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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:31 AM

The Utility of Restricting the Term Feminism to Women

Up front, this is a utilitarian analysis of the idea, which I can understand may not be palatable to all.

The benefits of restricting the term feminism to woman are;

* Making a clear distinction between men and woman's roles in the feminist movement. This is a valid concern; men have a tendency to want to take over any movement they join. Male feminists are probably tempted to take over feminist groups they join and redirect them to what they think is important, rather than letting woman take charge in what is supposed to be their movement.

* Reminding Men of their actual situation in relation to women. Society has conditioned men to think that they are naturally in charge; reinforcing that this a sphere that they should not be in charge, that they should accept a subsidiary role in, can be beneficial and help men examine how they exercise control unjustly in other aspects of their lives.

* It may be factually accurate. In a utilitarian analysis this may not be the overriding concern, but I certainly understand the argument that giving up truthfulness for utilitarian concerns is not right.

The drawbacks to restricting the term feminism to woman are;

* It is not the accepted usage of the term. In the poll from yesterday 137 votes were cast and 93% said that it was possible for men to be feminists. And Democratic Underground is, outside of a dedicated Feminist message board, likely to be as receptive to this idea as anywhere in America. Convincing people that men cannot be feminists is likely to be an uphill climb.

* It could discourage men from supporting feminism. This is a tricky one - but I ask you when a man describes himself as a feminist what is he trying to say? Is he trying to say that "As a man, it is my manly responsibility to protect women and work for the rights that they deserve, and thus I must lead feminists to a proper victory." It's certainly possible that some men are looking at things in this chauvinist way. But it may be equally likely that a man describing himself as feminist is simply asserting that he wants to see woman have an equal place in our society; economically, socially, politically and so on. I would assert that the latter is most likely to be the case, but I don't have firm numbers on that. So what is the likely effect on a man describing himself as a feminist if he is told that he is not and cannot be a feminist? If the matter is handled with empathy it can be a moment of introspection and growth for the man; if handled brusquely it could go another way, perhaps.

Just some thoughts on the matter, thank you for your patience.

Bryant

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 107 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Utility of Restricting the Term Feminism to Women (Original post)
el_bryanto Jan 2013 OP
lame54 Jan 2013 #1
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #2
lame54 Jan 2013 #4
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #12
seabeyond Jan 2013 #15
redqueen Jan 2013 #25
Confusious Jan 2013 #68
seabeyond Jan 2013 #3
Xipe Totec Jan 2013 #5
polly7 Jan 2013 #6
ProgressiveProfessor Jan 2013 #7
redqueen Jan 2013 #8
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #9
redqueen Jan 2013 #10
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #11
seabeyond Jan 2013 #13
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #14
seabeyond Jan 2013 #17
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #24
dawg Jan 2013 #16
seabeyond Jan 2013 #18
dawg Jan 2013 #20
dawg Jan 2013 #21
seabeyond Jan 2013 #23
KitSileya Jan 2013 #32
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #52
WilliamPitt Jan 2013 #19
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #22
gollygee Jan 2013 #26
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #28
Waiting For Everyman Jan 2013 #27
dsc Jan 2013 #29
gollygee Jan 2013 #30
sibelian Jan 2013 #45
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #31
dsc Jan 2013 #33
seabeyond Jan 2013 #34
CreekDog Jan 2013 #43
seabeyond Jan 2013 #49
CreekDog Jan 2013 #55
seabeyond Jan 2013 #58
sibelian Jan 2013 #47
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #50
Kurska Jan 2013 #56
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #69
Kurska Jan 2013 #71
seabeyond Jan 2013 #72
Kurska Jan 2013 #74
seabeyond Jan 2013 #91
Kurska Jan 2013 #92
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #77
seabeyond Jan 2013 #89
sibelian Jan 2013 #63
gollygee Jan 2013 #96
Bonobo Jan 2013 #93
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #106
Bonobo Jan 2013 #107
libodem Jan 2013 #102
TransitJohn Jan 2013 #35
seabeyond Jan 2013 #36
gollygee Jan 2013 #37
seabeyond Jan 2013 #38
TransitJohn Jan 2013 #41
MissMarple Jan 2013 #39
LeftyMom Jan 2013 #40
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #42
sibelian Jan 2013 #44
datasuspect Jan 2013 #46
sibelian Jan 2013 #48
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #70
sibelian Jan 2013 #94
seabeyond Jan 2013 #98
aikoaiko Jan 2013 #51
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #54
gollygee Jan 2013 #75
gollygee Jan 2013 #73
Kurska Jan 2013 #53
seabeyond Jan 2013 #57
Kurska Jan 2013 #59
seabeyond Jan 2013 #60
Kurska Jan 2013 #62
seabeyond Jan 2013 #64
Kurska Jan 2013 #65
Nye Bevan Jan 2013 #103
gollygee Jan 2013 #76
Kurska Jan 2013 #78
gollygee Jan 2013 #79
Kurska Jan 2013 #81
gollygee Jan 2013 #83
Kurska Jan 2013 #84
gollygee Jan 2013 #85
Kurska Jan 2013 #86
sibelian Jan 2013 #97
gollygee Jan 2013 #99
sibelian Jan 2013 #100
gollygee Jan 2013 #101
LittleBlue Jan 2013 #80
Kurska Jan 2013 #82
gollygee Jan 2013 #88
LittleBlue Jan 2013 #90
gollygee Jan 2013 #95
polly7 Jan 2013 #104
patrice Jan 2013 #61
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #66
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #67
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #87
Zorra Jan 2013 #105

Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:39 AM

1. You forgot the F...

It's Futility

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Response to lame54 (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:40 AM

2. Don't really hold with that

I mean if it's a good idea, it should be pursued, even if it is difficult.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:41 AM

4. Change comes when you bring people aboard - not alienate them

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Response to lame54 (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:28 AM

12. Is that the only concern though?

I mean bringing men with their chauvinist baggage into Feminism isn't entirely a win-win, is it?

I do see the harm that telling a male who declares himself a feminist "No you aren't" could cause. But does that override the benefits of explaining to him what his proper role in supporting woman's rights should be?

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:33 AM

15. i want to be clear though. even though, over time, i have decided a man cannot be a feminist,

i have NEVER told a man he cannot be a feminist, nor would i. i only express my thoughts yesterday because someone else brought it up. a man. lol, and it was being argued.

the closest i have come to is the men that claim they are feminist (and it is a real chuckle listening to some men now wanting that title) yet their behavior shows otherwise. then i may challenge them.

but, i do not think it behooves anyone to tell a man who says he is a feminist to tell him he cannot be.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:24 PM

25. Same here.

I've agreed with the many feminists and male allies about this issue for a while now but I don't think I've raised the issue here. It is of course viewed as unwise, antagonistic, etc.

However if the issue is brought up I will speak up.

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Response to lame54 (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:21 PM

68. Yea that ship slipped into port and out agian

Now time to trash this thread.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:40 AM

3. thank you for this thoughtful, balanced OP

i like that you took the time thinking about this. it shows. there is maybe one other issue in this. but, i will wait to see where it goes, before expressing. more a personal experience, but one i think most men would not consider because it is not the way they are thinking. yet, it is something i have run into.

very good. thank you.

i, too, have been thinking about this since that thread yesterday.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:42 AM

5. It's polarizing. Not a good idea in my opinion.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:49 AM

6. Just a question and comment on one point,

* Making a clear distinction between men and woman's roles in the feminist movement. This is a valid concern; men have a tendency to want to take over any movement they join. Male feminists are probably tempted to take over feminist groups they join and redirect them to what they think is important, rather than letting woman take charge in what is supposed to be their movement.

* Reminding Men of their actual situation in relation to women. Society has conditioned men to think that they are naturally in charge; reinforcing that this a sphere that they should not be in charge, that they should accept a subsidiary role in, can be beneficial and help men examine how they exercise control unjustly in other aspects of their lives.

Do most here see this as actually the case? I disagree that women aren't the ones with the urge (and ability) to take over, I actually can't think of many organizations I've been involved with that haven't been led (and very well!) or very strongly influenced by women members, with both men and women present. This isn't a criticism, just something that surprises me, because I honestly have mostly seen the opposite.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:05 AM

7. This concept is far from new

It comes and goes every cycle. Its reasonable to discuss, but in the end has proven to be divisive.

There are structural alternatives that seem to address some of the points you raise in formal organizations

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:10 AM

8. That poll was useless. Should have been restricted to women.

I'm sure the vote would still have come out the same way, just not as lopsided... But then if anyone does much reading about it, they'll see how many women have started out with that same idea of "fairness" only to realize after gaining some experience how counterproductive it is.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:13 AM

9. I do agree that it would have been more useful

If they had differentiated it by gender

* I am male and i think men can be feminists
* I am male and I don't think men can be feminists
* I am female and i think men can be feminists
* I am female and I don't think men can be feminists

Considered doing it, but -the poll was just yesterday so thought it might be a problem with DUs rules.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:18 AM

10. Just the fact that it wasn't automatically done that way speaks volumes

and demonstrates the logic of restricting the term "feminist" to women... not feminism itself.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:25 AM

11. That's a fair point n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:29 AM

13. another thought. a man titles himself a feminist and there are all types of rewards.

a woman claims the title and there is all kinds of backlash.

this is why the footing cannot be equal. just assuming the title alone results in very different treatment, because of gender. because of that patriarchy. once again, reinforcing within the movement itself.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:32 AM

14. That is a good point

That said, the rewards for a male declaring himself a feminist tend to be more localized. I.E. in a community like DU or on campus or in a generally liberal area you would be rewarded, while in a more neutral normal part the response is likely to be "eh." On the other hand it is definitely true that women are regularly punished for describing themselves as feminists.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:36 AM

17. true. the pat on the back for the man would not happen in a group of men, here in texas

for the most part, lol. i did think about that. but, it is generally not that group that these men are hangin with when declaring they are feminist.

IF a man were to declare himself a feminist in a group of manly men.... then that alone may warrant the title... i say lightly and with humor.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:18 AM

24. I do think the key point is that woman are punished for declaring themselves feminist. n/t

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:34 AM

16. You think I would get rewards for calling myself a feminist?

You've never been to Georgia, have you?

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Response to dawg (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:37 AM

18. we did clarify that.... living in texas as i do. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:41 AM

20. I don't call myself a feminist, but Georgia isn't the reason.

I just don't want to come across like "that guy". The guy that tries to pass himself off as Mr. Super Enlightened but is really just tryin' to impress the ladies.

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Response to dawg (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:43 AM

21. Like Jenny's hippie boyfriend from Forrest Gump!

That's who I do NOT want to be.

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Response to dawg (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:47 AM

23. ya, that. there is an element of that. i think the sincerity rings true though.

i think people pretty easily proves themselves out on sincerity with most things. too many tells one cannot hide, since it is so ingrained if one truly did not feel it, it would become evident.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:30 PM

32. Often a man who declares himself a feminist is a Nice Guy (TM)

You know, guys who expect to be rewarded for not being sleazeballs or creepers (the reward being sex, of course) or who complain about being "friend-zoned" because "I'm too nice to women, they only like bad boys".

Women are starting to learn and be sceptical.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:18 PM

52. Do you think that a MTF Transsexual should qualify to be allowed to call herself a Feminist?

Serious Question.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:41 AM

19. It would be very healthy to this discussion

if people stopped limiting their understanding of feminism and male privilege to America.

It's a global issue.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:46 AM

22. That is true; but not sure of the utility of including the rest of the world in the discussion

While it is important to be aware of problems throughout the world for women (and if you want to do something concrete you might look into Kiva and other micro loan organizations), this is predominately an American Board, and I think we have more power to effect change on a national or local level. Discussion this issue might have its most profound effect on our interpersonal relationships - evaluating our family, work, and friendship relationships.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:38 PM

26. My biggest issue is your last point

Male allies will stop supporting feminism unless feminists agree with a definition of "feminist" that includes men? I really think if that's the case, they never really supported it in the first place, honestly. I'm not comfortable changing my views of feminism or my definition of the word feminist for that reason. As I've said before, it isn't the job of feminists to placate men.

And I still think the word should be defined by feminists (and women) - not by people at large. It's our movement, and we should define the word. We will disagree - these are issues where women as a whole and feminists specifically disagree. But I think the definition is up to us.

People can call themselves what they want. I'm not the word police. I'm just trying to explain my reasons for my definition.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:17 PM

28. I can see where you are coming from

But I think it has more to do with blunting enthusiasm. Men who have a real understanding of these issues shouldn't have a problem with this, but men who are just experiencing an awakening to this problem, may come to the conclusion that it's not for them.

That is what I was trying to get at.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:03 PM

27. In my experience

most feminists, who go around calling themselves feminists very often, are over-privileged women (usually white women) who have the nerve to lecture the rest of us about privilege. (Oh, the irony.)

I care about equal rights, for myself and other women (and of course everyone). But I don't care a hoot what feminists think, or consider valid or acceptable. They have no say-so about anything except their own little inbred clubhouse, which a large swathe of women have no interest in and don't agree with.

Most often the defenders of our rights are politicians, not designated feminists. They fundraise effectively once in a while, that's about it. The rest of the time they are promoting themselves by putting others down. That's a cheap game most of us saw through and rejected in grade school.

