Thursday, 21 May 2015

Why I Still Can't Get Onboard With Feminism

Feminism has always been a bit of a grey area for me. I want to identify as a feminist, I really do, but something always stops me getting fully onboard. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, so I thought I would share my thoughts with you all.
A couple of weeks back, I wrote this post:  http://myrandommusings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/feminism-not-for-me-1st-april-2015.html 
Since then, I have read a lot of feminist articles and blog posts, and I have, in the most part, enjoyed them. I have found myself nodding along with the points they raise. I realise some of the points I made in my original post were based more on the stereotype of feminism, rather than actual feminists. I have also learned that being a feminist, for the majority of people actually isn't about man hating, it's about equality, and who wouldn't want that?

How I see feminism
Thankfully, I think feminism has moved on massively from the days of Germaine Greer and her statements like "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle". I understand what she was trying to say, women can be independent. We don't need men to support us financially or make our decisions for us.
I do think it was worded horrifically though. The wording undermines the whole theory of feminism. If feminists are truly striving for equality they must accept that woman do need men - in the same way they need women, and the same way men need both men and women. We are, by nature, social creatures - we need other people and men are people too!


What I like about feminism


* I want equality, obviously, especially in the work place. If a woman works the same hours, at the same job, with the same qualifications as a male colleague, its a no brainer she should be receiving the same salary.
*I would like to be viewed as a person with a functioning brain who has opinions, ambitions and can do whatever I want to with my life, even if that means not wanting the 2.4 children and a dog lifestyle. I don't want to be viewed as the "silly little woman" who's only goal in life is to get married and iron her husbands shirts!
*I want my views to be taken as seriously as a man. I don't want to be patted on the head metaphorically, and certainly not literally!

What I dislike about feminism
*The word itself - I think a lot of people still view it as a code for man hater


*The double standards. If we want equality, it has to work both ways. You can't moan that you don't get taken seriously, then flutter your eyelashes when it suits you.

If that was the end of it, I could identify myself as a feminist easily, or more truthfully, an equalitist, but being as how that isn't actually a word, feminist would be close! But like many great things, that isn't the end of it. There is another side to it, and it is the below that makes me struggle with feminism as a concept.

The "Sisterhood" and double standards
The sisterhood just doesn't exist outside of the feminist community.
In my experience, woman are worse than men for putting each other down. Obviously, the examples I give below aren't true of every woman, a lot of women do support and celebrate each other, but these examples crop up all too often. 
1. Women slut shame other women.
2. When a woman walks by in a short skirt, or a low cut top, it's other women that hiss "tramp" under their breath.
3. And heaven forbid another woman is doing well for herself - then the claws really come out!
These examples are from snippets of conversations between various women I overheard while out and about in one day! Surely then, this is only the tip of the ice berg.
It also bothers me that women don't like to be objectified, but are perfectly ok with objectifying men. Go into any busy pub on a Saturday night. I will be amazed if you don't find several groups of women comparing size/shape of their men's penises. And once the drink starts flowing, I would also be amazed if you don't hear comments like "look at the ass on that" and even so bad as "I'd give him one" from women as a man passes them. As a bartender, I have heard those (and much worse) comments from women way too often!
I can't stand double standards and yet women seem to accept this behaviour from other women without comment, but raise holy hell if a man acts in the same manner.

In conclusion
In conclusion, I think if we, as women, spent less time focusing on the problems we perceive men to have with women and more time spent on fixing our own problems with other women, it would be time well spent. I think then I could truly identify as a feminist! And who knows, maybe when we stop giving men permission to treat us like sexual objects to be judged (because let's face while women are treating each other this way, that is what we are doing), maybe they will think twice before making an inappropriate comment towards a woman.

What do you think? Are you a feminist? Are you a man that's sick of being stereotyped?

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26 comments:

  1. Hello. I'm visiting back from the Road Trip. Your blog is very attractive. I'd have liked links to your A to Z posts from your Reflections or did I not find the right place to hover my mouse? Sue’s Trifles

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    1. Thank you :) I did consider putting links in the post but I decided against it in the end because all the links are in the "recent posts" part at the side. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I am with you. I don't like the word feminism because it has bad connotations nowadays, but I read an article that said feminists are different from feminazis. So I guess I am a feminist, in the sense that I do want equality, but I don't like how some feminists go over the top with it. You're right that if it's about equality, then they should focus not just on what women cannot do, but men as well.

