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Do you think it would be better if there wern't a feminism subject on mumsnet?

(96 Posts)
HalloweenNameChange Sun 18-Nov-12 19:49:41

Just that while it is sometimes nice to preach to the choir (and comfy)..but the people who could really do with a bit of learning actually block the feminist section as a whole.

I have been annoyed when subjects get moved from chat to feminism for that reason.

AnyFucker Sun 18-Nov-12 22:57:29

sometimes on a thread where it is quite clear a relationship is abusive, adding a feminist perspective is literally like lighting a touchpaper

and I don't mean the reaction of the OP necessarily, although that can happen

I am thinking more of the handmaiden army marching in, to defend the indefensible, and attempt to shout down posters who say "you don't have to tolerate being treated like a second class citizen"

it is very demoralizing, and makes one want to withdraw to areas where you know other people understand what you are trying to say

Sagelynodding Sun 18-Nov-12 23:04:41

Totally agree with Frances I am one of those who stumbled upon the feminism boards and I have learnt a lot, and sharpened my perspective on many issues.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Sun 18-Nov-12 23:06:14

No, I don't think it would be better. I think it's good to have the section while also feeling that it shouldn't mean no feminist comment can ever stray outside that section. We can have both.

GrimmaTheNome Sun 18-Nov-12 23:09:24

>I have been annoyed when subjects get moved from chat to feminism for that reason.

Do threads get moved without MNHQ asking the OP (a) if they want it moved and (b) if so where it should move to? If someone raises an issue in Chat because they want a wide audience, it would seem wrong if it got moved to somewhere less visible.

caramelwaffle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:13:16

No. It would'nt be better.

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 23:15:11

IKWYM about 'handmaiden army', AF - and might go and check Relationships boards some time (not now) - but as I see it, these posters tend to be very much in the minority when somebody in an abusive relationship is getting support on Relationships threads. And as I see it, there tend to be many more posters explaining why the handmaiden/apologists aren't making much sense. This is why I see the Relationships board as a place where overtly feminist thought does seem to (finally) be accepted as logical and necessary (and so I wonder why we don't see more regular Relationships posters over here), whereas on other boards (AIBU, for example), there's much more of a 'don't rock the boat, that's life' approach - probably because the situations described aren't so obviously unjust, terrifying, threatening, etc. (Or that's the way I see it, anyway.)

ISWYM about coming back here as a place of relative safety and sanity, though.

I wonder how many posters who don't post much on FWR boards have a lurk here when they find from time to time that Feminist thinking is suddenly very obviously needed, but still don't post because they're still somehow wary of Feminism?

AnyFucker Sun 18-Nov-12 23:18:13

Mango, I very much find that AIBU is an outpost of the "handmaiden army", tbh

That is a very controversial comment though, and has been the subject of many a spat on here (directly and indirectly)

Some of the most vociferous users of AIBU are the most staunch slaggers of the FWR topic

Go figure confused

caramelwaffle Sun 18-Nov-12 23:20:01

AnyFucker Sun 18-Nov-12 23:18:13
"Some of the most vociferous users of AIBU are the most staunch slaggers of the FWR topic"

Yes. I've noticed that.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 18-Nov-12 23:24:24

I think it's fantastic to have both, a FWR board and all the associated discussions and topics and the fact that FWR can exert a positive and powerful influence on discussions on other areas of the site.
Yes, a number of women have hidden the boards because of past experiences on them, or because they don't see the relevance, but that is their right and by engaging in discussion within topics outside the FWR boards, they may well change their opinions as to the significance and impact of feminist thinking on their own lives.

GrimmaTheNome Sun 18-Nov-12 23:28:52

>don't post because they're still somehow wary of Feminism?
could be that they are confused as to what exactly feminism is ...if it even has one definition. However, I would have thought that regardless of that, the other half of the title is 'women's rights' which doesn't seem like something that many could be wary of.

WilsonFrickett Sun 18-Nov-12 23:32:00

I like having both. I like that this is a relatively safe space to ask questions, will never forget finding this section after getting involved in an abortion thread and had a bit of a re-awakening. I don't think there's anywhere else on MN where I could post the first post I put here (which was just something very simple about feminist books but it still couldn't have been posted elsewhere).

I also like the feeling when you're on, say, a 'my husbands been lapdancing' thread and people pile on with 'oh, that's not so bad' you see posters from here arriving and feel 'phew, here's the cavalry'. (does that make it a quiche?).

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 23:41:53

the other half of the title is 'women's rights' which doesn't seem like something that many could be wary of.

