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Feminist converts?

(55 Posts)
dittany Wed 10-Nov-10 19:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lynli Wed 10-Nov-10 20:09:32

I have never been interested in feminism/ woman's rights.

I am interested in peoples rights, rightly or wrongly I feel feminism is positive discrimination.

LynetteScavo Wed 10-Nov-10 20:18:59

dittany, you are the best person to be starting this thread! I agree the gap needs to be bridged.

I'm not sure how to articulate this, but basically I like feminism when it is pro- females, but dislike it when it becomes anti male. I don't like to see feminism as "them and "us"."

scouserabroad Wed 10-Nov-10 20:32:53

I'm starting to be interested in feminism now, not sure what kind of feminism but I'm just thinking about things more because:

- Dh is treated differently to me at job interviews. I have been asked about childcare, etc. whereas nobody has ever mentioned the Dc to Dh, including at the interview for his current job, which involves him being away from home all week.

- Dh comes from a culture where men are very much in charge. This has raised all kinds of issues between us: he is not happy with me going out in the evenings, having male friends, etc. I'm not happy with this situation at all, and I want it to change, both for me and for the DDs when they are older.

Basically I wasn't interested in feminism until I realised that I need to stand up for myself, and that there are millions of women all over the world who are in the same situation, or very much worse.

I agree with LynetteScavo about liking feminism which is pro-women but not anti men. But, pro-women feminism would probably be percieved as anti-men by men like my Dh...

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 10-Nov-10 21:16:36

that's the thing isn't it scouser - I'm not anti-men either, but no-one I know who's into feminism is either. And it's such an easy phrase to chuck around and such a good weapon for men like your husband and others who are unwilling to see change.

Good idea for a thread btw Dittany.

Ormirian Wed 10-Nov-10 21:25:10

I see feminism as being about empowering women. Most of all. Giving them the strenght to disregard all the blether and nonsense about a woman's place and a woman's role and a woman's nature, and just get on and do it!I want my DD to be as strong and confident as I hope my sons will be.

I also strongly object to anyone being influenced against their will into following a particular path because of their sex. Or beleiving that to be an attractive, successful woman we have to be x or y.

I do sometimes wonder if I am a feminist at all though - I seem to be totally at odds with much of this topic. I had always just assumed that as I was a thinking woman who liked fairness, that I was automatically a feminist.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Wed 10-Nov-10 21:37:36

you should start some thread Orm, it's always good to discuss different viewpoints

LeninGrad Wed 10-Nov-10 21:41:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Wed 10-Nov-10 22:54:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SupposedToBeWorking Thu 11-Nov-10 12:36:17

I don't know what feminism is. It's that simple. I don't want to call myself something unless I understand what I'm identifying with.


I will never not call myself a feminist again. The "small" sexual assaults thread made me realise how insidiously female people are othered to each other, as well as to male people.

I used to think that I simply didn't know whether gender or sex was the primary division between members of societies. I wasn't sure that inhumanity on grounds of gender or sex was 'worse' - more damaging or more widespread - than inhumanity on grounds of colour, class, physical ableness, ethnicity...

Now I think that it doesn't matter whether any one of these is worse. I can be - am - a feminist at the same time as opposing all other oppressions. I think some feminists think that opposing oppressions is essential to feminisim anyway. I can believe that, now.

A whole load of scales have been falling from my eyes this week. I am a feminist convert!

I still don't even know what it means, though. What I mean by it is that I know I'm treated differently, I and other people expect different things of, from and for me, and I am expected not to mind about that, all on the basis of my being female. I know it, I do mind and I'm going to change it.

I got converted thanks to MN. It's the only area I've ever come across where there are simply so many women all in one place, and where their femaleness is at one and the same time integral and beside the point.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 11-Nov-10 13:01:00

Tears in my eyes reading your post, after the other thread STBW.

"What I mean by it is that I know I'm treated differently, I and other people expect different things of, from and for me, and I am expected not to mind about that, all on the basis of my being female. I know it, I do mind and I'm going to change it."

That is pretty much my personal definition of feminism too. For me it's along the lines of:

"I know that women and men are not treated equally, either in the UK or around the world, I don't like it, it's wrong and I want to change it."

