Post # 1
It has struck me that feminism seems to be a dirty word at times. Very few people are comfortable calling themselves feminists in public.
Recently, there has been a surge in newspaper articles which makes me wonder if a new generation of women is about to reclaim the word.
However, when I was growing up then there were all these women who called themselves “post-feminists”. They were usually ex-glamour models or similar, who were trying to justify the fact that they deliberately made themselves into figures for men to fantasise over. It was the fact that they used the term “post-feminist” to describe this that really bothered me, though. What a smug, self-satisfied term to use, I thought…
Anyway… feminism! Is it dead? Is it experiencing a resurgence? Did it never really go away? Discuss! And let’s keep any the fighting and differences of opinion clean and above the belt, please, ladies!
PS We really need a “philosophy” thread on the bee to discuss this stuff… it doesn’t really seem to fit anywhere on the boards!
Post # 3
I think there needs to some sort of revolution. Plastic surgery is so big now, and it is all marketing- I wonder if people don’t realize- it is always something. It was straight teeth for dentists to profit, now it is super white teeth, now it is not aging and women get plastic surgery that puts them into this “ageless” plastic surgery age catagory.
The list goes on and on. I don’t really buy into it. I have never worn makeup a day in my life. I know a lot of people say that feminism is about choices, but I still have to wonder.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
I’m a fourth year gender studies major so we talk about feminism a lot in my classes 😉 I definitely agree that feminism has many negative stereotypes associated with it and I think that’s why so many women don’t want to call themselves a feminist even if they have traditional ‘feminist’ views. The other difficult question is how do we measure feminism? I think there are lots of different types of feminism based on differences in background and experiences. So one person could call themselves a feminist and another person might think they aren’t feminst enough or too feminist. Some people don’t want to label themselves but still fight for lots of issues that have been ‘traditionally’ related to feminism.
I don’t think feminism is dead, I think it just presents itself in different ways in this ‘wave’. That being said, I do think it is important to construct a more positive view of feminism rather than perpetuating problematic stereotypes (: I think ‘feminist’ issues need to be talked about more, even if they aren’t positioned as ‘feminist’ if that makes sense?
Post # 5
So I’m not a feminist because I wear makeup? I like it because of how it makes my skin look. I see that as no different than my brother who likes to grow a beard b/c of how it looks.
I don’t know if feminism has died or if we’re just living our lives without defining ourselves. Back in the day, being a feminist meant working outside of the home and redefining the role of women. Now, I think working outside the home is just what we do to get by.
I like to think that I have feminist tendencies. I didn’t want to do the boquet toss b/c the indication that women should be excited to get married, like it’s some kind of life goal, really annoys me. I decided to go to college and get a career because I feel that it’s the best move for anyone, to not have to rely on someone else.
I think plastic surgery is just about people who are insecure or a status symbol. I don’t see it any different than men who get their hair plugged. I don’t really know anyone in real life who has had plastic surgery though I guess.
Post # 6
I don’t think it’s dead. I am a feminist, my FI calls himself a feminist, many of my friends refer to themselves as feminists. “Lean In” is currently on the best seller list.
However, you can be a feminist and still make “non-feminist” choices. I think this blog is a really good summary of one that gets discussed here a lot – changing your name when you marry: http://kateharding.info/2013/03/08/why-i-lose-my-mind-every-time-we-have-the-name-conversation/
Post # 7
Feminism is far from being dead.
We (as woman) just have to appreciate that there are many TYPES of feminism. =)
Fight the good fight!
Post # 8
Interesting. I havn’t noticed this personally. I think there are different types of feminists. I don’t think it is dead at all.
Post # 9
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
What feminism stands for, those ideals are not dead, and in fact, I think in many areas, women are making great progress, but we have more work to do. Women are still paid less and our society does not have the proper networks, services, and culture in place to truly allow career women to have children and commit to motherhood without putting their career at risk.
Unfortunately, the term feminism has been used by anti-feminists as if it applies to only those most aggressive feminists who want to put women above men (if such people even exist) and have painted a picture that feminism strips women of fundamental womanhood attributes, like the ability to be feminine and permission to fully embrace motherhood. It’s all bologna, but it’s been an effective campaign that has scared off many younger women from the very idea of feminism.
Post # 10
@Rachel631: I often think on this topic frequently as well. I would be one of those “in between” feminists.
