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  #61  
Old August 1st, 2010, 1:57 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I disagree, Midnightsfire. I have always associated feminism with equal rights and so do most people who actually talk to and learn from feminists instead of judging them based on preconceived notions.

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And for the sake of many countries where women are still struggling it won't be.
I don't understand this statement. In a world where women are oppressed, uplifting women is a step toward equal rights for all. And BTW, women are struggling all over, not just in "third world" countries like people often assume. Things might not be as bad in the west as they are in other places, but they'r far from being okay.


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  #62  
Old August 1st, 2010, 3:15 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I disagree, Midnightsfire. I have always associated feminism with equal rights and so do most people who actually talk to and learn from feminists instead of judging them based on preconceived notions.
You have. I don't and never will.

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I don't understand this statement. In a world where women are oppressed, uplifting women is a step toward equal rights for all. And BTW, women are struggling all over, not just in "third world" countries like people often assume. Things might not be as bad in the west as they are in other places, but they'r far from being okay.
Feminism means different things.
Equal Rights means only one thing.
The one is politically qualified and means much to such organizations as the UN.
The other is...merely opinion.

The one will never be fought over. Whereas the other is something worth fighting for.


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  #63  
Old August 1st, 2010, 4:27 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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....given that only one person in this thread so far, Nick, saw anything wrong with that statement, I'd say it seems to be an accepted tenet of feminism.
mac, I meant that people who HATE feminism have something against women. There's a difference between being ant-feminist and simply not labeling yourself feminist.

Midnightsfire, it seems to me you believe feminists seek to get women privileges. We do not. We seek equality and justice, two things women have been deprived of for a very long time. MistressofRaven is right that women are struggling all over, even in the west. We are not supposed to talk about rape, but once again, the word in itself says it all.


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  #64  
Old August 1st, 2010, 9:31 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I have to say that I don't understand the position: I believe in equal rights for women but I don't believe in feminism? Who was it that gave women the right to vote, the right to an education? Who is it nowadays that encourages women to be both mothers and have careers? Who is is that supports women making their own choices whatever those choices are? Who is it that still enquires in the situation of women today and does sociological studies over the equality between sexes? Who is it that fights for equal wages between men and women? Who is it that makes sure women's writing is a part of the Western Canon? And I could go on and on. If you believe in all of those things then you'll approve of the feminist movement as well because whether we like it or not feminists are our best chance of ever achieving equality. So to me believing in equal rights and being a feminist is the same thing. Not just to me, the definition of a feminist is a person who believes patriarchy exists and that it should be changed. This isn't something I made up, this is how feminism is defined in the academic field and I am happy that no amount of stereotypying in this thread is going to change that. Saying that all feminists are extreme and want to give women extra privileges is unjustified and isn't backed up by any sort of research. Every feminist in this thread has agreed that there are feminists out there with extreme opinions and who even are man haters. That doesn't mean they represent the entire feminist movement and its goals. There are always going to be people who give a bad name to an organization, race, group, etc. To condemn feminism just because of these individuals and to ignore all the good feminism has done and still does is quite a shame.


  #65  
Old August 1st, 2010, 10:40 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by mac_attack View Post
....given that only one person in this thread so far, Nick, saw anything wrong with that statement, I'd say it seems to be an accepted tenet of feminism.
In fairness, there haven't been that many of us around over the weekend to respond to the statement!

Several of us have already made clear earlier in the thread that we believe negative attitudes towards feminism are often created by a hostile media trying to discredit the movement or by a small minority of radicals within the movement, not by individuals who hate women.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
I think for a lot of people it boils down to caring about women's rights/issues, but not feeling any connection with a larger movement or particular group in the area. I know that is how I feel. I have yet to see any feminist groups in my area that I could identify with, and believe me, I have been to the groups at my school and they left me cold. I was turned off by the attitudes that they gave me for having children and the fact that I enjoy being a mom. It was odd. I know that most feminists aren't like that and honestly I have nothing against them, but I am not going to get involved in a group at my school that is so hostile towards my life choices.
I'm really sorry you've had such a bad experience. I can only reiterate that, for me, feminism absolutely does not mean expecting women to pretend they don't have a womb - quite the opposite! All the feminist groups I know are, amongst other things, actively fighting for a society where women don't lose out, financially or in terms of status, if they choose to stay at home and bring up children.

I would say, however, that groups generally can be quite a pain. I've had bad experiences of e.g. vegetarian groups, support groups for people with dyspraxia and (when I was a Christian) Christian groups. As you say, it doesn't necessarily mean the ideology's bad, it's just that some people become totally unreasonable once they get in a group.

However, I really hope you find a women's group that are supportive and reasonable.

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I disagree, Midnightsfire. I have always associated feminism with equal rights and so do most people who actually talk to and learn from feminists instead of judging them based on preconceived notions.
For me,though, feminism is about much more than just equal rights. And, no, that doesn't mean I believe in giving women more rights than men.

To me, the real problem is that for centuries the world has been built around the assumption that men are superior, that their needs, aspirations and opinions come first and that their worldview is the human worldview. While giving women the right to vote and allowing them (in theory) the same employment rights as men has been an improvement, in my view it's just tinkering with the edges of the problem, until you tackle the base problem which led to them having inferior rights in the first place.

