"I don't like being called a feminist. I'm a woman. That's it."

(89 Posts)

I read this opinion piece in the Huffington Post today.

To quote a small part of it: "If I'm honest, I don't take feminists seriously. Unfortunately I feel these protests don't do much for women. Certainly, they create a sense of solidarity among those who take part, but beneficial? I'm not so sure."

To some degree I agree with her - I've found solidarity in feminism, but I've also found outrage and impotence. Will my awakening change the world? Probably not, but it's made it more uncomfortable to live in the world, unchanged as it is.

But I don't see what difference changing the label of feminism will do, except to create a new name that far too many people don't identify with.

grimbletart Mon 12-Nov-12 21:32:09

And, before anyone asks, I'm not speaking for you either, I'm speaking for myself. Because I want to. And, more importantly, because I can

And why can you speak for yourself Lucy Sherriff? Think on it....

The impression I got from reading this is that it is written by a rather immature woman not long out of university and with not much real life experience. Give her time.....

Personally, I don't think feminism is about writing placards or marching particularly. It's about how you see the world and your place in it as a fully functioning human being.

And yes Lucy Sherriff, if you believe in having the vote, being paid the same as a man for the same work, in having equal opportunities etc. then you are a feminist - even if you don't call yourself one. The rest is merely semantics.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 12-Nov-12 21:45:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 12-Nov-12 21:48:45

Last time I looked at the voting on this, the feminist 'n' proud had changed more minds than the not-a-feminist.

SomersetONeil Mon 12-Nov-12 22:11:22

"Nearly every time I venture on a night out I am groped by a leering male. I don't think this is sexism. I think it's rude, immature males who don't know how to behave around women."


If men were objectified like women and casually groped and leered at on anything like the same scale as women, then maybe we could put it down to 'rudeness' and 'immaturity'. Otherwise, well, try joining the dots.

It's such a struggle to debate with people who steadfastly keep those blinkers over their eyes. wink

annie - did you 'find' the outrage/impotence in feminism, though, or was it always there? I'm not trying to be snarky/smug, I mean, I don't know if you're saying feminism makes women impotent, or it makes us aware we already were?

I'm afraid I read that article and I want to shake her. It is immensely disrespectful to write that and she comes across as a shallow, selfish, privilged person who thinks what matters most is how she looks to other people. She's happy to dictate ('Ditch the f-word. It's not doing us any favours.'), but insists other women should not be allowed to speak for her.

It makes me fucking furious and I know I should be directing that at the people who publish this sort of guff (which I hope and trust the writer will be ashamed of in a few years time). But just now I'm struggling not to be simply angry with her.

LRD - I did indeed 'find' the impotence and outrage along with 'finding' feminism, because I was suddenly aware of the crap which I had somehow previously failed to notice. And it's not that I was actually made impotent, but made to feel impotent on realising how much needs to change, without much of a clue how to even being to go about enacting that change. So I would have to agree with your comment that feminism makes us aware of a state which already existed.

Yes, that's how I feel too.

I am torn over it - I think there are degrees to it all, and probably all of us, feminists or not, are always finding new limitations on us we weren't aware of - or we're feeling crushed and we don't know why. But I think I would rather know, than be hitting out like that, and making hypocritical demands on society.

I can see why she's making those demands and getting angry with feminism; it just doesn't seem terribly healthy or likely to do much for her in the long run.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 13-Nov-12 09:51:08

I used to think (when I was young and foolish, perhaps much with that writer) that all this feminism and gender studies is a waste of time. But now I understand: if you cannot name something you cannot fight against it. Even coming on here and seeing how people analyse and talk about things allows you (me) to clarify why it is that, for example, people apologising for swearing in front of "ladies" should be so infuriating, why Page 3 is an affront etc etc, even though you already feel that something is wrong with these things. To articulate is important.

As for changing the world, of course we are changing the world. It doesn't happen in one day. But one more person being told it would not do to objectify women, one more person who realises how the world operates (talking to BIL this weekend who thought the equal pay act got rid of unequal pay between men and women hmm), one more person with raised awareness, that's got to change something. No? Am I overly optimistic? Don't care.

Lottapianos Tue 13-Nov-12 10:35:00

'But if we class this sort of behaviour as sexism, then surely we are diminishing what sexism actually is?'

Oh not this again - 'stop making a fuss you pathetic wimps, let me tell you about some real sexism'. This is just so tedious. Feminism is not a competition and silencing other women like this is just not helpful.

I am always wary of anyone who uses 'males' and 'females' to describe people rather than animals. The only people I've heard use these words to describe humans (outside of a discussion about biology) have been misogynists.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 10:38:48

Yes, she's immature. Yes, she hasn't grasped why she is able to say in print, why she does not see herself as a Feminist.

But at least she's engaging in the debate when so many young women seem not to want to form any opinions on the state of 'their' nation at all...

Curtsey Tue 13-Nov-12 10:51:01

Oh no.

This is a terrible article on so many levels. It's immature and entitled, and it's not very well written. Shame on the Huffington Post for publishing this, because the writer just comes across as sounding young and inexperienced instead of being convincingly provocative/offering an alternative, considered standpoint.

I suppose you're right, though mignonette - at least she's engaging...

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 13-Nov-12 10:57:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I don't think that's true, mignon. I meet shedloads of women her age all the time (because I work with them) and very few lack opinions or don't want to discuss things. I think actually lots of young women (just like lots of older women) feel they have to put on a front and not look as if they're interested in things.

I don't give her points for engaging. This is a cheap and easy 'opinion' to hold - it's not original writing, it's a re-hash of points being made with the same tedious claims all over the place.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 11:35:58

Think there are just as many who haven't really given this a thought as have. That's not to say that once you start to engage them, that they would not then start to form and develop ideas.

Being naive, with a 'cheap and easy' opinion (interesting choice of words there.....) doesn't warrant dismissal. People can change and grow. Better give them the chance by opening and keeping a dialogue. Maybe the writer will read and grow via the reaction to her piece.

Yes, you may be right there are many who haven't thought. I suppose I feel a bit defensive of the women I know.

I do see what you're saying (and it's not naive). The reason I say 'cheap and easy' is that I think these are opinions all over the press at the moment. This women is re-writing things she's read elsewhere. She writes with a lot of confidence because she is very familiar with the style of writing and the 'voice' she's using.

It's a bit like, if someone writes a very polished opinion piece about how mumsnet is full of harpies, smug middle-class mums ... you can immediately imagine how that piece will go, because that's a piece that's been written a lot of times.

I can accept that ventriloquising someone else's opinions isn't a cardinal sin, and it isn't unusual for someone starting out to do that as a way of finding their own voice. But it is still something I think she deserves to be criticised for, because her work is shutting down debate and is remarkably cruel towards other women.

She's saying using the word 'feminism' 'doesn't do us any favours'. She's assuming there's an 'us' (ie., women), from whom she deserves 'favours'. Yet she's quite happy to mock her lecturer and another student in her class (both of whom I'm sure will know exactly who they are). And she's happy to tell feminists to shut up while insisting they are speaking over her and mustn't do so.

It is damaging, I think, because they way I'm seeing it is, there was at least one person in her class who was given an opportunity to express an opinion in the minority (by putting her hand up), and she's basically been slapped down by Voice of Handmaiden.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 12:01:25


I agree with your post above regarding her mocking/cruelty towards particular women and you write eloquently and passionately.

I did not mean to imply that a lack of 'want' to form opinions about being a woman should be equated with any negative assumptions about character/the person. It is of real interest to me (as the Mother/StepM of grown daughters ) as to why some younger women/teenagers are so anxious about or hostile to Feminism. I often find that there are errors of definition and once they have read a little about it, they realise their ideas about it have been (deliberately?) skewed.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 12:06:24

BTW Does the Huffington Post employ Copy Editors? or in the interests of self reliance, did Ms Sheriff insist upon editing her own OpEd?

Because if she did, she did a lousy job.

And Candidate selection Committees....ever heard of them Ms Sheriff?

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 13-Nov-12 12:08:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Someone needs to learn proof-reading skills.

From the article:

<i>Yes it's statistically "wrong" only a quarter of women are MPs.</i>

A quarter of women are MPs?!

Clearly she means, "yes it's statistically wrong that only a quarter of MPs are women."

