T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 35643
posted 11-18-2009 05:05 AM
For anyone who considers themselves to be a feminist (and that includes the guys out there), how would you finish this sentence? What has lead to you identifying this way? Remember, "the personal is political"!
I'll add my own answer soon, but suffice to say, this has felt particularly relevant to me lately. Or maybe I'm finally opening my eyes to what was there all along. [ 11-18-2009, 05:06 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]
Member # 3
posted 11-18-2009 01:24 PM
...no one should have rights or privileges at the expense of someone else; no one is truly equal or can truly be as equals without gender equality, and everyone -- female, male, or whatever one's gender identity is -- benefits from equality.
Because women are no less human or whole than men, and should be entitled to every right and liberty men have.
Member # 25425
posted 11-18-2009 10:56 PM
For me, in a lot of ways, it's like that T-shirt slogan: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention".
In so many ways, women are still held back, and as long as that's the case, I will be a feminist.
Member # 41579
posted 11-19-2009 07:39 AM
because while equality is a standard that is very hard to live up to it is worth fighting for and no individual should lack rights or privileges whether he/she is male, female, man, woman, or identify their sex and/or gender in a way different from the (societal) norm.
I also identify as feminist because I feel like it is a choice of label that is often rejected by many women for fear of stigmatization or being labeled as a man-hater. Well I'm here to say (and prove) that hate for any individual is not what defines a feminist and it is possible to be critical of an established system (perhaps patriarchy :-) without hating the people that are part of it (sometimes unknowingly due to lack of awareness in our cultures).
moonlight bouncing off water
Member # 44338
posted 11-19-2009 03:19 PM
...every one should have an equal rights and not be discriminated against, especially for things that we cannot (nor should we) change. Our society has many flaws, however I mean in no way to say it is all bad, and prejudice is one of the flaws. Many (within society) judge based on gender, race, sexual orientation, appearance, job, education, social status etc. I am against all forms of prejudice, including that towards women, so I consider myself a feminist.
Member # 25983
posted 11-19-2009 03:28 PM
.. because the ultimate tool for the continued proliferation of patriarchy is to "relax" and carry on like the work has already been done.
Member # 43159
posted 11-23-2009 03:13 PM
my feminism encourages me to become aware of interlocking systems of oppression, and of the ways in which I can hold both oppression and privilege in my brown, middle-class body. Nothing is simple, binary, or black-and-white; I don't believe in a feminism that is framed as being just for women, because too often that implicitly means "just for certain (white, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle-class) women." Instead, my feminism strives to recognize the way power is wielded in society... who is given the authority to speak, and for whom? I believe in coalition-building and introspection, and I don't want to be part of any feminist movement that doesn't respect my complexity or my contradictions.
[ 11-23-2009, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: vshanti ]
Member # 37952
posted 11-23-2009 03:28 PM
... because I want to help achieve a place in this culture where women are not raped, or laughed at, or interrupted because society deems us as lesser human beings.
... because I never again want to have a conversation with a man about how gender and sexual inequality does not exist. *Ignorance is not an excuse*
Member # 43325
posted 11-23-2009 08:51 PM
...because my life has been full of domestic violence against women and children and I'm sick of people pretending it doesn't happen anymore.
...because I needed to find my own voice. ...because I hear sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic etc. jokes and comments everyday and I can only imagine what it must feel like to be the butt of every joke. I want to help to erase that hate and negativity.
Member # 3
posted 11-23-2009 09:07 PM
(Just have to say that you all are such an awesome bunch of badasses. You make someone getting older and passing some torches feel mighty psyched to do so.
Member # 35643
posted 11-25-2009 04:28 AM
Great posts everyone!
