchat a few weeks ago was like a glimpse into how it used to be, with a lot of the posters who used to be on FWR a lot. I miss them.

I don't think there was any bullying - seems like a lazy accusation to make against those posters who were more challenging. They were more bullied against by the fuckers who spammed the FWR board, like those from pun ter snet and f4j, and lone rangers like that edd who was aroiund last year.

Now FWR seems to have a new lot of prolific divs posters who set the tone and it is a shame.

MillyR Sat 22-Sep-12 22:30:43

I am not going to say why they left, but everyone personally involved in the events in the run up to their leaving knows exactly what happened, and most of it did not happen on MN.

I'm not going to say what happened because I don't see any point in going through it all again; I'm sure MNHQ would not want that anyway.

ScottishMummy, it had nothing to do with any board reorganisation or any arguments they had over feminism with people expressing strong opinions that conflicted with radical feminism.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 22:31:36

Or actually what anyf posted in a far more coherent manner.

No, Milly, some people know exactly what happened; others are still bewildered and hurt by what was done to them. Not quite the same, I think.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 22-Sep-12 22:31:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 22:32:53

but the result was a reorganization of topic Molly, creation of radfem topic
so you know what your summation, well that's your pov
not one I necessarily share

AnyFucker Sat 22-Sep-12 22:35:35

FWR was also ruined by a small number of male posters who still persist in "whatabouthemenzing" all over the fucking shop

the really sad thing is, the women are joining in too

you can't post anywhere without a "gender reversal" being shoved down your throat

I am fucking sick of it

I go on a thread about male DV to a woman

first few posts...so far, so good

then some fuckwit comes on with stats about female violence upon men

but we weren't fucking talking about that were we

it's not even confined to FWR any more, which I feel is a consequence of HQ not coming down hard enough on the massive derailing that went on for months before they finally did something about it

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 22:40:02

the name calling and hectoring was female to female
what about da menz,mar,antifeminist oft used putdown of choice
sad thing was it was a lot of women berating other women about not being feminist enough

MillyR Sat 22-Sep-12 22:40:31

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BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 22:42:45

MillyR, give it a rest. the sniping is a bit dull tbh. LRD has nothing to apologise for.

Nope, not talking about myself Milly. You would know who I was talking about if what you said were correct, wouldn't you?

I don't know what you mean by 'one of you', and I think you have seriously missed the point of this thread. You might understand it better if you'd posted here recently, and I am fairly sure it is very obvious to those of us who have.

TheCrackFox Sat 22-Sep-12 22:45:17

It really just got to the stage of being completely pointless in posting in the FWR section. What with the goading, F4J types invading you could never have a straight forward debate with out being derailed by a bunch of arse holes.

msrisotto Sat 22-Sep-12 22:45:31

The fwr section has nose dived since the intelligent, forward thinking people were hectored off it. I never understood the bullshit 'feminists are mean' comments, there were loads of lurkers including me who really learned from them and now they're mostly gone, so thanks everyone who contributed to that. You suck.

meditrina Sat 22-Sep-12 22:46:30

You cannot control a thread once started, and if posters want to add related issues they can. It's part of the nature of open, unmoderated Internet sites.

The debate earlier this year was very helpful in that it cleared up (hopefully permanently) that FWR is not a "safe space", but simply another forum on MN.

I have found the change in tone in the FWR forum to be an improvement.

msrisotto Sat 22-Sep-12 22:47:43

Nah it wasn't the 'safe space' thing, that was old news. It was the tolerance of MRAs.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 22:51:26

Oh I didn't mind being berated about not being feminist enough.

I learnt a lot, like I said.

I remember I used to feel rather sanguine about porn, thinking 'well it's a woman's choice to use it or perform in it' blah blah blah.

Reading the many threads on here, reading all the links, and talking to women who knew a shitload more than me about the subject really made me change my tune, and thank christ for it as well. I will always be grateful for that - especially as the mother of a teenage girl.

I do remember being a bit blasted sometimes when I had a different opinion, but I survived. I didn't have to retreat into a dimly lit room to sniff some smelling salts. The vast majority of threads were an education.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 22:52:33

I was never convinced by the cries of MRA!, largely because I was accused of being one myself. (What, all by myself?)

Yes, there were people from F4J who came to make their arguments. And there were people who came from PN to make theirs.

It's an odd discussion forum that excludes the very people being talked about. confused

meditrina Sat 22-Sep-12 22:54:43

The threads over the summer were long and detailed.

MNHQ made their choice, and, like all other site issues the bottom line is that if you don't like it you can go elsewhere. The Internet is vast and there will be plenty of places which provide the type of forums an individual wants.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 22-Sep-12 22:55:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 22:55:15

Milly are you saying that MNHQ have made changes to the forum because of what a few people on FB were saying? I don't believe that at all - sorry.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 22:55:49

OldLady, but they didnt come on to discuss, they came to troll.

Getorf, me too, I've learnt so much through reading the fwr threads on here, and talking to feminist friends. Its a shame.

SuperB0F Sat 22-Sep-12 22:55:50

There were/are loads of goady trolls, OldLady. It's almost like they do a daily search for the word 'porn' on MN.

meditrina Sat 22-Sep-12 22:56:01

OldLadyKnowsNothing I agree (having also been on the receiving end of accusations).

AnyFucker Sat 22-Sep-12 22:57:43

well, yes

I didn't like it, so I went elsewhere


GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 22:57:45

I agree that they had no intention of debating. They came on here to stir up shit, to insult and to grind people down. It worked.

Personally, I don't care if someone tells me my views are wrong, or are not feminist, or have this fault and that fault. That's debate. I care when people behave like shits.

That is really all there is to it, IMO.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 22:59:09

I don't want to go on another website. I am very happy here, and really liked that section. It used to work, but just got ripped to pieces in the end. Now it is a bowdlerised version of what it used to be, with ridiculous 'what do we think of this' playschool type threads.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:00:14


AnyFucker Sat 22-Sep-12 23:00:17

Getorf, I completely agree with you

the pure aim of FWR was wrecked, and remains wrecked

why people think it is better is beyond me

if you don't want your views challenged, I suppose it is better but that's a bit shit isn't it ?

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 23:00:56

Dittany told me to fuck off once. Did that stop me posting in FWR? No. Did it make me think about WHAT I was posting in FWR - yes.

I am not enjoying the 'what do we think of this' threads. I think there's some good threads still, though. blackcurrants has a very long thread about instances of sexism and it is good, it is getting people thinking and discussing things, and I think she could feel a bit shit to think that no-one appreciates that. So I am saying that I do.

AnyFucker Sat 22-Sep-12 23:02:19

"what is patriarchy"

"patriarchy doesn't exist and look at these stats about how men get twatted too"

everybody shuts up (who is worth listening to) or goes off on a stupid tangent (that isn't worth listening to)


OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:02:21

With the F4J thing, I'll agree there was an element of goading, and maybe even trolling. But with the supposedly-repeated "invasions" by PN, that was, and remains, mostly bollox. What some of you forget is that punters can be dads, and prostitutes (Working Girls or Service Provider in PN speak) can be mums.

And any of them can be here as day-to-day MNers too.

So when they see the topic being discussed on Active, why should they not join in?

Portofino Sat 22-Sep-12 23:02:39

Agree, Getorf, Af. Tis shit now.

MillyR Sat 22-Sep-12 23:02:54

Portofino, the feminist board was regorganised because a wide variety of people suggested changes that might work, so MN tried them out. MN is presumably now getting rid of any changes that didn't work.

Most of the radical feminists left because a. of what happened on FB and b. because they found more constructive ways and places to contribute to feminism. That leaves space for feminism on MN to develop in different ways, so the outcome is generally positive now (although it didn't feel that way at the time) for those who went and those who stayed.

They didn't leave because of the board reorganisation.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 23:03:18

if I stopped when told fuck off,I'd never post
but it illustrates irascibility
not profound point

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 23:03:28

YES porto - I was flamed a few times, probably because I was posting daft comments tbh. But instead of going 'waaaah bullies' I bloody learnt something.

oldlady, no, I'm sure they were invasions. I googled F4J and they were actually discussing it on their boards - it was very plain to see. They weren't just 'regular dads', despite pretending to be.

AnyFucker Sat 22-Sep-12 23:05:03

lrd, so do I

I did not mean for one second there are no good threads left on FWR

but what has happened is a turn around

most threads on FWR used to be intelligent debates, if a bit feisty, but they at least got you thinking

with the odd dud

now they are mostly duds with the odd shining star

that's not a good enough ratio for me

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 23:05:43

I personally couldn't give a flying fuck if a punter is a dad or anything, I do care though when they come on, derail a thread, say that what we are discussing is bullshit, rip everyone's posts to shreds, get their mates to come over and effectively silence the debate.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:07:43

LRD, I agreed on the F4J thing. Can you show me evidence of repeated invasions from PN? There was a thread a couple of weeks ago but it hardly invited invasion. And if it did, it didn't seem to work... Unless you can show me that too?

I'm not trying to be difficult, I have simply seen nothing that suggests anything of the sort, and I spend far too many hours a day on this site.

I know you didn't, AF.

I just think it needed saying.

I am sick of some of the threads that just seem patronizing and/or excuses to have a cheap bunfight. And I miss threads with people like herbeatitude or solidgoldbrass or sakura discussing really exciting issues. Those three posters to me sum up what used to be great. They were all capable of holding different opinions, but also being respectful of each other.

Interestingly, none of them had active roles in what milly and scottishmummy seem to think was the important issue here. So I don't believe that that issue was what changed the section.

There are loads of new posters here who are saying exciting things and who're interested, btw.

oldlady - ah, ok, I misread you. Whoops!

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 22-Sep-12 23:09:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:11:29

werent all the f4j threads deleted because of that ridiculous ad?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:13:07

No problems, LRD. smile

TheFallenMadonna Sat 22-Sep-12 23:13:14

I reckon the outcome of the reorganisation has been anything but positive really.

I'd much rather read well argued points that I disagree with than just roll my eyes and click off the thread. Which tends to be what happens now.

MillyR Sat 22-Sep-12 23:17:56

SGB is still on MN and still posting about feminism. I've seen her raise interesting points on threads very recently. Sakura is still very active in feminism, but just not on here.

As far as I can see, what ScottishMummy thinks the issue was is totally different to what I think the issue was.

And I think that answer to the OP's questions - where have they gone - is that they've gone on to other feminist spaces.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 23:18:24

lrd you've essentially done mn oscars
big yay if liked pov
big nay if dislike pov

SuperB0F Sat 22-Sep-12 23:18:42

Tbh, it isn't even about F4J specifically; it's often just individuals with a bee in their bonnet.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:19:00

TFM, sadly that's what I find myself doing more and more these days. sad I used to love this section; It taught me a great deal.

It's sad that, in reorganising FWR, MNHQ failed to listen to the people who used the section in the first place.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:20:50

POV, scottishmummy?

You mean PIV, yes?

Also, not what LRD's done, at all... She's entitled to her opinion about what (and who) strengthened this section.

ArtexMonkey Sat 22-Sep-12 23:21:13

Recently I was recommending mn to a friend who has no children but is a feminist, but I checked myself and recommended some mners' blogs instead.

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

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 23:22:13

The individual derailers I think are more pernicious than the invasions.

Blokes who post for a period of time all softly softly catchy monkey and then start with their regular posting on topics like rape, porn, BDSM blah blah, and reveal what they are really likfe.

kim147 Sat 22-Sep-12 23:22:40

You have noticed the Radical Feminism section has gone because no one was posting there?

You've got feminist activism and support but no Rad Fem.

TunipTheVegemal Sat 22-Sep-12 23:22:53

One thing I really loved was the way it worked as a nexus so that the people who were doing other feminist stuff would get put in touch with people who were new to feminism and wanted to do more - all those threads where people met up and went to conferences and marches together.
It is of course good that people who used to post all the time on here are doing other things - and I know what things some of them are doing and there is fantastic stuff going on - but it would be better still if people felt able to post here as well as elsewhere.
But it has turned into a very difficult place to discuss feminism, IMO. Too much deliberate derailing, too many old scores raked up all the time, too much going round in circles.

Absolutely agree getorf. It's horrible; it is the nastiest form of trolling.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 23:24:07

mnhq failed to listen to the people?
which people?
isn't this clear cut case of unhappy with decision so disputing outcome

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 23:24:46

It's upsetting, you see someone who has been here for a good while and thought was all right gradually turn into someone unsavoury.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:25:43

getorf, yep.

Yes. And you realize they were unsavoury (at the least) all along.

TheCrackFox Sat 22-Sep-12 23:26:37

Yy GetOrf.

They would start off all softly softly but then show their true colours in the FWR section. It got to the stage of being laughable.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 23:27:24

Yes, that is the horrible thing. And you realise that they were posting all 'nice' in order to be accepted before they started to post what they really thought.

What I think was so damaging was the way we'd get a sense for how a person who was hiding their true colours would post. And we'd call them on it, but a poster who wasn't so familiar with their nasty manipulative style would wonder why we were being so mean. It was horrible.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:28:01

Kim, I'd missed that. Thank you. smile

And SM, no. Every single rad fem objected to a Rad Fem section, amongst a number of other posters. The only people who approved of this section were those who hated the Rad Fems in the first place.

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 23:28:16

someone you don't know.haven't met
you feel disappointed by their words on screen
how very odd

confused Erm, SM, you do get that words on the screen are representative of some form of communication, right?

The rest of us are all talking to each other.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:30:24

I don't know Nick Clegg or David Cameron. Never met them. I'm disappointed by them daily. HTH

Well said frothy!

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 23:31:16

yes and amusingly you're being all coded
ohhh I know
about another poster.as if it matters

FoodUnit Sat 22-Sep-12 23:31:27

I've just taken the time to read this thread. I must say I was a bit confused as to the re-org since I dip in and out and missed the bunfight. I am disappointed that I met some MNetters in the flesh recently but have only met one of them on MN (briefly in one thread) since.... I hope this doesn't mean I won't bump into them here again sad

I have a horrible feeling that the dastardly coalition of transactivists, MRAs and sex industry profiteers have got what they wanted: dispersed an effective and powerful feminist campaigning force that was Mumsnet and had politicians quaking in their boots. sad

How can we stop them demolishing every feminist space that gathers real power and a strong voice for women?

