I don't know why I bother.....anyone else the same?

(221 Posts)
mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 10:58:30

I use Facebook. Put up funny posts, pictures...bla bla bla.

Everytime I post something I usually get about 30-40 likes.

Yet EVERYTIME I post something vaguely feminist. Blank. Zero. Occasional like.

I find it so depressing. Today I have posted about International Women's Day and linked to the letter in the Guardian.

How do we break down this wall of silence?

Why do people not want to be associated with 'ranty feminists'?

Our communication seems to be very isolating, even though it's not meant to be.

Qu's I ask myself....

Why can people not see what I can see?
Is the harm done to them so 'normal' that they can't see it?
Are they scared of being ostracised into this rad fem group if they speak out?
Are they afraid of losing their families/jobs/attractiveness to males?

I just wondered if we could have a discussion and try and learn what is it that non feminists hear when they hear a feminist talking. It might help us improve our communication.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Fri 08-Mar-13 11:04:22

I don't know,it happens to me too. sad

kim147 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:06:29

I post something on another forum and it's like a moth to a flame as it brings out all the mysoginists.

phdlife Fri 08-Mar-13 11:07:41

fwiw, my uni students, back in the day, tuned right out of my <koff> occasional ranty moment, because they simply didn't believe there was any need for it. Women had achieved equality - there was, apparently, nothing women couldn't do, no wage gap, and how they looked was entirely, 100% individual choice, with no repurcussions - and now us old ranters needed to stop banging on because it was boring, old-fashioned and embarrassing.

All my old fogey friends are "ranty feminists" tho ;)

AbigailAdams Fri 08-Mar-13 11:09:45

Happens to me too (except for all my lovely feminist friends!). To a certain extent I think some people don't want their FB to be political. But I do notice feminist things get a dearth of replies in comparison to other political statements made by friends.

bingodiva Fri 08-Mar-13 11:09:46

i think a lot of feminists come across as a bit nutty, bitter at the whole world and as you say 'ranty' i also feel they try and push their beliefs onto you. i am an adult and have a brain to think for myself - i dont need someone else shoving their belief down my throat at every opportunity - refer back to ranty femenist.

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 11:13:12

My friend constantly post environmental stuff on FB. That gets the same (non) response from us, his friends.

I personally don't want to read 'ranty' posts whether it's about feminism, the environment, religion or capitalism. Apparently your friends feel the same.

Slothlorien Fri 08-Mar-13 11:13:45

Some people only respond to posts on fb that are the funny type things you mentioned at the beginning. Do you find that your fb friends reply if you put up anything else 'serious' or raising awareness of any other cause in our society, or is it just the feminist posts that get ignored?
I find humour really helps, there was a funny but poignant Christmas feminist related post about what would have been different if three wise women had arrived at the stable instead of the three wise men and this got a lots of likes.
Difficult though, I can see how frustrating you must feel, and why shouldn't people take a serious issue seriously?! Some issues in our society would never be handled through humour so why this one!
Really don't know what the answer is.
Don't stop posting though, you never know who what is going on for people, even if they don't respond online.

mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 11:14:00

That's it though.....people genuinely believe women have equality....that's the thing I guess.
Why do they think that?

mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 11:15:41

MTS I post something feminist perhaps once a month maximum and always try to be non-ranty. But that's the point, anything feminist is seen as ranty, period.

I rarely "like" funny posts, I find my wall is clogged up with people re-posting other people's funny pics and videos and wish they'd stop, it is a yawn. I do occasionally click "like" on feminist or other equality / political ones. But, yes, there is the feeling that you might be portraying yourself as a bit worthy or superior. I know I think less of one or two of my friends who post stuff that is a bit right-wing for me.

For me it boils down to FB is for chatting and photos, not serious discussion or cartoons.

mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 11:21:25

Bingo....would you expand on that?
Why are feminists nutty and bitter?
I'm genuinely interested as to how you have made that assumption.

Having said that, I think a lot more of a couple of RL friends because of their feminist/equality/leftwing posts, but I don't necessarily bother clicking like. I just wish the jokes and cartoons would not appear in such quantities.

Paleodad Fri 08-Mar-13 11:27:04

very ignorantly, i had not even realised it was Int. Women's Day until a discussion in the playground this morning, and then looked at the guardian.
So, to make up, i've posted that guardian thing on my FB feed....let's see how many 'likes' i get (not expecting many...)

mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 11:29:25

Are you male Paleo?
Anecdotally I think a male posting some fem stuff will be seen as less ranty (and bitter) wink

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 11:30:26

"Why can people not see what I can see?
Is the harm done to them so 'normal' that they can't see it?
Are they scared of being ostracised into this rad fem group if they speak out?
Are they afraid of losing their families/jobs/attractiveness to males?"

Those are brilliant research questions. I don't know if anything has been done to investigate this or any related issues <dashes off to google scholar>

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Fri 08-Mar-13 11:31:00

I'm youngish,early thirties,so I don't think its old fashioned.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Fri 08-Mar-13 11:32:58

There's another point Prom,I don't care about being attractive to males.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 11:34:02

There was a special issue of Feminism and Psychology in 2001 called Young Women, Feminism and the Future

Looks promising...

Paleodad Fri 08-Mar-13 11:36:46

I am, and slightly wary of posting in FWR.
But, i have (at the moment just one) a DD and would hate her to experience the casual, and not so casual, sexism etc. that i see DW and others experiencing daily (and for that matter, would hate my DS to think it 'normal'). So i try to improve my knowledge a bit by lurking here.
I think you're right in general, a male posting might be seen as less ranty, but unfortunately, most of my FB 'friends' already know me as a ranter!
I occasionally post some political and Fem stuff, but only one person usually 'likes', and he's got a beard so doesn't really count...

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 11:37:03

It's not feminism that I have an issue with. I avoid similar FB posts about politics, the environment and religion.

I think a lot of people use FB as light entertainment, so don't tend to want to engage with the heavier stuff.

kim147 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:41:43

OTOH, if someone posts a sexist comment on their FB status, I do let them know.

<Yes, Paul, looking at you>

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 11:42:59

So do I Kim, and sadly there are plenty of opportunities to do so sad

lemonmuffin Fri 08-Mar-13 11:48:25

Some really interesting questions in your op mcmooncup, I'll have a go at answering them if thats ok.

Why can people not see what i can see - the way we all look at situations is subjective, we all see things from a different angle. I would find the suggestion that you can see what I can't as mildly insulting; you're suggesting that you have seen the light whereas as others who disagree with you havent. Puts me off straight away.

Is the harm done to them so 'normal' that they can't see it? See above.

Are they scared of being ostracised into this rad fem group if they speak out?
Not scared, no. Just don't identify with the very few rad fems that I've heard of.

Are they afraid of losing their families/jobs/attractiveness to males?
Nope, no reason why I would lose my family or job. I do like being attractive to males though and getting male attention, and as far as I can see, feminists aren't too keen on that.

Don't know if that helps at all?

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:03:35

Hi lemonmuffin, so for these reasons (because you feel patronised, like feeling attractive to men and don't identify with radical feminism) do you avoid identifying yourself as feminist?

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Mar-13 12:05:38

From my point of view as a man I would not like/endorse/repost any feminist post that I saw on my various social profiles.

From my own singular point of view I don't believe that I can add/take anything away from the feminist debate due to my gender.

My own view of feminism is that the principles are sound but like any cause that is trying to gain equality the message can get lost with the extreme fringe views.

I have a partner and 2 daughters, my respect and admiration of them is equal to that of anybody I respect or admire and my message to my daughters is go to school, work hard and become a lawyer because one day, somebody will tell them they cannot do something due to their gender. At this point they will be equipped to challenge and redress.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:13:02

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Do you challenge sexist and misogynist statements when you hear them Fallen? I hope so...

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Mar-13 12:16:39

Only if its directed at me or mine.

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:18:00

The answer is in the question. I mean, you ask the question 'why can't others see what I see?' This is insulting to others and suggests that feminists like yourself are the only ones enlightened enough to see the light.

The answer as to why people don't want to engage you on the issues is in your question

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:26:02

MTS I didn't read the OP that way. It seemed to me like more of a cry of frustration "why is it just me that notices this?" rather than a condescending "why can't they see, the idiots"

I must confess that I also am surprised when people don't see the many inequalities that appear (to me) to abound in society. I don't think people who don't notice them are stupid necessarily, merely that the interpretation that screams out at me doesn't scream out at them grin!

But perhaps you could explain things from your perspective? Do you see a society where things are pretty much equal now?

lemonmuffin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:33:11

As a brief answer I would say, yes to that question. There are several issues where I do agree with the feminist position, eg equal pay, domestic violence, and the very low rate of rape convictions.

But there are so many other times when I find the feminist position completely at odds with my own. I know it's all very subjective but I find some of the attitudes baffling and very alienating. So for that reason, no I probably wouldnt identify as a feminist.

lemonmuffin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:33:57

Sorry, that was in reply to Promqueen

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:37:02

"But there are so many other times when I find the feminist position completely at odds with my own. I know it's all very subjective but I find some of the attitudes baffling and very alienating"

Could you give some examples lemonmuffin? I'd like to understand your position better.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 08-Mar-13 12:40:25

I agree with you OP, I just heard a comment read out on This Morning "I don't agree with feminism, I agree with equality"... Aren't they the same thing?

Viviennemary Fri 08-Mar-13 12:42:05

I can quite understand why people avoid this topic. I once or twice posted in the section on MN. And got told off because apparently what I said wasn't in keeping with their views. So I just avoid from now on. It's not worth the hassle.

Viviennemary Fri 08-Mar-13 12:42:41

I didn't even realise this was in that section or I wouldn't have replied. Sorry.

FrothyDragon Fri 08-Mar-13 12:44:28

See, I find I can get somewhat equal responses. I think I've got to the point where a) a lot of my friends ARE feminists or share my interest in ending male violence against women and children and b) a lot of my friends and family just accept that, to me, it's the same as them posting about their favourite band/show etc... I find that my statuses about domestic violence and/or abortion can, if posted at the right time, generate a hell of a lot of discussion.

Maybe I just have an odd mix of friends. scratches head Actually, cut the "maybe".

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:47:01

In my youth tv news readers were invariably middle aged white men. I still remember the fuss about Angela Rippon and whether an attractive female newsreader could be taken seriously. Asking such a question was highly insulting to women IMO.

