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I don't mean to sound rude, but the reason you're can freely be so masculine and tomboyish is because of feminism. Feminism has nothing to do with being womanly and everything to do with being able to be your true self. Sexism can impact all women, regardless of how feminine or masculine their personality is.

Exactly. It's not feminists I hear making snide, condescending comments when I'm changing a tire on my car, moving heavy objects, or simply holding the door open for a man (because apparently common courtesy is threatening to their masculinity?).

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This whole thread made me tear up a little.

That whole 'you have no sense of humour, you're fridgid, you need to lighten up and not take everything so seriously' is exactly what's bothered me my whole life. Even putting the feminism aside for a second, I used to get teased in junior school for being passionate about things. I could stand there and explain exactly what was wrong with the Australian political system and the others would just laugh at me for getting too worked up, telling me to take a chill pill. There are some things in this world that one has a right to get worked up about.

 

I'm not sure what the language policy is on here, but I'll do my best to keep it clean. Apologies if I get it wrong.

 

When I was fifteen, I was coming home from school one day and passed a couple of guys. I hated my school skirt. It was super ugly anyway and I had to get a size above what was comfortable around my waist to fit over my hips. I've always been a skinny sort of kid. Anyway, one of them turned to the other and said, "Holy f***!"

"What?"

"She's a virgin!"

Then they descended into raucus laughter as though that was the most hilarious and shocking thing they'd ever seen. At the time I thought that level of stupidity was kind of funny, but one of the most important things to me is cimple, common curtesy and I simply do not understand how one could think it appropriate to speak like that about a complete stranger. What makes it funnier, is that I was crossing a pedestrian crossing only a few days later in my regular clothes with a little modest makeup and someone wolf-whistled from his car. Remember, I was 15. I've had many incidents of verbal abuse throughout the years and random men trying to hit on me after I made it perfectly clear I wasn't interested.

 

Someday I look forward to living in a world where there are no double standards. I smile at people in the street, regardless of gender. It does not mean I am hitting on you. People need to step back a little, treat others with respect, and be a little more aware of their surroundings.

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Exactly. It's not feminists I hear making snide, condescending comments when I'm changing a tire on my car, moving heavy objects, or simply holding the door open for a man (because apparently common courtesy is threatening to their masculinity?).

 

 

The bewilderment is with all messages there is no uniformity is there ? ... like a religious sect you have different flavors of feminists and some people with their individual personality perceive them as distasteful over the others.

 

I had an experience with a self-described feminist that had a problem with marching bands. She wanted to shut them down for being sexist. That "shove it in your face" dogma with the potty mouth princesses also is among the latest example of nauseating charades to say the least.

 

When it really is about "all humanity - male and female" ... I'll be more in tune with this "common courtesy" that is bandied about.

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Meh, I really don't take pride in being womanly. I'm a relativity masculine and tomboyish female. Sexist jokes are fine by me. I really dislike feminism.

 

See, I find this was of thinking very hurtful (although, I do understand you weren't personally trying to cause offence to people)

because sometimes I'm very masculine/tomboyish, and sometimes I can feel really girly (it's like people forget that women are multifaceted human beings that can have a range of tastes) But no matter how I'm feeling on a certain day, sexist jokes always hurt me.

 

My University, and particularly my course, is majority guys, the majority of my lecturers are guys too. Even when I'm being masculine and *one of the guys* with them, it can be horrid when one of them uses sexism to alienate me and hurt me. And I can sometimes feel resentful for being womanly then, but the truth is, it's not me being a girl that is to blame, it's men thinking that can use that as a weakness and exploit it to make me uncomfortable and get an upper hand.

 

Anyway, feminism is there to protect women & fight for them, if you don't need fighting for - that's fine, good for you - but don't forget that there are thousands of women who are vulnerable. And it's not just because they are women, they might have a different financial background to you, or race, or live in a different country which is more dangerous.

