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Important feminist battles to fight!

(49 Posts)
FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 09:05:36

I sometimes think that us women have our priorities wrong. While we fuss about whether people mind public breast feeding or whether there should be women with norks out on page three, women in developing nations are being abducted, mutilated, enslaved, raped, forcibly married, murdered. For example, in Nigeria, Boko Haram abducted 200 or so young women. Killing the rest of their families, at least the children, elderly and infirm.For all the #bringbackour girls, and celebrity sad face photos, are those girls back? No. They've been sold, forcibly converted and married to Boko Haram fighters. Their families will never see them again or know what happened to them. Such family as survive. Ok, battles closer to home are also important and we have more chance to actually help. I get that. Nor am I about to go into battle with terrorists. But where is the longer than five minute outrage? Where are the Moslem women speaking out about this kind of horror? Am I missing it?

Seff Fri 23-Jan-15 09:34:13

Well, I believe that a lot of these issues are linked. People in the UK aren't outraged for more than a few minutes because of things that promote the idea that women are less important than men, whether that's page 3, breastfeeding, porn etc.

Even that Megan Trainor song that is about celebrating womens curves gets a dig in against other women - "skinny bitches". Society pits women against women and tells us that women are judged for appearance before ability.

I saw a quote from Ellen Page the other day that said something along the lines of, you can tell we live in a patriarchal society by the fact that feminism is seen as a bad thing.

There are things that I personally am unable to do anything about. But I can talk about why I don't think there should be topless young girls in national papers and I can breastfeed my baby anywhere and everywhere.

All part of the same issue.

Seff Fri 23-Jan-15 09:35:34

I used to think that we didn't need feminism any more. We don't even notice because it's so ingrained in us. But clearly we do need it.

JassyRadlett Fri 23-Jan-15 09:44:38

If you think Muslim women should be speaking out against Boko Haram specifically, can I ask what religion you identify with, and what you're doing about the actions against women by people of that religion.

It's not binary. I can do what I can to raise awareness of what's being done to women in Nigeria, Saudi, Sudan and other places, though it's practically limited unfortunately. I can at the same time fight I rqulities and stupidity closer to home. Lucky me, I don't have to choose what fuckwittage I can disparage, though my agency to effect change varies with the issue.

And as Seff points out, it's points on a spectrum. Women are objects for male titillation is not a million miles for women are commodities.

JassyRadlett Fri 23-Jan-15 09:45:00

from women are commodities, rather.

bigkidsdidit Fri 23-Jan-15 09:49:12

I can care about many issues simultaneously.

I believe in the broken windows theory of feminism - tackle little as well as big - it all adds up to a better, fairer environment for women.

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 09:54:44

Seff, women do need feminism still. Hugely. Agreed.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 23-Jan-15 10:05:55

plenty of Muslim women speak out and campaign - the trick is to support them not ride in and try and save poor women in other countries - while putting economic and political pressure on the countries involved

did you know that there have been more women heads of state in Muslim countries than in our advanced western ones?

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:09:58

I take the point that local action brings about wider change. Jassy, I'm not making all Moslem women responsible for Boko Haram's actions! Of course not. I do wonder why the silence sometimes though. Not just from Moslem women, but the Moslem community generally. I just mean that women still have bigger battles to fight than breast feeding at posh restaurants etc.

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:11:30

Crossed thread Ghosty. I did not know that, and that's good news.

Seff Fri 23-Jan-15 10:12:57

Well, what are you, personally, doing about the bigger battles?

kaykayred Fri 23-Jan-15 10:15:58

Can I ask why you keep typing "Moslem" instead of "Muslim"?

Maybe that's the reason you aren't hearing anything? Because no-one is quite sure who these "Moslems" are?

In seriousness, there are PLENTY of women, and plenty of PEOPLE who speak out about issues from within the Muslim community. Maybe the reason you aren't hearing them is because you aren't making any effort to listen?

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:17:07

Good point Seff. Not enough, it's true. Threads like this? Talking to people? Not a world changer I agree. I wasn't excusing myself from being ineffective. I know I am.

