"I don't like being called a feminist. I'm a woman. That's it."

(89 Posts)

I read this opinion piece in the Huffington Post today.

To quote a small part of it: "If I'm honest, I don't take feminists seriously. Unfortunately I feel these protests don't do much for women. Certainly, they create a sense of solidarity among those who take part, but beneficial? I'm not so sure."

To some degree I agree with her - I've found solidarity in feminism, but I've also found outrage and impotence. Will my awakening change the world? Probably not, but it's made it more uncomfortable to live in the world, unchanged as it is.

But I don't see what difference changing the label of feminism will do, except to create a new name that far too many people don't identify with.

FairPhyllis Tue 13-Nov-12 14:20:34

Unfortunately I think I could have written something very similar when I was at university, or just after I finished my BA.

I think she will eventually figure it out and be ashamed of the article. But I think it's very interesting that so many women don't really get interested in/become aware of feminism until their mid to late 20s. I'm guessing it's because if you are a white, relatively privileged woman most things now are good for you up until the point you leave HE, so you don't see the need for feminism until later. It makes it easier to swallow the message from patriarchy saying that feminists are narsty.

ConsiderCasey Tue 13-Nov-12 18:12:58

What makes me laugh is that she decries feminism but them goes on to espouse some quite feministy views.

She puts down the everydaysexism project as having no purpose other than reassuring women that they are not alone but to me that's a great purpose. Part of the effect of the silencing of feminism is to make women feel isolated and the realisation that you are not the only one and you're not making a fuss is a wonderful feeling.

MsAnnTeak Wed 14-Nov-12 01:31:06

Rather than sneer, or condemn the journalist isn't it about time the brand 'Feminism' looked at itself and how it appears to young educated women and wonder where and why it has gone wrong in the popularity stakes ?
It's so negative.
Radical feminists shout down, belittle those outwith their circle of thought. Imagines the welcome for a new member sporting false eyelashes, killer heels and a lust for men ... .
Wonder if something similar to 'sponsor a child' was transposed to a women ie directly pay her the equivalent of a weekly wage, and anything earned over, As so many wages are p* poor in comparison it wouldn't cost much ?

There's no such thing as 'the brand 'Feminism'. What do you mean?

Do you mean you feel really guilty for not being nicer to this woman?

Fair enough, change how you act.

Or do you mean, you're fine, but you think we're all being nasty so we should change?

If so, how exactly is you telling other people to change any nicer than her, or me, or anyone else doing it?

amarylisnightandday Wed 14-Nov-12 06:44:25

I'd be annoyed with anyone who claimed I wasn't a feminist.
Sheriff is a twit and agree with others she sounds young and naive.

Maybe you have to experience a but more sexism if you don't get it? If I had only ever been a sw in a quite woman friendly environment with mostly quite nice, enlightened men (colleagues) then it would probably be much easier to convince me that sexism had somehow become less of a problem lately.
However, all those years in various private sector jobs of being harassed and undermined because I am a woman (main crime), who isn't a pushover and is unite attractive (not smug you understand, just an additional problem for misogynists unless I agree to sleep with them) and so on completely compounded the feminist values my own mother raised me with.

Meanwhile gaining a greater understanding for the v present time need for feminism through experiences with men in my private life wasn'tuch of a challenge.......sigh. The sheer plethora of buffoons I have met with alarming understanding (or lack of) of gender divisions has been staggering sad.

I'm a proud feminist grin

MsAnnTeak - I would suggest that most of the problem people have with the feminist 'brand' has got very little to do with actual feminism and is a lot more about false impressions and myths about what feminists really want. Like the idea that feminism is about putting women in a position of power over men. Not even Rad Fems want that. If feminism is to gain a 'good reputation', perhaps all we need to do is eliminate the myths and spread the central tenants of feminism to more people - which after all, tend to benefit the majority of men as much as they do women.

But on the subject of Rad Fems - not all feminists are radical; they don't speak for all of us any more than radical Christians, Muslims or Jews speak for their whole religion. And for the most part, only ignorant people condemn an entire group because of extremists.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 15:00:12

Brand feminism is always going to be hateful to the majority of young women and all aged men while we live in patriarchy and while we have a media so firmly espoused to undermining the goal of feminism.

Feminism can only be popular in the current climate when it espouses all the stuff men want - the pretence that sexism doesn't exist anymore, ignoring the pay gap, pretending objectification is just a bit of fun, ignoring the levels of male violence against women and children and the collusion of the whole of society in that violence, pretending that we don't need to fight for equality any more because we've already got it and real liberation is lapdancing and expressing our power by er, taking our clothes off and doing all the childcare and domestic labour without complaining or questioning why it's all panned out like this.

When feminism embraces that shit, men will like it and inexperienced young women who haven't done the reading, will be proud to call themselves feminists because they know it won't affect their chances of getting a suitable boyfriend.

It won't actually change the status quo and liberate women from patriarchy though. But men will like it and throw feminists patriarchy-cookies so that's all right.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 15:26:40

Feminism can only be popular in the current climate when it espouses all the stuff men want .............................. real liberation is lapdancing and expressing our power....

So that is what men want? Really? Thank you for telling me what I think. Well radsplained. Perhaps this preachy attitude has something to do with why the author in the OP, and other people like her, really don't like feminism as espoused by some of it's followers..

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 15:35:38

oh what a surprise, some guy comes on to tell us we're doing it wrong.

<Yawn>

How many times have we covered this, men as a group. Feel free to be outraged on behalf of your poor oppressed sex though.

Erm, namechange, think I have seen you (personally) saying you do want some of that stuff. Glad to see you've changed your mind, albeit tacitly and at a rather opportunistic juncture, in order to be rude to fastidia. It's almost like you're proving her point, but too stupid to see it ...

