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But I'm not a feminist.....

(28 Posts)
Spidergirl8 Sun 07-Dec-14 19:42:08

Without giving too much away, risking giving my identity away- I was recently at the first of a series of day long sessions meant to help empower and coach women into leadership opportunities in the sector I work in. I felt quite enthusiastic about it. The prep work was great, introduced me to some great articles/books.
However the day was discouraging and has really disappointed. Most of the women there (was women only) seemed to either have been 'sent' or had strong unhelpful views. I spoke to one woman who made it clear she wasn't a feminist and didn't want t be associated with that word. I explained that I felt there was nothing wrong with being a feminist and by default why wouldn't she feel the same way. She walked away....
Another referred to certain women as 'heels and highlights' and seemed to think it was okay to dismiss women in the workplace who followed fashion, coloured their hair, wore make up etc.
Another felt it appropriate to talk about herself, with little/no attention to his others at the table were responding.
I suppose this is just a rant really. It's hard enough in the workplace without women seeming to want to put women down. I mentioned the phrase 'sisterhood' and was really criticised, maybe I have an incorrect understanding of the term- I meant in a way that it would be good for women to support each other in a genuine and empathetic way.

messyisthenewtidy Sun 07-Dec-14 20:56:44

Spidergirl, it's just a demonstration of how misunderstood feminism is. People who by very definition of how they live their lives owe their good fortunes to feminism but don't have a clue about what it really is.

A testament to how successful a coordinated and comprehensive propaganda campaign can be!

uutiric Sun 07-Dec-14 22:13:01

"I felt there was nothing wrong with being a feminist"

You are in the minority with that one. Perhaps you should stop and think why most people (men and women) who do advocate gender equality want nothing to do with feminism and feminists.

uutiric Sun 07-Dec-14 22:14:31

"it's just a demonstration of how misunderstood feminism is."

oh I think society knows fully well what feminism is all about now (hint- it's no longer about "equality").

PuffinsAreFictitious Sun 07-Dec-14 22:15:25

Oh go on then, man, what is feminism about.

I'll give you a clue, we all know what it's about, and if you're wrong, we'll point and laugh.

EBearhug Sun 07-Dec-14 22:16:38

It's not all about you and your misogyny, either, uutric.

EBearhug Sun 07-Dec-14 22:18:01

(Well, it is about misogyny.)

Zazzles007 Mon 08-Dec-14 09:34:12

My contribution.

ChunkyPickle Mon 08-Dec-14 09:43:28

Unfortunately people like uutiric have decided what feminism is all about and told everyone without consulting the feminists. As a result people think we want to eat male babies, stop fathers seeing their kids, be paid to swan around at home doing nothing while our (male) partners do all the childcare and housework, or alternatively go to work and take all the man jobs that are easy (leaving the dangerous ones).

Obviously we just want the same choices men do. But loud, unreasonable voices (ahem Farage ahem) always seem to be much more interesting than the voice of reason.

BreakingDad77 Mon 08-Dec-14 16:01:44

Kinda ironic where you have women unintentionally being patriarchy collaborators.

TravelinColour Mon 08-Dec-14 18:23:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TravelinColour Mon 08-Dec-14 18:24:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YonicScrewdriver Mon 08-Dec-14 19:03:52

Have you changed one vowel in your name 6 hours after your last bout of posts, uu-are-tiresome?

I wonder why.

Zazzles007 Mon 08-Dec-14 19:39:12

Bahahahaha at uu-are-tiresome

PuffinsAreFictitious Mon 08-Dec-14 19:56:24

How do we feel about uu are outta here?

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 08-Dec-14 22:01:37

Spider I have refused to attend many "leadership for women" events because I am a feminist and I think the problem of not having women in leadership position is not because there is something wrong with women and they have to be coached and empowered. I would heartily support a training course for men called "leadership for women - how to not discriminate against women when they go for leadership positions". grin

AutumnMadness Tue 09-Dec-14 09:21:30

Spidergirl, I think you and women in your workshop have been set up. Probably not intentionally, but set up nonetheless.

I am not surprised that nobody was particularly excited about the "empowerment" agenda. We have decades of empowerment now, and what good did it do us? "Empowerment of women" is just another way of saying that it's all women's fault. That they do not progress in their careers because they are too wimpy to ask for raises, because they are too nice to rat on their co-workers to the management, they are too unambitious to volunteer for challenging projects, they are too shy to really brag about themselves on their CVs. In reality, however, if you come across as a strong woman, you will be called a ballbreaker. If you come across as ambitions you will be called grabby. If you are good at showing your talents, you will be called a show-off. You can't win as a woman because we still live in a deeply misogynistic society. No amount of empowering women is going to deal with that fully.

And of course, on top of that you were sent into this workshop with an assumption that "women" are some kind of homogenous mass of a supportive sisterhood that somehow exists outside patriarchy. It does not. Women are just as sexist as men. How could they not be? It's not like they live in a different society.

If you do a workshop like this again, I suggest doing less talking yourself and let the participants talk about their experiences. Down to the fundamental things like "why on earth are we sent here to be empowered while men are never sent to any 'disempower you inner sexist twat' workshops?" Troy to manage the group dynamics - e.g. put the quite types in one group and the bossy ones in a different one.

YonicScrewdriver Tue 09-Dec-14 09:26:28

"disempower you inner sexist twat' workshops?"


BuffyWithChristmasEarings Tue 09-Dec-14 09:59:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spidergirl8 Tue 09-Dec-14 12:42:46

Thank you for responses and good advice.

skrumle Tue 09-Dec-14 14:12:27

i'm currently moving (rapidly) up the power ladder in my chosen field. i've been offered career coaching which i've accepted - and i think that will be more relevant than a workshop on empowering women. the comment above about workshops being offered on how not to discriminate would be more useful in terms of removing barriers than putting the burden on women. for individual women it's about identifying what they really want to achieve and finding ways around the limitations that other people want to put on them - which will be very individual.

i did take part last year (entirely voluntarily and over a weekend) in a training session that was exclusively for women on how to move forward/raise profile/get promoted but that wasn't about "empowering", it was about offering training that would have been appropriate for anyone, delivered in an all-female environment. which ended up supportive but the training would have been useful even if it hadn't been in a supportive environment.

EBearhug Tue 09-Dec-14 14:40:06

I want to run a "disempower your inner sexist twat" workshop. There will be certain people for whom it will be compulsory.
<looks meaningfully round the office>

BuffyWithChristmasEarings Tue 09-Dec-14 15:01:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EBearhug Tue 09-Dec-14 15:34:02

Reading a PhD sounds way better than trying to debug perl especially when you've assiduously avoided learning perl for the last 15 years or so.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 09-Dec-14 16:02:47

I have suggested to the people who wanted to send me on "empowering" training that they should go on a "disempower your inner sexist twat" workshop but to my surprise they did not proceed with that. hmmgrin And not to my surprise they didn't promote me.

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