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> I'm STILL a feminist...what's it to you?
maddy29
post Jan 31 2007, 12:25 PM
Post #21


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i don't think i was clear, my aunt who i thought is a feminist is against legal abortions. it's not just that she thinks it's wrong for herself, she truly believes that it's murder and we need to outlaw it.....

that's why i was asking, cause to me that makes you NOT a feminist, or at the least, a very confused one. its one thing to choose it or not choose it for yourself, it's another thing entirely to say that NO one shoudl be able to make that choice.
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nickclick
post Jan 31 2007, 08:46 AM
Post #22


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their "mission" is to make a better society for mothers and children? well yes, that's feminist. most pro-choice feminists would agree that better healthcare and education for women and children would lead to less abortions. but, we also want women to be able to make our own choices, especially since we don't live in that society yet.

no, they're not feminists. and i don't like them using the principles of feminism for their anti-feminist mission.

i'm not so much against a celebrity using her/his fame to bring attention to a cause s/he's into. but yes, i'm more sickened by all these anti-choicers telling women to keep unwanted babies and not donating their time or money to their care, and most likely not even supporting welfare, education or foster care programs. idiots!

gee, well i'm never watching 'everybody loves raymond' again.... not that i really did.
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chachaheels
post Jan 31 2007, 06:22 AM
Post #23


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I think the Feminists for Life are right in line with Camille P., "RealWomen", and all those other backlash-y type institutions put together just to undermine women and keep them from exercising their rights as human beings.
Like I said, there are a whole slew of these kinds of people popping up--they serve a purpose, they just don't serve any purpose women could benefit from.

Also, I don't fucking know how the hell someone like Patricia Heaton can go around babbling this nonsense when she's really using her celebrity to promote laws that tell women what to do no matter what they need. That's an abuse.
Women who end up without access to abortions they want end up having to raise babies they often cannot afford--perhaps we should all start a campaign to get these women to demand some big money from these celebrities so that the financial hardship they've imposed can be somewhat alleviated. After all, Heaton's got tons of money for her "acting". If she's so gung ho on forcing women to have kids they don't want, she ought to be financing as many as possible.


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deannareturns
post Jan 31 2007, 12:07 AM
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Eeek is my first reaction to that!

I'm all for a feminist critique of how hard abortion can be (or alternatively how guilt and suffering isn't intrinsic to the experience), but I draw the line at pro-life feminism.

Then again (**just typing quicker than I think**) there are lots of feminists I know who engage in anti/ non feminist activities/ perspectives etc, including myself. But it would be impossible not to. So what is negotiable and what isn't?
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faerietails
post Jan 30 2007, 07:18 PM
Post #25


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just out of curiosity, how do you all feel about feminists for life? i understand what is being said about women being able to be both feminist and pro-life, but feminists for life has always struck me as remarkably unfeminist.
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chachaheels
post Jan 30 2007, 05:05 PM
Post #26


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It sounds like she very well could be, Maddy. I'm sure the idea of abortion is just something she could feel is not right for her--and, if she's truly devout, she won't judge another for choosing to make that decision. It just can't be a cut-and-dry question by nature. It's truly possible she's struggled with that on a personal level and she may not want to "condemn" others or even wish she could remove the choice from other women, even if she does feel it's abhorrent. Or maybe she thinks the opposite and has a real struggle reconciling things--who knows. I imagine there are millions of women who are torn by these kinds of questions, on a really profound level, just as a matter of philosophy. I don't envy those women at all if they are forced to make this kind of deliberation AND faced with the decision about keeping a child they know they don't want and terminating the pregnancy.

Lots of women who are pro-choice think abortion is a terrible thing too--so many women wish it could be avoided, or that there were some other way. But that doesn't mean many women don't see the necessity of having access to the procedure, no matter what. To me, it's a line on which so many women are divided (which pisses me off) but I am certainly very happy to have a feminist perspective which "frames" the whole argument in a way which also considers women's rights in the whole debate.


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maddy29
post Jan 30 2007, 08:38 AM
Post #27


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yeah, now i'm thinking-i don't know if my aunt actually identifies as a feminist-i guess i just assumed she did because of the way she's lived her life, guess i'll have to ask her. it's a tough conversation for me, cause i'm just SO passionate about the right to decide if we want to reproduce or not, it's hard to listen-but last time we talked it was pretty good.
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chachaheels
post Jan 30 2007, 03:44 AM
Post #28


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I'm with you, Bunny.

I'm hoping women can overcome the Catholic church. Personally, and universally. But that's neither here nor there.


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bunnyb
post Jan 29 2007, 05:41 PM
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I think politics and religion can be exclusive in thought but not necessarily action. Many religions have hindered, damaged and dictated women's lives and the Catholic church is a fine example when it comes to determining a woman's fertility; they remove choice from the woman (if she follows her religion) and punish her if she does not (Magdalene laundries, Mary Magdalene herself). Catholicism is, in many ways, outdated especially in relation to feminism.