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sat 22-Sep-12 23:31:37

I know they are words on a screen to you sm.

Your view that people are just words is valid, but other poeple use forums (I am NOT saying fucking fora) differently, build up a picture of who is posting, and can build online 'friendships' for want of a better word. And that is just as valid as your view of words on a screen. And if people regularly talk to someone and they turn out to have different values than you thought, then yes, that can be upsetting. You can't just say that people are idiots because they feel invested in something.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:31:50

LRD, interested in your definition of "we" in this context?

ArtexMonkey Sat 22-Sep-12 23:32:40

Well words on a screen is a double edged sword isn't it SM? I could point out that "antifeminist" "mra" "rape apologist" "what about teh menz?" etc etc are all just words on a screen too, but you don't seem to be getting over that any time soon given the amount of moaning you do about them.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:32:55

frothy, that just made me wee a little.

SM, I count a lot of mners as friends. some Ive met, some I will meet v soon. others I wish I could meet. not everyone distances themselves from their posts and other posters.

I meant 'us' as in, the rest of us on this thread. I'm sorry, but while I understand SM's point about the internet not being the same as face-to-face conversation, I do think that most of us are trying to communicate. I think it is valid for us to be disappointed when we discover someone has put on a persona in order to manipulate.

So I do feel angry about the MRAs who pretended to be one kind of person, while all along they were sniggering amongst themselves about how they were winding us up. You can tell they are not genuine because if they were, they would care that they might give a bad name to the many genuinely concerned men and dads out there. IMO.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:39:16

Artex, I've flippin missed you. smile

BlameIt, apologies. grin

And like BlameIt, there's posters here I've met, shared a laugh, lunch and dinner with. There's posters here who've helped me through so many issues,at a time that my "Real" friends were nowhere to be found.

I class the women here as people I care about. They're no longer "just words on a screen" to me.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:40:18

I think it's time I bow out of this conversation. I didn't quite follow your last post, LRD, but I was on a nightshift last night, have had a couple of hours snooze, but am now failing.

Will look forward to catching up with this conversation in the morning.

Oh, ok, sorry! Not sure what I did there.

ArtexMonkey Sat 22-Sep-12 23:43:39

Frothy, right back atcha smile

scottishmummy Sat 22-Sep-12 23:45:01

no I don't understand lrd post either
hopefully shell elaborate
nor do I know what she's alluding to about personas

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:45:10

No, no, it's me, LRD, am dead on my feet! grin

I'm sorry I'm not clear.

I was trying to say why 'we' (ie., most MNers) understand that there are real people typing the words we see on the screen.

Putting on a persona means putting on a fake face, SM. As in, when MRA posters pretend to be feminists. It's a basic feature of the internet that people can do this, but it's still pretty naff and unpleasant, and easy to see through, usually.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:50:25

I understand what LRD means, but I'm having a "brain has been mushed by Disney" kinda day, so I can't translate...

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:51:06

Sorry, x-post


ArtexMonkey Sat 22-Sep-12 23:51:33

It doesn't help when they piss off back to their horrible mra forums and cackle about being on mn 'under deep cover'.

On the Internet. Where anyone can read it.

Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, some of them.....

seeker Sat 22-Sep-12 23:52:39

What I find soul destroying is that on a forum largely frequented by women, everybody seems to think that its perfectly fine to confine feminism to one board. Feminism should inform everything we do. It's not a hobby, it's a way of life. And it should be a way of life we all lead. All the time. Every day. And particularly as we bring up our children.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:53:17

Frothy, how are you doing with twilight? (It is you reading it isn't it?)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:53:52

Thank you, and gotcha. Going to shower and cuddle up in a fleecy dressing gown now...

AnyFucker Sat 22-Sep-12 23:56:09

seeker, yes

TheCrackFox Sat 22-Sep-12 23:56:25

I completely agree with you Seeker. Feminism shouldn't be confined to one piddly little section it should be all over Mumsnet.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:56:33

BlameIt, I gave up... grin I substituted it for Female Chauvinist Pigs, Doctor Hoffman, and Dworkin's "Pornography".

I was swearing more at a wad of paper than was reasonably acceptable.

FrothyDragon Sat 22-Sep-12 23:57:29

Seeker, I agree completely. smile

Well said, seeker.

ArtexMonkey Sat 22-Sep-12 23:58:01

I think this forum as a whole is really feminist though. I was a bit shock at all the "kate Middleton should have kept her tits locked up in the tower of London where they belong" threads, but in the main mn is really feminist as a whole. My friend who I mentioned before had lurked slightly in relationships and she was surprised and pleased to see so many posters calling out abusive behaviour and rape for what it was.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 22-Sep-12 23:59:55

Seeker, yes.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 00:01:28

Frothy, I read it when off my face on painkillers and kept posting rants to fb about it.

And shouting at dh.

And ranting at my twihard mil.

And dsis.

amillionyears Sun 23-Sep-12 00:03:00

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FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 00:08:00

amillionyears, you could make a fortune doing impressions...

BlameIt, my ex made me sit through ALL the twishite films before Christmas last year. We no longer talk. grin

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:09:29

that's a passive aggressive post
masquerading as concern
all 3 lines there you go

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 00:09:59

I almost like watching them. its like scratching a scab

amillionyears Sun 23-Sep-12 00:13:04

dont know what passive agressive is,but not agressive
I am genuinely concerned and care
and there are my three!

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 00:15:10

that wasn't passive aggressive
that was humourous
but feminists aren't supposed to be funny


frothy, you are a genius.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 23-Sep-12 00:18:43

Exactly seeker. Exactly.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:21:35

to paraphrase someone else post
I agree

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 00:25:42

why thank you scottishmummy
that's the closest i'll ever get to a compliment from you
thank you again

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 23-Sep-12 00:27:09

Is this thread going to go
A bit like
That haiku one?

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:27:59

too obsequious
it was a reply
words on the screen and all that

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 00:28:13

doctrine i suppose it could go
any which way it chooses
just so you know

This is maddening.

First an entire section gets ripped to shreds and now SM's awful writing style takes over MN. Will someone wake me up from this nightmare of reading debates with people who have difficulties stretching their intellectual prowess to more than three lines of text? SM, have some pity on a mere lurker.

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 00:30:48


BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 00:30:55

words on a screen it may be
but I like mumsnet
so there.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:36:32

blowfish,like it or lump it
that's online forums for you
and mnhq intervened because fwr topic had gotten problematic

No, they really didn't.

This has already been explained to you, SM. Why do you persist in pretending you believe MNHQ did something they never in a million years would admit to doing?

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:41:06

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FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 00:41:52

<bangs head on desk>

SM, were you living in an alternate reality while all of this happened?

rosabud Sun 23-Sep-12 00:45:47

I don't know what the bunfight was as I am fairly new to mumsnet but have really been enjoying this section. It is annoying when some come on and derail a thread or are contentious for the sake of it, I mean when they don't really care about the issue but just want to break up intelligent discussion. I don't think this could happen on Mumsnet but I was on one site where the male owner literally banned people whose views he didn't like - and alarmingly they tended to be forthright feminist views that he banned - it really made me think about the nature and supposed "openness" of the internet.

Whoever the "lost" feminist voices are/were, I hope they come back as we should never let our voices be silenced - imagine if our great grandmothers had got cross and given up back at the turn of the century, we wouldn't even be on the internet now!

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scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:46:01

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rosa - well said.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:53:48

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SuperB0F Sun 23-Sep-12 00:54:26

Rosa is right- there is still plenty of food for thought on there. I hope it keeps improving.

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scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 00:56:09

enjoy articipating in fwr topics
and continue to do so

I am perfectly happy to discuss substance with you as well and am eagerly awaiting a substantive and relevant post of yours. Until then I shall keep politely asking you to reconsider your choices in terms of form.

24Hours Sun 23-Sep-12 01:06:22

Well I for one am thrilled atthe reorganization of far and all the related brouhaha
finally at last the vast swathes of mners who felt women's rights were too narrow a focus, who felt passionately committed to equilism and fretted about the dads husbands brothers and sons have a place if their own where they can debate the big issues without being hectored by meanie radfems demanding to know how hairy their genitals are
Thank God for the human rights topic.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 01:13:03

I don't have to adjust or moderate posts to anyone other than mnhq
faux scottsh,or no likey.that's not my problem
just as I don't ask others to adapt or change post style, nor will i

No one is forcing you to do anything. It's just, if you will insist on wondering why you get a certain type of response, you must expect replies.

Otherwise, you're setting yourself up as a peculiar type of oracle, no?

Himalaya Sun 23-Sep-12 01:17:24

Porto -I agree, FWR has lost it's spark, with many regular posters no longer posting, and others not posting as often.

I think this is a real shame. I didn't agree with quite a few people on quite a lot, but i have learnt a lot from these discussions, have changed my mind on some things, and thought alot about others.

I don't think it is the reorganisation itself which broke FWR, it seems like the main chat topic still gets most traffic. It was the discussion around the proposals for renaming and then reorganisation which dug up tensions between posters that were in the end not to do with  MRAs, or ideological differences, but about people feeling slighted and by disputes within Facebook friendship groups. For whatever their reasons a lot of people stopped posting.

My guess is that many of the thoughtful and committed  people who used to use FWR as home base have gone off to closed FB groups or feminist sites, which is of course their prerogative, but a shame. 

Seeker - I think you are right feminism should be all across MN, but at the same time i think it makes sense to have a dedicated FWR section not as an enclave but as a focus and entry point. 

What I think was really valuable (perhaps unique?) on MN was a robust discussion of feminism, with many different POVs within a mainstream forum mainly for mums. I think it is a real shame if that has been lost (or at least subdued) because people have retreated to more exclusive sites.

24Hours Sun 23-Sep-12 01:19:04

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scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 01:19:41

it's a both and IMO
yes to fwr topic
and yes to global discussion of feminism across mn

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 02:16:28

Some of the radical feminists who used to post in FWR, were bullied off here. The bullying was obvious and MNHQ were not interested.

The radical feminist section was set up because those consistently attacking those radical feminist posters asked for it. They wanted the radical feminists to go away basically and not comment on anything they said. I was not aware of one single radical feminist who wanted a separate radical feminist section. And that is why it is unused.

I know some posters will reply saying a separate section was provided because posters asked for it. But it is crazy to provide a section for radical feminists when radical feminists on here argued against its creation.

And I miss the voices of those driven away too.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 02:19:24

bullying?gosh do tell mnhq
bullied off an entire forum
they take such things v seriously

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 02:33:03

And lets be clear MNHQ do not necessarily take this stuff clearly. I was for a while subject to a whole load of unpleasant lesbophobia from a handful of posters all over MN. MNHQ couldnt have cared less.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 02:42:02

if in your opinion mn couldn't care less,or acquiesce to bullying why you here
it's mn site,mnhq moderate as they see fit
if you have fundamental misgivings why hang about?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 03:44:50

And just noticed the radical feminist board has gone. That is because after an initial couple of threads on it where radical feminists complained about the existence of the board, no-one posted on it. Because radical feminists did not want the board created in the first place. Which kind of shows the so called demands for a radical feminist board was a lie - it was only ever argued for by those who were trying to bully radical feminists off the main feminist board.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Sun 23-Sep-12 07:56:51

There are very few radfems on mumsnet. Very few. If any. Which you would find hqrd to believe if you only listened to the wittering that happens whenever anyone expresses views that distinguishes her from a doormat.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 08:24:50

What a charming post EleanourHandbasket hmm.

Personal attack, outing, rude and PA all in a oner.

Personally it is posts like that and the constant attacking of 'radfems' plus the troll hunting that put me off posting here.

I didn't fall out with anyone on Facebook so that is nothing to do with me deciding this section was becoming a waste of time.

TBH I have been put off MN as a whole because of the way MNHQ seem to turn a blind eye to the bullying/troll hunting of some posters (when it suits them). Not saying they put up with it all the time, they don't.

I still read the section sometimes. My opinion is that it has gone from being a pretty unique place on the internet - a big feminist space with a lot of traffic that didn't shy away from challenging and consciousness raising feminist discourse, and this on a on a parenting website!! to something less unique, less challenging and less consciousness raising.

But it seems that that is what people wanted. [shrug]

With hindsight, I think it is incredible that it lasted as long as it did.

It could only happen in the first place because MN is a predominantly female space. Shame that wasn't enough.

WidowWadman Sun 23-Sep-12 08:32:33

Wow, reading this thread you could almost believe no radfem ever bullied anyone on here.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 08:34:27

I agree seeker - I would probably be considered on MN as a radical feminist who holds some pretty 'out there' views.

In reality I am wishy washy on many things and women who live as radical feminists would roll their eyes at my wishy washyness.

On here am Nutty Extremist Man Hater With An Agenda.

It is sort of funny.

Also as has been said many times on here, the FWR section was fluffy kittens, with regards to how scathing/direct people could be, compared to the majority of feminist spaces on the internet.

Which is odd - I mean when you think how 'robust' most areas of MN are in general.

For me what often got called 'radical feminism' on MN, was just 'feminism'. I think a lot of people don't realise how big on overlap there is between classic liberal and radical feminism.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 08:38:09

I think I miss the laughs the most.

There were some fecking hilarious, witty and incisive posts/threads on here sometimes.

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 08:41:28

There are still some great posters here, and still some interesting threads, but I just feel sad that we have lost something.

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WidowWadman Sun 23-Sep-12 08:56:15

"handmaidens claiming to be feminists and the whole equalist nonsense brigad"

As an equalist handmaiden myself I think that's exactly the shit which made FWR so uncomfortable to read and put many women off, who'd otherwise be interested in reading and posting in this section.

KillerRack Sun 23-Sep-12 09:02:52

I think separating is really good, people who aren't in any group just like looking and don't mind discussing topics can pop in and out without being torn a new one like in the past.
People like previous alienate 'normal' people and reinforce the neg. stereotype of feminism.

