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  1. #71
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    It's number 2, I think, with an added part: I don't buy that it is a *completely* fallacious image. Regarding number 1, there are a few factions of feminism I do simply disagree with on an ideological level.
    This is saying the same thing in two different ways. I get that there are certain brands of feminism that you don't agree with (I certainly don't agree with them all either...in fact, some are so divergent that it would be logically impossible to agree with them both at the same time). What I'm saying is that IF there is a type of feminism that you do agree with, then you cannot throw off the feminist label (and if you do, it is because you are afraid of the social repercussions of being identified with the label, which are unfortunately negative due to the poor representation that feminism has had in mainstream media).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    The person who asked the "are you a feminist" question should have given a specific definition of what they meant by 'feminism' - it's almost impossible to have a discussion about it these days because it seems there are so many different definitions of the word - negative, positive and neutral.
    Same thing applies here as I have said before. It didn't need to be defined, because either you are a feminist (of whatever type) or you're not. If you're not a feminist, it is because you don't identify with ANY type of feminism or the motivations behind them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    I'm aware of most of feminist history and literature (and have read the major writers), have taken women's studies course (never again!) early on during my undergrad degree and my opinion is based on what I've read/thought. A lot of the people I know who would describe themselves as mainstream feminists believe in things I do not believe in - 'the patriarchy' being a good example of this. Is believing in the a patriarchy something that you consider outside of the mainstream?

    I mean, in your opinion, you tell me - can I rationally consider myself a feminist without believing in a patriarchy*? That's part of why I hem and haw when asked - I've been told a number of times that that specific belief of mine negates the possibility of my being a feminist. However, I do believe in equal opportunity for all people, regardless of sex, race etc. It's not disingenuous confusion on my part. I really don't know.

    *again, talking about first world feminism here
    You're asking whether simultaneous belief in equality between genders and disbelief in a "patriarchy" would qualify as a type of feminism?

    Most people tend to agree on this abstract notion of "equality" between people of different genders, races, etc., but they run into problems when it comes to interpreting whether or how this abstract idea is achieved in concrete experience. This is true of all deliberation on moral or ethical issues...people agree on the abstract value, but very rarely agree on concrete application of that value, or on interpretations of that value in concrete experience. Therefore I don't see this as being a sign of anything other than that you live in a democratized Western nation.

    As to the patriarchy issue...this has been formulated in a number of different ways. In recent scholarship the use of the term has been largely relinquished (because it tends to conjure the image of a room full of men consciously and deliberately coming up with ways to oppress women), but the concept that it stands for remains. That is, it represents the view that there are systemic forces (whether they be related to language as a constitutive force, to political-economic forces, i.e., capitalism, or to a lot of other underlying forces or combinations thereof) that limit the possibilities of subjectivity or agency of women. So though I tend to hesitate saying this, I think that a rejection of the fact that inequality exists between men and women (and transgender or pangender folk), which is the corrollary of denying that there is systemic oppression along gender lines, is pretty much inconsistent with any type of feminism.

    I think your characterization of yourself as "post-feminist" is accurate. I think I can say with confidence that feminism nowadays is pretty uniformly intent on demonstrating that we are as a society very far from achieving equality in terms of gender, and therefore very far from having the ability to refer to ourselves as post-feminist.
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  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I get that there are certain brands of feminism that you don't agree with (I certainly don't agree with them all either...in fact, some are so divergent that it would be logically impossible to agree with them both at the same time). What I'm saying is that IF there is a type of feminism that you do agree with, then you cannot throw off the feminist label

    It didn't need to be defined, because either you are a feminist (of whatever type) or you're not.
    This is horribly contradictory. You should go by a label if you agree with any of the definitions but it doesn't need to be defined even though people could assume any of a host of associations with that label that you would find logically impossible to reconcile with your own, because you are that label or you're not?
    I don't wanna!

