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post #81 of 134
Yes, Devrock!!

And, we know that that treatment is still not equal.

Imagine if our children went to school and paid $1 each for lunch. Would it be fair for our dds to only get 3/4 of a lunch while our dss got a full lunch? Of course not! But, this is the situation in the paid workplace right now. Women routinely receive less pay for equal work--How can feminism not *still* be an issue?

What if our dds were never or rarely class presidents, line leaders, crossing guards? Wouldn't you think something was wrong with the school/class/teacher that showed this kind of favoritism? This is what the corporate workplace looks like. Women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are an anomoly--they are the exception, not the rule.

There is still so much work to be done...feminism has taken us (ALL of us--men AND women) farther than many ever thought, but there is still DISCRIMINATION BASED ON GENDER--it is pervasive. I don't want my children growing up being discriminated against. EVER. Period.
post #82 of 134
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by MaryKate
I am sorry,I did not mean to offend anyone or cast judgement on others. I simply said my opinion (like you did yours) . I hope I did not get you to upset. We all are intitled to our own opinion or what we believe is right. I don't want this to turn into a debate so I will drop this subject.
This is a discussion. You're welcome to participate, but if you feel like you are not able to properly debate and represent your position, better to bow out and allow another to come in for you, otherwise you may not further your cause but push it backwards. I know as a new member it can feel daunting to post in opposition to a long thread, but if your viewpoint is such, then you should back it up, you must have a reason for believing what you do, I askled the questions knowing that not everyone was going to agree. I am interested in hearing your position, though I know I will disagree, and I am also interested in hearing the reasoned responses of my feminist sisters.
post #83 of 134
Wow, cool thread!

I am a partial SAHM but I occasionally pick up some contract work here and there. I am working on my second degree and I wish I could be a complete SAHM but, financially, we just can't afford this right now.

I consider myself to be a feminist, but the problem with labels is that they mean something different to everyone else. I don't feel the need to spell woman with a Y and I don't feel the need to prove myself to anyone, man or woman. This is not to say that I feel that is wrong, it's just not for me.

What I do resent is someone telling me what I have to do and believe in order to be a 'femminist'.

I don't feel there is any such thing as a 'Man's job', any more than I believe there is such thing as a 'woman's job'. There are some things that *some* men can do better than *some* women and vice versa, but this is not to say that there are *some* things that ALL men can do better than all women! We are each of us unique! This is what I feel feminism is about. I don't feel I am *equal* to every man or woman nor do I feel the need to be. I do feel that I deserve equal recognition and pay for equal work. I don't feel I should be pre-judged as inferior, just because I am a woman!

Just a little anecdote:
I recently had the chance to go out on my FIL's lobster boat during 'dumping day' (the first day of the season). One of the hired hands teased that a woman was 'bad luck' aboard a boat. This is an old fashioned community and I wasn't really offended as he was just trying to get my goat anyway, so I just bantered back and forth with him about it. Anyhow, they were bringing some pots aboard the boat and hit a 'snarl' or a tangle in the ropes. Everyone else was busy and so I was the only one available to cut thru the 2" plus thick rope. I did it in one cut :LOL. He just stood there with his mouth wide open and then mumbled something about women not being such bad luck after all .
post #84 of 134
I am not a feminist, at least not in the twentieth century sense. I am a humanist.

I beleive that male or female, all persons were created to share in divine love. I also believe that this means that the we truly fulfill ouselves only in the giving of ourselves to another, fully and completley.

My philosphy of human nature thus would lead me to reject a feminist philopshy which places the fulfillment of self as the primary aim of women.

The primary aim of women (and men for that matter) should be to give of themselves. ( Ironically this is the way we best find self fulfillment.)

Therefore no matter what their occupation or role, women should primarily seek to give of themselves. It is interesting that biolocically this seems to come easier to women than to men.
Women's bodies are made to be given, for example breasts are made to be given to a baby.

Women are also gifted with an attention to particulars and the emotional shpere, whereas men seem to be gifted with attention to the whole, and the practical sphere. While these are not hard and fast rules, they do seem to indicate that most women can most fully realize their talents and abilites in the art of nurturing persons and creating secure and comforting enviorments. This does not mean that all women should be homemakers. Single women, and women called to the religious life are often able to implement these talents in the career world and in positions of authority. Women seem parituclarly able in the arts of medicine, teaching, and public relations, where their inborn ability to nurture and understand persons acts to their advantage.

