Feminism, law and gender politics (Split from "Any other LGBTQ VBers?") - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-19-2009, 04:24 AM
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I think it's likely the majority of people are associating feminism with homosexuality rather than vegetarianism with homosexuality. Modern day feminism is now being seen as intolerance towards males and also as a practice of inequality in the favor of the female party.



But I don't know why people assume political views and sexual orientation have such a strong correlation.
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#2 Old 05-19-2009, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AussieShane View Post

I think it's likely the majority of people are associating feminism with homosexuality rather than vegetarianism with homosexuality. Modern day feminism is now being seen as intolerance towards males and also as a practice of inequality in the favor of the female party.



Uh, by whom? Not having a go, AussieShane, but I've heard that a couple of times and it kind of baffles me. Being pro-female doesn't mean hating men, it's just acknowledging that women still get a raw deal.
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#3 Old 05-19-2009, 05:05 AM
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Uh, by whom? Not having a go, AussieShane, but I've heard that a couple of times and it kind of baffles me. Being pro-female doesn't mean hating men, it's just acknowledging that women still get a raw deal.



The notion of "feminism being anti-male" is an idea that's gaining large attention in online social communities and evidently amongst the general public. Several articles have indirectly referenced this but like racism, it is a sensitive subject. But on the online communities which i've seen, it's spoken publicly mainly by males who've been treated unfairly in the court of law.



One example included a man who couldn't get a restraining order on his ex wife without a reasonable police charge. It was contrasted with women who can get restraining orders on men without evidence.



Other articles made references to incidents such as feminist groups in Sweden trying to impose "man tax" as well as feminists resenting Obama for not choosing an equal number of females in the cabinet as males, thus not reserving positions.



But this is just my observation. To be certain on the opinion of the populous would require an opinion poll or some other form of quantitative data collection.
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#4 Old 05-19-2009, 07:13 PM
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Wow, some interesting points!

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But I do see my views on LGBT (and all the other people who got left out of the acronym!) rights, and on animal rights, as being linked - it's all liberation issues and things that should bloody well be common sense.



I can definitely see a correlation between being a feminist and being veg. Both seem like common sense to me, as well. But it does get very frustrating to be pigeonholed into a sterotype, or have people give me that "Oh, THAT explains it..." response when I tell them I'm gay and veg. I can pass as straight, but people with good gaydar tend to pick up on it and suss me out. It's just frustrating when people assume I'm gay based on my political views or diet, as opposed to actually knowing me. Then I feel like I'm somehow validating their stereotype by actually being gay! Oh, it's a tangled web....



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Modern day feminism is now being seen as intolerance towards males and also as a practice of inequality in the favor of the female party.



I think there is a group of people who are trying to frame feminism as anti-male and creating a backlash, as is often seen in the progression of human rights. I still think that there is a huge discrepancy in the rights of men and women in the world. True feminism is about EQUALITY, not superiority. Of course there will always be individuals who will represent the extremes - some women who identify as feminist will bash men, just as there are men who still adhere to the "women should be seen and not heard" mentality. Unfortunately, it's always the extremists that get the media attention, and end up being touted as representatives of the group as a whole. I'm a feminist AND a lesbian, and I have NOTHING against men. My best friends are mostly men (straight and gay).



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One example included a man who couldn't get a restraining order on his ex wife without a reasonable police charge. It was contrasted with women who can get restraining orders on men without evidence.



I have to say that I find that statement to be a little inaccurate. Woman often have a very difficult time getting restraining orders - trust me, I've been in that position. I was basically given the whole "well, he hasn't actually hurt you, our hands are tied" response. I was essentially told to come back if actual physical harm was done, but in the meantime, good luck. I work in social services and deal with a lot of domestic abuse in families, and can tell you with certainty that restraining orders are not handed out easily to women, even in cases where harm has been documented. I'm not implying that men don't have a hard time getting RO's as well, just that it's not a simple matter for women either.
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#5 Old 05-20-2009, 05:16 AM
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I think there is a group of people who are trying to frame feminism as anti-male and creating a backlash, as is often seen in the progression of human rights. I still think that there is a huge discrepancy in the rights of men and women in the world. True feminism is about EQUALITY, not superiority. Of course there will always be individuals who will represent the extremes - some women who identify as feminist will bash men, just as there are men who still adhere to the "women should be seen and not heard" mentality. Unfortunately, it's always the extremists that get the media attention, and end up being touted as representatives of the group as a whole. I'm a feminist AND a lesbian, and I have NOTHING against men. My best friends are mostly men (straight and gay).



