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What shade of feminist would i be, if any?

(6 Posts)
Claw3 Tue 16-Aug-11 13:51:09

Hi, my first post on this section, i decided to post here after a thread yesterday.

I like to think that i believe in equal rights for women, but ive never called myself a feminist. I like to think that the majority of women believe this also.

I am also a bit of traditionalist in some respects, not that i think there should be set roles for men and women, more for convenience and as long as there is a balance and we are both happy with that balance, then its not a problem.

I have no objections to my partner taking the car for an MOT for example, although i am perfectly capable of taking the car, i dont know much about cars and dont particularly want to know as i have no interest. He on the other hand, is quite knowledgable about cars, so to me it makes sense, that he take the car if possible.

I enjoy cooking, my partner doesnt, so i do the majority of the cooking is another example. (we dont live together btw)

Could i call myself a feminist or would i be a pretty poor example of a feminist?

Mardybra Tue 16-Aug-11 13:56:06

My DH is better with cars and I'm better at cooking but I'd still consider myself a feminist. If you both carry out the roles which suit you best, then that's fine imo. But if you feel compelled to do fulfill a role because of your gender then that's a different matter.

KRIKRI Tue 16-Aug-11 14:02:56

I don't think there is any litmus test for being a "good example" of a feminist. I don't think there needs to be. Conformity would be the antithesis of feminism, in my book.

Is it about equal rights? Imho, it depends on what that means. For example, some believe that "separate but equal" spheres for men and women (e.g. men as breadwinners, women as carers and homemakers, men as decision-makers, women as supporters, etc.) means equal rights. Others would see it as being about the opportunity for individuals to achieve their potential, regardless of gender. That's what I would follow personally.

I'm not entirely convinced that all women agree with that latter perspective. Many will say, "I believe in equality of opportunity, but . . . " and what comes after generally explains that they believe some restrictions on what men and women can do are acceptable.

I don't think most feminists would say that men and women can't take on roles seen as "traditionally" male and female if that is what they have chosen from an informed position. They might encourage both women and men to question whether they are making choices based on what they genuinely want and are capable of or pressure to conform to a gender ideal. But, that's not the same as condemning someone for making the choice.

There are lots of areas where feminists do not universally agree and those tensions can be managed creatively and without undue conflict, I believe.

However, I am wary of some people who purport to be feminists and seem to think just using the label is all they have to do, while still making statements and engaging in behaviours that very clearly perpetuate injustice and inequality based on gender. Imho, any feminist should be prepared to explain why they believe what they do both so that others can understand but also as a good way of "checking" whether one's beliefs are still where they want them to be.

VictorGollancz Tue 16-Aug-11 14:13:26

Hi Claw!

I don't have much truck with 'good' and 'bad' labels for feminism - we're all on a journey, after all, and I know that I certainly don't hold some of the views that I did as a teenager. Only you will really know how 'feminist' you are in your outlook. Stick around and join in - you'll soon be able to work out your thoughts on the matter!

Claw3 Tue 16-Aug-11 14:34:18

Thanks for the replies. After the thread yesterday i came over and read some of the threads on here and i have to say i couldnt find much to disagree with, most of what was being said, seemed to be common sense to me. I didnt see many extreme views as i had been lead to believe, so i suppose it started me thinking as to whether i would or could call myself a feminist.

I appreciate that feminism is more complex than just roles and my beliefs are probably still very basic. I suppose that is exactly what i am questioning, whether my statements and behaviours are unfounded or whether they conflict with being a feminism or not as the case may be.

Claw3 Tue 16-Aug-11 14:44:36

Hi there Victor, my childhood wasnt very traditionlist at all, my mum was most certainly the 'stronger' of my parents, but my views have changed from when i was a teenager too. Good advice, im only a novice!

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