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What are feminists actually like?

(150 Posts)
breko Fri 11-Apr-14 23:31:38

Before I start, I'm not here to bash on about anything or anyone.

So, I'm not a woman myself, and i'll probably get banned for being a man on a 'mums' website, but anyway.

What are feminists actually like? There seems to be varied and mixed feelings towards you feminists. I've visited many sites and know many people who claim feminism is simply the idea of superiority and entitlements for woman, from posters, demonstrations and the media, im honestly starting to believe this. Can any woman actually give me a real insight into what you believe and what you think, and if feminism is actually needed in first world countries.
This is a pretty much useless post, just wanted to get thought from both sides.

Thank you. Its also quite late at night and i'm tired so this may not be worded perfectly.

breko Fri 11-Apr-14 23:39:01

Sorry if it sounds a little rude at first glance, once again its quite late

MojitoMadness Fri 11-Apr-14 23:43:34

Take a look at everydaysexism and see if you still think feminism isn't needed in first world countries.

Also the majority of the government is white male, that's not because women don't want to be MPs!

AnnieLobeseder Fri 11-Apr-14 23:51:10

Sigh. I hope you have your hard hat on, because, as you admit, your post is poorly worded. "You feminists"? Really?

No, feminism is not about superiority and entitlement. It is quite simply the belief that women are deserving of the same respect, opportunity and treatment which men receive in society. It is the recognition that defining people by their gender and forming expectations of their abilities, preferences or appearance based on their gender is short-sighted at best and deeply damaging at worst.

Yes, feminism is still needed in first world countries because women are still paid less than men for doing the same job, we make up a tiny minority of those in power - both in government and commerce, our opinions are given less weight in the workplace, we are expected to choose child-rearing over a career, we are regularly sexually harassed (if not outright assaulted) and we are told almost every minute of the day that our appearance matters more than any other characteristic, talent or skill me might have.

No, we do not want superiority over men.

No, we don't hate men or want things to be worse for them.

Yes, we realise that life is not a bed of roses for men all the time either, but most of the challenges facing men are caused by the same root faults in society that disadvantage women. There are men who blame feminism when men find themselves given the shitty end of the stick. But the fact remains that women have no real power to cause any problems for men. Any issues men face as a group are caused by other men.

I hope that helps.

edamsavestheday Fri 11-Apr-14 23:52:09

Feminism is the assertion that men and women are equal.

Hope that helps.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 11-Apr-14 23:52:51

flowers [medal] for Annie.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 11-Apr-14 23:54:26

As for what feminists are like, I suggest you Google "this what a feminist looks like". We are like any other group of people - hugely varied and far too complex to define in any simple manner. We cover every race, all genders, every socio-economic group, every age. The only thing we have in common is a burning desire to see an end to gender-based discrimination.

EBearhug Fri 11-Apr-14 23:54:48

Feminists are people.

There's not a single set of feminist beliefs - feminists don't all have the same opinions about porn and so on.

When I can sit in my department at work and see as many women as there are men, and know that they have to fight just as hard as I have for payrises and promotions, then maybe I'll start thinking we don't need feminism. And when women can walk down the street or into a bar or go to work or school and not get the sort of verbal and physical abuse that gets reported in everydaysexism, then maybe I'll start thinking we don't need feminism. Besides, people who behave respectfully to women are more likely to behave respectfully to men, so everyone benefits.

I agree that some countries face challenges that others don't - we don't have to worry about being not allowed to drive just because we're women in Britain. We have the vote, we can get bank loans and mortgages and education just as men can, and that's still not the same in every other country. But there's still a lot to fight for here too.

PansBigChainring Fri 11-Apr-14 23:54:57

Feminists are like a big Mr Whippy ice cream, on a quiet Sunday afternoon at the beach.


StormyBrid Fri 11-Apr-14 23:59:03

Superiority? No. It's got sod all to do with women taking over. A matriarchy would be different, but it would still be flawed. The idea of feminism is a level playing field for all, rather than one with gender-specific hillocks and ditches and great big pits.

As for you not knowing whether there's any need for feminism, might I suggest you research the concept of privilege. Sexism doesn't leap out at you and draw your attention, because it's predominately directed at women.

ballsballsballs Sat 12-Apr-14 00:18:49

WilsonFrickett Sat 12-Apr-14 00:21:34

feminists are like your wife, your mother, your daughter, your sister. Ordinary women trying to make a difference in the world, to create a better future where it's ok for daughters to earn as much as sons, and for sons to cry if they are sad instead of 'manning up'. And for both daughters and sons to navigate healthy sexual relationships in a pornified society. (Actually I'll take some of that for the grown-ups too).

And while it may seem that feminism is less relevant in the first world, don't you think we should speak up for our sisters who aren't allowed to drive, go to school, or grow up with their genitals intact?

Martorana Sat 12-Apr-14 00:28:34

Feminists are people who, before they do something, think, usually unconsciously "Is this course of action going to, even in the tiniest way, make life worse for women"

And no, you won't be banned for being a man. This isn't Reddit.

duchesse Sat 12-Apr-14 00:47:31

A feminist is a person who believes that men and women should be properly equal.

I don't know any feminists who hate men.

I second the idea of visiting the every sexism project for some ideas of ways in which feminism has not yet achieved its goals. Or reflect on the representation of women in top jobs, and their over-representation in low-paid, unvalued work.

Of course women still have a very raw deal in developing countries and of course they are still very much an important part of the work of feminists and anybody with a humanitarian bone in their body. Just because potentially not as many women suffer extreme violence or are killed by men who think they have the right to in first world countries does not mean that there is no longer a need for feminism.

I hope that answers some of your questions. Not entirely certain though why you are coming here to ask us to explain our position rather than googling some of the excellent things that have been written on the subject, if educating yourself is truly your aim.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

duchesse Sat 12-Apr-14 09:50:16

I can't help but notice that the OP has not been back since last night. hmm

duchesse Sat 12-Apr-14 10:25:54

It's funny but these "debates" always remind me of this children's book which is a fab book.

AskBasil Sat 12-Apr-14 14:04:18

Here you go OP, some basics

AskBasil Sat 12-Apr-14 15:07:17

Here's a person with a penis saying something interesting, I find that when words come out of the mouths of persons with penises, they are often heard a little better than when the same words come out of the mouths of persons with vaginas, have no idea why

CaptChaos Sat 12-Apr-14 18:38:32

Basil when people with penises talk, they are listened to, because whenever they open their mouths, everything they say is covered in magical man sparkles. When people with vaginas speak, it's just a bunch of words.

StickEmUpButDownBelow Sat 12-Apr-14 22:16:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nozubar Sat 12-Apr-14 22:55:09

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

gertiegusset Sat 12-Apr-14 23:03:22

I was going to write that feminists are just like you and me.
Then I saw you say you aren't a woman.
Then I thought to myself, well, DP is a bit of a feminist and would always advocate equality for me and our DD and every other woman so I guess that my first thoughts were correct.
A feminist is someone just like you and me.

Someone who believes the world should be an equal place for all human beings.

nozubar Sat 12-Apr-14 23:08:54

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

nozubar Sat 12-Apr-14 23:11:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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