...because I came across a couple of teenaged women who were raped by 'elders' in their community and then forced to marry their rapists. One bore 3 children to her rapist between the ages of 16 and 19. In New Zealand. In my city. In 2009. She had no-one to tell, nowhere to go. She and her 'husband' could have been deported together back to their home country for her disclosure. And that is heartbreakingly unacceptable to me. It will always be unacceptable to me, long after this particular woman is free of him. In the past, I felt like a feminist but was too scared/shy to call myself one. I refuse to be scared anymore. I refuse to hear "cultural sensitivity" as an excuse to condone coercion, abuse, rape and violence against women. Who will speak up, if not us? [ 11-25-2009, 04:33 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]
Member # 3
posted 11-25-2009 10:40 AM
quote: In the past, I felt like a feminist but was too scared/shy to call myself one. I refuse to be scared anymore. I refuse to hear "cultural sensitivity" as an excuse to condone coercion, abuse, rape and violence against women. Who will speak up, if not us? That's a strong, powerful statement you've got yourself there, eryn.
Member # 42492
posted 12-14-2009 10:09 AM
... because I've spent WAY to many years watching my dad do little to nothing around the house, while my mom works 40 hours a week plus, and is still responsible for all the housework and making sure the kids have done everything they need to do, just because "Cleaning house and raising children is women's work".
Member # 42678
posted 12-14-2009 11:17 PM
...because I need to be. Gender/sex based oppression is SO real and prevelent across the world - until this ceases to be an issue, there need to be people who identify as feminist.
Member # 37752
posted 12-17-2009 11:40 PM
Because I had an overwhelming desire to make out with a boy when I was in middle school, but that desire was only acknowledged in boys and not in girls. And I resented that. Because I've wanted sex with men who didn't want sex with me and I could have brushed it off were it not for pervasive gender stereotypes that had me questioning my worth as a woman. Because outside my personal bubble, stuff goes on that makes my personal problems seem very petty indeed - women are being BEATEN by lovers and boyfriends and husbands, female soldiers are twice-damned because only male soldiers get any glory to go along with the horrors they go through, because women only make 75 cents to men's dollars. Etc.
Member # 46667
posted 04-17-2010 01:21 AM
... because all people deserve to be equal.
... because all people deserve to be safe. ... specifically, because I became aware of the situation of human trafficking and I cannot be the kind of person to see something so wrong and let it go. ... because I believe that any one person may change the world if they try hard enough: and that changing one person's world is better than changing none. ... because I'm sick of being told I'm a slut because I have big boobs and am blond. ... because no one makes enough of a "big deal" out of the harassment, abuse and assault one third of all women go through. I'm not going to lie, I hesitate a bit to label myself as a feminist. I am by no means radical. I'm a conservative, non-denominational Christian who wants to have children, who wants to live at home and not have a career, who loves to cook and clean, who is only barely pro-choice (I believe that a fetus is a baby and a life, but I don't believe it's my right to tell some one what to do with their body). I think the word "feminist" needs to be redefined to include people like me as well (which I know a lot of people are trying to do), and move away from the man-hating, radical atheist only, non-shaving sort of picture, and include anyone who wants equal rights. I had this talk with my dad the other day. By the end, he said he now considers himself a feminist. I think he was just saying it to support me, but I'm proud of him anyway.
Member # 3
posted 04-17-2010 12:08 PM
Just FYI? quote: . I think the word "feminist" needs to be redefined to include people like me as well (which I know a lot of people are trying to do), and move away from the man-hating, radical atheist only, non-shaving sort of picture, and include anyone who wants equal rights. You know that picture is how OTHER people have presented feminism, not how most feminists have, right? In other words, that's a stereotype and bias primarily created by people against feminism to try and discount it as a movement.