If I were to call myself a feminist, i would say that the type of feminist I belieive in is one that empowers women to give of themselves, fulfill their role as companions, and mothers(wether spiritual or biological) and to attain the fullness of divine love.
post #85 of 134
I think all that about women being emotional and men being practical is all cultural. I don't think women are inherently more emotional or men inherently more practical. I think men and women are equally good at medicine, teaching, public relations, and every other profession. There are individual differences, but not gender differences.

Women's bodies are also made to receive. And men's bodies are made to give. Think of sexual intercourse.

To be a feminist does not mean that you don't believe in giving of yourself.
post #86 of 134
Thread Starter 
You know, women are forced to be so altruistic and giving. THis is how they are taken advantage of and raped and indentured. Yes dear, I don't really want to have sex dear, but I want to make you happy dear. At least that husband asked. If you are a humanist, truly, then you realize that all humans both give and recieve and that neither gender is more giving or recieving. I challenge you to look at some matriarchal societies where the women marry multiple husbands, paternity is not an issue, and the men submit to the women. A very small number of these societies stil exist, but you can also look at history fo rmore examples. Now, inthose societies it would be easy to argue that men are more giving. I agree with Devrock, it is very cultural.
post #87 of 134
Giving of oneself does not mean allowing oneself to be taken advantage of. (just wanted to clarify that)

As far as the cultural argument goes, it seems incorrect logic to argue that there are no universal truths and that there are different truths for different cultures. . . To say that there is no universal truth is itself a universal truth, hence it is a flawed argument.

The universal truth that I hold is that all men and women seek happiness and that that ultimate happiness is found in the gift of oneself to another.

You seem to be holding a position that is contradictory, that ultimate happiness is found in self love.

These cannot both be mutually true.
The world is either flat or it is round, my friend. It doesn't matter what culture says what.
post #88 of 134
Thread Starter 
The universal truth that I hold is that all men and women seek happiness and that that ultimate happiness is found in the gift of oneself to another.

You seem to be holding a position that is contradictory, that ultimate happiness is found in self love.

These cannot both be mutually true.
The world is either flat or it is round, my friend. It doesn't matter what culture says what.
Well i guess the universal truth that I hold is different. I believe that you need to find what it is that makes you ahppy and do it. Sometimes, that's altruistic and soemtimes it's not.
post #89 of 134
Pax, you don't seem to understand what we are saying. You seem to be saying that it is a universal truth that women are more giving and more suited for emotional and interpersonal spheres, while men are more practical and less giving. I am not debating whether or not there can be universal truths. I am simply saying I think you're wrong about women and men being inherently different in the ways you think they are different. I think it is an invention of our culture that women and men are supposed to fit into the roles that you describe. I don't think women and men really are inherently that way. It is a cultural gender stereotype with, in my opinion, no basis in nature. Our culture has imposed certain expectations on different genders, and many people try to conform to those expectations, creating the impression that the genders really are different in such ways, and reinforcing the stereotype. For example, a man knows that he is expected to cry less often, so he cries less often. A woman doesn't think she's supposed to be good at math, so she doesn't even try to think about it or excel at it. An observer who isn't taking into account cultural expectations might come to the conclusion that men are less emotional and that women aren't as good at math. Many people, knowing that they are expected to be a certain way, ACT as if they are that way. Since I believe these apparent differences between the genders are the result of culture and not the result of nature, then it is not incorrect to argue that in a different culture, with different cultural expectations, the apparent differences between the genders would be different. I think if we could eliminate the cultural expectations for different genders, the apparent differences between the genders would disappear. The fact that there are cultures in which the apparent gender differences are reversed demonstrates that such differences are culturally imposed rather than inherent or natural.

I don't think anyone has argued that ultimate happiness is found in self love. You seem to be arguing with yourself.
post #90 of 134
I haven't been on the boards much lately and only just noticed (and read) this thread. It has been interesting.

To the first three questions: My answer is NO. (Hear the echos through the canyons of downtown Manhattan.)

To the fourth: Well, someone here used to have Rebecca West's great statement "People accuse me of being a feminist anytime I express opinions that distinguish me from a doormat." as a signature line.

I cannot answer this succinctly and I fear that this deep in the thread, no one is going to read this anyhow.

Feminism for me means humanism (and, yes I read the post about the guy who called himself a humanist seing only part of the population...but I see it as enveloping the world). And it means fairness. It also means that I am not forced into a role chosen for me by another (male OR female). Instead of telling you what I think, let me just give you some examples from my own life that made me a feminist. I think everyone here can see where this is going.

I was protected until at school. Then I, at an Episcopalian school, learned that the rest of the world was not going to let me get away with being me.

