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Old August 18th, 2010, 1:38 am
DancingMaenid  Undisclosed.gif DancingMaenid is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
Join Date: 28th June 2005
Location: United States
Age: 31
Posts: 2,227
Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

1. How would you define feminism?

A movement centered around the rights and dignity of women. Also, more academically, a school of thought where society, culture, or art may be studied with an emphasis on women and/or feminist thought.

2. Do you define yourself as a feminist? If so, why? If not, why not?

I've always identified as a feminist, and probably will continue to do so. To me, it's a natural thing. Equal rights are important to me, and sexism and prejudice based on gender bother me a lot. I'm also very interested in gender and how it's treated in society. So aside from caring about what many feminists want to achieve, I'm also very interested in what a lot of feminists have to say and feel like parts of my experience are relevant.

I'm very proud to support feminism.

3. What positive things (if any) do you think the feminist movement has achieved?

I think feminists have done a lot to push for equality. I think a lot of the strides women have made in recent years, such as better employment opportunities, were contributed to by the feminist movement. I also think feminists have played a big role in exploring gender and gender roles, and have added some good alternate perspectives that may not have been there before.

4. What (if anything) do you think the feminist movement should be working to achieve now? What methods do you think should be used to achieve those goals?

I think wage discrimination is something that should be focused on. Another issue I think is important is helping victims of things like domestic abuse and sexual harassment. While people can seek help, there are still some big flaws with the system that I think could be improved, and some people have a hard time finding the help and support they need. I think it's a feminist issue because women make up the majority of abuse and harassment victims, and male victims are frequently taken less seriously because they're male. Either way, gender and sexism can play a big role.

I would also like to see focus on supporting women in other countries (when they want support). I've seen more focus lately on LGBT rights, which is nice to see, because even though LGBT rights is an issue of its own, I do feel that there's a lot of overlap with feminist issues.

As for how goals should be achieved, I think we need to work on multiple levels. Some things can actually be fought for in courts or at a legislative level. But I think just talking and letting our voices be heard can make a difference, if it makes people think.

5. What negative effects (if any) do you think the feminist movement has had?

To be honest, I can't think of a negative effect that I feel feminism has caused. However, feminism is made up of people and people have flaws, and there are things that could be done better and, I'm sure, mistakes that have been made. I know some people feel that feminism has been too focused on only white, western women, for example.

While feminism has helped usher in some great changes, there have been some growing pains. For example, women have more freedom to have careers, now, but they're still expected to get married and have kids. And if they want to do both, they can end up juggling a lot. I don't think it's fair to blame this on feminism, and I absolutely think that the growing pains have been worth it to give women more choices, but it does go to show that some things don't come totally easily.

6. Have you had any negative experiences of feminists in RL?

No, not really

7. Do you feel there are any common misconceptions about feminism and what would you say to someone who holds these misconceptions?

In my experience, a lot of feminists are willing to disagree with things they find offensive, even if voiced by other feminists. I don't think I've ever been involved in a discussion on a feminist website where someone expressed an extreme or prejudiced opinion and wasn't called out on it. Like with any group/philosophy, there are some people who are extreme or who are maybe in it for the wrong reasons, but I think a lot of feminists are aware of this.

Also in my experience, most feminists want a woman to be happy and be treated well first and foremost, and want women to be able to make their own choices.

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