You're right about the extremists and media attention. It always is portrayed in a way that will get high ratings. But from the majority of critical analysis i've seen, the common opinions are of the following:



- Feminism facilitates for females to seek male advantages while disallowing males from seeking female advantages. The common examples to suggest this were based on cultural values and beliefs.



- Feminism is a form of female empowerment but at the cost of men's rights and opportunities. The most common examples to suggest this were based on affirmative action and the justice system.



- Feminism was a knee jerk reaction to male chauvinism. As a result, it's now used to scapegoat males in male-female situations.



What do you think of those three points? Does the feminism which you practice entail any of them to some degree?



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I have to say that I find that statement to be a little inaccurate. Woman often have a very difficult time getting restraining orders - trust me, I've been in that position. I was basically given the whole "well, he hasn't actually hurt you, our hands are tied" response. I was essentially told to come back if actual physical harm was done, but in the meantime, good luck. I work in social services and deal with a lot of domestic abuse in families, and can tell you with certainty that restraining orders are not handed out easily to women, even in cases where harm has been documented. I'm not implying that men don't have a hard time getting RO's as well, just that it's not a simple matter for women either.





Sorry to hear about your experience. I wasn't aware of the difficulty for women to get ROs. From what I read elsewhere, it didn't seem to be the case.



As you work in social services, from your personal experience, would you say that abuse towards males is treated as serious as abuse towards females?

And what about custody of children?.. would you say that's a fair scenario or one gender (mother or father) has an advantage to gain custody?
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#6 Old 05-20-2009, 02:36 PM
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- Feminism facilitates for females to seek male advantages while disallowing males from seeking female advantages. The common examples to suggest this were based on cultural values and beliefs.



I'm curious about what is classified as female/male advantages. From my point of view, and how I view feminism, we should ALL have the SAME rights and advantages, male, female, gender queer, and transgendered alike. I certainly do not support limiting or denying the rights of any group in order to boost the rights and advantages of another. That is counterintuitive and counterproductive.



Really, one of the things that angers me most as a feminist, is the social/media portrayal of women and their roles. Women and girls are flooded with unrealistic images of the female body (and so are men, more and more, as well...), and girls are taught that they are mainly valuable based on their looks and as sexual objects, as opposed to their minds and intellect. Boys are subjected to this sort of thing as well, but it still seems to be aimed mainly at girls and women.



I watched a fair amount of TV on networks like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, etc while working in group homes for abused kids. One thing that struck me was the ads for gender-specific toys. Ads aimed at boys, for toys like cars, action figures, remote control helicopters, etc were loud, exciting, and encouraged them to build things (and often destroy them, too!). Then there were the ads for "girl" toys. I swear, i am not exaggerating here - the ads I saw most often were for the following: baby dolls that "spit up," "wet their diapers," or cried and needed "comforting," toys that focused on fashion and clothes and dressing up ("Look! Now Barbie comes with lipstick for you, too, so you can look like Barbie!), and things like kitchen/houseware sets. One focused on a child-sized pink and purple "kitchen." It was a stove for cooking, a dishwasher that you could put the fake dishes in, and a washer and dryer for doing laundry!



So overwhelmingly these kids were getting the message that boys can build things and play in the dirt and control cars and planes, and girls can take care of the babies, look pretty, and cook, clean and do laundry. SIGH. Anyway, I suppose that's a bit off-topic, and sorry if it sounded like a rant! I just wanted to give an example of the sort of things I find upsetting as a feminist. I don't want the boys to be told they CAN'T do any of those fun things, I just want the girls to not be conditioned to think that they can't have those things too, and that "fun" for them consists of objectifying themselves and being the maid.