Mind, some of us don't shave or are atheist (I don't think I have ever met a "man-hating" feminist ever: the women I've met who earnestly hate men rarely seem to be feminist at all, they just seem to be heterosexual and the hatred isn't political at all, but very personal), but a) that's hardly a rule and b) that's also not always even about our feminism. Critiques in feminist theory about women staying home and child-rearing, or cooking and cleaning, for the record, were not critiques of women who want to do those things, have free choices about them and choose to do them. Rather, they were critiques of a system and culture which insisted women MUST do those things (including as part and parcel of being "good women"), whether they wanted to or not; that it was women's job and duty because of being women to do those things for everyone else. If you were in that position yourself, you'd probably not like them or the idea of them as much, either: a lot of women didn't, which shouldn't come as a surprise. How familiar are you with feminist theory? For instance, on that topic, have you ever read any Betty Freidan, who was the second-wave feminist writing expressly to women who in that system? What about any Elizabeth Cady Stanton from the first wave? She addressed that a lot, too. If you haven't, reading them might help you get a better idea of what was being critiqued and understanding that no one was excluding or critiquing women who simply liked those things for themselves. [ 04-17-2010, 07:22 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 41657
posted 04-18-2010 10:00 AM
I am a feminist, and I have met women who identify as feminists who display attitudes I can only describe as man-hating, I have seen way too many threads in which small penis jokes are made (as cruel as making jokes about women's breasts, vulvas, labia or vaginas), or in which many of the comments suggest that if a man is genuinely nice he will find it easy to find a sexual partner (oh please, women can be shallow just as men can and the various circumstances of life can make finding a partner difficult for someone of any gender), or in which men who are unhappy with being circumcised are told to man up and that they think the whole world revolves around/are obsessed with their penis or must be men's rights activists (this kind of attitude made me feel bad about my own fear of being genitally cut and the way it dominated my brain sometimes because hey, I wouldn't want to be some sort of sex obsessed perv would I?). I don't think these attitudes are feminist, but I have met those who call themselves feminists who think this way, I have also met feminists who would constantly ignore the difficulties of being disabled and that no matter how many times you call somebody a giant baby, not everybody was raised with life skills or has a brain that's good at organising, and sometimes the mental anguish someone's experiencing takes over from their ability to get things done, and then sometimes, there are the "feminists" who clearly really do hate sex, not rape, not that porn which is exploitative and objectifying, not trafficking, but sexuality, sex, masturbation, orgasm, viewing it as somewhere between a trivial, unimportant distraction and an innately problematic/sinful thing and I just want to tell all those people to shut up because they're ruining it for everyone who does actually care about equality and rights.
Why am I a feminist? Because nobody should be discriminated against or regarded with prejudice because of their gender, biological sex, weight, marital status, race, nationality, sexual orientation, whatever disabilities or neuroatypicalities they do or do not have or their age, because it's not right to force religion on anyone and everyone has a right to a comprehensive evidence based education, because everyone has a right to ownership of their own body and sexuality and to freedom from torture, and those rights and the right to food, clean water, shelter and medical care are more important than money. Because I want people to feel good about their bodies instead of ashamed of them. The basic point being that the whole of my politics easily incorporates feminist principles. On a more personal level, because my mom never got to enjoy herself growing up because she was terrified of being pregnant and being rejected by her adoptive family and society the way her own biological mother was, because one of my friends was (and possibly still is) in an abusive relationship, without the confidence to leave a man who treats her badly, because I'm still trying to drop all the shame I have around my sexuality and body and my weight and the way I felt pathologised sexually and emotionally because of my aspergers and ADHD and have only recently started to see myself as beautiful, because I never want to get pregnant and am still trying to stop feeling guilty about that, because my wonderful boyfriend, who has utterly accepted my orientation and the way I look, was worried about the size of his penis before he showed it to me, because virtually all of the around a decade or more older than me LGBTQ people I know had very little or no support growing up, because I can still see racism and xenophobia around me and wonder at the impact it must be having on all the people I know who are members of a racial minority and/or immigrants. There's more reasons, but those are the ones that come to mind now.
Member # 3
posted 04-18-2010 08:31 PM
Jill: can I ask in what feminist communities you have read these things (online, I presume)? Or is this in-person?