  3. #73
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I get that there are certain brands of feminism that you don't agree with (I certainly don't agree with them all either...in fact, some are so divergent that it would be logically impossible to agree with them both at the same time). What I'm saying is that IF there is a type of feminism that you do agree with, then you cannot throw off the feminist label
    It didn't need to be defined, because either you are a feminist (of whatever type) or you're not.
    Quote Originally Posted by booyalab View Post
    This is horribly contradictory. You should go by a label if you agree with any of the definitions but it doesn't need to be defined even though people could assume any of a host of associations with that label that you would find logically impossible to reconcile with your own, because you are that label or you're not?
    Why is it contradictory? It is perfectly in line with Orangey's point of a personal identity with regards to the term feminism. Only if your feminist label is for others, i.e., beyond the self, would there be a need for definition to be clearly stated [i.e., to explain to others].

    Many feminists take on the label for, as simple as, as complex as, personal identity.

    Will you call into question a person's personal label of 'black', if that person had, perhaps, a convoluted mixed heritage? Should a definition of 'black' need to be outlined first? One drop? Two drops? Pound for pound?

    ***
    I personally do not think men can be feminists. They can be pro-feminists, not feminists.

    Even though I greatly admire the works of bell hooks (Feminism is for Everybody)...that's another debate.

  4. #74
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyalab View Post
    This is horribly contradictory. You should go by a label if you agree with any of the definitions but it doesn't need to be defined even though people could assume any of a host of associations with that label that you would find logically impossible to reconcile with your own, because you are that label or you're not?
    The parts of my response that the bolded parts of your statement address refer to two different contexts.

    The first addresses what the individual attempting to answer the question should go by. If you are any type of feminist, then you are a feminist. Simple enough.

    The second addresses what the individual asking the question should go by. If you want to reach the widest possible audience of feminists (i.e., get the maximum amount of people who identify as feminists, as per my any feminist = feminist suggestion, to respond) then you don't need to (or shouldn't) define what feminism you are talking about, because that would limit the number of responses. For instance, if I asked how many NTs were marxist feminists and then defined exactly what that meant, then I wouldn't be able to expect as many answers as if I had asked how many NTs ascribed to some general notion of feminism. That's why I disagreed that the OP should have defined what feminism they had in mind.

    I didn't say that as a principle feminism shouldn't be defined. Nice attempt at nitpicking, though :rolli:.
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  5. #75
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    I'm not really sure what a feminist is. Once upon a time it would of been a woman who wanted to work or who decided not to have children or something along those lines.

    The feminist movement works for me because I'm a T? but for the female F's? I'm not so sure it has. Yes all women can succeed in the workplace but now they kinda have to be there and it might not be where they are happiest. Do male Fs prefer the workplace or looking after children? It's up for debate but I am assuming that F's are more maternal.

    The feminist movement created some flexibility and it is great that the man has the choice of staying home to care for the kids while the woman works - this may suit their individual personalities better.

    I hear some woman speak down on other women who stay at home and have/care for children and house and cook etc while the husband works or the 'government supports then'. I just think if they are happy and doing their job as a parent then good on them, someone has to do that job but it won't be me because kids scare me lol.

    Am I a feminist? you tell me

    Sorry if I've recapped or reasked questions that are earlier on in this post.

  6. #76
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy View Post
    I'm not really sure what a feminist is. Once upon a time it would of been a woman who wanted to work or who decided not to have children or something along those lines.

    The feminist movement works for me because I'm a T? but for the female F's? I'm not so sure it has. Yes all women can succeed in the workplace but now they kinda have to be there and it might not be where they are happiest. Do male Fs prefer the workplace or looking after children? It's up for debate but I am assuming that F's are more maternal.

    The feminist movement created some flexibility and it is great that the man has the choice of staying home to care for the kids while the woman works - this may suit their individual personalities better.

    I hear some woman speak down on other women who stay at home and have/care for children and house and cook etc while the husband works or the 'government supports then'. I just think if they are happy and doing their job as a parent then good on them, someone has to do that job but it won't be me because kids scare me lol.

    Am I a feminist? you tell me

    Sorry if I've recapped or reasked questions that are earlier on in this post.
    I don't think you did. Nobody touched the messy motherhood issue yet. But I don't think there's any certifying body that can tell you whether you qualify to be a feminist or not, though individuals are free to have an opinion of course.