(1) I was prevented from playing with the "boys' toys" on the other side of the kindergarden room, even though I found playing exclusively with dolls and hairbrushes boring. (I thought the dolls should get to ride in the trucks, too.)

(2) I was prevented from playing ice hockey and told that I should dress like the girls (tights and short skirts), instead of the snow suit with pants that I was wearing, and I had to use figure skates. Well, my parents let me keep the hockey skates (handmedowns and free and I had been using them since I was 2.5 years old) and also still let me play hockey with my cousins...who were the ones I learned it from.

(3) I was sent to the principal's office because I hit back at a boy who gave me a black eye. (I got his nose. It bled. Too bad.) The reason was NOT that hitting back was bad, it was that GIRLS DON'T HIT BECAUSE IT IS NOT LADYLIKE. My father said that was insane. I had a right to defend myself and rules should be enforced equally.

(4) After my parents got divorced, my mother couldn't get a credit card in her own name because she was a divorced woman. She had to go through many machinations to get one. That's a story for another thread.

(5) With my father I saw working class women who got paid less than the men for the same job...and they had to do the job because they needed to pay the bills when that all-important man walked out on them. (My father works with a labor union.)

(6) People told me that I should be 'nicer' or I'd never get a boyfriend. So, I'd have to lie about myself in order to have a companion?

(7) I got coddled again when I went to a single sex school after two years of torture at Breck School. (See stupid stories above. Those of you in the Twin Cities, MN area may have heard of it. Supposedly it is good. Maybe it has changed.) At an all girls school, I didn't get told I couldn't do something 'cause I was a girl. But, we didn't have a hockey team. Nor a lot of other sports. I could compete in tennis. :Puke Or volleyball. :Puke :Puke Hey, if you like them, more power to you. I was no good at volleyball for some reason and I didn't like tennis unless I played doubles. I LIKE team sports. I don't think that everyone should like them, too, but I think I should be allowed to do what I am good at.

(8) I applied to high schools. Two of the high schools I wanted to go to funded girls and guys sports VERY unequally. And I wasn't so thrilled about their "security" arrangements. At one of them, the girls had earlier curfews...to protect them. I wondered (out loud, at the "presentation" by their admissions office recruiter) why the guys then weren't given an earlier curfew so all those horney and bullying teenage boys were locked up?

(8) I am a hunter. I get told frequently (by women) that that is something for men only. OK. Whatever. I'm good at it and I like eating organic, lean meat. And I am married to a jewish man who doesn't keep kosher but has said he doesn't see himself ever taking up hunting.

(9) I am good at lots of things (in all due modesty ) and many of them are called "men's things". Some aren't. Anyone here going to question Ms Sisko's reason for working on cars?

(10) Anyone wonder why cooking is women's work but all the great chefs until Julia Childs were men? And mostly still are?

(11) And clothing designers...sewing is women's work....but there's Karl Lagerfeld? Oscar De La Renta? Balenciaga? Kurt Steiger? Christian Louboutin? Salvatore Ferragamo? Versace? (Of course, if you look at what these guys expect us to actually wear, one starts wondering if it isn't just a kind of sadistic mysogyny at work. )

(12) And there is much anthropological AND historical evidence that the neolithic revolution (farming) was started by women. But, now when the USDA talks about farming, they talk about "farmers and their wives"....like, what, there's masses of ladies-of-leisure on all the family farms in this country? I wonder about the farms they visit.

(13) And, yes, I was the one who was pregnant, and I was the one who gave birth, and I was/am the one who lactated. And I'm still nursing (20 mos. and going strong), but I must confess, as much as I enjoy my little one's company, I also like what I do outside the home. And I am good at it and I feel that IF it is true that there is a God who is a Creator, and our talents were gifted to us by Him or Her, then it would be a sin not to use our talents for their intended purpose. I look upon my job as a calling. And my father looked upon his as one, too.

Of course, one's calling might be very different depending on different periods in one's life. Each person here must find her own path and follow it. You only know what you are supposed to do by looking into your own heart.

It is not narcissism.
post #91 of 134
Could everyone please explain their definition of a feminist? I think we have several different meanings being talked about here.
post #92 of 134
I think what we're getting at MaryKate, is that there's almost as many definitions of feminism as there are women. And what *you* think feminists are may not be what many people who call themselves feminists actually are.
post #93 of 134
MaryKate, I think we have.

