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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:33 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
other feminists, specifically man hating/trans hating separatists.


Interesting comment. Do you mean that you are not radical enough for them?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:37 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and the GOP women challenge my feminism in my life.


20 years ago those women would have been labeled as bimbos and would not have gotten as far as they have gotten. I'm kind of surprised that Palin gets the loyalty she does, given how far right her fans are and how much they want to go back to an ideal world in the 1950s that never existed. Her daughter had a child out of wed lock and her husband seems to take a #2 place to her by their standards.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:47 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
To my mind, "feminism" should be shorthand for the understanding that PEOPLE are equal in terms of humanity, intelligence, rights, responsibilities, and all that other good stuff, and the willingness to stand up and protest when any of those things are threatened. My male partner is a feminist, as are my three male children. You don't have to be a woman to be a feminist, any more than simply BEING a woman with strong opinions makes you one. (Back to Sarah Palin et al - women who believe strongly that the right to a safe, legal abortion should be made illegal are *not* feminists, since they advocate for policies that restrict the right of other people who identify as women to make choices about their own health and well-being.) Since these issues continue to take up a great deal of space - particularly in light of the alarming rhetoric being bandied about in re: reproductive rights - it looks like the term will remain with us, at least until we are all ACTUALLY treated equally.


I was going to post, but realised that I was basically saying "I agree with everything Desdemona and Tofulish say"!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:16 pm 
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I work with a group of woman who love to tell me and anyone who will listen that all of the work they do is "for women". To a great degree that is true. However they would (and have admitted to this) prefer if their work was for a certain type of woman, not all women. And they almost gleefully critique the clients that do not fit what they want. I have said before that I find it hard to understand why and how you can call yourself a 'feminist" while trying desperately to exclude other women (let alone, any one not a cis gendered woman). To to be cruel and mocking in the process just leaves me shaking my head and sometimes my fist.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:18 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
She generally focuses on the traditional in the sense that, for example:

"Things are just so bad these days with families, and if someone just stayed home with the kids instead of focusing on their careers so much than little girls wouldn't be so sexualized and men wouldn't be so effeminate".

And by "someone" she means the woman.



Has anyone gently pointed out to her the irony of that statement coming from a woman who is a corporate executive?


Yep! I think she said something like women should be able to do both. When I started to explain how that doesn't really work out like she thinks it does, she started telling me I was getting too excited (her way of trying to win the argument).

I also hate, hate, hate it when she tells me "You need to let ______ be a man". She's talking about my boyfriend. I have a hard time coming up with answers for BS statements like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:23 pm 
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jogirl wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
Desdemona wrote:
To my mind, "feminism" should be shorthand for the understanding that PEOPLE are equal in terms of humanity, intelligence, rights, responsibilities, and all that other good stuff, and the willingness to stand up and protest when any of those things are threatened. My male partner is a feminist, as are my three male children. You don't have to be a woman to be a feminist, any more than simply BEING a woman with strong opinions makes you one. (Back to Sarah Palin et al - women who believe strongly that the right to a safe, legal abortion should be made illegal are *not* feminists, since they advocate for policies that restrict the right of other people who identify as women to make choices about their own health and well-being.) Since these issues continue to take up a great deal of space - particularly in light of the alarming rhetoric being bandied about in re: reproductive rights - it looks like the term will remain with us, at least until we are all ACTUALLY treated equally.


I was going to post, but realised that I was basically saying "I agree with everything Desdemona and Tofulish say"!



I can't take credit for Desdemona's brilliance! I was pretty much agreeing with her <3

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:45 pm 
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root wrote:
from http://tomatonation.com/culture-and-cri ... s-you-are/
Quote:
The definition of feminism does not tell you how to vote or what to think. You can vote Republican or Libertarian or Socialist or "I like that guy's hair." You can bag voting entirely. You can believe whatever you like about child-care subsidies, drafting women, fiscal accountability, Anita Hill, environmental law, property taxes, Ann Coulter, interventionist politics, soft money, gay marriage, tort reform, decriminalization of marijuana, gun control, affirmative action, and why that pothole at the end of the street still isn't fixed. You can exist wherever on the choice continuum you feel comfortable. You can feel ambivalent about Hillary Clinton. You can like the ERA in theory, but dread getting drafted in practice. The definition does not stipulate any of that. The definition does not stipulate anything at all, except itself. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.


That was posted here (or maybe on the old boards.) According to that, Palin can legitimately call herself a feminist. So can I.

