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AIBU.. What exactly is feminism?

(278 Posts)
FedUp24 Mon 19-Dec-16 09:53:52

Hi ladies

What exactly is feminism?

I've always thought it is women fighting for equal rights as men, but there seems to be more to it?

Do feminists believe that all men believe they are superior to women? Are women who choose to not be feminists not really choosing? They only think they are?

I'm just a bit confused!

DJBaggySmalls Mon 19-Dec-16 09:55:19

Feminism is the belief that we should not be treated as second class citizens just because of our sex.

No of course we dont all have silly beliefs about men, many of us are even married.

whifflesqueak Mon 19-Dec-16 09:57:31

feminism has such a bad image and it baffles me.

every man, woman and child who believes men and women should be treated equally is a feminist.

There are quite a few threads like this in AIBU lately.

There are lots of resources available online if you google 'feminism'.

Like any political movement, there are differing opinions so it's hard to get one clear answer, which has possibly caused your confusion.

One thing that's useful is looking at systems, rather than whether someone thinks they, as an individual, are superior to another individual.

This is possibly my favourite piece of writing on the subject.

people.terry.uga.edu/dawndba/4500Oppression.html

The feminist section of this site is a good place to ask genuine questions.

TheMortificadosDragon Mon 19-Dec-16 10:00:31

Start with the dictionary definition.

Beyond that, you get into different types of feminism, so you can't make sweeping generalisations about 'feminists'. Apart from that I've never met one who liked stereotypes. grin

MrsDustyBusty Mon 19-Dec-16 10:01:27

Feminism appears to be an obsession among those who can't be bothered reading even the most elementary explanation about it around here at the moment.

If one were of a suspicious temperament, one might imagine it to be some kind of spamming conspiracy.

dingdongthewitchishere Mon 19-Dec-16 10:01:47

In theory, it should be about equality, but when you point out that we already have it (in this country!), you get absolutely flamed.

I believe it should be about equity. Physically men and women are not equal, and never will be. Acknowledging our differences and working with them would work better in my view, but that's unacceptable to some people. That famous cartoon summarise it better. Again, legally and culturally, we are absolute equals to men, not sure the results are as good as people would like them

HardLightHologram Mon 19-Dec-16 10:06:02

Dingdong, you cant seriously believe we have equality in this country?

How about the fact one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their life?

Or that 99% of single parents are mothers, and something like 80% of non resident fathers pay no child support.

Or that women earn an average of 17% less than men doing the SAME job?

Open your eyes ffs.

dingdongthewitchishere Mon 19-Dec-16 10:16:56

one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their life?

confused

What does it have to do with anything? I don't believe we are physically equal, but I don't believe we ever will be! That's my point. How exactly are you planning to make this equal?

Same with single mothers, it's not a legal thing! Women carry babies, men don't. Legally, they have the same rights (men have less right even)

As a woman I have the same right than a man: to marry (or not), to buy a house, drive a car, drink, get a job - and the very same job.

I have never witnessed men and women being paid differently for the same job, it's completely illegal for a start.

I am not saying we shouldn't fight for the law to be respected, but we are focusing on the wrong things.

user1480946351 Mon 19-Dec-16 10:19:16

I have never witnessed men and women being paid differently for the same job, it's completely illegal for a start

And yet it happens, all the time. Despite you never having seen it it hmm

EdmundCleverClogs Mon 19-Dec-16 10:20:36

every man, woman and child who believes men and women should be treated equally is a feminist.

Wrong. I believe in equal treatment, I do not label myself a feminist. It's arrogant statements like this that gives feminism a bad name.

HardLightHologram Mon 19-Dec-16 10:21:40

I....just.....

I'm too tired to enter in to a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent today.

Tissunnyupnorth Mon 19-Dec-16 10:22:11

For me it's fair and equal access not 'sameness'. The cartoon above encapsulates this perfectly. The shorter person can be treated the same, but unless they are given equal access, its meaningless.

HardLightHologram Mon 19-Dec-16 10:23:15

Im really struggling that any woman can believe that because men are generally stronger, we shouldn't be do anything about sexual assault and rape.

Sparklingbrook Mon 19-Dec-16 10:24:23

What's with all the Feminism threads the last couple of days? confused

hackmum Mon 19-Dec-16 10:27:21

Germaine Greer defined feminism as a campaign for the liberation of women, which works for me. I prefer it to the idea of feminism as a campaign for equal rights, because I don't particularly want to aspire to the same things that men have - the right to work 12-hour days and never see your children, for example.

FedUp24 Mon 19-Dec-16 10:29:28

Interesting perspectives, It seems to mean different things to different people (like a lot of things).

amispartacus Mon 19-Dec-16 10:31:22

I've always thought it is women fighting for equal rights as men, but there seems to be more to it

Equal opportunities for men and women? Removing barriers women face? Identifying issues that hold women back?

