Author Topic: Do you consider yourself a feminist? (A question for both women and men.)  (Read 13857 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Please elaborate on your answer below. Why are you a feminist, or why not? What does the word "feminist" mean to you? What does a feminist stand for? Is it simply believing in equal opportunity for women, or is there more to it than that?


Offline Brown Eyes

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Heya!

Thanks for the poll K!  I, of course, voted that I am a feminist. 

I'll come back and elaborate later when I'm home from work!
 ;D

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Offline Sophia

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  Like the other 100% people that voted in this pole. I too consider myself a feminist. Why? I believe I am a person that wants some change. Being feminist is for me a person that wants change in society. And I do also think that feminist doesnt only mean equality between people and people, and between societys. It also means for me stand up for your rights, opinions and respect. And be a roll model in your way of acting in life.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Heya,

OK, I'm home from work now and have time to elaborate a bit. :)

I've been thinking about this question a lot today.  And, my main response to the question "am I a feminist"... is that I can't really think of any reason why I wouldn't consider myself a feminist.  To me the term signifies an interest in basic, equal rights and fair treatment for women.  And, it seems to me that progress and improvements in women's rights, logically, also means improvements and better circumstances for men too. 

Also, I like to think of feminism as having a very deep history going back generations and even centuries.  I don't think of it as a phenomenon contained to or defined by the 60s and 70s era women's rights movement (although that is a part of feminist history, of course).  I went to two different women's colleges and my experiences there caused me to have a really deep, ingrained respect and interest in women's history.  The more you get into the intricacies of women's history and the long history of both men and women working for gender equality the more exciting the term feminist becomes.  I feel like embracing that term is a way of honoring all the people in history who have fought for women's rights and gender equality.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 03:20:59 pm by atz75 »
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Offline mariez

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Heya,

OK, I'm home from work now and have time to elaborate a bit. :)

I've been thinking about this question a lot today.  And, my main response to the question "am I a feminist"... is that I can't really think of any reason why I wouldn't consider of myself a feminist.  To me the term signifies an interest in basic, equal rights and fair treatment for women.  And, it seems to me that progress and improvements in women's rights, logically, also means improvements and better circumstances for men too. 

Also, I like to think of feminism as having a very deep history going back generations and even centuries.  I don't think of it as a phenomenon contained to or defined by the 60s and 70s era women's rights movement (although that is a part of feminist history, of course).  I went to two different women's colleges and my experiences there caused me to have a really deep, ingrained respect and interest in women's history.  The more you get into the intricacies of women's history and the long history of both men and women working for gender equality the more exciting the term feminist becomes.  I feel like embracing that term is a way of honoring all the people in history who have fought for women's rights and gender equality.

Well said, Amanda!  I especialy like your references to history and all the people in the past who made such a difference.  I would add that to me feminism is also about how women think of themselves and about not being pressured to conform to anyone else's standards or definitions of how they should live their lives. 
The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis         ~~~~~~~~~Thurgood Marshall

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Offline delalluvia

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Yes, I am a feminist, a feminist of the old school who doesn't believe feminist is a bad word and am not afraid to say so.

It's sad that many women nowadays are afraid to be associated with the word or movement and like to pretend the rights they now enjoy didn't come at a very high price for women in the past (or indeed, currently).  Women are still breaking ground in the fight for equal rights and consideration and still being made to suffer for it.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Well said, Amanda!  I especialy like your references to history and all the people in the past who made such a difference.  I would add that to me feminism is also about how women think of themselves and about not being pressured to conform to anyone else's standards or definitions of how they should live their lives. 

Thanks Marie!  And good point about the issue of autonomy/independence and a belief in individuality as being part of an understanding of a feminist identity.

Yes, I am a feminist, a feminist of the old school who doesn't believe feminist is a bad word and am not afraid to say so.

It's sad that many women nowadays are afraid to be associated with the word or movement and like to pretend the rights they now enjoy didn't come at a very high price for women in the past (or indeed, currently).  Women are still breaking ground in the fight for equal rights and consideration and still being made to suffer for it.

This is a good point too Bud!  I went to high school in the 1990s and I remember in different history and social studies classes, a lot of girls rejecting or feeling funny about the term "feminist" because of all the negative (and ultimately misogynist) stereotypes that sometimes have been projected onto the term "feminist."  I remember it was really depressing to hear young women rejecting that term.  Even back then I had a sense of pride in the term "feminist" (again, one of the factors that caused me to be interested in applying to and attending a women's college).

