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I'm leaving this purposely vague, as I have heard some super interesting perspectives and opinions on this throughout the years.  Interestingly enough it seems like our current environment has resulted in it becoming top of mind (or it being a trigger) for some.  So ...

 

  • How do you define feminism?  (don't cheat and look it up - top of mind what do you think it is?)
  • Are you a feminist?
  • Would you consider your partner/spouse and/or children feminists?
  • Would you be happy to openly call yourself a feminist?
  • Do you think there is still a need for feminism?

 

Looking forward to this discussion!

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I think when it comes down to it most people in secular societies have egalitarian beliefs.   If you really pressed them.

 

Feminism is mostly a political buzzword at this point.  I have no use for it.

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Everyone should be a feminist! 

 

To me, it is advocating for a balanced and fair perspective in a world that is highly tilted towards the concerns of only men. It's important to separate this from a patronizing view wholly entrenched in maintaining the patriarchy (e.g, "I, as a man, deign to be exceptionally kind to women"). And in my view it's also necessary for feminism to not be exclusionary -- like, I understand how trans issues or LGBTQ issues may not be on the radar of some people and that's OK, but it runs counter to the whole ethos to limit it to advancing the cause of straight white women only.

 

Among the divides in modern feminism I found this observation interesting: that some take the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" view; it's an unfair world and it's up to women to find ways to succeed in spite of it, which is clearly possible. Those that don't, then, didn't merit it. This is a view I reject. It's great for anyone who can do it, but the everyone problem is the world and that is something that is up to us to change -- or to stubbornly decline to, in view of all its faults. 

 

Appreciate you starting the thread, NM :) 

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I view the "feminist movement" as similar to a river delta. No specific focus, many crossed streams, no one focal/vocal leader, just a collection of ideas with the general theme of bettering the lot of women in the world. 

 

The concept of feminism is not well-defined, and means different things to different people or groups, depending on their personal preferences, ideologies and such.  Some women view feminism as striving for equality with men. Some view it as a factor of the job market. Some view it more along the lines of a relationship ideal.  Some view it more as a women's right to choose what happens with her body & healthcare.

 

Feminism isn't desired or respected by all women. Some women actively fight for it, some think it destroys their view of what women should be. 

 

As a male, I'm generally pro-woman in most or all aspects of my life. Live & let live.

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Women deserve the same rights and opportunities as men.

However they exercise those opportunities is up to them.

Men should not be threatened by something as basic as equality.

 

That's it. Further discussion typically muddies the waters, when the core objective is pretty simple.

 

Myself, my wife, our 16 year old daughter and 14 year old son are all feminists by this definition.

 

My 16 year old daughter tends to take her feminism in a more strident and dramatic direction, typically around dinnertime. 

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I would define feminism as "an effort or movement socially and politically to empower women".

 

I view this very similar to environmentalism.  I support and claim to be an "environmentalist".  However, with both feminism and environmentalism, at times it's taken to extremes for personal power reasons and is contrary to actually furthering the mission of the movement.

 

I have a mom, wife, sister and two daughters that I dream of them living in a  world where women are respected and have ever opportunity that men do.  I support that.

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Feminism means equal rights for women.

 

It became a bad word when people (I'm assuming they were sexist men) started applying it exclusively only to examples of women they thought were over the top/crazy. E.g. bra-burners and man-hating lesbians.

 

I don't know if any of that's true, but it became a bad word. It was a bad word when I was a teenager.

 

It means equal rights/treatment for women. Period.

 

If you want to use the phrase feminist movement and say that's different, fine. The word "feminist" should be something both men and women are proud to say they are. The word has been tainted and I think that was on purpose, and it was a long time ago.

Edited by Moiraine
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The reason I brought this up is that I have folks I'm connected to that talk about how "disgusting those feminist women are".  "Can you believe what the feminists are doing/saying?"  These postings are FROM women.  I've never understood how one can have issue with someone like them wanting to be viewed as equal (which is exactly what the african americans and gays etc, etc have been fighting for years).  I have to think that they have no idea what a feminist is.  But then I see others online (that have no tie to me) go on to say that "we have to admit that men and women aren't equal" blah blah blah (again, supposedly women).

