Question of the Day

What do like and dislike about feminism?

19 comments on “Question of the Day

  1. Only thing I dislike is when feminism morphs into misandry. I am a male ally wanting equal rights, pay and opportunity for all women, but if you start hating on me, then I’m out. 😉

    • So… your support for feminism depends on how you’re treated and not what feminism stands for?

      If black or brown people say mean/hateful things about you/white people will you be out of the fight against racism too?

      This doesn’t sound like you.

    • I also get where you’re coming from. You’re a good person and it hurts when you feel lumped into a group.

      I’ve joined a couple of closed FB group run by WOC and include white women allies. Sometimes what is said makes me very uncomfortable, and my first reaction is, “I’m not like that!”, but I try and move past that initial reaction and hear what is being said. I’ve come to realize that whenever I feel uncomfortable it’s a sign that a learning opportunity is before me.

  2. It is a fine line. Keeping in mind that what we are talking about here is a very minor small almost infinitesimal part of the Feminist movement. In fact, I have never met a woman who is a misandrist. So I am only speaking in hypotheticals, and you asked, and it was all I could think of. But think of it this way: Would I support African American acting racist towards a white person? No. Why? Because I am for equal rights for all. Does not supporting an African American in being racist against a white person mean that I am now myself a racist against African Americans in general? Again, of course not. Same thing goes for Men and women.

  3. And now back to the subject. I love feminism and see no real drawbacks to it. I like strong and empowered women, I’ve been married to one for 35 years now, and would love to see many more women in politics and in a leadership role.

  4. My likes/dislikes about feminism…

    Like: Supporting women in the slog towards equal treatment, in 2016… 240 years after our country was founded

    Dislikes: Men… Or, to be more precise, men who’s fragile egos can’t handle a movement aimed at making sure women are treated equally and as respectfully as men are treated. Most often, I view people who rail against feminism through the same lens as those people who bitch that there isn’t a White History Month

  5. HyperbolicDem

    I dislike that it is necessary and it is just not an accepted practice to treat women as equals. It’s like having to create laws against discrimination because we can’t shake off old views and prejudices that have been ingrained in our society. They are necessary, it is just shameful that they are nonetheless.

  6. First, so happy to see familiar faces! Thanks for commenting!

    Maybe I should have asked… How would you describe feminism? You know, define the term.

    And I get how people can feel attacked and how certain groups (MRAs) corrupt the definition. You know, things like – “Well, no more holding/opening doors for you, ladies.” – when opening/holding doors for people is a common courtesy and shouldn’t be gender specific.

    @Bamboozer Seeing more women in politics and leadership roles would go a long way toward equality.

    @PropJoe A lot of these men you reference see feminism as losing something of theirs. That’s so wrong. Feminism benefits men as well as women – as you know!

  7. snewton929

    Defining feminism is a little like defining “liberalism” or even “libertarianism.” Even the people who are liberals and libertarians can’t agree on exactly what it means, and both are far more often defined by their enemies instead of their allies.

    I like the fact that feminism challenges the assumption, language, and power structures of patriarchy, more than I like fighting for equal pay or equal treatment under the law. To explain: in the early parts of the 20th Century the history of African-Americans was called “Negro history,” and it was essentially “me, too, add us in, remember we were here, celebrate our contributions, and treat us better” history.

    In the 1960s, when Black Power came along, Negro History became “Black History.” Black History doesn’t so much seek to “be included” in the “American narrative” as it intends to challenge the very basis of that narrative. (Edmund Morgan’s “American Slavery, American Freedom” argues that there never could have been a US Constitution with guarantees of individual liberty without slavery; more recently Edward Baptist’s “The Half Has Never Been Told” has made the point that slavery was always integral to the ENTIRE American economy.)

    I like feminism best when it challenges those assumptions, and in particular when it says we should never accept that women’s agendas, women’s voices, women’s ideas were not around just because they’ve been written out of history–we should try to reconstruct them, or at least imagine them.

