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To get annoyed when other women say "I'm not a feminist"

(1000 Posts)
Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:14:14

As if it's a dirty word and a shameful thing to be? I hear it every now and then and always question it. Someone said it today and I'm annoyed again.

Do some women not realise that women didn't used to be allowed to go to university, get divorced, own property or vote?

Rant over.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 30-Jun-13 21:16:01

I think some women don't understand what feminism actually is or how many things they think/do/say actually do make them a feminist.

It's a bit dim but not an awful lot one can do about it.

Thisisaeuphemism Sun 30-Jun-13 21:16:03

I concur

picnicbasketcase Sun 30-Jun-13 21:16:24

I think sometimes people say it not to mean that they're not in favour if women's rights, but more that they don't want to be seen as being like exaggerated militant man-hating stereotype of what some people think a feminist must be like. IYSWIM.

bettycocker Sun 30-Jun-13 21:17:26

I know what you mean! It annoys me too.

DuchessFanny Sun 30-Jun-13 21:17:51

I think picnic has it right

DamnBlast Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:00

Yes! But i discussed being one at work and someone said i wasn't as i don't mind doors being held open for me! FFS!

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:12

Or is it worse when someone says they are a feminist and then do and say unfeminist things?

Either way it's not giving an accurate picture of feminism. We just want more fairness which is quite cuddly really

MsVestibule Sun 30-Jun-13 21:20:43

I have occasionally challenged people who say this, e.g. "so you don't think women should be as well educated as men?" and "do you think employers should be able to pay lower wages to a woman simply because she is a woman"? It probably does no good, but makes me feel better.

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:20:48

I always reply by "how would you define feminism?"

ilovesooty Sun 30-Jun-13 21:25:51

I agree with picnic
Actually I thought I was one until I'd been posting on here for a while. :-)

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:26:49

I think part of it is because people think once you have won rights you get to keep them forever. But history shows you have to run to stand still when it comes to rights. So people may think Oh look, everything's great now and anyway what about the men, and may think feminism is fighting for something more. It's something you hear a lot of 'I support equal rights but these feminists want to go too far.
A lot of feminism is about guarding what we have. I think a lot more people would concur with that, but that entails taking a very long view and most people - imo - deal more with the here and now.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 21:26:59

Most decent people - and I include men in this - are feminist in their actions and opinions, they just don't choose to self-identify as such. Particularly young women I find don't really believe they need to have a feminist identity. That does often change though.

But I agree with picnic, often it's the image of feminists as being hairy joyless men haters that people are rejecting. Of course, feminists aren't like this at all (although tbf it's completely up to them if they are.) and are simply 'normal' people who happen to want equality.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:27:50

I agree Wilson

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:29:01

I'm not sure there is a general consensus on what a feminist actually is, although I feel every woman should be one.

There seems to be a lot of "Well you're not a proper one because you do/don't do this" in the world, which is a bit depressing.

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:29:59

you know sometimes on here especially women slate other women for not being feminist enough . I think I am a feminist I have been told several times by mumsnetters I am not

GameSetAndMatch Sun 30-Jun-13 21:29:59

I agree with picnic too.
and in picnics definition, i will say I am not a feminist.

TeacupTempest Sun 30-Jun-13 21:30:27


Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:35:14

What is the mumsnet definition of a feminst? <curious>

mrsjay Sun 30-Jun-13 21:35:49

IT varies Nick confused

NotYoMomma Sun 30-Jun-13 21:38:09

Wasn't it Virginia woolf who first said feminism was a corrupt word, despite being a feminist herself?

Changeasgoodas Sun 30-Jun-13 21:38:59


I too say - so you would like to have no vote? No right to your own income? For your husband to have the right to get you sectioned if you "play up"? etc. etc.

SugarandSpice126 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:40:51

nickabilla I ask that question - they always look a bit stumped for a's very satisfying.

hermioneweasley Sun 30-Jun-13 21:40:56

I agree that it makes the speaker sound uneducated at best. Fortunately it's been years since I heard it - all the women I work with start sentences "as a feminist". grin

StarfishEnterprise Sun 30-Jun-13 21:41:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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