Having the right to vote and equal employment rights in law doesn't help women much if they're being sexually harassed; if they're continually judged on their looks rather than their achievements; if their family doesn't believe in employment for women and is pressurising them into marriage and/or leaving school early; if they have children and the job they want to do has insanely family unfriendly hours; if they opt for one of the stereotypically "female" jobs, which are usually paid much worse than stereotypically "male" jobs with similar hours and educational requirements; if every time they pick up a book or watch a movie it reinforces the view that people are men (even after decades of "equal rights", there are far more parts in play and movie scripts for men than for women - so you haven't got equal employment rights if you're a female actor - and a book/movie/play where male characters vastly outnumber female is considered "normal", while the reverse is often considered either "unrealistic" or "niche marketing for women"); if every time they switch on a TV panel show, the panel has a 3:1 ratio in favour of men, reinforcing the attitude that it's normal for men to be considered more important than and get more attention than women.

I was in a shop the other day and there was a notice up trying to encourage people to give money to a military charity. It said "If we still had compulsory National Service, like we did 50 years ago, you would be one of the people sent overseas and getting shot at now". I thought, "Er, no I wouldn't. Not unless I was Israeli". It's this casual use of "you", "anyone", "a person", when the writer actually means "a man" that I come across all the time. I know many people think this is trivial and we ought to be concentrating on more serious issues like domestic violence or forced marriage, but IMO, until we move away from the assumption that men are people, men are normal, men are "you", men are the default position, and women are Other, we're never truly going to have equal rights (we'll just have a few exceptional or well-connected women managing to be accepted as honorary men) and people will always find an excuse to oppress women (including in the most extreme and violent ways).


  #66  
Old August 1st, 2010, 1:32 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
I can't explain why women would feel so threatened by feminism that they would refuse to associate themselves with it
I have a few ideas about that. The obvious one is the bad image of feminism, as has been established here. If women feel that men - or just most people - dislike feminism, then allying themselves with it would have negative effects on their inclusion and acceptance. Since the idea of what a "real woman" is is extremely narrow, and if you don't fit it, you're kind of an outsider one way or another, I can understand why many women wouldn't want to associate themselves with something which challenges this idea.

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A feminist discussing the ideals of feminism has to put up with a lot of hostility, you know. Their sincere and well-reasoned arguments are tossed aside by fallacy and indifference. They're called names. They're seen as troublemakers, or even dissidents, and on top of it all, since many of them happen to be women, they still face the same kinds of discrimination that all the other women do as a matter of course.
Thank you for saying that. I personally have experienced some of these things you mention, and it's not nice. It's downright despairing sometimes.

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Originally Posted by mac_attack View Post
....given that only one person in this thread so far, Nick, saw anything wrong with that statement, I'd say it seems to be an accepted tenet of feminism.
I'm sorry, but that sounds completely illogical to me. The participants in this thread are not a representative sample of feminists, nor are we in the position to define what feminism (which is a hugely inclusive term, by the way) is. Nor are we obliged to address every thing posted here. In short, it doesn't mean anything at all, far from proving this as a tenet of feminism. I just couldn't disagree more with this faulty logic.

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
You have. I don't and never will.
"I don't" is different from "It never has," however, which was what you originally said. For one thing, it certainly was equated with equal rights when women were fighting for the vote.

I also completely agree with Trixa. Suppose some sort of Taliban rule comes over where you live. If you're a woman, your rights will be gone in a snap. We'll all be feminists then, I suppose.


  #67  
Old August 1st, 2010, 3:42 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Suppose some sort of Taliban rule comes over where you live. If you're a woman, your rights will be gone in a snap. We'll all be feminists then, I suppose.
If we were subjugated by Taliban rule I believe everyone in this country would have problems. Not just women.


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  #68  
Old August 1st, 2010, 4:38 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

Trust me, it would be worse for women. Did you know in the places where the Taliban does have power women have zero rights?


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  #69  
Old August 1st, 2010, 5:29 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I wasn't making judgements on who it would be worse for. If such a scenario were to happen we'd have much more immediate concerns. Like how such a thing would be allowed to happen in the first place.


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  #70  
Old August 1st, 2010, 5:41 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

I only gave this example to show how feminism has, in fact, been associated with equal rights. And that it's done a lot for women.


  #71  
Old August 1st, 2010, 6:11 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I only gave this example to show how feminism has, in fact, been associated with equal rights. And that it's done a lot for women.
I don't think that feminism has helped women who are as heavily victimized as you hint at in that example. I think feminism has helped in places where the next step is needed. Like Iran. These comparisons "well you could be like Taliban women" do nothing for the discussion because in most cases where feminism has helped make strides women were not nearly as oppressed as that to begin with.


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Old August 1st, 2010, 7:11 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

Feminism hasn't helped them becuause women who protest unfair treatment there are killed rather than listened to.


