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When did feminism become a dirty word?

(25 Posts)
TheFeministsWife Sun 31-Jul-11 01:02:09

When did feminism become a dirty word? Everyday I feel like I've woken up in a parallel universe where it's 1976 yet with a shit load of technology! Did brave women not die to give us the vote? Did courageous women not protest and fight until we were given decent maternity rights and (supposed) equal pay act? When did girls decide that their only vocation in life was to give good BJs and wear stupid shoes all the while having a body like a skeleton and boobs like Dolly, whilst looking completely perfect? What happened to woman being ALLOWED to have brains, and substance and character and fucking balls? When did it become old fashioned to be clever and not just want to be a WAG? I despair of the world my girls are growing up in. I'm teaching them that pink is just a colour and if they want to be an astronaut or a scientist or a mechanic or to be a stay at home mother then their choices are valid and worthy!

I grew up always thinking I was a feminist. My mum was never particularly feminist but always shouted out her opinions on inequality. I remember that sexism always pissed me off. I was a very feminist teenager (in the early 90s) and I remember being very vocal about it. I know some of my friends were a little embarrassed and used to ask me to tone it down, but I used to be like WTF! I remember the one friend I had who was always as vocally feminist as me turned out to be a lesbian and she's still as a raging feminist now as she was back then (as am I).

DH tells me that one of the things that attracted him to me was the fact that I was vocally feminist and passionate about it. What I loved about him was that he agreed with me on practically everything when it came to feminism. It was great.

Now young men (and granted probably not all) seem to be so much more misogynistic than I can ever remember them being when I was a teenager. DSD has been with her boyfriend for around 9 months (she's 18) and although he seems a nice enough bloke but from what she describes about his attitude makes me shock She says things like, "He can go to bla bla festival but if it was me I wouldn't be allowed to go," shock ALLOWED to go! ALLOWED to go! Seriously? If DH ever (now or then) told I wasn't ALLOWED to do anything I would just laugh at him, let alone do it without any worry or guilt. Now this could obviously just be DSD's boyf, and not a representation of young men today. But from what I read and hear, it's not far off. When did it go so wrong?

Or have I been living a sheltered life and it was always destined to be this way? I remember the rise of lapdancing and strip clubs in the 90s and the launch of magazines like Maxim and Loaded. I remember we were supposed to be cool about them, but I could never be cool about those type of things, I didn't care that it made me seem a prude. But apparently loads of young girls today care, and seem to think it's the norm, along with the rise of bloody internet porn. shock angry

This subject makes me so angry as I have two young dds (8 and 4) and I certainly don't want them growing up wanting to be bloody WAGS and thinking misogyny is normal and acceptable. I try as much as possible to make things as gender free as I can at home. DD1 is a complete tomboy and hates skirts and dresses and all things pink which I love, but I want to her know that it's ok to be a woman/girl and sometimes like clothes and make up and shoes (god, I love shoes) but at the same time want to fight ninjas and became an astronaut (her current love) and do anything a boy can do. DD2 is very girly and loves pink and princesses and fairies and sparkly things, but at the same time wants to "fix cars and wash them and fix the road and build houses mummy" when she's older.

I think what I'm asking is WTF can we do about the current state of lack of feminism in young women and how can I raise my dds to be feminists in today's society?

TheFeministsWife Sun 31-Jul-11 01:03:06

P.S. I'm ever so slightly drunk whilst writing this so I apologise for any spelling/grammar mistakes and rambling on.

ARepleteHmmSkiNun Sun 31-Jul-11 08:29:13

Do you drunkenly rant in front of your daughters?

ARepleteHmmSkiNun Sun 31-Jul-11 08:30:01

They might in consequence, not think highly of your views if you do!

TimeWasting Sun 31-Jul-11 08:50:53

OP, I am regularly enraged by some of the misogynist crap I hear.

SkiNun, why would you think the OP is ranting drunkenly in front if her daughters? She posted at 1 in the morning.

Is drinking not very ladylike?

Or is the display of anger that disagrees with your sensitive nature?

ARepleteHmmSkiNun Sun 31-Jul-11 09:56:00

Oh I didn't think she was drunkenly ranting in front of her daughters, I just asked if she did. I can't see any connection between being ladylike (whatever that means) and drinking.
I agree, Timewasting, drinking and getting angry is great. Very positive things to do.
I must remember to tell myself not to be so sensitive. Must go round bull-headed and insensitive. Getting angry is great stuff, but not everyone should get angry I think. Only those people who get angry about the things I get angry about are right and healthy. If people get angry about things which I think they shouldn't get angry about then they are bad.

TimeWasting Sun 31-Jul-11 09:57:51

Are you drunk now?

LeninGrad Sun 31-Jul-11 11:07:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheFeministsWife Sun 31-Jul-11 12:54:10

ARepleteHmmSkiNun Are you on speed?

joaninha Sun 31-Jul-11 13:27:15

I know it's a huge pain in the arse but don't lose heart. Feminism is a long haul. Because for every bit of progress made there is a backlash. As Gloria steinem says, it took us a hundred years of campaigning just to get a legal identity. The struggle for real social economic political intellectual sexual - help the whole shebang- is just midway if that.

As for your daughters get them to see the capitalism behind that beauty stuff because basically it's all about selling us stuff. Once the magic is demystified it loses its power. Ds and I take the piss out of it. We like to flick our hair, pout and say "cos you're worth it" for laughs.

