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Why don't people like the term "feminist"?

(6 Posts)
ThatBintAgain Thu 04-Oct-12 10:43:02

Sorry if this is old ground - but I recently said something along the lines of "why would any woman not describe herself as a feminist" and got the reply that "the term has been hijacked by women that think "all men are bastards" which has alienated women and frightens men."

And I'm not quite sure what to say to that one, to be honest! shock

I possibly wouldn't have called myself a feminist back in my 20's, it's only since I turned 30 and had children that I've started very strongly identifying with the label. Why has the term been given such negative connotations and why don't women (particularly younger women) want to associate with it?

BedHog Thu 04-Oct-12 10:47:21

Because the 'fem' part of the word makes it look like it is something just for women, and if we want equality it's going to take all of us, men and women, to achieve it.

Also the shaven headed butch militant man-hater stereotype doesn't help.

BobblyOrangeGoldGussets Thu 04-Oct-12 10:55:29

Yeah, my otherwise lovely DMIL, thinks feminists are all butch, bolshy man-haters. I don't know how to put her straight without upsetting or offending her because I love her dearly.
She also once related a story about a married man with children having an affair with another local woman and actually came out with "she split up that family, she used to go out in her garden in her nightie". Like the married chap wasn't at fault at all shock

Mind you, I got a bit of a telling off privately from DH for ruining a "funny family story" about a great uncle chasing his sister along the beach in the fifties, shouting at her for wearing a bathing costume because she was too old apparently. I pointed out this was abusive. You can't take me anywhere these days.

ThatBintAgain Thu 04-Oct-12 11:38:01

grin Bobbly.

I guess it's not really that many years since most women were having seven shades of shit knocked out of them and no one ever questioned it...

PunkInDublic Thu 04-Oct-12 13:41:26

I like to think of Feminism as a very broad term. DP had a rather stereotypical view of feminism before we met, I account that to those who shout the loudest being heard, I made clear that with any way of thinking those who shout the loudest are not representative of the majority.

I get just as worked up about men's rights, and why shouldn't I? I'm raising a son, I want him to be who he is without the patriarchy forcing him and defining him. Societies attitude to women is just as damaging to our sons as our daughters. I know some who would see my flamed for this.

For me personally feminism is about the empowerment of women for the benefit of everyone. I bet you could ask everyone here and almost everyone would have a different view on what feminism is to them and what it should/could achieve.

TeiTetua Thu 04-Oct-12 17:08:02

I think the issue is that for most people, "feminist" means "woman who is in conflict with the society we live in" (which isn't wrong, but it emphasizes the negative rather than the positive--what feminists are really hoping for). That issue of conformity is imprtant. Women are meant to be always agreeable, not discontented and trying to change things.

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