In short, if any man on DU is for equal rights for women and wants to call himself a feminist, I will back him up. I don't know who these phonies think they are, who assume they have the right to decide things because they claim to speak for women, but they do not.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:20 PM

29. I have to say most minorities don't have the luxory of doing this

if LGBT people decided that no one LGBT people could be supporters of LGBT rights we would get nowhere. Similarly if African Americans decided that only African Americans could be pro civil rights then they would have gotten nowhere. Women are a majority so, in theory, this can work for you but I would think about learning from minorities experience.

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Response to dsc (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:23 PM

30. Nobody said that



Nobody said that Feminists should or have decided that no one who wasn't a woman could be a supporter of women's rights. Only that some of us (women are divided on this) would prefer men who support women's rights be called allies rather that feminists. We don't want our movement to be defined or controlled by men. I personally absolutely appreciate men who support and work for women's rights. I just prefer the word "feminist" to apply to women.

It isn't an issue in LGBT or African American communities because allies wouldn't be able to call themselves LGBT or African American unless they, well, were. Allies call themselves "allies."

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Response to gollygee (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:54 PM

45. "We don't want our movement to be defined or controlled by men"


How would a man being called a feminist mean he was controlling the movement?

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Response to dsc (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:24 PM

31. It should be clear that this isn't about restricting support for the feminist movement

It's just the term feminist. Men can and should support equality of all sorts; but, looked at a certain way, declaring yourself a feminist is kind of like declaring yourself an honorary woman.

While you might be glad for the support, wouldn't it be strange if someone supporting LGBT rights declared themselves an Honorary Gay?

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:31 PM

33. I don't necessarily think feminist = woman

that said, I wouldn't really have a problem with it. We need all the support we can get.

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Response to dsc (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:47 PM

34. the gay movement is about gays. the black movement is about blacks. the feminist movement is NOT

necessarily about women.

and i think that is where a lot of the conversation sits.

i think a lot of women think the feminist movement ought to necessarily be about..... women.

on edit... i mean, even MRA (mens right activist) is about men. lol

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:43 PM

43. are you sure that's the case?

i agree with you that the feminist movement is far more expansive that it's title implies.

but when you look at MLK and other civil rights leaders in the black community --they weren't just talking about black people.

there is a larger kind of thinking that all these movements point to. it's why i said in my thread about white male privilege, which was aimed at white males, btw...

i said that the feminists, the civil rights advocates in all our lives are not simply for advances among one group, although advances for one underprivileged group is absolutely a fair aim, but they tend to be in favor of everybody moving ahead and society simply being a fairer place, with MORE sharing in its rewards, not less.

in a way, that's how you distinguish advocates for "men's rights" and "white's rights" is that, in general, those privileged activist groups are threatened that they might have to increasingly share things with the larger community.

whereas movements for overcoming discrimination are dominated by more egalitarian leaders who tend to want a fairer society not just for the members of their group, but for all.

and you can guess which groups that i think have the moral authority on this.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:12 PM

49. and being in an oppressed group i think you will find most all feminists involved are concerned

with basic civil rights and fight those battles right along with feminist causes. i do not think that changes what i say.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #49)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:28 PM

55. i'm not saying you're wrong about feminists, i'm saying you're wrong about...

other groups pressing for civil rights have as expansive and as inclusive a vision as i would say most feminists have (not all).

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #55)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:33 PM

58. of course they do creekdog, but i think you are missing the point.

nowhere is there a suggestion that all peoples voice and support is not welcome regardless of the civil right issues.

you and i both know though, when we walk into another group we listen, learn and support. we do not square off with them and tell them where they are wrong and how their experiences are not valid and this is the way they should feel.

that is all. no more. no less.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:00 PM

47. "declaring yourself a feminist is kind of like declaring yourself an honorary woman"


"wouldn't it be strange if someone supporting LGBT rights declared themselves an Honorary Gay? "

What are you TALKING ABOUT?

1. Many straight people I know who support my rights ARE called "Honorary Gays." By gay people! Much to their amusement, it should be added....

2. If there existed a term "homosexualist" meaning "someone who wants equal rights for straights and gays" the absolute last thing I would think of doing is worrying about someone who isn't gay using the term. If it means "I support your cause" what Earth is the problem?

