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View Poll Results: When you think "feminism", what do you think of?

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  • I generaly think of it positively (please explain)

    27 36.49%
  • I generaly think of it negatively (please explain)

    18 24.32%
  • I'm admantly for it

    9 12.16%
  • I'm adamantly against it

    11 14.86%
  • I'm somewhere in the middle (please explain)

    17 22.97%
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Thread: Toxic Feminism

  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default Toxic Feminism

    Someone started a thread on this that was kind of nonsensical so I thought I'd start a real one.

    How do you feel about feminism? Are you for it, opposed or some other opinion? Maybe this has been talked about before but I was hoping to get some kind of vote.

    I will provide my opinion. I have always been a person who believed strongly in equality. I have always been a supporter of women's progression and success in the workplace. I've been the same way with my kids. Those who know me IRL would attest to my actions which back up these words. I have always thought that discrimination in the workplace on anything other than performance is dysfunctional. I have always thought you should raise girls with an eye towards inspiring them to reach for the stars.

    This all being said, when the word "feminism" comes up, I find myself having a strongly negative emotional reaction. I think it's a word that many people interpret differently and that many women appear blind towards the destructive factions involved. This is going to sound bad but when I think of the word, I think of some crazy bitch with a chip on her shoulder talking about misogyny, mansplaining, gaslighting, the patriarchy or some other drivel. I think about all the highly accomplished women in the world that don't feel the need to say they had to work twice as hard to get where they did and why the ones who aren't accomplishing things and complain in this way don't make something of themselves rather than provide excuses as to why they aren't able to. I don't think I would have noticed or cared about this if I hadn't been targeted by some women who have had a chip on their shoulder over the years or seen others targeted unfairly - characterized negatively because of they are white or male or made some money or express their opinions in a confident way. What bothers me the most has been those that silently watched behind the scenes, doing nothing while privately encouraging the crazy bitches that have attacked men unfairly or even been abusive towards them. I'm not sure I would have even have believed these things would happen if I hadn't experienced it firsthand because I am perhaps too much of an idealist. There is the small proportion of spoiled millennials that feel the world owes them a living and resent those who are in power - perhaps providing some convenient excuse as to why they are disadvantaged when maybe they should get off their ass and do something productive. Then there are those that lack the willpower, tenacity, grit or emotional intelligence to progress - all the while blaming their failings on someone else.

    I wonder if women in general realize just how negative of a meaning this word has to a lot of men. I might be an aberration but I'm completely turned off. I wonder if women in general think it matters that people like me, who would otherwise be supporters, have been turned off for good by the dysfunctional extremists that many unwitting women appear to support.

    I'm only one person. Maybe my experience is an aberration.

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    I'm just stating my opinion as a member. It's something I have learned to feel strongly about over the past five years or maybe realizing patterns over many more than that and am interested in whatever opinions others have.

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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Someone started a thread on this that was kind of nonsensical so I thought I'd start a real one.

    How do you feel about feminism? Are you for it, opposed or some other opinion? Maybe this has been talked about before but I was hoping to get some kind of vote.

    I will provide my opinion. I have always been a person who believed strongly in equality. I have always been a supporter of women's progression and success in the workplace. I've been the same way with my kids. Those who know me IRL would attest to my actions which back up these words. I have always thought that discrimination in the workplace on anything other than performance is dysfunctional. I have always thought you should raise girls with an eye towards inspiring them to reach for the stars.

    This all being said, when the word "feminism" comes up, I find myself having a strongly negative emotional reaction. I think it's a word that many people interpret differently and that many women appear blind towards the destructive factions involved. This is going to sound bad but when I think of the word, I think of some crazy bitch with a chip on her shoulder talking about misogyny, mansplaining, gaslighting, the patriarchy or some other drivel. I think about all the highly accomplished women in the world that don't feel the need to say they had to work twice as hard to get where they did and why the ones who aren't accomplishing things and complain in this way don't make something of themselves rather than provide excuses as to why they aren't able to. I don't think I would have noticed or cared about this if I hadn't been targeted by some women who have had a chip on their shoulder over the years or seen others targeted unfairly - characterized negatively because of they are white or male or made some money or express their opinions in a confident way. What bothers me the most has been those that silently watched behind the scenes, doing nothing while privately encouraging the crazy bitches that have attacked men unfairly or even been abusive towards them. I'm not sure I would have even have believed these things would happen if I hadn't experienced it firsthand because I am perhaps too much of an idealist.

    I wonder if women in general realize just how negative of a meaning this word has to a lot of men. I might be an aberration but I'm completely turned off. I wonder if women in general think it matters that people like me, who would otherwise be supporters, have been turned off for good by the dysfunctional extremists that unwitting women appear to support.

    I'm only one person. Maybe my experience is an aberration.
    You are certainly entitled to your opinions. No one can deny what you have personally seen and experienced, or how you feel when you hear about feminism, or meet a self-identified feminist. It would be silly for me to tell you that you are wrong. I will instead share what I see and experience.

    When I think of feminism, I think of a couple grandmothers I know who threw their hearts and souls into campaigning for Barack Obama, in the hope that he would make a better world for their grandchildren and everyone else. I think of the instructors at the women's self-defense classes at my workplace, and the woman I met there who had already been a victim of sexual assault and was determined for it not to happen again. I think of my polyamorous friends, with whom I attended a recent Pride march, along with their husband and kids. I think of my STEM education colleagues, who provide female role models for young students, both boys and girls, so the idea that "girls can be anything they want" is more than just a theory.

    The feminists I know are living feminism in their daily lives. Most are also promoting it in some broader sense, whether in their workplace, through political activity, or in a volunteer group. Yes, many people are more comfortable when women - like those who have to work twice as hard as a man for the same rewards - stay quiet about the bias that still affects them. I understand how speaking up can come at a high cost for such women. Pretending the problem doesn't exist, though, will not help to solve it.
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    I'm not here for the third wave feminism that limits an individual's right to speak their mind, have offensive opinions, etc. The limiting of ones consitutional right to their freedom of speech really grates me the wrong way.

    I see myself more as a second wave Libertarian feminist. Although, I do support some 3rd wave policy changes in how rape and the victims of rape are treated in a government, school, or work setting. If someone is going to think the victim deserves blame, I won't personally agree, however it's still their perogative to have a shitty opinion and moral values.

    I will put it out there that I think those slutwalks are repulsive. I believe there are better ways to change policies than to be overt and seek attention. I also get confused over their message because it's very muddled across the board.

    But yes, I support equality and always have. Furthermore, I'm here for female equity so females can have fighting chances AT equality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    You are certainly entitled to your opinions. No one can deny what you have personally seen and experienced, or how you feel when you hear about feminism, or meet a self-identified feminist. It would be silly for me to tell you that you are wrong. I will instead share what I see and experience.

    When I think of feminism, I think of a couple grandmothers I know who threw their hearts and souls into campaigning for Barack Obama, in the hope that he would make a better world for their grandchildren and everyone else. I think of the instructors at the women's self-defense classes at my workplace, and the woman I met there who had already been a victim of sexual assault and was determined for it not to happen again. I think of my polyamorous friends, with whom I attended a recent Pride march, along with their husband and kids. I think of my STEM education colleagues, who provide female role models for young students, both boys and girls, so the idea that "girls can be anything they want" is more than just a theory.

    The feminists I know are living feminism in their daily lives. Most are also promoting it in some broader sense, whether in their workplace, through political activity, or in a volunteer group. Yes, many people are more comfortable when women - like those who stay quiet about the fact that they have to work twice as hard as a man for the same rewards - stay quiet about the bias that still affects them. I understand how speaking up can come at a high cost for such women. Pretending the problem doesn't exist, though, will not help to solve it.
    What bias actually exists? What are real examples?

    Fact is women on average aren't as interested in STEM. I have one daughter that was. She's doing it. She always kicked ass at math and was good at science. To say I supported her in this regard would be an understatement. She didn't work twice as hard. She had equal opportunity. She was just better. I was good at math and science but never like her. She got a full scholarship to one of the best medical schools in the country. Have another one that went into technology but has never been crazy about it. She did extremely well at it but decided go back and get an MBA at one of the top schools in the country. She did it on her own. That is the way American works. They both worked hard and persevered. That's what it's about. Fuck feminism. It's about passion and work ethic and intentionality. Women need to stop with the excuses. My ancestors where Irish. They were discriminated against a long time ago. Things change and society moves on.

    They don't have to work twice as hard. They just have to perform. Women have opportunities same as men.

    Edit: I just recalled the one daughter did have an issue with one doctor originating from India who did appear to have some biases against women. She got a bad evaluation for no good reason. She complained and got it fixed. It was bullshit really. That's a situation of importing someone from a sexist culture into the US though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    You are certainly entitled to your opinions. No one can deny what you have personally seen and experienced, or how you feel when you hear about feminism, or meet a self-identified feminist. It would be silly for me to tell you that you are wrong. I will instead share what I see and experience.

    When I think of feminism, I think of a couple grandmothers I know who threw their hearts and souls into campaigning for Barack Obama, in the hope that he would make a better world for their grandchildren and everyone else. I think of the instructors at the women's self-defense classes at my workplace, and the woman I met there who had already been a victim of sexual assault and was determined for it not to happen again. I think of my polyamorous friends, with whom I attended a recent Pride march, along with their husband and kids. I think of my STEM education colleagues, who provide female role models for young students, both boys and girls, so the idea that "girls can be anything they want" is more than just a theory.

    The feminists I know are living feminism in their daily lives. Most are also promoting it in some broader sense, whether in their workplace, through political activity, or in a volunteer group. Yes, many people are more comfortable when women - like those who have to work twice as hard as a man for the same rewards - stay quiet about the bias that still affects them. I understand how speaking up can come at a high cost for such women. Pretending the problem doesn't exist, though, will not help to solve it.
    What's the good fight you are fighting exactly? What's the goal? What's the problem you are trying to fix?

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  7. #7
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    Feminism is important because it is a new way of thinking. For 300,000 years we thought about women and men in one way, and the Western Enlightenment of the 18th century led us into a different way of thinking about women and men.

    This is a profound change and parochial toing and froing doesn't help us understand it.

    The difference between traditional societies, whether they be tribal, feudal, empires, or authoritarian, and modern society, is the way we see women and men.

    So feminism is a change in our epistemology, a change in the way we see. And we can expect this to be unsettling, particularly as this is a change in our power relationships, and no one gives up power voluntarily, and so we can expect men to fight for their power over women and call feminism, toxic. We can expect a power struggle between women and men. In some places women will win, and in other places men will win.

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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What bias actually exists? What are real examples?

    Fact is women on average aren't as interested in STEM. I have one daughter that was. She's doing it. She always kicked ass at math and was good at science. To say I supported her in this regard would be an understatement. She didn't work twice as hard. She had equal opportunity. She was just better. I was good at math and science but never like her. She got a full scholarship to one of the best medical schools in the country. Have another one that went into technology but has never been crazy about it. She did extremely well at it but decided go back and get an MBA at one of the top schools in the country. She did it on her own. That is the way American works. They both worked hard and persevered. That's what it's about. Fuck feminism. It's about passion and work ethic and intentionality. Women need to stop with the excuses. My ancestors where Irish. They were discriminated against a long time ago. Things change and society moves on.

    They don't have to work twice as hard. They just have to perform. Women have opportunities same as men.

    Edit: I just recalled the one daughter did have an issue with one doctor originating from India who did appear to have some biases against women. She got a bad evaluation for no good reason. She complained and got it fixed. It was bullshit really. That's a situation of importing someone from a sexist culture into the US though.
    I would be surprised if someone as smart and worldly as you truly thinks gender bias (and other forms of bias) no longer exist. Just read about all the sexual harassment scandals in the tech industry lately, everything from those VCs expecting sex for investment, to the women video game writers getting death threats online. Then there's the Fox News scandal involving Roger Ailes, et. al. Also the women politicians whose outfits and hairdos get more attention than their policies. That's just what occurs to me off the top of my head right now.