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 09:15:43

It seems that only in FWR does one poster's robust POV constitue bullying. I guess that if you are a Radfem there can NEVER be shades of grey in certain topics. And people don't like that. I found it really useful to listen to what was being said and try to understand the reasoning behind it. It has made me change a lot of my long-held opinions - even if I don't necessarily agree 100%

rosabud Sun 23-Sep-12 09:23:10

This thread seems to be in three "parts,"

1. LOTS and LOTS of people posting, we miss the 'radfems', we leaned a lot from them/found them very interesting and we wish they would come back.

2. 'Radfems' posting to point out that there is only so much you can take, that they felt under attack and under supported and it all got relentlessly pointless so they left and won't be coming back.

3. Annoying derailer/attacking type people with nothing to add to the discussion but the type of non-relevant nonsense that caused the trouble in the first place.

I sympathise with the posters who fall into points 1 and 2. It does not seem right to have let those who fall into number 3 triumph. In the past it sounds as though the number 2 lot were so attacked/distracted by the number 3 brigade that they failed to notice the vast majority of the number 1 group. The thing is, most people in groups 1 and 2 could probably have easily identified the number 3s and probably didn't need to see their stupid points answered at all. Therefore those in number 3 could be and should be completely blanked and ignored.

Therefore, all the number 2 people ought not to give in, the long history of the women's rights movement is not about giving in! Let's hope they do come back and post in whatever MN wants to call the board now and that discussion/debate is better for it.

ArtexMonkey Sun 23-Sep-12 09:23:32

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ComplexityAndFecundityOfDreams Sun 23-Sep-12 09:25:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

msrisotto Sun 23-Sep-12 09:32:22

Where did they go MillyR? Because I am unaware of any feminist forum that is remotely like what here used to be. I am genuinely interested.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 09:32:22

I'm still one of the equalist nonsense brigade, and I enjoyed the FWR boards for the most part, learned a lot, disagreed with some of the views and sighed at the inflexibility and aggression of a few.
I liked the intellectual debates, and all the referencing to texts that went on, rarely contributed to those but read and lurked and learned.
But there were far too many women who weren't MRAs, or rape apologists or even looking for a fight who got caught by flack or never posted or hid the boards after a flaming, and that was an issue that needed addressing. No solution suits everyone completely, ever.
If there are those that want to find and follow the many erudite and feminist women who used to post here regularly, they could always pm them and ask which sites and locations they are hanging out on now.

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UnChartered Sun 23-Sep-12 09:34:19

you want to know why lots of people avoid this section?

read previous posts on this thread

way to go in supporting each other against oppression, sisters hmm

rad/lib/fun stop categorising each other

it's feminism ffs, not fucking team games

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 09:35:09

Is this a good poit to mention the Snake in the Midst?


Oh okay then.

There shoudl be space for all and feminism should inform all threads and boards.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 09:37:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 09:37:45

I totally agree Complexity. We are all a product of our upbringing and enviroment.

seeker Sun 23-Sep-12 09:40:00

I have discovered that there are three ways to get yourself thoroughly flamed on mumsnet. 1) Disagree with controlled crying 2) Suggest that private education might not be a force for good in society, and 3) express views that distinguish you from a doormat.

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ArtexMonkey Sun 23-Sep-12 09:40:35

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Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 09:46:47

It IS a shame if offline in-fighting does prevent posters from coming here anymore. But I think rehashing it all ON HERE does the topic no favours at all. I didn't start this thread with the intention of everyone rocking up to have a pop at certain posters. Maybe I was a bit too naive. sad

TiggyD Sun 23-Sep-12 09:48:10

It's said that one person's freedom fighter is another person's terrorist.

Likewise, one person's disagreement is another person's derailing a thread.
One person's liberal feminist is another person's MRA handmaiden.
One person's belief is another person's mad idea.
One person's bullying is another person's standing up for themselves and being forceful.
One person's "fuck off you extremists to a corner over there" is another person's giving radical people a space to express their ideas.
One person's equalist nonsense is another person's desire for a better world.

More brew anyone?

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 09:51:46

Yes please to the brew
I agree with your post TiggyD, but if those points are recognised, it should still be possible to have discussions and ask questions of each other without it always ending in a tirade and a dogfight.
Shouldn't it?
As adults?

KRITIQ Sun 23-Sep-12 09:53:03

I didn't even notice there had been any changes. I don't spend that much time here to have noticed.

Folks, can't we just use the space that's here, not worry about what the "rooms" are called, just stick to the basic site rules and get on with it? I've been on other message boards in the past that focus on totally different topics and you STILL get folks complaining that this clique or other is trying to take over, or trying to push others out, or trolling or whatever. I think it's something inherent in internet discussions - not just an issue here. Similarly, I've seen people bring in arguments that have happened in "real life" or on other sites, and that only serves to confuse and alienate those who haven't been involved (and stir up further upsets for those who are.) Lots and lots of time and energy can be wasted on the tooing and frowing when surely, I'd think most people would prefer to get stuck into conversations.

Unless one is banned, no one is forced to leave here, or stay here. At times I have not felt comfortable with the general course of discussions, so I've voted with my feet (well, my fingers.) It's my humble suggestion that others consider doing the same thing.

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garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 09:56:37

I'm here! grin

Oh, when you said "Feminists" you didn't mean me ... Ah.

After 8 pages, I'm sure someone has pointed out there isn't a RadFem section. Porto, you couldn't possibly have started this thread without bothering to see what topics are available in Feminism? Why would you do that?

There's Feminist Theory and Feminist Activism, if you feel like being theoretical and/or active. HTH.

TiggyD Sun 23-Sep-12 09:58:15

Could we have the times and dates of Artex's posts Swallowed? Otherwise it just seems like slagging off and lies telling and troll hunting.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 09:59:49

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Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 10:02:45

Oh the irony...

Here we have, on a thread questioning wistfully what happened to to the FWR boards, an exact example of what happened...

Stop the fussing and (in)fighting, get out there onto all the other threads and raise some consciousness. It will do far more good.

UnChartered Sun 23-Sep-12 10:03:38

what hully said

jenny60 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:06:05

I'm with beachcomber: I miss the laughs too and the amazing camaraderie. I loved the tag-teaming in an effort to deal with the persistent derailers and trolls, especially on pornography/prostitution threads.

I always read, sometimes posted but more than anything, just loved to have a woman friendly space here.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:06:07

There was a radfem section until very recently. It was deleted presumably because no-one was psting there. And nobody posted there because radfems did not want the section in the first place.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 23-Sep-12 10:06:43

TBF Hully, when posters express feminism-informed views on eg Chat threads about strip clubs, a number of posters ask them to piss off back to FWR.

I am sad about the continuation of the fighting here as I'm sure Porto didn't want her thread to go that way.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:08:23

That seems reasonable then, MNHQ trying something out as a solution, turns out to be unused and so deleted. Doesn't that show they are listening to people?

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 10:08:30

Jenny, do you now consider Mumsnet devoid of women-friendly spaces? How so?

jenny60 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:09:42

Seeker: feminism is all over the boards. It's actually really heartening, especially when so many 'I'm not a feminist but' types post clearly feminist messages without realising it.

ArtexMonkey Sun 23-Sep-12 10:09:42

I have not troll hunted bereaved women. That is a lie and a personal attack and I have reported it.

jenny60 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:10:52

No garlic, but one always found real support here for feminism. It was like going into the women's room when I was at uni after a morning of dealing with sexist shite.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:11:02

Woffline - No. Because radfems consistently said they did not want a radfem board. The only ones arguing for a radfem board were those attacking radfems

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 10:14:58

Yes Snatch, but equally one can tell them to fuck off in return...and carry on. Loads pf posters come out i supprt os so-called "lib/rad fems" on those sorts of threads. Some even get a bit enlightened..

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:16:11

But there were a lot of people who wanted a feminist board that was more approachable for those that were still at the shell pink end of the spectrum, rather than the magenta end. So it wasn't meant by the majority, me included, as a way of attacking radfems, more as a way of giving people a fast lane and a slow lane, so that those capable of 150mph on the feminist thinking topics weren't held up, infuriated and otherwise pissed-off by those that weren't keeping up. Or who didn't want to go that direction.

msrisotto Sun 23-Sep-12 10:16:30

Oh, if anyone would like to invite me to any exciting closed feminist groups, I promise to be somewhatmaybekinda insightful, funny and interesting! grin

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:20:35

Woffling - There were lots of threads on basic feminist stuff like the paddling pool thread. And there continue to be thraeds like that. It doesnty mean that every thread has to be link that though

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 10:21:38

Thanks for your reply, Jenny. I think (and hope) you can have those discussions here smile

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 10:23:06

mnhq listened carefully to the voices of its membership and have reconfigured the fwr in a way that suits them best - it is pretty much exactly what most people were crying out for. now, all women can feel totally free to post and have feminist chats, and presumably they do. there certainly were a lot of posters who said they didn't feel able to post- they should feel able to now, and no doubt the board is livelier than ever. I stick to lurking in chat and sometimes posting in style and beauty so can't really say

anyway, hurrah for the renaissance of the fwr boards!

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 10:26:59

chibi, but my point is that so many of the posters that made FWR an interesting and informative place to hang out aren't posting any more. You NEED the different views to make it an informative and valuble experience.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:29:01

Agree Porto

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:29:40

I wouldn't want every thread in FWR to cater for the same audience, EBAL, the variety was one of the best things about it. The paddling pool thread was a very recent thing though, as a response to the number of 'FWR is scary, I got called xyz, I asked a question and was flamed, I'm not clever enough to be a feminist' threads and responses elsewhere on MN.
Because a lot of threads seemed to end in a robust response from the comrades' tag-teams that Jenny remembers so fondly. Which alienated a lot of other women.
When you have people who feel they are being attacked, sometimes the response they come up with is not to the other people's liking, then they in turn feel attacked and marginalised.
The answer probably lies in PARD of the differences and the similarities.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:30:25

I agree too, Portofino.

TiggyD Sun 23-Sep-12 10:31:11

But many of those posters couldn't handle different views.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Sep-12 10:33:05

One woman's tag-team is another woman's bully?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:33:57

Woffling I didnt come on FWR for ages because of those comments elsewhere on MN. When I finally did venture on I found the feminists here very welcoming and happy to explain stuff. I knew virtually nothing about feminism. I didnt know for example what patriarchy meant.

But then I didnt attack feminists or feminism on here. I actually listened and debated points.

FoodUnit Sun 23-Sep-12 10:34:15

It all seems really sad. It is so obvious that with MN getting attention with the 'We Believe You' and 'I Did Not Report', etc that MRAs decided to target. So obvious that when radical feminists seemed to find good company transactivists and sex industry profiteers started to target. And of course all the wavering, unformed minds who found those challenging and convincing radfems a little bit threatening would side with preserving the status quo, which the transactivists, MRAs and sex-industry profiteers would be arguing for.

How f*cking sorry and sad that MNHQ fell in line with the antifeminist defenders of the status quo- on a forum about feminism and womens rights which should surely be about challenging it.

Wake up!!!!! ARGHHHHH!

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 10:34:21

that is incorrect. there is no reason to miss old posters. many posters said their viewpoints made them feel bad and unable to post. now that they have left, everyone feels able to post and it is much better.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 10:34:43

I actually agree with woffling, I was certainly intimidated that said.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 10:37:45

What are the viewpoints that are actually missed?

And for those that miss them, why not post them yourselves?

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:40:11

Whereas I jumped into reading and posting on the FWR boards shortly after I joined MN, because I'd been a feminist since the mid 70s.
I learned a lot, but I also saw what many of the comments elsewhere on MN were referring to. I come from a large, academic and argumentative background, so being robustly argued with and occasionally flamed was a familiar zone for me.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 10:40:24

YY, chibi, hurrah!

Eats - The name 'Feminist Theory' implies that the board is intended for discussion by those who know about the theories and are interested in discussing the finer points of same. I like to read about theories from time to time, while preferring more generalised discussions to stay generalised. In any topic - not only feminism - persistent interjection of theory can derail a conversation. Published & peer-reviewed papers can be given more credence than the lived experience of people taking part, seeming to devalue individual opinion.

Of course theory is important. It becomes part of received opinion when it's been boiled down to generalities, in ordinary language, which others can relate to their own observations and eventually feed back into theory. The boiling-down process starts with those who have the time, knowledge and inclination to discuss comparative theories in depth. I think it would be a huge compliment to Mumsnet's 'capital F' feminists if the theory board were to be used that way.

seeker Sun 23-Sep-12 10:40:35

Are people saying that feminists are never attacked on here?

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:42:19

No. confused
Only that debates often ended in squabbles and insults and attacks from both sides.

FoodUnit Sun 23-Sep-12 10:43:26

"What are the viewpoints that are actually missed? And for those that miss them, why not post them yourselves?"

That is really weird. Its like advising someone who says 'I just miss my friend who gave good advice and could straighten me out when I was confused' - 'why not imagine what they'd say and say it to yourself?- totally unhelpful since we can't know all the information a unique persons mind and predict what they'd say in every situation.

TiggyD Sun 23-Sep-12 10:43:45

One person's liberal feminists is another person's "wavering, unformed minds who found those challenging and convincing radfems a little bit threatening".

Welcome back.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 10:43:48

all the wavering, unformed minds, FoodUnit? You call adult, literate women's minds unformed? If so, that kind of illustrates why there was a problem, I suggest.

Himalaya Sun 23-Sep-12 10:44:08

Porto -

I agree. Diverse views and robust debate was what made this board great.

But I think people were treating legitimate disagreement under SAF's broad category of "trolls, mra's, handmaidens claiming to be feminists and the whole equalist nonsense" which is no basis for open discussion.

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 10:45:01

this is what people wanted, and what they asked for

really confused by this thread

agree that theory should be shoved away in a dark corner so normal folk aren't forced to look at it, it's not like feminism is a political movement so what is the point of theory?

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:45:25

smile Right on Sister garlic.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:45:48

garlic - I agree that theory can be used to derail. But feminism is based on theory. It is impssible to talk about even basic feminism without talking about feminist theory. This may be in a very simple way as I agree it is not about published and peer reviewed papers.

