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Thread: Is feminism counter-productive?

  1. #1

    Default Is feminism counter-productive?

    Does the feminine movement benefit women?

    It is my understanding that 'feminism' involves equality between the sexes and the proposition that women can achieve, attain, or accomplish what men can on a social, political or economical level.

    Is this a fair definition or assumption?

    Then we can begin here...

    It is common ground in society today that young women are being taught "Learned Helplessness" in lieu of "Empowerment". The proponents of feminism are teaching young women to feel like they are victims of a pre-disposed social construct designed to keep them as second-rate or subject to social stigma. The blame falls on the perceived oppressor (males) who are being described as privileged.

    These young women are being taught to act out against it.

    This is where feminism is not accurate nor does it entail harmony or logic by design.

    To be empowered is to not take or adhere to the idea that you are a victim. Rather, empowerment is to be taught to believe and adhere to the idea that one has the ability, talent, fortitude, determination and desire to pursue any designation.

    I have been witness to many feminism rants. They range from "Men are pigs." to "Equality is non-existent". These are arguments for a victim-type mindset.

    To all of the above aforementioned, I can say...

    Limitations are mere perceptions.

    (I invite all opposing views here)

    Can we now explore all of the resulting ramifications?----

    If feminism is a concrete movement with validity we can expect some stark changes to societal norms and etiquette. This movement is akin to Pandora's Box. It would suddenly become rude or condescending to open a door for a woman or even pay for dinner.

    Now, I understand that this all seems chauvinistic, but it is coming from someone who is (very) willing to accept less responsibility. I abhor the fact that I bear more-than-half of such weight being a male. I am ready to relinquish it if there is a suitable buyer.

    Want it both ways? Then come down the mineshaft and I promise not to grab your ass.

    To the hardcore feminists out there: This is not a post trying to discredit your worth or contribution but rather an attempt to credit women who do not feel like a societal victim.

  2. #2

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    You don't hear much now days about any feminist 'movement'. Occasionally you hear complaints about unequal wages or glass ceilings but not much else. The ERA will probably never pass, and even if it does it may not have much impact since we already have laws in place against discrimination. Current issues concerning rape sometimes split along gender lines and get emotional - "men are pigs", but there doesn't seem to be much of a formal feminist movement involved.

  3. #3

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    "Feminism" isn't a stable concept. The term "feminism" is an inadequate meta-tag for a set of themes that cross a number of social/political/cultural academic disciplines. One theme, as you suggest, is equality; as you mention - many individuals - on both sides of the coin - believe "equality" is difficult to pin down. It can't really be any other way. What does equal actually mean when Men and women are physiologically different; colours, cultures and creeds are different; and uniformity (as witnessed, say, in Soviet Russia where cultural minorities were persecuted for differing from the prescribed ideological narrative) can be oppressive.
    I think, in response to what you're saying though OP, you probably need to distance your observations from this word "feminism"; it is a relatively charged term. I think of there being multiplicity of "feminisms" - believe me, many of them don't agree with each other! Probably safer, then, to talk about issues like equality/gender/opinion/perspective in-and-of-themselves and give "feminism" a wide birth.

    that's my $0.02

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilostthesheriff View Post
    It is common ground in society today that young women are being taught "Learned Helplessness" in lieu of "Empowerment". The proponents of feminism are teaching young women to feel like they are victims of a pre-disposed social construct designed to keep them as second-rate or subject to social stigma. The blame falls on the perceived oppressor (males) who are being described as privileged.

    These young women are being taught to act out against it.
    I don't understand what view you are attributing to our culture. If women are being taught to act out against something, then they aren't being taught helplessness...right?

  5. #5

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    I see this as a side issue to the "Privilege" Thread.

    The discussion that is on that thread would also fit into this thread.

    There is the members of this set that overcome the issues, there is the set that challenge it and strive to make improvements, and there is the ones that just sit around making a lot of noise and make matters more difficult for those that are working to change social thinking.

  6. #6

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    The basic idea that all
    Men and women are created equal and deserve equal treatment and rights is something I fully 100% believe in but as others have said its very hard to pin down a solid one size fits all definition of those rights and a lot of times it can be misconstrued and even mispracticed as a way to demonize men which isn't the actual intent.

    Things like addressing the pay gap between the sexes and rape culture are very obvious ways that feminism would be beneficial but therin lies another problem.

    My main problem is with rape culture. It does exist, it doesn't take a scholar to see that but by combating it as well as by combating issue like sexual harassment some women have demonized men in the process and that's not right at all.