 

I think you're right Moiraine, I think it's the bra burning and pro choice stuff that everybody has instilled in their minds as the definition, and any kind of rally or march or protest gets it's share of attention (negative).  Like the Black Lives Matter.

 

I just find it interesting that if you ask a man (most - certainly this is a generalization) above the age of 60 if they are a feminist, or if feminism is bad you will get immediate reaction.  And it's not good.  When Obama said he was a feminist it generated animated discussion.  

 

I remember as a teen/twenty something feeling very hesitant to call myself one out loud ... similar to how I felt about calling myself an atheist.  Was that my age or the time or my confidence or my concern about what others thought?

 

So my next question -at what point does an anti feminist turn into a misogynist?  

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My daughter informs me that having joined the Gay-Straight Alliance at her high school, there was no shortage of enlightened California GenZ males willing to call her a dyke.

 

This week she met with her teacher about the film project she's directing. The teacher -- a woman -- spoke almost exclusively to her assistant director, a boy. 

 

The thing I've hated most about the last couple years is learning that things I really thought had changed, really haven't. 

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41 minutes ago, NM11046 said:

The reason I brought this up is that I have folks I'm connected to that talk about how "disgusting those feminist women are".  "Can you believe what the feminists are doing/saying?"  These postings are FROM women.  I've never understood how one can have issue with someone like them wanting to be viewed as equal (which is exactly what the african americans and gays etc, etc have been fighting for years).  I have to think that they have no idea what a feminist is.  But then I see others online (that have no tie to me) go on to say that "we have to admit that men and women aren't equal" blah blah blah (again, supposedly women).

 

I think you're right Moiraine, I think it's the bra burning and pro choice stuff that everybody has instilled in their minds as the definition, and any kind of rally or march or protest gets it's share of attention (negative).  Like the Black Lives Matter.

 

I just find it interesting that if you ask a man (most - certainly this is a generalization) above the age of 60 if they are a feminist, or if feminism is bad you will get immediate reaction.  And it's not good.  When Obama said he was a feminist it generated animated discussion.  

 

I remember as a teen/twenty something feeling very hesitant to call myself one out loud ... similar to how I felt about calling myself an atheist.  Was that my age or the time or my confidence or my concern about what others thought?

 

So my next question -at what point does an anti feminist turn into a misogynist?  

 

 

RE: the first paragraph - I've seen that too but not as negative as that. I had a discussion with a friend who said she wasn't a feminist. She actually is a feminist by definition. It was just the word she was hung up on, because of the negative connotations which should not exist.

To the bolded - by definition, an anti feminist is a misogynist.

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40 minutes ago, Guy Chamberlin said:

My daughter informs me that having joined the Gay-Straight Alliance at her high school, there was no shortage of enlightened California GenZ males willing to call her a dyke.

 

This week she met with her teacher about the film project she's directing. The teacher -- a woman -- spoke almost exclusively to her assistant director, a boy. 

 

The thing I've hated most about the last couple years is learning that things I really thought had changed, really haven't. 



I already posted about it once here but I was in Odyssey of the Mind. You don't by any means have to be a genius to be in it (in fact I think a school could send the whole school if they wanted, not sure) but for my school I think you had to get certain grades or a certain test score to be sent to it. Anyway, my point is, the coaches would know ahead of time that all of the kids on their team are pretty good at school.

I actually just asked my mom about this because there were 2 coaches and she was one of them. I was wondering why she didn't do anything about it.

So our project the year I was in it was to make a a little car that would follow a certain course and do certain things. It had to meet a bunch of requirements in order to get a good score. For the first meeting I brought a diagram for my idea to use to open a door when the car bumped into it (I still remember my idea). The male coach completely ignored what I brought and I never went to another meeting involving designing the car or building the car. I worked on costumes. As did the only other girl in the group. Only the boys in the group were invited to work on the car and the planning for how it would get through the course.

My mom said this guy was a bully to her and thought he knew how everything should be done and she couldn't get a word in edgewise even though she had been an OM coach several times before and it was the first time he'd ever done it. For example he wouldn't believe her that all of the teams would have skits and costumes and she had to absolutely insist that we do it because he would not hear it. He thought she was making it up.

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Edited by Moiraine
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