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  #21  
Old July 29th, 2010, 3:25 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
For me that has nothing to do with feminism, and everything to do with domestic violence being wrong, regardless as to who it's against.
While I agree that ALL domestic violence is equally wrong, I still think it is to do with feminism, because sexist ideology has often been behind the justifications that are used to allow DV to continue.

For example, DV against women was until comparatively recently tolerated in Western countries (and is still tolerated in some countries) on the grounds that it was natural for men to have a paternal or supervisory role over their wives and thus had the right to "discipline" them. And DV against men is often trivialised because of the sexist notions that a man who can't "control" his wife and "allows" her to hit him is a wimp and deserves no sympathy for not being "more of a man".

DV against both sexes is equally and and often fuelled by sexist attitudes, but often by different attitudes, which need addressing in different ways, IMO.

And I agree with DM.



Last edited by Melaszka; July 29th, 2010 at 3:29 pm.
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  #22  
Old July 29th, 2010, 3:39 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
While I agree that ALL domestic violence is equally wrong, I still think it is to do with feminism, because sexist ideology has often been behind the justifications that are used to allow DV to continue.

For example, DV against women was until comparatively recently tolerated in Western countries (and is still tolerated in some countries) on the grounds that it was natural for men to have a paternal or controlling relationship voer their wives and thus had the right to "discipline" them. And DV against men is often trivialised because of the sexist notions that a man who can't "control" his wife and "allows" her to hit him is a wimp and desevres no sympathy for not being "more of a man".

DV against both sexes is equally and and often fuelled by sexist attitudes, but often by different attitudes, which need addressing in different ways, IMO.
(For the record, I'm all for equality with men and women, but don't identify as a feminist).

I agree, but for me it's more a gender issue than a feminist one. Violence against either sex should never be tolerated, and each treated with the same level of seriousness. That would be ideal.

Quick story while I remember: my Sociology tutor last year was one of the more extreme feminists I've met and she wore a t-shirt to class once that she made that said "I'm a ****ing feminist" (blinked out word is the f-word < I hope it's ok to point that out since we have a thread about that word specifically... and it's important in the story) but on her shirt she blanked out the word 'feminist' rather than the curse word. We asked her why and she said because being a feminist is still considered to be controversial by so many people, more so (accord ing to her) than swearing. I don't know if I agree or not, but I thought it was interesting...
In many respects I found her too extreme (everything was a feminist issue and while I'm sympathetic (I am a female afterall) it did grow tiring) at times. Especially regarding the sexualisation of women (she felt women weren't to blame at all, while I disagree- but kept it to myself at the time) and the portrayal of women in media.


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  #23  
Old July 29th, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by lightreading View Post
Anyway, another misconception is that feminism is 'no longer needed.' The people who believe this claim that while feminism has worked wonders for women in the past, it is unessecary today and is making women unhappy/doing more harm than good.
I think those who say this are privileged enough to not know the extreme results of sexism and misogyny. Sexism/misogyny exists in varying degrees, a lot of it intersecting with racism, homophobia, classism, ableism, and all other isms. If someone can prove to me that male privilege doesn't exist, that every woman of all creeds is doing okay and neither men or women are suffering from any type of gender norms or regulations, then they'll have a convincing argument.


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  #24  
Old July 29th, 2010, 4:03 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I don't think anyone can do that, RavenStar.
I used to think feminism was no longer needed but I started to wake up and notice the seriousness of the things going on around me. If you want to know what my feminist 'click' moment was, it was mostly to do with sexual harrassment--even before I became a teenager I was sexualized by people I barely knew. I was infuriated, and started to look for information online about how to deal with it, stumbled across a feminist site, and it went on from there....when I first became a feminist, I was twelve years old. I was sick of being seen as an object. I was sick of boys at my school saying vulgar things to impress their friends. I wanted freedom, and I was ready to fight for it.
Can anyone remember the moment they decided to become a feminist?


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Last edited by lightreading; July 29th, 2010 at 4:09 pm.
  #25  
Old July 29th, 2010, 4:48 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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I don't think anyone can do that, RavenStar.
My point exactly.