According to the quoted Washington Post Article:
Quote:
Feminism is a social justice movement with values and goals that benefit women. It's a structural analysis of a world that oppresses women, an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.


Which is it?

I'd like to see some thoughts on this as well.

It seems like there's a lot of policing of what should pass as feminist in this thread, at the same that there are complaints that girls/women don't call themselves feminists anymore. Maybe they don't call themselves feminist because they aren't by actual prevailing standards? I think there's this assumption that people are naive and ignorant and shun the feminist label because they think it is all bra-burning and man-hating, but I think it's a lot more nuanced than that. I used to call myself a feminist when I was a teenager, but now days I probably don't. Not because I think feminists are some sort of stereotype, but because I don't share most of the priorities of third wave feminists.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:50 pm 
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kfad wrote:
I work with a group of woman who love to tell me and anyone who will listen that all of the work they do is "for women". To a great degree that is true. However they would (and have admitted to this) prefer if their work was for a certain type of woman, not all women. And they almost gleefully critique the clients that do not fit what they want. I have said before that I find it hard to understand why and how you can call yourself a 'feminist" while trying desperately to exclude other women (let alone, any one not a cis gendered woman). To to be cruel and mocking in the process just leaves me shaking my head and sometimes my fist.

are you a social worker? i'm trying to imagine the kind of work you do but i'm being really silly and can only imagine a spa with chocolate facials.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:53 pm 
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Thessaly wrote:
It seems like there's a lot of policing of what should pass as feminist in this thread


Words have meaning. Sarah Palin publicly advocates policies that harm women and you can't reconcile that with feminism. The idea that something is feminist just because the person saying it claims to be a feminist is silly.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:53 pm 
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I don't think there is any conflict between the two:

Thessaly wrote:
root wrote:
from http://tomatonation.com/culture-and-cri ... s-you-are/
Quote:
If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.


That was posted here (or maybe on the old boards.) According to that, Palin can legitimately call herself a feminist. So can I.


Palin doesn't work towards equality of the sexes - instead her positions have to reduce women's rights and services, which is the exact opposite of equality

root wrote:
According to the quoted Washington Post Article:
Quote:
Feminism is a social justice movement with values and goals that benefit women. It's a structural analysis of a world that oppresses women, an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.


Thessaly wrote:
I'd like to see some thoughts on this as well.

It seems like there's a lot of policing of what should pass as feminist in this thread, at the same that there are complaints that girls/women don't call themselves feminists anymore. Maybe they don't call themselves feminist because they aren't by actual prevailing standards? I think there's this assumption that people are naive and ignorant and shun the feminist label because they think it is all bra-burning and man-hating, but I think it's a lot more nuanced than that. I used to call myself a feminist when I was a teenager, but now days I probably don't. Not because I think feminists are some sort of stereotype, but because I don't share most of the priorities of third wave feminists.


I don't see anyone policing what should pass as feminist in the thread. Instead we have said that while it is a tremendously intellectually diverse movement, with a great deal of space for many viewpoints, it needs some coherent definition to not be meaningless. And that basic definition (with both articles and what Desdemona said) is that it requires a basic belief that equality of the sexes is a good thing. Both sexes get to vote, both sexes should be paid the same wage for equal work, women shouldn't be denied opportunities or services by virtue of their gender etc.

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Last edited by Tofulish on Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:57 pm 
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so what's there to be done when people are being oppressive in your life?
when calling them out end up becoming a caricature, what do you do?


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:01 pm 
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fupapack wrote:
so what's there to be done when people are being oppressive in your life?
when calling them out end up becoming a caricature, what do you do?

I can call people out about a lot of things without subscribing to an overarching ideology. But my point is that I don't call people out on a lot of things that I probably would if I considered myself a third wave feminist.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:04 pm 
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fupapack wrote:
kfad wrote:
I work with a group of woman who love to tell me and anyone who will listen that all of the work they do is "for women". To a great degree that is true. However they would (and have admitted to this) prefer if their work was for a certain type of woman, not all women. And they almost gleefully critique the clients that do not fit what they want. I have said before that I find it hard to understand why and how you can call yourself a 'feminist" while trying desperately to exclude other women (let alone, any one not a cis gendered woman). To to be cruel and mocking in the process just leaves me shaking my head and sometimes my fist.

are you a social worker? i'm trying to imagine the kind of work you do but i'm being really silly and can only imagine a spa with chocolate facials.


