To get annoyed when other women say "I'm not a feminist"

(1000 Posts)
Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:14:14

As if it's a dirty word and a shameful thing to be? I hear it every now and then and always question it. Someone said it today and I'm annoyed again.

Do some women not realise that women didn't used to be allowed to go to university, get divorced, own property or vote?

Rant over.

I got told by a friend that she thought I wouldn't support her bottle-feeding because I was a feminist hmm I told her that, on the contrary, my feminism meant that I would go to the barricades to defend her right to choose what to do with her own body and her own life. She was very confused.

Feminists are ranty, scary, hairy, man-hating lesbians, every one. Not a panoply of women with their own views, sexuality, likes, dislikes and ideas. The patriarchy has certainly done it's job with the advertising.

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:43:49

StarfishEnterprise - can you explain and give some examples of why you aren't considered a feminist?

I consider myself a feminist in that I want equal rights for woman but would like to learn a lot more about the subject.

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 21:44:07

I don't give a shiny shit what the MN definition of feminism is and I don't think its down to any one group of women to define it, or more particularly, to define my beliefs and give me the nod to join the party. I self-identify as a feminist and I dont need anyone else's approbation.

My personal definition is I believe in equal rights for all people, as simple as that. Where it gets a bit trickier on here is when people defend the sex industry and still call themselves feminists. I find that very hard.

I suggest liberal feminism, Star if you fancy a dip.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 30-Jun-13 21:45:52

YABU, because the word feminist means different things to different people.

I don't like the stereotypical image of a feminist that I know of, I don't identify with it, so I don't call myself one.

If we could agree that feminists can love all things pink and girly, can flutter their eyelashes to make men do them favours, and can be perfectly happy doing traditionally female jobs for their husbands who don't have a clue how to turn on the washing machine, then I will call myself a feminist. I can do all those things as well as appreciate my right to vote and have an education.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 21:50:38

well if men flutter their eyelashes at you to make you do something for them we'd have equality CloudsAndTrees. But one set of people are seen as decorative and one set of people have power and imo that's got to change

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:52:13

I do as well. What do they mean? that they don't care about poorer more vulnerable uneducated women? or that the fact that women still earn less than men is fine with them, that a postman or a bin man earns more than a child care worker or a cleaner? or, that they are relaxed about the fact that women are judged more on their looks than men are, that there is more pressure on women than on men to be thin, to be young, to be 'pleasing'. Or do they not worry about the fact that rape is a crime that goes unpunished pretty much. or do they mean that they're pretty, men like them and heaven forbid they lose men's approval! I seriously don't know what women can possibly mean when they say they're not feminists! Some thing like "i'm alright jack" confused

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:52:58

SinisterSal - Good answer, admittedly I wasn't sure where to start in reply to your post CloudsAndTrees!

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 21:53:27

I'm not a feminist. I don't think anyone should fight for equality to the detriment of another group of people. That's not equality, that's vying for dominance.

I had high hopes for liberal feminism TerryP when I realised I definitely wasn't radical. But then when I read around it and discovered that (and I think this is right), the central pillar of liberal feminism is around changing laws and the judicial system. It didn't seem as simple to me as that.

It also seemed to me that liberal feminism involved women becoming more like men and devaluing 'traditional' female roles (which then means men are less likely to want to do them too).

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 21:56:33

Souredstones - Can you explain what you mean? Who is vying for dominance and who is fighting for equality detrimental to?

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 21:58:08

See Clouds, that's one of the things that really makes me eye roll - who says feminists can't or shouldn't like pink and girly things? I don't know any feminists who would have an opinion on your preferences. It's completely up to you - your choice.

in general however feminists may have opinions about whether a pink 'princess' culture is good for girls. They would also probably have opinions about how boys feel about 'girly' things and how those things came to be defined as 'girly' in the first place. They would be concerned if societal expectations kept girls involved with 'girly' stuff like being in charge of compassion rather than being in charge of a boardroom. But I don't think the things you like are any of my business, really.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:58:59

Ah right, :-| clouds, I see, I am filing you under "I'm alright jack". bECAuse as part of a couple you're doing ok.

MarinaIvy Sun 30-Jun-13 21:59:40

YANBU.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:00:15

Souredstones, that's ridiculous. Did your husband tell you that?

Nickabilla Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:13

I'm going to bed now but will be back tomorrow smile

WilsonFrickett Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:13

Soured, I think that's pretty simplistic. I'm definitely not fighting for dominance. But I do believe in male privilege, and that for there to be true equality some privilege will have to be given up. And that act of reducing male privilege is seen as taking something away. Because it is. No-one wants to give stuff up, do they?

bumbleymummy Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:43

Another one agreeing with picnic.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:55

This seems like a good place to point out that one of the core achievements of classic second wave feminism (both radical and liberal elements) is the anti-domestic violence movement.

SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 22:01:59

That's what puts me off liberal feminism too Starfish. I am not a girly girl , but a womanly woman - think crafty jammy WI rather than girlband type of thirtysomething. I love all that housewifely stuff. Valuable skills imo.
It reminds me of the bit at the start of Sex In The City - Carrie says she is going to start having sex like a man, and this is hailed s an uber feminist moment. Oi, Carrie NOOOO! If she said 'I am going to continue to be true to myself and have the kind of traditionally female perspective on sex that feels right to me, and if men don't like it fuck em' That to me would be a feminst programme. But I'm not the Pope (Mope?) of feminism so ignore me.

(thanks Niccabilla smile)

SaucyJack Sun 30-Jun-13 22:02:20

YABU. A true feminist would respect any other woman's right to choose to identify herself however she deems appropriate.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:03:11

Well, everything I've read and seen about feminism is on a sliding scale from better workplace treatment through to the hardcore 'everything is a about the shitty patriarchal society we live in and all the worlds ills are to so with men, down with men'

No one is equal. By nature of our differences we are not equal to or better than men, we are women. We are different. Men are not better than or worse than or equal to women. They are men. We are people. Together we make more people. All the rest inbetween is filler. Yes fight off horrific injustices towards women such as those we see from the Middle East etc. but surely a lot of it is more a human rights issue than a feminist one?

WorraLiberty Sun 30-Jun-13 22:03:49

I just don't like labels

As soon as you openly label yourself as anything, people tend to expect you to agree with everyone with the same label.

Even if those people are utter fools and you'd never want to be associated with them or their behaviour.

I believe in equality and fairness but I won't be giving myself labels that mean complete strangers think they know what I think and feel.

Spero Sun 30-Jun-13 22:04:06

I am a feminist but I find the way some self identified feminists argue and talk to others really off putting and I can understand why this puts some women off as also identifying as feminist.

For example, the only time I have felt threatened and bullied on this site in five years was by a self identified feminist who felt it appropriate to stalk me across other threads and call me a rape apologiser.

Interestingly, she also assumed I was a man which for me underscored how closed minded she was; she just couldn't accept that a woman could hold the views I did.

Souredstones Sun 30-Jun-13 22:04:09

My husband doesn't think for me. I am capable of independent free thought, I resent the implication that I'm a little meek sheepish kept woman, I'm far from that.

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