Individual experiences are very useful tyo talk about, but only if you then use it to talk about the wider feminist implications. Because otherwise it just becomes - this man said this mean thing to me yesterday, or my child was given this ridiculous book yesterday.

The personal is political means that we talk about personal individual experiences and then recognise the wider political significance. You cant separate the two.

FoodUnit Sun 23-Sep-12 10:47:00

"all the wavering, unformed minds, FoodUnit? You call adult, literate women's minds unformed?"

Are you telling me who I mean by wavering, unformed minds?

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:47:36

chibi, it's not in a locked cupboard, no one is denied access. I don't understand why you think people are being deprived of Feminist Theory because it is now available on a labelled thread. Plus, this is an open site, nothing to stop others ignoring any labels and posting whatever they like wherever they like

jenny60 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:48:06

Thing about the tag team is that here were usually a very few feminists posting and a multitude of sexist fuckwits, often from the anti-women sites we all know alas only too well. It was relentless sometimes and feminists were often massively out-numbered. Feminist comarardie was essential in the face of these.

MsCellophane Sun 23-Sep-12 10:48:46

No one was forced to leave and no one was forced to stop interacting

Fighting amongst posters on and off these boards, competitive feministing and constant calls of derailing when views that didn't perfectly match their idealolgy is what ruined the FWR boards

It does seem to be a more relaxed area now and that is good thing

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:49:38

<Sticks hand up> I was an unformed mind. I had never heard any real feminist discussion or debates before or read any theory. My feminism boiled down to - yes sexism is bad and women should be treated equally.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:50:29

That worked well in genuine cases of attack jenny, but sometimes the same approach was used on people that really weren't trolling or intentionally holding anti-feminist views, just who has a different opinion.

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 10:53:13

wolffingon confused by your post sad

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 10:53:23

YY, Eats; can't disagree with a word of your 10:45 post. The example you gave, of not knowing what patriarchy means, is a bit misleading because you'd certainly get an answer on this board (there's a long, current thread) and even in _Chat. When you get into things like the relevance of marxism to feminism, whether equalism is a valid concept, how intersectionality applies to feminism across various societies - and more - the arguments are inappropriate to a 'normal' feminist conversation as they haven't yet acquired enough flexibility (robustness) to adapt.

Woffling - It's ages since I've been called Sister! grin

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 10:53:26

* It is impssible to talk about even basic feminism without talking about feminist theory. *

Actually, I disagree with that.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 10:56:13

garlic - I did get an answer on this board. The feminists here were very patient in explaining feminism and providing suitable links and reading material.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 10:56:21

Genuine question chibi, why saddened by my post?
I've always thought feminism was a political movement, that the theory explained, analysed and validated women's experiences and feelings about their lives.
I just don't see access being restricted, or it being hidden away in the corner here.
It's one click away.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:04:59

I don't see feminism as a political movement, more a way of life and set of values. There are many women I know who don't see themselves as feminists, but hold feminist beliefs, live by feminist values and pass them on to their children.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 11:06:06

Oh, the long thread is your, Eats! smile

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 11:07:40

garlic? dont understand that comment?

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 11:11:18

I think that politics should be shaped by the positive values and beliefs of the people, and that the greatest strength of the feminist movement are the women who live feminist lives and use their values to shape the next generation.

My DS has struggled to understand the slogan 'Whoever we are and wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no' For him it is incontestable, illogical not to understand that no means no in whatever circumstances. That to take sex where it is not freely offered is always rape. Possibly because he has been raised with those values.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 11:14:33

garlic wrote'The example you gave, of not knowing what patriarchy means, is a bit misleading because you'd certainly get an answer on this board (there's a long, current thread) and even in _Chat.'
Then she wrote ' Oh, the long thread is your, Eats!'
Which you didn't understand, EBAL. Garlic is referring to this thread.


EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 11:16:48

Thanks I know what the patriarchy is now. I posted it because it gets used here a lot and I know not all women understand what it means.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 11:17:25

Thanks, Woffling. I've got lazy fingers blush

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 11:22:09

I never self identified as Feminist before I discovered this section. I believed in Equality and actively disagreed with many of the radfem views. But I listened, read up a bit, argued my side and listened to the responses - and it was like the scales fell from eyes. It is a life changing thing.

I would not have got there without those views. I would have continued to ignore a lot of what is now obvious to me. It has made my relationship different - not without problems - and made me parent differently.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:22:57

Yes, woffling, I agree broadly. Our local shop has the sport and star on the bottom shelf (lovely) and ds(7) took a good look at the women on the cover, bending over with stars on their nipples. We talked about it, and he understands that women are not objects, and that my feelings on the industry come from concern for those exploited by rich men who see sex as a commodity and women as toys. Politically, I am very liberal and left-leaning. And, I have no doubt that ds will be the same.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 11:27:04

Portofino - Totally agree!!

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:27:07

I do find the threads posted in order to pre-empt a question/"educate" annoying. If I want to know, I will ask. I'm not at school anymore.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 11:28:53

My DS is 17 and at college, so he's field-testing independently smile

I think sometimes they work, when someone is sharing information to start and inviting everyone to pitch in.

I don't see the problem with sharing stuff like small incidents of sexism/misogyny, which someone mentioned upthread as being unpolitical. So what? It's still good to talk about this stuff.

Ideally we'd be able to do a range of things, to discuss theory and activism and to chat and work out ideas.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:31:33


I do know what you mean though blame, it drove me nuts when BobtheMRATroll would start a thread with some wanky phrase like 'discuss' and would refuse to offer his own opinions, but would then leap in gleefully to patronize you as soon as you posted. That's a debate tactic straight out of pretentious twittery 101.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:34:19

Lrd, I find the "incidents and how it was dealt with" threads interesting. Actually, you've reminded me of a thread that I want to start when I get on the pooter.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 11:36:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:36:41

LRD, that's exactly what I mean. I find faux preaching patronising and a tad insulting.

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 11:36:45

I do miss Bob.

The same way you miss the shits when you've recovered from them grin


Ah, Bob. frothy, I sometimes get the impression he is not too far from us, perhaps? But I can't tell them all apart, anyway.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:38:26

<Applauds sgm> I'm reluctant to label myself, because the way I view things and my beliefs are constantly evolving.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 11:39:19

Frothy grin

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 11:45:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArtexMonkey Sun 23-Sep-12 11:48:32

grin sgm.

But come off it. We were a tiny bit rude to Naomi wolf (well I was). But I assumed she had consented.

All this talk of Bob reminds me that I left a shitty nappy soaking in the bog, I'd better go see if I can scrape the remnants off.

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 11:52:48

Crying at Artex's post.

I'm still gutted I missed Naomi Wolf's visit. sad It looked like such fun when I read it afterwards.

MmeLindor Sun 23-Sep-12 11:53:08

I don't know how to define myself as a feminist. And I'm not sure if I want to.

Not being obtuse, but are there any advantages to defining oneself as rad-fem, lib-fem or whatever?

I sometimes think it is like the Christians who are most vocal about being a Christian. 'As a Christian, I think...' - just cause you quack like a Christian doesn't mean you live your life according to Christian values.

I was one of the posters who suggested the feminist chat/support/theory structure. At the time, MNHQ were stating quite firmly that doing nothing and leaving FWR as it was, was Not An Option.

While I would have preferred it if FWR had been left as it was, my reasoning for suggesting the theory section was that we could have a space to discuss issues from a feminist perspective without people taking things so personally - e.g. we could discuss the politics of hair removal without the inevitable derail to deal with all the - 'I shave and I'm a woman and it's my choice so how dare you criticise' - type posts (when in fact, probably quite a few of us both shave and want to examine the politics of doing so).

I totally get the misgivings about separating 'theory' from real life when they are not separate at all, IMO - perhaps it would have been better named 'feminist theory and practice'. I don't think it's that viable having so many sub topics. Inevitably some of them will be underused.

The tone has changed here since all the upset. There are some posters I miss although there are new people whose posts I appreciate too. I know it's a forum about feminism and blah-de-blah and there will always be those who post non-feminist and anti-feminist viewpoints but they don't seem to be challenged so much or so strongly and just lately it seems like the p unters have felt right at home here. It's one thing them posting here but if they are finding this a comfortable place to be then that is something else.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 12:06:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:06:37

I know I am totally alone in this and indeed disliked for it...

But I felt sorry for Bob.

To watch anyone's psyche unravel is never pleasant.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 12:07:08

I don't know how to define myself as a feminist.

I say "I'm a feminist" grin
I carefully avoid saying what kind of feminist I deem myself, because:
[a] It's irrelevant to anyone outside a feminist-only discussion;
[b] Feminists in such discussions are prone to telling me what I think.

On the second point, it's somewhat like your christian example where self-identified specialists consider their viewpoint exclusively correct even when it's a view on my views! In the past, men used to tell me what I thought. Now it's mainly christians, feminists, ATOS ... and my mother.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 12:07:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:08:14

Me too garlic

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:08:54

What happened to the definition of radfem = tear down the patriarchy (method undefined) and libfem = subvert from within?

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 12:10:23

Mme, I don't think there's any advantages to defining yourself as a feminist.

I mean, by default, I'd assume any woman is a feminist until she proves otherwise. Shouldn't it be the default, for women to be feminist?

But at the same time, Feminist is still used as an insult, as a silencing tactic. About a year back, I was sat in the car with a friend, wittering about random stuff when she came out with the beloved "I'm not a feminist but...". Needless to say, followed up with a feminist thought. I think we need to remove the stigma of being identified as a feminist, and take away that stick the MRAs use to beat us with.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:10:27

do you think its possible to hold radfem views on many issues (like porn, etc) but see feminism as an individual process and not want to demolish the patriachy, but change peoples perceptions/thinking, like the libfems?

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:12:42

xpost, stewie, youve already answered. thats kind of how I feel.

and frothy, I wholeheartedly agree. being a feminist isnt a bad thing. it doesnt mean you dont like wearing make up or buying shoes. it doesnt mean you hate men. it means that you believe inequality and respect.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 12:12:45

I suspect like most women I dont talk about being a radical feminist outside of feminist groups. Its just a useful shorthand to explain a set of views and political theory that I agree with. In the same way someone might say they are an anarchist for example.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:13:35

I think you need all of it, the vanguard throwing molotov cocktails into male-entrenched institutions and the libfems mounting legal challenges.

And I would never think you can only call yourself X if you think Y, chiefly because there is no overarching agreement on the matter like Moses' tablets.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 12:13:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 12:14:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:14:53

I STILL want to know how it can be done, or at least suggested methods.

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 12:15:11

BlameIt, I think it's entirely possible.

After all, Feminism isn't autonomous, so surely it stands to reason that strands of feminism aren't autonomous, either?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 12:15:49

Blame if you dont want want to demolish patriarchy you dont agree with radical feminism. But there is a long history of liberal feminists being anti porn, ertc. So perfectly possible to agree with radfems on these issues and be a liberal feminist.

Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 12:16:12

Does no-one see the damage from the good old FWR days ? The infighting and back biting was on all sides. Rehashing it all really doesn't help.

What would help would be trying to overcome the stereotypes about all of us being a bunch of extreme, man hating, woman oppressing harpies who should stay in our own special section. That was what the old FWR did and we all played a part in it.

If feminism has helped you to see the world as it really is, surely you have an obligation to help other women. Not to berate them because you consider them to be lesser feminists or not feminists at all.

Having a go at posters who currently post here just because they tend not to be extreme enough or seasoned enough or hard core enough kind of misses the point.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 12:16:58

"I'm not a feminist but...". Needless to say, followed up with a feminist thought.

I always love to hear that! Because it is going to be followed by a feminist thought smile

The label matters far less than the thought. I can say "I'm not middle-aged but ..." and you'd ignore that part of my speech because obviously I am!

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:19:07

but, isnt it about methods rather than the end result?

I am raising my only child as a feminist. to view women as his intellectual and social equals. one day he may marry and have children, and hopefully raise his children the same way. I think that progress can be made one person at a time.

messyisthenewtidy Sun 23-Sep-12 12:19:50

In general I think the main reason why rad feminism/ fem in general is so unpalatable for many is that it appears to generalise about men and this is probably down to a lack of word in the English language for "some men, not all men, maybe not even the majority of men but a sufficiently higher number of men than women in a comparable situation for it to be considered a social pattern"! IYSWIM.

People look at their everyday lives and see (mostly I hope) that the individual men in their lives aren't rabid perps of the patriarchy and so disassociate with the generalities of feminist analysis. But then Fm isnt about individuals but more about recognising patterns. It's not about blaming individuals but more about analysing and critiquing a system that favours some over others.

That probably doesn't make any sense whatsoever but I was just trying to work out why people out in the wider forum would want to sideline FWR and not see it as relevant to their everyday lives.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:19:55

xpost a zillion.

bloody pills.

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 12:20:39

Exactly, EBAL.

Garlic, indeed. grin I may have sat there thinking "Yay! You ARE a feminist AFTER ALL!" at the time. Number of times I've heard that, I've considered making "Congratulations! You're A Feminist" stickers...

MmeLindor Sun 23-Sep-12 12:23:29

See, that's why we need Radfems on MN who can explain these things without telling me that my thinking is wrong. Or patronisinf me. Thanks, SGM and Frothy

Food for thought.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 12:23:49

"What would help would be trying to overcome the stereotypes about all of us being a bunch of extreme, man hating, woman oppressing harpies.."

But putting woman and girls first and wanting to overthrow the patriarch does make many feminists extreme in many women and men's eyes. We shouldnt try and dumb it down and soften what we believe to appeal to others.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:26:49

Eats, and that's the type of statement that alienates people and dissuades them from identifying themselves as feminists. I don't want to put women and girls first. I want to put the person who needs most help and support first. That doesn't make me any less of a feminist.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 12:27:52

Why would you want someone to identify as a feminist who is not one?

I have to say, I hate the language of 'dumbing down'. I don't think you should have to 'dumb down' in order to make something accessible and intelligible to someone else. If you do have to, the fault is with you as a teacher/communicator, not with them for asking you to explain more simply. IMO.