I think mostly because a lot of the “full blast” feminists seemed to be against women being portrayed in any sort of negative light, whereas I would be more for portraying them realistically. I also disapprove heavily with writers (mostly men) who portray the mary sue type characters and the way they can show women to be. But to me, again that’s just terrible writing. I think Lena Dunham of Girls in a way is guilty of portraying men as simplistic idiots. So it goes both ways.
I’m going mostly off of board discussions online as well, and the interactions I’ve had with women online.
My opinion is that you should do whatever you honestly want, but you shouldn’t limit your mind to what is expected of you. That goes more into the desire to become something unexpected, and to strive to test the limits of our mind. Which I believe everyone should do.
I am a feminist absolutely in certain senses, but not in a way where defending women creates the idea they need defending.
Post # 11
@mrsSonthebeach: That’s such a good point. Women are still treated as being less in so many ways. I think a lot of that is to do with ourselves as well. I know many ladies at work who are okay wth being harrassed by the customers as long as they recieve great tips.
It’s difficult sometimes to decide if we should fight sexism entirely or let it work for our benefit at times.
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I think that feminism itself is alive and well and thriving, and has really become the norm in modern society. By that I mean the basic understanding that women can be as intelligent, career-driven, successful, independent, adventurous, etc etc as men – but also the flip side that we have the right to choose whether to wear makeup or not, be a stay-at-home mom or not, marry early or never marry, etc and it doesn’t affect our worth as people.
Another way I see feminism alive and well in the US is how much of a no-no sexual harrassment of any kind is here. (Obviously there are a lot of awful statistics that contradict this, but bear with me.) I’ve traveled and lived in a lot of foreign countries, and in so many of them, it’s perfectly normal and accepted for men to leer at women, verbally harass them, touch them without permission, blatantly judge their career skills based on appearance, etc. Here, that is just NOT accepted and I think that’s been a major change in the past 50 years. Probably the same goes for England, I would guess.
However, I do agree with you that the term “feminist” has gotten a bad rap and fewer women these days are willing to call themselves one. It brings along the connotations of “femi-Nazi” and all that bullshit.
@mrsSonthebeach: Yeah exactly!
Post # 13
@Rachel631: well, people have differing views on the meaning of feminism. There are women who believe that feminism means there are no differences between males and females, and there are other women who celebrate their femininity, but want equal opportunities. Over the years feminism has gone from “girl power” to “man hater” and therein lies the bad vibes. As a woman i cringe at the way some feminists try to convince others that men are misogynistic bullies who are out to rule the world. It makes the rest of us look bad. I’m all for equal rights but at the same time I like dressing up to please my husband, and I expect him to treat me differently than a man. I want him to be chivalrous, because the fact is he is better at some things that I am. He has more physical strength, he makes more money, he’s more athletic, and he’s skilled at performing tasks at which I am downright clueless. Damned if I’m gonna try to fix the car or the plumbing. Just to prove that a woman can do it? I don’t think so. We have mutual respect for one another, but are most certainly different.
Post # 14
I guess I’d be part of the group that is over the label – it’s calling attention to real problems, but it also works to separate us from the other half of humanity, and I think anything that splits us apart from one another is bad. I know about the benefits of priviledge, I’m not a minority and I see it quietly working for me every day. At the same time, no guy chose being male. We were all born into a system that’s much bigger than us; a lot of things are totally beyond our control. The only things we can control are the way we treat ourselves and each other. By listening to each other, learning about the world, thinking about our choices and acknowledging the bad without losing sight of the good – we have a chance to be happy. Even if it’s just in our own circle of influence. And it’s our only chance…I want to enjoy my life! Preachy preach preach! But these thoughts really help when I start getting discouraged and unhappy about injustice, etc.
Post # 15
I think it depends on where you live.
Feminism is most certainly not dead in Berkeley, CA where I live, but that could be a bubble. There’s definitely places where it has always been a “dirty” word – the South, for example. I don’t think that’s really changed. I think a militant feminist attitude isn’t particularly effective/helpful, so in that respect I actually hope that it is dying. I think a cooperative atmosphere where women mentor each other, stand up for themselves in healthy ways, etc is where we’ll see the most progress.
Post # 16
Nope, feminism is alive. In fact, I also think that it’s the norm in some ways (such as when considering sexual harrassment in the workplace, as one PP said). Personally, I think feminism has an “extreme” connotation to many people, especially in young adults.
To me, feminism isn’t about choice – it’s about realizing the histories and the perspectives behind them, and making our own educated decisions.