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What exactly is a feminist?

(16 Posts)
AuchAyethenoo Sat 13-Apr-13 23:04:34

ok so I am, embarrassingly, going to admit here that I honestly don't really know what feminism is, sorry.

I guess I have been brought up with the idea that feminists are dungaree wearing, protesting, lesbian man haters.

I of course know that this is untrue and of course a dated stereotype, but it still leaves me not knowing what the core beliefs are of the feminist movement.

Equality? But then I hear often the words positive discrimination.

Honestly, I am totally confused and in the dark, but I would love to hear some personal views as to what feminism means to modern women.


ecclesvet Sun 14-Apr-13 07:16:59

A feminist is someone who supports feminism.

Feminism is a "collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women".

There are many different branches and subsets of feminism, and many different ideas about necessary beliefs and opinions to be a feminist.

sashh Sun 14-Apr-13 09:42:48

Basically it means you are as good as a man, as valuable as a man, deserve to receive equal wages to a man.

As ecclesvet said though, beyond that there are branches and opinions.

babanouche Sun 14-Apr-13 13:22:54

To my mind a large part of it is to do with making sure women are not penalised financially by choosing to have a family. Far too many women are lost this way and never get back to where they were in their careers after children.

Equality doesn't always mean justice imo.

scottishmummy Sun 14-Apr-13 19:39:14

Feminism is ideological belief pursuing equality,parity,fair treatment,and oppurtunity

StarfishEnterprise Sun 14-Apr-13 20:44:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparklyboots Sun 14-Apr-13 21:13:23

Someone who recognises that gender differences currently disadvantage women as a class relative to men as a class in terms of social power. Whether those differences are innate or constructed; whether they relate to a 'natural' order; whether or not patriarchy disadvantages men correlatively; whether or not 'equality' can be achieved through the structures of law; whether or not patriarchy can be dismantled through the protection of female interests on a wider societal basis; whether or not it should be concerned primarily with the individual choices of individual women... well that's all down to your individual feminist. My answers would be: impossible to say and a red herring; unknowable and irrelevant; no; no as it exists primarily as a system of relationships between men and has to be addressed there as well as between women and men; and no, a red herring most often used to defend the action of individual women which could otherwise be seen as undermining women's interests as a class. <dons helmet>

scottishmummy Sun 14-Apr-13 21:30:41

I don't think mn feminism topics are wholly representative of feminism
Mn feminism topic representative of the opinions of those who post
Mn Fem topics have considerably calmed down from the name calling and hectoring of past

wol1968 Mon 15-Apr-13 14:07:37

I'm tempted to quote Rebecca West:

'I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that I am called a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.'

Trills Mon 15-Apr-13 14:08:56

Different people have different definitions.

I would say that at the very basic evel a feminist is someone who:

thinks that people should have equal treatment, rights, and opportunities regardless of their gender

recognises that this is not currently the case

wants things to change

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 15-Apr-13 14:24:16

I agree with Trills; this basic definition is the foundation of feminism for me.

For someone starting out to learn about feminism, it is also helpful to consider lists like this one:

scottishmummy Mon 15-Apr-13 19:17:17

Who brought up up with idea it's milly-tants and dungarees?media?family?pals?
My friends mum used to say them feminists need to meet a nice man and she meant it!

Zarrk Mon 15-Apr-13 23:58:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Sparklyboots Tue 16-Apr-13 00:42:45

hahhahahhahahahahhahaah, good one, Zarrk

CognitiveOverload Tue 16-Apr-13 21:03:41

Agree with scottishmummy.

BelleDameSansMerci Tue 16-Apr-13 21:40:02

Also agree with scottishmummy.

Strongly believe that those who oppose feminism/feminists are highly suspect. Why would anyone not want equality for all?

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