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    1. I love the term feminazi I am so going to use that at some point! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  3. I understand what you're saying. The word feminist is equated with man hating, and women are terrible to each other. With that said, I do still identify with feminism.

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    1. I identify with it to an extent, but not enough to label myself as a feminist. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. I used to say I was an "equalist" because I thought the word "feminist" was exclusionary and therefore hypocritical. Since then I have done a lot of reading on feminist theory while completing my Master's of Arts degree. I am now the Executive Director of The Women's Resource Centre in my community. I am, wholeheartedly, a feminist and am proud to identify as such. If I may, I would like to point out to you, why I feel that you are a feminist as well simply by pointing to two other blog posts I noticed: "V is for Victim Blaming" and "Drinking Alone in Bars: Men Vs Women." Those two posts alone are exactly why we still need feminism and why we need to be proud to say we are feminists. Feminism is about equal legal, economic, and social rights for women. If women are taking part in slut shaming and degrading other women, they are not feminists. If women are sexually exploiting men publicly, they are not feminists. Any women who do these sorts of things are not women I would want to be in a "sisterhood" with. I do respect your thoughts, but I also hope you'll reconsider your willingness to proudly be called a feminist.

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    1. Thank you for commenting:) When you put it like that, I do believe in equal legal, economic and social rights - maybe I am a feminist, and it's just the word I don't like. It's all about equality but the word feminism still has connotations of excluding half of the population from the movement, although having said that, I have heard of some men who identify as feminist. You have definitely given me some food for thought there, thank you!

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  5. I am with you - hate the word .I'm not pushover, I can do most things without a man, but I am not a man hater and it is nice to be rescued every once in a while. Great post #BinkyLinky

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    1. I'm so glad you mentioned being rescued! While it's nice to be strong and independent, sometimes you need to just cut yourself some slack and let someone help you. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  6. I love this post. I agree with pretty much all you say. Feminism has almost become a dirty word hasn't it? #MomstersLink

    http://motherhoodtherealdeal.com/

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    1. Thank you :) Yes, I agree it has, I think there is too much pressure on being the right kind of feminist for starters, why can't we all just do our own thing and agree to disagree. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  7. I don't think we have to label beliefs either. Saying you're a feminist has its own connotations that aren't really part of what the group stands for. Another thought provoking post hun #momsterlink

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    1. That's a good point - why do we always feel the need to put labels on everything and everyone! Thank you :)

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  8. I believe in equality between men and women and believe that women should be independent, just as men should be too. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

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    1. Me too - equality all the way! Thank you for hosting :)

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  9. Really interesting post thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for hosting :)

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  10. I'm with you on this. I wouldn't call myself a feminist. Maybe we should try to use the term equalist more because I think that's more appropriate. Equality for all. =)

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  11. Hi, thanks for this post. It is really interesting. I am going to write a post about feminism at some point but I can't figure out what I actually think about the issue. There are some issues that feminism is campaigning for at the moment that I think is really important : sexual consent being taught on the national curriculum for example. But feminism really does have a bad name and I think it is really difficult to get a single narrative as to what it stands for. There are so many different interpretations of feminism and of what is right and wrong.
    Anyway, thanks for your post and for discussing the issues. Food for thought!

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    1. You're right - it can be very hard to pin point what exactly feminism represents sometimes because there are so many different ideas and points of view floating around. I agree that sexual consent should be taught in schools - this will not only protect young women, but I also think it could help young men to be clear on exactly where the line is. I'm glad my post has given you some points to think about and I look forward to reading your post on your views :)

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  12. I agree with a lot of the points you've raised. As women, we are our own worst enemies. I've never understood why so many women are quick to judge each other harshly and cruelly, and yet condemn men for the same thing.

    I've been treated far worse by women than by men.

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    1. Same here! And while we continue to treat each other badly, we are setting the example that that behaviour is acceptable!

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  13. Totally agree with you on this! I have always raised my children to treat everyone as equals no matter whether they are boys or girls. They still come home from school with some funny ideas (especially the teen girls) but we have lot's of opinionated discussions on those days lol. Thanks for linking up with #SundayStars xxx

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    1. I think it's great that you are teaching your children about equality, I can only imagine how some the discussions pan out lol! Thank you for hosting :)

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