Well, that's probably enough ranting for now....
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#7 Old 05-20-2009, 02:39 PM
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Oh, also AussieShane, I just realized that you're from Oz! So there might be some major discrepancies between my (American) justice system/society and yours. I've never been to Australia, so I have no idea about things like restraining orders and custody arrangements there. I can only comment on American society.
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#8 Old 05-20-2009, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by AussieShane View Post

You're right about the extremists and media attention. It always is portrayed in a way that will get high ratings. But from the majority of critical analysis i've seen, the common opinions are of the following:



- Feminism facilitates for females to seek male advantages while disallowing males from seeking female advantages. The common examples to suggest this were based on cultural values and beliefs.



- Feminism is a form of female empowerment but at the cost of men's rights and opportunities. The most common examples to suggest this were based on affirmative action and the justice system.



- Feminism was a knee jerk reaction to male chauvinism. As a result, it's now used to scapegoat males in male-female situations.



What do you think of those three points? Does the feminism which you practice entail any of them to some degree?



I'm not really sure what this has to do with a thread about LGBTQ, but what is the origin of this "critical analysis" and "common opinion" exactly? It doesn't sound like the common opinion anymore to me. It sounds more like the scared ramblings from a very small section of ignorant and insecure men that one could read in articles and witness in dialogue from the 1970's when feminism was first getting a strong hold in the mainstream. Most reasonable and intelligent people thesedays understand that feminism is about equality, and that it isn't about getting advantage over men. Just as affirmative action for Nunga's in Australia is not about getting an advantage over white Aussies, it's about giving them an opportunity to become equal.



The only people who believe these things are planned and implemented to hold any other groups in society down, are just a very small minority of powerless people who feel as though what little power they had in the first place is being taken away from them.

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#9 Old 05-20-2009, 09:56 PM
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I'd be happy to split the feminism discussion posts out into their own thread, if y'all would like to explore it in-depth. I wouldn't want to take away from the LGBTQQA discussion.



I can't really speak to what the majority of people in the US (or anywhere else) believe about feminism, among the conservative Christians I grew up around, feminism was the F word. It was all fine and dandy if the females in my family mowed grass because it would be silly to expect my dad to do it all (I have no brothers), but in other families, there were much clearer delineations for who would do what based on their gender. No one in my family wore head coverings, but a lot of women I knew/know did/do. The idea of empowering women was often twisted back around: Present one's daughters with homemaking as their best choice despite whatever else they might find interesting, and then argue to death that it was their choice and wasn't that was giving women options was about.



And I won't even get into the amount of quoting of James Dobson that went on.

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#10 Old 05-20-2009, 11:15 PM
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I'd be happy to split the feminism discussion posts out into their own thread, if y'all would like to explore it in-depth. I wouldn't want to take away from the LGBTQQA discussion.



That would be great, IMO. It's an interesting subject for sure, and one that clearly people have a lot to say about. A separate thread would be interesting!
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#11 Old 05-21-2009, 12:07 AM
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Another vote for a separate feminism thread. I would also like to respond to AussieShane's post, but do not want to intrude on and derail the nature of the thread (even though sexuality/gender issues and feminism are deeply intertwined.) God knows that oppressed groups have their voice suppressed by dominant groups enough, we don't need to do it on VB!
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#12 Old 05-21-2009, 04:23 AM
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I'm curious about what is classified as female/male advantages. From my point of view, and how I view feminism, we should ALL have the SAME rights and advantages, male, female, gender queer, and transgendered alike. I certainly do not support limiting or denying the rights of any group in order to boost the rights and advantages of another. That is counterintuitive and counterproductive.



The word 'advantages' is inaccurate.'Perceived advantages' and 'perceived disadvantages' better describe it. What the point suggested was that feminists demand selective equality. So for example, in areas such as politics and employment (where males have a perceived advantage), feminists demand equality for females. However in other areas such as society and law, feminists seek the upper-hand.



The second dot point in my previous post suggested a different opinion that feminists are not demanding equality in the form of equal opportunity. Instead, they seek higher priority for females in areas such as politics and employment in order to reduce the perceived male dominance and create an environment of equal numbers. In other words, inequality.



Quote:

Really, one of the things that angers me most as a feminist, is the social/media portrayal of women and their roles. Women and girls are flooded with unrealistic images of the female body (and so are men, more and more, as well...), and girls are taught that they are mainly valuable based on their looks and as sexual objects, as opposed to their minds and intellect. Boys are subjected to this sort of thing as well, but it still seems to be aimed mainly at girls and women.



