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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Feminism 101

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Author Topic: Feminism 101
Heather
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Given that Scarleteen is a feminist sex education organization, and we have a lot of discussion about feminism here, I thought we could use a 101 thread.

I think it's particularly important to have one and talk about basics especially if anyone's ideas about feminism are based less on having read theory and history (including overall history of women's rights, or lack thereof) or participating in feminist discussions or actions, and more on media ideas, news blips or really short current articles that don't tend to represent the wide range and vast history of feminism accurately, sometimes quite intentionally. Without a pretty solid background, it can be easy to misunderstand, and I'm of the mind that for any of us interested in gender equity (for everybody) it's really important.

So, if you've got basic questions about concepts, history, theory, kinds of feminism, waves of feminism, let's leave'em here, where I'm also happy (and I'm sure others will be as well) to fill you in, suggest some reading, the works. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Felixosaurus
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Awesome idea for a thread!

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www.criticalmasculinities.com

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eryn_smiles
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Perhaps you could suggest some basic short reading which covers important history and concepts? Even better if it is available online.

I have read this blog on and off but find it quite confusing and cluttered, although some of their FAQs are good-
http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/

Thanks!

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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September
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Talk about signs and portends. I was just thinking about asking whether anyone has any idea where I might start searching if I am looking for an introduction to sex positive feminism. I was going to use the concept to argue a point in a paper, but it occurred to me that all I know about it is what we do here, which isn't exactly a source I can cite.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Heather
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So, you want to go to the source with this?

I'd say the source (academically and historically: of course there have been women in the past who have felt positive sexuality and gender equality were imortant) actually started in the first wave with Victoria Woodhull. But then in the second wave, you'd want to take a look at Ellen Willis (whose daughter, Nona, has blogged here before), and Gayle Rubin. I think you also have to add the women's health movement to that, as well, because that was certainly part of the picture.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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September
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Yes! That sounds like exactly what I need. Who knew that this went as far back as Victoria Woodhull? I foresee some interesting reading coming up. [Smile]

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Heather
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I confess, I geek out over Woodhull: I feel like she's often very overlooked, even though she worked on some really cool things per women's empowerment, namely, both sexuality/relationship AND economic issues. It was namely her ideas around sexuality and relationship models that literally got her pushed out of the country.

I haven't been able to get my hands on this yet, but I have heard good things about it: Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored, by Mary Gabriel.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Yakri
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I really liked reading that, it wasn't what I expected, or what the name suggested, very cool! ^_^

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Chin up and face the future, wonders beyond your wildest dreams await us!

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Felixosaurus
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A little OT, but one of the things that really got me into feminism, and the power of feminism was seeing Joan Nestle talk. Amazing.

I also realy like Gayle Rubin's "Thinking Sex" - a great and insightful bit of writing.

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www.criticalmasculinities.com

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Kalex
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This may be a odd question, but how does one define 'feminism'? In our culture, there seems to be a lot of misperception about what it is, and I got into a discussion about it. I know why I call myself feminist, but I don't know how to talk about it too clearly. I was asked how a man could be a feminist, and I think the person was under the assumption that it was a gender-specific term. I don't really know how to explain....Help?
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Felixosaurus
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Hi Kalex,

Definitional questions, like "what is feminism?" are often the really tricky ones. Feminism is a big and varied thing, with a long history and a lot of varying perspectives.

I guess my working definition is that feminism is a belief, a theory, a politics, a general worldview that is concerned with advocating for the equality of women, and criticising the male persective as the normal way of looking at things.

In regard to men and feminism, perhaps have a read of this, which addresses those questions.

http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/felix/2010/03/22/how_men_can_support_women_and_feminism

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www.criticalmasculinities.com

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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To add in to this, there are a LOT of different kinds of feminisms. The Wiki entry on feminism does a nice job of highlighting many: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

But ultimately, the core of most, if not all, feminism is simply gender equality and equity. In other words, the position that people of all genders should have the same basic rights and respect, and be viewed and treated as equals, rather than any one gender having more rights, power or privilege based on their gender or sex.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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