It's a shame really, because I get the point she is trying to make (I'm not saying I agree with it, but I get it), however it all gets lost in such a badly written article.

Oh, I think we are very much on the same page, mignon, I'm not meaning to come across as combative towards you, just angry at this sort of thing.

I think you're spot on when you suggest ideas of feminism are deliberately skewed and that's a reason people feel hostile towards it.

Oops - getting confused what forum I'm on - I keep forgetting how to format italics properly on here.

mignonette Tue 13-Nov-12 12:17:45

I didn't read you as combative LRD. Think it was probably me who was sounding a bit spiky blush.

Stewie I enjoyed the last piece you wrote and my children read it too.

No, not at all! I just worried my anger about that article was spilling over.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 13-Nov-12 13:55:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FairPhyllis Tue 13-Nov-12 14:20:34

Unfortunately I think I could have written something very similar when I was at university, or just after I finished my BA.

I think she will eventually figure it out and be ashamed of the article. But I think it's very interesting that so many women don't really get interested in/become aware of feminism until their mid to late 20s. I'm guessing it's because if you are a white, relatively privileged woman most things now are good for you up until the point you leave HE, so you don't see the need for feminism until later. It makes it easier to swallow the message from patriarchy saying that feminists are narsty.

ConsiderCasey Tue 13-Nov-12 18:12:58

What makes me laugh is that she decries feminism but them goes on to espouse some quite feministy views.

She puts down the everydaysexism project as having no purpose other than reassuring women that they are not alone but to me that's a great purpose. Part of the effect of the silencing of feminism is to make women feel isolated and the realisation that you are not the only one and you're not making a fuss is a wonderful feeling.

MsAnnTeak Wed 14-Nov-12 01:31:06

Rather than sneer, or condemn the journalist isn't it about time the brand 'Feminism' looked at itself and how it appears to young educated women and wonder where and why it has gone wrong in the popularity stakes ?
It's so negative.
Radical feminists shout down, belittle those outwith their circle of thought. Imagines the welcome for a new member sporting false eyelashes, killer heels and a lust for men ... .
Wonder if something similar to 'sponsor a child' was transposed to a women ie directly pay her the equivalent of a weekly wage, and anything earned over, As so many wages are p* poor in comparison it wouldn't cost much ?

There's no such thing as 'the brand 'Feminism'. What do you mean?

Do you mean you feel really guilty for not being nicer to this woman?

Fair enough, change how you act.

Or do you mean, you're fine, but you think we're all being nasty so we should change?

If so, how exactly is you telling other people to change any nicer than her, or me, or anyone else doing it?

amarylisnightandday Wed 14-Nov-12 06:44:25

I'd be annoyed with anyone who claimed I wasn't a feminist.
Sheriff is a twit and agree with others she sounds young and naive.

Maybe you have to experience a but more sexism if you don't get it? If I had only ever been a sw in a quite woman friendly environment with mostly quite nice, enlightened men (colleagues) then it would probably be much easier to convince me that sexism had somehow become less of a problem lately.
However, all those years in various private sector jobs of being harassed and undermined because I am a woman (main crime), who isn't a pushover and is unite attractive (not smug you understand, just an additional problem for misogynists unless I agree to sleep with them) and so on completely compounded the feminist values my own mother raised me with.

Meanwhile gaining a greater understanding for the v present time need for feminism through experiences with men in my private life wasn'tuch of a challenge.......sigh. The sheer plethora of buffoons I have met with alarming understanding (or lack of) of gender divisions has been staggering sad.

I'm a proud feminist grin

MsAnnTeak - I would suggest that most of the problem people have with the feminist 'brand' has got very little to do with actual feminism and is a lot more about false impressions and myths about what feminists really want. Like the idea that feminism is about putting women in a position of power over men. Not even Rad Fems want that. If feminism is to gain a 'good reputation', perhaps all we need to do is eliminate the myths and spread the central tenants of feminism to more people - which after all, tend to benefit the majority of men as much as they do women.

But on the subject of Rad Fems - not all feminists are radical; they don't speak for all of us any more than radical Christians, Muslims or Jews speak for their whole religion. And for the most part, only ignorant people condemn an entire group because of extremists.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 15:00:12

Brand feminism is always going to be hateful to the majority of young women and all aged men while we live in patriarchy and while we have a media so firmly espoused to undermining the goal of feminism.

