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What ^should^ feminism be about these days?

(131 Posts)
Monkeytrousers Mon 17-Sep-07 19:40:11


francagoestohollywood Mon 17-Sep-07 19:46:51


norkmaiden Mon 17-Sep-07 19:50:23

Women and work-life balance/the workplace/childcare/earnings.

Ante and post-natal care.

Stripping lipstick feminism of any shred of credibility.


startouchedtrinity Mon 17-Sep-07 19:52:28

I am going to make both my dds read The Female Eunuch and The Whole Woman as soon as they start Secondary school. smile

Where shall I start???

Well, have a look at Loaded or Nuts and then tell me men now treat women as equals...

sfxmum Mon 17-Sep-07 19:54:07


equal parenting duties and responsibilities.

it is not very equal if you get to work and still do the lion share of housework and 'childcare'

if it is not a proper partnership it is not worth it

morningpaper Mon 17-Sep-07 19:54:28

helping women from educationally poor backgrounds find something to do with their lives apart from have babies and drink WKD Blue while Grandma (35) looks after their children

rantinghousewife Mon 17-Sep-07 19:54:44

Heavens no!! Wouldn't let my dd read The Whole Woman, Dr Greer deems genital mutalitation to be a good thing because it's part of their culture. Wtf.

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 17-Sep-07 19:54:56

Ooh, StarTouched, bit racy for an 11 year old aren't they? grin

Roseylea Mon 17-Sep-07 19:56:33

Not having to conform to ridiculous media images of womanhood (or feeling like you have to; believe me, I teach sixth formers and they all so aspire to be Victoria Beckham / Keira Knightley / Kate Moss)

Not having to relate to men according to steretypical "female" communication styles such as flirting or putting yourself down t omake the man look big.

So in short - be yourself, be clever, be sexy (if you want to be), be individual, be all that you are meantr to be and have the capacity to become and never sell yourself short because yuo're a woman.

morningpaper Mon 17-Sep-07 19:58:10

I would like my daughters to understand that actually Making Money is important because being 40 and living in rented accommodation and having no pension is shit (as so many of my graduate-female-friends are still doing - none of the men though, I notice)

smallwhitecat Mon 17-Sep-07 20:01:18

Message withdrawn

startouchedtrinity Mon 17-Sep-07 20:02:34

Okay, kathy, might wait until 13! Or tear a few pages out...

I agree that GG is wrong on genital mutilation, but I want my dds to get angry at the way women are still treated as objects for mens' gratification and she is good at angry. It's possible to disagree with a person's opinion on one thing and agree on another.

But if anyone can suggest a better author for teenagers I am open to suggestions. smile

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 17-Sep-07 20:03:17

-The massive gender stereotyping that starts from birth (pink for girls and 'here comes trouble' for boys etc)
-the way physical appearance is becoming more and more important for women in the workplace etc, rather than less
-equal pay etc

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 17-Sep-07 20:04:12

Get rid of all of the VHM Nuts things.

Give me a bolt of lightening machine for each one of the comments at work that I am meant to laugh at

heavily subsidised childcare

All of us who have little girls, give them (somehow) the confidence in themselves, to see themselves as people not just though their relationships with the men in their life or their children <<impossible dream - © Flecher ™ >>

SenoraPostrophe Mon 17-Sep-07 20:05:40

very good question.

I suppose on one level it should be about what it's always been about: freedom and equality for women.

But these days it's possibly a bit more complicated than that. women earn on average less than men (so they are not equal), but in most cases that's because they have chosen career paths that have lower earnings (because they are free, but obviously they are only free within the constraints of the current hegemony).

Some would argue that the way forward is to change the hegemony but is it? do women really choose to work part time becuase it's the norm or because, well, they want to work part time. I know I do. I'd work less if I could.

I think the way forward is to reduce the inequality in the first place, and to reduce the inequalities between all people, not just men and women. In sociological terms I probably have more in common with a male teacher than I do with a female city "worker". I think there is a role for feminism here, and there is certainly a role for feminism in terms of the great porn and grooming debates, but it is not, thankfully, as necessary as it once was.

norkmaiden Mon 17-Sep-07 20:08:16

physical appearance - really Kathy? I didn't realise. Definitely a feminist issue if so - especially given the way so many feel about the way they look on the appearances thread.

norkmaiden Mon 17-Sep-07 20:08:50

sorry, 'do you think you're attractive' one...

startouchedtrinity Mon 17-Sep-07 20:13:44

I agree with norkmaiden - as far as I am concerned the way women are valued for how they look above all else is the issue for feminism.

Second is how they are valued for what they will do to please men.

We live in a society where visiting prostitutes is mainstream and gangs are running women into the country from abroad to work as sex slaves - they think they are coming here to work but instead are raped into submission. And plenty of men raised on the culture on lad's mags see nothing wrong with doing whatever they like - after all, they are paying for it.

Sort that and I might get slightly more worked up about the gender pay gap.

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 17-Sep-07 20:18:44

well having made that sweeping statement, Norkmaiden, I realise I don't have any evidence that it is the case grin

But Startouched seems to agree it is a problem.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 17-Sep-07 20:19:07

Are just women valued for how they look above all else though?

Because I'd argue that in some professions - obviously modelling but also the entertainment industry, airlines and others - men are valued for how they look as much as women. You don't see many ugly young male newsreaders any more do you?

But I do agree it's wrong.

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 17-Sep-07 20:24:37

I studied feminism as part of my degree and did my dissertation on Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Shelley and early feminist writer). For me feminism was about the removal of mental barriers as I understood that I need not be prevented from doing what I wanted to by my gender. Empowerment from within and the notion of personal as political.

We still need the awareness of feminist perspectives but I have always found it more useful as a critical tool - identifying flaws in political theories or even reviewing films - i.e. why was it necessary for Glenn Close to be 'killed' twice in Fatal Attraction - once by Michael and then finally by his wronged wife!? (The original cut had Glenn offing herself in the bath to M Butterfly - but audiences wanted vengenceshock) I ould also teel you what happened to the orignal ending of Thelma and Louise ...

If we equip our children with the awareness and critical faculties to analyse what is presented to them instead of blindly accepting whatever society, media etc. throws at them we will be doing them a great service. A feminist perspective is essential still.

norkmaiden Mon 17-Sep-07 20:26:10

Sorry, was referring particularly to the workplace...but appearance is a huge issue for women, and I think it's deeply linked up with the lipstick variety of feminism, which has badly lost its way (imo).

MT - what do you think it should be about?

startouchedtrinity Mon 17-Sep-07 20:28:56

God, I've been out of the workplace for so long I have no idea.

Now, the school gates impressive if you are thin. You could also be the head of a multinational or a top surgeon, but carry an extra few pounds and nobody will be falling over in admiration.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 17-Sep-07 20:30:43

very good point bigmouth. does the same not apply to other equal rightsmovements though?

norkmaiden Mon 17-Sep-07 20:31:33

I'm mum to a toddler so have no idea, but really Startouched?? Thin carries that much kudos?

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