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Click! Becoming a Feminist: When Did it Happen to You? #4

Click!  Becoming a Feminist: When Did it Happen to You? #4

FROM CINDY:  Our interview with J. Courtney Sullivan about her book CLICK! evoked revealing, heartfelt and very moving comments, so we’re going to post them in groups of ten.  Add yours to the post and it will be featured here too. (Full disclosure: I know and admire Courtney and we share an alma mater  - many years apart though!

So curious that feminism goes through periods of being unpopular where it’s disavowed even by those who are really holding feminist beliefs and now it’s appropriated by people who are essentially antifeminist and it gets twisted around.

In any case I’m so glad that the younger generation is embracing it. Yesss!! There is a Goddess!  Miriam Greenwald

So glad to hear ladies talking about feminism! As a college graduate of the early 70′s, I saw and experienced first hand how this word was used to split women politically or domestically. We were asked by men, “Are you a feminist or an anti-feminist?” I would never ask a gentleman if he was masculine or anti-masculine. Women are all feminists in their own way…. some more than others and that’s very very okay!!!  Patt T

You know to me all the rhetoric just complicates the issue. We tag things then assign meaning to the tags then throw them like darts at what we want to categorize. It makes life simpler but a lot of truth falls between the gaps and in some cases people or movements get stereotyped for behavior or beliefs that do not fit.

One of the first things that red flags to me is name calling or tagging in any discussion.

I guess to some feminism simply means pro female and that can mean a lot of things. To me it means pro female human rights and pro female freedom and that pretty much covers all I need. If a woman gets married and then takes orders or abuse, mental or physical and/or has to have permission to to make choices in life that just isn’t feminism to me.   Claire M.

It is wonderful to hear that feminism is not the new ‘f’ word and that women can be proud in calling themselves feminist (even if it is not clear what that means to them politically). There are so many feminist frameworks ranging from cultural feminists, eco-feminists, socialist feminists, liberal feminists, Marxist feminists and ‘conservative feminists’ that it is not fair to paint them with the same brush. That does not mean we should allow patriarchy or a misogynist society to divide and conquer – it just means that we can agree to disagree and formulate a tapestry that incorporates all the elements.  Susan S. 

Great article! I love having strong women to look up to and inspire me. I was raised to always be more “girly” and “feminine”, which were meant in the stereotypical ways (i.e. be graceful, etc.) There’s nothing wrong if you are that way, but that isn’t me, and I am so glad there are other women who don’t fit the stereotypical mould, nor want to. It is really annoying with all the inequality, and worse, that so many people fail (or don’t care) to realise that you cannot have true progress when you alienate half the population. I am very fortunate to have an awesome boyfriend who actually respects me for who I am and does not treat me differently simply because I am female. I hope more people get with the program and work to end this inequality. Christine T

I support for 100 % the women’s issue !!! Congratulated with your act !!!  Kind greetings and take care !!!  Alain De Coessemaeker says

For humanity to flourish, each generation has had to define itself.   Mary Latela

Jill Zimon…yes….I agree with pretty much everything you said.
I will still state though, that I never encourage ‘groups’ for a lot of reasons.. a couple of which you and I have both mentioned.

I also have a little issue with groups because they can make people lazy about doing and being their best.

I’m not against unions…in fact, I am very much in favor of them for a variety of historical and current reasons….but sometimes l have to wonder if some of the less competent and less ambitious people just let themselves slide a little too much, knowing their union will step up and fight on their behalf.
I think we learn more from our fights and they mean more to us if we’re the one fighting our own battles and winning them ourselves.

I guess I’ve just never been a ‘follower’…and I have a bee in my bonnet about people who are lemmings and live by following the leader, no matter where that might lead.

It’s easier to be a lemming if you’re part of a group.  Marilyn D.

@Marilyn D   Re: Amelia E.
I agree completely – it starts with each one of us. I admire the power a group can have but as you and I have both noted, there can be and for me there have been issues I’ve had with “joining” any group. I’ve not completely reconciled that. (If you read the NYT Sunday Mag article yesterday re: Obama and the Democratic party, it was kind of about this too – maybe this rejection of “all things group” is a generational thing – not sure.)