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Response to sibelian (Reply #47)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:14 PM

50. I think the issue is the attitude that that engenders

Which may be different with Blacks or LGBT movements. Many men have a natural tendency to take over; and reminding them that they aren't really woman, don't necessarily understand the concerns really, may well be a good thing. When participating in the feminist movement, men are better of listening and supporting than opining and leading.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:29 PM

56. I'm sorry, but you don't seem to understand the how people actually react to being told to screw off

If you tell men they aren't welcome in the feminist movement and they can't be feminists, they will not help the feminist movement or concern themselves with it. I'm a gay man and I have no idea why a straight person would want to fight for my rights if I told them they aren't allowed to be a leader in my movement or to even use our terminology to describe themselves.I have no idea why you would want to do that, but I've never heard of anything more self-defeating in my life.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #56)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:25 PM

69. I think a certain amount of empathy is required to take this route

On both sides. I certainly don't think anybody is advocating telling males to screw off - but at the same time, males tend to solve problems (even problems they don't understand) and take charge rather than listen and support. There might be some value in encouraging them to listen rather then shoot their mouths off.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #69)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:09 PM

71. I appreciate your post, I don't really have a proper response at this time though.

I'm still ruminating on the issue and you gave some valuable input.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #69)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:12 PM

72. interesting.

he spent his subthread with me dismissing what i had to say, telling me what i had to say didnt matter, condescending in arrogance telling me he well put me in my place, and then slapped his hands together to go combat another.... obviously not you, a man.

yet, addressing you, a man, talking about womens issues, he will listen and THINK about it.

see a difference here and why maybe some women may say,

fuck that shit.....

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #72)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:16 PM

74. El bryanto is a man and you're a woman? I honestly had no idea.

Seabeyond and El Bryanto don't really indicate the gender of the person to me. Seabeyond seems gender neutral. And I knew a girl named Bryant once.The difference was, I find, the way you discussed the issue, especially the way you ended the discussion(Responding to a long post with a condescending "Okay"). I found that last part exceptionally rude, so perhaps I was a little rude back.

"stroking and coddling for all our worth." is just one example. I could find plenty more examples of how you began the exchange and then continued it in, again from my perspective, a very hostile manner. I am perfectly happy to have a civil conversation with you if you are willing to do the same for me.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #74)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:56 PM

91. foolish and self defeating. how do you expect me to support.

i guess i could say at the beginning, it was insulting.

stupid... oh wait, foolish women.

why would you expect me to support you?

being so aware i guess i understand that women in all positions in life have to talk to men a certain way, you know, watch ourselves to not step on toes. they can say it the way it is, and that is fine. a woman does it and she is a witch, a meany. but then, you would be aware. if not, then this would be an example of listening to understand.

i tell you it is a small group of women that do not feel the label is with man, but regardless, we continually say how much we appreciate, value and NEED mens voice. you tell me it does not matter what i say.

yet, you are sure to point out where i was disrespectful to YOU.

what about where you were disrespectful to .... women. foolish and why should men support women.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #91)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:00 PM

92. I was dismissing the idea of restricting the term to women.

I wasn't disrespecting to women or feminism in general. Just because I don't like what I still contend is a self-defeating idea, does not mean I have a problem with women.

Either way, I don't think there is anything to gain in discussing this further. I really don't believe we're ever going to see eye to eye on this issue.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #72)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:19 PM

77. I'm not the combative type (most of the time)

I do get riled up over a few issues I suppose. But it's never that productive - it's generally better to try and figure it out from the other person's point of view. Even if you don't end up agreeing with them, at least you understand them better.

But I don't always do this, unfortunately.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #77)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:05 PM

89. actually,

i think this is a great thread in understanding. as a matter of fact, in one of the feminist forum, it allowed us to have a conversation to better understanding how we feel about the issue.

the point of bring it to your attention is not a need for any combativeness. i do not know the poster, nor really care. but, i thought it was a good example of concerns. i thought it illustrated the issue a little more finely than others.

and it was not to get you to play referee or even make a comment on it.

after a couple days on these threads and listening to so many different thoughts on the issue, i can live with holding my views in a minority. like i said in another post, it is not like i would ever tell a man he isnt, that claims he is a feminist.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:50 PM

63. ....


....so... presumably there is a long history of men taking over feminist movements?

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Response to sibelian (Reply #63)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:32 PM

96. I think many of us

have had the experience of hearing men tell us, "Real feminists don't say that" or "Feminism shouldn't be about X, it should be about Y." It's based on personal experience, not a long history of feminist movements.

But really we should be able to decide how much taking over, if any, it takes for us to decide to hold onto our own movement if we want to anyway. It is a women's movement.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:15 PM

93. Did you ever think maybe YOUR assumptions and preconceptions about MEN are the problem?

"Many men have a natural tendency to take over; and reminding them that they aren't really woman, don't necessarily understand the concerns really, may well be a good thing."


