Define Feminism

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Define Feminism

Post by C-Fan » 23 Jul 2014 10:01

I'm curious to see how members of modified define feminism. Please post your definition here, and ideally post it without reading what anybody before you wrote. Thanks!

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Cass
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Cass » 23 Jul 2014 10:39

An understanding that women have the same value as men and are entitled to equal rights and privileges.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 23 Jul 2014 10:41

The belief that women are equal to men. I believe in feminism, because women can do basically anything a man can do, I just find that some women take the term too seriously.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Steph K » 23 Jul 2014 10:58

Feminism is the radical idea that women are people, and as individual as anything else could be. Women are not default "as opposed to men" or anything, it's all just people.

The reason why feminism needs to remain a term however, is because terms like "humanism" and "egalitarianism" downplay and completely disregard the struggles that women still face disproportionally to men. Erasure is not the answer and will not fix anything.

Feminism is like evolution. It's not a belief, it's a fact.

I am seriously concerned however by anyone that would say feminism is taken "too seriously."

There is no universe in which I feel passionately believing in my right to vote, own land, work in a lab, get an education, take birth control, have sex could EVER be too serious or too much. My personhood cannot ever be too important to me, and my right to not live under the thumb of a father, husband or brother is my basic right as a human adult.

I get called an angry feminist, like A LOT. But how could I not be angry? When women are blamed for their own rapes and men are told they are lucky to be raped because they always want sex. When wearing a short skirt is enough to condemn me. When the number of partners I have had in safe and consensual relationships lowers my worth in the eyes of others while it elevates my male partners for doing the exact same thing. When I am less likely to get promoted because nice girls don't fight for a position and only bitches demand respect. When bossy is a curse word, and my boyfriend is called whipped for treating me as an equal.

Yeah, I am angry. I am really fucking pissed, because the shit that still happens IS NOT OKAY. Even people who pretend to understand the issues think we need to be quieter, nicer, more modest, more worthy of respect, less serious and less bitchy.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Allan » 23 Jul 2014 11:20

As with many words in English & the sciences, feminism has two relative meanings.

In the sciences, Feminism is defined as a macro sociological theory/approach, wherein human social interactions are evaluated through the perspective of dominant patriarchy and it's effects upon women. Perhaps I'm not wording that entirely correctly, but it's an official thing in sociology texts that would be easy to look up (were I not on my lunch break on my phone).

The second is the colloquial, and has already been basically defined by others here; the idea that women are equal to men, etc.

I consider myself a feminist (though I only took 1st year sociology, so I'm not qualified to take a stand on that side). I don't really think the concept can be "taken too seriously" in this insanely sexist world. This sort of thing is usually only said by men who are relatively naive (sorry Nick) to what women have to experience on a day-to-day basis. It's worse than you think, guys.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 23 Jul 2014 14:13

I'll admit it, I wish I hadn't posted this. I was not in the best mindset to post in this specific thread. I treat females very nicely (as long as they treat me nicely). I am not a misogynist, in any way. I never thought women shouldn't be allowed to or able to do anything a man can.

My sincere apologies.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Pasquar » 11 Aug 2014 16:07

I would have to think longer before coming up with my own definition of feminism, and I also already perused the thread, so whatever I would have to say would have already been affected.

I just like that this conversation is happening in this space.

Love you, Nick, but your first response is a perfect example of why feminism is so important.

Women are the largest collectively oppressed population on earth. While other forms of oppression (racism, classism, homophobia, ablism, etc etc.) are just as real, basically half of our species live in a male-dominated society that does not in any way treat them as equals. Much like racism, some can claim that (here in America, for example) we got rid of that a while ago with the Civil Rights Act. To say that there is not structural racism still prevalent in the form of gentrification, mass incarceration, policing, etc is just as ignorant as it is to claim that there is not structural sexism when women still earn around $0.77 to the man's dollar for the same positions, rape culture and victim-blaming of women is rampant (for example on college campuses), and decisions made over what women choose to do with their bodies are made by male politicians.

Sex and gender dictate every social space we enter and there are subtleties and complexities about the woman experience that no man can ever understand. It is exactly in that context where (in my opinion) it can never be okay for someone who does not have that experience to say that some take the term feminism "too seriously".

Again I know that you have already made a rebuttal, Nick. But I do think that the fact that the previous response took place at all highlights this dynamic.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Jeremy » 13 Aug 2014 21:34

I think Allan's distinction is really important, because when you come across academic papers claiming that Einstein's theory of relativity is sexist, or that we live in an "ocular centric regime", or any of the other absurdities of post-modern philosophies, you can be sure that most people who call themselves feminists do not support those kinds of ideas in the slightest, but if you study feminism in an academic setting, that's what you'll be learning about.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Jeremy » 13 Aug 2014 22:40

Sorry no edit. It's important to remember how broad "feminism" is too though. When Nick says some people are "too serious" about feminism, I think depending on what is meant by that, most people calling themselves feminists would look at movements like "separatists feminism" and "revolutionary feminism" who argued that men should be completed excluded from their society, and all women should be lesbians, and to some degree agree with Nick (perhaps if you replace "serious" with "extreme" or "radical"). Or indeed if you look at some of the "third wave" feminist movements today, where things like wearing the hajib is called "liberating."

"We think serious feminists have no choice but to abandon heterosexuality. Only in the system of oppression that is male supremacy does the oppressor actually invade and colonise the interior of the body of the oppressed ... [heterosexual intercourse] is more than a symbol, its function and effect is the punishment and control of women." - from a famous revolutionary feminist pamphlet.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Cass » 11 Mar 2015 12:31

“Women fucking suck” and other reasons I’m a feminist.


I hate that I can’t feel safe in this community. I hate that you think your right to “humour” trumps my right to feel safe and comfortable. I hate that I’m reluctant to speak up for fear of being attacked.

I am one of the only women to frequent these forums on a regular basis. Recently I have been doing my best to keep a really positive attitude. It becomes more challenging when people post things filled with hate.

Most of you can’t see it from my point of view because you don’t understand what it’s like to be a woman or a minority. You don’t know what it’s like to be catcalled, to feel unsafe walking around at night, to have someone bigger than you attempt to physically restrain you and force sexual acts on you. You’ve never been told “wow you’re good at footbag for a girl” and you’ve never been told not to voice your opinion. You don’t even begin to get it. I understand that and I know it’s not your fault. That being said it is my responsibility to speak up when I feel uncomfortable. To try and make you understand. The least you can do is hear me. Practice empathy.

I have a voice too. The fact that I’m a women does not make it any less important. In fact, given the gender ratio in this community, maybe sometimes my voice matters a litter more.

Allow me to express myself without fear.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Sporatical_Distractions » 14 Mar 2015 13:07

I was under the impression that feminism meant equality for EVERYONE regardless of sex, gender, race, physical impairments, religion.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Sporatical_Distractions » 14 Mar 2015 13:13

Really wish I would've read more than just the "what's your definition of feminism" part before posting.

Thanks you all for sharing and teaching me more about feminism.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Muffinman » 16 Aug 2015 02:17

Feminism = gender equality.
The term "feminism" is anti-feminist.
"Chivarly" is bullshit and very anti-feminist.
Specifying "actress" for a female actor is anti-feminist.
Having separate events for men's and women's freestyle footbag is anti-feminist.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Muffinman » 16 Aug 2015 02:27

Having now read everyone else's posts, I'd like to say that I both agree with Steph's argument for the historical importance of the term but also in my own statement. It's very important that we remember the history of women's rights (moreso lack thereof) and the term certainly helps to keep that in check. And it's probably best if it's stays that way for a long time to come. But I still argue that it's an incorrect term.

I also got the same vibe from Nick that he meant "radical" or "misguided/misinformed" "feminism," which is certainly something that helps to set back proper gender equality.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 16 Aug 2015 16:08

Muffinman wrote: The term "feminism" is anti-feminist.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Muffinman » 16 Aug 2015 17:12

Just, it implies a bias toward women, which I'm not arguing feminism shouldn't, obviously. Equality wouldn't be an issue if women had equal rights from the get-go. But, hypothetically if/when we achieve true equality, the term itself should evoke that harmony too -- not "feminism," not "masculism." We should never ignore or forget women's struggles, but we should strive for pure equality.

I think it's important to remember that men are half of the population. We by nature have a very different perspective of the issue, and that has been tainted by the aforementioned misguided radical feminists who assert that men are evil. The rational among us need to understand the confusion that that instills in a significant sample of the population -- those who haven't been exposed to anything other than "feminism equals angry men-haters." For many, the term "feminism" only tells half the story.

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by DC Clinks » 16 Aug 2015 21:05

Nice discussion in here. For myself, as I am admittedly somewhat uneducated on the topic (never really taken the time to research it thoroughly), I'm not sure how "correct" my opinion is compared to a universally accepted definition of the word feminism, if that exists. But I've understood feminism to be the equal or same opportunities for political, economic, cultural etc. (or societal in general) progression for any person or persons, regardless of sex or gender identity.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 16 Aug 2015 21:22

Why can't we all just be human beings who are lucky enough to walk and breathe on this planet? Why do we even need a name for any of this? We're all trying to survive... for God knows what reason... I think feminism and masculism are both dumb terms. We need a universal word to replace all the dumb shit that just means "Equal respect for all human beings". That sums it all up.
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Re: Define Feminism

Post by Muffinman » 16 Aug 2015 22:01

"The reason why feminism needs to remain a term however, is because terms like "humanism" and "egalitarianism" downplay and completely disregard the struggles that women still face disproportionally to men. Erasure is not the answer and will not fix anything."

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Re: Define Feminism

Post by jooles » 18 Aug 2015 06:17

Cass wrote:An understanding that women have the same value as men and are entitled to equal rights and privileges.
So I'm wondering why isn't it called equivalism or something like that.

From my understanding we're living in a patriarchic (is this the right english term?) society. This wasn't always as it is. According to my findings this movement (in europe) started in ancient greek mythologie (so before the logoi, the upcoming of philosophy to describe the world).
So I understand feminism as an matriarchalic (again right term?) counter movement.

From my point of movement there are some problems which this movement produce, the main problem: it replicates common role models (even if it isn't the movements intention.

Also it produces inequality which is paradox because the movement sees itself as standing up against inequality.

So from my point of view we all should redefine our views on genders. See where it comes from, how it evolved. There's much more which comes along with this thinking which is worth to be reconsider, but I don't want to produce a huge post.

If someone is interested in philosophy (in this case more mythology) I can advise to read a myth by Platon found in the "Symposium" ( http://philosophy.eserver.org/plato/symposium.txt ) about the "bullet people" (direct translation) it's about the eros, but I think it's also interesting for the gender debate and it's a good start for this topic I guess, because it connects mythology with philosophy and it's very close at the stage where thinking in society transforms to a male dominated society (in the public, as we all know domination can't only found in politics and in the end the female aspect in society isn't that weak, but the look on it is, lets say impaired)

I produced a longer post as I intended, hopefully I could contribute some new views on this topic.
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