    As for women taking less interest in STEM, that is not surprising given the discouragement they still receive growing up. Blacks are underrepresented in most STEM fields due to similar influences. It's even worse for Native Americans. It will take a long time for the publicity campaigns and outreach programs to counteract the example too many girls still get at home, in their schools, neighborhoods, churches, and scout groups. For every parent like you, who truly does encourage all your children to follow their dreams and fulfill their potential, there are plenty of others who, perhaps unintentionally, steer their children into pathways more traditional for their gender.

    An example from another time and place: My father didn't "want" to go to college. He trained as a machinist, then joined the Army. The Army offered to send him to specialized training, even to officer school. He declined these opportunities, too. He wasn't lazy or unambitious. He was simply raised in a poor, immigrant neighborhood where kids grew up feeling such aspirations were above them. Only years later, after working a string of menial and piecework jobs, did the example and encouragement of some Army buddies spur him to attend college, which he enjoyed and excelled at, eventually becoming a teacher.

    This illustration explains a key part of the "fight" you mention. It is to make sure that underrepresented groups have ample opportunities to encounter that example and encouragement, so they can truly internalize the notion of non-traditional careers being viable options, and weigh them unconstrained against their interests. This is why my main volunteer activity is STEM education. When I work with elementary and middle school students doing science fair projects, there are usually as many girls as boys participating. Among the parents, though, most mothers send the kids to Dad for help at home, explaining "I was never good at that stuff". Things are indeed changing, but the most deeply rooted biases take the longest to root out.

    Other key parts of the "fight" are addressing sexual harassment and assault, promoting family-friendly policies in workplaces for all parents to help men take on their share of traditional female home obligations, and addressing remaining biases in hiring and promotion. Yes, these still exist, and are amply documented by organizations who track STEM careers. The bottom line goal is a society in which people's choices are no longer constrained by gender (or racial or other demographic) expectations, and where people treat others based on who they are as individuals, and not which groups they belong to.
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    In my part of the world the entire feminist revolution is playing out much less dramatically, since the media aren't making constant drama out of it. What isn't needed because society has pretty socialistic foundations.


    For me it is just an idea that women should have a decent life, which is quite similar or identical to the one that men have. Everything that isn't respecting this definition isn't really feminism and therefore there is no need to make drama out of feminism. One of the main reasons why the west is going down is because it wastes too much time and money on what are basically none issues. Since the system is designed in a way that you have to make a problem in order to be elected, so that you will be in the position to solve that problem. Which is because real problems aren't to be discussed, because that may hurt people at the top of food chain.

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    I'm from India where there are real issues regarding gender inequality. There are parts of the country where child marriages happen, where dowry deaths are common and where tribal rule still has effect so I have mixed views about feminism. I remember once opening the newspaper and seeing an entire two pages dedicated to describing what acid is and acid safety and first aid in cases of acid burn. In many parts of the country, women have acid thrown on them as a form of torture when they are unable to pay the dowry. It's always the woman who has to pay dowry, men never do and it is culturally accepted. So in my eyes, the newspaper did a 'feminist thing and I'd consider the writer a feminist.

    This is just one of the several things that result from our patriarchal system. Victim blaming always happens. In the Delhi gang rape case, where a woman was raped in a moving bus, the driver said it's her fault she was killed. If she had allowed the men to rape her and hadn't fought back, they would have let her live.

    There are other issues too, like women tea estate workers not being paid minimum wage, women being raped as punishment in some parts, girl children being married to much older men against their will. The list is honestly shocking. So, anyone who dares speak up and fight against these horrors is a feminist as far as I'm concerned.

    All the same, I feel the urge to roll my eyes when women complain about not being able to wear whatever they want or go out late at night and call themselves feminists. There are much bigger issues to be talked about and a majority of so called feminists would rather talk about more trivial things. They'd rather talk about cat calling than the tribal women in our neighborhoods that don't go to school.

    This is the reason I don't call myself a feminist. I don't need to be a feminist to hold feministic view points. I also find the movement to be greatly misguided at times. As for third wave feminism in the west, yes that is a complete joke.
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