Feminism can only be popular in the current climate when it espouses all the stuff men want - the pretence that sexism doesn't exist anymore, ignoring the pay gap, pretending objectification is just a bit of fun, ignoring the levels of male violence against women and children and the collusion of the whole of society in that violence, pretending that we don't need to fight for equality any more because we've already got it and real liberation is lapdancing and expressing our power by er, taking our clothes off and doing all the childcare and domestic labour without complaining or questioning why it's all panned out like this.

When feminism embraces that shit, men will like it and inexperienced young women who haven't done the reading, will be proud to call themselves feminists because they know it won't affect their chances of getting a suitable boyfriend.

It won't actually change the status quo and liberate women from patriarchy though. But men will like it and throw feminists patriarchy-cookies so that's all right.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 15:26:40

Feminism can only be popular in the current climate when it espouses all the stuff men want .............................. real liberation is lapdancing and expressing our power....

So that is what men want? Really? Thank you for telling me what I think. Well radsplained. Perhaps this preachy attitude has something to do with why the author in the OP, and other people like her, really don't like feminism as espoused by some of it's followers..

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 15:35:38

oh what a surprise, some guy comes on to tell us we're doing it wrong.


How many times have we covered this, men as a group. Feel free to be outraged on behalf of your poor oppressed sex though.

Erm, namechange, think I have seen you (personally) saying you do want some of that stuff. Glad to see you've changed your mind, albeit tacitly and at a rather opportunistic juncture, in order to be rude to fastidia. It's almost like you're proving her point, but too stupid to see it ...

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 15:48:07

Whatever, LRD. Proof would be nice, so I will await a quote or two.

See, I am not the problem. Whatever I think, I am the enemy, so to speak, so at least in your eyes it's natural that we would disagree. But rants like Fastidia's are the reason that this branch of feminism never gains any traction with most people, male and female, and I doubt that it ever will. So yawn away at me, but extremist ranting does far more harm than good.

And men as a group are made up of men as individuals, with their own views, beliefs and wishes. Unless we are all the same. What is the view of women as a group? Fastidia's, or the woman's in the OP?

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 15:57:27

No, the reason feminism will not get any traction, is because on the whole, men as a group don't want it to and they control the media and most of the messages which we receive.

The history is that every single human right women have managed to gain, has had to be wrested from the men who govern us with very little support from other men.

But we're not even allowed to name the agents of our oppression - men - without being accused of being extremist ranting loons.

That's what we're up against.

If black people weren't allowed to point out what white people as a group have perpetrated against them, racism would still be a respectable mainstream position.

As sexism is.

Oh, sorry, I don't have access to everything you've written (a lot is deleted), and I can't be arsed to drag through searching. sad

What a pity.

Not sure why I should have to, anyway. If you don't believe these things, you only have to say so. You're anti-porn, anti-lapdancing, you believe sexism still exists, you think male violence against women and children is crucial (and don't instent start 'what about the men' comments), and you think the whole of society colludes in that violence?

I'm really pleased (no, honestly, I am).

*crucial as in a crucial issue for feminism, before you or anyone else jumps on that.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 16:16:26

Anti-porn? Some, not all when between consenting adults.
Anti-lapdancing? Yes, as expressed in here weeks ago;


Does sexism exist? Yes.
Male violence? Yes, anti. In fact, I would take it wider and say I am anti-violence full stop.
Does society collude in that violence? No, it is illegal.

Still, LRD, you can carry on making groundless accusations, and then not be bothered to prove them. Feel free.

What I do not do is group people and tell them what they think. If we can know what men as a group think and want, can we know what Asian people as a group think, or Jews, or women?

Ah, so no.

You're exactly who fastidia was talking about, yet you still felt the need to slap her down for correctly characterising a lot of men, including you.

How sad.

Btw: nope, still not your secretary. So, no, I won't be faffing about looking at your past posts to 'prove' anything when I am perfectly capable of asking you (as I did), and requiring you to lift a finger by replying.

Sorry if that disturbs your immense sense of self importance, but you see, round these parts we call it a 'conversation' when both people take part.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 16:46:21

'Ah, so no.'

What does that mean? What is it referring to?