Then there was my mum. She wanted a bank loan to buy a shop but the bank would only lend her the money if my dad was a co signatory.

Those days are behind us IMO. Today, most of the graduate women that I know are in successful jobs with some earning more than their DHs. Are there more men in positions of power than women? Sure. Is sexism involved? In some cases probably but in others the woman values family life more and isn't as alpha male-ish as the guys in jockying for promotions.

MTSgroupie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:48:41

... My post was directed at prom.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:53:14

I can't respond to you with as much thought as I'd like to right now MTS due to an impending deadline, but I'd like to come back later and do so if that's OK?

lemonmuffin Fri 08-Mar-13 13:01:06

One example springs to mind Promqueen. (it's pretty trivial I'm afraid but the best I can do while getting ready for work!)

Walking along the street last week, stopped to cross the road at traffic lights. Noticed lorry driver pulling up at lights and quite blatantly checking me out while I waited to cross the road. I grinned at him, he smiled back and winked, then drove off. I walked away with a spring in my step thinking yes! Ive still got it.

Now as far as I can make out the feminist reaction (after reading the sexual advances thread) would be: FFS can't I even walk down the street without some twat gawping at me and making me feel uncomfortable, I'm sick of it, how can we stop it?

that's what I find baffling.

PromQueenWithin Fri 08-Mar-13 13:08:00

No actually (I should be working too!) I do know what you mean with the lorry driver thing. As a completely self-identified feminist, I still think that of course men and women can have very positive interactions like this that leave both parties feeling great.

The issue is when one party (frequently the women) is left feeling quite the opposite because she's been insulted or treated like a piece of meat. I can quite see how men might throw up their hands in frustration "but how can we know which is which?"

All I can say is in my own personal experience, the difference between those two scenarios is the respect (or lack of) that the man shows to the women and his willingness to respond appropriately to her signals. It's vague, and wouldn't be much use as a "men, know your limits" style public information film, but hey, anything as socially negotiated as this can't be set in stone.

Apologies for the ramble.

mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 14:13:23

And the question is also why you would need a lorry driver to make yourself feel better about yourself?
Women are less able to validate themselves is the argument....and rely on men to do it for them.
When you say "I've still got it".
What is 'it'?

I'm really not trying to be obtuse, I really want to understand.

curryeater Fri 08-Mar-13 15:11:05

I find questions like this really interesting, but I find the answers often only take me so far in understanding.

bingodiva - "i am an adult and have a brain to think for myself - i dont need someone else shoving their belief down my throat at every opportunity - refer back to ranty femenist."

the two things that come up for me out of this are:

1. your beliefs in themselves - you are not feminist, I guess? Because you don't think women should be treated equally to men, or because you think they are and there is no problem, or because you think it doesn't matter and you have other things to think about,or because you think the costs of equality are too high (life style, friction, loss of harmony and mutual understanding, whatever) or other reasons?

2. The responses of others to your beliefs - do you think feminists are more or less likely to give you respect for having your own views than, say vegetarians (if you are not one)? - or any other people you don't agree with, tories if you are labour, or vice versa? do you have examples of this?

Something has occurred to me - do non-feminists find feminists more annoying than other people with political stances that they don't agree with because of the "the personal is political" thing - because feminist views sneak up on you and ambush you in your own house over the washing up, not just when you have your serious head on watching the news and have already decided to care about wars and famines or whatever?

delboysfileofax Fri 08-Mar-13 16:05:43

As someone who reads this board every day I can honestly say the reason I wouldn't comment on feminist issues is the massive aggression put towards me on other non FWR threads. Granted it was on a topic which is a big deal to feminism (strip clubs) but the level of abuse I got was amazing. I was accused of "wanking over" the domestic violence threads and also of lying ref working as a doorman there

It does seem as soon as a poster questions something about feminism, especially as a male they are jumped all over. I was and still am interested in feminism as I have never met anyone who would identify as a feminist and was interested as to what it was really about. The more I am reading about it though the less I understand it.

Darkesteyes Fri 08-Mar-13 17:02:39

OP i know how you feel. I got into a massive row on a womens mag fb page last year when they kept printing derogatory articles about mums on benefits. And the bile and mysogyny spilling forth from other women was astounding.
And a guy i was at school with keeps sharing stuff from the Lad Bible so it keeps appearing on my feed. This is a 40 yr old man with a young daughter hmm Speaking of that has anyone clocked Danny Dyers Twitter feed. I dont follow but something of his got retweeted into my timeline so i had a nosy and i wish i hadnt. Bloody vile.

BettyBlueBlue Fri 08-Mar-13 17:29:14

I noticed the same on FB too. I think the reason is that I don't know anybody who'd call herself/himself a feminist among my friends. Even one who's very clever and successful and even supports her husband would not call herself a feminist.
The only person in my life who I know calls herself a feminist is my stepmum, and she's 72! And not on FB smile

Paleodad Fri 08-Mar-13 17:51:32

in this spirit of increased communication, and apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, but can i ask what would distinguish 'rad fem' perspectives from more normative feminist perspectives?

I'm like frothy - I have lots of feminist/pro-feminist mates on facebook, though that's been quite gradual. It's funny, actually, a lot of us realized we weren't posting as feminists much because we worried about the reaction or that we were going to make people think we were 'ranty feminists', so there's definitely strength in numbers.

Something I think can be easier for newbie feminists or people for whom it's not a huge interest, is all the human interest stuff. I know when I post certain things, a few people don't care for it. But some really unexpected friends and relatives have said nice things when I've shared posts about, say, remembering the life of early women inventors or women who are often overlooked for their work in science. I can see why because I love that sort of thing too and facebook is the right medium for it.

Today I shared a post from a lovely mate of mine about international women's day and it's just gone everywhere, it's really nice to see people celebrating something positive rather than seeing feminism as negative today.

(paleo - dunno, I'm never sure what a normative feminist perspective is. I think it would vary depending who you asked. But 'radical' comes from the word for 'root', as in root cause. Rad fems are those who think the root problem is the patriarchy - as opposed to, say, marxist feminists, who - obviously - feel Marx's theories are really important too.)

Lessthanaballpark Fri 08-Mar-13 18:42:53

"Why can people not see what I can see?"

I know how you feel OP. I turn on the TV see that one man has killed three women. Every day there is some sexual assault or DV and it always seems to go one way but no one seems to see it. People talk about gun control and public safety but no one seems to notice the thing these crimes have in common.

And now a man has stabbed a schoolgirl on a bus.
If it were one ethnic group doing this to another ethnic group at this rate they would notice.

AnyFucker Fri 08-Mar-13 18:46:03

lemon you haven't understood that other thread, then

you obviously gave Mr Lorry Driver non-discouraging signals

you gave him eye contact, you grinned first, you felt safe because he was bound by the change of colour of traffic lights to move off and away from you

I wouldn't have a problem with that fleeting mutual appreciation

that other thread isn't talking about that...but of course it does suit some people to tar all feminists as dour, fun-sapping man haters

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 08-Mar-13 18:55:27

Yep ain't it the truth AnyFucker.

Lemonmuffin why do you feel the need to misrepresent the thread in that way?

Or perhaps I'm being unfair, perhaps you genuinely don't understand it.


Woofers Fri 08-Mar-13 19:02:42

I'd like them smile your obviously lacking in open minded, feminist Facebook friends wink

AnyFucker Fri 08-Mar-13 19:07:18

lemon if you and Mr Lorry Driver had been the only people sat in a carriage on a late night train that had no stops for a long time, would you have felt quite so happy with the situation ?

mcmooncup Fri 08-Mar-13 22:21:50

It is like there are different realities for different people.

Which is fine in itself, I get that life is like that - there are many cognitive biases in how we perceive the world.

But genuinely I don't get what people who think we have equality think about the very clear statistics that show women are still not treated with equality (work, pay, poverty, death by violence, victims of violence, rape, representation in positions of power) - what do people who call others who wish to discuss these issues 'ranty feminists' actually think about these statistics? Do you think they are not true?

FloraFox Fri 08-Mar-13 23:26:11

mcmooncup they may think a variety of things but for those issues that are not related to violence I've heard things like "women don't want it" or "it's just the way things are" soooo often. So not denying the statistics necessarily but denying that there is a systemic underlying cause that can and should be addressed.

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 08-Mar-13 23:35:45
Paleodad Sat 09-Mar-13 06:40:10

LRD thanks, that really clarifies things

Oh, good! smile

BelaLugosisShed Sat 09-Mar-13 10:43:56

I posted my disgust at someone "sharing" a photo of a truck with a painted tailgate, the image was of a woman bound and gagged on the flatbed of the truck and was very lifelike, it was sick and quite horrific.
I pointed out that if it were a picture of a black person then it would be an arrestable hate crime only to be told it was just a joke and they were admiring the artwork hmm. I posted back that images of sexual violence towards women were never "a joke" and was told to "fuck off if I don't like it".

Someone else taken off my fb - This man is married and in his late 40s.

PromQueenWithin Sat 09-Mar-13 14:29:44

Just had a similar thing on FB, have started to challenge misogynistic stuff on there recently.. This one was much milder than yours Bella, but still got the 'can't you take a joke, it's just banter, you would not comment if it were a scantily clad man...' comments back. Many from women, too of the "I'm not offended, but then I can take a joke" variety.

The sharer is offended because I only comment negatively on misogynistic stuff he posts. Well, don't post this shit then!

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 09-Mar-13 14:40:27

I wonder if its perspective? I value maternity rights for example because they were fought for improvement during my working life. I saw the before and after consequences. For those younger maybe they don't notice as so much has been won. I mean there's a flipping long way to go yet, but not as far as before maybe.

Not sure I'm explaining well but hoping u get the gist?! :/

Darkesteyes Sat 09-Mar-13 22:13:30

Same idiot ive mentioned upthread has now shared something else about how the equivalent of a vibrator (one of those fake vaginas) should have a rape cry in its repertoire.
Final straw. Going to unfriend Fuck the possible comeback.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 09-Mar-13 23:06:04

Oh my darkesteyes. Horrible. I wouldn't want a friend like that either. Might be tempted to ask him if he realises he sounds like someone who has bought into rape myths.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 09-Mar-13 23:10:27

Ou actually, what's prob more effective, is to ask him why. Make him bluster or repeat the rape myth straight out and then ask of he's aware that 90% of rapes aren't reported and that of those which are, only 4% are false allegations. Or you cd ask him to guess the figures.