Media has a way to portray everybody. Just so we're clear, males don't exactly get a realistic and positive vision from the media either. Especially males from minority groups. For example, African American males are bombarded by the media to the point where it tells them they have 3 career options 1. Athlete 2. Musician 3. Illegal activities.
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#13 Old 05-21-2009, 04:41 AM
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Oh, also AussieShane, I just realized that you're from Oz! So there might be some major discrepancies between my (American) justice system/society and yours. I've never been to Australia, so I have no idea about things like restraining orders and custody arrangements there. I can only comment on American society.



Likewise with my knowledge on the American system. What I was posting was not based on personal experience, but on what I've heard / read from people mainly in America but also in Europe and Australia.



In Australia, apparently restraining orders are given on request of the woman without the need of a charge on the male party. This is based on someone I know who faced an RO over a domestic issue, although there was no charges pressed previously by his partner.



And in the majority of cases, the mother gets custody of a child if the child is less than 4 years old. This is according to an acquaintance of mine who's a barrister in family law.
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#14 Old 05-21-2009, 04:43 AM
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I'd be happy to split the feminism discussion posts out into their own thread, if y'all would like to explore it in-depth. I wouldn't want to take away from the LGBTQQA discussion.



Yea that'd be great if you can do that. Cheers.

Sorry all, seems like I sort of hijacked the thread
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#15 Old 05-23-2009, 11:29 AM
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the LGBTQ thread went a little off topic discussing feminism, not sure if anyone else started a new thread for this topic yet, please close thread if so.





do you consider yourself a feminist?

how has feminism changed over the past 40 years?

what can we do to help eliminate negative stereotypes associated with feminism?

femininity definitions?



i am a feminist with goals for equality for everyone. it is very frustrating when the feminist movement is perceived as a way to take rights away from men and that we want women to have all the power....this is not want we want at all. also, it has been a very slow movement and we are still dealing with some of the same issues our feminist grandmother's did years ago.

there was a point in the other thread about the toys that kids play with and how we are programmed by society to try to fit into certain gender roles, i totally agree and am constantly amazed at how advertising encourages it.
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#16 Old 05-23-2009, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for starting this thread. I think it's a fascinating topic.



I'm currently directing a production of The Taming of the Shrew, and the Feminist/Post-Feminist/Pre-Feminist/Proto-Feminist discussion and the roles of men and women in society have come up a LOT (go figure).



It's so hard to reconcile the perspective of the show with modern sensibilities and personal philosophies.

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#17 Old 05-23-2009, 01:06 PM
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do you consider yourself a feminist?

Somewhat yes, though I don't go around calling myself one



I agree with this statement you made:

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it is very frustrating when the feminist movement is perceived as a way to take rights away from men and that we want women to have all the power



Something I've also found is that when I go to a place that is having a "feminist meetup" I'm almost immediately given the cold shoulder once I mention that I'm a housewife. Just as I said in another thread...women's liberation and feminism is about women being able to do WHATEVER they want to and to be considered equal. Just because I choose to be a stay at home mother/housewife doesn't mean I am against women's liberation...in fact, as I stated above, I consider myself somewhat of a feminist! I think that this attitude some feminists have against others are only hurting the movement. I also hate the stereotype that all feminists hate men (just as some say lesbians hate men)...wanting to have equality of both sexes isn't hating men
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#18 Old 05-23-2009, 01:17 PM
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I moved the posts into this thread. Sorry it took me a couple of days to get around to it.

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#19 Old 05-23-2009, 01:48 PM
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I am a feminist and proud to say so. But I don't think the feminist movement is about women being able to do whatever they want to do and be considered equal. The feminist movement is/was mainly about the workplace - having equal pay and benefits for equal work, about having equal access to jobs - especially those at the top of the corporate ladder or those going traditionally to men, and about having equal education opportunities. It's also about making it easier for women to work - providing benefits and access to child care.

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#20 Old 05-23-2009, 01:53 PM
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- Feminism facilitates for females to seek male advantages while disallowing males from seeking female advantages. The common examples to suggest this were based on cultural values and beliefs.