Radical feminism is, I think, extremely simple. We can all disagree about the details of how it works in real life, and how good we are at it and how much we want it to produce the same results. But the basic ideology is very, very simple and doesn't need dumbing down.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:29:00

Why would they not be one?

Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 12:29:12

Don't want to dumb it down but want to find a way to post without getting others backs up to the extent that anything I say is ignored because all they hear is a radfem spouting at them and focus on that. Never mind that I'm not a radfem

eats - because it's not binary, I think. There aren't 'feminists' and 'everyone else from MRAs to not-a-feminist-but types' ... or at least, there's not much point looking at people in that sort of binary way.

blistory - absolutely. Yes.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 12:30:50

No not dumb it down in that way LRD. Radical feminist ideas can be explained very simply. I meant dumbing it down in terms of pretending it is something it is not - so watering down is perhaps more appropriate phrase

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:31:08

Blistory, exactly.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 12:31:28

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

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 12:32:45

Feminism is a political theory - whatever branch of feminism you subscribe to. I think the idea that we encourage anyone who displays any basic feminist ideas to identify as a feminist, means that most women do not understand what feminism is and dont hear feminist ideas beyond the most anodyne ones.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:32:53

Aaaaaand, here we go again.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:34:31

So, eats, what you are saying is that unless you subscribe to one school of thought, you are not a feminist? Spiffing

beach, MNHQ already deleted that lie once.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:34:45

I love a bit of revisionism of a rainy sunday.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:35:46

MN troll hunter/bully crowd

Who ARE these people?


Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 12:36:14

Eats, I don't understand your last post. Are you saying that you have to know you're a feminist to be a feminist ?

ComplexityAndFecundityOfDreams Sun 23-Sep-12 12:36:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:38:17

Was that to me?

It's hardly shit-stirring to ask someone what they meant by such a provocative yet mysterious post...

eats - I don't think people should dumb down/water down, but I also don't honestly believe that many posters on this thread are liable to do it.

Lots of women don't identify as feminists because they've heard a load of guff about 'nasty mean man-hating feminists' and think that's what it's all about. There is no way in which combatting that stereotype can be a bad thing, IMO.

I do think it feels a bit like pulling up the ladder after ourselves, to object to any kind of explanation of feminism in a simple or basic way, and it does feel as if what you see as 'watering down', another poster may see as trying to explain the basics first?

icepole Sun 23-Sep-12 12:41:11

I miss the way it was before, it always made me think. I was thankful many times for the posts made by the radfems. Are they posting somewhere else these days? I would live to be able to read those sorts of posts again.

beach's post is the same as SaF's deleted post. If something has been deleted for being a personal attack and a lie, posting it again comes awfully close to goading, IMO.

messyisthenewtidy Sun 23-Sep-12 12:42:05

"But putting woman and girls first and wanting to overthrow the patriarch does make many feminists extreme in many women and men's eyes."

I think that's what I mean. Because I sincerely think that feminism isn't about putting women and girls first but about putting everyone equal, and I do also genuinely believe that there are some ways in which boys suffer from the big P in the way that they're socialized.

I don't think its detracting from the multitude of ways in which girls are subtly (and not so subtly) oppressed whilst boys are favoured, to point this out.

Obviously the way they're socialized is down to the misogyny inherent in P but that doesn't mean that it's not bad for them. Because not all boys are destined to be Alpha males on top of the hierarchy that P has created.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:42:38


Plus ca change

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 12:42:42

One of the reasons that the paddling pool thread was started was that many more established posters on the boards disliked being put in the role of educators and were quite specific as to why they thought explaining feminism 101 wasn't what ought to be happening.
So a few patient feminists offered to shoulder the burden, and yet another little shoot sprang up.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:44:01

I agree messy.

The patriarchy makes life shit for each and every one of us, even those at the top of the heap (other than materialistically)

I agree, messy. I don't think putting women and girls first in everything, is a feminist view.

OTOH putting women and girls first some of the time, in the context of the misogynistic society we live in where the reverse is more often true, is feminist. I get really fed up with explaining why running, say, a woman's writing course is not sexist - it's an antidote to the huge dominance of men's writing everywhere else!

Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 12:45:24

I don't think it should be seen as shouldering a burden. Just because you're not as far along your feminist journey doesn't mean your views should be dismissed. That for me was the crux of the problem with FWR in it's old form

I agree blistory.

I think it should be fine to say 'start a new thread' or 'I've started a new thread on this', but not fine to be furious with someone for asking what they don't know is a basic question.

But then of course we get into MRA tactics, which is where this whole thing started to go south. Because the MRAs know perfectly well how it all works, and they rock up asking their 'simple questions' and using them as a tool to start endless stupid arguments. And it is understandable people get fed up with that.

MillyR Sun 23-Sep-12 12:47:28

MsRisotto, a lot of them moved to new boards, and joined new women's groups. I think MN helped a lot of people make more connections with feminists more widely, not just the ones on here. So new groups have emerged from it with a mix of people from MN and from other areas of feminism.

They're not all on secret FB groups! The admins shut the MN feminist group down when a lot of feminists left MN - it was becoming increasingly pointless having an MN feminist group when quite a few of the people on it had no connection to MN and had never posted on here in the first place. Although I think FB is a great way of sharing news and information, but you don't need a group to do that - people can just post links on their wall.

I think it is actually a good thing for MN feminist section because it allows new people a space to make use of and do what they want with. We always need spaces for new people to have discussions and make new connections.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 12:48:31

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

Btw, I think it's not just about where you are in your journey, or how new you are to feminism - that implies that you'd only ask questions or disagree about the basics if you were new and inexperienced, which isn't the case.

There are several very established posters I can think of who're perfectly content that they've worked out their mature views of feminism, and who still disagree with each other. It doesn't mean they need to go back to feminism 101, or need to be patronized about it.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 12:49:32

smile I often pointed out that on the SN boards, newbies or those with very basic questions were treated with polite responses, and all the help and support that could be given. No one said 'FFS, that old chestnut again, we're not here to educate you, go read Tony Attwood's book instead'
It shouldn't be seen as a burden, but it often seemed that way. The exceptions were always the same posters who had patience and confidence.

MmeLindor Sun 23-Sep-12 12:50:17

The 'nasty man hating' feminist thing kind of comes from the 'overthrow the patriarchy' rhetoric, doesn't it?

I'll admit it puts me off. I'm not really a revolution type of person. And like Blameit, I don't want women to be no 1. I want equality.

We have gone past that and are having rather a fascinating discussion on feminism so if you wouldn't mind buggering off, that would be lovely.

beach, your post might go because you're not telling the truth.

Ask MNHQ what happened, they will tell you.

It is not remotely plausible they would ban someone for trollhunting a bereaved mother then let her back in with an apology, is it? Yet Artex was let back, so maybe you should consider that you've been fed a pack of lies.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:50:48

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Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 12:50:58

Agree LRD but because we actively went after the MRAs, lots of interested women got caught in the cross fire and turned against feminism. Ignoring is difficult but sometimes needs to be done.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 12:51:13

The bereaved mother thing is new to me.

Weirder and weirder. I have forgotten all the shenanigans (probs a good thing). But I do remember my favourite bit - someone saying, "But I went to Disneyland." <irrelevant yet still marvellous>

WidowWadman Sun 23-Sep-12 12:51:23

The problem with radical feminism as I see it is that it is just as oppressive as the system it seeks to overturn. Certainly those who post in favour of radical feminism over here don't seem to actually acknowledge a stance of "it may be a bit more complicated than", but just go for straight forward black and white. And anyone who doesn't follow 100% gets attacked for being MRA/handmaiden or patronised for allegedly not having understood what's going on.

I don't like abolitionism, but I don't think that makes me less of a feminist.

blistory - yes, I know. It isn't easy.

But I do think people sometimes hold feminists to a very odd kind of high standard, and assume we're the hive mind. You constantly get posters insisting that 'the feminists' are all horrible because one person was rude to them once on a bad day, or because an MRA troll had a rant at them in the feminism section.

Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 12:54:37

I don't have a problem at all with radical feminism - just a problem with posting style of some who consider liberal feminism not worthy.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:56:09

Blistory, yep, the "its my way or the highway" thing is alienating.

ComplexityAndFecundityOfDreams Sun 23-Sep-12 12:57:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyR Sun 23-Sep-12 12:58:51

This is just all so ridiculously disingenuous though.

Regardless of who has lied to whom about what, and who thinks they know the truth about what, there were two FB groups - many of the people who were in one have now left. There are now a lot of people from the other FB group, including the OP, asking why they all left on this thread.

It is just silly.

What are you doing it for?

What is the point in going through any of this again?

The whole thread seems like goading to me.

If you have concerns about where a particular poster is, for example Sakura, who left maybe a year before the board reorganisation so presumably did not leave while Portofino was on holiday, why don't you just contact her and ask her?

I do not see the point in blaming it on MRAs or whoever - if you want to know why a particular poster left, contact them and ask them. Ultimately MN is just a board, and people find other things to do. I don't know anybody who feels they've been silenced - they're just busy elsewhere.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 12:59:35

Oh I'm very aware that people don't want it talked about Mme Lindor.

I shall now do as I'm told by you (are you a mod?) and bugger off again so that useful feminist discussions can happen and nobody mentions troll hunting in an inconvenient way.

If I hang around much longer the clean up squad will arrive anyway.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 12:59:58

And around around we go!

Milly, you felt the need to stir things up. You completely missed the point of this thread and decided it was about an old argument. Before you did that, it wasn't the topic.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 13:02:00

Beachcomber, I really don't think its a good idea to keep goading like this.

Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 13:02:14

For the benefit of people like me who aren't in FB groups but saw the whole thing erupt without understanding why, could you all take it back to FB. As fascinating as it is in a car crash type way, it's also old news.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 13:03:05

And what lrd said.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 13:03:56

And I also agree with blistory. Not helpful. A lot of people were hurt.

vesuvia Sun 23-Sep-12 13:03:56

WidowWadman wrote - "The problem with radical feminism as I see it is that it is just as oppressive as the system it seeks to overturn."

You have lived in the Radical Feminist Republic of ... where, to know this is/would be the case?

Yep, agree vesuvia.

I don't see how radical feminism can be oppressive - as an ideology, it says women and men should be treated with equal respect, right? Potentially any ideology could be implemented in a twisted or oppressive way, but I'm struggling to see how this one lends itself to oppression more than the patriarchy!

MillyR Sun 23-Sep-12 13:06:20

LRD, how is it not the topic?

The topic is presumably where did the feminists go - I've explained where many of them went and why, based on speaking to people who did post here all the time and are not here anymore.

There are perhaps people who have left for a multitude of other reasons, with it being an internet board where people come and go, after all.

I am pretty sure this thread was initially talking about the FWR board, not facebook.

I do wish we could stop going on and on about it. It is very obvious that some people do not know what's going on, or are lying about what they do know, and it's fucking tedious for everyone watching who can't be expected to know any of it.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 13:08:41

About this man-hating thing. Messy posted: it appears to generalise about men and this is probably down to a lack of word in the English language for "some men, not all men, maybe not even the majority of men but a sufficiently higher number of men than women in a comparable situation for it to be considered a social pattern"!

I find this very likely. I had difficulty understanding how feminism came to viewed as man-hating (except by sexist pigs) until the internet revealed a prevalence of feminist statements that "Men ... <do some awful thing>"

Whilst I understand why this happens - Messy explained - it's bald, inaccurate and grossly sexist statement. In the main, it's pretty easy to add the qualifier - men in government; the men with the money; some men; a male-biased society; etc - with a few more keystrokes. I think this little extra care would be good for feminism's reputation AND for feminist thought, which is lazy when generalising.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 13:08:58

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

messyisthenewtidy Sun 23-Sep-12 13:09:03

What happened with the FB pages debacle FGS?!! I feel so out of the loop that I missed it all but I must have been on at Cure-Myself-From-My-Addiction-to-Mumsnet rehab at the time. As you can see, it didn't really work... blush

Can someone quickly tell me in a quick potted history what happened, and I'll read it before it gets deleted...

Ta, awfully!

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 13:10:04

LRD - I read stuff with my own eyes.

Stuff that shocked me.

I don't say things I'm not sure of. Nobody has fed me a pack of lies. I don't take people's word over these sorts of things. I read stuff with my own eyes that I really really didn't like.

And I have communicated with MNHQ over it thank you.

Will really bugger off now as there is no point in all of this. It should have been sorted out at the time and wasn't.

vesela Sun 23-Sep-12 13:10:44

WidowWadman - I don't think that's the case that anyone who doesn't agree 100% is attacked or patronised. I said the other day that I had an issue with class analysis in radical feminism, and had a good discussion.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 13:11:19

Dunno messy. Pm someone that was involved if you really, truly have to know.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 13:12:32

Ah, yes. The private conversations, hand-picked snippets of which were fed to you.

I'm certainly thrilled that you have seen them with your own eyes.

Anyway. Toodlepip.

MillyR Sun 23-Sep-12 13:13:02

Okay, so if you want to answer the OP's actual question, but only within the context of the FWR board, then the most you can say is:

OP: Where did the feminists go?
Responding post: they're not on FWR anymore.

And if you then want the thread to be about FWR, then it has to be about creating something positive with the posters who are actually using it now and contributing to it now, not about how much better it was in the olden days.

Mmm. Not quite sure what you read, beach, but you did lie about trollhunting of bereaved mothers, so I'm not sure what you think you read.

FTR, yes, a while back several posters, most of whom never post in FWR and have nothing at all to do with it or any FB group I know of, did get concerned that someone posting might be a troll. They did exactly what they're meant to do, which is to get in touch with HQ and with each other, and to keep all their concerns off-board.

Trolls do target the bereavement boards. It was not wrong of those posters to be concerned. I wasn't one of them; I've (luckily) not had call to use those boards, but I do see why people would worry, in the light of known past trolls.


Milly, my posts on this thread (esp. re. Blackcurrants' thread) are about creating something positive with the posters who are here. That's why I'm fed up with it being derailed to rake over an old story.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 13:14:46

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

Beachcomber Sun 23-Sep-12 13:15:39

Wonders if above post will get deleted.

Read my post. Please. Just read it, it's not long.