Darkesteyes Sat 09-Mar-13 23:25:53

Hes not really a friend Went to school with him and he ended up on my fb after the school reunion 2 yrs ago. Just memorized what it said on the link. It was about the fake vagina having a realistic rape cry sound system. Vile.
Have left a comment.

AnyFucker Sun 10-Mar-13 00:39:50

darkest...ignore any comeback

the guy is a cock

mcmooncup Sun 10-Mar-13 09:57:10

God, darkest, who even makes these products, surely that is illegal?!?! Inciting violence?! I'd be interested to follow that up, start some noise wink

My fb post the other day actually started a debate that wasn't too vile in the end. Some dude wrote "when is man's day?" and then a few more joined in and we managed to look at the 'easy setting for white man' blog, anti-feminist bingo, and the 'shut up it there is a mans day" blog and insults were only at ignorant level not abusive. That was nice smile

Darkesteyes Sun 10-Mar-13 16:24:01

I dont think its actually a product thats available. The way it reads to me is that they are saying it should be available with a rape cry. Still awful. Still perpetuating myths.

mcmooncup Sun 10-Mar-13 19:49:02

Oooooh sorry ! I was totally horrified there...

I wish some of the people who posted would come back to the thread and post about what it is that puts them off........I am really still interested in which part of the message is so off-putting from feminism.

I was just reading this article on the DM website - it really is quite shocking the level of hatred at feminism. I really am at a loss about which part of the message is so upsetting for people.

Don't rape women. What is so offensive about that?

Don't be violent to women. What is offensive about that?

Pay women the same as men. What is offensive about that?

Don't be a domestic slave to men. What is offensive about that?

Don't presume you have to provide sexual services to a man. What is offensive about that?

SplitHeadGirl Sun 10-Mar-13 20:20:07

I really believe women are scared of identifying with feminism because they don't want to be seen as being against men, as that would make life somewhat more difficult for them, as well as potentially take away one of the ways some women get their self esteem...from men's validation. Most women are fully aware a helluva lot of men desire them to be deferential, demure, and in awe of them.

They see the term 'feminism' as being about pushing women ahead...ahead of men, and because they rely so heavily on men then this doesn't sit easily with them.

I am lucky (enlightened??) in that I can't care less about men's feelings about me, outside of my son, husband and father...I know they love me so that is that. I take a lot of pleasure in calling myself a feminist. Partly because it can lead into a good debate/discussion with interested people, and partly because it can rub dopey people's noses up the wrong way!! grin.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 10-Mar-13 21:06:13

I think once you don't care what men think of you, it really liberates you to say what you think and believe. And to explore what you believe.

SplitHeadGirl Sun 10-Mar-13 21:19:00

Completely!!! It is SO liberating - I feel actually quite powerful, just being able to say what I believe without worrying what people (men) might think!!

I enjoy having the time and energy for the things that REALLY count, like my children, my job, my husband, ME....and not wasting time worrying about men of all things.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 10-Mar-13 21:27:10

Yep. And a lot of men really hate it.

They sort of sense that you really don't care and that a piece of power which they take for granted and aren't really even aware of normally, is absent.

It sort of unsettles them.

mcmooncup Sun 10-Mar-13 21:32:05

I know what you mean completely about it being liberating not being unduly concerned about what men think.

But I also remember that transition period from being a women who didn't realise how much I was validated by men to where I am now.

There was quite a period of doubt, fear and being vulnerable as some men kicked back against you for 'Changing' and being 'obnoxious/any insult available'. I found it really really unsettling to be seen as 'against' men, because I wasn't and never have been. It is definitely an easier life in many ways just to play along to the rules of the patriarchy, not 'cause a fuss' and it took me a good few years to be completely comfortable being an open feminist. And even now get wobbles.....

I guess it's the standard change curve that people go through in becoming feminist.

Denial - fear - doubt - shall I quit? - understanding - acceptable - moved on/ confident.

It's really hard not to sound patronising to someone who is in denial .

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 10-Mar-13 21:34:16

Oh yes McMooncup.


Very well described.

Sometimes I wish I'd kept my head in the sand.

MTSgroupie Sun 10-Mar-13 21:40:57

OP - You just don't see it, do you? The last page of this thread is exactly why your non-feminist friends blank out your feminist FB postings.

mcmooncup Sun 10-Mar-13 21:44:13

You'll have to explain MTS.

What I see on this thread is non-feminists come on, say ewwww you are all ranty horrid but don't explain anything more. I could make sweeping generalisations about non-feminists based on this thread-I.e. that there is no substance to their hatred of feminists, but I'd really prefer to hear which parts of feminism actually wind you up.
So plllllllease do...... Please.

PromQueenWithin Sun 10-Mar-13 21:44:40

I think we do see it MTS. We think you're in denial about how the deck's stacked against you. Tis a great shame you find that opinion of you more offensive than the prevailing one that says shut up and seek male approval sad

mcmooncup Sun 10-Mar-13 21:52:24

And when I say which parts of feminism wind you up.....I mean feminist concepts....not what individual feminists like myself may have said that wind you up.

I am left wing but think ed milliband is annoying, but fundamentally agree with his principles. So if you find what I as an individual feminist has said annoying that is not the same as finding all feminists annoying.

SplitHeadGirl Sun 10-Mar-13 21:57:36

Fastidia, it is funny but in a way, I actually LIKE how some men resent me for not caring about what they think of me. It feels like a small victory, for me but also for women out there who are taken for granted by men everywhere. I also think it is in men's interests not to assume women care about their opinions.

Darkesteyes Sun 10-Mar-13 22:12:33

mcmooncup can i add something to your list upthread.

Dont try to police or control womens sexuality.

mcmooncup Sun 10-Mar-13 22:15:34

Of course....but I've a feeling MTS or anyone else will not answer the questions anyway.

I hope I'm wrong.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 10-Mar-13 22:17:13

Splitheadgirl - yes.

I like it too. grin

The nicer ones are just a bit unsettled and non-plussed, the wankers are unsettled and angry - they don't know why they're angry or even that they are, but it comes out in a hostile attitude. I suspect it's all really, really unconscious.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 10-Mar-13 22:17:54

Is MTS saying that she find it completely outre not to care about what men think?


SplitHeadGirl Sun 10-Mar-13 22:34:11

Fastidia my favourite thing to do is keep talking - not louder or faster, and not batting an eyelid - when a man tries to interrupt me like he hasn't uttered a word. The look on his face is priceless!!! grin There are so many ways to let men know that you value your own opinion far more than theirs!!!

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 01:55:13

OP - I obviously can't assert that all feminists are annoying. All I can say is that all the feminist that I have met were annoying.

Don't take it personally. I also find annoying anybody who continually go on about socialism and religion.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 02:02:06

.. Split's post is a perfect example of why I find feminist post a bit of a turn off. This constant 'men are twats' argument gets sooo boring after a while.

being constantly told your sex is inferior is annoying, you're right mts

op, I sit there sometimes and wonder why no one else is furious. since moving back to the states and watching my government take a fucking time machine back to 1950 to erode all of our rights. I want to cry. I think of moving back to the UK and read the fucking AARSE thread. I lived in a garrison town and felt the misogynistic attitudes but didn't realise the extent of what was bubbling away below the surface. I read about the brave women in NI and the risk they are taking in signing that letter... and we're "the lucky ones" we have equality in our countries. Apparently

Bessie123 Mon 11-Mar-13 03:20:41

I think a lot of feminist posts sound proselytising and irrelevant to people's daily life. They are ranty and annoying and outdated. Until you realise they are not and there is plenty of sexism around, limiting and destroying women.

mcmooncup Mon 11-Mar-13 08:14:44

OK MTS, but again you don't say why you find feminist arguments annoying.

No-one has said men are twats.

Which part of feminism do you not agree with?

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 08:39:27

According to Feminism 101...

"A feminist is, and always has been, anyone who favors political,
economic and social equality for women and men. So, if you
think that people should be judged according to their own
unique strengths, abilities and weaknesses, and NOT accord-
ing to what someone else thinks their strengths, abilities and
weaknesses "ought to be" because of their gender, then YOU
are a feminist."

Is there anything there you disagree with?

If there isn't, then sadly, if you're rejecting feminism on the grounds that you think feminists hate men, want to dictate to you your life choices or bore you by getting passionate about the inequalities they think should be addressed, then I'd suggest that you've been influenced by the arguments used to silence the movement for gender equality.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Mar-13 10:19:10

MTS, how did you know which of all the women you have ever met in your life are feminists and which are not ? You say every single feminist you have ever met has been "annoying"

What about the women who didn't annoy you you, but were also feminists?

Your sweeping statements weaken your argument, such as it is

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 10:26:41

Any - Ok. I'll qualify that. All the self declared feminists that I have met have been annoying.

kim147 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:31:20

I've met a lot of feminists. They seem quite a nice bunch.
How were they annoying?

FloraFox Mon 11-Mar-13 10:37:50

All the self-declared non-feminists I have met have been annoying or twats.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Mar-13 10:39:54


I would find people who on an initial, superficial meeting "declared" themselves to be anything annoying actually.

MTS, I think you mean you have met a couple of feminists that you didn't take to. Shit happens. No reason to dismiss a whole bunch of people.

slug Mon 11-Mar-13 10:44:30

Do you find feminists annoying because they point out things you'd rather not think about?

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 10:57:27

MT even if the individual self-identified feminists you've met are annoying, does that also mean that they're wrong? Because you're rejecting a fair amount of stuff on that basis.

namechangeguy Mon 11-Mar-13 11:00:22

OP, is a man's point of view welcome on her, or is this directed at women only?

AnyFucker Mon 11-Mar-13 11:08:37

Don't be shy, namechangeguy

< I made a little ditty >

namechangeguy Mon 11-Mar-13 11:58:53

Here's my rap, it might be crap grin ;

Feminism seems a little simplistic, for a mainstream political movement. Most centrist political movements have a degree of acceptance that all protagonists must work together and accommodate differing views. Hence, (in the UK) Labour move towards banks and big business; Tories accept that the NHS and free education are a good thing for society, etc etc.

When you get to the fringes, we see Marxist/Leninist movements, or BNP/EDL parties. These extremists tend to get very simplistic - its all the fault of the darkies, or the rich, so let's lump the blame on one easily-identified group. Take their money, or deport them, and everything will be rosy.

In a similar way, feminists are perceived as wanting to dump the blame for everything at the doorstep of Men as a group. Men and women are brought up and educated in the same environment, by and large. An ignorance of the Patriarchy is common to both, in equal measure. But any man who inadvertently does something perceived as taking advantage of his gender is castigated, regardless of his awareness of the bigger picture. Any woman doing the same thing is patronised as 'poor love, she doesn't know what she is doing'.

When you only have a hammer, everything has to look like a nail. Feminist's hammer is the concept of the Patriarchy, so everything it bashes has to be male. Society, which is what the Patriarchy is, is all of us, male and female, and it is far more complicated than feminism makes it out to be.

Now, please feel free to write this off as another 'what about da menz' whinge. But honestly, it isn't. It is why I feel that a very important message is getting lost.

slug Mon 11-Mar-13 13:49:47

No, it's no a what about the menz, it's a fine example of mansplaining grin

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 13:57:43

Kim - slug's 10:44 post is one reason why I find feminism annoying. I mean, I don't see The Light so it's probably because I rather not think about something that is 'obvious' to an enlightened soul like slug.

Its this patronising attitude that I find a conversation killer.

namechangeguy Mon 11-Mar-13 14:02:42

Is it really, slug? If so, I am at a loss as to how to have an open discussion about these matters. I will happily leave the thread and continue to read.

vesuvia Mon 11-Mar-13 14:21:08

namechangeguy wrote - "Feminist's hammer is the concept of the Patriarchy, so everything it bashes has to be male."

My understanding of the concept of patriarchy is that it is a set of values that can be held by males or females. In my experience, feminism opposes patriarchal values, irrespective of who holds them.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 14:24:12

Prom - I am not saying that feminists are wrong, in the same way that I don't think that there is anything wrong with being a socialists but when everything is the fault of men or rich people then it just becomes boring.

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 14:24:51

MTS we've all asked you repeatedly what opinions you do hold, but so far all I can conclude from what you've posted is that you find feminists irritating because they tell you about their beliefs.

Do you think that equality between men and women is something positive to aim for? Do you think it exists right now?

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 14:25:06

x post

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 14:25:32

So feminists are right, but should shut up about it because it bores you?

I expect socialists find it boring, too.

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 14:26:07

Most things are the fault of men or rich people wink

curryeater Mon 11-Mar-13 14:32:38

namechangeguy, what is mansplainy about your post (if you will let me do a little common-or-garden explaining, in this case, because you asked) is that you make the terribly patronising assumption that where your views differ from those of feminists, it is because the feminists just don't get how complicated things really are.

You could have put that point in a less mansplainy way by saying "I think we can achieve more by finding common ground between the interests of women and the traditional interests of patriarchy, rather than a straight forward oppositional discourse" - in other words, presenting it as a difference of opinion, rather than the others just not getting it.

FWIW, I do not agree with you. I don't think feminism has anything to gain from a theoretical position of cooperation with patriarchy. I do think individual women have to cooperate every day with the patriarchy, and many of them are feminists. But not-punching-the-man-in-the-face-who-is-groping-you-because-society-sanctions-this-behaviour-and-you-live-in-a-small-town-and-you-might-meet-him-socially is not a principled position, it's just getting by. Like sucking up to bankers, because they have all the money.

LurcioLovesFrankie Mon 11-Mar-13 14:43:44

NCG - my problem is we're not looking at an area like distributing a limited pot of money (the social services budget) in the best way, where we can argue about prioritising different needs and finding the best compromise.

But this is an issue of human rights. And you can't be a little bit equal, or equal up to a point. Either women (or black people, or gay people) have equal rights, or they don't. There is no compromise position in the middle where I offer to meet the author of the "Surrendered Wife" (or someone else who opposes feminism) half way.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 14:50:00

The women in my extended family includes an accountant, a corporate lawyer, an IT project manager and a senior NHS administrator.I myself am a senior manager at an American bank in the City. In my world 'equality' exist.

I accept that it does not exist in everybodies life but a lot of the time it has nothing to do with sexism.

I have friends who took career breaks in order to spend more time with young children. This will affect their job and salary prospects when they rejoin the job market.

I have friends who had their hours reduced such that they work 10 to 3pm or 3 days a week in order to spend more time with their children. This will affect their salary.and promotion prospects.

I have friends who aren't as driven as their alpha male colleagues. Instead of jockying for position and glory or jumping from job to job, these women look for stabilty and family friendly jobs. Like the above, this too will affect their salary and promotion prospects.

There are various reasons why men earn more than women. Is it sometimes because of sexism? Of course but I suspect that this only accounts for a small number of cases. But to listen to some women talk, it's all a conspiracy by men to exploit women and to strip power from them and to keep them subservient to men blah blah blah.

Are there real feminist issues? Of course there are. I'm not claiming otherwise. I'm just find that some feminist shoe horn every issue into a Man Thing.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 14:58:53

Prom - I am not telling anyone to shut up.

The OP asked why, when she post feminist stuff on her FB page her non-feminist friends blank her out. I am trying to explain why I would blank out such postings.

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 15:05:27

MTS if you think that things are pretty much equal now, why not hie yourself on over to the thread about ARRSE and see what you think about it. I must warn you, it makes very unpleasant reading.

I apologise if the "shut up" was a misinterpretation of what you posted. You just want to be free to ignore feminists?

I find it boring when people are too ignorant to realize misogyny exists and is a huge problem. Ah well, each to their own.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 15:13:58

Prom - I followed the link in the OP and it took me to a loggon screen. But let me guess. A bunch of guys are making derogatory comments about women? Close?

If yes, what has that got to do with my comments? I am not saying that we live in a twat free zone.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 15:16:04

I am ignorant because I don't see what you see? And the mystery of why you get blanked by other deepens.

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 15:19:42

Yes, derogatory comments that have included explicit descriptions of the sexual violence they'd like to perpetuate as well as images of beaten and bruised women.

Goes a bit beyond twattery and it is related to your comments because the individuals involved in this hate campaign against MN (who, it must be said, by no means represent men in general) don't care that you're a professional women doing well in her career and things feel equal to you. They hate you because you are female.

The link should be to a thread on chat called MuntersNet, I will try again but you should see it in active convos if you're interested here

This is the sort of thing that feminists are working to challenge. Sorry if that's a bit dull for you though.

namechangeguy Mon 11-Mar-13 15:20:48

The OP asked;

^How do we break down this wall of silence?
Why do people not want to be associated with 'ranty feminists'?
Our communication seems to be very isolating, even though it's not meant to be.^

I offered a few thoughts, after having asked if they would be welcome.

I will continue to read with interest. Genuine thanks to those who gave a considered reply.

I didn't say you were ignorant for that reason, MTS, and no, I don't wonder why I get blanked - I do wonder why you're still talking since it's all so 'boring' for you. confused

myname1 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:38:33

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

vesuvia Mon 11-Mar-13 15:41:04

MTSgroupie wrote - "There are various reasons why men earn more than women. Is it sometimes because of sexism? Of course but I suspect that this only accounts for a small number of cases. But to listen to some women talk, it's all a conspiracy by men to exploit women and to strip power from them and to keep them subservient to men blah blah blah."

If you can only suspect that sexism is rare, why do you then choose to believe the patriarchal status quo version of events? Why do you assume that the many women who are hampered by sexism are not genuine?

What is the (existing) power that you think women think is being stripped from women?

myname1 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:43:06

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

slug Mon 11-Mar-13 15:50:00

Thank you curryeater for explaining to namechangeguy why he's mansplaining. I don't have the energy to get into that conversation yet again.

Of all your friends who you talk about MTSgroupie who have adjusted their working lives to fit in with their children, what percentage of them are men? Or is it only the women who put their careers and earning potential at risk by adapting their lives? Have you wondered why that is? And what of men who want to limit their career prospects by adapting their work around their childcare? Do you know of any? Have their careers suffered? Do they find going back to full time career mode as difficult as women you have known who took career breaks?

Snorbs Mon 11-Mar-13 15:50:59

myname1, a more suspicious person might imagine that you're trying to stir up some form of retaliation. But I'm sure that's not actually the case because it would be impossibly juvenile, wouldn't it?

myname1 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:55:49

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

Snorbs Mon 11-Mar-13 16:02:35

Uh-huh. So you're a new member to mumsnet who just coincidentally has joined at a time when ARSSE is stirring and your entire posting record consists of what ARSSE is up to and encouraging people to join their site and have a go at them.

I have no idea why I would find this in the least bit suspicious.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 16:23:38

slug - I think that I know where you are going with this.

The women that I mentioned made the choice free from pressure from men. For them spending quality time with their children trumped the joys of the daily commute to some office where they spend their working day chained to a desk and PC.

I accept that in some relationships the woman is expected to put their career on hold instead of the man. However, your starting position seems to be that is the default for all relationships and that my friends were inevitably forced by husbands or society's expectations to put their careers on hold.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 16:30:17

vesuvia - please point to where I said that there are no genuine cases of sexism?

I was offering reasons why some women are paid less than men. I didn't say that there were no cases of women being paid less than men because of sexism.

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 16:32:01

The thing about generalisations is that one can always find exceptions quite easily. But are you suggesting that you believe society's expectations has nothing to do with the choice of many women to prioritise family over career?

TheRealFellatio Mon 11-Mar-13 16:34:31

Some people just avoid anything remotely political on FB. I know I do. I never 'like' or share or comment on anything pertaining to a political persuasion of any sort. My friends are too diverse a mix, and I am somewhere in the middle so I just stay out of all of it.

slug Mon 11-Mar-13 16:37:25

Where I'm going with this is:

1. Feminism is what got you to your job in the first place. Whether you think it is boring or not, feminism is behind your right to an education, a job and maternity leave.

2. Why aren't the men taking the burden of childcare? You only talked about women you know who put their careers on hold/went part time, not men. That's why I asked that question. Do you know any couples where the roles were reversed? If not, what does that say about where the burden of childcare routinely lies?

3. Have you never examined why it is almost always the women whose careers are put at risk by having children? Why is it that 1 in 7 women are made redundant after maternity leave]] yet this same risk to careers does not happen to men? If feminists aren't asking that question then who is going to protect you and the job you have thanks to feminism in the first place?

4. When men do take time off for childcare (and they do, my DH was a SAHD for years) why does this not affect their career prospects in the same way it affects women's? Why aren't men encouraged to take time off? It seems to me to be a huge waste of investment in women's education to encourage them to think a career is their right then snatch it all away when they have babies. Men have babies too. Once the breastfeeding part is over there is no physical reason why men can't be the full time/part time parent. Yet it's still so rare. Why is it expected that men will carry on while women stay at home?

It's by asking these questions and shedding light on the underlying structure of society that the very feminists you find boring make life better for you and your children.

FloraFox Mon 11-Mar-13 16:42:16

MTS I'm glad to see you and your family have benefitted so much from the efforts of feminists. Hopefully the benefits will not have been eroded for your DDs and DNs and perhaps things might even be better for them, despite it all being so boring for you.

vesuvia Mon 11-Mar-13 16:45:10

MTSgroupie wrote "vesuvia - please point to where I said that there are no genuine cases of sexism?"

I didn't claim that you said that. I prefer to repeat what I've already asked you, but this time highlighting a few key words in bold:

If you can only suspect that sexism is rare, why do you then choose to believe the patriarchal status quo version of events? Why do you assume that the many women who are hampered by sexism are not genuine?

What is the (existing) power that you think women think is being stripped from women?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 11-Mar-13 17:04:22

It is an awfully big coincidence that, in spite of the right to request flexible working being equal for both parents, the majority of requests come from women.

MTS I don't think your friends were forced by their husbands by any means, but they did make their choice in the context of a society where women do more childcare than men.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 18:01:00

Aren't some people being a bit patronizing towards women? I mean, my friend's husband would rather she returned to work and let friend's mum do the school run (the 2nd income would help greatly). My friend however loves their mum-son chats in the car during the school run. She loves stuff like watching DS play football after school. And then there is the karate club.

I said patronising because it assumes that my friend is somehow too weak minded to realise that her actions are influenced by social conditioning as opposed to a genuine desire to be a SAHM.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 18:10:03

Just to be clear, I don't consider feminist issues to be boring. I just find the constant banging of feminist drums to be boring.

My friends chose to be SAHMs because their jobs were just a means of paying the bills. But to some feminists, here was yet another example of women being influenced or pressured by society to put their career on hold. I know that it is hard to believe but for many women, if money wasn't an issue, they would rather be SAHMs and they would rather the menfolk be the ones to spend 2 hours a day stuck on the M25.

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 18:13:31

vesuvia - you are putting words into my mouth and then you expect me to defend them.???

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 18:22:18

"I said patronising because it assumes that my friend is somehow too weak minded to realise that her actions are influenced by social conditioning as opposed to a genuine desire to be a SAHM"

Your friend, like the rest of us, has no idea to what extent her heartfelt desire to be a SAHM is conditioned socially and what part is innate. No feminist worth the time of day would insist that any woman be forced to work if she doesn't want to or need to, what I'd like to see an end to is the pressure that works in the other direction.

mcmooncup Mon 11-Mar-13 18:27:28

Patronising is a word non-feminists use a lot.

It is patronising to point out that there is inequality?

It is patronising to say that everybody's choices are not made in a vacuum - men and women?

SAHM is no problem for most feminists - I have to say I have a bit of a problem with it because it is mostly women who are making themselves financially vulnerable by giving up their jobs and as people are trying to point out, is it just a coincidence that it is for the most part women?

There was a really good thread about this not so long ago by akemma (sp) and the very real vulnerabilities of women giving up their jobs and independence on having children. MTS you said in your last post "My friends chose to be SAHMs because their jobs were just a means of paying the bills" - for me, it is never just paying your bills - it is a big thing being able to pay your own bills. Massive in fact. I know you will say, oh but you are so cynical about marriage etc. but the fact (again) is that 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce, so there are potentially a lot of women who rely on men financially, and when the 1 in 3 of us women experience divorce - what is our earning potential going to be if we have given up our careers?

I don't really want a WOHM vs. SAHM debate but I guess if we do we do........the point is that it is incredibly naive to say that women make choices based on "what they want" and "jobs just pay bills". `

Feminism advocates shared parenting so both parents have childcare responsibiilty and equal career risks on having children.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Mar-13 18:47:56

I was offering reasons why some women are paid less than men. I didn't say that there were no cases of women being paid less than men because of sexism.

So because it is happening to other women, and no-one that you personally know, all the boring feminists should stop wanging on about it ?

Have you a large dose of "All right Jack" syndrome going on with you, MTS ?

MTSgroupie Mon 11-Mar-13 19:34:59

"Patronising is a word non-feminists uses a lot"

Now we are supposed to have a list of words that identify us as non-feminist???

You asked me why your non-fem fb friends blank your feminist postings. I suggested to you the reasons why. Instead of self examination you have chosen to make me the issue thus demonstrating the reason why many people show a a reluctance to engage you on feminist issues.

Basically, the answer to your OP is in the feminists postings that followed. Anyway,this thread has gone the way of feminist conversations in the real world ie boring and annoying <reaches for HIDE button>

I find feminists horribly matronizing.

Also, I don't have a drum. Not even a misogynistic one. sad

What exactly is 'banging of feminist drums'? Is it to do with having the indecency to be a woman who expresses what she thinks? shock

I can quite see how feminists who never express their opinions might be so much more acceptable than the nasty, aggressive kind who have the gall to open their mouths.

Ah, cross posted.

She's off. smile

FastidiaBlueberry Mon 11-Mar-13 19:37:24

Arf at feminists being unable to self-examine.

Most of us bought into those misogynistic stereotypes of feminists before we grew up.


PretzelTime Mon 11-Mar-13 20:00:45

I think 'banging of feminist drums' is when a woman writes/talks about/ even mentions women's issues. A bit uncomfortable for a lot of people - I used to think so too.

mcmooncup Mon 11-Mar-13 20:11:06

"You asked me why your non-fem fb friends blank your feminist postings. I suggested to you the reasons why."

Erm, where exactly did you say why? I have just seen you say "cos they is ranty" as the only explanation. I put that in the OP, so erm, thanks for your help hmm.

What do you mean by ranty?

Come on. I know you can do better Patronising enough?

mcmooncup Mon 11-Mar-13 20:14:37

Surely there must be some non-feminists out there who are able to describe what it is about feminism that actually annoys you? Not just that "it annoys me".

What annoys you?

Which bits don't you agree with?

Which bits bore you?

vesuvia Mon 11-Mar-13 20:16:48

MTSgroupie - "you are putting words into my mouth"

For example?

curryeater Mon 11-Mar-13 20:29:51

I am disappointed that non-feminists always get so cross on these threads because it makes them incoherent* and we never end up any better informed.

*or maybe they are just always incoherent, who knows

OK that was really sarcastic but I honestly do want to know what annoys non-feminist women so much about feminism. I mean it's not like I can't hypothesise. I do. But, you know, it's matronising (thanks LRD for that word) and it's not the same as someone actually telling you what they think.

I have been posting and sharing things to do with the "One Billion Rising" campaign against DV and nobody could have cared less.

Put a picture of a staffordshire bull terrier etc on and watch the likes roll in.

So yes, OP, I dont know why I bother.

CarpeDiemCras Mon 11-Mar-13 20:46:57

I have family on my FB who have not all joined the century of the fruitbat. I also have colleagues & a range of acquaintances from across the political spectrum. I tend to avoid controversy grin

It's not because I don't have a view or wouldn't give it if asked, but I'm less likely to be proactive about it because I can't abide drama (and I've seen fairly innocuous FB posts kick off big time).

I would and have challenged people who posted things I deem offensive, but I tend to keep FB pretty lighthearted otherwise. Perhaps your friends are similar?

StickEmUp Mon 11-Mar-13 20:53:09

If no one banged on a feminist drum nothing would ever change would it

namechangeguy Mon 11-Mar-13 21:12:04

I have seen people post in FWR before saying that they find it a bit of an intimidating place, and that they are worried about saying the wrong thing. Might it be worth asking the same questions in AIBU? That is a fairly lively board, and you might find people feel more at ease responding. Just a thought.

True, stick.

curry - I can't take the credit. I forget who used the word first but I loved it so keep using it. grin

rosabud Mon 11-Mar-13 22:57:22

There has been a lot of argument/ discussion on this thread and others about whether or not feminists "patronise" women who are so influenced by the patriarchy that they cannot understand the arguments of feminist thinking without finding it "ranty" or "boring."

I don't think feminists patronise women, I think most feminists ardently attempt to explain to others why they think the way they do.

However, there are some excellent examples of patronising language on this thread and they include:

"Might it be worth asking......"
"you might find......"
"just a thought"
“….everything will be rosy”
“When you only have a hammer, everything has to look like a nail” (my personal favourite)
“Please feel free to write this off…..”
“I am at a loss……”
“I offered a few thoughts….”
“Genuine thanks to those who gave a considered reply”

Just so we are all clear what a patronising tone really does sound like.

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 03:10:04

I don't comment or like feminist posts on FB and I don't identify myself as one. I don't find feminists annoying or "ranty", the honest truth is and to my own shame, I don't understand the entire concept. I obviously want equality for women and do feel that women are sometimes assumed or told they are the primary care givers of children by society and therefore should be kept in the house and kitchen, and I disagree with this wholeheartedly. I also want equal pay equal rights.

However, the part of the concept I don't understand is the "importance" of DV,rape,child abuse. For me (and I could be wrong) these are criminal acts. And are unjust by their definition of being illegal. Yes more women are victims of DV (I know this all too well,unfortunatley) but men do suffer it too, and I feel violence against men can sometimes be swept under the carpet by feminism sometimes. Its my opinion that violence against anyone is unjust regardless of gender,age or race.

But I digress, the main reason is I don't feel confident enough that I know enough to truly partake in feminism. I've tried reading the literature or the blogs but I just don't get the larger picture due to my missunderstanding on criminal acts and their relationship to feminsm.

Sorry if I didn't make sense, and typing on my phone causes me typo problems xx

PromQueenWithin Tue 12-Mar-13 07:46:20

Rosebud therein lies the challenge. In some of those phrases I see a genuine attempt at politeness so as to achieve exactly the opposite of matronising wink. One was from our 'Feminists are boring' friend though.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 12-Mar-13 07:47:58

"I just find the constant banging of feminist drums to be boring." You know, I'm a bit sick of this too. Can we have equality NOW please so we can stop this drum-banging?

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 08:19:49

mabongwen I think that's a really important point you have raised about making the connect about general inequality and violence and dv. I can absolutely see feminism would appear ranty if there is no connection made between sexism and dv, and dv is just seen as another criminal offense.

In a rush, but that's a really key communication thing/error for feminists, thank you.

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 08:23:16

The short answer btw is that feminists see DV as a gendered crime. i.e. a power exploitation crime of men vs. a.n.other (mainly women but also other men).

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 08:24:54

The crime of DV and rape can only exist when there is a power differential and men have more power than women / other men/ children.

That's why it is seen as a feminist issue.

But I'm in a rush and sure someone will explain better.

namechangeguy Tue 12-Mar-13 08:52:38

Not long after I first joined this board, I got a real chewing out from a poster who is no longer around. She has typed a considered replay to a question of mine. I had read it, and carried on the conversation. She was very angry that I had not acknowledged her reply. She said that a little 'thank you' was the done thing on here, if someone can be bothered to reply to you specifically.

Now months later, I am being patronising because I say thank you to those who replied to my post. You, Rosabud, are out of order. “Genuine thanks to those who gave a considered reply” means exactly that.

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 09:49:45

You can't please everyone on an Internet forum. Your post now acts as a diversion.
You didn't mean it that way....it was taken that way....shrug......explain better next time. Move on.

namechangeguy Tue 12-Mar-13 10:53:18

Explain better than 'thank you'? Jeez, and you wonder why feminism has a communication problem.

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 11:01:39

It wasn't the thank you I don't think, it was the "to those of you who gave a considered response", implying that some people didn't offer a considered response. It didn't offend me by the way, I don't tend to feel patronised.

I do wonder why feminism has a communication problem yes. I'm starting to think it's just actually that people just simply believe and fail to critically analyse the powerful cultural narrative that all feminists are man-hating, bitter, ugly, single women.

Because no-one has said which part of feminism they don't agree with. The hatred seems simply based on a very negative stereotype.

curryeater Tue 12-Mar-13 11:29:26

mcmooncup, it's not that no one has replied substantively - mabongwen has made a good point. I think she is saying something like "DV is already illegal, so what do feminists want?" - or something to that effect.

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 11:45:21

Yes, agreed curry, mabongwen make a really good point. And I am not sure it is immediately clear what feminism has to do with DV.

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 14:15:59

hey all, sorry been a busy morning.

Glad you all got the just of my post [happy]

Yes, I don't think all feminists are ugly single women, some are more passionate than others but I wouldn't then say they "bang on" about it. If you are passionate about something others can sometimes perceive it as being outspoken or brash, but that's there problem not you'rs. I am very passionate about animal welfare, and the rights of animals, and I am pretty sure acquaintances think I am banging a drum over and over again too grin

To answer the post regarding DV is to do with stronger male, inflicting his will on a woman. I just don't see it (I know this is my own fault) DV occurs in same sex marriages, women against men. I can understand why feminists are active in stopping it because it does occur more to women. But like Curry said in short it is all ready an illegal act, where the police now have great powers to remove an abusive partner from the home.

From my personal experience;

My ex-fiance had been getting more violent, the arguments had started to turn physical. Holding my wrists, pushing me against walls, even pulling my hair. One evening the argument boiled up to him punching me. I knew enough was enough, I phoned the police. They removed him from my apartment for 24 hours. This gave me long enough to pack up all my belongings that were of great importance and move back home with my mother.

So for me the DV is a part of the agend/portfolio that I personally can't get my head around. It's not feminism, It's not feminists it's just a personal issue for me.

Other parts of feminism I don't have a great understanding of, I am working on educating myself on. I think other women can sometimes think they are being attacked by feminists which is why they don't/won't join in, I personally don't think that others understand the passion feminists have for the cause and sometimes you can come (not you personally) in all guns blazing, and it can frighten or intimidate the poor lady. Perhaps that is where the communication error comes in.

curryeater Tue 12-Mar-13 14:21:36

Mabongwen, thank you for that, brilliantly clear

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 16:16:47

thanks blush there's a first time for everything as they say, and me being clear is one of those times wink

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 12-Mar-13 16:27:22

Cultural conditioning...

I don't have a moral objection to eating meat and I don't think horses are smarter or more "human" than cows and pigs. I know horse meat is sometimes eaten by others in Western culture. There would be no intellectual reason for me to decline horse meat if offered it in France, say. I can identify that I am purely culturally conditioned not to knowingly eat horse meat.

I still wouldn't choose to eat it though.

Being aware of cultural conditioning and choosing to go against it are two different things.

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 17:15:38

I am confused, is that aimed at me TheDoctrine ?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 12-Mar-13 18:06:08

No, mabongwen! It was an example of how being aware of cultural conditioning (taking a PP's example of female friends who have become SAHMs) doesn't necessarily mean it's easy to act against it.

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 19:04:07

ohh I see, sorry I am new and trying to figure out how conversations/threads run.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 12-Mar-13 21:57:42

No worries - I have patchy wifi so sometimes draft a post but can't post it until later, which doesn't help.

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 22:13:45

"So for me the DV is a part of the agend/portfolio that I personally can't get my head around. It's not feminism, It's not feminists it's just a personal issue for me. "

I'm going to have a go at putting this statement into a feminist context....

I completely get that you for you it seems that your DV experience was just 2 individuals and the police that just sorted it out but there is a wider context to why you happened to become a victim of abuse from a male perpetrator and there are a few things in your post that may join the dots as to why feminists do see DV as a gender issue.

You say that DV happens women to men - this is an arguable point. There are many statistics out there and it depends on how they are presented and many who work in the DV field say the level of female to male abuse cases are very low. My opinion of the statistics is that there are cases of female to male violence, however on analysis approx. 50% of these cases are reported as incidents where the women was feeling threatened by the man they attacked. So the stats may not be straightforward. Also the incidence of female to male violence is significantly smaller than male to female / or male to male violence. Males are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of violence in our culture.

Also, the statistics do not really account for what an abusive relationship entails - financial abuse (withholding finances to control freedom), sexual abuse (coersive or forced sexual activity), emotional abuse (verbal destruction, gaslighting)

As to why males are the main perpertrators of violence.......this is a direct quote from the Women's Aid website....
Abusers choose to behave violently to get what they want and gain control. Their behaviour often originates from a sense of entitlement which is often supported by sexist, racist, homophobic and other discriminatory attitudes.

Domestic violence against women by men is 'caused' by the misuse of power and control within a context of male privilege. Male privilege operates on an individual and societal level to maintain a situation of male dominance, where men have power over women and children. Perpetrators of domestic violence choose to behave abusively to get what they want and gain control. Their behaviour often originates from a sense of entitlement which is often supported by sexist, racist, homophobic and other discriminatory attitudes. In this way, domestic violence by men against women can be seen as a consequence of the inequalities between men and women, rooted in patriarchal traditions that encourage men to believe they are entitled to power and control over their partners.

If we look at individual cases of DV, yes, there are individual circumstances and differences, but generally they can be applied to the problematic patriarchal structure of inequality that exists in our society.

Another quote I like is this one - it shows that all the things we take for granted, the things we internalise as 'normal' have a context, a reason, a history and never "just exist".

“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.”
&#8213; Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 22:41:23

Excellent old thread here about "man-hating feminism" www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/a1215630-Man-hating-feminism#25857331

Dittany really was brilliant. Has some excellent stuff about why feminists are called man haters.

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 23:05:49

mcmooncup I now see the feminists point of view on DV, and although I don't agree with it personally I can see why it is a issue for feminists. It seems to again stem from male influence/power over women. The constant power struggle that women face on a daily basis.

I am of the understanding that further research needs to happen with regards to DV. That saying its mostly male on women is not enough, what about unreported cases? what about mental health issues? what about social stigmas? for me there is not enough evidence to sit on one side of the fence, so for now I am going to have to sit on it, I'm sorry.

With regards to the man hating feminists thread, I think what people take issue is the generalisation of the word "men". Again this could be why feminists have a communication problem. I don't think my husband hates feminism or feminists. I think it's the issue of "lumping all with one" that people take issue with. Perhaps a change in the way feminists put across their message could help, saying "some men" rather than men.

I'm not picking on anyone, just trying to perhaps convey a reason with regards to the communication question you asked confused maybe?

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 23:17:40

There is mountains of research about dv. Most violence on the planet comes from males, it is an uncomfortable truth.

But that doesn't mean feminists hate all men, actually they just tend to hate the system of patriarchy that allows this to continue.

mcmooncup Tue 12-Mar-13 23:20:17

All feminists say "some men". I have never heard a feminist say all men. I believe this to be a way in which feminism is smeared and attention is deliberately taken away from the actual problems (violence etc.) and again attention put back onto the woman.

vesuvia Tue 12-Mar-13 23:41:29

mabongwen wrote - "Perhaps a change in the way feminists put across their message could help, saying "some men" rather than men."

Perhaps feminists could start saying "some men" rather than "men", when for example, bookshops have to say they sell "some books" rather than "books" (because bookshops should not mislead the public by implying that they sell all the books that have ever been written).

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 23:42:17

mcmooncup ok, I see and accept your point of view on the all men, some men, men fiasco. Perhaps it is "modern media" that puts this message over to smear the work of feminists. I agree with you on that.

The DV, violence thing. It's a well know fact that men are the more violent of the sexes. They are in most species, after all that is all we are, animals. We belong to the animal kingdom. However females are no so pure as the driven snow. Women are more likely to commit neonaticide than men. Yes violence against women is wrong but for me violence against anyone is wrong, and it's just a personal opinion of mine. I am not a feminists so have no reason to see it any other way. Violence is wrong, full stop be it at the hand of a man or a woman.

I think no matter how much we discuss this, I'm not going to change my opinion on it. I'm sorry. I just can't understand why it is in a feminist portfolio and I never will, It's just my opinion.