In the thread, many of the posts, including yours, indicate what feminism means to them.

there's almost as many definitions of feminism as there are women.
Well said.
post #94 of 134
Originally posted by Clarity
And what *you* think feminists are may not be what many people who call themselves feminists actually are.
And not only that, but to take it a step further: I have learned that there are definitions of feminism within which I can identify myself.

This has been a great thread with which to be involved.
post #95 of 134


This was deleated.
post #96 of 134
decided to PM MaryKate with my reply.
post #97 of 134
Hm, this sounds somewhat like a troll:

Now what would you call youself? No I can not agree with being a feminist. I hope to bring up my daughters thier hearts full of humilty,meekness,love,joy as we embrace our God given place.....that of being a female.
Change "daughters," "female," etc. to, say, "Black children" and "Black person", and I think folks can see how offensive this comment is (one doesn't even need to go about that exercise). But I suspect that is the point.
post #98 of 134
It saddens me that women are rejecting the word feminsm, because it tells me that the smear campaign against feminism by those like Rush was a success. They tried to make feminism a "bad" word, and equate it to lesbianism (oh no, not that!! : ), separatism, male hatred, ect. Feminism may mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but at it's core is love- if you are a women, love and respect and being proud that you are a woman. loving yourself is key. imo
if you refuse to call yourself a feminst because you dislike labels, do you not ever call yourself a mother, a woman, a reader, a sister, ect and so on? that this "label", feminism, is so distasteful for some women... wow, conservatism and the spirit of Rush have truly succeeeded in many ways then.
post #99 of 134

Before I begin, please understand that I mean no disrespect to you with anything I may write here and every question is asked w/o malice.

That said, what would you do if one of your daughters came to you one day and said "Mama, I want to go to University and become a Doctor"? Would you say to her "No dear, that's a man's job"? If so, I don't think that you can consider yourself to be a feminist in ANY sense of the word. I'll explain:

"in giving one self to their husbands and family and others there is unbelieveable joy that comes from serving others and putting aside the fulfilling of our own wants and desires in order to fulfill the desires of our own precious family."
Why should we always have to put our family's wants above our own? Why should women always have to come last? This is making oneself into a matyr, so to speak. It is the epitome of subservience. I love my son and husband with all my heart but there are times when I HAVE to put my own needs first to maintain my own sanity. I'm of no use to them if I feel neglected, used and depressed. If we always put our children first over ourselves we're doomed to raise a pack of lazy, spoiled brats who never will want to leave home as they've got it too good there.

In airplanes, when they do that silly safety demonstration with the oxygen masks, they tell you to PUT YOUR OWN OXYGEN MASK on FIRST before assisting your children. I think this is a good analogy for some parts of our lives as wives and mothers.

The point of feminism for me here is CHOICE. As a woman, I have the right to choose whether or not I want to be a homemaker, or a Doctor, or a firefighter or WHATEVER and I deserve equal pay for equal work! Some women are ill-suited to be mothers just as some are ill-suited to be carpenters, but the same is true of men. Does it make me a 'bad' woman in God's eyes if "making their homes a place of comfort ,love and joy." isn't enough for me? In my case, I simply can't afford the luxury of being a homemaker. I have to work to provide support for myself, partner and son. We can't live on his income alone.

Personally, I don't have what it takes to be a full-time SAHM. I need something else or I go nuts! I need to use my brain in ways that staying at home full time doesn't allow. Not to say that a SAHM is not a noble profession, and one that I aspire to, but I just can't hack it and I know this! I become an annoyed, nitpicking shrew of a woman. I think I can be a better wife and mother working part time as a WOHM than as a SAHM.

IMHO, a true feminist is not one who has a narrow definition of anything, but one who embraces evey womans right to her choice. Choice should be something we hang onto with everything in us as Women! I respect your choice to be a SAHM! I even respect your view that this is a woman's God-given calling, but I don't respect you thinking that this is something EVERY woman should have to do, regardless of her wants or needs. THIS IS SLAVERY!
I recognize that what is right and what works for me does not work and is not right for EVERY woman. As I said in a previous post We are each of us UNIQUE! (Just to wax poetic for sec ) We're like snow-flakes, no two are alike!
post #100 of 134
Mary Kate- your POV is interesting. I certainly admire your willingness to debate this issue.

IMO pumpkinhead has a great point - feminism allows us to choose what we want to be with our lives. Whether you are a sahm or a neurosurgeon, feminism got us there.

PS: historically women have been working since the beginniing of time (and that includes traditionally male jobs). The suffrage movement gave them same rights under the law as men - prior to that women (and children) were considered chattel.
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