I work at a very small publishing house that focuses on stuff for pregnant women, doulas and midwives. Which has been a surprisingly elitist place.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:06 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
beforewisdom wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
She generally focuses on the traditional in the sense that, for example:

"Things are just so bad these days with families, and if someone just stayed home with the kids instead of focusing on their careers so much than little girls wouldn't be so sexualized and men wouldn't be so effeminate".

And by "someone" she means the woman.



Has anyone gently pointed out to her the irony of that statement coming from a woman who is a corporate executive?


Yep! I think she said something like women should be able to do both.



Eh? By her beliefs the only way that would work is if she doesn't have children and thinks that working women shouldn't have children. If they have children while working, they sexualized little girls and raising men to be effeminate according to her beliefs.

Quote:
I also hate, hate, hate it when she tells me "You need to let ______ be a man". She's talking about my boyfriend. I have a hard time coming up with answers for BS statements like that.


If a relative of mine insulted a girlfriend of mine, I would remind them politely, but sternly that person is my partner and if they want to continue talking to me they need to not do that again. Should they do again I would thank them for the visit and leave.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Thessaly wrote:
fupapack wrote:
so what's there to be done when people are being oppressive in your life?
when calling them out end up becoming a caricature, what do you do?

I can call people out about a lot of things without subscribing to an overarching ideology. But my point is that I don't call people out on a lot of things that I probably would if I considered myself a third wave feminist.


It isn't considering yourself a third wave feminist that would make you "call people out," it would be caring about the issues involved. I don't not eat animal products because I consider myself a vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:09 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
Thessaly wrote:
fupapack wrote:
so what's there to be done when people are being oppressive in your life?
when calling them out end up becoming a caricature, what do you do?

I can call people out about a lot of things without subscribing to an overarching ideology. But my point is that I don't call people out on a lot of things that I probably would if I considered myself a third wave feminist.


It isn't considering yourself a third wave feminist that would make you "call people out," it would be caring about the issues involved. I don't not eat animal products because I consider myself a vegan.

Exactly my point though. I don't call people out on these things because they don't bother me. Which is why if anything I'd be doing feminism a disservice by calling myself one.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:11 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
Thessaly wrote:
It seems like there's a lot of policing of what should pass as feminist in this thread
Words have meaning. Sarah Palin publicly advocates policies that harm women and you can't reconcile that with feminism. The idea that something is feminist just because the person saying it claims to be a feminist is silly.
This. Words do have meaning; otherwise, how can we ever hope to communicate with any degree of clarity? Unless we want to live in Looking Glass World?

'There's glory for you!'

`I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.

`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. `They've a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs, they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs -- however, I can manage the whole of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

`Would you tell me, please,' said Alice `what that means?`

`Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. `I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

`That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.'


(According to this line of reasoning, "feminism" should probably try going on strike!)

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Female Chauvinist Pigs.
I just read the book by the same name, and Ariel Levy describes so many, many women I've known, it's eerie. I'm an ex-sex worker (been out of the biz for nearly ten years, but I worked as a stripper, pro-domme, model, PA, photo editor (porn), erotica writer, and porn producer), and my experiences have changed my initial opinions of the sex industry. The FCPs in my life like to dismiss those opinions (which aren't entirely negative) as mere prudery and prissiness, or accuse me of being 'sex negative' and 'anti-feminist.' At the same time, they use incredibly derogatory language for the strippers and porn actresses they say they love to watch, engage in really vicious slut-shaming, say or believe that rape victims 'ask for it' by dressing slutty, and deride 'girly-girls' as stupid, incapable, and irrational. Acting like the worst parody of a stereotypical male chauvinist isn't feminism in my eyes--it's just kowtowing to the patriarchal norm to be accepted into its ranks.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:22 pm 
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SassyOh wrote:
Female Chauvinist Pigs.
I just read the book by the same name, and Ariel Levy describes so many, many women I've known, it's eerie. I'm an ex-sex worker (been out of the biz for nearly ten years, but I worked as a stripper, pro-domme, model, PA, photo editor (porn), erotica writer, and porn producer), and my experiences have changed my initial opinions of the sex industry. The FCPs in my life like to dismiss those opinions (which aren't entirely negative) as mere prudery and prissiness, or accuse me of being 'sex negative' and 'anti-feminist.' At the same time, they use incredibly derogatory language for the strippers and porn actresses they say they love to watch, engage in really vicious slut-shaming, say or believe that rape victims 'ask for it' by dressing slutty, and deride 'girly-girls' as stupid, incapable, and irrational. Acting like the worst parody of a stereotypical male chauvinist isn't feminism in my eyes--it's just kowtowing to the patriarchal norm to be accepted into its ranks.