If Feminism is indeed about equal rights and not just constructing a vehicle for sniping and attacking back for perceived slights of a personal nature, I think that is a poor way to demonstrate that.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #93)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:45 AM

106. Percieved Slights of a personal nature

that says it all doesn't it?

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #106)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:12 PM

107. "Many men have a NATURAL tendency to TAKE OVER."

No, THAT says it all.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:08 PM

102. if that is what it takes

I guess I'm a lesbian. If that were the social norm, and that was they way you say you are an ally. In fact my son asked me one time, when he was visiting, "Why does libodem make me think of lesbian?"
I was a little perplexed but in the end I didn't care and went off to join the GLBT group. The rest is history.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:58 PM

35. We should all just have a gender-neutral term to describe us

If equality is actually the goal. "I'm an egalitarian." I like it.

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:00 PM

36. and when talking all issues of equality i call it humanist. yours works. nt

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:00 PM

37. So you think feminism shouldn't even exist as a movement

That's an opinion too, but it's irrelevant as far as what people who are allies of feminism should be called.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #37)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:01 PM

38. and when i am talking womens issues, i am a feminist.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:02 PM

41. Holy cow, way to put words in people's mouths.

Agenda much?

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:20 PM

39. From the definition given yesterday, I think the answer is yes.

Now how many there actually and consistently are is another question, and one we can't really answer. There are men who think they are superior to women, and women who think they are superior to men. Personally, I do believe that treating everyone with respect and human equality is the way to go regardless of what "group" or "tribe" they may associated with.

I look for a day when, for the most part, we are beyond feminism, and I think thay day will come all over the world.

And are there men dominating the feminist groups and organizations with women as the front people? That is just jaw dropping.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:46 PM

40. There's a difference between saying "I am a feminist" versus merely "I am not entirely awful."

Being in favor of the equal treatment of women does not make you a feminist. It means you don't suck as a human being. Doing something about it makes you a feminist.

Unfortunately some men seem to think that their views make them feminist when they've never acted upon them in any tangible way. Supporting women's right to bodily integrity just means you're not an awful human being. Actively escorting at a clinic makes you a feminist.

All the favorable opinions in the world don't matter until you do something about the problem. If you've got a problem with patriarchy do something about it!

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:31 PM

42. How I see the distinction:

As something that can be more or less summed up by the difference between other ideologies which have small-i and capital-I versions. See "democrat"; the common noun refers to a supporter of democracy, the proper noun to a member of the Democratic Party. So...men can be small-f "feminists" in the sense of believing in gender equality, equal pay for equal work, women's rights, and some recognition of the problems of endemic sexism, sexual objectification, and gender discrimination in a society that's still male-dominated and where the default perspective for discussion of any issue is a male one. This is not dissimilar in many ways to the issues of civil rights for black and LGBT people; a white person can join the NAACP, or a heterosexual person can join GLAAD, but they don't actually "get" it, and can't. They may think they do, they may understand it on an intellectual level, but they can walk away from it. It's one thing to say "Racism is a terrible thing", "sexism is a terrible thing", etc, but you can say those things and still be somewhat blind to the actual nature of how bad those things can be, when you've never been pulled over and frisked by the cops for being black in the rich part of town, never had to fend off crude and unwanted sexual advances and leers and been judged more on how you look than how competent you are at your job, never had to go and scrub off where someone spray-painted "DIE OF AIDS FAGGOT" on the front of your house. A man can be a "feminist" in the sense of supporting feminism, yes, but can't presume to speak for women on the issues it involves.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:51 PM

44. "Society has conditioned men to think that they are naturally in charge"


What?

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Response to sibelian (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:57 PM

46. breathtaking, sweeping generalization

 

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:02 PM

48. WHY IS IT that people who have been the victims of prejudice think they're immune from it themselves


I've NEVER understood it.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #46)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:27 PM

70. I perhaps should have clarified that to be American Society

Over the last 200 years. But other than that I stand by this 100%. When man display leadership qualities they are admired, when woman display leadership qualities they are described as pushy or bitchy.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:17 PM

94. "When man display leadership qualities they are admired...


..... when woman display leadership qualities they are described as pushy or bitchy."


So.... the positions is that *outside* the movement men are admired for their leadership, and women aren't, so men that support the idea that women *should* be admired for their leadership qualities should be treated as if they don't really? Just in case?



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Response to sibelian (Reply #94)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:40 PM

98. The whole premise of the feminist movement seems to be lost

With this post

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:15 PM

51. For the purpose you describe how do you define the term woman?


This definition can sometimes be difficult?

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:22 PM

54. Interesting question. Can a pre-op transsexual be a feminist?

How about a post-op transsexual?