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 15:48:07

Whatever, LRD. Proof would be nice, so I will await a quote or two.

See, I am not the problem. Whatever I think, I am the enemy, so to speak, so at least in your eyes it's natural that we would disagree. But rants like Fastidia's are the reason that this branch of feminism never gains any traction with most people, male and female, and I doubt that it ever will. So yawn away at me, but extremist ranting does far more harm than good.

And men as a group are made up of men as individuals, with their own views, beliefs and wishes. Unless we are all the same. What is the view of women as a group? Fastidia's, or the woman's in the OP?

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 15:57:27

No, the reason feminism will not get any traction, is because on the whole, men as a group don't want it to and they control the media and most of the messages which we receive.

The history is that every single human right women have managed to gain, has had to be wrested from the men who govern us with very little support from other men.

But we're not even allowed to name the agents of our oppression - men - without being accused of being extremist ranting loons.

That's what we're up against.

If black people weren't allowed to point out what white people as a group have perpetrated against them, racism would still be a respectable mainstream position.

As sexism is.

Oh, sorry, I don't have access to everything you've written (a lot is deleted), and I can't be arsed to drag through searching. sad

What a pity.

Not sure why I should have to, anyway. If you don't believe these things, you only have to say so. You're anti-porn, anti-lapdancing, you believe sexism still exists, you think male violence against women and children is crucial (and don't instent start 'what about the men' comments), and you think the whole of society colludes in that violence?

I'm really pleased (no, honestly, I am).

*crucial as in a crucial issue for feminism, before you or anyone else jumps on that.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 16:16:26

Anti-porn? Some, not all when between consenting adults.
Anti-lapdancing? Yes, as expressed in here weeks ago;

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/1591438-Article-about-strip-clubs-in-the-Guardian?pg=1&x=0&y=0

Does sexism exist? Yes.
Male violence? Yes, anti. In fact, I would take it wider and say I am anti-violence full stop.
Does society collude in that violence? No, it is illegal.

Still, LRD, you can carry on making groundless accusations, and then not be bothered to prove them. Feel free.

What I do not do is group people and tell them what they think. If we can know what men as a group think and want, can we know what Asian people as a group think, or Jews, or women?

Ah, so no.

You're exactly who fastidia was talking about, yet you still felt the need to slap her down for correctly characterising a lot of men, including you.

How sad.

Btw: nope, still not your secretary. So, no, I won't be faffing about looking at your past posts to 'prove' anything when I am perfectly capable of asking you (as I did), and requiring you to lift a finger by replying.

Sorry if that disturbs your immense sense of self importance, but you see, round these parts we call it a 'conversation' when both people take part.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 16:46:21

'Ah, so no.'

What does that mean? What is it referring to?

If you mean do I know my point of view before understanding the issues, you are correct. Do you think it's okay to accuse someone of something, not prove anything, and sound all smug and sarcastic about it? Fantastic - go you. Yet another example of why so many women and men reject this brand of feminism. Please carry on.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 16-Nov-12 17:14:47

I love the way men who don't like specific women, always say that it's because of tht woman that people don't like feminism.

Hilarious.

grin

It was a response to your post, namechange.

No, you don't believe these things, just as I suspected. You are indeed one of those men described.

It's not an accusation - you admitted it yourself!

Goodness me, what a temper tantrum.

fastidia - ah, yes. 'men=people', naturally ... that's how some 'people' think.

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 17:28:41

I have no dislike of anyone here. I don't know anybody, so it would be illogical. I disagree with some people's view, and have stated my objections with reasons. I have not called anybody stupid, for example....

I have also stated that it is because of specific views that some feminist brands are failing to connect with what might be considered to be their target audience, such as young, educated, professional women. Look, I quoted a specific view at 15.26;

Feminism can only be popular in the current climate when it espouses all the stuff men want .............................. real liberation is lapdancing and expressing our power....

That is a view, not an individual. There is a difference.

MooncupGoddess Fri 16-Nov-12 17:28:50

It's true, LRD. You, yes YOU, are the reason why so many women and men reject feminism. sad

FFS.

Lottapianos Fri 16-Nov-12 17:31:39

Wow LRD, looks like you are responsible for the downfall of feminism. I'm off to get my pitchfork. Hope you can take it!

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 17:35:20

I was genuinely confused, LRD. I see what you are getting at now. And see, I still haven't called you stupid. You think you are saying that because I did not agree with every point that Fastidia made, I am one of the oppressors. Okay.

I am going to pick up on one of the points where you and I disagree, and hope that we can remain civil. Specifically, does society collude in male violence (against women and children). I believe this to be untrue because society deems such violence to be illegal, and such acts are punishable. Would you agree or disagree?

namechangeguy Fri 16-Nov-12 17:37:44

* Fourth sentence should begin 'I think you are saying...

Ah, come on, 'ladies', it's me and fastidia, surely?! wink

namechange - erm, ok. I'm not stupid, not sure why you get points for not calling me stupid. I did assume you were confused. Was there some reason you feel I shouldn't have clarified?

I don't honestly care why you disagree - IMO you're wrong about male violence, but this isn't the thread to discuss it on. The issue is simply that you got up in arms with another poster for accurately representing your views, and insisted she shouldn't characterise you in this way. Then it became clear you did, indeed, fit her characterisation.

Why did you bother to do this? Should she lie, just so you can feel nice and happy?

How's about this: maybe if you do actually agree with those things fastidia has pointed out many non-feminists agree with, you should consider that, and admit to it, instead of being furious your views have been correctly identified?

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