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 23:46:32

vesuvia I don't think it is fair to equate men to books. Books are objects, men are not. However if you look closely inside the book shop, so that you know what "type" of book you have. So you have factual/fiction books the same way you have sexist men and non sexist men. You have to go inside the shop to see what it offers, the same way you have to look at men as individuals and what "catagory" they fit in to. You wouldn't write a psychological essay with the use of a maths book, so why argue feminism with the use of the "all men book"when you can use the sexist men book

just a thought.

rosabud Tue 12-Mar-13 23:49:21

I have followed this exchange between those who are clear about feminism (mmoncup) and those are asking questions (mabongwen) with interest, as it has been explained so well. However, I am now confused. Having had things so well explained, how can mabonwen decide to "sit on the fence" on dv? What exactly do you not agree with? Do you mean, you don't agree that it is mostly perpetuated by men against women? What evidence are you waiting on, exactly? Are you waiting for evidence which will suit another point of view about dv and if so, what point of view?

mabongwen Tue 12-Mar-13 23:58:51

rosabud sorry I wasn't very clear blush

I'm not prepared to see why it is a feminists issue. For me and it's my own personal opinion, domestic violence is a crime no matter who commits it, and should be a issue for society rather than feminism.

The more research bit, (sorry again for not being clear, my fault) I want to know a better indepth look at reasons/causes for domestic violence such as mental health issues and alcoholism and of course weather some men just despise women and so forth. If someone could say outright Domestic Violence occurs purely because male spouses are sexist and "hate" their female partner because they are female, then believe me I would agree with the feminists point of view. I really would.

I personally believe domestic violence occurs for many reasons and the underlying reasons need to be looked at.

I don't want a argument, I really don't. I respect your point of view and can see why it is a issue for feminism to a certain degree, but I just don't agree with it personally enough to warrant it a "feminists issue" personally.

I am sorry, I don't want a argument. Just saying I have a different opinion on that one soul issue sad have I made any more sense confused ?? Sorry if I have not.

mcmooncup Wed 13-Mar-13 00:00:05

OK, I completely respect that, really I do.

I would say I do think it is a bit of a cop out to say "ah well men are violent, we are animals", we are not animals, we are humans, we have consciousness and we are able to decide things for ourselves. Why do most men chose not to be violent?

I would also be interested in why you stayed in a relationship which was clearly abusive after the first incident? This is extremely common place and perhaps demonstrates an internalised boundary system of what is acceptable from a male to female. Would you have accepted hair pulling or wrist grabbing from a female flat mate? What is your script for life? You have indicated that you believe that men are "more violent"...........what does this do to expectations? To your boundaries?

I will also maintain my view - dv is a gendered crime. Men simply aren't the victims of domestic violence in the way women are. There may be a tiny number who are, but if you talk to anybody in a casualty department for example, domestic violence is a gendered issue and women are the victims. Also some male victims of DV are victims of their male partners. People always imagine that male victims of DV must be victims of women, but generally it is not.

Even where women have been convicted of murdering their husbands for example it turns out that quite often it's after years of violence towards them. Violence against women is a gendered issue. It isn't women in Darfur or the Congo going on mass raping expeditions and mutitlating and killing their victims for example. It's a male on female crime.

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 00:01:35

*For me the reason why domestic violence happens, is not because of the power struggle. I feel there is far more to it than that.

gahh I'm not explaining myself very well sad this always happens to me.

mcmooncup Wed 13-Mar-13 00:02:53

I x-posted that with your last reply

mcmooncup Wed 13-Mar-13 00:06:45

"The more research bit, (sorry again for not being clear, my fault) I want to know a better indepth look at reasons/causes for domestic violence such as mental health issues and alcoholism and of course weather some men just despise women and so forth. If someone could say outright Domestic Violence occurs purely because male spouses are sexist and "hate" their female partner because they are female, then believe me I would agree with the feminists point of view. I really would."

There is much evidence for all of the things you are looking for there......but genuinely must sleep, early start. There are very few if any, crimes where women kill men purely because they are men, there are however murders for the converse - i.e. men killing and being violent just because they are women.

vesuvia Wed 13-Mar-13 00:07:34

mabongwen wrote - "I don't think it is fair to equate men to books. Books are objects, men are not."

I wasn't trying to equate men with books. I was trying to show that the word "some" does not have to explicitly precede a noun in English, to be reasonably implied. "Men" can be reasonably implied to mean "some men", "books" can be reasonably implied to mean "some" books. That goes for people, as well as anything else. It's a linguistic shortcut, perhaps similar to "it's" being short for "it is."

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 00:16:55

Ok, ill see if I make any more sense this way, Don't hold your breath lol

I would say I do think it is a bit of a cop out to say "ah well men are violent, we are animals", we are not animals, we are humans, we have consciousness and we are able to decide things for ourselves. *Why do most men chose not to be violent?*

For me this boils down to the nature Vs nurture debate. Most men are taught not to be, some men witness violence as a child (look at the Bandura Ross and Ross experiment using a BoBo doll) Children who witnessed violence re-enacted it on the bobodoll, using the same words and phrases as the adult role model. This would support the nature side, saying men are either reared to not be violent towards others, where some and they are a minority are reared in a hostile violent enviroment, possibly having a affect on the later in life.

I would also be interested in why you stayed in a relationship which was clearly abusive after the first incident? This is extremely common place and perhaps demonstrates an internalised boundary system of what is acceptable from a male to female. Would you have accepted hair pulling or wrist grabbing from a female flat mate? What is your script for life? You have indicated that you believe that men are "more violent"...........what does this do to expectations? To your boundaries?

Because I was afraid, he kept giving me false promises "I won't do it again" "I didn't mean it" "I am so sorry" DV occurs over months, and because you love that person you are willing to take the apology and believe they are not going to do it again, and even when they do the groveling apology keeps you there. I had no where to go to begin with, I had fallen out with my mother, I felt a failure like it was my fault, that I should have changed, that I was doing something to provoke him. I blamed myself for it at the time sad I wouldn't have accepted it off another female or even another male, but because I honestly believed I loved that man I could forgive him each time. For me I have always found men to be more violent, witnessing punch ups by young men, and if you look at any major conflict we have had it was led by men. Men have a primal urge to fight, I can't explain it I can just see it. It's a personal perspective of mine. My boundries now are very different to what they were, my husband would not dare raise a hand to me. He would walk away from the situation than stand and fight.

I will also maintain my view - dv is a gendered crime. Men simply aren't the victims of domestic violence in the way women are. There may be a tiny number who are, but if you talk to anybody in a casualty department for example, domestic violence is a gendered issue and women are the victims. Also some male victims of DV are victims of their male partners. People always imagine that male victims of DV must be victims of women, but generally it is not.

And you are completely entitled to this view, and I respect you for it. Just because mine differs for me I don't think yours means any less to you or is incorrect. It's an opinion and I respect it.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 13-Mar-13 00:18:04

vesuvia wasn't equating men with books hmm

It was a point to illustrate some, all etc.

mcmooncup Wed 13-Mar-13 00:20:17

Just quickly. In no way was I blaming you for staying in an abusive relationship - quite the opposite - I was trying (and failing) to point out how the current patriarchal system does exactly what you describe and keeps women unnecessarily and dangerously in abusive relationships. There is a much wider context to what happened to you with that 'man'.

mcmooncup Wed 13-Mar-13 00:22:37

God and also - by saying there is a wider context, it is not meant to devalue your individual experience in any way either.

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 00:26:28

vesuvia But other's don't see it this way. They see it a a generalisation, and it's why it can sometimes cause problems. If a paper had a headline

Men killed animals in 1941

Some people would read it and think, "all men killed animals in 1941!" I know I would, untill I looked in to it further, but there lies the problem. Some people won't look in to it further and would walk away thinking all men killed animals in 1941.

So now to be more clear the headline would have to read

Farming men killed animals in 1941

Just because you see it or perceive it to be one thing, does not mean everyone does. And when talking about a group of people, in today's world it's better to be specific rather than non-committal.

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 00:33:24

mnmooncup It's ok, I understand what you are saying.

Look all, I really don't want a argument. I answered why I was not a feminist and didn't share feminists posts "because of a difference of opinion on a issue" and one I respect everyones opinion on no matter how much they differ.

Then I attempted and failed, to address the communication problem question. by trying to say that others believe by saying "men" they assume you are generalising. I know your not and you know you are not, but that dosn't mean everyone knows you are not.

I'm making no sense again aren't I? confused sorry

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 13-Mar-13 00:40:06

Mabongwen, "does men equal all men or some men" point does come up sometimes. Quite a lot of posters on here do say "some men" and if not, when in a hurry or whatever, we tend to mean "some" and usually read it that way.

If you read somewhere that "white people discriminated against black in South Africa during apartheid", would you take the writer's point of view as applying to all white people and all black people in South Africa?

Thanks for explaining your points so clearly, it really helps understanding.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 13-Mar-13 00:46:08

I agree, doctrine.

This real-life newspaper headline doesn't make the distinction either.

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

The Doctrine At first glance and honestly yes I would think all white people, I know its a flaw but it's me. Upon reading the article I would then base my judgment on the information obtained.

I don't see feminism as a problem or think you are all ugly spinsters with hairy legs, but like you said it's a totally WRONG interpretation of you, and I think social media and ridicule from sexist men in power is the reason "feminists" have been labelled this way.

It's of my opinion that they are afraid, they ridicule what they don't know and try and quash it. I am not a strong enough woman to be a feminists, its my own fault, no backbone, worried of social perception (and I know I shouldn't be sad) and so forth. I do admire you ladies for what you do and strive for, I really do.

I'm in a "mixed" race marriage and am the first person to object and become VERYoutspoken about racism, but not for feminism, and I am disappointed in myself about that. sad

vesuvia Wed 13-Mar-13 00:56:24

mabongwen wrote - "Just because you see it or perceive it to be one thing, does not mean everyone does."

That's true. I think if we mean "some", it is usually helpful to use "some", but it is not compulsory (yet). There are anti-feminists out there who seem to think it should be compulsory for feminists (only).

That brings us back to my earlier point. Feminists should only have to say "some" men when everyone else is forced to say "some xxxxxxxx" if that's what they really mean, whether it's about books or something in a newspaper headline. Otherwise, non-feminists will unfairly hold feminists to standards of language that are stricter than non-feminists currently use, e.g. bookshops who are not actually selling all books, lazy newspaper headline writers who write ambiguous newspaper headlines etc.