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In slow motion the flowers fell from my head an shattered like glass. And when I looked into the mirror, I was a beautiful milkmaid. Then I woke up crying, and I don’t know why. ~Snape from Potter Puppet Pals



"In a lot of cases I think being the canon love interest for a much-beloved male character is the female character's death sentence." ~ thirty2flavors regarding the hate of female characters in fandom




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  #26  
Old July 29th, 2010, 5:40 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I'm all for equal rights too, (and a guy) but feminism is about females -thus the name "feminism".
The problem I see with too many modern "causes" here in the west is that the people wrapped up in them often begin to see issues everywhere they look; everything is an infraction or offense, the political correctness runs amuck and destroys credibility. Beware of red herrings and growing petty.
In Western culture, the problem is not so bad anymore (there is still a little bit of glass ceiling left I'm sure) but in 3rd world countries, and the middle east, it's totally appalling. That's really where feminists need to concentrate at this time, I think. After all, is feminist equality really equal if an American woman is treated equal to an American man, but totally different than a Saudi or Iranian woman?


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  #27  
Old July 29th, 2010, 6:28 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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I'm all for equal rights too, (and a guy) but feminism is about females -thus the name "feminism".
Feminism is about equal rights. If you want equal rights for men and women, you're a feminist, guy or not.
In the middle east, things are truly atrocious. But here, they are quite terrible too. Did you know a judge blamed a 10-year-old girl for being assulted because she was 'dressed provocatively'? Do you think this is not a feminist issue. Just because things are worse in the middle east doesn't mean things here don't need improving. 'Better' doesn't mean 'good'.


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  #28  
Old July 29th, 2010, 8:39 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I agree lightreading. The whole idea of feminism is that women are indeed equal to men (or should be) so anyone who agrees with that is a feminist. I think people just look at the word "feminism" and think that it means "rights for women, forget about men." But the reason it's called "feminism" is because historically women have been considered men's inferiors, so naturally a movement that seeks to destroy that notion focuses on women because women are the oppressed group; equality is achieved when women are lifted up. Just like the black power movement was about showing that blacks should be equal to whites, and the gay rights movement is about showing that gays should be equal to straights. The women's rights movement is about showing that women should be equal to men.

And things here definitely need improving. Yes, things in the Middle East are generally worse that things in the West/US, but there are still insanely messed up problems and people and ideas here. That fact that people defend Mel Gibson by saying his wife is a golddigger (when historically women marry for financial security) or that the vast majority of sexual crimes against women goes unreported (how many women report every time some guy touches them inappropriately?) means we still need feminism desperately in the West.


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  #29  
Old July 29th, 2010, 9:34 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

This is a very very complex subject.

Some women don´t like to be tied to the pinky, girly, motherlike figure, the idea of women as a sweet and tender mother.

Some women just like to be girly and motherlike

The problem is to define, to put a label on ever women they should be girly and motherlike.

Overall, I can say Feminism is as people had said before: to be equal to men, and to have equal rights, oportunities, and no sterotypes, no discrimination.

Some women like to cook and have babies: then go for it!! If that woman is happy with that, go for it.

Some women prefer to not have kids and instead, to work, to be profesional, or just to live a bohemian life: then go for it it!! If that woman is happy like that, go for it.

There should not be discrimination, or labels. That´s it.

And that should NOT make of her less sexy or less attractive...thats another problem.

If a woman is not girly, sexy, feminine (Or young and beautiful)...then she is not attractive, she remains single and alone...
Oh dear


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  #30  
Old July 29th, 2010, 10:20 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I think people have the misconceptions they do about feminism because way too many women use "feminism" and "empowering women" as a shield when what they really are doing is just bashing men. I'm a member of several forums and I can't even count the number of times I've gone into a "feminism" thread and seen every conversation turn into a gender war against men. "Men are all evil disgusting pigs", or some variation of that sentence, has shown up in at least 4 of those forums. The majority of those forums are moderated, yet for some reason, those type of statements in the feminism threads are left up, as if it's acceptable for those women to make those kinds of statements as long as they say it's "feminism".