    So I’m a fuzzy-minded intellectual, but what’s always been most important about feminism to me is the intellectual/philosophical challenge to the male-dominated status quo thinking. Which, yes, means I love radical feminists, and I’m willing to risk a teensie bit of misandry in the process.

  8. As a woman, I was actually willing to accept working for less money than a man in my field, and face implicit bias, because it forced me to work harder to prove my worth. While I’m sure most others would disagree with me, I appreciated being constantly challenged and pushed to a higher standard.

    • If that works for you and that’s what you want, May, then that’s fine, but that’s not how it should be. Accepting less money, facing implicit bias and working harder to just break even with a man isn’t fair. Worker harder than anyone else should equal a raise or promotion, not just a way to catch up with a man’s salary.

      When women are paid less, it is not only unfair, but it impacts their overall lifetime earnings, their social security, etc.. They will enter retirement behind men who made more for doing the exact same job. They’ll have been skipped over for promotions/raises. And most people don’t have careers in a field where their efforts and being challenged are rewarded. Most people have jobs – where every penny counts.

      • I agree that this is where the current situation leaves most women, and that isn’t fair – It does put a ceiling on how far you can go as a woman in the workplace, if you are aiming for a raise, promotion, etc. In jobs where that is not a possibility (as several of mine have been before going back to school) it was not as much of an issue.

        By no means was I rewarded for my efforts. I too was skipped over for promotions, raises. But I feel that this is changing and in my circumstance (which of course, is only my experience and no one else’s) I didn’t mind because my work was being used by those who rose above my position. I was fine with playing that role, as long as I could support myself and my family. I’m sure many others disagree, but I found a job that paid the bills and I don’t want to complain- at the end of the day promotions were a managerial choice, and if my boss believed a man could bring something to a position that I couldn’t, that was their decision.

        • cassandram

          Probably the most important thing for me about feminism is that it should leave women free to make their choices, live with those choices and not have to live up to anyone’s expectations but their own. I find alot to respect in May’s choices here and I hope that the women around you, May, respect those choices as well.

          • Thank you, Cassandra. Some do, and some do not, but that is what I find so important about feminism as well – we are free to agree, disagree, and be empowered in our decisions!

  9. The only thing I dislike is that it even has to exist. In a perfect world, we’d have everyone on equal footing regardless of gender. Maybe someday. In the meantime though, feminism to me means strength, solidarity, intelligence. I’m going to take some of what Professor Newton wrote above; It challenges the “that’s just how it’s been done” and “that’s just the way it is” styles of thinking.

    I’m 35. 9 years ago, I married a strong woman. In those 9 years and she has grown stronger, smarter, and completely challenged the way I viewed not only myself, but the world..she has made and continues to make me think about everything: how men and women are paid for the work they do, the standards men and women are held to society here in the US, but also around the world. Expectations of women and how they compare to what is expected of men. I don’t know if she would label herself as a feminist, but I believe what she’s taught me has made me a better man, a better human.

    • Turning names/labels into dirty words is a classic Republican tactic. (See: Liberal)

      When I was younger I avoided the word feminist – not because of what it was and what it stood for, but because of the way the word was used as a slur – and how it became narrowly defined by those not part of it (bra burning, man hating, etc.) Then I started to read and realized how feminism benefits everyone – including men.

      One of the biggest gripes among MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists – Ugh) is about child custody in a divorce. They don’t realize one of the main reason a mother gets custody is due to a patriarchal system that states caring for children as “women’s work”. Feminism disagrees with this assumption – that benefits men. Feminism doesn’t believe that gender should determine child custody. That’s just one example.

      Feminism is not about more for women. It’s about equal treatment. That’s it. No really, that’s it. 🙂

  10. Dislike: “white middle-class” (albeit well-meaning) feminism.

    My feminism shall be inter-sectional (women of color, transwomen) or it shall be bullshit.

    • I hear ya, V – and I’m with you on that! White, middle class women need to step back and listen, learn and make room for diverse voices. (I’m including myself in that group.)

      BTW, welcome! So good to hear from you again. Hope all is well.

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