I want feminists to be treated as fairly as non-feminists are treated. The rules of language should not be stricter just because a feminist is speaking or writing.

I've been reading this with a lot of interest, it's a fascinating discussion.

I think there is a huge issue in putting labels on people. Comparing people to books, or to a genre or books, as you're doing mab, seems to me something that just doesn't work. People aren't like that. You can't make the comparison - because people change all the time. There's no point in talking about 'men' and 'some men' - that is a way of looking at things that ends up playing up to the surface sexism we all see. The issue (IMO) isn't how many men do x, y or z. It certainly isn't how many men we could label as bad, anti-feminist men. The issue is, why do some people act like this, and why does society accept it?

Instead of running around labelling the perpetrators as we discover them (though this can be a powerful activity), we need to go deeper, and we need to stop what's happening to women before misogynists make themselves obvious.

My experience of men I know well is that they don't mind it when feminists talk about the inequality of the sexes, just as straight people I know don't mind being cited as examples of those who're privileged as a result of their sexuality. We can't keep worrying about how labels might offend a group of people who're already very lucky, and we can't keep pretending that group don't have the power to change their own public image. They do have that power, and if they cared, they'd get behind us.

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 01:05:23

vesuvia I completely agree with you, you shouldn't have to change anything or the way you write. It's just in today's world, it does not take much to cause misunderstanding. Unfortunately for feminists, there are more non-feminists than there are feminists, and surprisingly a lot of women and men against feminists and when they have something to latch on to like "you are generalising" they hold on to it with every might and each time you say "men......." they will scream "you are generalising" and thus follows the argument.

I know it's not fair that feminist would have to use "some men" but perhaps just to improve PR for a wee while, to improve the communication of the message it might help.

I know it's a sad state of affairs when the entire world can't see that you are not generalising, but that's the world we live in sad

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 01:09:54

LRD Wow, I'm not sure what to say, I completely and utterly agree with you. I have no retort really.

I wish we could do away with labels and concentrate on the root problem.

I was just trying to explain why maybe a wider audience had issue with the label "men" more than me personally, I'm sorry again if I wasn't very clear.

vesuvia Wed 13-Mar-13 01:23:35

mabongwen wrote - "there are more non-feminists than there are feminists, and surprisingly a lot of women and men against feminists and when they have something to latch on to like "you are generalising" they hold on to it with every might and each time you say "men......." they will scream "you are generalising"

Yes, I've seen it happen often.

Unfortunately, I think that if every feminist used "some men" rather than "men" in every relevant sentence, the anti-feminists would just criticise and undermine feminists in another way.

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 01:25:32

vesuvia Then it would appear you are between a rock and a hard place, through no fault of your own. You are damned if you do and damned if you don't sad

I think vesuvia is right, and I think there is no sense in worrying - some peolpe will always feel that feminism (or any other ideology) is not for them, not because of content but because of how that ideology seems to them. And with feminism, it's just natural that people will not like challenges to the status quo.

Thanks for the kind words, mab. smile

FloraFox Wed 13-Mar-13 01:56:18

I've been reading this thread with a lot of interest. I think a lot of women are feminists but maybe don't like the connotations that go along with the label. mabongwen it's your right to identify as you wish but I haven't seen anything anti-feminist in anything you've posted smile In my view, if you're not against us you're with us (sorry if you don't want to be!)

Also, Doctrine's example of white people in SA is a good one. Not all white people took an active part in supporting apartheid but all of them benefitted from the system created by apartheid.

FloraFox Wed 13-Mar-13 01:56:59

Also, mab thanks for spending the time to put your views across.

Lessthanaballpark Wed 13-Mar-13 07:20:03

"I'm in a "mixed" race marriage and am the first person to object and become VERYoutspoken about racism, but not for feminism,"

What about sexism? Would you speak out if you heard someone saying sexist? I know I would find it far easier to call someone out on their racism than I would on their sexism for fear of looking humourless. Not because racism doesn't exist but it is far less socially acceptable than sexism and that is a reason why feminism is still needed.

If you found out that whites were violent to blacks at a much higher rate than vice versa would you see this as a racist issue or just part of a natural order?

To fail to recognise the gendered nature of DV, rape etc makes it harder to do something about because you are not allowing yourself to analyse the causes.

I understand that men feel uncomfortable I really do because I feel the same when I think of what white people have done but I don't know any other way of calling a spade a spade.

AbigailAdams Wed 13-Mar-13 09:44:09

It isn't just the gendered nature of DV (or all violence for that matter) which makes it a feminist issue, it is the systems and pressures in place within society that allows it to continue and makes it far more difficult for women to leave. I am talking about marriage as an institution, religion, victim-blaming, disbelief when the woman speaks out. Just look at the initial reactions to the Jimmy Savile allegations and there are some on this board who are very suspicious of the allegations against Lord Rennard and we don't even know these men. Think how some people react when you accuse the "nice guy" in the office of DV or the focus on false rape allegations. Women are threatened with having their children taken away rather than the man removed from the house. Women are having to uproot themselves and their children to go into hiding to get away from these men. How mad is that?

In addition male violence is at the root of women's oppression, just like white violence is at the root of racial oppression. Men (as a class) are not being oppressed by women who are violent towards them. Individuals maybe but not widespread. From Lundy Bancroft (as he knows far more about abuse than we will probably ever know and is more eloquent than me!):

"There certainly are some women who treat their male partners badly, berating them, calling them names, attempting to control them. The negative impact on these men’s lives can be considerable. But do we see men whose self-esteem is gradually destroyed through this process? Do we see men whose progress in school or in their careers grinds to a halt because of the constant criticism and undermining? Where are the men whose partners are forcing them to have unwanted sex? Where are the men who are fleeing to shelters in fear for their lives? How about the ones who try to get to a phone to call for help, but the women block their way or cut the line? The reason we don’t generally see these men is simple: They’re rare.

I don’t question how embarrassing it would be for a man to come forward and admit that a woman is abusing him. But don’t underestimate how humiliated a woman feels when she reveals abuse; women crave dignity just as much as men do. If shame stopped people from coming forward, no one would tell.

Even if abused men didn’t want to come forward, they would have been discovered by now. Neighbors don’t turn a deaf ear to abuse the way they might have ten or twenty years ago. Now, when people hear screaming, objects smashing against walls, loud slaps landing on skin, they call the police. Among my physically abusive clients, nearly one-third have been arrested as a result of a call to the police that came from someone other than the abused woman. If there were millions of cowed, trembling men out there, the police would be finding them. Abusive men commonly like to play the role of victim, and most men who claim to be “battered men” are actually the perpetrators of violence, not the victims."

This is from a man who deals with thousands of abusers and their victims. Domestic violence/abuse against women is systematic and systemic and that is why it is a feminist issue.

namechangeguy Wed 13-Mar-13 09:49:37

So what do we do about DV? How do we fix the problem?

mcmooncup Wed 13-Mar-13 12:22:44

We challenge sexism in every situation it rears it's head. All of us, men included.
We show and focus on the benefits of a society without sexism - how it benefits everyone.
We address the fears associated with change....on how men think they have something to lose. When really there are only a very very few at the top who may lose anything.

mabongwen Wed 13-Mar-13 13:47:41

I feel that I don't need to repeat my stance on DV again ladies. I understand your opinion and your point of view and I respect it. I feel we are now just arguing the same point. Its a difference of opinion that is all.

lessthanaballpark why have you assumed that I am a white person? But to answer your question it would not matter to me what race anyone was, if said person of any race was showing hatred or discrimination towards a person of a different race, for me that is racism, and should be stood up against. Now with sexism if they were being obviously sexist then yes I would speak up.

namechangeguy Wed 13-Mar-13 14:00:28

Mcmooncup, what about looking at the root causes? Someone in another thread intimated that a high percentage of false-rape accusers were suffering with mental health problems. Is there any research on DV abusers? How many were brought up in similar environments? My gut feel, absolutely not back by research, is that most were, they see it as the norm,and that is is an awful vicious cycle. Same goes for the victims - if you see your mum beaten, you see it as somehow 'normal'. My question is, how do we break the cycle?

For starters, I would suggest that in the UK we should focus on abusive relationships at school, in PHSE. Give people the knowledge to realise that this is not normal. Does anyone know whether this is addressed already?

mcmooncup Wed 13-Mar-13 23:38:59

There is lots of research on DV perpetrators and opinion on this research varies wildly.

It is absolutely not a given that people who have experienced abuse as a child/been brought up in an abusive environment will abuse, however there is possibly some correlation (not necessarily causal link)

However, really this is a red herring - violence is used as an acceptable method of control in our culture, period. It is acceptable to smack children to control them, we use violent methods to maintain our territory as a country (war).......our entire culture is built on violent acts........so firstly it is no surprise that violence is prevalent.

If we also look at how boys are expected to be violent from a very young age then this is seriously worrying. I don't buy the "born that way" male violence. I have 2 boys and both of them at varying times have been pressured to be "violent" (i.e. have a fight) in the playground to prove some sort of strength. They were scary and stressful experiences to have to prove some masculine prowess. For this reason, I hate the masculine stereotype obviously - the boys don't cry, the naughty boy, the hit back, the don't show weakness. It's drilled into boys very early on. And I think is absolutely a source of stress for many boys.

That digresses slightly however it sets the context of how men are expected to deal with conflict - through violence and not showing weakness.

Add into the mix our female stereotype - the sexual object, the weaker sex, the sex who provides domestic service, the less economically viable sex, the inferior sex, then I see a toxic mix starting to develop.

I think many/some abusive men have attachment issues also - an abandonment, or destructive parent issue - and this creates a man who has not been taught to regulate emotion, a man who has been taught to deal with negative emotion with aggression, a man who has been taught that women are inferior, a man who is desperate for love but doesn't know how to love properly and is frightened of losing any love they come close to, and this is then set in a culture with very little recourse for acting out their violence - it is excused in many many areas - and also they are then having relationships with women who have been brought up in this culture where they expect this to happen because they have internalised their sex object/inferior role,and off we go.

This is my take. It encompasses a lot of projection, along with a lot of observation, and by reading a lot of research. It is just my opinion.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now