Just Curious… November 16, 2008 What is the definition of feminism? Don’t cheat and go look it up in the dictionary. I want to know what you think it is.
I was so unhappy until I got this career. It is the best thing that I ever did.
For you who want to stay home and raise a family and homeschool, I say, You Go Girls.
We all should affirm each other in our choices. Live and let live. Don’t let anyone stomp on you if you are doing what you want to do. I have nothing but respect for women who are doing exactly what they want to do.
Later thoughts: I remember my mom coming home frustrated from church council meetings where she would say something and have it ignored, and when a man said the same thing it would be affirmed. I’ve not had the same struggles, in fact, I don’t feel particularly disadvantaged as a woman (perhaps due to my stature – 5’10” and large-boned, as we like to say, and also my blunt, forceful personality), but maybe I owe many thanks to those women who have blazed the way.
On the other hand, was I better off when I chose to stay at home with my new daughter (in 1998) and not one other woman at my church was also full-time at home with her children? Where have all the women gone? Back to work, every one! O, when will they ever learn…
Yes, I have chosen (and I realize the privilege of having a choice, and am grateful) a more traditional role as stay-at-home mom and chief homekeeper. I’m the main cook more because my husband doesn’t cook and I love it, mostly. But these days, stay-at-home means fewer peers, and sometimes it’s downright lonely. An unfortunate result of feminism and the industrial revolution and WWII, I suppose. (If you know history better than I do, feel free to disagree.)
So I have mixed feelings about feminism, the other f-word… 🙂
happypappy: a feminist telemarketer doesn’t ask to speak to Mr. So and So, but speaks to either parent. A feminist CEO doesn’t hire the man because he can’t have babies.
What does Mars and Venus have to do with it?
Happypappy: equal social and political power and all that entails, i.e. equal pay for equal work.
This is from a friend who was not able to post and so she emailed me this comment (by the way, are any of the rest of you having problems posting?):
I give up! Can’t post a comment to Mama’s Minutia because it keeps telling me to “enter the letters that are shown” in the word verificiation box and never gives me any letters (just “loading…” which is frozen there). So, anyway, here’s my definition:
Feminism is the sum of all that’s implied when an individual exclaims “You go, girl!” with a little thrill in his/her voice.
Kathy S. (who lived through the Women’s Liberation Movement… along with your mom)
for the dr.: Can two different entities (i.e. Mars and Venus) be EQUAL? Define the conditions of EQUAL.
I think feminism is the empowerment of women to reach their full potential not at the expense of men, but in spite of them (ideally WITH them). Despite the progress that has been made, we still live in a society that values men over women. Insults are frequently gendered (i.e.: female attributes are undesirable), men still make more than their female counterparts, and woman continue to be grossly underrepresented in politics. Additionally, we still bear the majority of homemaking and childcare responsibilities (I think we can agree that alone is a full-time job) even though the majority of us also work outside the home.
Feminism to me is achieving a society, and a world, in which women can walk alone at night without fear, succeed without questioning whether they were unduly hindered or helped because of their gender, and not have to choose between a family and a career if they so desire both while not being vilified if they choose both, or only choose one.
I think the most important thing we can do is to support one another, instead of tearing each other down. Women are frequently meaner toward and harder on one another than men. We can not be awful to each other and then lament the inequity we still face. We can be our own greatest allies or worst enemies, it is our choice. How can we expect “society” to treat us equally if we don’t even do it for one another?
Freakwenter: female power at the expense of male power?
having read that, I think there is still the need for feminism.
What prompted you to ask this, JJ?
You Can Call Me Jane
I really dislike the word…and the meaning it seems to have taken on.
*I* think it should mean the belief that women are allowed to embrace and pursue whatever interests and pursuits they wish, unhindered, and receive compensation based on performance versus gender. It should also include a deep respect and appreciation for the strengths and pursuits of men, since that is how we (women) wish to be seen/treated by them.
Feminism is the push for female power at the expense of male power.
People who call themselves feminist today put themselves in an ambiguous position. Are they feminist in the sense that they want equal rights for women, or are they female-supremicists, hoping to create a culture in which women are stronger than men?
Most people today would be considered feminists by the standards of 1900, before women had the right to vote. But now it is much less clear what rights women (in the U.S.) have yet to gain. Hence it is unclear whether we need feminists now.
Some would argue that the lower pay of women and lack of female CEOs and presidents is clear evidence that women still face societal discrimination, even if they are no longer barred from power by visible anti-women laws. Maybe so, I say, but my experience in academia and the workplace does not support this view. In addition, there are several reasonable potential explanations for women being behind in careers: the fact that women are less reliable for long-term careers due to the possibility of childbirth, and the fact that women are – in this culture – typically less interested in the hard sciences may explain a lot.
Therefore, I think that feminism is a quaint term of the past in the U.S., although if may still be relevant in more backwards nations
After about 15 minutes of grasping at possibilities, I wonder this: if feminism is the same sort of -ism as sexism, racism, classism, whatever, then is feminism the action/idea of preferring feminine over masculine?
May have other thoughts later…
a man can be a feminist because feminism is the belief that a woman is equal to a man. It is that simple.
Well, am I the first to stick my neck out and dare to give this a go?
Feminism: Could you break that down into thinking of it as the rule of the female mind?.
The mindset that the female gender was created to –man, this is harder than I thought— no, the demand of women who refuse to explore their godgiven spheres of their roles, in exchange for control —well…hmmm…— the rebellion of the female mind that assumes that God considers women unequal to (read: lesser)than men, therefore all power and control is to be equally demanded and grasped.
The female goal to destroy all gender stereotypes.
Could anyone follow that!!?!
Do I touch on actuality at all? 🙂
This was quite a thought provoking question that prompted a nice discussion with my husband
a man can be a feminist.