Why you felt like snooping on conversations I don't know, but if you had been more honest and got in touch openly, I'm sure people would have explained why they (and, at the time, MNHQ) were concerned about trolling.

This is what we are supposed to do FFS. We are supposed to report someone we suspect and to shut the fuck up on the thread in question.

messyisthenewtidy Sun 23-Sep-12 13:17:01

Maybe MNHQ will put it in their annual newsletter? Or it will someday make it to "Mumsnet, the Movie" and we will all smoke our pipes and say "ah yes I remember the RadFem Wars of 2012"....

Except I don't. So someone bloody tell me!

Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 13:17:03

My answer to the opening post would be we're still here but sorry if you don't think I'm a feminist.

The post implies yet again that there's a right feminism and a wrong one. So to be honest, I'm glad that they're gone and think it's for the best in the long run. Beach' unwillingness to forgive or forget Demi states why. Too many hurts and too many confusions that the rest of us will never understand

(And why you imagine it has to do with Artex, I really do not know, since it doesn't.)

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 13:18:24

Beachcomber, I have nothing to say to you on this matter. I'm disgusted.

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 13:18:43

see this kind of thread is pretty much why i don't really post anymore. before anyone points it out, yes i know that this is totally no great loss to anyone and probably for the best

i have thought often of starting threads or joining in but i just can't face all the aggro.

still i guess at least now others feel hapier posting so that's something anyway

Blistory Sun 23-Sep-12 13:18:47

-demonstrates why-

I think it's a loss and I miss your posts, chibi, though I don't know if that means much coming from me.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 13:21:09

chibi - cheer up, Revenge just gets better and better (am nearly at the end of series 1)

<hopes it was chibi on that thread otherwise looks even more barking>

MillyR Sun 23-Sep-12 13:21:50

I do think it is for the best. There are plenty of interesting things going on here and a lot less of an MRA presence now, which is great for newer posters - they can talk in a more relaxed atmosphere.

MooncupGoddess Sun 23-Sep-12 13:23:15

I am absolutely baffled by all this FB stuff, but would love to see some hardcore discussion on the Feminist Theory board, without (as PubeGardens said upthread) posters taking personal offence/derailing, etc. Will see if any thread ideas occur to me...

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 13:24:11


Most people aren't interested in the mad bitter agenda of the few still obsessed with all the she said she said bollox in the past and just want to get on and discuss.

No one will ever agree on who did what to who why and when, it all got so mad I doubt there is a coherent narrative. And it was the reason it all went to shit in the first place.

Things are calmer, more pleasant and productive now so

Why don't we just move on?

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 13:27:05

thanks that is kind. i am probably happier wondering about burgundy skinny jeans and whether i can wear a leather biker jacket in a dignified way. i know my ideas about feminism are pointless and unwelcome pretty much anywhere, so i don't bother much anymore. i try to not engage with anything i find hateful, either people or cultural products or whatever, anymore. it is quite liberating.

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 13:29:44

d it is tremendous

she has two count them two revenge senseis

vesela Sun 23-Sep-12 13:29:55

I don't want theory to be confined to a theory section, and I'm glad in that respect that it's little used. It makes one more place to have to remember to click on. I'm glad that theory seems to have mostly found its way into chat - hardly surprising, since people like to chat about theory. You can't really say "this way for the anecdotes, that way for the theory." They're both important, and it all makes for good conversation.

There is a good argument for having the activism - events etc. - in a separate section to make them more visible. But I'd put the books in the main section, too.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 13:30:58

Hully, I've been fervently nodding along to your posts and LRD's so far ... but you've just let me know there's a further series of Revenge! angry I can't possibly wait nine months (or however long it takes to reach 4OD) for a denouement.

Cheers for that. You've ruined my week. I may have to haunt you throughout the forum, casting dark aspersions with frequent use of the words "disgusted", "shocked" and "disingenuous". And flounce a lot.

vesela Sun 23-Sep-12 13:31:11

We could, however, have a separate section for muckraking.

chibi Sun 23-Sep-12 13:32:03

soz that should have read hully i have seen all of revenge and it is tremendous etcnsoz

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 13:33:21

ooo yes

I LOVE the idea of a muckraking section

for al lthe old feuds.

messyisthenewtidy Sun 23-Sep-12 13:34:02

Yeah, ok, I'm all for moving on grin. Maybe not best to take over the past. I'll wait for the movie smile

And can I just say, before I head off to indulge in that tiresome ritual of RL and socialising with the 3D humanoids, that I really enjoy posting on FWR, it has lately become more welcoming, but I've always found it a great source of support and knowledge and just knowing that you're all there thinking roughly the same things as me is very comforting.

Aw, sorry if that was a bit soppy and vomit inducing but I mean it!!!

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 13:36:56

Aww, messy smile <pukes> <cries> <does a funny little dance>

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 13:41:32

Been out for lunch. What the feck is happening? I certainly never started this thread thinking it was going to be a "she said this on FB" thing. I personally have not been involved in any FB feminist in-fighting. And the last thing I wanted to do was to drag all this up.

My reason for starting this thread is that I was disappointed that so many of the posters who inspired me seem to have disappeared. It is not that the current posters are "lacking" in some way or are "lesser" feminists. I stand by my belief that we need ALL the views - even the hardcore ones - in order to make the most of the Topic

baskingseals Sun 23-Sep-12 13:43:21

i just wanted to say that reading the feminisim boards on mumsnet has had a real impact on my day to day life.

i am stronger in regard to dh, more able to articulate my own needs and now have different expectations of my daughter and my sons.

it is, for me, the most powerful board on mumsnet. i have never really encountered feminists before and didn't view the world in terms of gender.

i don't think anybody has all the answers, but this board certainly knows the questions to ask.

i think every poster on this thread has a valid contribution to make.

MillyR Sun 23-Sep-12 13:45:05

There are still some people here who have radical feminist views, like EBAL. There are also marxist feminists here like Mini.

I do think there are a range of views represented.

And ultimately, the views on here are a reflection of who wants to use it, so it is just a matter of chance/luck who has an interest in using MN.

MmeLindor Sun 23-Sep-12 14:04:37

Yes, I agree that it is time to put it behind us.

Perhaps anyone who brings it up could be allowed only to post in the Mud-raker Topic for a week as penance.

Can I ask SGM - when you say 'down with patriarchy and capitalism' - how does that work?

I mean, I'm a realist. How can we do away with capitalism? I quite like being able to earn money and buy stuff.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 14:35:43

Actually I left for a long time and am only recently back. And I am not in any fb group where all these fights happened. So I too havent a clue about that.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 23-Sep-12 14:47:56

That's a lovely post basking.

I agree with messy and garlic but to me that is what "men as a class" meant, however, if that isn't clear I'd be open to alternatives smile

SuperB0F Sun 23-Sep-12 14:53:19

I'm not sure how any of us got through those four days, Eats.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sun 23-Sep-12 15:06:53

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EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 15:15:17

2.5-3 months if you want to be accurate BOF


BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 15:23:23

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

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 15:28:03

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

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 15:32:57

Um, that's a bit rude. You did though, I'm sure of it.

Oh well.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 15:34:05

I'm sure I'm mistaken

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 15:34:30


summerflower Sun 23-Sep-12 15:37:06

>>My answer to the opening post would be we're still here but sorry if you don't think I'm a feminist<<

I know, I tend to agree with this.

I came across these boards at the beginning of the summer, and honestly found them so refreshing, having not thought about feminism in an in-depth way for several years, having got bogged down in the day to day running of a household and doing a professional job with children, and not much support, and suddenly, there was something I could read which helped me put a name to all the things I felt.

But confused at this thread. I mean, honestly. You know, as women, we generally face discrimination, we face lack of support, we face name-calling enough. And then you get it on a FWR board. Not a feminist, dumbed down etc.

Feminism is supposed to be inclusive, I would have thought, it is supposed to support other women, it's not making out that some are intellectually/theoretically superior/more worthy of 'talking to' and the rest are somehow second class. That's the kind of shit we get from men enough.


BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 15:39:02

Summerflower, exactly!

S'wot I thought too cuervo.

I like reading the FWR boards and also that a lot of the menz have now gone, so its more of a discussion about feminism rather than having to battle through the same old gubbins over and again.

I don't post much, but I read a lot.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 16:02:04

What you said, Summerflower ... without the 'sorry' wink

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 23-Sep-12 16:11:51

Afternoon. Sorry to be a bit late to this thread <hides football scarf under sofa>

Thought it might be useful to post up a few clarifications, as it seems there are some posters who are still unclear about a few recent thangs...

OK, so the Radical Feminism topic is indeed now no more. We said when we created it, in response to many requests, that, seeing as there were also some objections to the idea, we would take the topic down if it wasn't used. It wasn't used, so it is now toast.

Secondly, neither Artex nor anyone else (that we're aware of) trollhunted bereaved mothers on MN. We did have some reports from posters who were concerned about other posters in our Bereavement topic - and we did follow up their concerns.

As it happens, the poster whom people seem to be inferring was the one who was trollhunted <ties self in discreet knots> gave us no reason to suspect that she wasn't genuine. But, very sadly, there have been one or two 'bereavement trolls' on that board in the recent past, so we, as always, were grateful to those who reported. We always are.

There now follows a short rant point about MRAs past and hopefully not present. We have acknowledged before that, when the Feminism category of topics was created, we were slow to understand that it would attract a fair few goady visitors, intent only on provoking trouble on the boards.

We are sorry that we took a while to cotton on to their MO. But, as several posters on this thread have already pointed out, they can be quite tricky to spot at first. They don't exactly run onto threads, shouting, "We hate feminists, ra ra ra!", but rather 'bed themselves in' with a few weeks of innocuous posting before starting to goad proper.

Things were undoubtedly made trickier by the fact that some posters reacted to them by posting repeated personal attacks. While we appreciate that this may be highly cathartic, it does break our guidelines.

And it also makes it quite difficult to warn someone for goading: they can - and did - simply point to the quadrillion personal attacks on them, and bat their eyelids all innocent-like.

As ever, we're grateful to those who didn't rise to the bait and, instead, kept reporting the sometimes ever-so-subtle goading. We wish we'd been quicker off the mark - but we think we did get there in the end.

Anyhoo, water under the (goady troll) bridge, hopefully.

We do understand that the events of past few months have been upsetting for many who post (or used to post) in Feminism - and we're sad to see that so many still feel so raw about it.

We do think, though, that there's nothing to be gained from going over and over what happened or didn't happen: it's clear from many posts on this thread that there are many versions and sub-versions of the truth and probably very few people who know every detail of what really happened. Even we at MNHQ don't know it all - as so much happened off-board.

We also hope that those Mumsnetters who've (unfairly) written Feminism (the category, not the concept) off as a nasty, unwelcoming place will revise their opinion and venture this way once in a while. There's definitely nothing we'd welcome more than strong opinions, fiercely held - as long as those who hold them, and those who hold equally strong but different ones, can spar and debate without rancour or personal attacks.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 16:16:12

Thank you helen, that's v helpful!

Thanks Helen. That post makes me (for one) feel a whole lot better and maybe we can all move on from this now and go back to chatting about feminism again.

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 16:18:38

Thanks Helen!

AnyFucker Sun 23-Sep-12 16:19:45

Thank you Helen brew

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 23-Sep-12 16:32:00

Thank you Helen.

UnChartered Sun 23-Sep-12 16:47:21

i'll drink to that brew

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 16:58:35

What a lovely post. Thank you for going to that much trouble smile

thanks Thanks Helen. smile

PanofOlympus Sun 23-Sep-12 17:10:36

Helen – fine post imo, but a couple of things stick out:
Goading trolls (males) – they had/have their identity slapped on their virtual foreheads. I recall Bob and someone else who posted at exactly the period, who’s only function was to wind up the feminists. Never posted anywhere else (except if it involved sexual or purely physical violence), and were repeatedly reported ( I did a few) - no ‘evidence’ of embedding whatsoever. There was a thread 2-3 yrs ago on exactly that (can’t remember if I or dittany started it, so it isn’t a new phenomenon) and numerous examples were cited, as well as reason why the FWR was particularly susceptible to trolling. It didn’t seem to concentrate HQ’s mind at all. Like lots of posters, I don’t have too much time to post and read (usually) so it’s really crap to have wade through crap first. Batting ‘innocent eyelids’ – well let them. Just damn well suspend them or ban them. No benefit of doubt given. It’s your site and if they don’t like it they can sod off somewhere else. < simplistic idea for future blue-print…..smile>

Radfem section – no-one asked for it, least of all radfems iirc. Tbh it did look like a bit of a passive/aggressive response, at the time. Why on earth did anyone at HQ think it was a gud idea? That did not need the benefit of hindsight.
Obviously being a ‘moderator’ on MN is a picnic of a job.hmm

And I am sorry about the footie result. Not really.

AnyFucker Sun 23-Sep-12 17:37:24

Hello, Pan. Had a nice break ? What's it like out there ?

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 17:39:40

<fights unsuccessfully urge to know deleted posts' contents>

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 17:41:11

what a lot of deletions was there a spat
anyhoo, who said,she said aside
it's pretty much carry on as usual. good

AnyFucker Sun 23-Sep-12 17:47:55

now, now, Hully we are movin' on smile

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 17:50:06

yes yes

<rises above>

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 17:52:58

so, we were having an interesting discussion about change from within etc...

AnyFucker Sun 23-Sep-12 17:54:38

float, float awwwwwwn....

Cancer and my name is Larry
And I like a woman
That loves everything and everybody
Because I love everybody and everything
And you know what, ladies,
If you feel that this is you
Then this is what I want you to do
Ooh, yeah, take my hand
Let me take you to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharing your love with Larry, listen

float, float, float awwwwwn

< groovy >

AnyFucker Sun 23-Sep-12 17:55:21

Yes, I'm going grin

AnyFucker has left the building... grin

ArtexMonkey Sun 23-Sep-12 17:59:33

Thank you Helen smile

AnyFucker Sun 23-Sep-12 18:01:37

I've been on the sweet sherry. I must apologise.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 18:22:51

I want to go to loveland with larry

i really really do

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 18:31:57

Not before the meet up Hully - in case you don't come back...