 

So I support feminism, not just for myself, but also for those who need it more than me,

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The bewilderment is with all messages there is no uniformity is there ? ... like a religious sect you have different flavors of feminists and some people with their individual personality perceive them as distasteful over the others.

 

I had an experience with a self-described feminist that had a problem with marching bands. She wanted to shut them down for being sexist. That "shove it in your face" dogma with the potty mouth princesses also is among the latest example of nauseating charades to say the least.

 

When it really is about "all humanity - male and female" ... I'll be more in tune with this "common courtesy" that is bandied about.

Okay, so either I'm not fully understanding the point you're trying to make, or you you didn't fully understand mine (or possibly both). My last line referred to the fact that holding a door open for someone coming in behind you is simple common courtesy, and yet several times that I've done it for a man they've snapped at me and reacted as if I was implying they weren't men. If in fact you did understand this and you were taking issue with me holding a door open, then I honestly have no idea where you're coming from.

 

As for the first part of your post: yes, there are people who call themselves feminists who can be jerks, or have really strange ideas about what feminism means. This is true of of any group, though, including geeks, psychologists*, and even neopets users - (if you substitute feminism out for whatever that group is centered around, obviously :laughingsmiley: ). Writing off an entire rights movement because a small but vocal minority of them are jerks does a disservice not only to women, but to men who 1) want to take up traditionally 'feminine' careers or hobbies without being harassed or thought less of, 2) are victims of female (and often male) violence who'd rather receive help than scorn, or 3) want a fair chance of getting decent custody of their children instead of watching sole custody go to the mother just because women are assumed to be more nurturing than men. There are other benefits for men, obviously, but the point is that feminism does help both men and women, and if you cant see that then you should do some research on the movement that you're dismissing.

 

*I'm tired. These were the first groups that popped into my head that weren't absurd like badgers or hot dog eating contestants.

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The worst thing I've heard of was my S/O other's Mother. She lives in Russia, and she has these big, gorgerous lips! Anyway, she told me a story of how she got BEATEN because her school was convinced that she had put on lip stick. (She couldn't take it, obviously.) That stuff is messed.

 

Our society has this belief that it's all up to the ladies. My opinion is that a woman should be able to wear whatever she likes without harassment. Nobody "deserves" it. I get that people sort of harass for things which aren't "normal" in general. (It's not just gender. Little people get it. People with visible impairments also.)

 

Religion also does play a role. Women are still expected to maintain their virginity while men are not. There's this gap where women have to be pure and clean and men simply do not.

 

I don't have many experiences of real harassment. Actually, anything that occurred in high school was by my friends. They would jokingly lift my kilt up (which I now realize should not have happened), and made me uncomfortable. I don't pay attention to if men are staring at me or not though. I do recall going to a Night Club and having a Spanish guy dance with me but I had felt like it was my own fault for being too friendly and sending him signals.

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I belong to a feminist society at my univeristy. (I'm actually a committee member)

I'm incredibly proud to be part of this society, and we run loads of great events (I'll tell you them at the bottom, you should really find out if your local University/college/school has a feminist society, as they're great)

 

But as someone who has been involved/seen a lot of these discussions, and although I always respect everyone's opinions (even when I disagree with them) I've learnt over the years that sometimes you need to take a step back and accept that some people - because of their experiences - just won't ever be able to reconcile with feminism.

 

That's ok, but to anyone whose on the fence, or maybe met a few not-so-nice people who have said offensive/ridiculous things under the name of feminism, please give it another chance. Because the best people - the most caring, inspirational & self sacrificing people - I've ever met call themselves feminists. And real life feminist groups and movements do so much good. So you might find online some people who just talk a lot of stuff, but if you come meet us, we support charities, we create learning groups for people who can't afford/access education, we fund & staff domestic abuse centres (for men and women) we do everything we can to help people. And that's so awesome, and I'm sure there's a feminist group near you calling out for an extra hand if you've got some time to spare.

 

Ok, events we've run:

I'll start with the ones I've already kinda' mentioned.

 

Shelters for the vulnerable.