Oh and ignore negative posters like above. They are part of the problem. Jewel said "do not lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from". Shit I'm sorry!! Am being a total quote-aholic today!!!

MrsReasonable Sun 31-Jul-11 13:38:51

"I think what I'm asking is WTF can we do about the current state of lack of feminism in young women"

I think a lot of people think that feminism is over, the war's been won - women can vote, they've got equal rights too, right? They don't notice that there is still a lot of work to be done on challenging and changing attitudes and cultures, not just laws.
But because that stuff isn't as visible as the explicit discrimination of the past, feminists look like killjoys and moaners - who would want to lump themselves in with that lot?

solidgoldbrass Sun 31-Jul-11 13:48:40

SkiNun is a persistent whanger, feel free to ignore it.

aliceliddell Sun 31-Jul-11 13:56:32

When did 'feminism' become a dirty word? When was the word 'feminism' invented? Same answer to both.

ARepleteHmmSkiNun Mon 01-Aug-11 08:30:55

solidgoldbrass
Has the debating ability of an antelope's toenail. Just ignore it.

ARepleteHmmSkiNun Mon 01-Aug-11 08:33:04

TheFeministsWife - Are you stoned?
I know you are an alcoholic but mixing it with hash can really fry your brain without you realising it.

HengshanRoad Mon 01-Aug-11 12:39:34

It's so, so depressing. I was a panel guest at a discussion in Shanghai at the weekend on women in the arts, and the facilitator actually apologized for quoting Gloria Steinem.

Winetta Mon 01-Aug-11 12:58:03

OP, good question. Has anyone here read Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman? It addresses everything you mention. I'm a proud feminist but regularly have the piss taken out of me for it - because I think a lot of the issues are not apparent to people, and even if they are they don't see them as that serious.

TheFeministsWife Mon 01-Aug-11 14:02:37

Winetta I'm half way through that book and loving it so far. I bloody love Caitlin Moran. grin

ARepleteHmmSkiNun Why post on a thread several times when you have absolutely nothing productive to add, and just insult several posters? hmm Now do be a dear and fuck the fuck off will you. HTH.

ThePosieParker Mon 01-Aug-11 14:42:54

Never heard of Skinstupidname and so I'll ignore.

People still say crap like 'oh I won't open a door if you're a feminist' yawn. Or think that feminists can't say if a guy is good looking?!

However sometimes the views in these boards make me wince as I constantly say that misandry doesn't exist but I do see hints of it, it's pretty embarrassing. I just none of the people I defend feminism to as a movement with equality as it's goal don't read all treads.

PatRiarchy Thu 04-Aug-11 05:19:26

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

AvrilHeytch Thu 04-Aug-11 06:11:47

Message withdrawn

TimeWasting Thu 04-Aug-11 08:07:17

Pat, can you quote some references. grin

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 04-Aug-11 08:11:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

orsinian Mon 08-Aug-11 17:27:21

Now young men (and granted probably not all) seem to be so much more misogynistic than I can ever remember them being when I was a teenager. DSD has been with her boyfriend for around 9 months (she's 18) and although he seems a nice enough bloke but from what she describes about his attitude makes me She says things like, "He can go to bla bla festival but if it was me I wouldn't be allowed to go," ALLOWED to go! ALLOWED to go! Seriously? If DH ever (now or then) told I wasn't ALLOWED to do anything I would just laugh at him, let alone do it without any worry or guilt. Now this could obviously just be DSD's boyf, and not a representation of young men today. But from what I read and hear, it's not far off. When did it go so wrong?

This encapulates so much of what I see today, particularly in the US and UK.

And seemingly arbitary homophobia, unlike anything I remember from the 1980s or 90s. And the pinkification of girls.

It's as if feminism never happened, ever.

Where did it all go wrong?

Well I reckon it was just a basic problem with direction and leadership. Gloria Steinem is a good example; seemingly sensible, seemingly a perfect icon - then she gets in with loonie shrinks like Dr. Bennett Braun and gives money to far-right causes that were associated with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

And then there was all the horrible stuff about satanism in the early 90s - which I won't go into here as I know from past postings that it's a sensitive subject; but unfortunately some feminists colluded with religious fundamentalists and it got particularly messy both in the US and UK.

And finally a few books and speeches and conferences and reports that wouldn't have added-up to anything had it not been for the growth of the Web, which although drawing people together, does tend to encourage people to write things they wouldn't normally say to their faces.

Feminism is a cause that needs a, well...a cause - Slutwalk definitely isn't it - if anything Slutwalk is so far removed from 'feminism' that you can almost hear past generations of feminists spinning in their graves. Going down the 'fight the pernicious patriarchy' route unfortunately sees some straying into David Icke territory as they try to present the 'patriarchy' as some huge global organised conspiracy. Fighting pornography is a toughie, not least because for instance in the US, most producers of porn films are owned by women (ex porn stars often who ploughed their earnings into production companies of their own). Feminist 'research' is now regarded by many as a joke - particularly the 'Standpoint' methodology, and there are now even spoof feminist sites to confuse things even more (such as Julian Real).

'Cultural relativism' prevents many from engaging in helping feminists from outside the Western world achieve their aims, but this is where Western feminists should be going, and the CR block means that many feminists are wasting time pursuing petty disputes and victories in the West that mean nothing to the likes of women living in say the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I can't call myself feminist. I'd love to get back on the train, but the train at the moment isn't really going anywhere quickly.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 08-Aug-11 17:40:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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