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 18:52:23

to the poster who enquired after my mental health by pm, I'm great thanks for asking
If your a mop, fear not. disagreeing online doesn't render me nor you daft
if you're in any qualified,how v inappropriate. and errr no to the 1:1 work

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 18:53:29

^^ sniggers

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 18:53:48

I'm bringing Larry, Porto

Portofino Sun 23-Sep-12 18:56:58

That's OK then. He can get the drinks in.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 19:17:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PanofOlympus Sun 23-Sep-12 19:37:07

SGM - how long do you think it will take you? And can you get a wriggle on with it please? They've been around for aaaages! Thanking you kindly.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 19:39:12

can someone explain to me the main differences between a RadFem and a LibFem please?

It would be very nice to change things straight away, but I accept that it is a work in progress, and believe that everyone has to play a role.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 19:41:18

different ideological basis
different approaches to challenging patriarchy
different methods of how to agitate for change

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 19:42:01

but, you can hold a lot of RadFem views, but favour a LibFem approach, yes?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 19:44:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 19:46:58

thank you, I find it confusing.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 19:47:33

yes,but IMO a significant difference is willingness to work within current system
or to see current system eg judiciary,education health as representative of problem and not want to work within
certainly ive read suggested lib fem is too soft or cop out

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 19:51:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 19:57:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 23-Sep-12 20:07:31

Thanks for the links SGM.

MarshaBrady Sun 23-Sep-12 20:10:25

Is there an idea of what would replace it?

I did study this (with Shelia Jeffries!) but it was ages ago.

MarshaBrady Sun 23-Sep-12 20:11:40

I mean she was the lecturer. Can't remember that much but was helpful at the time.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 20:12:35

Can the two join? I mean, I find the RadFem ideals and aims as you've just set out really interesting, I just think that the LibFem methods more realistic. But I'm a pessimist.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 20:41:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 20:43:59

Cuervo, you get blurred lines, increasingly these days. The law is now used against protesters so democracy-friendly feminists such as yours truly, who believe in protest and civil action, have to disregard such laws now and again.

While my views have been 'radical', in the sense that I want fundamental societal changes, since 1972, I don't count as a radical feminist in the eyes of women who claim it as their movement. We haven't got time to sit around moaning about how different things should be, we need things to BE different, from yesterday. If there were a fully-formed radical feminist strategy I would give serious consideration to supporting it. There isn't one.

Feminists working within the existing structure(s) have, meanwhile, achieved equal pay (this wasn't enacted until 1975, Xenia, and the Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value Amendment was 1983), supposedly equal opportunities, sex discrimination laws, maternity leave (1984), improved rape laws including marital rape (1991) - and the vote, the right to stand for Parliament and various other wins. I know which faction I support.

This post was interrupted. Sorry if it's now redundant!

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 20:46:26

Ah, not too redundant smile Similarly envious of studying with Jeffries, SGM!

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 23-Sep-12 20:48:16

All radfems believe that patriarchy will only not exist when it is overthrown. Some believe that it will never be and we thus we have to try and make things better for girls and women in the here and now. Others believe it is possible to end patriarchy and have a freer society.

MarshaBrady Sun 23-Sep-12 20:50:06

Oh reading list! So long ago and then I moved to London and threw all my stuff out. I misspelt her name now I looked it up it's Jeffreys! We were all so young and innocent and constantly harrassed just walking down the street. It was great for me and my friends. Wish I could remember more now.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 21:19:16

Garlic, exactly.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:24:52

I think you and I have had somewhat parallel feminist experiences garlicnutty, and I am very proud of being a part of the changes we have seen over the last 30 years.
Still identifying as a liberal feminist with some radfem aspects and an anti-porn and prostitution stance. So, something of a muddle for the pigeonhole.
Still working on equality, I'm going to die with my boots on!

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 21:32:54

woffling, thats where I stand too. I believe that things CAN change, and I believe that they should, and while theory is interesting, I dont see feminism as a political stance, more a way of life.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:39:36

You can't see the House of Commons full of feminists all yelling and insulting each other and picking on minute details to contest?
With every good idea from one side instantly dismissed by the rest because it came from a source they disagreed with?
Oh, I can see it as a political movement alright! grin

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 21:40:55


scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 21:42:08

feminists yelling and insulting each other?
that pretty much describes this topic
and the deleted posts indicative of how irascible it gets.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 21:42:20

Fuck it, Woffling, I'm dying in my expensive high-heeled, pointy boots. Never been able to walk in them and have always called them 'killer boots'! I'm saving 'em, special like wink

YY to muddle. I'm not even sure about my take on porn and prostitution. I'd like to be able to separate them out into different styles/means of sex trade, and to censure some while improving circumstances for others. Difficult to have such conversations, especially as I'm not definite about it. And it's all theoretical anyway, as I'm never going to get powerful enough close down all the undercover corporations.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:45:06

I'm a hippy Earth child too, my boots look a bit like these
compare.ebay.co.uk/like/330748920311?var=lv<yp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&adtype=pla but they are painted and tooled because I got them at a festival.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:45:47

'feminists yelling and insulting each other?
that pretty much describes this topic
and the deleted posts indicative of how irascible it gets.'

That's politics for you sm.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 21:46:34

OK, I would consider teetering into the Commons in said boots. I could stab a few politicians with the heels. I'll need your assistance, SM.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 21:47:40

absolutely no problem with riposte on mn
the trick is no mn grudges or gripes
after all it's lively debate, but not more than that

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 21:48:23

I've got no idea why, but your purple DMs keep coming up in my Facebook advertisements! Are they "feminist" boots or summat??
Nice that yours are customised smile

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:49:12

Imagine it....tippytoe tippytoe...
stomp stomp stomp.
We need someone with short hair and dungarees to complete the parliamentary coup.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 21:50:28

Probably spamming you now, saying 'Buy me, it's a feminist statement'

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 21:51:43

I have some maryjanes could clobber any assailant with them
but I'm not a fighter too woosy
I'm more verbally fluent

MmeLindor Sun 23-Sep-12 22:03:31

Ok, so this is where I part company with RadFeminism. I am, like Blameit, a realist. I don't see how that is going to ever come to pass.

(the overthrow of the patriarchy)

I guess I am more of a chip away kind of a person, than a blow the system to bits gal.

I do agree with bits of the RadFem agenda, but can't quite make that leap.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 22:09:06

I'm don't want to overthrow capitalism,or the system
I accept inherent flaws in capitalism
however I'm prepared to work at agitation of current system ax I think y
it yields results

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 22:15:00

Mme, exactly. Women working hard and gaining positions of power helps the feminist agenda. woman closing that pay gap helps the feminist agenda. women fighting for reproductive rights and overturning outdated and frankly appalling laws that deny women the rights to their own bodies helps the feminist agenda. regulating (and hopefully, one day shutting down) the sex industry helps the feminist agenda.

while theory is fascinating, it doesnt help to change things for the future.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 22:16:22

Thats just my opinion though.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 22:20:02

Mine, too.

vesela Sun 23-Sep-12 22:21:53

Also on the (many) RadFem views, (mainly) LibFem methods bench.

Part of the problem, though, seems to be that the achievements of LibFems are sometimes presented as if their achievements somehow almost equal the totality of their ambitions. Which is unfair because that's not the case, but it does all feel a bit piecemeal.

And the LibFem emphasis on legislative change means that the whinging backlash from misogynists gets worse because they've been taken to water but not made to drink. And they claim the backlash is because they've been pushed too far and the natural order of things is reasserting itself.

I don't think this means LibFem can't work in the future, though. But it needs to get a lot less... can't think of the right term. At the moment it feels too bogged down in numbers games etc.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 22:26:07

vesela, yes. ideally something in between would be brilliant. LibFem has this reputation of being too wishy washy, RadFem has a rep of being humourless and stringent. its a shame that theres this daft segregation, we all want the same ends, and theres a lot that both "teams" can learn from each other.

SuperB0F Sun 23-Sep-12 22:27:13

Revolutionaries often turn out to be the best reformists, because they think big and fight hard, whereas if you are only after piecemeal change, you often end up compromising even on that. Look at Nick Clegg and his change-from-within strategy, for example: it's not working out so well for anyone.

Hullygully Sun 23-Sep-12 22:28:19

Apart from when they get a bit carried away and murder all their opponents of course.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 22:29:43

BOF, thats a good point.

SuperB0F Sun 23-Sep-12 22:30:55

Yeah, you want to avoid genocide whenever possible.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 22:31:55

kind of undermines "the cause"

MmeLindor Sun 23-Sep-12 22:43:25

I will keep a good eye on SGM then, and make sure she isn't stocking up on guns, ammo etc.

I mean, it would be unlikely, her being a Canadian and all, but you never know...

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 23:06:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PanofOlympus Sun 23-Sep-12 23:08:02

If I were a champion of capitalism and the patriarchy, it's the ethical shopping that would have me more worried....

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sun 23-Sep-12 23:10:11

stewie, I knew that. I watch How I Met Your Mother.

and caribou are ace.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 23:10:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Himalaya Sun 23-Sep-12 23:10:42

My conspiracy-theory brain goes into overdrive when I think about "overthrowing capitalism" proposed as a feminist goal.

It just seems to be the latest in a long-line of mental barriers erected between women and technology/innovation/capital and all that good stuff.

'Women can't do maths,science,finance etc.. your brain is not designed for it.'
'Its fine for girls and women to do low paid work for the love of it, but boys/men need to aspire to real careers which can support a family'
'you are needed in the kitchen, or the fabric of society will disintegrate'
'don't be too clever or try to lead, it isn't ladylike'

etc...etc... feminism has challenged all these successfully.

I think we would be suckers at this point to fall for the idea that capitalism isn't for women (...to change from the inside...) it just seems like a counter-culture version of the same old lies to me.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 23:11:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 23-Sep-12 23:11:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 23:15:24

it's flawed but I like capitalism
and communism hasn't demonstrably benefitted women
I favor ethical capitalism

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Sep-12 23:19:14

Ethical capitalism, would that include organisations like www.kiva.org, where ordinary people lend money to other ordinary people (but make no profit)?

If so, I have been quietly undermining capitalism for years!

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 23:21:39

"Yeah, you want to avoid genocide whenever possible."

Killjoy sad

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 23:24:52

But Ethical Capitalism still fails to make the mainstream. And for the most part, your bog standard, run of the mill, Tesco on every street corner capitalism has never benefited women.

SGM, sorry to be a complete and utter pain in the arse (what else would you expect from me), but did you ever make a full list of companies/individuals you've boycotted through the "Misogynistic Walk Of Shame"?

FrothyDragon Sun 23-Sep-12 23:27:37

The trouble is that, whilst women are more likely to be raising children alone or taking time out of work whilst their children are ill, or doing the majority of wifework (etc, to save wittering on for 94869694 words) capitalism WILL oppress women, end of. I don't think there is a way to turn capitalism around to benefit women. It's a patriarchal construct

FoodUnit Sun 23-Sep-12 23:32:12

Patriarchy pre-dates capitalism, so I think we should focus on the patriarchy. We live in a capitalist society, so capitalist patriarchy warrants our focus, but the religious patriarchy shouldn't be overlooked - I mean think of the Pope and how anti-condom/birth control literally means women get AIDS or have more children, or have children younger than they can cope with?

I think the defeatist attitude about 'we'll never overthrow the patriarchy' is because there are women whose excitement and power felt in the 70s and 80s was swamped by an enormous backlash, I'm even thinking about a particular conversation with a woman at a march where everyone was chanting "Women United Will Never Be Defeated!"... and she said "but we were" ruefully. But I am totally convinced that patriarchy is actually being smashed as we speak- cracks have appeared and it is crumbling and may my great-granddaughters spit on its grave.

I don't have a problem with technology or trade, but I do have a problem with oppressive de facto hierarchies.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 23:32:30

Which is one of the reasons why I get irritated by women who allow that to happen when they have a partner and they don't expect an equal division of labour FrothyDragon.
They are participating in their own exploitation, enabling men to go unchallenged in their assumption that male needs trump female, despite the years of education available to them, and the discussions and debates and theory they encountered at school.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 23:33:23

no,not if you remain engaged with capitalism and working
problematic if woman becomes housewife and economically inactive ,dependent upon dp
women don't need to habitually enact stereotypical roles like housewife or carer

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 23:33:50

I tend to disagree with that, Frothy, and agree with Himalaya. Cannot stick around to elaborate, though, as I've got to STAY OFF MUMSNET FOR A WEEK (caps to self) and do some capitalism before it does me.

WofflingOn Sun 23-Sep-12 23:34:13

Likewise, I never understood the whicheverwave it was that seemed to want to reclaim porn and poledancing and surgical enhancements as methods of feminist empowerment.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Sep-12 23:35:22

I don't have a problem with technology or trade, but I do have a problem with oppressive de facto hierarchies.

YY, this, very well put.

scottishmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 23:37:11

biggest con sold to women is the we are more maternal,better with kids,nurturing
this is essentially a women know your place ploy
and reinforces expectation and stereotypes of women's work

Himalaya Sun 23-Sep-12 23:42:13

SGM - although public funding supports a lot of early stage R&D - in universities, and the military, it is almost always the private sector that scales it up, drives down the price, makes new technologies available to more people, and drives older technologies out of business, hopefully with better ones. To do this they need to raise capital. Investing in innovation is fundamentally what capitalism is about (or should be, when its not being diverted by speculation, short-termism, corruption etc...). Fixing this stuff is urgent.

FD - aren't you taking for granted some fairly fundamental stuff like electricity, safe, abundant and convenient food, the internet etc... if we just say 'what has capitalism ever done for women?' ?!?

OLKN - Kiva is not trying to undermine capitalism, it is trying to make it better - to give people access to capital so that they can grow their micro enterprises to the point where they can be part of it, and be served by banks, insurers etc... who want their business because it is worth more than 50p.

WicketyPitch Sun 23-Sep-12 23:55:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Sep-12 00:03:01

Himalaya, so I'm supporting capitalism via Kiva then? Bugger. sad

I won't stop, though, most of the people I lend to are women in agriculture at pretty much subsistence level. If I can help them make a little more, so be it.