Our society is very large, and we sponser/support a London half-way home for people who have been homeless because they've run away from an abuser.

The half-way home is actually a number of homes, 5 of which are for male victims. We run events, bake sales, competitions, to raise money for them all year round.

Nearly all our committee volunteers personally with this halfway home, which varies from collecting blankets/items for people, to cooking, to staying overnight as a staff. The majority of us are also University students, so we really do stretch ourselves, and are always hoping to find more people to help.

There's also a smaller shelter that we're involved in, which specialises in helping women and children who are actually illegally-citizens immigrants, are unable to get help because they fear they'll be deported. This puts thousands of people in the most dangerous position you could imagine, and without shelters like this many individuals feel like there are absolutely no way out. I'll not go into too much detail, because I think it would break the forums policy of posts, but this shelter is amazing, and is run purely on donations and volunteers, which is so sad, but it can't get any official help as it refuses to give up names of vulnerable people who would probably be arrested if found by authorities.

 

Education.

We run loads of educational workshops.

As we're a University society, we have great resources, and will contact/beg our lecturers to come along and host free/open lectures for people who would unable to access higher education.

We run reading groups, sometimes just focusing on feminist literature (this term we're doing Bell Hooks!) other times on any genre, any books, and we can discuss how there can be problematic aspects of books that we still love. That something can have sexist elements, but that doesn't mean that you have to hate it.

We run consent workshops, we are attended by men & women alike, and even staff.

We run health workshops, give out *health items* (I don't know if we're allowed to talk about adult topics here) but we give them out for free & teach people how to use them safely and correctly.

We run women in STEM, a panel just about supporting women in typically male dominated fields. This can be as simple as meeting with people who have a similar experience as you, or having the panel write complaints on your behalf if you're worried about being treated badly for complaining about maltreatment.

We run black women in feminism talks. Our president is amazing & has got in world leading speakers in to talk about how culture, gender, race & ethnicity work together, how to see people as whole human beings and not just one facet.

 

Fun!

Loads of the above actually have really fun aspects to them too, but we also just let off steam.

We have a hockey team, we got on cinema trips. Museum trips. Study sessions.

We have parties, and we picnics. We have poetry nights and collaborate with other societies,

 

I can't promise that your local group will be as big & varied as ours, but I just wanted to give you all an insight in to what a real - active physical, not just an online personality - feminist looks like.

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lilshadowdweller, you shouldn't feel responsible for the behavior of others. It's really easy to ask someone "Hey, you wanna dance?" instead of just assuming they would.

 

Wow, thanks for sharing info about your society, chubit! It sounds like you're doing a lot of good.

 

When the "Yes All Women" campaign first started, my male housemate had a female friend over who was trying to explain the campaign and why the shooting in California was a sign of a larger, systemic problem in society. She enlisted my help because he didn't seem to get it. And I never brought it up with him again, because he seemed pretty close-minded and unwilling to listen. But today we were talking about how we have a decent landlord, and I mentioned that I'd never really had a bad landlord -- except for the house manager who didn't replace the door on my room when it got broken into in college (by someone who stole intimate items of mine and was suspected to have attempted to assault other females on campus). I also mentioned that I was particularly concerned about not having a door because of the strange older male housemate who did inappropriate things (to himself, not to others) in the living room, and my current housemate got really mad on my behalf at several points during the story. First, he was like "that was illegal!" regarding the housemate doing inappropriate things, and he was surprised that we never thought to report that activity to the police (we would just leave the room). And then when he found out I never discovered whether the person the police caught had my intimate items or was convicted, he was really shocked that the police hadn't returned my calls and never followed up with me.

 

I didn't try to turn our discussion into a "see what women go through?" But he really listened, and maybe as he hears other stories, he'll realize that while it's not all (or even most) men, it really is all (well, okay, most) women.

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One aspect I'd like to point out to some of the people who seem to think the choices are 'be whole and trust everyone' or 'be broken and assume everyone is evil' - many women who are cautious and reserved are NOT assuming everyone is evil. What they are doing is assessing the possibilities that some danger exists and choosing not to take those chances. That doesnt mean they are 'broken'.