Though I have to say, I do think we have to really think about what we mean if and when we say "man-hating." (Not a term I use, honestly.) I don't agree that saying a guy is nice so will find it easy to find a partner is misandrist, and am not sure I understand why it would be. I agree with you that small penis jokes could certainly be filed under misandry. Being a dope about men who are upset about ciscumcision? Meh. Not cool, but man-hating? I think when it comes to misandry, it's important to evaluate it the same way we evaluate misogyny, and on the same grading curve, save that we need to remember what gender (when we're only talking about gender, and not other classifications) has the power in the world. For example, an easy example of misogyny is the statement, notion or policymaking that rape isn't a violence or crime because women exist to serve male sexual needs. I also think...well, I don't know about all of your experiences, but online life and politics is just not a sound representation of people overall in my experience or my book. I don't mean to throw a pile of years at you in a snippy way at all, but having been around many diverse feminisms and feminists, in many different areas, for as far back as I can remember, my very wide experience has been that on the whole, feminists are not "man-hating" nor do we/they "hate sex." By all means, some feminists are arses, just like some people of every stripe are. Too, some people's general attitudes will override their feminism sometimes, and exist in spite of their feminism, not because of it. But I find it rare, and I would really encourage anyone to think about what suggesting it's pervasive -- something that hasn't been the experience of most women with decades of really being in a lot of feminist environments -- enables, and where that suggestion usually tends to come from, which isn't the actual experience that those things are pervasive. I'd really love to see this thread go back to the positive intention in the initial post. [ 04-18-2010, 08:39 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 41657
posted 04-19-2010 11:32 AM
I'm going to talk about my feelings in another thread, but I apologise if I gave the impression I think a lot of feminists are like this, I'm just saying that some feminists are, like some people who fall into whatever category are. I don't think that these attitudes are what feminism is about though, I think it's an important movement that's done a lot of important things and I continue to support it and identify as one myself. If you want to you can edit my post and take out the bit that you think detracts from the thread, I'm sorry.
Member # 3
posted 04-19-2010 12:16 PM
No worries, Jill, it's okay.
Member # 37752
posted 04-21-2010 02:52 PM
...because I want to be sexual but society tells me that the only way I'm allowed to express that is by looking sexy, but not allowed to expect my male partners to be sexy for me and now allowed to not be sexy, and that I'm expected to replace "sexual" with "sexy."
That's how I started identifying as a feminist, anyway.
Member # 39174
posted 04-21-2010 07:29 PM
i identify myself as a feminist because i do not and cannot live in a vacuum. I cannot ignore the realities that people live and suffer in and don't want to ignore them. I want to create positive change and i don't think i do that without the values represented under the term "feminisms".
Member # 35643
posted 09-23-2010 05:06 AM
I want to share with you all, an inspiring young feminist campaign..it's called THE GIRL EFFECT.
http://www.girleffect.org/learn/the-big-picture/the-girl-effect-ticking-clock?sms_ss=facebook It doesn't take much to make a big big difference for a girl, somewhere in the world. [ 09-23-2010, 05:12 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]
Member # 48229
posted 09-23-2010 06:45 AM
...because every single person in the world, whether your rich or poor, gay or straight, black or white, male or female, from our country or not, es equal. We are all people. Every human should be treated the same until they give you a reason not to.
I am NOT a feminist in that I think women are better than men, which is what a lot of people think when they hear the word 'feminist.' I use that term very little because of that, and because it implies I only care about the equality between genders, which is not the case. I care about the equality of every living person on Earth. Every one has the same rights, or at least every one should.
Member # 47095
posted 09-24-2010 12:19 AM
... words have definitions.
I am a person who believes that all people deserve equal standing before the law, and equal respect as human beings. Feminist theory is a subset of that, and as a result, I fit the definition. [ 09-24-2010, 12:20 AM: Message edited by: Cesario ]
Member # 49129
posted 09-27-2010 01:26 PM
... because I am a libertarian and against all forms of authority, obviously including male authority over women.