And, I also agree that it's important to recognize that there's still a lot of work to be done in terms of achieving gender equailty.  Sometimes, I think, there's a danger in some folks thinking that the battles are over and the progress has been made and finalized.  When you really look at conditions for women, really in almost all cultures around the world including the U.S., there really is still a lot to be done.

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Offline Monika

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Of course I´m a feminist.  :)

Offline louisev

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Looks like I'm the lone female dissenter here in the feminist question.

I am not a feminist because I do not believe in the rhetoric I have heard from feminist writers and intellectuals.  I believe in equal rights for women, but I do not believe this is a feminist stance but rather a humane one.  The risk that I see from the feminist intellectuals I have read is that there is a destructive component to feminism that sees men as inherently subjugating women, that society as a whole is geared toward subjugation and diminution.  I simply don't believe that.  I think that sex roles (I don't use the term "gender roles", gender to me is a grammatical term pressed into usage in recent times to mean sex) are taught, reinforced and advertised largely by women.  Men mostly benefit from them.   It is women who played the instrumental role in turning the clock back on the Equal Rights Amendment.  It is women, women like Phyllis Schlafly and most recently, Sarah Palin, who believe that there is some strength in maintaining outmoded "traditions" which involve restricting access to family planning information and birth control, limiting and outlawing abortion.  I do not believe that feminism addresses the fact that women, themselves, due to their own upbringing and their own determination to suppress progress and equal rights for women, particularly reproductive rights, are at the leading edge of the opposition to an equal society.  The real culprit in solving the issues of inequality, to me, lie not in feminism, but in a freedom from religious intolerance and imposing outmoded and extreme religious ideals on society, and on women in particular.
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline Brown Eyes

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Looks like I'm the lone female dissenter here in the feminist question.

I am not a feminist because I do not believe in the rhetoric I have heard from feminist writers and intellectuals.  I believe in equal rights for women, but I do not believe this is a feminist stance but rather a humane one.  The risk that I see from the feminist intellectuals I have read is that there is a destructive component to feminism that sees men as inherently subjugating women, that society as a whole is geared toward subjugation and diminution.  I simply don't believe that.  I think that sex roles (I don't use the term "gender roles", gender to me is a grammatical term pressed into usage in recent times to mean sex) are taught, reinforced and advertised largely by women.  Men mostly benefit from them.   It is women who played the instrumental role in turning the clock back on the Equal Rights Amendment.  It is women, women like Phyllis Schlafly and most recently, Sarah Palin, who believe that there is some strength in maintaining outmoded "traditions" which involve restricting access to family planning information and birth control, limiting and outlawing abortion.  I do not believe that feminism addresses the fact that women, themselves, due to their own upbringing and their own determination to suppress progress and equal rights for women, particularly reproductive rights, are at the leading edge of the opposition to an equal society.  The real culprit in solving the issues of inequality, to me, lie not in feminism, but in a freedom from religious intolerance and imposing outmoded and extreme religious ideals on society, and on women in particular.

Well, I think that one of the issues... that could be further elaborated here on this thread... is that there are many kinds of feminism.  So far the term has been used here in this thread quite broadly and generally.  But, I think that there are schools of feminist thought that critique the role women themselves have played in the subjugation of women.  Schlafly and Palin are clearly not feminists of any branch of feminism that I know about... though Schlafly and Palin certainly take full advantage of the rights, opportunities won for them by feminists of many different historical eras.  Like Schlafly and Palin, there are certainly women who, for whatever reason, don't feel compelled to worry about women's rights or somehow don't feel a sense of responsibility for working towards improved women's rights.  Situations like that are pretty baffling to me.... and frankly, quite depressing.  Perhaps, some women find it easier "to work with the patriarchy" rather than "against it" (so to speak).

As to the issue of "upbringing"... well, that, I think is a huge aspect of concern in terms of feminism.  How girls are raised and society expectations in terms of raising children in general, along gender lines is an ongoing source of interest and debate.  If a child's upbringing somehow leads them to a belief that it's OK for women to be second-class citizens, well, then that's a huge societal problem.  Critique of religion and traditional religious roles/constraints placed on both women and men seems to fit nicely with a feminist identity.   And FWIW, I certainly don't see the term "feminist" as limited to women... the term certainly applies to men who are interested in women's rights and gender equality too.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie