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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Women already have equal rights

18 replies

thefinerthingsinlife · 05/01/2011 09:10

Having a discussion with my friend he said to me "I don't understand you your a feminist when women are already equal to men"

I told him how I didn't see this as true and explained why but I felt like I was lacking in infomation to back up what I was saying.

Can anyone recomend me books etc. about why women are not equal that I can read to help me back up the thoughts in my head.

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karmakameleon · 05/01/2011 09:22

Have you read the Equality Illusion? Sounds like the kind of thing you are looking for.

thefinerthingsinlife · 05/01/2011 09:32

I've read that, Living Dolls and a few others but sometimes I still feel out of my depth IYSWIM

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ElfPantsAtMidnightMass · 05/01/2011 10:07

When people say that, I usually point out that even if women are equal in this country, they certainly aren't in other countries. For instance, those where women are imprisoned for being raped (e.g. Libya), those where they can't travel without their father's/husband's permission (e.g. Afghanistan), those where girls are more likely to be raped than get an education (e.g. South Africa). And while women are treated as an underclass ANYWHERE, feminism is still needed.

thefinerthingsinlife · 05/01/2011 10:32

Thank you Elf that's a very good point

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ElfPantsAtMidnightMass · 05/01/2011 10:34

For some reason some people (on here and IRL) seem to then go "oh, other countries " as if they are fantasy places that should be none of my concern Hmm

Well if it's still happening anywhere then some tosser in this country can look at that situation and think, mmm, let's try that over here. It needs to be gone everywhere. While sexism still exists, our rights are hanging by a thread.

ElfPantsAtMidnightMass · 05/01/2011 10:35

Obviously, my first thought is for the women living in those other countries, the argument above is for those who think that Britain Is The Only Country That Matters.

wonderstuff · 05/01/2011 10:38

1100 directors of FTSE 100 companies 134 are female.
Is there one or two members of the cabinet that are female?
We make up over 50% of the population, yet are a tiny minority of the powerful decision makers.

vesuvia · 05/01/2011 11:31

wonderstuff wrote - "Is there one or two members of the cabinet that are female?"

There are 4 women in the current UK Cabinet, out of a total of 23 people, which is 17 percent.
The previous Cabinet included the same number of women.

For comparison, it's 6 women out of 22 people in the United States Cabinet, which is 27 percent.

vesuvia · 05/01/2011 11:33

ElfPantsAtMidnightMass wrote - "For some reason some people (on here and IRL) seem to then go "oh, other countries " as if they are fantasy places that should be none of my concern"

There seems to be a lot of "I'm all right, Jack" about it.

GrimmaTheNome · 05/01/2011 11:38

Even in this country, while we may in theory have equal rights, it is unfortunately not yet true in practice that "women are already equal to men"

wonderstuff · 05/01/2011 11:48

Thank you vesuvia I knew it was low.

slug · 05/01/2011 12:30

My usual answer to that sort of comment is to agree "Oh yes, now that rape, equal pay, equal representation and the right to walk down the road without being harassed has been sorted out we're all equal" Hmm

vesuvia · 05/01/2011 14:47

I agree with GrimmaTheNome's comment that equality of the sexes does not yet exist, in practice.

There are sex equality laws. There are also race equality laws and sexual identity laws. The legislation has not completely removed discrimination, in practice.

Equality in practice will occur only after the attitudes of ordinary people change.

I often encounter white or heterosexual people who know that racism and homophobia still exist in society, showing that personal experience is not necessary to know of the existence of inequality. However, they are very often unaware that sexism also still exists. Even worse, many even deny that sexism exists, when examples are described to them.

Ephiny · 05/01/2011 15:00

I would say that feminism is about more than equality, and being 'equal to men' shouldn't be our sole aspiration.

thefinerthingsinlife · 05/01/2011 15:40

What else would you say feminism was about Ephiny ?

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Ephiny · 05/01/2011 15:46

I guess I'm thinking of a more general 'liberation from gender roles' that goes beyond 'achieving' equality with men, and maybe questions whether the current situation for men is really one we want to emulate.

Also maybe some things like abortion rights, women's autonomy in childbirth etc where equality with men isn't really applicable.

melezka · 05/01/2011 15:53

Also - while the stats about how many women are in positions of power in the present system, true equality for me is also about being equally valued for things that are defined as feminine. So, for example, when DH was being paid a pittance for working in a care home (at which he was outstanding but sneered at) but hugely financially rewarded for running a business which manufactured and imported what I could only describe as fripperies, I still think feminism has work to do. Add to that the whole SAHM thing, the excessive grooming thing, the invisibility as one ages thing...

As Grimma says, the rights in law do not necessarily equate to any real equality in practice.

thefinerthingsinlife · 05/01/2011 15:56

Ah yes, I see what you mean

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