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Whose Definition of Feminism Is It Anyway? (With New Improved and Expanded Conversations!)

AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad.The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
edited August 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
An interesting subject jumped up in the Why do boys drool and girls rule? A [Discussion] about why boys are under-performing thread that I feel could sustain its own topic.
Suffragists_Parade_Down_Fifth_Avenue%2C_1917.JPG

Just what the fuck is a feminist? There are as many flavors of feminism as there are people engaged in discussion, but is it possible to create a workable definition? Can men be feminists? What about women who take their husband's last name? Sarah Palin: great feminist icon or greatest feminist icon?

For me I'd say the following from wiki is the best encapsulation of my views:

Liberal Feminism
Wikipedia wrote:
Liberal feminism asserts the equality of men and women through political and legal reform. It is an individualistic form of feminism, which focuses on women's ability to show and maintain their equality through their own actions and choices. Liberal feminism uses the personal interactions between men and women as the place from which to transform society. According to liberal feminists, all women are capable of asserting their ability to achieve equality, therefore it is possible for change to happen without altering the structure of society. Issues important to liberal feminists include reproductive and abortion rights, sexual harassment, voting, education, "equal pay for equal work", affordable childcare, affordable health care, and bringing to light the frequency of sexual and domestic violence against women

This is of course not the only category, and there's a handy wiki on it down below.

So, D&D I throw it to you: What is a feminist?

Cheat Sheets:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_movements_and_ideologies

Let's try to not turn this into a catch-all superthread or degrade into what the billion other threads of this nature have been turning into lately.

So let's avoid mudslinging and take it on faith that we're all in here to actually have an adult discussion on the subject, yeah? Thread shitting will be treated appropriately *cracks OP whip*

AManFromEarth on
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Posts

  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular

    A feminist is a person who believes that women deserve social and legal rights, freedoms, and responsibilities equal to those of men.

    Within that definition, you have a lot of variation of opinion, to the point where media seen as feminist-friendly by some people can be seen as misogynistic by others. A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones is an example of that. Some people look to the agency of the female characters, and how characters like Cat, Arya, Cersei, Brienne and Dani refuse to allow other people to dictate to them who they are, how these characters build their own fates and are just as capable or more capable than the men in the story (and just as prone to error...). And some people see the roles of women sometimes coming as prostitutes, see things like Cersei's advice to Sansa, see that both the show and books are fairly happy to show female nudity, and see that generally speaking the society of Westeros provides less agency to women and see misogyny.

    That's a little biased and simplified on my part. Just a little. But you get the idea.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    I'd say that feminism is mainly a political movement that, like "liberal," "democrat," and "tea party," requires a belief in certain principals and policy stances and a certain level of activism. I've also found that the broadest definition of "feminism" (anyone who thinks that women are human beings or something to that effect) is usually only trotted out when someone is criticizing feminism/the feminist movement.

  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    All I've got is a snuggle hammer.
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I'm uncomfortable throwing out a catch all definition for this. The Wiki you posted covers at least what I consider a starting point.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    This is exactly why I don't engage in discussions on feminism. There are so many ideas of what it is and means and what feminists are or aren't. I'm a little glad that someone else has been willing to ask the question, because I once brought this idea up among friends and was massively chewed out for it (I guess they both collectively had a hive-mind on it and never saw people suggest other ideas on it before).

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I'm uncomfortable throwing out a catch all definition for this. The Wiki you posted covers at least what I consider a starting point.

    I think there's a way to express what you feel it is without having the attitude of "I'm right, you're wrong."

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    Feminism is concerned with issues of oppression, power, and privilege. It's a mistake to try and separate racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc, out from sexism- they are all related and intertwined.

    Third wave feminism is largely a reaction to feminism being primarily a movement of middle-class white women and the inherent privileges that they enjoy, and a striving towards a broader recognition of the issues facing women of color.

  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    That seems like a problem in priorities though, what you should be aiming for is a philosophy of action that you feel benefits the world most, not what will get you "seen" as being on the right side, and will conclusive demonstrate for all to see that you are a Good Person and no one is allowed to call you nasty names.

    Calling yourself a feminist isn't some type of shield that protects you from being criticized.

    This is one of thes reason why its contentious whether its right for men to call themselves feminists. Theres a tendancy for guys to wade into discussions with the attitude of "Its ok ladies! I'm a feminist too, I'm one of the good ones. Now let me break it down for you where you're going wro
    Bagginses wrote: »
    I'd say that feminism is mainly a political movement that, like "liberal," "democrat," and "tea party," requires a belief in certain principals and policy stances and a certain level of activism. I've also found that the broadest definition of "feminism" (anyone who thinks that women are human beings or something to that effect) is usually only trotted out when someone is criticizing feminism/the feminist movement.

    What other reason would there be to "trot it out"? Like, does it need to be emblazoned in bold font in every feminist piece of writing?

    Someone made a metaphor in the other thread that "feminist" is like the word "abrahamic" in that it describes a broad range of ideas stemming from a simple viewpoint. Do christian congregations open every sermon by reminding people who this "god" fellow is in case they've forgotten?

    Jeedan on
  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Here's a notion that's always puzzled me: What ISN'T feminism?


    It first struck me one day when I was laying in bed watching TV with my wife, and we turned to a program about the Pussy Cat Dolls burlesque/dance/singing troupe. At one point in the program, the leader of the group gave a talking-head interview about how "empowering" exotic dancing was for young women and "how great of a role-model the troupe was for aspiring teen girls."

    This concept kind of broke my brain a little bit, though not because I don't think women should have any control over their own sexuality and its expression, but because I had trouble reconciling how a role that existed for years as little more than a degradation and providing base titillation to an audience of oppressing powers could be "taken back," so to speak.

    Can the conscious choice to make yourself the target of superficial sexual objectification still fall under the umbrella of "feminism?" Can someone really be empowered by submitting themselves to a profession where their livelihood depends on being objectively reduced?

  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Here's a notion that's always puzzled me: What ISN'T feminism?


    It first struck me one day when I was laying in bed watching TV with my wife, and we turned to a program about the Pussy Cat Dolls burlesque/dance/singing troupe. At one point in the program, the leader of the group gave a talking-head interview about how "empowering" exotic dancing was for young women and "how great of a role-model the troupe was for aspiring teen girls."

    This concept kind of broke my brain a little bit, though not because I don't think women should have any control over their own sexuality and its expression, but because I had trouble reconciling how a role that existed for years as little more than a degradation and providing base titillation to an audience of oppressing powers could be "taken back," so to speak.

    Can the conscious choice to make yourself the target of superficial sexual objectification still fall under the umbrella of "feminism?" Can someone really be empowered by submitting themselves to a profession where their livelihood depends on being objectively reduced?

    The term for that ethos is "post-feminism", its...problematic.

    Jeedan on
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't object to groups targeting government waste not taking a position on LGBT legislation. While there could be high overlap in membership between the anti-waste group and LGBT-support groups, they're still unrelated issues. I suppose this could come back to arguments over responsibility, such as whether Obama should prioritize US citizens and residents over other people because he's responsible for Americans,

  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    Bagginses wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't object to groups targeting government waste not taking a position on LGBT legislation. While there could be high overlap in membership between the anti-waste group and LGBT-support groups, they're still unrelated issues. I suppose this could come back to arguments over responsibility, such as whether Obama should prioritize US citizens and residents over other people because he's responsible for Americans,

    Okay, but transgenderism is not completely unrelated to feminism. It has been a point of discussion within feminist discourse for a long, long time. I don't know how you could possibly argue that an ideology dedicated to the deconstruction of gender identity, gender roles, and gender inequality is unrelated to transGENDERism.

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Bagginses wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't object to groups targeting government waste not taking a position on LGBT legislation. While there could be high overlap in membership between the anti-waste group and LGBT-support groups, they're still unrelated issues. I suppose this could come back to arguments over responsibility, such as whether Obama should prioritize US citizens and residents over other people because he's responsible for Americans,

    Okay, but transgenderism is not completely unrelated to feminism. It has been a point of discussion within feminist discourse for a long, long time. I don't know how you could possibly argue that an ideology dedicated to the deconstruction of gender identity, gender roles, and gender inequality is unrelated to transGENDERism.

    I don't want to return to the Wage Gap topic too much, but some of the articles I linked in the other topic show massive decreases for transgender people who go MTW. Something like a 32% pay decrease. Transgender people who go WTM actually showed a slight pay increase.

    Transgender rights are very much under the Feminist umbrella.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    Feminism is concerned with issues of oppression, power, and privilege. It's a mistake to try and separate racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc, out from sexism- they are all related and intertwined.

    Third wave feminism is largely a reaction to feminism being primarily a movement of middle-class white women and the inherent privileges that they enjoy, and a striving towards a broader recognition of the issues facing women of color.

    Unfortunately in many ways third wave feminism has demonstrated how difficult it is to build a coherent ideological movement which encompasses such a wide range of intersectionalities to explore.

    It could be unfairly categorised as having become defined by "I choose my choice!", and a descent into incongruent relativism working directly against its stated aims.

  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    So, D&D I throw it to you: What is a feminist?

    I think the problem comes from this: The short standard definition of feminist is something all feminists have in common, but fails to define any one actual feminist.

    Feminism means something like "pro-gender equality, plus other, often contended things".

    A sex-positive feminist, would consider their views porn, BDSM, etc. part of their feminism, whereas someone with opposing views on those issues would ALSO consider those views part of their own feminism.

    Also, I consider myself pro-gender equality, but oppose many, traditionally feminist viewpoints on things like affirmative action, that women are able to be sexist to men, and abortion. Also, there are certain factions of feminism that claim that as a male I can never be a feminist, but instead only a "feminist ally".

    Because of these things, I would never call myself a feminist, even though I fit the broad definition of feminism.

    BSoB on
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Vanguard wrote: »
    Bagginses wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't object to groups targeting government waste not taking a position on LGBT legislation. While there could be high overlap in membership between the anti-waste group and LGBT-support groups, they're still unrelated issues. I suppose this could come back to arguments over responsibility, such as whether Obama should prioritize US citizens and residents over other people because he's responsible for Americans,

    Okay, but transgenderism is not completely unrelated to feminism. It has been a point of discussion within feminist discourse for a long, long time. I don't know how you could possibly argue that an ideology dedicated to the deconstruction of gender identity, gender roles, and gender inequality is unrelated to transGENDERism.

    I don't want to return to the Wage Gap topic too much, but some of the articles I linked in the other topic show massive decreases for transgender people who go MTW. Something like a 32% pay decrease. Transgender people who go WTM actually showed a slight pay increase.

    Transgender rights are very much under the Feminist umbrella.

    Which article was that?
    I don't think those articles said what you think they said. Women aren't being paid less on average for the same work. Women are less than men to get higher level positions that pay more.

    Look at the congressional one again. Sure, it's making the claim that women staffers are making $10,000 less on average then their male counterparts!!! That's shocking and an outrage on it's own, but when you consider that they're averaging ALL staff salaries and 2/3s of Chief of Staff happen to be men, it's a dishonest number.

    See, last graph
    Spoiler:

    Deebaser on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    Furthermore, a large part of the reason that there has been such a hard push with transgender issues in feminism is because there has been some nasty strains of transphobia within the community as a whole. Which ultimately made the community look rather hypocritical.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Vanguard wrote: »
    Bagginses wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't object to groups targeting government waste not taking a position on LGBT legislation. While there could be high overlap in membership between the anti-waste group and LGBT-support groups, they're still unrelated issues. I suppose this could come back to arguments over responsibility, such as whether Obama should prioritize US citizens and residents over other people because he's responsible for Americans,

    Okay, but transgenderism is not completely unrelated to feminism. It has been a point of discussion within feminist discourse for a long, long time. I don't know how you could possibly argue that an ideology dedicated to the deconstruction of gender identity, gender roles, and gender inequality is unrelated to transGENDERism.

    I don't want to return to the Wage Gap topic too much, but some of the articles I linked in the other topic show massive decreases for transgender people who go MTW. Something like a 32% pay decrease. Transgender people who go WTM actually showed a slight pay increase.

    Transgender rights are very much under the Feminist umbrella.

    Which article was that?
    I don't think those articles said what you think they said. Women aren't being paid less on average for the same work. Women are less than men to get higher level positions that pay more.

    Look at the congressional one again. Sure, it's making the claim that women staffers are making $10,000 less on average then their male counterparts!!! That's shocking and an outrage on it's own, but when you consider that they're averaging ALL staff salaries and 2/3s of Chief of Staff happen to be men, it's a dishonest number.

    No, it clearly says this:
    Perhaps the most compelling — and potentially damning — data of all to suggest that gender has an influence comes from a 2008 study in which University of Chicago sociologist Kristen Schilt and NYU economist Matthew Wiswall examined the wage trajectories of people who underwent a sex change. Their results: even when controlling for factors like education, men who transitioned to women earned, on average, 32% less after the surgery. Women who became men, on the other hand, earned 1.5% more.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983185,00.html

  • BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Perhaps the most compelling — and potentially damning — data of all to suggest that gender has an influence comes from a 2008 study in which University of Chicago sociologist Kristen Schilt and NYU economist Matthew Wiswall examined the wage trajectories of people who underwent a sex change. Their results: even when controlling for factors like education, men who transitioned to women earned, on average, 32% less after the surgery. Women who became men, on the other hand, earned 1.5% more.

    I don't understand this quote? What do they need to control for?

    Would it not already be controlled for? A man becomes a woman. That woman, by definition has the same education and experience the man she was had.
    Unless they received more education during the operation.

    The fact that WTM's difference was in the noise level says to me it might have something to do with hormone therapies or other social stigma that comes from being trans than it does with a woman VS man wage gap.

    BSoB on
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo Fake Board GamerRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Vanguard, have you read the study?
    The sample size was 43, 18 MTF transsexuals and 25 FTM transsexuals. Forty three. Five didn't report back on their post transition employment.
    Also, the MTFs and FTMs are otherwise demographically apples to oranges.
    MTF average age 39 vs FTM average age 29
    FTMs twice as likely to work in the public sector or be self employed than the MTFs

    http://www.econ.nyu.edu/user/wiswall/research/schilt_wiswall_transsexual.pdf

    Deebaser on
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    What's worse is alienating the group that is more valuable to your cause and can help you achieve your goals. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it probably isn't even close on this one.
    Feminism is concerned with issues of oppression, power, and privilege. It's a mistake to try and separate racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc, out from sexism- they are all related and intertwined.

    Third wave feminism is largely a reaction to feminism being primarily a movement of middle-class white women and the inherent privileges that they enjoy, and a striving towards a broader recognition of the issues facing women of color.

    I have heard this many times, but what I have never heard is why it is a mistake for feminism. I understand its worse for the the other disadvantaged groups, but how does focusing on women's issues to the exclusion of all other issues hurt feminism, or make it less likely that feminism will achieve its goals?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    What's worse is alienating the group that is more valuable to your cause and can help you achieve your goals. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it probably isn't even close on this one.
    Feminism is concerned with issues of oppression, power, and privilege. It's a mistake to try and separate racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc, out from sexism- they are all related and intertwined.