    I'm speaking as a woman and a rape survivor here. No it's not fair that I should have to be afraid walking to my car at night or that I should have to endure cat calling and other such nonsense when I'm trying to go about my day but that doesn't mean that I should go about fearing or hating all men or that I shouldn't take personal responsibility for my own safety in unsafe situations.

    NOTE: I AM NOT VICTEM BLAMING OR SHAMING!!!

    But some thoughts on feminism do teach women that we are victims of a patriaricle society and we are to an extent but there are things that can be done so by no means are we helpless.

    I digress. Feminism is a word I don't like because it inspires the mental image of the man hating lesbian, or the unshaven women holding protest signs and demanding that all men be castrated when in reality that's not what it is a all.

    Feminism is humanism and no one is a victem, we just have a little ways to go before equality has been reached. Women arent the only ones feeling the pains of oppression and it's a slippery slope between fighting oppression and becoming the opressor.

    Everyone has the right to fairness, kindness and safety. I hope to see bigger steps taken to see that concept actualized in my lifetime.

  7. #7

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    I.. understand the proposed logic. A bit. In general I tend to sympathize with men who feel as if they are being treated as the oppressor, and not just a unwilling benefactor of the system. If a self-identifying feminist ever has done that to you and you honestly do not deserve it, I do apologize. Men do not choose to be born men, and there is nothing inherently awful or piggish about men. Men are amazing. There are radicals in every organization.

    The problem is when many otherwise amazing men pretend there is no inherent benefits of being born male in our current system.. you become a sort of oppressor by ignorance. By adamantly refusing to believe there inequality, and by trying to discredit the feminist movements whose ultimate goal is equality.. you continue to encourage the system that oppresses women. Which really stinks.

    I also think it's a bit unfair to pretend that the situation that women face isn't our reality though. Maybe if this was some false narrative that was being crafted, but are you actually advocating that women should just be expected to embrace inequality in the name of harmony?

    Also women do want fair employment and equal job opportunity in all sectors. I feel your mine comment then is well.. correct but also a bit manipulatively worded. If I'm being honest. I know the feelings going into it, but.. it's as if you are implying that all men serve some sort of 3 year mandatory digging in the mine time that now women should be ready to embrace. When the truth is that 99% of the men never see the inside of a mine as well.

    Also you should just not grab peoples asses. Please. Without being given anything. That is basic human dignity, that any human beings body not being treated as an object, an object to be handled by other people without their consent. Not saying you actually did that or do that, but just that your wording is a bit alarming. "I won't touch your butt.. if you know..." as if not touching someone's ass without their consent is some kind gesture you are offering.
    Last edited by gigglemuffinz; 01-Jun-2015 at 21:15.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by gigglemuffinz View Post
    I.. understand the proposed logic. A bit. In general I tend to sympathize with men who feel as if they are being treated as the oppressor, and not just a unwilling benefactor of the system. If a self-identifying feminist ever has done that to you and you honestly do not deserve it, I do apologize. Men do not choose to be born men, and there is nothing inherently awful or piggish about men. Men are amazing. There are radicals in every organization.

    The problem is when many otherwise amazing men pretend there is no inherent benefits of being born male in our current system.. you become a sort of oppressor by ignorance. By adamantly refusing to believe there inequality, and by trying to discredit the feminist movements whose ultimate goal is equality.. you continue to encourage the system that oppresses women. Which really stinks.

    I also think it's a bit unfair to pretend that the situation that women face isn't our reality though. Maybe if this was some false narrative that was being crafted, but are you actually advocating that women should just be expected to embrace inequality in the name of harmony?

    Also women do want fair employment and equal job opportunity in all sectors. I feel your mine comment then is well.. correct but also a bit manipulatively worded. If I'm being honest. I know the feelings going into it, but.. it's as if you are implying that all men serve some sort of 3 year mandatory digging in the mine time that now women should be ready to embrace. When the truth is that 99% of the men never see the inside of a mine as well.

    Also you should just not grab peoples asses. Please. Without being given anything. That is basic human dignity, that any human beings body not being treated as an object, an object to be handled by other people without their consent. Not saying you actually did that or do that, but just that your wording is a bit alarming. "I won't touch your butt.. if you know..." as if not touching someone's ass without their consent is some kind gesture you are offering.
    My thoughts on this are related to yours. I think feminism is needed because women still experience second-class treatment in a lot of ways in our society. Us men can be slow to believe this because we don't experience them, or don't see them unless we look very closely. But there are still a lot of ways in which women are treated as less than men, both practically and in terms of attitude.