    I'm sure there are individual feminists who would question my committment to Sparkle Motion because I'm not super concerned about blazing a trail career-wise. Honestly, I don't really care what they think, no more than I care what misogynists who think I'm taking work from men. Their opinions matter not even a whit in my daily life. I do what I can to contribute to the family bottom line. I like what I do and I like to keep my mind engaged, but my family is definitely my top priority. That is a choice I was free to make because of the work of earlier feminists though.

    I embraced the processes of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding where I'm sure other feminists consider them messy and unfortunate anachronisms. That, too, is a choice I was free to make thanks to other women (and men!) who made it possible. If I didn't want to have children, I wouldn't have to, unlike women in other times and places.
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  7. #77
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    What I'm saying is that IF there is a type of feminism that you do agree with, then you cannot throw off the feminist label (and if you do, it is because you are afraid of the social repercussions of being identified with the label, which are unfortunately negative due to the poor representation that feminism has had in mainstream media).
    I'm not *trying* to throw off, or embrace, the feminist 'label'. All I am trying to say is that the word 'feminist' means some wildly different things to different people, and I don't want to be misunderstood in conversations - I don't want to say "I'm a feminist" and have someone else think I see men as oppressors, but I also don't want to say "I'm not a feminist" and have people think I believe all women should be at home barefoot, pregnant, and housekeeping. (and yes, there are many shades of grey in there - what's what I'm getting at). Don't tell me my reasoning behind not being 100% certain how to answer that question - I don't mind if someone thinks less of me because of my beliefs (in terms of social repercussions, there are more in my crowd for not IDing as a feminist, rather than IDing as one, but they - the 'repercussions' - tend to be minor either way), but I *do* mind if someone doesn't understand my beliefs based on what word I've chosen to use. Without a 10 minute conversation, I still don't know how to answer the 'are you a feminist' question.

    I'm no closer to knowing after this discussion, either. I'm not sure a neat, one-word yes or no answer is even possible these days, unless one fits neatly into either extreme of 'yes' or 'no'.
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  8. #78
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kangirl View Post
    I'm not *trying* to throw off, or embrace, the feminist 'label'. All I am trying to say is that the word 'feminist' means some wildly different things to different people, and I don't want to be misunderstood in conversations - I don't want to say "I'm a feminist" and have someone else think I see men as oppressors, but I also don't want to say "I'm not a feminist" and have people think I believe all women should be at home barefoot, pregnant, and housekeeping. (and yes, there are many shades of grey in there - what's what I'm getting at). Don't tell me my reasoning behind not being 100% certain how to answer that question - I don't mind if someone thinks less of me because of my beliefs (in terms of social repercussions, there are more in my crowd for not IDing as a feminist, rather than IDing as one, but they - the 'repercussions' - tend to be minor either way), but I *do* mind if someone doesn't understand my beliefs based on what word I've chosen to use. Without a 10 minute conversation, I still don't know how to answer the 'are you a feminist' question.

    I'm no closer to knowing after this discussion, either. I'm not sure a neat, one-word yes or no answer is even possible these days, unless one fits neatly into either extreme of 'yes' or 'no'.
    I agree with this. I cannot label myself in any way to fit a debate like this one. I absolutely believe that women are equal to men and that we should be afforded every opportunity men are afforded, and not treated like second-class citizens. I am a feminist in that regard. Do I see every issue in the world through a feminist lens, like many of my fellow English grad students did? No, I don't. But I know that socially and politically, you're seen as an evil monster by some group or another whether you embrace or reject the label, either way. That is why I reject labels, as a rule. Like Kangirl said, you can't show every shade of gray in a 10 minute conversation. There are too many hypotheticals, too many situations where you may or may not agree with the person who's questioning you as to whether you fit their idea of what a feminist is. To me, it is not a simple "yes or no" question. Labels are usually shorthand for, "Tell me yes or no, so I'll know whether to think less of you or not."
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