Consider that some women keep their purses/valuables under very close watch, women who have been robbed probably more so than others. They dont think *every* person on the metro wants to rob them. They do know realistically that even if only one person in their section does, that makes it worth being careful. Someone anecdotally saying 'well i left my purse on the seat next to me on the metro and nothing happened' doesnt make the cautious women wrong or broken. It just means that particular woman lucked out.

Selecting obnoxious examples of feminists and using it to define why someone 'doesnt like feminism' is like picking out religious extremists to judge a whole religion by. Every group has some jerks and worse. That doesnt define feminism. On a large scale there are massive rights problems that desperately need fixing. And there a dozens of ways to do that, small and large, with different styles and outlooks.

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Man, y'all are being surprisingly awesome about this! Not to sound rude or anything, but...I always expect the worst when I go into these conversations.

Good on you.

 

To get to the point at hand, I'm really dang frightened by the majory response to the #YesAllWomen movement. Especially the portion made by men.

Men who hold the power to do great harm to women, sitting in a circle with each other and talking down to women who don't want to be systematically hurt anymore.

 

I may not be female, but I sure am afraid for the folks in my life who are. My female friends, my girlfriend, my female family members are all affected. Whether they know or not.

And it saddens me. I do my best to be a feminist ally and generally do good for women, but I still wish I could do more to protect you all.

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I honestly believe things are getting better. There are rude people everywhere, but the younger generations are beginning to accept women as equals. I think equality will come sooner than you think.

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Just saw this topic. Really glad to see all the conversation going on.

 

I remember "being sorry" as well for not cleaning, or having food ready on the table, or basically being an all-around super woman. Because that's how I felt I had to be, perfect. I never said, "sorry" all the time, but then it hit me that I was being like that and I didn't know why. I told my boyfriend and he was puzzled as well, since he didn't expect me to be perfect or have food ready on the table. I realize I had put those expectations there, because how I was raised (or how my parents tried to raise me) and of all the movies and shows I watched.

 

This is why I'm glad we have conversations like these because it helps break the systematic hold women and men are in, and makes us really think and be self-aware.

 

I remember studying a play written by a woman in the 80s (some of the stuff were really weird), but we had a discussion on the word "feminism" and how the playwriter said she "wasn't a feminist". Somehow, by that time "feminism" had a bad rap, because many young women associated with anger, masculinity, hate, and single life. Apparently, there was a new wave of femnists that tried to not be so confrontational and tried to emphasize less on female and more on both genders.

 

I don't think there's an absolute right answer, though there are wrongs, but I think the bigger problem is the "categorizing". I think that's why so many people are split with whether they are feminists or not. Or if they are a "better" type of feminists.

 

Feminism, to it's core, is about believing that women have a choice, and they are allowed to choose. Either choose whoever they want to be, who they want to be with, or what life they want to lead. It's about letting women choose and respecting that decision.

 

Saying,"I don't believe in feminism" or "I'm not a feminist because I'm a..." Whatever is short hanging yourself, because now you're categorizing yourself, and I don't know about you guys, but I live action movies, and hate romantic comedies, but love romantic novels. I live sweat pants, but also love high heels. I don't put make up daily, but love getting dolled up for a special occasion.

 

No one person fits in only one category. We're all people of depth and dimension. We're contradicting by nature. We're not "you're either this or that". Putting myself into a category short changed me because I was really confused why I was like this, but then I was like that.

 

Viola Davis said it perfectly when asked what advice she'd give to young girls, "to not live someone else's life, and not someone else's idea of what womanhood is. Womanhood is you. Womanhood is everything that's inside of you." I believe the same goes for manhood.

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I completely agree with you that women are often silent and afraid not to express their freedom, but to file for divorce.

This post has been edited by a member of staff (Duma) because of a violation of the forum rules.
Please do not bump topics that are no longer relevant or practically ancient.
Per the reason above, this topic has been LOCKED.

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