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chachaheels
post Jan 29 2007, 05:26 PM
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Well, she may be expressing her views on abortion as a choice she would make for herself--meaning she wouldn't do it in her own case because she would see it as murder.

But laws about choice in abortion are another matter, because they address a different issue all together, which is whether a woman has the power to determine her own fertility, and maintain full determination over her own body. I think that many feminists would agree that the core point is that a woman must have the right to determine her own fertility, and determine the use of her own body. If women don't have that, then who does?
(and that's where the church would like to step in and say, WE do!) We would be the legal equivalent of slaves to whatever or whomever gets to determine those things for us.

Some people feel politics and religion can be exclusive, to a certain extent, on a personal level (I've tried, but I just can't see it that way at all); but as institutions, Religion and Politics are inseparable and the religious is really quite politically powerful, especially when the personal becomes involved. I think you have to have some understanding of the way these institutions have shaped our world and created a reason for the existence of Feminism in order to put the whole question of Abortion in context, especially when you consider just what kind of impact that influence has had on women's lives.

So I think it would be difficult to be a feminist if you just couldn't see your way to being "pro-choice". But I could be wrong: there may be some as yet unarticulated or unexplored means of creating a way for women to be self-determined in terms of fertility which does not call for terminating a pregnancy (even though that happens naturally so much more frequently than via surgery that it makes me think God's the biggest abortionist out there).


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maddy29
post Jan 29 2007, 01:01 PM
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yeah, i think the difference is when a woman says "i wouldn't have an abortion cause it's murder" and "NO woman should be legally allowed to have an abortion because it's murder."

this aunt i always looked up to-she didn't take her husband's last name, and would send back mail addressed to "mrs. his last name." in so many ways i think of her as a feminist, until i heard her views on abortion! i was so shocked.
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greenbean
post Jan 29 2007, 12:40 PM
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I agree with Bunny, you can be personally against abortion and still be feminist,..but I would question the feminism of a woman who believes in anti-choice laws.

We had this discussion on that issue awhile back starting here: http://www.bust.com/lounge/index.php?s=&am...ost&p=95472


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bunnyb
post Jan 29 2007, 12:22 PM
Post #33


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maddy, I think you can be. I'm Catholic and I'm a feminist (albeit not practicing and I don't believe in their stance on abortion or on many things for that matter); politics and religion can be exclusive. Besides, it's still a personal choice; feminists can choose not to have an abortion themselves, or not agree with it as an action but they will defend to the death a woman's right to choose.

Again, it's the discussion of what feminism means to you; I wouldn't say that you have to agree with abortion to be a feminist and I think there are several great feminists out there who don't agree with it.


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maddy29
post Jan 29 2007, 12:13 PM
Post #34


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here's a question for y'all:

can you be "anti-choice" and be a feminist?

i would usually say no, if you think that abortion should be illegal, you can't really call yourself a feminist. or, you can, but i wouldn't call you one smile.gif

BUT, i have this awesome aunt who is such an amazing woman, yet she is catholic and believes that abortion is murder. and she is a feminist. in every other way, really. but i just have a really hard time with this one-whatcha think?
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greenbean
post Jan 29 2007, 12:05 PM
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Thanks Cha for the input on the author!

Tes, heh, yeah I guess I subconsciencely equate feminist with successful women. When ever I'm feeling like I'm not a good feminist its because I'm not in a powerful position in the workforce.

And yes, I asked about women in college. I think its because more minority women are going to college, but not minority men.

I agree there is still much more that needs to be done in regards to equal pay. I feel like teachers get the worst end of it. Its argueably the most important job in a society, yet because its still considered a women's job, they are terribly underpaid.


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sybarite
post Jan 28 2007, 12:22 PM
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Certainly theorising and making sense of men's roles, and thus discover how and why to change them, is central to implementing any kind of feminism: we all live in the world together. I do think though that because men cannot identify with being a woman, because they occupy a privileged space, they can still participate in a project of feminism but cannot be feminists themselves.

Deanna, I can see men identifying as participants in feminist actions (without being 'feminists' b/c to be a feminist means identification as a woman) as a workable thing, I think. I know it looks like a mighty fine line, maybe too fine?? I think precision is important in any kind of politicised discussion though.

There are intersections between gender, race and class of course, so that a black working class man, for instance, doesn't access the same privilege as a white middle class man... but men still occupy a separate space.

On the question of a transgendered woman: if you identify as a woman then IMO, yes, you can call yourself a feminist. Especialy as through transgendering womanhood is a state you chose and had to struggle to achieve.

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chachaheels
post Jan 28 2007, 04:13 AM
Post #37


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deannareturns wrote:
QUOTE
And the overwhelming majority of some 1000 plus surveys so far say feminism has to be for men too. What form this takes (ie. encouraging men to identify as feminists?) is something we need to muse on...or do we?