Or is it perhaps better (as 93% of DUers believe) to allow anyone, male, female, transsexual, straight, gay, or whatever, who supports equality for women, and wants to call themselves a feminist, to do so, as opposed to obsessing over semantics?



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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #54)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:17 PM

75. Why do you assume people who disagree with you are obsessed?

You're the one who keeps starting flamebait polls. (re your pro-choice poll.)

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #51)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:15 PM

73. I know there has been huge heated debate about this in feminist circles

My personal opinion is that transgendered women are women. I don't care about whether they're pre- or post-op, or whether they have any intention of going through with an operation. I am pretty ignorant as to trans issues honestly but I trust people to know who they are. I'm also not that knowledgable about the debate on this issue but I have my opinion just the same.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:22 PM

53. You forgot foolish and self defeating.

How do you expect men to support a movement that you literally tell them has no place for them?

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Response to Kurska (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:30 PM

57. that is not what anyone is saying. and have repeatedly stated they have not said. as a matter of

fact, with every post that a woman says it is a womans movement, they also rave about appreciating, valuing, and how much men are needed in this movement for their support and voice. you know, stroking and coddling for all our worth.

this would be an example of what a few of us are saying. look at the mens reaction because the title of feminism is being denied them from just a small handful of women. the minority. and all of a sudden, men i have never heard concerned about the feminist movement, are now saying how could they support the feminist movement without the title.

doesnt that say something to you?

if i did not have an honorary label, i would continue to support the black and gay movement. oh wait... i dont, and i do still support.

even when i get something wrong, and those in the movement correct me, i do not need my ego stroked, i do not huff off in a fit, and i continue to support the movements understanding lesson learned.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #57)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:36 PM

59. No matter what you think you are saying, the messaging you are sending is just as important.

You would be creating a segregation of terms. Feminists is only for women and you'll have to invent some other term for men. That sounds like a incredibly assbackwards thing to be doing in a movement that strives for full equality.

Trying to restrict the term feminist to women is just hanging a giant "Men not welcome" sign on the movement. You can argue it isn't, but I promise you that is how 99% of men are going to view it and I think their view would not be without merit.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #59)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:38 PM

60. do you need a title to support blacks? do you need a title to support gays? of course you do not.

AND to press further you now say, regardless of what you say, it does not matter.... now listen to me, this is how you MUST do it in order to have mens support.

and you WONDER why some women have come to this conclusion? your posts are full out example of exactly what some of us women have been saying.

thank you. well done.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #60)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:46 PM

62. It has nothing to do with a title, it has everything to do with not being made to feel welcome.

You're asking men to accept that this title is special and only for women. Men are obviously going to be very turned off by that. No to mention that in a movement based on equality you are building gender segregation right into the title.

Never have I heard of civil rights movement doing this before. Some great black civil rights leaders were Jews (I can name a few who even died for that cause) and some great gay rights leader have been straight. It is outstandingly contrary to the message of your movement

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Response to Kurska (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:56 PM

64. O. kay.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #64)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:03 PM

65. I see that you're conceding the conversation, wonderful! I'll go elsewhere n/t

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Response to Kurska (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:05 PM

103. Thank you.

You have been better at arguing this point than I was.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:19 PM

76. Two things

1. No one is saying there is no place for men within the movement. Only that women should be the center of the feminist movement as it is our movement, and we should define it and it's terms, and some (not all) of us prefer the term "feminist" for women. We prefer the term "allies" for men.

2. I have a hard time with men saying, "I'll support you only if you let me define your movement and the terms that are a part of it." That isn't support anyway.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #76)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:22 PM

78. I just don't see the need to segregate terms based on gender.

It is a movement based on equality yes? So why would it be a good idea to have a different term for men and women supporters? This is what I'm not getting and is probably what will turn most men off.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #78)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:25 PM

79. I'm tired of it being about what will turn men on or off, honestly

It's our movement, so I think we should define it and it's terms. It's specifically about equality for women.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #79)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:30 PM

81. I'm gay, gay rights is my movement.

And nothing makes me happier than a pro-gay hetrosexual, that is how I know what I am doing is working. Personally, I have no problem with a hetrosexual being deeply involved in the gay rights movement. I really wouldn't even be bothered if a hetrosexual were the head of a major gay rights organization.

