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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Early signs you were a feminist (light-hearted)

81 replies

Lio · 25/09/2012 12:29

By chance I heard Simon & Garfunkel's cover of Scarborough Fair the other day and had a Proustian moment. I'm guessing I was 6 or 7 when I first heard this song, and I hated it because of all the 'tell her to make me' stuff. Gah! What if she didn't know how to make a cambric shirt? Make it yourself.

What early signs do you remember?

OP posts:
FrothyDragon · 25/09/2012 14:07

Erm, looking back, there was the big fall out I had with DB when he got cars for Christmas, I got a doll, and he wouldn't let me "share" his cars.

He could have KEPT the Barbie for all I cared. (Gender stereotyping came solely from extended family, not my parents, luckily)

Empusa · 25/09/2012 14:09

I wanted He-Man wallpaper, and didn't understand why it wasn't for girls.

Luckily mum and dad agreed with me, but we got some strange reactions from staff in shops.

Kashmiracle · 25/09/2012 14:11

(I mentioned this on another thread) A boy turned to me during a discussion in A-level English and said 'you're such a Feminist' (he meant it as an insult, and being only 17, I took it as one).
I replied 'no I'm not, I just think it's irrational to descriminate against someone based on their gender'.

I then learned about Feminism in depth at Uni, and it all clicked!

maybenow · 25/09/2012 14:14

when i was 7 my parent's came home from the hospital and i discovered that the 'brother' i had been promised was in fact a 'baby'!!!

i wanted a BROTHER - to climb trees with and play trains with and run around with... not a stupid baby.

Lio · 25/09/2012 14:54

Thanks for joining in. My dd is 6 but for as long as she's been able to name her toys and talk about them, all of the 'gender netural' ones (tiger, camel, dog etc) have been 'she'. When my dad is playing with her he does what a lot of people do, and refers to her toys as 'he', and she corrects him. Smile

OP posts:
UnChartered · 25/09/2012 14:59

when my mum refused to let me wear trousers, because i was a girl

when i made to sit and listen to grown ups talking and not play outside with my cousins, because i was a girl

when i had to 'perform' my ballet class in front of relatives, because i was a girl

probably about 6yrs old

TunipTheVegemal · 25/09/2012 15:00

I had two key moments, the Smurf moment and the wristwatch moment.
The wristwatch thing was when I got my first watch and was disappointed that because it was a girl's one and thus smaller, it didn't have a second hand, date, or luminous hands, all of which my brother's had had the year before.

The Smurf thing was when the Smurfs came out and there was only one female one, Smurfette, who had silly high heels, long blonde hair which looks stupid on a Smurf, and lipstick.

Oh, and when I went to a birthday party and wasn't allowed a go on the Scalextric because I was a girl. Angry

Lio · 25/09/2012 15:09

Good grief. I'd like to hope these wouldn't happen now, except of course they do e.g. number of girl characters/number of boy characters in films and on CBeebies, that kind of thing.

OP posts:
Empusa · 25/09/2012 15:10

Oh I forgot one, wanting a Pirate themed birthday party, but as it was mostly girls coming it was decided they wouldn't enjoy it, so I couldn't. My aunt turned up dressed as a pirate for me though Grin

Titsalinabumsquash · 25/09/2012 15:12

at the age of 6 I refused point blank to participate in PE at school because girls did netball and boys did football, regardless of the fact that I wanted to play football, I was damned good at it too.
I also refused uniform for nearly 6 months because I wasn't allowed to wear "boys" uniform which was trousers rather than a skirt. Luckily my DM supported my through both. Grin

Lio · 25/09/2012 15:47

Good role models in Empusa's aunt and Titsalina's mum.

OP posts:
Kashmiracle · 25/09/2012 15:58

UnChartered Shock that's awful.

It makes me think how lucky I was to have such a strong female role model in my mother, who supported my choices.

UnChartered · 25/09/2012 16:06

ack, Kashmiracle she's been my benchmark all my life

if she disapproves i know i'm doing it right Wink

DameFanny · 25/09/2012 16:06

I suspect it may have been when I broke up with my first 'boyfriend' age 8 as we were going into 'bigger school' and I wanted to concentrate on lessons Blush Grin

Wish I'd still had the same attitude at 17...

And at around the same age, asking for scalextrix and meccano but having to have the same present as twin, i.e. clothes for our dolls. Grrr.