Feminism pretty much always has included men in its diverse analyses of (insert discipline here). There has never been a feminist work which hasn't detailed exactly how misogyny has created/dictated/hurt men as well as women (and each analysis yields a different perspective one that issue). I don't think any serious works have actually dictated a "way" for men to "be" in a less biased world (just as they don't dictate a way for women to "be", either--it's all about being aware of and getting around so many of the blocks created by systemic discrimination anyway).

The idea that feminism "leaves men out" is just another one of those misrepresentations, like the basic lie that feminism focuses primarily on hating men and not wearing high heels or nail polish.

Ideally, it would be great if a lot of men realised just how much they've been made to lose because of misogyny. If they could somehow understand clearly exactly what the cost of their privilege has amounted to, on personal levels, as many women do when they "get" it.

As for genetics/gender, I always wonder how it is that men who change sexes find the world after they live in it as women. A lot of men stay in existing relationships with the same women they lived with when they were still, physically, men; and a great number of transsexuals I've ever heard interviewed, or read and read about, are quite open about describing a first hand familiarity with the whole power dynamic that exists in male/female relationships, once they participate in them as females and not males. So many opt to pursue relationships with other women, as opposed to men, once they make the change. I don't really know what to make of that exactly without jumping to conclusions which are going to be presumptuous, but I do think it might speak to a power dynamic a lot of "former" men cannot live with, once they're subjected to it.
If this means they suddenly become "aware" and want to create a life which isn't based on that dynamic, and if that means they've opted to consider feminism on a personal level, then...they're certainly adopting some feminist ideas to their own lives.

tesao wrote:
QUOTE
i can't remember who asked about there being more women at university now, but i think that could be true. so if there are more women out there with higher degrees, why is it that dollar for dollar, for the same position, women still get paid less than men?


This is because misogyny really is about what's valued and what isn't: woman are not valued economically in the same way as men. Just as "secretary" used to be a highly paid, highly skilled and regarded job for men at the turn of the 19th century (and then became a negligible, poorly paid job for those who were considered to be "without skills" when it became a "woman's job"--and has now been altogether replaced by Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access), all work and institutions continue to be devalued as soon as women gain access to them, and their associations with (male) privilege and status begin to erode.

This change in valued perception isn't the fault of women who strive to fulfill themselves by accessing those positions or experiences, it's the fault of a society which continues to devalue women. Remember that a huge amount of the necessary work that has to be done to keep that society going is completely devalued and gets done unpaid, overwhelmingly by women. None of the "other" work--the kind people get paid to do--can take place without this unpaid work, and as a lot of feminist economists have pointed out, once you put a dollar value on that unpaid work it often exceeds the paid work in monetary value (so when you expand that reality to include things like Gross National Product, all of which depends on the free labour worth as much or more--whole economies are resting on female good will and/or exasperation). As long as the truly crucial unpaid "women's" work continues to be devalued, women will be devalued no matter what contribution they make. Hence, the 30 to 50% persistent difference in the amount of pay women will get for doing the same job as men (which has been a differential that's held steady for a long, long time--much longer than people think).


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deannareturns
post Jan 28 2007, 12:35 AM
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Can a man be a feminist?

My gut says no. My man is well versed in feminism on a personal and political level, but there are limits to his feminist critique - ie. when feminism intersects with some privileged space he takes for granted. Plus, he has that annoying tendency to seek praise for basic stuff - ie. always making sure I have an orgasm too. What a hero! I mean, I really appreciate it, but he's always expected to have one without any hassle. Why shouldn't I?

I still think I need to do more thinking on the issue. I've started researching a book on contemporary attitudes to feminism in Australia and my co-writer and I began the project with a huge web survey asking questions such as what is feminism, who is a feminist, is feminism needed, what should feminism discard/ keep etc. And the overwhelming majority of some 1000 plus surveys so far say feminism has to be for men too. What form this takes (ie. encouraging men to identify as feminists?) is something we need to muse on...or do we?
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tesao
post Jan 27 2007, 09:33 PM
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great conversation, everyone! greenbean, i know that you were just kidding about your cousin, but i'm curious. does a woman have to make MORE money than whoever to be a feminist? i can't remember who asked about there being more women at university now, but i think that could be true. so if there are more women out there with higher degrees, why is it that dollar for dollar, for the same position, women still get paid less than men?

and to go back to the genetic question for a minute: what if a woman is transgendered, either pre or post surgery? can that woman be a feminist or not? is it based on genetics? birth certificate?
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faerietails
post Jan 27 2007, 04:05 PM
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QUOTE(chachaheels @ Jan 27 2007, 10:16 AM) *

To me, they are this era's Phyllis Schlaffly. Definitely women, but never feminists; also quite happy to profit from the access feminism has actually given them, whether that access has been through academia or the media. I can't consider these people "allies", when they really aren't interested in being part of the diversity of feminism so much as they are interested in denouncing all of it as faulty, or even just being apologists for the persistent status quo which is still pretty misogynist.


Couldn't have said it better myself. smile.gif
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