This is simply not true, even though it may appear true. Feminists have achieved more freedom for females, and while we strive for equality, society takes time to change. A classic example: Women now have the "male advantage" is that women now work outside the home (in jobs of power). Women can choose between raising children at home or working outside the home. Many men feel that they can't choose to raise children. Either their company does not have paternity leave, they feel it is emasculating, whatever.



Feminists would LOVE to see men choosing to stay home with kids. (But not flipping the relationship and expecting/pressuring men to do so). Another stupid example, women can dress like men (ie, in pants and T-shirts) or be "tomboys" without anyone blinking an eye, but men can't be feminine or wear dresses. Likewise, feminists would love to see this change, society just hasn't caught up with.



In short, feminists have made victories in changing the definition of "femininity" and what is acceptable for women to do, but they have not succeeded yet in doing the same for masculinity and men. This is not because feminists don't believe or fight for these things. It might be just because re-defining masculinity was a more recent entry into the feminist cause.



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- Feminism is a form of female empowerment but at the cost of men's rights and opportunities. The most common examples to suggest this were based on affirmative action and the justice system.



I'm going to re-state what you said with one major change.



Feminism is a form of female empowerment but at the cost of men's privileges.



Feminists don't want women to have rights over men. They just want justice. Being a man comes with an "invisible backpack" of advantages that help you succeed, just because you're a man. This is privilege. There are some privileges that everyone should have--and women don't want to take these away from men. An example is being able to go out at night alone without the fear of rape. There are some privileges that no one should have, and these are the ones that feminists try to deny men. Men used to be allowed to rape their wives (in the US). Only in the 1993 in the US was this privilege taken away from them.



To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how affirmative action works in practice. I do know that the idea of accepting lesser qualified candidates because they belong to an oppressed group is a myth, or at least that is not how it is meant to work. Just looking around my college, wealthy neighborhoods, and the companies my parents work for--it doesn't seem to me that white people are having trouble getting jobs or getting into college. Besides, men should get over the fact that they have to compete with women and people of color. White men don't deserve these jobs more than anyone else. Everyone has a right to them. That's what affirmative action is trying to achieve.



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- Feminism was a knee jerk reaction to male chauvinism. As a result, it's now used to scapegoat males in male-female situations.



Why the use of the word "knee jerk"? Feminism is a reaction to sexism. The term "male chauvinism" to me implies an individual level of prejudice. Sexism is systematized. It's not individual jerky men keeping women down, the sexism is institutionalized in society. So, women get pissed off about that. If that's what you mean by "knee jerk" then fine, but you're ignoring the whole academic arm of feminism and the detailed and astute analysis provided by feminists.



There are some feminists who do do this scape-goating you have mentioned. It is not fair to characterize the individual reactions of people as indicative of the intentions of the whole movement. A good example of this is rape cases. Because the voices of victims have been ignored and rape victims are often questioned and somehow blamed for their own rapes, feminists respond by blaming the men heavily. In most cases, this is the right thing to do. But sometimes, it is proven that there was no rape, and everyone laughs at the feminists for being wrong.



You're right in saying that it isn't good to blame the male by default. Most feminists would agree with you. Feminism is not at all trying to say that women are perfect and only men are scumbags. There are plenty of female *******s and scumbags in the world, and there are plenty of wonderful men.
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#21 Old 05-23-2009, 02:17 PM
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I am a feminist and proud to say so. But I don't think the feminist movement is about women being able to do whatever they want to do and be considered equal. The feminist movement is/was mainly about the workplace - having equal pay and benefits for equal work, about having equal access to jobs - especially those at the top of the corporate ladder or those going traditionally to men, and about having equal education opportunities. It's also about making it easier for women to work - providing benefits and access to child care.



I think that may be a part of it, but I don't think that work equality is anywhere near the only main point of the feminist movement. For example, just some things I pulled up online real quick after reading this.



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Feminist theory aims to understand the nature of gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality. Feminism is also based on experiences of gender roles and relations. Feminist political activism commonly campaign on issues such as reproductive rights, violence within a domestic partnership, maternity leave, equal pay, sexual harassment, discrimination, and sexual violence. Themes explored in feminism include patriarchy, stereotyping, objectification, sexual objectification, and oppression.