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  #73  
Old August 1st, 2010, 7:28 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Trixa View Post
I have to say that I don't understand the position: I believe in equal rights for women but I don't believe in feminism? Who was it that gave women the right to vote, the right to an education? Who is it nowadays that encourages women to be both mothers and have careers? Who is is that supports women making their own choices whatever those choices are? Who is it that still enquires in the situation of women today and does sociological studies over the equality between sexes? Who is it that fights for equal wages between men and women? Who is it that makes sure women's writing is a part of the Western Canon? And I could go on and on. If you believe in all of those things then you'll approve of the feminist movement as well because whether we like it or not feminists are our best chance of ever achieving equality.
Hate to burst your bubble here, but women didn't give themselves anything.

Or do you imagine in any way that it was women that demolished Iraq's rape rooms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I also completely agree with Trixa. Suppose some sort of Taliban rule comes over where you live. If you're a woman, your rights will be gone in a snap. We'll all be feminists then, I suppose.
Power will be the only thing that matters. As it did in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Or did women suddenly come up and made them go away?

There is too much wishful thinking in this thread, and not enough pragmatism.
Women aren't as strong as men. Fact. I know that many here want to believe differently. A walk alone in a dark alley anywhere will show the reality.


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  #74  
Old August 1st, 2010, 7:40 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by lightreading View Post
Feminism hasn't helped them becuause women who protest unfair treatment there are killed rather than listened to.
Exactly. But to use them as some sort of position for the "power" of feminism well, it says, to me, that we all would be treated that way if it weren't for feminism which is a untrue statement. It also overstates the impact of feminism in those areas. The way that feminism would help them would be the long and slow process of helping to elevate the status of women on a more overall scale rather than having a direct quantifiable impact on those women. And then, of course, how much of that is due to direct feminism than overall human rights activism would be hard to measure.


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  #75  
Old August 1st, 2010, 7:50 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Hate to burst your bubble here, but women didn't give themselves anything.

Or do you imagine in any way that it was women that demolished Iraq's rape rooms?
I was actually talking about more general situations not a specific topic. If feminism as a movement didn't exist women still wouldn't have the right to vote today. The men weren't too keen on giving women equal rights or they would have done so a long time ago, like in the democratic haven that was ancient Greece. Of course women didn't do it entirely by themselves but if they hadn't fought they wouldn't have got these rights in the first place. Today, most feminist research is made by women so all progress in that area is due to women's work, not men's. That being said, I would like to see some evidence of your claim that feminists don't strive for equality between sexes. And by this I mean feminism as an ideology, not some isolated cases which involve a few individuals.



Last edited by Trixa; August 1st, 2010 at 8:58 pm.
  #76  
Old August 1st, 2010, 7:57 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Women aren't as strong as men. Fact. I know that many here want to believe differently. A walk alone in a dark alley anywhere will show the reality.
What does that have to do with feminism?


  #77  
Old August 1st, 2010, 8:06 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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A walk alone in a dark alley anywhere will show the reality.
A walk alone in a dark alley will show a lot of things; brutality the chief one.
And as canismajoris said, what does the fact that women are not (generally) physically stronger than men have to do with feminism?


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  #78  
Old August 1st, 2010, 9:43 pm
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

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Originally Posted by lightreading View Post
A walk alone in a dark alley will show a lot of things; brutality the chief one.
And as canismajoris said, what does the fact that women are not (generally) physically stronger than men have to do with feminism?
It's another misconception about feminism-- that feminists are in denial when it comes to women and men's abilities and physical strength.


  #79  
Old August 1st, 2010, 9:59 pm
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

The typical image of a feminist: Holding the door open for her engenders scorn from the woman. As does anything a gentleman might do that invloves social courtesy towards the "weaker" sex.

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Originally Posted by Trixa View Post
I was actually talking about more general situations not a specific topic. If feminism as a movement didn't exist women still wouldn't have the right to vote today.
And when did that become a concern? What timeframe?
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Originally Posted by Trixa View Post
Of course women didn't do it entirely by themselves but if they hadn't fought they would have gotten these rights in the first place.
Missed point.
How did they fight for it in pre-war Iraq? (They didn't. Because they were powerless.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixa View Post
That being said, I would like to see some evidence of your claim that feminists don't strive for equality between sexes. And by this I mean feminism as an ideology, not some isolated cases which involve a few individuals.
Where is feminism in any country that follows Islam? In North Korea? Sudan?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
What does that have to do with feminism?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightreading View Post
A walk alone in a dark alley will show a lot of things; brutality the chief one.
And as canismajoris said, what does the fact that women are not (generally) physically stronger than men have to do with feminism?
 
It really is all about power.
For the most part, women don't have it when they stray too far from a well-ordered society.
 
 
 


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Last edited by Midnightsfire; August 1st, 2010 at 10:01 pm.
  #80  
Old August 2nd, 2010, 12:18 am
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Re: People's Misconceptions of Feminism

@Midnightsfire: Men on average are stronger than women, but do you believe that women are so weak we actually need men to hold doors open for us? Doors are not that heavy. But I echo what other people said, what has that to do with feminism except to demonstrate people's misconceptions about it as Trixia pointed out?


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