Anyway – thanks for engaging. I think our actions all help move things in the right direction, ultimately.  Jill Zimon

Marilyn D:
Just a quick follow up on something you wrote:  “I think that women’s lib served its purpose to some degree. But it also gave women who wanted to excel a cartoon-like reputation for being emasculating bulldogs”

Who created that cartoon image – who wielded it and how was it wielded – for what purpose? We need to think about these questions and the answers, IMO.

Also – I think that many of us know that we have had different (i.e., better) experiences than others – but that doesn’t mean the work doesn’t need to be done – not by a long shot. In fact, those of us privileged enough, lucky enough or otherwise untouched by the sexism certainly can work to assist in its eradication. The fact that it didn’t touch you (or others) doesn’t mean it didn’t or doesn’t exist.  Jill Zimon

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31 comments

+ add your own
1:56PM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

yes

1:13AM PDT on Jul 6, 2010

thanks

2:31AM PDT on Jul 4, 2010

FIREWEED: THANK YOU!, for letting us know about the petition! As a rape victim/survivor, it means everything to me that people want to help and stand up for us! thank you i signed!

8:33PM PDT on Jun 26, 2010

I think my concern for the environment preceded my feminist consciousness, which is why I identify today as an ecofeminist!
I realized at a very young age that animals weren't treated fairly,that the pretty girls got more attention, that boys got to do stuff I wasn't allowed too, etc, etc...today I realize that all kinds of prejudices and oppressions uphold the patriarchal paradigm.

On a related note, I could really, really use some help getting signatures on the following petitionsite in regards to zero tolerance for sexual abuse in the healthcare system... It's all connected! Please vist:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/abuse-of-patient-trust-must-not-be-tolerated

thankyou!

1:48AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

Being a feminist means not being defined by being your father's (or mother's) daughter, husband's wife, your children's mother... etc... Define yourself, and live happily. Never be a second rate citizen, and that makes your haters angry. It's on them, don't worry about it. Never forget to smile! Be yourself.

When I decided that the former abuse is never going to own me, that I have a voice to rise above, that's when I became a feminist and discovered myself, then reinvented me. I'm very satisfied with who I am.

12:54PM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

I think being a feminist is to be completely honest with yourself about all the ways women like to take advantage of the system and fighting against it. For me my skin CRAWLS when I hear women whining about wanting more maternity leave, flexible schedules because they popped out a couple kids or fighting against no-fault divorce. THIS IS WHY WE'RE PAID LESS LADIES!! If you are a true feminist fight for ALL of it. You can't demand to be treated as an equal and then fight for special treatment for being a woman.

12:53PM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

I think being a feminist is to be completely honest with yourself about all the ways women like to take advantage of the system and fighting against it. For me my skin CRAWLS when I hear women whining about wanting more maternity leave, flexible schedules because they popped out a couple kids or fighting against no-fault divorce. THIS IS WHY WE'RE PAID LESS LADIES!! If you are a true feminist fight for ALL of it. You can't demand to be treated as an equal and then fight special treatment for being a woman.

8:14AM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

Sondra S - Go your son!

9:05PM PDT on Jun 20, 2010

Wow to Len F! Wish there were many many men like you. I think I was born a feminist. It hasn't always been easy, but there was no other way for me.

7:26PM PDT on Jun 20, 2010

No Bra was ever burned. That's one of the "Myths" of feminism. I do have some friends that burnt their shoes, however. I don't really think it is fair or right to single out women for scorn when they weren't allowed to carry weapons during war in the sixties. They served as nurses etc. They were also part of the anti-war movement. Yet you ask.... Where were women during Vietnam? Hmmmm more women died at home beaten to death by someone that loved them, then men who died in Vietnam, yet there is no memorial with their names on it, to the heroism of their lives and deaths. Another little known, sad fact, about women.

As long as men see war and weapons and military defense as their number one objective, they will continue to be the victims of their own device. That is the real tragedy.

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