As you can see this not only deals with the workplace. It deals with topics such as "reproductive rights" (part of which is the abortion debate), domestic violence (obviously not typically work place related), and just overall discrimination and sexual violence (which can both happen in AND out of the workplace). It also says that one theme is stereotyping. This is where many feminists I know think that it's "not okay" to be a housewife because that is the "stereotypical female." This could also deal with oppression as many (again, only going by those feminists I know personally!) consider the housewife to be oppressed (or forced) into being an "at home wife" or even a "trophy wife". But if the woman is choosing that life for herself, it's a completely different issue. Being a feminist is about feeling empowered as a woman! To hold my children in my arms each day, all day, and know that every choice I make shapes their future makes me feel nothing less than empowered.



A thing I also read on wikipedia stated:

"At the same time, America's post-war economic boom had led to the development of new technologies that were supposed to make household work less difficult, but that often had the result of making women's work less meaningful and valuable."



This is when I think feminism began to move away from being "okay" with women being housewives. Being a housewife then made men seem to value them and their work less. However, many men I've met these days see how hard their wives work in the home (and/or with the children) and are nothing but grateful. In fact my husband on almost a daily basis says, "I don't know why you choose to do this and not go back to work...this is hard stuff, I couldn't do it."



On a somewhat unrelated note...I found this blog who's title is perfect for this.

http://feministhousewife.net/

Under the link "Feminist Housewife?" there it states:

Quote:
Feminism is about equality between the sexes. The fundamentals of Feminism call for freedom, equality, and choices for women and men in all aspects of our lives.



Feminists strive for a society in which both women and men have the freedom to choose to pursue any path they desire in life without judgment, including climbing the corporate ladder, holding public office, housekeeping, and stay at home parenting.

Perfect.
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#22 Old 05-23-2009, 04:02 PM
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I could say I am for equality between the sexes/genders, but equality is such an abstract notion that saying I am for equality would be pretty non-informative. I am opposed to the objectification of women (and of men), and I see theoretically valuable connections between the objectification of women and the commodification of non-humans. I reject gender roles, and I reject the adjectives "masculine" and "feminine" as ridiculous and harmful bull****. I guess those positions might align me somewhere inside feminism, but that label isn't as important to me as the particular views I hold.

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#23 Old 05-23-2009, 04:36 PM
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Feminism is about the advancement of women in all areas of society where they are/were traditionally seen as second-class citizens.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#24 Old 05-23-2009, 07:11 PM
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fem⋅i⋅nism

  /ˈfɛməˌnɪzəm/ [fem-uh-niz-uhm]

–noun

1. \tthe doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

2. \t(sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.

3. \tfeminine character.



I agee with equal rights for men and women, so I suppose I am a feminist in that sense. I don't agree with gender roles. But I'm not a crazy ban-porno-and-the-word-c*nt misogynistic sort of feminist.
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#25 Old 05-23-2009, 08:49 PM
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Feminism isn't about making the sexes equal (although perhaps that's the outcome) - it's about promoting women in a society where they are traditionally second-class citizens.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#26 Old 05-23-2009, 10:24 PM
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Dormouse, well put!



Personally, I feel that there are a small but powerful group of men (and, believe it or not, some very "conservative" women) who feel incredibly threatened by the idea of feminism and gender equality. As such, they tend to grasp onto situations where someone misuses the ideal of feminism and then demonize the movement as a whole. This is a common tactic used when trying to subvert a particular group or movement, i.e. "Let's play tapes of extremist Muslim terrorists and frighten people into hating Muslims in general," even though the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. So when FOX news etc get a hold of footage of some slightly unbalanced woman screaming about a *******ized version of feminism, they tout it as indicative of the movement as a whole, and engender resentment and political backlash, even though it's an exaggerated and inaccurate portrayal of 99% of us.



In the same way that anti-gay rights folks try to argue that we (LGBTQ people) are seeking "special treatment and special rights" when all we want is EQUALITY, those who want the patriarchal standard to stay the same tend to argue that women are seeking "special rights" as well. It's a but ironic, really, that the "good ol' boys" who have been utilizing their gender, race, and stature to ensure preferential treatment for CENTURIES are the first to accuse feminists of trying to use their gender to get ahead.