Child care is one - maternity and paternity leave, tacking the attitudes towards part time work, encouraging fathers to be at home more / work part time rather than a presumption that it will always be the mum. Tackling the cost of childcare

Maintenance - working on the CSA to ensure absent fathers pay, supporting single parents

Barriers to employment in industries - such as STEM industries.

All issues affecting women. (and indirectly affecting men)

It's not rights as such - equality of opportunity.

TheSparrowhawk Mon 19-Dec-16 10:32:18

'one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their life?

What does it have to do with anything? I don't believe we are physically equal, but I don't believe we ever will be! That's my point. How exactly are you planning to make this equal?'

We are planning to make this 'equal' by ensuring that:
1)Both girls and boys are brought up to understand the concept of consent
2)When a girl/woman is assaulted/raped, she feels able to report it and is given the support she needs
3)That no one blames the victim for being raped/assaulted.
4) That the police and the court system deal with rape/assault properly
5) That the men who rape and assault women are convicted and jailed
6) That the message finally gets through to men that if they do harass/assault/rape a woman that there will be serious consequences.

'Same with single mothers, it's not a legal thing! Women carry babies, men don't. Legally, they have the same rights (men have less right even)'

I'm not sure what you're saying here - that women have more right to be left in poverty due to having children? That men have more right to walk away from their children?

'As a woman I have the same right than a man: to marry (or not), to buy a house, drive a car, drink, get a job - and the very same job.'

That's true. In spite of those rights, women are still judged more harshly for being single, are much less likely than men to be able to buy a house on their own, are subjected to sexist jokes about driving and parking, are told not to drink because it'll lead to rape and 50,000 women a year lose jobs because they're pregnant.

'I have never witnessed men and women being paid differently for the same job, it's completely illegal for a start.'

It may be illegal, but companies still do it because many of them don't allow employees to talk about their pay so women don't realise they're being paid less. A female friend of mine found out she was being paid 26% less than her male colleagues recently. It happens all the time, there are a large number of studies that show it is the case, no matter how little you've witnessed it.

'I am not saying we shouldn't fight for the law to be respected, but we are focusing on the wrong things.'

What are the right things then?

SpeakNoWords Mon 19-Dec-16 10:34:59

"Do feminists believe that all men believe they are superior to women? Are women who choose to not be feminists not really choosing? They only think they are?"

To answer your questions...

"Do feminists believe that all men believe they are superior to women?" No, absolutely not.

"Are women who choose to not be feminists not really choosing? They only think they are?" No, women can choose not to be feminist. I'm not really sure what you mean by only thinking that they're choosing? I wonder how many women really are being anti-feminist though? Surely most women think that they should have equality with men?

dingdongthewitchishere Mon 19-Dec-16 10:40:36

What are the right things then?

Women being victims of rape has nothing to do with equality. In this country (at least), men are not encouraged to abuse and rape women!

In all your examples, you are clearly demonstrating that men and women are not equal, and should not be treated as such. My point exactly. You can't say that women are weaker, and more likely to be victims and at the same time demand the same respect. Either we are equal or we are not. Presenting women as potential victims is doing all of us a lot of wrong for a start.

Feminists are seen as demanding the same rights than men BUT demanding special treatment at the same time! It's ridiculous. I have seen women being paid less than men, because they work less! They do less hours, take more time-off and it's fair they are paid less in this instance.

Bobkinyoyo Mon 19-Dec-16 10:40:39

Haven't you got access to google op?

redexpat Mon 19-Dec-16 10:41:49

Here's an example og equality vs equity. Toilets.

Lets imagine we are building an arena. There need to be toilets available. Men take on average about half the tmie that women do, largely because of how they're constructed. Men can pee quicker. So equality, treating people the same, would be to have equal numbers of toilets for men and women. But women would still have to wait longer. Because we take twice as long, we need twice as many toilets in order to have equal access.

Some people think that feminists hate men. We dont. We hate patriarchy.

amispartacus Mon 19-Dec-16 10:42:01

Yet ANOTHER thread about feminism started by a recently joined poster...

MouseholeCat Mon 19-Dec-16 10:43:08

I have never witnessed men and women being paid differently for the same job, it's completely illegal for a start

It's not just direct salary discrimination though, is it? There's many reasons why women are paid less, and all of them amount to inequality.

For example, I found out recently that my male predecessor was on £10k more than me at like for like stages in our employment. Same job, I exceed his qualification, and I'm surpassing KPIs he couldn't hit.

Yes, he probably achieved more at the negotiation stage, but I'm beginning to expect that the company were also more willing to entertain higher salary expectations for a man. I have many friends who have experienced similar too.

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