We had a discussion in my English Argument class a couple semesters ago and my professor had to actually explain to the class that if they 1) believed women should have equal rights as men, like the right to vote and 2) believed women and men working in a same job should earn the same pay, they would be considered feminists. It surprised a lot of people, and a few women in the class responded with "Well I agree with those two things. Women should be equal to men. But I don't hate men, so I don't think I could be considered a feminist".

There's an excellent article by Jodi Kasten called Equal Rights for Men that I think is worth a read.


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  #31  
Old July 29th, 2010, 10:38 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by lightreading View Post
Feminism is about equal rights. If you want equal rights for men and women, you're a feminist, guy or not.
Yah, but you mentioned (or somebody did) gay rights too, earlier upthread. Which has little to .. oh, you know
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Originally Posted by lightreading View Post
In the middle east, things are truly atrocious. But here, they are quite terrible too. Did you know a judge blamed a 10-year-old girl for being assaulted because she was 'dressed provocatively'? Do you think this is not a feminist issue. Just because things are worse in the middle east doesn't mean things here don't need improving. 'Better' doesn't mean 'good'.
That's rather sick. There are pockets in the West where its still pretty twisted, I guess, though I'd think those were exceptions to the rule.


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  #32  
Old July 30th, 2010, 3:55 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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That's rather sick. There are pockets in the West where its still pretty twisted, I guess, though I'd think those were exceptions to the rule.
I'm afraid not. Victim-blaming is widespread.


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  #33  
Old July 30th, 2010, 6:01 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

Wrongs must be righted not made into other wrongs. Its the Scales of justics not a pendulom, Swinging back and forth form victim to victor.
Just as Victim-bashing is wrong so is victimhood. Neither should be accepted with pride.
Nobody likes a whiner or bragger. Especially one who changes from whiner to bragger or bragger to whiner. It only fair if they are successfull and unfair if their not.



Last edited by Youdan; July 30th, 2010 at 6:03 am.
  #34  
Old July 30th, 2010, 6:19 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Wrongs must be righted not made into other wrongs. Its the Scales of justics not a pendulom, Swinging back and forth form victim to victor.
Just as Victim-bashing is wrong so is victimhood. Neither should be accepted with pride.
Nobody likes a whiner or bragger. Especially one who changes from whiner to bragger or bragger to whiner. It only fair if they are successfull and unfair if their not.
See, this is what I think is one of the biggest misconceptions about feminism - that the pendulum has swung too far, that women now have unfair advantages and men are being unfairly treated. With the possible exceptions of child custody laws and provision for victims of domestic violence (and, let's face it, in the latter case there is still not enough provision for either sex - IMO we should be campaigning for more provision for men and women, rather than complaining that women get too much help), I really don't think that is true at all and IMO, even in Western democracies, women still get the raw end of the deal.

Someone posted a brilliant article on one of the other feminism threads last week. Unfortunately, it had to be taken down, as it wasn't family friendly, but amongst other things it highlighted that so many people are so used to men dominating and getting unfair advantages as being the norm, that any advance in women's rights is often perceived as "women taking over", rather than being the redressing of the balance that it actually is. e.g. it cited media articles claiming that certain jobs or academic disciplines are now"saturated with women" or "have been taken over by women", when women in fact only occupy about 30-40% of the roles in that field.



Last edited by Melaszka; July 30th, 2010 at 6:43 am.
  #35  
Old July 30th, 2010, 7:51 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

Women don't get many advantages, I assure you. How do you think it felt when I was thirteen and told my mother's friend (she was practically my aunt) that her son had harrassed me sexually and she said 'Get out of my house, you filthy *****' I don't appreciate being called names because I was victimized, I don't like it when I tell my friends about a guy grabbing me and they say 'What were you wearing?' like if I was dressed 'provocatively' it would justify the men's behavior!