TeiTetua Thu 11-Nov-10 17:12:40

I'm not sure that equality plainly stated is what people most respond to, though of course it's simple and direct. It might make people think of all being pushed into the same shaped box.

But I'd go for equality of importance, equality of respect, and equality in the number of options we have in life. Equality in having something to say that's worth listening to. Like that.

AnyFucker Thu 11-Nov-10 18:27:06

STBW, your posts this week have been inspiring in themselves

I have read them all

sarah293 Thu 11-Nov-10 18:28:58

Message withdrawn

dittany Thu 11-Nov-10 18:32:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Thu 11-Nov-10 18:38:28

dittany, STBW's posts have also been heartwarming

I dunno why, just identifying with her I suppose

and many others too, this week has been very emotional on MN and I am in tears right now

overmydeadbody Thu 11-Nov-10 18:44:13

I have recently converted my boyfriend to feminism, and it was only through the process of talking through so many issues with him that I realised I was a feminist and proud to be so.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 11-Nov-10 18:44:24

I was vaguely interested in feminism, certainly wasn't anti, but I have become much much more interested since having a daughter. Things that have seemed acceptable to me suddenly aren't when I picture them happening to her - things like the casual sexism I have experienced in the workplace. Actually acceptable is the wrong word, I never felt that, I just never really examined what was happening.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 11-Nov-10 18:47:00

Aw AF are you alright? I want to pile in and say some nice things about you but don't want to risk nascent feminists dying of squirming embarrassment so will PM

dittany Thu 11-Nov-10 19:00:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Thu 11-Nov-10 19:03:28

thanks for pm, ele x

a bad day at work, just tipping me slightly over today

thanks for concern, and you too dittany

AliGrylls Thu 11-Nov-10 19:41:06

I struggle with the modern concept of what feminism actually is - particularly in the UK, which is where my problem with feminism is.

My understanding is that feminism is about a woman having the right to choose her destiny and having equal rights to men.

To me that is what it should be about and that is what should be at its core. When I look around me I see so many successful and happy women I feel like feminism has achieved its main objective.

Also, taking the notion of choice further, I feel that because I made the choice to be a SAHP there are some women that don't agree with my decision / see it as a lesser option to working, and see that I am a victim of a "paternalistic society" - I didn't give up work because of a paternalistic society. I gave up work because I didn't like my job. It was the easiest decision I ever had to make.

Putting aside the main issue of work women have so much choice about families, relationships, education, I just can't see the problem really.

With regards to equal rights we have the same rights as men to vote, be educated and everything else in the UK. In some areas we have more rights, ie, having the maternity leave that we do.

At the moment, I feel feminism (in the UK) has generally achieved what it set out to.

In making this statement I do appreciate that this is not the case worldwide and there are some countries where women are treated worse than awful. However, until feminists turn their attentions to the middle east then I will not be converting.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 11-Nov-10 19:48:37

at "converting". it's ever so easy you know, you just throw a thimbleful of menstrual blood into the ceremonial fire and then dance round it naked but for a pair of heatproof dungarees.

<wonders if anyone reading that took it seriously>

<hopes so>

Ali - feminists do pay attention to the middle east, and indeed to many other places worldwide. At the feminist conference in October the entire afternoon session was called "reports from the global women's movement" for instance. I've written letters to my MP many times about the circumstances of women in Iran, Afghanistan, Mexico etc.

sprogger Thu 11-Nov-10 20:46:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

camaleon Thu 11-Nov-10 22:53:07

I was not so interested in feminism or women's rights when I was younger and would have thought more or less like you (about my own country and Europe in general).

One of the things I cannot understand now is how easy they have sold it to us, that we can choose. How did I ever believe we had achieved the power of choice.

I am not a SAHM, but I would never see a mother who wants to look after her own kids as a victim. What depresses me is that if you become a SAHM you become invisible in public life at many levels. Your opinions on society, politics, economics stays with you at home too. If you are not part of the market you stay in that fantastic construct of the 'private' side of life.

I feel intimidated writing here because my knowledge of feminism is limited and I always enjoy reading more than participating. I do not think the battle is only about 'equal' rights and this theoretical freedom to choose. But I am getting more and more aware of how the 'structures' have to change to make a real difference.

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