UnChartered · 25/09/2012 16:07

she also says that women who use 'Ms' are ashamed of what they are - another tick in my box Grin

messyisthenewtidy · 25/09/2012 16:18

When DB wouldn't let me play his video games cos girls would be rubbish at it.

When DF said he didn't object to women working in certain jobs as long as they were competent.

meddie · 25/09/2012 16:22

I couldnt specify a particular incidence but just remember having a strong feeling of injustice that I was treated differently from my brother. My mother insisted n dressing me in girly outfits with matching ribbons which I hated and would pull out as soon as I was out of the house. She bought me dolls which I deliberately broke as I wanted mechano and lego like my brother.
Its something I felt was always there. I fought to be taken out of sewing and cookery (which girls were forced to do in the 70's at my school) and allowed to do metalwork and woodwork in junior school. Only my wonderful dad supported my tom boy ways and insisted That I could do whatever made me happy and that being a girl wasn't a barrier, just meant I had to fight a bit harder.
I was the first girl to be a cub scout in Liverpool in 1975, well before girls were officially allowed to join in 1991 (bless you the cub scout leader who was so visionary at the time).
I don't think there was ever a defining moment. I just knew I was indignant as a child that people assumed I couldn't do stuff because I was a girl, so set out to prove them wrong.

grimbletart · 25/09/2012 16:30

I've mentioned this on another thread. When I was 5 in kindergarten and the boys in PE were always asked to move the benches. I indignantly protested that I could lift benches and was told the boys were asked because boys are strong i.e. the presumption being that girls feeble.

I was livid and it led directly to me doing all the sort of sports and stuff that made me strong and in time it led me to encouraging my daughters to do the same.

Maybe I should be thankful to that silly teacher for making sure there are no feeble weeds in the Grimble household Grin

HazleNutt · 25/09/2012 16:45

First day in kindergarten and I went to play with the cars and building blocks. And the teacher told me that "oh no, those are boys' toys, see, the girls dolls and toy kitchen are over there".
Until then I had happily played with whatever, but suddenly I could not, as I was a girl? That did not sound right.

LRDtheFeministDragon · 25/09/2012 16:52

Well, I was always in competition with my big brother and wanted to do what he did. I didn't think it was fair we were expected to do different things.

Something that sticks out is trying to explain why having a 'girls' football team' that wouldn't include boys when there was a 'football team' that included two girls, wasn't sexist. [Because most of us girls were never taught how to play, you idiot teacher!!]

FunnysInLaJardin · 25/09/2012 16:56

I have always been a feminist as I was brought up by a feminist mother and two older sisters in the 70's. But the first time I realised that not everyone else was was in a lecture when doing my degree and the issue was raised. I spoke up and said I'm a feminist and the whole of the lecture room looked at me like this Hmm. I was quite shocked actually

FoodUnit · 25/09/2012 17:05

Watching films and feeling frustrated that the women didn't do heroic things- just whimpered in a cowardly way until the man comes along to rescue them. I'd think "Get up! Run! Don't just sit there!".

Thinking "why do they always make attractive women kiss ugly men?" in movies etc. I now realise it was the discrepancy of age as well as more stringent beauty standards for women in the media.

Comparing biceps with the boys.

Not caring if I scuffed my shoes or got dirty when I was playing.

Having fantasies of being like James Bond - the gadgets, the acts of daring and the adventure, but wanting to vomit at all the women who had to go to bed with him (I'd always think the women in films could do better than the male leads).


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LRDtheFeministDragon · 25/09/2012 17:06

Food - you've probably seen this, but if not, it's right up your street!

Empusa · 25/09/2012 17:37

That's a great flow chart, definitely noticing that all the female characters I actually like fit into the "strong female character" box.

digerd · 25/09/2012 17:38

My sister has always been very competitive, but after her junior days, she competed only against females. But she is 65 now and just recently she said only to me, not my brother, who has a BSC Hons degree in Applied maths and Physics, ( was always brainy ), that she always knew that women were superior to men and they should be in charge not the men. She meant in their characters and natures, not in their physical attributes/prowess. She was very attractive and vain and men were falling at her feet, but she did not want any of them as they were all under her thumb and got on her nerves. She picked the only man who stood up to her and would not be her door mat. Not exactly the same topic, but interesting, I think.

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