    Third wave feminism is largely a reaction to feminism being primarily a movement of middle-class white women and the inherent privileges that they enjoy, and a striving towards a broader recognition of the issues facing women of color.

    I have heard this many times, but what I have never heard is why it is a mistake for feminism. I understand its worse for the the other disadvantaged groups, but how does focusing on women's issues to the exclusion of all other issues hurt feminism, or make it less likely that feminism will achieve its goals?

    Because, at the end of the day, feminism is about gender equality. Which means that acting against transgendered individuals is ultimately a betrayal of the core conceit of the movement.

    As for why feminists get involved with other disadvantaged groups, read up on intersectionality sometime. Turns out when a woman belongs to another disadvantaged group, not only does she have to deal with the shit from both groups, but a whole bunch of unique shit stemming from that crossover.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    What's worse is alienating the group that is more valuable to your cause and can help you achieve your goals. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it probably isn't even close on this one.
    Feminism is concerned with issues of oppression, power, and privilege. It's a mistake to try and separate racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc, out from sexism- they are all related and intertwined.

    Third wave feminism is largely a reaction to feminism being primarily a movement of middle-class white women and the inherent privileges that they enjoy, and a striving towards a broader recognition of the issues facing women of color.

    I have heard this many times, but what I have never heard is why it is a mistake for feminism. I understand its worse for the the other disadvantaged groups, but how does focusing on women's issues to the exclusion of all other issues hurt feminism, or make it less likely that feminism will achieve its goals?

    It is a mistake for feminism for exactly the reason you alluded to- alienation. If you don't take issues of race, class, etc. into account, you risk alienating and excluding those who feel like they would like to contribute, in principle, but don't feel included in practice. For a long time feminism has grappled with questions like why more people of color don't engage with feminism.

    Again, bigoted "allies" aren't valuable, and aren't really allies. A movement should aim to be as inclusive and progressive as possible. So when transgender folks or people of color express that they would like to participate, but feel alienated because of X,Y, and Z, the proper response isn't "WE DON'T NEED YOU ANYWAY, RACE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FEMINISM". The proper response is to look inwards and check your privilege.

  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Jeedan wrote: »
    Here's a notion that's always puzzled me: What ISN'T feminism?


    It first struck me one day when I was laying in bed watching TV with my wife, and we turned to a program about the Pussy Cat Dolls burlesque/dance/singing troupe. At one point in the program, the leader of the group gave a talking-head interview about how "empowering" exotic dancing was for young women and "how great of a role-model the troupe was for aspiring teen girls."

    This concept kind of broke my brain a little bit, though not because I don't think women should have any control over their own sexuality and its expression, but because I had trouble reconciling how a role that existed for years as little more than a degradation and providing base titillation to an audience of oppressing powers could be "taken back," so to speak.

    Can the conscious choice to make yourself the target of superficial sexual objectification still fall under the umbrella of "feminism?" Can someone really be empowered by submitting themselves to a profession where their livelihood depends on being objectively reduced?

    The term for that ethos is "post-feminism", its...problematic.

    School me. I'm interested in hearing more.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

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  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

    What is an orthodox feminist view of a perfect society?

    redx on
    All I've got is a snuggle hammer.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

    I think the bigger issue is that the goals of feminism require the privileged to confront and address their privilege. That's why their goal sounds crazy to people. As was pointed out earlier, a perfectly symmetrical group of men and women is seen to be favoring women.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

    What is an orthodox feminist view of a perfect society?

    What is an orthodox feminist?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    Thanks for making the thread, AMFE. The idea of liberal feminism as set out in the OP is what I have historically thought of as feminism (and is something that I am fully behind) but I feel like, at least online, you can espouse these exact ideas and still be called a misogynist. A lot of this seems to be due to modern feminism being highly inclusive, to the point where any issue that affects women can be part of feminism, even if the impact on women is no different than the impact on people as a whole. One of the most extreme examples I have seen in the inclusion of ableism (advocacy for the disabled) in feminist thought and discussion, since women are handicapped too. I have seen this even expressed by feminist safe spaces rejecting the words "lame" and "stupid" as offensive to the physically or mentally disabled. To me, this just seems like a confusing and dangerous expansion, since the issues facing the disabled may have no relationship to the issues facing women, and so thinking that all of these problems need to be solved by the same people at the same time could very well slow the advance of actual women's issues by feminism. I understand that feminists are still stinging from being left behind in the civil rights movement despite all their work for it, but I don't understand why the lesson of that experience wouldn't be "from now on we have to focus on our issues" rather than "from now on we need to make sure that every person who helps feminism move forward has their issues addressed alongside the core feminist issues.

    A large chunk of feminist thought deals with social norms and how they are frequently harmful. Specifically, feminism deals with gender norms, but the ways in which gender norms are harmful differ little from how norms/stereotypes are harmful to other classes, such as racial minorities, the disabled and the LGBTIQA... community.

    For these groups to work together to deal with what is essentially the same issue is kinda logical. I agree that to consider all of this feminism is not in the best interests of any particular group.

    I see two problems with this:

    1. By making the umbrella so wide, you run the risk of allienating people who support the core issue but not the issues of other groups. A great example of this to me is how hard I see many feminists push on transgender issues. It often seems to me like feminists will not acknowledge that accepting transgenders is an extra step which can be hard for people who are fully onboard with gay rights to make. By tying these difficult issues in with feminism, I think they run a real risk of losing the more conservative leaning people who can still be extremely valuable allies.

    2. By lumping women's issues in with these other (often less mainstream) positions, you wind up with a movement that is calling for pretty sweeping overhauls. Like I said before, AMFE's liberal feminism which seeks equality within the system seems great, and I am all for it. I just can't get behind a movement that sees everything about our society as unequal to someone, and that wants to make a ton of sweeping changes, and I don't see what that has to do with things like equal pay and opportunities.

    What's worse, alienating transgender folks who want to engage in feminist discourse and activism, but feel left out, or alienating the transphobic folks who "just aren't ready" to accept transgenderism? Bigoted allies aren't valuable.

    What's worse is alienating the group that is more valuable to your cause and can help you achieve your goals. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it probably isn't even close on this one.
    Feminism is concerned with issues of oppression, power, and privilege. It's a mistake to try and separate racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc, out from sexism- they are all related and intertwined.

    Third wave feminism is largely a reaction to feminism being primarily a movement of middle-class white women and the inherent privileges that they enjoy, and a striving towards a broader recognition of the issues facing women of color.

    I have heard this many times, but what I have never heard is why it is a mistake for feminism. I understand its worse for the the other disadvantaged groups, but how does focusing on women's issues to the exclusion of all other issues hurt feminism, or make it less likely that feminism will achieve its goals?

    Well saying "It's totally wrong to discriminate against women as a group, but it's totes fine to keep those icky trans freaks away, and ugh those horrible mexicans I can't bear them either" does rather undercut the basic "treat people as people" message. Saying that it's fine to discriminate against any group I'm not in isn't really a compelling message.

  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

    What is an orthodox feminist view of a perfect society?

    What is an orthodox feminist?

    Fish on Fridays?

  • CalixtusCalixtus Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

    What is an orthodox feminist view of a perfect society?

    What is an orthodox feminist?

    Fish on Fridays?
    I'm afraid to fully plunge the depths of that joke.

    Or... Am I?

    -This message was deviously brought to you by:
  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

    What is an orthodox feminist view of a perfect society?

    What is an orthodox feminist?

    I'll let you know just as soon I find two feminists who hold all of the same beliefs.

    All I've got is a snuggle hammer.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    As others have said, the issues that people with trans identity raise regarding gender identity, gender roles, and the experience of being a man or woman, are absolutely within the purview of feminism. And they're challenging for everybody. Nobody's got this shit fully figured out yet.