DirtyPigeon Fri 23-Jan-15 10:17:54

Op, I do wish you and the others who make similar points about different things would get together and decide on a list which puts all the issues in order of priority. Then I won't waste my time supporting number 10 until 1-9 are sorted.

kaykayred Fri 23-Jan-15 10:19:05

I'd also like to point out that there are plenty of "christians" who blow up abortion clinics in the USA, who send death threats to any-one who works in abortion clinics, and work tirelessly to implement laws to prevent women being able to access contraception easily.

As someone from a christian nation (and we are - the monarch is head of C of E), what are YOU doing about this? If you identify - however loosely - as christian yourself, why aren't you speaking out about this? Where is your outrage for how badly these people are representing you and your religion?

It's your DUTY to say something, and if you don't, then you are basically complicit in their actions.

Or not

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:23:56

Kaykay, there are a couple of spellings.Either is correct. I listen, or I hope I do, but I don't hear as much as I would like to. Am I part of that? Very likely- I'm not perfect. I guess I would also get tired of being made to feel responsible for things I have not done and do not agree with as well. However, it does seem to me that most of the speaking out ( not all of it ) on these issues is from non Moslems.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 23-Jan-15 10:26:24

Op, if a lot of people do a little thing (signing a petition, writing to their aMp etc) on an issue where the decision rests with just a few people (no more page three, Ched Evans etc) then those issues can be changed quickly. They may not, bit it is in the realms of possibility.

And then a precedent is set and hopefully a wider message sinks in.maybe a few more young men, whether they agree with the verdict or not, will stop and think "hmm, perhaps she's too drunk, I should leave it, just in case"

Addressing some of the issues you cite involves a long period of no progress, or intergovernmental actions, of dillomacf, of withdrawing aid and of local and international mindset change.the same amount of effort would produce little of no result.

By no means am I u saying that effort shouldn't be made, but surely you can see that little quick victories are good as well?

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:26:32

Pigeon, if Imhead of an abortion clinic being blown up, I would speak out. As bad as any other atrocity in the name of religion. I haben't though, for years.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 23-Jan-15 10:27:43

Female Genital Mutilation is rife in Christian countries in Africa

abuse, violence and oppression are not restricted to Muslims

TheHoundsBitch Fri 23-Jan-15 10:27:59

I believe the 'Moslem' spelling is considered quite derogatory.

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:30:16

Hey Yonic. I get it- think globally, act globally. You are right. Guess it makes me angry sometimes that I can't change the world singlehanded overnight!

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:31:28

Houndsbitch:is it? Apologies. Won't use it again.

TrixAreForKids Fri 23-Jan-15 10:31:43

Meghan Trainors song actually goes;
"I'm bringing booty back, go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that, Nah I'm just playin!" it was a joke.
I think the countries that need feminism the most are the places where third wave feminism doesn't reach. Third wave feminism doesn't care, they think they're opressed by the patriarchy.
I don't care about page 3. keep it, I'm not bothered.
the places where feminism is really needed... we need to think about that more than "i'm being opressed because someone likes the female body!"
There are more important things in this world than being whistled at in the street. I take it as a compliment. There a girls who are being forced to be married, having their genitals sewn up, murdered, brutally raped over a long period of time, starved and beaten - and in the US and the UK we're worried about boobs in a paper. Seems stupid to me.

Seff Fri 23-Jan-15 10:33:06

I'm not trying to have a go, just pointing out how difficult it is to tackle the 'big' issues. Threads like this are a start, but we can do that at the same time as discussing the issues surrounding page 3, and why some people have a problem with breastfeeding. I don't believe it's either/or. If feminism only tackled the biggest issues, would women ever have been given the vote?

I've seen lots of people speaking out about things on MN, but I have no idea on their religion. For all you know, every single person on this thread could be Muslim. Maybe you are assuming that it's mainly non Muslims speaking out.

I sometimes feel that one of the biggest things holding women back in society is other women. Your OP criticises other women for not doing enough. Let's work together, not fight over who is doing the most.

FoxgloveFairy Fri 23-Jan-15 10:33:09

Yonic- meant think globally , act locally!

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