    I think the anti-feminist sentiments come from a few places. The first is the one I just mentioned - not seeing the ways in which women are treated worse. This was how I felt for a while. In my case, I changed my mind when I decided to really listen to what women were saying. I never realized how women are often treated when "their man" isn't around. I didn't think about how women are so often judged by their appearance and their potential as sex partners. Of course I wouldn't - it rarely happened to me. So it was important to listen.

    And by the way, that's a challenge I'd make to everyone in this thread. If any women in here share their personal experiences, don't discount them. Stop for a sec and listen.

    There are other reasons why someone might be opposed to feminism. One is affiliation with certain groups who are explicitly anti-feminist (and anti-woman). I'll assume that the majority here aren't in this category, and honestly care about everyone being treated equally. Another reason is the caricature of modern feminism that's so prevalent on the Internet today. A lot of people assume that a feminist is someone who wants men to die, and spends their time screaming at people to check their privilege. I've never encountered someone like this in real life. They seem to exist exclusively on Tumblr blogs that people who hate feminism spend an odd amount of time looking at and bringing attention to. I know people who self-idenify as feminist, some very strongly so, and they never treat this white straight cis man with hate. Feminists want to end hate, not perpetuate it. This is a misconception that, again, can be cleared up by spending time with actual feminists, as opposed to caricatures we see online. And there are far more of the former than the latter!

    I think being anti-feminist is usually a case of well-intentioned people who don't have the whole story. Hopefully this thread can reveal more of the story. If feminism was anti-male, I wouldn't be a feminist. But to get to that place, I had to see the truth about what feminism is. And because women (and a ton of other groups!) are still treated as lesser, my answer to this thread is yes, we do need feminism, and no, standing up for the rights of others (which is what feminism is) is not counter-productive.

  9. #9

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    I work for a non profit helping people with their housing problems. In my office there is a disproportionate number of women living in poverty and requiring our services than men. That hasn't changed in the thirty years we've been around.

    We assist women every day in helping them leave domestic abuse, including violence, financial control, restricting them from having contact with their friends and family, and other forms of control and mental abuse. It can take a long time before a woman has the courage to leave and take control of her life. Often the only reason she takes that step is not for her own safety, but for the protection of her children. These are women who have lived as victims but showed great courage in taking control of their lives, and grew into survivors.

    I still remember a day on Parliament Hill when a Member of Parliament, a woman, raised the issue of violence against women and her speech was shouted down with laughing and sarcasm. It shouldn't have been surprising since women only make up twenty five per cent of the elected members, even though they represent more than fifty per cent of the population. I think it's true that if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a blessed sacrament.


    I work with women every day who are struggling and living in poverty. Single parents whose husbands have been delinquent in paying child support or women whose boyfriends took off when they discovered she was pregnant. Statistically, it is primarily the woman who is left alone to raise the children and somehow find a way to provide food for them and pay the rent.Every day in my office I see women who are disadvantaged and victimized both by men, and a system with no teeth that allows them to get away with it.

    These are my experiences and I see them every day in my office.


    I guess the problem with this sort of discussion is that everyone has their own idea or concept about feminism. I don't see feminism as being 'The F Word.' To me feminism simply means equal rights in all areas of our life, including employment, housing, services, access to justice, and feeling safe in a community.. Being 'pro-woman' does not mean a person has to be 'anti-man.' In fact, I think that feminism also liberates men from their traditional role as being the head of the household and the family provider. It frees men from the restrictions of expressing their inner feelings. As we break down the stereotypes of what the ideal women should be in our society, we also break down the stereotypes of men's roles as well. I believe in feminism, but I see it all as being a part of gender equality.


    I think it should bother everyone here that women comprise more than fifty per cent of the population and more than sixty per cent have graduated from university, however, they only make up three per cent of chief executives.

    It should bother us that women only make up twenty five per cent of the elected Members of Parliament.

    It should bother us that women are killed every week in domestic violence, and it has not been declared a national crisis.

    It should bother us that women earn less money than men for doing comparable work and are left to live in poverty.

    It should bother us that women are victimized by gender.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 03-Jun-2015 at 00:53.

  10. #10

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    So many good posts and varying points here. This topic has many facets and I will have to gather my thoughts and revisit this again tomorrow night.

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