If you mean do I know my point of view before understanding the issues, you are correct. Do you think it's okay to accuse someone of something, not prove anything, and sound all smug and sarcastic about it? Fantastic - go you. Yet another example of why so many women and men reject this brand of feminism. Please carry on.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 17:14:47

I love the way men who don't like specific women, always say that it's because of tht woman that people don't like feminism.



It was a response to your post, namechange.

No, you don't believe these things, just as I suspected. You are indeed one of those men described.

It's not an accusation - you admitted it yourself!

Goodness me, what a temper tantrum.

fastidia - ah, yes. 'men=people', naturally ... that's how some 'people' think.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 17:28:41

I have no dislike of anyone here. I don't know anybody, so it would be illogical. I disagree with some people's view, and have stated my objections with reasons. I have not called anybody stupid, for example....

I have also stated that it is because of specific views that some feminist brands are failing to connect with what might be considered to be their target audience, such as young, educated, professional women. Look, I quoted a specific view at 15.26;

Feminism can only be popular in the current climate when it espouses all the stuff men want .............................. real liberation is lapdancing and expressing our power....

That is a view, not an individual. There is a difference.

MooncupGoddess Fri 16-Nov-12 17:28:50

It's true, LRD. You, yes YOU, are the reason why so many women and men reject feminism. sad


Lottapianos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:31:39

Wow LRD, looks like you are responsible for the downfall of feminism. I'm off to get my pitchfork. Hope you can take it!

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 17:35:20

I was genuinely confused, LRD. I see what you are getting at now. And see, I still haven't called you stupid. You think you are saying that because I did not agree with every point that Fastidia made, I am one of the oppressors. Okay.

I am going to pick up on one of the points where you and I disagree, and hope that we can remain civil. Specifically, does society collude in male violence (against women and children). I believe this to be untrue because society deems such violence to be illegal, and such acts are punishable. Would you agree or disagree?

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 17:37:44

* Fourth sentence should begin 'I think you are saying...

Ah, come on, 'ladies', it's me and fastidia, surely?! wink

namechange - erm, ok. I'm not stupid, not sure why you get points for not calling me stupid. I did assume you were confused. Was there some reason you feel I shouldn't have clarified?

I don't honestly care why you disagree - IMO you're wrong about male violence, but this isn't the thread to discuss it on. The issue is simply that you got up in arms with another poster for accurately representing your views, and insisted she shouldn't characterise you in this way. Then it became clear you did, indeed, fit her characterisation.

Why did you bother to do this? Should she lie, just so you can feel nice and happy?

How's about this: maybe if you do actually agree with those things fastidia has pointed out many non-feminists agree with, you should consider that, and admit to it, instead of being furious your views have been correctly identified?

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 17:44:37

I very much doubt that Lucy Sherriff is as silly as this piece makes her sound. She's probably writing to generate some controversy. But I have noted a depressing tendency among very young women to imagine that, just because their men friends (apparently) regard them as in every way equal to themselves, that the struggle is over.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 17:46:51

Because you called me stupid, at 15.39. Rather uncalled for, I thought, during an exchange of views.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 16-Nov-12 17:51:18

Isn't it interesting? There are many men who would be furious if you even hint that many people are sexist. I saw someone's (a man) face change when we talked about a networking event and only said that my friend was one of the two women present among 60 men and what did he think, as a man. And he was angry that we should bring gender into it! So it is obvious that sexism is offensive to (some) men as well as women. So why don't we already have equality now? hmm

WilsonFrickett Fri 16-Nov-12 17:51:58

It all makes me feel very sad and powerless tbh. Even if, as Bluestocking said, all the men of this writer's acquaintance (all of them?) do regard her as equal, what about the rest of the world? What about her contemporaries in other countries who can't access education? The woman a mere few years older than her in Ireland who died because she couldn't an abortion? The friends of her parents who can't find work due to years of SAHM-ing? It's just so narrow a view and so, so privileged. Ick.

No, I didn't, namechange. Read the post again and you will see.

upto - yeah, that sounds familiar. sad

I think blue is spot on about what is happening, though.

And I also think there is a pressure on young women to demonstrate that they're not 'those' feminists - they're still pleasing to men.