Himalaya Mon 24-Sep-12 00:12:16

Actually you are supporting micro finance organisations to lend to people (which is a good thing, but not a panacea). The money you lend doesn't really go to the people you clicked on. They got their loan before the photo was uploaded.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Sep-12 00:17:51

Oh, I know that's the case now, it wasn't when I started. Had one loan returned recently because the target wasn't achieved. sad

I know it's not a panacea, but I also remember a time I was trying to set up in business (as a childminder) and I couldn't even get £100 overdraft, because "the computer says no." And the (mainly) women that I lend to are in a similar place, but without benefits etc to fall back on, so I like to think, and hope, that I'm doing somebody some good.

Even if I'm not undermining capitalism, or over-throwing the patriarchy.

Himalaya Mon 24-Sep-12 00:28:20

I agree it's good. I support Kiva too. It's a good thing. smile just not overthrowing capitalism.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 24-Sep-12 00:31:52

Ok, I can live with that. smile

I am very, very late to this thread (been a lovely weekend, thanks - everyone else had fun?) but as someone who's been away for ages, then come back and had much the same reaction as Porto (except I didn't have to ask, I knew the answer was "lots of them have had enough and gone elsewhere) I do think it's sad.

It was v. kind of LRD to point to my thread about instances of everyday sexism (an attempt at consciousness-raising and support) as a good thread that's doing good things - I'm pleased people are finding it useful.

BUT on that very thread I was asked - hey, are you sure you didn't deserve to be treated in a disgustingly sexist manner? Are you sure you didn't provoke sexism, ask for sexism, invite inferior treatment by your actions or your obvious possession of a vagina? I felt like someone was asking if I'd done some kind of car-buying equivalent of wearing a short skirt while drinking vodka martinis in a crowded bar. I was asked to clarify that I wasn't in some way 'asking for it.' The spirit of "we believe you" seems to be long gone!

I did clarify, I was happy to clarify, I started a 'share-and-support' thread in an educational frame of mind. But that indicated to me how far the overton window has shifted towards sexist thinking in MN FWR and it's a shame. When this section started, people were eager to talk feminist stuff in a feminist manner. Now basic principles of feminism are generally subject to disbelief or subtle undermining. That plus all the 'equalist' talk makes me unenthused about doing a lot of posting in this section, tbh. I just can't be arsed to defend basic feminist principles like "no one's behaviour invites sexist treatment, and even if it did it wouldn't be okay" when I'm trying to post about other things. I'm not a radical feminist - I have some fairly old-school, 70s-style libfem ideals which make me look radical to some - but I do sure as hell wish they hadn't found it so uncomfortable here that they've gone elsewhere. When they were here the conversation was often abrasive, rigorous, and difficult - but it was much more supportive of actual feminism.

We are often told that this is a space for talking about feminism, not a feminist space. Now I spend time in feminist spaces. (and AIBU. And Relationships. And Chat.. but when I want to talk feminism, I want to talk to other feminists.) As noted on the very first page, it's an open forum, if people don't like it they can go elsewhere - and so, without a real flounce and more of a disappointed drift, I have done. I think this place was once a powerhouse for fabulous things, I hope the people who want it the way it is are finding it similarly useful and supportive and educational and thrilling for them, as it once was for others.

That is absolutely true, blackcurrants.

But, but ... one of my absolutely favourite, stand-out threads was the Separatism thread. I loved it. It was full of people asking about basic, and not-so-basic tenets of feminism, or being sceptical/angry/on the pisstake about feminism in general and that OP in particular. Same with any PIV thread that has ever started. Same with a lot of trans threads. Or with resisting femininity.

I don't think anyone should feel they have to be explaining themselves again and again (because being held to account is tedious). But I think when there's a great bit of debate, you stop noticing the nay-sayers, or they fade out of your memory when you think back.

I can remember loads of threads when BobtheMraTroll was around, but can't remember much of what he ever posted. It was fucking annoying at the time, but it wasn't memorable.

I spend more time reading blogs or talking to real-life feminist mates these days. It doesn't make me look at the majority of threads on here and think they're not 'actual feminism' or that there's nothing happening.

WofflingOn Mon 24-Sep-12 07:46:48

'but I do sure as hell wish they hadn't found it so uncomfortable here that they've gone elsewhere. When they were here the conversation was often abrasive, rigorous, and difficult - but it was much more supportive of actual feminism.'

I'm sorry that compromise wasn't possible for so many, and that you feel the boards have changed and not for the better. I see a lot of people posting that have different understandings of what it means to be a feminist and who are prepared to discuss those differences.
I know that a lot has been said about the disruptions and trolling by MRAs, but TBH it wasn't them that kept many from feeling confident enough to post, or to return having posted once. So it might be that the board in its previous incarnation wa much more supportive of what you see as feminism, but I feel it is now more supportive of the wide range of women who think of themselves as feminist and want to explore those concepts and attitudes in a less abrasive environment.
As I said, it is a pity that so may of the previous members found that unacceptable.

FrothyDragon Mon 24-Sep-12 07:48:31

Himalaya, capitalising electricity is, to me, awful. Why should it only be available on a "how much you can afford" basis? I mean, if you look at the PAYG system; the first month I was in my current house, I went through £80 in electric, despite having no washing machine, no TV, no oven, no radio... (and believe me, trying to live without an oven for four weeks is a bloody nightmare...)

The problem is, with capitalism, we've ended up with a grand level of poverty. 1 in 4 children are living in poverty in the UK. And I'll tell you, I've been there where I've had to go without food for a couple of days, so DS can eat, or where I've been mentally working out if I can afford to stick the heater on (electric storage, joy of joys) during winter, or to help dry clothes for the next day. And hey, guess what! When it comes to adults in poverty, who is more likely to be in poverty? Oh, that's right... Women... Yay, capitalism!

And yes, I'm aware poverty predates capitalism. But we can't escape the poverty trap whilst holding a love affair with capitalism. And as for SAHPs...

Surely, we should be fighting for SAHPs to be recognised for just what they do, exactly? Rather than shaming them into what capitalism deems work, again? Yes, I'd love for there to be an overhaul, where women no longer feel the need to take time out of work to raise their children, but surely, we need to recognise that those who do are not "not working".

If there's a way to overhaul the capitalist system so that we have NO-ONE living in poverty, so that women aren't routinely oppressed by capitalism, then go ahead. But whilst there's still women going without food so that their kids can eat, or debating whether they can afford to stick the heater on, then SURELY that's proof that capitalism is anti-woman?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 24-Sep-12 07:49:57

Blackcurrants, thanks from me too for the thread. I do think the poster who asked you that question has some "interesting" ideas i.e. that it is bad for people who care about an issue to get angry about it. Hopefully the majority of posters didn't make you feel like that.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 24-Sep-12 07:58:47

<has caught up on rest of thread, sits on bench with Mme and BlameIt>

To me, Frothy, capitalism is 'blind' and the fact that it is women that are more likely to be poor in a capitalist system is because we live in a patriarchy. There's a better chance of dismantling the patriarchy than capitalism, I think.

FrothyDragon Mon 24-Sep-12 08:01:29

I honestly think patriarchy and capitalism go hand in hand. We can't dismantle the patriarchy without dismantling capitalism, but the patriarchy could still survive without capitalism.

MmeLindor Mon 24-Sep-12 08:02:22

But surely that isnt the fault of capitalism per se, but of it being abused by greedy managers, only interested in the best return for their investors.

And the fault of regulators (ie. the politicians) for not protecting the public from scams like the electricity meter tariff, which is going to be used by those on a low income, being more expensive than high incomes.

And the alternative to Capitalism doesn't sound good to me. Go to the former East Germany now and see the effects that are still being felt. Or worse - Russia. Women didn't do to well in communist countries either.

I don't think we have to dismantle capitalism but we do have to have more checks and balances to stop the abuse in it's name.

But communism isn't the only alternative to capitalism.

And, btw, I honestly do not believe what happened in Russia had nothing to do with the same pressures there are in capitalism. Even in Soviet times, the basic power-of-money or power of a system in which capital is used to bribe, was pretty huge, as I understand it, which may not be far enough.

FrothyDragon Mon 24-Sep-12 08:06:27

communism isn't the only alternative to capitalism. wink

Sadly, I have to dash and take Mini-Dragon to school (it's his first full day... eek!) so will come back to this in an hour or two smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 24-Sep-12 08:06:37

Frothy, I am really interested in why you think that we couldn't dismantle patriarchy without dismantling capitalism. Do you have a view on what economic system would have evolved in a matriarchy?

I think that the power of barter, translated into money for ease of trade, is gender blind. Perhaps we have a different definition of capitalism though.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 24-Sep-12 08:07:28

ah, I should be working anyway, having got up early to Get Stuff Done! good luck to mini-dragon!

I do seriously think that the individualism of capitalism (try say that ten times fast) is intrinsically linked into the patriarchy, and I would at least like to think that a feminist society would be more collaborative.

I think matriarchy isn't the alternative to patriarchy - it would be another unequal society?

I think patriarchy and capitalism are like the chicken and the egg. The patriarchy exists because women can be sold/profited from; capitalism exists because the patriarchy makes it possible to sell/profit from the labour of others.

This is making my head hurt, but it's interesting.

Oh, and good luck to mini-dragon! grin

Himalaya Mon 24-Sep-12 08:29:32

SGM, LRD, thedoctrineofsnatch, Mme ... I think we are probably derailing with this side conversation about capitalism. Anybody want to start a new thread?

Mmm. I think it will get messy trying to shift across now, too late IMO.

It is fascinating though, I am enjoying listening to you all.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 24-Sep-12 09:44:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Mon 24-Sep-12 09:48:26

yy me too.

It was one of the things that used to drive me mad before, being told one was off-topic or derailing and to start one's own thread. (Fair play if it was a completely different subject obvs)

All discussions and conversations evolve organically. Ane the thread is called "Where did all the feminists go?" I think that's been covered - not a great deal more to say on that..

MarshaBrady Mon 24-Sep-12 09:58:39

It is interesting. I'm a fan of the free market and prefer capitalism to socialism. I like the individualism as it gives females more opportunity to obtain power. Not great big inequality however as that tends to put some groups at top.

Studying feminism and economics is a good start and agree with Himalaya that girls should do more maths based subjects and not shy away from capitalism.

Written hastily in a wet park.

vezzie Mon 24-Sep-12 09:59:27

I came on here to say that I find the FWR boring now but changed my mind when I got to the bottom and read the interesting stuff about the patriarchy / poverty / capitalism / etc. So thank you all for that.

On the whole though I do find that I am very tired of hearing mainstream inanities on feminism (and everything) and I would very much like to know where all the interesting feminists (and indeed people) are talking online now (if they are). I mean all you lovely people are indeed very interesting but, you know what I mean, no? (some of you do I guess)

autumnlights12 Mon 24-Sep-12 10:15:58

I 'm a feminist, but I avoid this area mostly, which is a shame. I don't need to be told that because I'm a stay at home Mum, raising my three children, that I'm economically inactive or promoting gender stereotypes (as SM so charmingly puts it, but then she's quite subtle compared to Xenia, who many of you on this board humour and tolerate politely when you should know better)
I've no problem with working Mothers because I was one, and it was a positive experience. But I often hear feminists suggesting that housewives are a problem, a bad thing, a stereotype, downtrodden etc...whilst it's better to go back to work when baby is 2 weeks old and pretend baby is just a conundrum to be dealt with. Don't let the patriarchy try and tempt you to spend time with baby because that would be a betrayal of the sisterhood. Fuck that..one of many reasons so many women don't identify with feminism and one of many reasons change will not happen as quickly as we want it to. The idea that women are just like men, that carrying a baby in your womb and giving birth to it and breastfeeding it is the same experience a man has when he creates life. It isn't. Women experience parenthood differently. . It is biology, not sociology.

I spend my life not 'humouring' Xenia, as do many of us. Likewise SM. MNHQ are sick of me reporting.

I don't know anyone else who thinks housewives are a bad thing or it's better to go back to work.

I'm not qualified to say how women or men experience parenthood, never having been either, but I think it's self-evident that being pregnant for nine months, going through labour, and having to recover from that, is going to be a different experience from not doing those things. Not sure how far it affects 'parenting' as a whole.

Hullygully Mon 24-Sep-12 10:23:05

I would like from each to each but recognise that isn't going to happen.

Capitalism lite is ok in that it fits with the human need to trade and accumulate, but there must be heavy duty legislation and a proper State to stop the few dominating the many and hogging all the wealth and resources.

It's so-called free market capitalism that is the problem.

We are lurching towards Ayn Rand and that is not where any one wants to go.

Work v sah parenting is a false dichotomy created by the unhealthy post-industrial revt paradigm created. We need to change that.

MmeLindor Mon 24-Sep-12 10:27:42

I am going to start a Blog thread, with feminist blogs - we could all add to. I read more blogs than mainstream articles at the moment.

MarshaBrady Mon 24-Sep-12 10:30:59

Effective legislation, not too onerous. Whatever is best for that inequality quotient and efficiency, competition.

Yes to sah + woh false dichotomy. Some rejigging of things like tax change the set up markedly.

autumnlights12 Mon 24-Sep-12 10:32:46

thankyou LRD. More understanding of the different ways to be a woman and indeed a feminist, is needed. Someone is looking after the next generation whether we choose to sub contract that job out or not.

Absolutely. If we all go off and become hot-shot high earners and contract the job of childcare out, without making any other changes to society, then inevitably we will find that the people doing childcare are still mostly women and they're still mostly badly paid and badly respected for it.

(To say 'we' in that context as if I'm assuming I'd be one of the high earners not the childcaring underclass is v. arrogant, but I'm sure you know what I mean.)

vezzie Mon 24-Sep-12 10:36:31

Thanks MmeLindor, that sounds very interesting.

MmeLindor Mon 24-Sep-12 10:38:07
Xenia Mon 24-Sep-12 10:41:09

The point is the husbands shoudl be cleaning the toilets and holding the baby . That is the real battleground, not in the boardrooms. And every housewife in the land is losing thast most impotant battleground of all and kicking every other woman in the teeth.