Feminism is responsible for such vital changes within our society (I am American, BTW) as the right to vote, own property, and have legal rights over our own bodies, just to name a few. Women had to actively FIGHT for these basic rights. In many parts of the world, women are STILL fighting for these things. The thing about being part of a subjugated group or minority is that no one is going to just GIVE you equality and social justice. You have to stand up and demand it, even if it makes you unpopular with some people.



I will say, though, that there are a growing number of men involved in the feminist movement as well - it's not just us gals! Jeremy Bentham was involved in the feminist movement in the 18th century, even! "Feminist" does not automatically mean "woman."



Just to give an example of the type of thing that feminists are STILL working to change, here's some info on the wage gap in the US. This is taken from the Nation Organization for Women website (www.now.org) which is a long-standing and reputable feminist organization. The facts listed here were obtained independently from the Census Bureau, The WAGE project, and other sources.



Quote:
Facts About Pay Equity



In 2007, women's median annual paychecks reflected only 78 cents for every $1.00 earned by men. Specifically for women of color, the gap is even wider: In comparison to men's dollar, African American women earn only 69 cents and Latinas just 59 cents.



In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was passed, full-time working women were paid 59 cents on average for every dollar paid to men. This means it took 44 years for the wage gap to close just 19 cents -- a rate of less than half a penny a year. This narrowing of the gap has slowed down over the last six years, with women gaining a mere two cents since 2001.



Women's median pay was less than men's in each and every one of the 20 industries and 25 occupation groups surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007.3 Even men working in female-dominated occupations tend to earn more than women working in those same occupations.



According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), if equal pay for women were instituted immediately, across the board, it would result in an annual $319 billion gain nationally for women and their families (in 2008 dollars). Over her working life, a typical woman could expect to gain a total of $210,000 in additional income if equal pay were the norm (these numbers include part-time workers)



So you can see, even though there has been progress, things STILL aren't equal. Shouldn't a woman get equal pay for equal work? Shouldn't women of color be paid equally as well? These inequalities effect our whole society, not just women, and it's important to point out injustice and actively try to remedy it. THAT's what feminism is about!
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#27 Old 05-23-2009, 10:40 PM
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Yes, I consider myself a practicing feminist in my everyday life. Which means I don't do a lot of reading of fashionable books and blogs on the subject and then forget everything I've read as soon as a cute guy comes along, I like to think that most of the time I actually walk the walk and talk the talk which I find a lot of women who call themselves feminists don't always do.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy View Post

Feminism isn't about making the sexes equal (although perhaps that's the outcome) - it's about promoting women in a society where they are traditionally second-class citizens.



When you think about it, that's just an unnecessarily wordy way of saying that it's about equality.

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#28 Old 05-23-2009, 11:19 PM
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I totally agree that not all feminists are anti-men. I am a feminist in that I believe women should have EQUAL rights to men, intellectually, politically, sexually and socially. I would like to see women get the same opportunities as men, this does not mean that I would like to see men have deminished rights.



However, I do believe that there is sometimes a connection between people who support women rights, vegetarian/ vegans and gay and lesbians. This is because people in these groups are generally people who are not afraid to go against the grain and are consciencely aware of global issues. It is important to note that I do not think this is mutually inclusive.



For example, I am vegan and I support women, human and animal rights and I spend a lot of my time volunteering in the community. For me, all of these things are related. I support human rights so I am aware that people need help so I volunteer a lot. I support animal rights and believe that animals should not suffer for humans so I am vegan. Now, this is my situation and everybody's situation is different but I do think that some people are similar to me and thats where these stereotypes come from.

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#29 Old 05-24-2009, 12:30 AM
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I agree with all of the statements the women have made here. Although a male, I have been a feminist since my teens. The fight for equal rights for women is a fight that continues in the US and even more so throughout the world. The gains that have been made in Western society (although still way more needds to be gained) is incredible compared to the amount of work that still needs to be done in developing nations.



I believe that the only "men" who feel threatened by feminism are those that have held the power over everyone and are afraid of losing that power. They are so insecure, that they can not feel secure unless they subjugate others.
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#30 Old 05-24-2009, 01:37 AM
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there seems to be two feminism threads now.







Feminism is about equality, but not sameness. Perhaps that is what Poppy meant to say.
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