    It's a bit outside the scope of the thread, so I'd suggest reading this article if you're interested in this particular intersection: http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2009/12/cis_feminists_s

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    EDITED for fucked up quote tree.

    I think the bigger issue is that the goals of feminism require the privileged to confront and address their privilege. That's why their goal sounds crazy to people. As was pointed out earlier, a perfectly symmetrical group of men and women is seen to be favoring women.

    Not quite. It's not just calling for an examination of privilege, it's calling for an examination of privilege for a pre-determined outcome. It assumes that if you did not reach the same conclusion, you did it wrong.

    I'm not sure Feminism is well-served by that mentality.

    Frankiedarling on
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    I think the bigger issue is that the goals of feminism require the privileged to confront and address their privilege. That's why their goal sounds crazy to people. As was pointed out earlier, a perfectly symmetrical group of men and women is seen to be favoring women.

    Not quite. It's not just calling for an examination of privilege, it's calling for an examination of privilege for a pre-determined outcome. It assumes that if you did not reach the same conclusion, you did it wrong.

    I'm not sure Feminism is well-served by that mentality.

    I mean, the conclusion is "you have privilege, be aware of it". If you examine your privilege and come to a different conclusion, yeah you did it wrong.

    flamebroiledchicken on
  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    Feminism seems to be a clear example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good". Which is especially problematic when your orthodox idea of perfect seems pretty much nutballs crazy to many of the people you need to communicate the basic underlying ideas to.

    See, I have never liked that way of thinking.

    If someone see something they think is wrong and fight about it that's great in my book. No matter how trivial it might seem to me.

  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Jeedan wrote: »
    Here's a notion that's always puzzled me: What ISN'T feminism?


    It first struck me one day when I was laying in bed watching TV with my wife, and we turned to a program about the Pussy Cat Dolls burlesque/dance/singing troupe. At one point in the program, the leader of the group gave a talking-head interview about how "empowering" exotic dancing was for young women and "how great of a role-model the troupe was for aspiring teen girls."

    This concept kind of broke my brain a little bit, though not because I don't think women should have any control over their own sexuality and its expression, but because I had trouble reconciling how a role that existed for years as little more than a degradation and providing base titillation to an audience of oppressing powers could be "taken back," so to speak.

    Can the conscious choice to make yourself the target of superficial sexual objectification still fall under the umbrella of "feminism?" Can someone really be empowered by submitting themselves to a profession where their livelihood depends on being objectively reduced?

    The term for that ethos is "post-feminism", its...problematic.

    School me. I'm interested in hearing more.

    Theres plenty of resources available but essentially its the school of thought that says "Well good job everyone, Sexism is over! Stop thinking so hard about it! Girl Power!". Its like the gender equivalent of people who point to Obama is evidence that racism doesn't exist anymore.

    I'm sure there's probably a more nuanced argument to be made somewhere that women can empower themselves through sex that way but the basic concept of it just reeks of postfeminism to me.

    EDITED for fucked up quote tree.

    I think the bigger issue is that the goals of feminism require the privileged to confront and address their privilege. That's why their goal sounds crazy to people. As was pointed out earlier, a perfectly symmetrical group of men and women is seen to be favoring women.

    Not quite. It's not just calling for an examination of privilege, it's calling for an examination of privilege for a pre-determined outcome. It assumes that if you did not reach the same conclusion, you did it wrong.

    I'm not sure Feminism is well-served by that mentality.

    The idea is that if you examine privilege, you'll be able to make better moral decisions because you're aware of things you weren't before. Like if you read up on alcohol statstics you'll make a more informed decision about how you drink. Or if you read about ethical trade then that will hopefully affect what you buy.

    I mean yes its leading you towards a predetermined conclusion of "thinking about how your actions affect other people".

    Jeedan on
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