... because I hate being pressured to act like a macho man. [ 09-27-2010, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: Concealed Weapon ]
Member # 49582
posted 11-02-2010 04:06 PM
quote: Originally posted by EliotDorian: ...because I want to be sexual but society tells me that the only way I'm allowed to express that is by looking sexy, but not allowed to expect my male partners to be sexy for me and now allowed to not be sexy, and that I'm expected to replace "sexual" with "sexy." That's how I started identifying as a feminist, anyway. Exactly the same as me! First class post, dame
Member # 50020
posted 11-15-2010 12:52 PM
because I support the social, economic and political equality of males and females.
[ 11-15-2010, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: steph1878 ]
Member # 47452
posted 12-24-2010 12:58 AM
...because I was sexually harrassed as a child by a classmate at school, and I never want to be voiceless again. I never want another woman to be taken advantage of and scarred, either mentally, emotionally, or physically.
...because I view everyone on this planet as equals, and I think that everyone should have the same rights despite sexual orientation, gender, social standing, religion, race, skin color, appearance, or anything else. ...because even though women are technically "equal" to men in America, we're still not seen to be on the same playing field as men a lot of the time. We can and will run just as far, aim just as high, score just as well, be just as sexual as men.
Member # 51438
posted 12-29-2010 10:14 AM
...because it's just common sense, really.
Member # 35643
posted 12-30-2010 02:59 AM
Hmm if only it were common sense to everyone
. ...because it makes me sad and angry that my female colleagues and I live with a real fear of violence. That we can't even walk to our cars alone because of continued muggings and rapes in our area. As women, we deserve to feel safe. Everyday. Everywhere.
Member # 36725
posted 12-30-2010 01:33 PM
Everyone should have the RIGHT to be equal, feel safe, be who they are without being "less" than someone else for a look or basic physical construction, have the right to think for themselves and be RESPECTED for those thoughts. Because there isn't a "weaker" gender, everyone has PERSONAL strengths and those help to form the society as a whole. Because every person should have the chance to reach their full potential, regardless of how they look on the outside.
Member # 41699
posted 12-30-2010 04:05 PM
...because gender roles and expectations limit everyone and stops everyone from fully being their own selves and living happy lives.
Similarly, because we live in a culture that does not embrace everyone for who they are, or view every human being as equals. Because we still live in a world where women are unsafe every day of their lives simply because they are women. Because there are still idiot "scientists" out there constantly trying to prove how women are "biologically" weaker in every way. And because there are still plenty of people who believe them. Because people will always find some reason to descriminate and hate someone else, be it for their sex, gender expression or identity, orientation, race, class, sexual or reproductive decisions, or all of the above. And because despite all of this, I still hear that there is "no need" for feminism.
Member # 51570
posted 01-01-2011 06:25 AM
I can not call my self a feminist.. Call me what you like, but I belive that ALL people should be equal. I dont think that any one deserves "EXTRA" rights, privlage or treatment.
Shivalry was somthing that died with feminism. I treat women with respect because I see them as I see my self. A person like any other.
Member # 25425
posted 01-01-2011 07:31 AM
Just so's you know, feminism IS about believing that all people should be treated equally.
Member # 5822
posted 01-01-2011 03:45 PM
I'm a feminist because I fundamentally believe that for the world to be a better place for people of all genders, then men and women must be held to be of equal value.
Member # 50934
posted 01-01-2011 08:18 PM
I'm a feminist, even if I were a man because...
a. Girls are no different than men just because they don't have a penis! Or should I say that they are obviously guys! Just without penises! b. Women are human beings and just a different gender! c. The strong shall NEVER hurt the weak!
Member # 50455
posted 01-01-2011 11:50 PM
quote: Originally posted by Ste-Funnie: I'm a feminist, even if I were a man because... a. Girls are no different than men just because they don't have a penis! Or should I say that they are obviously guys! Just without penises I am super confused about what you meant by that. "Girls... are obviously guys! Just without penises."