Well... exactly!

Should we be thinking about reorganising 'FWR' to 'WRF' so as to seem less confusing to our more timorous sistren? wink
(I hope not... looks too much like WWF or WTF for my liking.)

Still... where is everyone?

GrimmaTheNome Sun 18-Nov-12 23:45:43

> like that this is a relatively safe space to ask questions
yes - and the nature of discussions here can be very different to the same subject covered under eg 'in the news'.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 18-Nov-12 23:49:47

'Still... where is everyone?'

Sadly, when there were disagreements as to the nature and role of the FWR boards, and the heated discussions on the differences between different shades of feminism, radical, liberal, Marxist etc, a lot of erudite and committed people decided that the boards were changing into something that wasn't what they wanted, so they left.
There are occasional visits, but not the same level of traffic as there used to be a year ago.

rosabud Mon 19-Nov-12 00:26:33

I find this section extremely interesting and I am a very busy person who shouldn't really be wandering around the internet so really don't often have time to look around the rest of the site very often. So you could say that I am on this section and blocking the rest of swings and roundabouts.........

alexpolismum Mon 19-Nov-12 07:19:49

I don't always post, but I read this section all the time. I have learnt such a lot from it and I think MN would be poorer without it.

I do get the point about it being something that shouldn't be necessary, but such is the world we live in, it is necessary. And although you can find feminist viewpoints on other threads, it's nice to have them all here in one place, and there are things that have been discussed here that I don't think would have discussed outside a specific feminism category. It really is an education.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 19-Nov-12 09:14:34

I'm glad we have this section. It's reminded me that I am a feminist and opened my eyes to my level of privilege.

The "oh go back to FWR" posts do bemuse me though, as if feminism was mutually incompatible with an interest in any other subject.

OneMoreChap Mon 19-Nov-12 11:18:51

I think mumsnet would be much poorer without a FWR section.

I learn quite a lot here, and get my hackles raised moderately often, which is good. From posting and reading here, I learned about privilege - and what it really means (sadly, thanks to a post from a bloke).

I suspect one of the issues is that people who don't come here think that feminism is monolithic, which it very clearly is not, and that "they all agree with each other" which is also not the case.

While it's here, I shall visit, read and occasionally post - albeit from the perspective of someone who doesn't identify as feminist, but fellow-traveler. Oh, in defence of <menz>, disagreement with some views, of some feminists, does not make one an MRA...

EldritchCleavage Mon 19-Nov-12 11:28:20

If we lose FWR then I think in reality we will lose the chance to have the kinds of discussions you see on the thread. Threads on feminism or with a feminist slant posted on other topics tend to get shouted down.

And FWR has an unfortunate history on MN, certainly in the few years I've been reading. With any luck the more distant we get from that history, the more poster will give FWR a try.

ByTheWay1 Mon 19-Nov-12 11:28:42

I "visit" occasionally, but it does get my hackles up from time to time -

I am not eloquent enough to argue my point - and I get fed up of being told time and time again that the choices I have made haven't been made by me at all, but by ingrained paternalistic society.... so I tend to avoid

HalloweenNameChange Mon 19-Nov-12 14:38:24

The comment that FWR feels a bit "ghettoized" is kind of what I was getting at. I can't imagine anyone blocking a subject called human rights. But for some reason many women see feminism as being some thing other, that doesn't affect them at all and I worry that in website mostly devoted to women having a special subject that you can block seems to feed in to the idea. I have seen it mentioned in FWR that you can look at anything through a feminist angle and it would be nice to see that drip out a bit more on the other threads, But I guess we need both.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 19-Nov-12 16:56:34

Has that been the case in the last few months, ByTheWay?
Because that response used to be much more common a year ago, but the dynamics of the boards have changed quite a lot.

TeiTetua Mon 19-Nov-12 17:30:50

I think it should be obvious when there are opinionated individuals versus when there's a group consensus. That "You don't really own your choices (silent addition: except if you agree with me)" line is just a few people's opinion, and most others never went along with it. It's too bad that people often seem to be intimidated by this section just because there are some opinions being expressed. Opinions is all they are, and anyone can say their piece. Besides, if you feel you've made a real fool of yourself, go away and come back tomorrow with a new name. Nobody will ever know.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 19-Nov-12 17:53:29

I glad it's here, but sad that quite a few MN posters have such an antipathy towards it.

AIBU frequently shows me that we need more feminism, not less.

alexpolismum Mon 19-Nov-12 17:59:26

I never venture into AIBU, unless I accidentally click on something in Active Convos. Is it really that bad??

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