I think this is the same point kfad is making, and reflects the concerns of third wave feminists, that the goals of "feminism" not be limited to those of upperclass, educated, white women, but be more inclusive with respect to race, social and economic class.

I am sorry you've had such a tough experience, but your post makes the point that at some point feminism needs to have a coherent definition, and it can't be one set of women seeking to deny another set of women rights that the first set doesn't approve of. And that is why Sarah Palin is not a feminist.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:29 pm 
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Thessaly wrote:
Exactly my point though. I don't call people out on these things because they don't bother me. Which is why if anything I'd be doing feminism a disservice by calling myself one.


I think I'm confused here. If you don't call yourself a feminist because you aren't bothered by the things that bother feminists, what does that have to do with people "policing" what feminist means?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:37 pm 
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janejellyroll wrote:
Thessaly wrote:
Exactly my point though. I don't call people out on these things because they don't bother me. Which is why if anything I'd be doing feminism a disservice by calling myself one.


I think I'm confused here. If you don't call yourself a feminist because you aren't bothered by the things that bother feminists, what does that have to do with people "policing" what feminist means?

I was picking up on some complaints about people expressing "I'm not a feminist, but..." sentiments earlier in the thread (that is to say, young women who don't self identify with feminism). It just always strikes me as counterintuitive to both ask that people call themselves feminists even though they feel that they disagree on some key point, and to cast out other women who do call themselves feminists when they disagree on some key point.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Aurghle! I've got a friend that insists on telling me pretty much every time I hang out with her the things I can't do because I'm a 'feminist' (I don't know what she considers feminism... it's absurd.

I apparently can't get married because I'm a feminist.

I wear make up. Frequently I wear elaborate make up, the first time she saw me made up, she was all "I'm surprised! You're such a feminist!"

And she just has all these forked up ideas about how feminists hate all men and she refuses to change them by learning, instead she just considers me an anomaly, and any feminist that takes offence at her really offensive statements is branded as a (you guessed it) angry feminist!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Thessaly wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
Thessaly wrote:
Exactly my point though. I don't call people out on these things because they don't bother me. Which is why if anything I'd be doing feminism a disservice by calling myself one.


I think I'm confused here. If you don't call yourself a feminist because you aren't bothered by the things that bother feminists, what does that have to do with people "policing" what feminist means?

I was picking up on some complaints about people expressing "I'm not a feminist, but..." sentiments earlier in the thread (that is to say, young women who don't self identify with feminism). It just always strikes me as counterintuitive to both ask that people call themselves feminists even though they feel that they disagree on some key point, and to cast out other women who do call themselves feminists when they disagree on some key point.


Where in the thread does somebody say that those who disagree with key points of feminism should still call themselves feminists?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Thessaly wrote:
janejellyroll wrote:
Thessaly wrote:
Exactly my point though. I don't call people out on these things because they don't bother me. Which is why if anything I'd be doing feminism a disservice by calling myself one.


I think I'm confused here. If you don't call yourself a feminist because you aren't bothered by the things that bother feminists, what does that have to do with people "policing" what feminist means?

I was picking up on some complaints about people expressing "I'm not a feminist, but..." sentiments earlier in the thread (that is to say, young women who don't self identify with feminism). It just always strikes me as counterintuitive to both ask that people call themselves feminists even though they feel that they disagree on some key point, and to cast out other women who do call themselves feminists when they disagree on some key point.


You have said "It seems like there's a lot of policing of what should pass as feminist in this thread, at the same that there are complaints that girls/women don't call themselves feminists anymore."

I don't think anyone in this thread has complained that people aren't calling themselves feminists anymore, more that people don't seem to understand what it means. And the OP was pointing out that her sister challenges her (the OP's) decision to identify as a feminist, despite the fact that she has benefited from feminism, but never said her sister needed to identify as a feminist.

I don't care if people call themselves feminists or not, but I would hope that if someone is calling themselves a feminist, its because they believe in equality and protections for women that allow them to make their own choices about reproductive freedoms, their careers etc. My issue is with anti-choice conservatives identifying as feminists to promote outlawing reproductive choices and cutting services to women under the argument that we are already equal so no assistance is needed, in the face of obvious evidence that that is not the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:

I don't think anyone in this thread has complained that people aren't calling themselves feminists anymore, more that people don't seem to understand what it means.


You're right. Apologies, I read too much into earlier comments and placed them in the context of an ongoing debate that isn't the focus of this thread. Will respectfully make an exit.


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