I think actually, getting uncomfortable when you realize how differently women who're not so privilged are getting it, is when lots of women start out being feminists.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 18:00:11

'So why don't we already have equality now? '

One possible reason, LordCopper, is that sexism is still alive and kicking amongst the older generation, who see society as having pre-defined roles for men and women because those are the values they were raised with. It takes time for those people, especially in certain professions, to move on and be replaced by younger, more enlightened people. These things take time. But if women continue to outperform men in education as we are seeing now, their progress has to continue all the way up to the top.

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 18:01:14

Precisely, Wilson. If all these young men regard all the young women as equals, who is putting the horrible stories about sexual humiliation of women on the University Confessions facebook pages?

WilsonFrickett Fri 16-Nov-12 18:19:00

And who is actually grabbing her and leering over her in bars? Aliens, I presume.

The other thing is this kind of stuff makes me feel so old. The fact that things are more equal for younger women is A Good Thing. I don't want to take away from the achievements of the women who went before her to create a society where this young woman can feel equal. I feel like I'm standing in the background, sucking a lemon, muttering 'just you wait, just you wait.'

(Also. Learn to proof-read Ms Sheriff. It's gender neutral and will help you immensely in your journalistic career.)

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 16-Nov-12 18:23:51

It's the older generation, of course.

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 18:39:48

I know, Wilson, I know. <Grabs lemon for a quick suck>.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 18:55:12

The older generation have a different set of values re gender roles. It is one possible explanation, but not the only one. It may explain the man's reaction, and why so few women were represented at a business function, or it may not. Is that not a possibility, based upon what we have been told?

Ah, I see. So it is rude and offensive to speak of 'men', but fine to speak of 'the older generation'?

What an interestingly hypocritical point of view.

'The older generation' include, these days, a large number of second-wave feminists. They're not just sexist elderly men, oddly enough.

Therefore, it is unlikely they explain All The Misogyny In The World, and even more unlikely they explain, say, rape and porn use. Which is sadly most certainly not restricted to the 'older generation'.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 16-Nov-12 19:05:52

Thank you for enlightening me namechange. Oddly enough I (and most of us here, I think) have thought of these possibilities as well, you know.

grimbletart Fri 16-Nov-12 19:08:39

LRD - agree with your view about the older generation. Speaking is one of the older generation - DH and I were married 46 years ago, so that gives posters an idea how ancient we are....my DH is the least sexist man I know and his forward-looking views would put many a youngster to shame.

Why is ageism OK when racism isn't and sexism is (hopefully) on its way to not being OK?

Old farts come in all ages namechangeguy!

Well said grimble!

(And congratulations on 46 years ... have you plans for your golden wedding?)

grimbletart Fri 16-Nov-12 19:15:24

Cheers - don't want to think about it yet. There's something quite scary about the thought......probably do summat different - what about a bungee jump to celebrate?

Don't mean to derail the thread. As you were everyone.

<gets coat>

I didn't think it was derailing. I hope the OP doesn't mind.

But best of luck for it anyway (and a bungee jump would be awesome grin).

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 19:40:24

Oh wow I think you should have some sort of mumsnet 50th anniversary event grimble.

If all these young men are so non-sexist, how comes they're buying nuts and zoo and regularly watching porn in which women don't actually exist, only "sluts" do? How come a third of them declare that they would rape a woman if they could get away with it? how come they're so keen on rape jokes and how come a third of all secondary school girls get sexually assaulted at school? Who is assaulting them, the teachers? I don't think so, their male peers are, you know, those liberated non-sexists.

I don't buy the "young men aren't sexist" line. That's what they said about our generation. And they were right, right up to the time everyone started having babies - and then suddenly, women found that their career, time and lives simply weren't as valuable as that of the egalitarian man they'd got together with and they found themselves downsizing all three and doing all the domestic labour and childcare.

I'm not cynical, I genuinely wish it were true that young people are less trapped in their gender roles than older generations were, but I actually think young people are less progressive than my generation was (I was young in the eighties when it looked like we didn't need militancy anymore because it was all going in the right direction. And then came the backlash. And now young men boast about how shit in bed they are and wear t-shirts telling the world they're sexist pricks. Which is useful, but hardly encouraging).

