Skip to main content

View Diary: Why I'm feminist (205 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  As I stated below: (3.75)
    The term "feminist" has been hijacked by those who do not believe in equality of the sexes.  They have distorted its meaning until people think it means something entirely different: the superiority of women. Which is entirely opposite of what feminism really means: equality.

    I'm not denying that there are some women who believe in the superiority of women over men.  But these women are not truly feminists.  I'm not sure what one would call them, but feminism is "Advocacy of the rights of women (based on the theory of equality of the sexes)." [OED]

    "Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." - Sen. Paul Wellstone

    by burnt in effigy on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 02:28:33 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Female chauvinists? n/t (none)
    •  Which women are you thinking of specifically? (none)
      I hear this kind of comment occasionally, and no one ever says which specific women are arguing for female superiority. Maybe someone might take Andrea Dworkin out of context and say she's anti-male, but even if you do take that view it doesn't mean she thinks women are superior.

      Really, who are these mysterious women supremacists? I'm fairly familiar with feminist writings and activism and I don't know where this myth intersects with reality.

      I really think it's ONLY anti-feminists that perpetuate this. In short, it's a vicious lie.

      Proud citizen of the provisional Canadian province of Cascadia since November 3, 2004

      by seaprog on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 04:34:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  try Mary Daly (none)
        for example, and her vision of a world without men.  

        I admire Mary Daly, and while I disagree with her anti-male attitudes, I can certainly understand them.

        For the most part the "man-hating feminist" is a caricature, but there are some examples of them out there.

        We can't stop here! This is bat country!

        by hrh on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 07:43:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think if we were to be accurate (none)
          most of those who are often labeled "man-hating" feminists, tend to be "man-indifferent" feminists in actuality.  Of course, to many men, that's the same thing.

          But even Mary Daly and other woman-centered theorists and utopians write mostly from a perspective of men being immaterial to a healthy and functioning society.  

          In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

          by a gilas girl on Mon Jan 17, 2005 at 10:55:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  man-indifference (none)
            most of those who are often labeled "man-hating" feminists, tend to be "man-indifferent" feminists in actuality.

            It should be easy to understand why "man-indifferent" feminists who organize for political changes that are "man-indifferent" could be percieved as "man-hating"--nobody likes to be steam-rollered over.  And it would, after all, be hard to that imagine that an organization that billed itself as "indifferent to the needs of women" would escape any accusations of "sexism against women."
            •  indeed (none)
              What if someone proposed a society without blacks?  Without Jews?  

              We can't stop here! This is bat country!

              by hrh on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 05:24:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or one (none)
                only OF blacks or only OF jews?  These are better analogies, as it is a form of the politics of separatism, it seems to me.  Not a politics I, personally, embrace, but one I certainly understand in situations of long-standing institutional oppression and anomosity. Again, in theory there are reasons and contexts where separatism makes sense but IN PRACTICE it has rarely, if ever, been carried out in a fashion that is just.  Hence as social theories they remain powerful exercises in explanation and in working through alternatives, but not very realistic policy statements.  Important to understand the difference between social theories and policy formations, it seems to me.  The former should inform the latter, not stand as equivalents to them.

                In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

                by a gilas girl on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 09:06:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  homogeneous communities (none)
                  only OF blacks or only OF jews?  These are better analogies, as it is a form of the politics of separatism, it seems to me.

                  To me, it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

                  Important to understand the difference between social theories and policy formations, it seems to me.

                  Well, I don't see much of a substantive difference, since "policy formations" tend to flow from social theories.

                  The fact is that it's difficult to justify this kind of separatist attitude, even if there are good reasons for it.  It's contradictory to the main goal, which is acceptance by, and success within, society as a whole.  Also it becomes problematic if an "outsider" wants to gain access.  How can you ethically discriminate against an outsider, without taking on many of the characteristics of the oppressor?

                  I went to an all-women's college and the campus debate over whether or not there should be such a thing as single-sex education raged throughout my time there - and rages on, from what I hear. (BTW, many of my fellow students genuinely loathed and feared men, which I thought was very sad.)  My own opinion is that I and others benefited greatly from the single-sex experience, but on the other hand it's abhorrent to me that the other sex must be excluded.  How do we work towards a balance?

                  We can't stop here! This is bat country!

                  by hrh on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 05:55:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  single-sex education (none)
                    My personal feeling is that there is a place for single sex education in junior high school and high school, as at that age I think that the distraction that the opposite sex provides detracts from education.  But at the same time, I think that total sex segregation is bad for social development, so to keep things in balance, my opinion is that it would be best to limit such single sex classes to just, say, math and English classes (other than AP/honors classes).

                    I haven't given much thought to the benefits of single sex colleges or lack thereof, since I don't believe men are allowed to have them.  But it seems to me that if the separation of the sexes was done at an earlier age, it might be the case that fewer people would find that necessary in college.

            •  I think you are missing the point (none)
              these aren't political organizations who advocate policies.  Mostly they are social theorists (many of them utopians) who imagine a world for women that doens't have a need for men. That's not denying anybody's rights, its just showing women they can be "self-sufficient". Its a form of separatism, which like black nationalism or zionism, IN THEORY isn't a denial of any one's rights, but IN PRACTICE, given the history of non-separatism and "facts on the ground" can very easily become so when put into practice.

              Short of Lesbos, the Amazon women or other mythical societies, I don't know that man-irrelevance (probably a more accurate descriptor) has actually been put into practice.  And given the history of patriarchy that is this planet, its unlikely it ever would be.

              Most feminism, however is entirely human focussed, not gender-specific.  And the benefits to men of living in a society that's goverened by femnist principles are pretty obvious.

              In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

              by a gilas girl on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 09:01:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think YOU missed the point (none)
                The poster was responding to the query "Who are all these female-supremacist feminists?"  And the truth is that there are many of them out there.  I encountered lots and lots of them in college.  They say some really wacky stuff.  I've been lectured on how heterosexual sex is fundamentally flawed because power is unequal, penetration is invasion, etc., as opposed to lesbian sex, which is wonderful, loving, nurturing and equal, blah blah blah.

                I don't think it does feminism any service to deny that these viewpoints exist.  

                We can't stop here! This is bat country!

                by hrh on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 06:05:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (120)
  • Community (58)
  • 2016 (45)
  • Elections (37)
  • Environment (35)
  • Media (33)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (33)
  • Republicans (31)
  • Hillary Clinton (30)
  • Iraq (27)
  • Barack Obama (27)
  • Law (27)
  • Civil Rights (25)
  • Jeb Bush (24)
  • Climate Change (24)
  • Culture (22)
  • Economy (19)
  • Labor (18)
  • Bernie Sanders (18)
  • Senate (16)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site