That is where I am coming from on this issue. That is probably why I'm just not getting it.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #81)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:33 PM

83. I am straight and I hope I'm an ally in the gay rights movement

I guess that's why "ally" feels like the right word for me. I try to be an ally in the gay rights movement, and in the anti-racism movement, but as a straight white woman I don't feel like I should be at the center of the movement defining who is what or what language is appropriate or anything like that. It feels like my job is to support the people who are being discriminated against and follow their lead.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #83)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:38 PM

84. In a movement based on equality, I feel like what should be important is your views

If gays were to not allow heterosexuals to assume leadership positions or lead in gay rights we'd be losing out on some very valuable perspective. I think a civil rights movement should try to build the broadest base possible.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #84)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:40 PM

85. I appreciate your input

You're the first person who is from a non-privileged group who has given input like this and I appreciate it and will think on it.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #85)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:41 PM

86. Thank you, I was glad to have the conversation. n/t

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Response to gollygee (Reply #76)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:37 PM

97. "I'll support you only if you let me define your movement and the terms that are a part of it"


... so... your definition of the term "feminism" excludes men .... because they want it to include them....

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Response to sibelian (Reply #97)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:40 PM

99. No.

Don't know where you're getting that.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #99)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:50 PM

100. From you.


What you have said is that if a man wants to be considered a feminist, he is "defining" it and is therefore to be excluded from it. It's your words.

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Response to sibelian (Reply #100)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:52 PM

101. It's twisting my words

Him wanting to decide how the word "feminist" is defined would be one example of wanting to define feminism and control it, but only one. And it isn't about him, again. It isn't about the men. It's about the fact that it is a women's movement.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:26 PM

80. To be honest, this is starting to turn me off to the label "feminist"

I had a feminist friend in college who convinced me that I was too, and she got me to take a class with her on feminism. She said because I believe in equal political, legal and economic opportunities, as well as fair treatment in all other things, that I should be labeled as such. She was very persuasive, totally the opposite of the threatening man-hater false stereotype pushed by Limpbags and the mainstream media, so I learned a lot from her and realized that I was a feminist after all.

Then I come online to read this divisive crap. Maybe the label isn't right. Frankly I don't want to be associated with those who say "men naturally want to dominate every movement". Where is the support for this statement?

Weird. A kindhearted feminist convinced me I was one, and other feminists are pushing divisive ideas that convince me I'm not. Maybe there can be a word for the former to distinguish them from the latter, and I can be one of those.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #80)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:31 PM

82. +1

Very well written.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #80)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:50 PM

88. The issue is that

it isn't about you and what makes you happy and how you feel about the name or labels. It's about women. I don't understand why it shouldn't be about women. This feels to me like an example of men wanting to dominate the movement.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #88)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:52 PM

90. The only people who are making it about issues other than women

are those who say men aren't welcome, or get offended by what men who support equality call themselves.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #90)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:29 PM

95. Who said I was offended?

I answered what my personal definition was. My definition is that feminism is a women's movement, and therefore the terms should be defined by women, and the movement should be defined by and run by women. My personal definition therefore is that feminists are women, and men who support feminism are allies, but not all feminists agree. I never said I was offended by people who feel otherwise.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #80)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:03 AM

104. +1000. The divisiveness has turned me off too ..... and I'm a woman.

I'll always be a supporter of equal rights and treatment for every human being on this planet, but I won't ever again claim the term 'feminist' for myself.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:40 PM

61. Other issues aside, that's not enforceable. Imagine going around demanding that men not be feminist!

All that would do would be to create a whole shit-load of OTHER issues that could be distracting to feminism.

You would get the whole reactionary dynamic going on, just like "Pro-Life" : Pro-Choice, reactors reacting to reactions of other reactors ad infinitum, no progress. The Other defines the terms of the discourse, because YOU have told them how to do that with your insistence that men can't be feminist; everything becomes about that, feminist men, while the real issues are ignored, the same way that "Pro-Life" : Pro-Choice is about almost nothing but abortion (fuck pay equity, universal access to authentic health care, appropriate and comprehensive life-long education and a whole raft of other issues that affect women's decisions about pregnancy). NOT a useful model, because everything becomes about what the Other (guy or gal) is doing, instead of just going ahead and freely establishing something that is different in a specific sort of way that can be identified as feminism no matter what the context is.

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:13 PM

66. I think this whole discussion is a waste of time.

You call me what you like, and I'll call myself what I like.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:16 PM

67. Evidently many people disagree with you n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #67)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:49 PM

87. Have fun. n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:32 AM

105. This: "But it may be equally likely that a man describing himself as feminist

is simply asserting that he wants to see woman have an equal place in our society; economically, socially, politically and so on."

That is what I have observed as characteristic of most men who describe themselves as feminists.

Thoughtful post, thanks.

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