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 19:41:09

Oh and of course I don't mean all young men everywhere, every single one

<Pre-emptive eye-roll>

Bluestocking Fri 16-Nov-12 19:43:03

What Fastidia said. Complete with<eyeroll>.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 19:45:53


WilsonFrickett Fri 16-Nov-12 19:52:50

<eyes rolling so far back I can't even see the screen>

I don't think you are being cynical at all.

If young men aren't sexist - why do I see all these stories about rape and abuse on campus? I sincerely doubt it is the minority of mature students who drive in of an evening to do it, instead of staying home! Why are we hearing about people like Chris Brown and Ched Evans, who're hardly 'the older generation'?

It is nonsense.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 16-Nov-12 20:00:08

fastidia it's not just having babies that's the "problem". The only example I can think of at the moment is in a Royal Society of Edinburgh report about women in science. Paragraph 75 says single women with no children are a lot less likely to achieve tenure than married men with children. So it's not babies that stop women. No doubt there are more examples.

I found this interesting ....

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 20:21:10

Ooh that looks meaty lordcopper.

Will print it off at work...

I need to look at that too, lord, thanks.

I don't think it's surprising about single childless women vs married men with children. There are two things (which I bet well all know). One is, many married men effectively have a live-in maid/PA in the form of their wife. The other is, single childless women are assumed to be pre-mothers, who might at any point mess up the employer's game by going off and getting pregnant and giving up work.

People (and I use people in namechange's sense here) only want to think it's babies that stop women being equal because it's much simpler than admitting it's misogyny.

ChicMama25 Fri 16-Nov-12 20:27:53

I read this a while ago, def got the impression she is young and desperately trying to justify things to appease the patriarchy
FFS get a grip girl. You're letting us all down. I'm disappointed.

Oh, plus, women like fastidia print off lengthy feminist documents at work, thereby draining resources and productivity and prestige by an amount almost comparable to, say, Deepwater Horizon for BP ... naturally this accounts for why feminism sucks.

ChicMama25 Fri 16-Nov-12 20:30:20

The author is about as much of a feminist as Louise Mensch is

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 20:41:59



I overthrow capitalism, cause lesbianism and kill children as well.


Oh and practice witchcraft.

<Racks brains for other crimes feminism is responsible for according to Rush Limbaugh>

I wish we practiced witchcraft. It'd be something to chat about at RTN, and nice and colourful too.

I'm not quite up to the overthrowing capitalism/causing lesbiansim bit myself, though - give me time and a thick book of Dworkin's writings ...

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 16-Nov-12 21:07:55

The gender schema thing is interesting. I haven't read it very carefully, but it articulates why certain things happen and why certain things make one uncomfortable. It's such a relief to know that one is not a nutter.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Fri 16-Nov-12 22:25:48

Fascinating and validating stuff LordCopper, thanks for the link. Perhaps it explains why I find watching woman comedians uncomfortable. I'm so disappointed when they aren't funny whereas I couldn't care less if a man wasn't funny.

summerflower Sat 17-Nov-12 13:24:55

LordCopper, I have been reading your links from your post last night at 8pm, really interesting, thank you.

What is the full reference for the second quote? The link gave me a pdf of a book chapter and I'm really interested in the whole book. I totally identify with some of the issues in the chapter and would like to read more.

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 17-Nov-12 15:34:08

Why So Slow? by Virginia Valian. I haven't read the book either, but first chapter is very interesting!

Monkeytrewsers Sat 17-Nov-12 15:37:52

What does the word 'feminist' mean in a world of feminisms?

summerflower Sat 17-Nov-12 15:48:07

Thanks, LordCopper, I have just ordered it!!

Monkeytrewsers, there is a quote I like in a book by Ingrid Whelehan, which goes along the lines of:

"All feminist positions are founded upon the belief that women suffer from systematic social injustices because of their sex, and therefore any feminism is, at the very minimum, committed to some form of reappraisal of the position of women in society"

So, I would suggest, drawing on that, that a feminist is someone who is committed to reappraising the position of women in society, granted this can take many forms - although I would also suggest that some kind of action to improve the position of women in society is also desirable, that can take place at any level from the home to government.

summerflower Sat 17-Nov-12 15:49:04

>that can take place at any level from the home to government<

also at an international level...

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