Anyway, to answer the original question... I am a feminist because I believe in equality, and I believe in freedom, and I believe in learning from the past and teaching the future. I believe that my feminist foreparents, the brave people who set down this foundation of activism, did me a great service, and it is my job to keep building up those structures that empower, educate, and push boundaries so that those who come after me have an even more broad and solid structure to stand on and work from. There is a FABULOUS quote by Si Kahn: The more I study history the more I seem to find that in every generation there are times just like that time when folks like you and me who thought that we were all alone within this honored movement found a home
Member # 35643
posted 01-02-2011 12:17 AM
quote: Originally posted by CoatRack: I believe that my feminist foreparents, the brave people who set down this foundation of activism, did me a great service, and it is my job to keep building up those structures that empower, educate, and push boundaries so that those who come after me have an even more broad and solid structure to stand on and work from. I really like this way of thinking too, Coatrack
. For example, each election, I am reminded of the hundreds and thousands of women who marched and were trampled and mobbed so that I would have the right to vote today. For that reason, I will always vote and I will always work towards improving womens rights until we are actually equal. [ 01-02-2011, 12:20 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]
Member # 50455
posted 01-02-2011 12:24 AM
One of the greatest gifts I have been given is the ability to talk to the elders in my various communities about their lives. To learn from them and to be able to thank them with my words and my actions. To let them know that their work will not be forgotten, and that what they did matters, just as what I am doing matters. Every generation, every person, who does something matters, because then nobody is starting from square 1. Sometimes it feels like we're starting from square, you know, N-2^3, but it *isn't* square 1.
Member # 34415
posted 01-11-2011 06:11 PM
I'm a feminist because I believe that no one should be prevented from living their life however feels best to them, based on their gender. I believe that current political, legal and social structures prevent this and that its up to all of us to do something to change it so every woman can be free to live her life in whatever way she chooses.
Member # 60502
posted 04-19-2011 10:49 PM
The first time I called myself a feminist, I thought everyone was a feminist (I mean, who in their right mind WOULDN'T believe in equality for all???). I was dumbfounded when I found out that some people, in fact most of the people i knew, don't consider themselves feminists.
I still don't understand why anyone wouldn't be a feminist... I just can't wrap my head around it (I mean, who in their right mind wouldn't believe in equality for all?!?!?!). Over time I guess I must have internalized some of the stigma associated with feminism, because now every time I say I'm a feminist my heart beats a little bit faster and I get just a little bit hotter. I'm a feminist because there are still people who aren't. I'm a feminist because for some strange reason, there is stigma attached to believing in equality for all. Perhaps this is not an appropriate question for this forum, but why the heck wouldn't I be?
Member # 47356
posted 05-21-2011 09:18 PM
I'm a feminist because no one at my highschool, none of my good friends, and certainly no one that I would jump into a conversation with understands it when I attempt to explain the subtle ways I have noticed and felt discrimination.
I'm a feminist because I know eventually, I'll have a voice. Or atleast some equally smart, capable young woman will. And because eventually, I dont think I'll be getting those crazy looks from people that don't understand--maybe it'll be the other way around.
Member # 56822
posted 06-01-2011 07:38 AM
I believe in equality in individual power. When it comes down to it, everyone is a unique human being, and deserves certain basic undeniable rights. Some of the more privileged rights (that get lost when someone is convicted of breaking the law) can be taken away if their actions are proven to be profoundly negative, but the basic human rights should always exist for every person, and laws that counteract this should be changed and improved.
Actions tend to speak louder than words (though sometimes words do count as actions when used in certain ways in the public arena ). But if what you do counteracts what you say, you are not being truthful to yourself or others. I try to "pre-"judge people as little as possible. [ 06-01-2011, 07:50 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]
Member # 70370
posted 07-02-2011 09:43 PM
...without genitals, everyone would be the same.