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Last edited by lightreading; July 30th, 2010 at 7:54 am.
  #36  
Old July 30th, 2010, 7:57 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

Unfortunately I don't remember where, but I read somewhere recently that a lot of the man-hating, deluded, crazy image of feminists is due to the severe backlash feminism encountered almost at every step in its development. It's not all because of the crazies among feminists who do believe men are all pigs or something. There's a long history of attempts to discredit feminism with a variety of means. To be honest, seeing how many things women are held responsible for, it pains me to see us blamed for the failures of our own movement, too.

I personally know no other feminists than myself - I mean in my offline life. And yet I hear that we, the feminists, are to blame for my bad image as one all the time. I wonder whether my friends and acquaintances secretly know other feminists apart from me, who spew hatred towards men under the label of feminism, or they're just perpetuating a myth they've heard and agreed with because feminism scares or intimidates them, being something they know virtually nothing about. In my experience, the negative image of feminism has practically always been the result of substituting widespread stereotypes for actual experience and/or theoretical knowledge of feminism.


  #37  
Old July 30th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Unfortunately I don't remember where, but I read somewhere recently that a lot of the man-hating, deluded, crazy image of feminists is due to the severe backlash feminism encountered almost at every step in its development. It's not all because of the crazies among feminists who do believe men are all pigs or something. There's a long history of attempts to discredit feminism with a variety of means.
To find evidence of that, you've only got to look at how feminism is blamed for totally contradictory things - one day I read articles blaming feminism for the fact that women apparently aren't allowed to be stay-at-home mothers any more, the next I read articles blaming feminism for the fact that there are too many single mothers living on benefits, rather than getting out in the workplace. So which is it? Are we scary evil feminists forcing women to work or are we allowing them not to work? Surely we can't be doing both?

Then one day I read articles critical of raunch culture and blaming feminists for encouraging women to think they can go out drinking, wear what they want and be sexually predatory like men, the next day I read articles accusing feminists of trying to police how women dress and not allowing them to be sexy.

In fairness, I have come across a small number of ultra-radical feminists on feminist message boards who hate all men and think that random acts of violence against any man are justified. However they form a tiny, tiny minority of feminists



Last edited by Melaszka; July 30th, 2010 at 8:27 am. Reason: raised some irresponsible topics - skirting close to the rules
  #38  
Old July 30th, 2010, 8:40 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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However they form a tiny, tiny minority of feminists
That's true, most feminists are against acts of violence towards anyone. Poeple assume that because women want to protect themselves, they want to hurt men or that in supporting women, they are tearing down men.


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  #39  
Old July 30th, 2010, 9:25 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Poeple assume that because women want to protect themselves, they want to hurt men or that in supporting women, they are tearing down men.
One thing I noticed is this (and the same goes for POC as a whole whenever we try and combat racism): whenever anyone tries to combat the status quo (e.g. male privilege, white privilege), they will always be considered a threat. It doesn't matter how nice we are about it or how clearly we state our arguments. If it threatens those who benefit from privilege, they will always see it as a threat. Because it is. We're advocating tearing down their power on behalf of those who they oppress, and they're not going to have it. This goes for why feminism and other types of social justices have always been looked down upon. The powers that be have tried their hardest to make sure it is.


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I went in reading Deathly Hallows fearing the final end of Harry Potter, and came out an insane Sev/Lily Shipper. I don't understand it either.

In slow motion the flowers fell from my head an shattered like glass. And when I looked into the mirror, I was a beautiful milkmaid. Then I woke up crying, and I don’t know why. ~Snape from Potter Puppet Pals



"In a lot of cases I think being the canon love interest for a much-beloved male character is the female character's death sentence." ~ thirty2flavors regarding the hate of female characters in fandom




~I'm Lily's best friend because she doesn't have one.~
  #40  
Old July 30th, 2010, 11:55 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I think the deal with anti-feminism is that everyone's afraid of women getting rid of those stupid gender roles, becoming independant and becoming equal. If people didn't hate women, people wouldn't hate feminism.


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Last edited by lightreading; July 30th, 2010 at 12:43 pm.
 
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