Advanced search

Can you be a feminist and do these things???

(33 Posts)
stripsal Wed 25-Oct-17 02:17:32

1. Change your surname when you marry.
2. Become a stay at home mother.


BobbiPins Wed 25-Oct-17 02:33:24

Of course you can. Don't see a problem if that is what both spouses agree to. Why do you ask?

Foobarjar Wed 25-Oct-17 02:36:30


What is a feminist OP?

stripsal Wed 25-Oct-17 02:39:20

I’ve always identified as a feminist (person who asked: equality for both sexes) and have recently been told I’m a hypocrite hmm

panjandrumpyjamas Wed 25-Oct-17 02:41:57

Yup. did both. What makes me a feminist is I want woman to have the right to choose.

panjandrumpyjamas Wed 25-Oct-17 02:45:55

ahh some people have a very narrow view of what feminism is or means to them.

RedToothBrush Wed 25-Oct-17 02:47:26

Are you doing what you choose and for your reasons alone? Yes you can do the above and be a feminist because its about having the freedom to choose not following certain patterns of behaviour, whether they are traditional or whether they are the opposite to that.

As long as you are not doing it because you are expected to, or because you feel you have to be the one to make sacrifices more often than your partner.

There is no single way to live your life as a feminist.

Foobarjar Wed 25-Oct-17 02:52:09

As a feminist you can chose to do what the fuck you like. Breasts and Vagina not included in the decision.

BenLui Wed 25-Oct-17 03:04:39

I’m a feminist and I’ve done both.
My mother was a feminist and she did both.

Foobarjar Wed 25-Oct-17 03:45:06

Stuff like this winds me up.

You can be a feminist (equal opportunities no mater your sex) but still question if you can change your surname or be a stay at home mum. Of course you can do both of you want to and its your choice, or change your name to Dave if you want. The idea of a feminist is to make your own decisions not held back by being a 'woman'. Wish people would get it. Do what you want OP.

Knusper Wed 25-Oct-17 06:28:15

Of course. You shouldn't be obliged to do either of these things. But you should do them if you choose.

Lozmatoz Wed 25-Oct-17 06:50:57

Of course you can. It’s about freedom to choose. If, for example, you were being told you must change your name or give up a job, then no.

Reppin Wed 25-Oct-17 06:53:37

Why did you change your last name on marriage OP? Why didn't your partner change theirs?

annandale Wed 25-Oct-17 07:08:14

Feminism is a way of analysing the world. It can be incredibly helpful and life changing. It can also be challenging and unpleasant. I don't think it is really about freedom to choose exactly. However I would hate to think that any woman would feel they had to go back to work when they didn't want to in order to be a good feminist. What you should do is look ahead to what women's oppression means for you. How will you maintain your financial security or independence. How are people who take periods of family leave treated at your workplace. What is your support network. How will it affect your pension. Then make your choices knowing the reality.

GingerPCatt Wed 25-Oct-17 07:08:59

My favorite essay on this topic. Yes you are.

PuffinsSitOnMuffins Wed 25-Oct-17 07:15:37

Hmm. I think feminism isn't about any choice you make being fine, I think it's about understanding the social pressures why women choose differently from men. So for example, me choosing to shave my legs isn't a free feminist choice by someone who just happens to like bald legs - it's in a context of female beauty always being presented with bald legs so shaping my ideas, plus fear of social judgement because I never see any other adult women with visible leg hair. I'm not going to stop shaving my legs but I'm not going to stop thinking of myself as a feminist because I do.
So I don't think being a SAHM and changing your name makes you less of a feminist. If you thought that way of doing things was somehow 'natural' and didn't think about why men rarely make those choices, then... well I wouldn't say you weren't a feminist but maybe not a fully fledged one!

HerSymphonyAndSong Wed 25-Oct-17 07:25:15

Re choice, plenty of women are feminists when they did those things and it wasn’t their own choice - it might have been what made them become feminists

What is feminist is understanding that it is healthy to question why women predominantly do or choose something that men don’t tend to do. That shouldn’t come with any judgement of women themselves. It’s also healthy to examine your own choices and think about to what extent your socialisation and the way our society views women and men has shaped your choices, but some people think this means you are accusing them of not knowing their own minds. It doesn’t mean you are dissatisfied with your choices or that you were forced into anything or that you aren’t in control of your own decisions - it’s just about evaluating what we really mean when we talk about “choice”

HerSymphonyAndSong Wed 25-Oct-17 07:33:04

One of the big problems with the “freedom to choose” thing is that when it comes to eg becoming a SAHP men still aren’t really choosing these things in great numbers. And women are still judged for whatever “choice” they make. So then you end up with women supposedly having a range of options, none of which really are optimal for their own situation, or work in the short term but the woman is worse off long term, or it working for a very small number of women but not all. But men don’t have to compromise. But instead of examining how our society supports parenthood and child rearing and ensuring that mothers really do have a genuine freedom of choice, the response is “well you chose this”. The responsibility for not thriving in a society that prioritises the needs of men over women and children is put back on women because they had the “freedom to choose”

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 25-Oct-17 07:36:16

I am not a feminist. I find the idea of giving up your name utterly bizarre. I've always thought that and have yet to see a convincing explanation of why women do this and why almost no men do.

As for being a stay at home mother up to you, but personally I would never have put myself in a situation where I depended on my husband's income.

MoistCantaloupe Wed 25-Oct-17 09:39:57

Being a stay at home mother - where I live there is certainly more pressure NOT to do this (A woman should never give up her working opportunities etc etc). If the right thing to do, I would ignore this social pressure, make my own choice and live my life regardless of what people think I 'should' be doing. Just do what is right for you.

EvilRinguBitch Wed 25-Oct-17 09:48:27

Being a SAHP or not is rarely a completely free choice - there are all sorts of pressures. Going with the most logical option for your family doesn’t make you a bad feminist. Thinking that it’s the man’s job to provide for his family and that you don’t understand why mothers who work full time bothered to have children at all would make you an iffy feminist.

But changing your name is pretty much a free choice, and I can’t really understand why any feminist would want to. Unless your father was abusive or your maiden name was Bumhole (pronounced Boom-Hoe-Leh)?

SylviaPoe Wed 25-Oct-17 10:18:55

Feminism is about fighting for women's rights.

It is not about whether or not you personally are a SAHM, or a firefighter, or lie about most of the time eating chocolate and watching tv without kids or fires.

It's about whether or not you support and advocate for the rights of women.

Ttbb Wed 25-Oct-17 10:20:47

Only if you genuinely believe that woman should be fully autonomous beings who can live their lives as they please.

LurkingQuietly Wed 25-Oct-17 10:26:22

I didn't change my name because it was expected. My husband and I sat down and had a long discussion about what we wanted our children to be called, and how we all wanted the same family name. All options were discussed including him changing, me changing, double barrelling and making up an entirely new name. What worked best for us happened to be me changing my name and I did so happily.

My husband set up his own business shortly before I fell pregnant. What became apparent very quickly whilst I was working was that both of us carrying on wasn't an option. On balance, given earning potential, flexibility, and many other factors, me giving up work to be a SAHM was the best option. I now work (very) part time for our business although am an equal shareholder.

None of this makes me any less of a feminist.

qumquat Wed 25-Oct-17 11:25:42

Of course you can. But I'd expect a feminist to think about why they are making these decisions and why traditionally it is the woman who changes her name and is the main carer. That doesn't mean that despite being aware of the sexist context you can't still be feminist if you decide it is the right choice for you.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: