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any radical feminists on MDC? - Page 2

post #21 of 281
I like to refer to myself as a "superfeminist". I was really active in pro-choice movements, women's groups, etc until I moved at the beginning of the year and grad school bogged me down. I am also in a much more politically conservative area, so I have been baby-stepping forward. I try to subtly enlighten my students if ask about anything in the realm of feminism, repro rights, etc. And I always post super-feminist links on facebook (which incidentally makes most of my family uncomfortable, but my newly divorced mom is beginning to embrace her woman power).

But, I guess, as a crunchy, hippie, biologist pagan earth and goddess-worshipper it was natural for me to be consumed with women's rights
post #22 of 281
It is great to see this thread grow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
Maybe put flyers up around town and start off as a group of women helping women. Find some doulas who've worked in your local hospitals and talk to them about what they see as pressing needs in your birthing community. First get the ppl involved, then do the politicking. At least, that's how I look at it. Have dinners with other women who are concerned about the birthing scene (potluck, of course ). Invite women from LLL, API, etc. See what happens.

I keep meaning to do this myself, which is why I posted this.

I happen to be a socialist (really an anarchist and I support socialism as a move toward the anarchy goal), as well. I agree that feminism is a part of human rights (how could it not be? we are human), however I think it's still pertinent that we look at how patriarchy corrupts. I see it as the starting point when it comes to ignoring the basic human rights of others, so I feel like dealing with patriarchy inherently deals with everything that stems from it, which is a LOT. It covers violence, social programming, poverty...everything.

I'm trying to figure out a good way to start a convo on '"work/life" balance, "mommy" track, maternal profiling, childcare, paternal input'. Maybe we can start with work/life balance. How do we feel feminism is already addressing this issue and how do we think it should improve?
Yeah, you are already addressing some of the problem here - no doulas. In fact, fathers are mostly not allowed to attend births either, and in the hospitals where that is allowed, it is a service you have to pay for (!?!). I know one midwife who is interested in getting something going, the midwife who attended my daughter's birth. But she's scared of getting into some trouble.

There is so much to be done here when it just comes to basic respect for women. It is difficult to know where to even start.
post #23 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
If we can, read this article about homeschooling as feminist venture.
I LOVE IT!

So, I want to vent. I went to an activist conference this weekend. They said they were going to have childcare. My DD is just getting past her separation anxiety, so I was going to give it a whirl. Even though they said they were going to have childcare for both days, they only had it for part of one. They only had one person in the room, and they wanted sometimes to only have one man in charge (and the organizers thinking they were being progressive by making sure all the childcare wasn't being done by women). They didn't screen or train volunteers AT ALL. If you signed up on the sheet, you got to do childcare. Period. And people wonder why the anarchist scene has so few families involved. UGH.
post #24 of 281
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Yeah, you are already addressing some of the problem here - no doulas. In fact, fathers are mostly not allowed to attend births either, and in the hospitals where that is allowed, it is a service you have to pay for (!?!). I know one midwife who is interested in getting something going, the midwife who attended my daughter's birth. But she's scared of getting into some trouble.

There is so much to be done here when it just comes to basic respect for women. It is difficult to know where to even start.
Do you have WIC in your area? Does your WIC have peer breastfeeding counseling? If so, you might want to see about meeting with her/them and seeing if you can do something for the community using WIC clientele. Do you have birth coaches in your area? If so, maybe you can talk to them about surveying/giving a talk at a birthing class.

Where are you located, if you don't mind my asking?

I know when I've started programs/groups for women/mothers, I just posted fliers at the library and told ppl I knew thru LLL and WIC. I didn't usually get a big turnout, but I find that getting ppl involved in activism in my town is a job in-and-of itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boigrrrlwonder
They didn't screen or train volunteers AT ALL. If you signed up on the sheet, you got to do childcare. Period. And people wonder why the anarchist scene has so few families involved. UGH.
So, do you think you could approach the coordinators of the conference and offer to help handle the childcare for the next one? Or at least let them know that that area is one they need to work on?

I don't know how difficult it would be to work the childcare angle. I'd think the most difficult part would be getting ppl to agree to it, but it could be a purely phone and computer thing. Phone around asking ppl if they'd be willing to give two hours of childcare assistance, then order background searches on them. You'd have to have a fax machine, too, if the ppl aren't local, probably.
post #25 of 281
Socialist feminist here. Hi. I am currently on maternity leave with my 1st babe from a feminist mothering organisation and have had a lot of time to sit and ponder. It's been a strange transition from knowing to doing. I live in an inner urban, super progressive area yet still, most of the women in my mum's group complain about unsupportive partners and the lack of value placed on motherhood. We also each host the group week-to-week and trip over ourselves to clean our houses and bake a freakin' cake on our week...me included. It blows me away! I feel like we haven't moved an inch from the consciousness raising groups of the 70's.

It's been a while since I've been active politically outside of my job but I think it's time to get back in the saddle.

BTW -there is another femo tribe somewhere though it's been a long time since it's been active!
post #26 of 281

Yay! Other feminists!!!!!

*tacklehugs the thread*:

Okay...so I don't identify as radfem...but some of the women I respect most do! Put me at the more radical end of liberal feminism here, I suppose.

I dunno - I've never understood why more women *don't* identify as feminist. It just seems so absolutely clear to me...but then, I was quite literally raised on "Free to Be You And Me" by a feminist single mom...so I drank it in with mother's milk so to speak.
post #27 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
Do you have WIC in your area? Does your WIC have peer breastfeeding counseling? If so, you might want to see about meeting with her/them and seeing if you can do something for the community using WIC clientele. Do you have birth coaches in your area? If so, maybe you can talk to them about surveying/giving a talk at a birthing class.

Where are you located, if you don't mind my asking?

I know when I've started programs/groups for women/mothers, I just posted fliers at the library and told ppl I knew thru LLL and WIC. I didn't usually get a big turnout, but I find that getting ppl involved in activism in my town is a job in-and-of itself.


So, do you think you could approach the coordinators of the conference and offer to help handle the childcare for the next one? Or at least let them know that that area is one they need to work on?

I don't know how difficult it would be to work the childcare angle. I'd think the most difficult part would be getting ppl to agree to it, but it could be a purely phone and computer thing. Phone around asking ppl if they'd be willing to give two hours of childcare assistance, then order background searches on them. You'd have to have a fax machine, too, if the ppl aren't local, probably.
I'm in Belgrade, Serbia . No LLL, definitely no WIC... just patriarchy and some EU advocates who wrap themselves up as semi-feminists. There are some strong women in the parliament here, but they are only interested in the agenda's of their respective parties, rather than furthering the feminist cause. Because there is an awful lot of work to be done here, I think a single issue campaign would be best. It is also likely to gain more support, I think. I have already looked into getting subsidies for non governmental orgs, and there are quite a few possibilities. There is one organization for parents that seems quite good as well, and I might find some good people there. Getting locals involved in a movement is key, of course. Well, I AM pretty much a local now, I guess... when I first came here I was told I would not achieve anything, anywhere in this country, unless I "started behaving as a woman". One woman even explained to me in detail how I should "work the patriarchy" to get anything I wanted. Well, no thanks...
post #28 of 281
Who, me? Radical? :

Really, I'm a radical everything. I never approach issues half-way. I've been involved in politics and protest since I was nineteen years old and had a potent revelation that one person really can make a difference. It was because of the tornado that hit OK City. I was on the front lines of the disaster relief, and realized that one person (OK, four people and pick-up truck) can make the difference between life and death. Nothing was ever quite the same after that.

The issue I've been involved with most heavily is GLBT rights/marriage laws, but I've been involved in lots of feminist issues as well. Pro-choice, birth choice, and I got one of our local newspapers to stop the annoying and sexist habit of specifying when a female police officer did something (they didn't specify when the officer was male). I also do a lot of volunteer work with victims of spousal abuse.

I've always preferred the personal approach. Help one person, educate one woman, you've changed one person's life and I believe this has ripple effects across the world. That was something I learned during my disaster relief. Sure, it's just one shingle, but then you put down another and another and pretty soon you've put a roof back over a family's heads. Then you move onto the next house, and then one day you stand back and see that where there was once nothing but rubble, there's now an entire neighborhood. Damage CAN be undone and change CAN happen, no matter how overwhelming the 'big picture' may seem.

IMO, the feminist movement has seriously dropped the ball on our birth rights. They fight and fight for abortion rights, but if we choose to have the baby, our birth rights have less protection than our termination rights. I do everything I can to educate the women I meet, though, have served as a lay midwife, and have paid for a professional midwife when the woman's insurance wouldn't cover home birth, so I think I'm doing what I can. I figure every woman I can facilitate a home birth for will then tell other women, who will tell others, and so on. Finding MDC has been so helpful with this. I now direct women to these forums because there's more information here than I could ever give (not that I ever get tired of telling my twin birth stories ).

MittensKittens, I can only imagine what trying to uphold the feminist cause in a country like Serbia is like! Many loud cheers to you for refusing to 'work the patriarchy'! I strongly agree that picking a single issue is the best way to go. Then you can hopefully attract a few like-minded women, and start a real campaign. Fliers can be an inexpensive way to tell people you exist, though I've had problems with them being taken down or defaced by people who disagree. The internet can be a powerful tool. We've had good luck with buying classified newspaper ad space, putting ourselves on Craigslist, and several of the different meet-up websites. There must be something like that in Serbia. Good luck! Living in a less progressive US state has taught me not to look at us as 'behind' other places (though we are), but rather to see how many more opportunities there are to enact change here.

Sorry to ramble on for so long. I'm too enthusiastic for my own good sometimes.
post #29 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinsTwicePlusTwo View Post
Who, me? Radical? :

Really, I'm a radical everything. I never approach issues half-way.
Me too . I am afraid that some of my views are even too radical for MDC .

Birth rights are very important to me, especially right now as I am realizing the depth of some peoples' prejudices with regard to UC. As for abortion, *Yeah, I know MDC's policy on discussing that* I strongly feel that in this country, it is not one of the rights that women have fought for, but rather, something that many women are coerced into much of the time, because of lack of economic possibilities for single moms. Abortion "rights" are well established here, and it is not something I would ever campaign for.

I haven't done much yet, I'm trying to set up a business right now so my focus has been on that. What have you folks been up to?
post #30 of 281
Regarding abortion- Very interesting, I agree. Reading Germaine Greer's (sp? it's been a while) opinion on that years ago really shed some light on that. The choice goes both ways, and for certain demographics it is really indirectly encouraged. What is MDCs opinion, anyway? Are we not allowed to discuss it?

eta: duh, I just saw that you are in Serbia! Well I feel the same here. I am pro-choice, but I feel the same wrt single mothers here.

I'm not doing much. Just wondering how I'm going to counter all those societal messages my boys get in school. I wish we were in a crunchier neighborhood. They loved to play with girls too, play with dolls at home, along with the "boy" stuff. Since starting kindergarten it's like he's had a crash course in what is OK for boys to do and what is not. :
post #31 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
I'm not doing much. Just wondering how I'm going to counter all those societal messages my boys get in school. I wish we were in a crunchier neighborhood. They loved to play with girls too, play with dolls at home, along with the "boy" stuff. Since starting kindergarten it's like he's had a crash course in what is OK for boys to do and what is not. :
I am already worried about that, and my kids are almost three, and four months. I want to homeschool. I am not yet even sure whether that is a legal possibility here, but if it is not, it could be a reason for me to move on to another country.
post #32 of 281
Hello, another anarcho therefore socialist feminist signing in. If you google birthrape you will find why much of the conversation about birth rights doesn't move forward. It's too intense for the media.

As for starting movements, use the technology- we can now act globally as we act locally. Make a website. Use the internet locally too, like local yahoo discussion groups. At any event of like minded people, get names start an email list.
post #33 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
Regarding abortion- Very interesting, I agree. Reading Germaine Greer's (sp? it's been a while) opinion on that years ago really shed some light on that. The choice goes both ways, and for certain demographics it is really indirectly encouraged. What is MDCs opinion, anyway? Are we not allowed to discuss it?

eta: duh, I just saw that you are in Serbia! Well I feel the same here. I am pro-choice, but I feel the same wrt single mothers here.

I'm not doing much. Just wondering how I'm going to counter all those societal messages my boys get in school. I wish we were in a crunchier neighborhood. They loved to play with girls too, play with dolls at home, along with the "boy" stuff. Since starting kindergarten it's like he's had a crash course in what is OK for boys to do and what is not. :
Ugh! This is one reason all of my boys are homeschooled. DD1 probably won't be returning next year to the private school she's attended since first grade either because she's every bit as radical as I am and it's causing her a lot of problems in her (very conservative!) school. The problems are bad enough that she's ambivalent about going back herself, even though she enjoys the classes themselves.

Abortion rights is a cause I'm involved in, because Oklahoma really has some terrible regulations and laws. It's bad enough here that one of the clinics the crisis center I volunteer at is involved with is in another state, despite the fact we're in a major metro area.

I totally agree that the choice goes both ways, though, and am involved from both ends of the issue. Home birth, abortion, adoption, I'm involved in all of it. I think these are all issues fundamental to women's rights, and don't think I could choose between them.

Quote:
I am already worried about that, and my kids are almost three, and four months. I want to homeschool. I am not yet even sure whether that is a legal possibility here, but if it is not, it could be a reason for me to move on to another country.
Not being allowed to homeschool would be an issue I couldn't compromise on either. As much as I love where I live, I would have to leave if I couldn't homeschool. Luckily homeschooling is one of the things Oklahoma has right--our right to homeschool is protected under our state constitution. I don't even have to keep up any paperwork.

provocativa, I love your user-name! I wasn't feeling very creative when I joined MDC, obviously.
post #34 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinsTwicePlusTwo View Post
Abortion rights is a cause I'm involved in, because Oklahoma really has some terrible regulations and laws. It's bad enough here that one of the clinics the crisis center I volunteer at is involved with is in another state, despite the fact we're in a major metro area.

I totally agree that the choice goes both ways, though, and am involved from both ends of the issue. Home birth, abortion, adoption, I'm involved in all of it. I think these are all issues fundamental to women's rights, and don't think I could choose between them.
I feel all guilty about having been so lazy the last few years now. It has been three years since I was involved in any organized activism no, and it is time to change that!
post #35 of 281
: Laziest red-fem, also dabbling in eco-fem, on the planet, reporting....

My activism consists of writing checks, but as we have seen throughout history, for better or worse, the hand that writes the checks rules the world. I would like to see that system dismantled, but can't forsee how that could be done any time in the near future.
post #36 of 281


I think I can be a bit lazier-than-thou, but i was also thrown for a loop when my long-awaited donor conceived Persephone Siobhan had to have her name changed at birth because of an unexpected penis, which rules out my separatist fantasies, and I was also involved in that whole Encyclopedia Dramatica thing (I am NOT Biting Beaver, but I don't think she did anything wrong) and I was kind of a bumbling idiot because I didn't understand what was going on.

Anyway, i've already been forgiven by the people who matter to me, have fallen madly in love with my son, Terran-Sage Revolution, who is now fifteen months old, and am ready to get on with life.
post #37 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
As for abortion, *Yeah, I know MDC's policy on discussing that* I strongly feel that in this country, it is not one of the rights that women have fought for, but rather, something that many women are coerced into much of the time, because of lack of economic possibilities for single moms.
Because of MDC's policy and some hurt that was caused by the inevitable misunderstandings, I took my Phoebe Rose's pink angel out of my siggie, but yea, ITA, have personal experience, and would find it very healing to talk to you at that other place.

I'm in the US and never expected to find another UCing Single Mom by Choice even online. If you're old too, I think I'm going to fall out of my chair in shock.
post #38 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
Because of MDC's policy and some hurt that was caused by the inevitable misunderstandings, I took my Phoebe Rose's pink angel out of my siggie, but yea, ITA, have personal experience, and would find it very healing to talk to you at that other place.

I'm in the US and never expected to find another UCing Single Mom by Choice even online. If you're old too, I think I'm going to fall out of my chair in shock.
Noordinaryspider, nice to "meet" you . Did you have another username before? I am asking because I have come across someone else with your son's name (don't know about the middle name) before, also an SMC. If you are not her, now THAT would be a coincidence.

Living abroad can be liberating too. I am Dutch/American, and people tend to see me as "that crazy foreigner". Just raising my kids and being a solo mom could be considered activism, actually. That would be a bit lazy, though .

And about the unexpected penis, I am wondering what other mamas' views and experiences are with regard to raising sons? What are the issues that you come up against, and how do you solve them? Mine is only little, but already people offer up expectations for his future.
post #39 of 281
Woohoo! I think I have found my tribe! Hello everybody! I love radical feminism because imo it's pretty much the only one that questions the whole system instead of trying to integrate women into it. If I had to choose I would call myself ecofeminist though as far as activism goes mine is limited to arguing with my friends and choosing my purchases carefully (I buy organic, local and seasonal as much as possible and try not to buy much anything else ).
I am in Finland and the feminism here, while prevalent and "accepted" by the state, is very much focused on getting women into the job market with equal wages, as if that means women would be equal. There is little to no focus on the underlying social structures that devalue birth choices, parenting, focusing on being a human being instead of being a cog in the consumer machine, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
I'm a feminist b/c I love being a woman and I think I deserve the opportunity to express that however I wish to do so. I'm a human and I have rights.

My "be more like a man" isn't about doing things that have traditionally been "male fields" but more about behaving like a cog in the patriarchy machine. I keep trying to find uninsulting language for these concepts, but I'm not sure this is the time for that. I really think this is the time for bluntness and unrepentant honesty.

I think the time is ripe for a social overhaul, but I feel like I'm not sure how to participate in it/get it going. I'm not Ralph Nader!
This!

Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
Hi, PiePie! I agree that focusing on the family is a political act. How could it not be in this day and age?
Yes! This is why I often find conservative patriarchal movements such as quiverfull to be almost more feminist than the "feminists" sometimes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
I've read books by mommy feminists and I came away feeling like those women had a lot more privilege than your "average" woman and due to that, their perspectives were quite superficial. I certainly agree that there is not a movement. That is something I'd like to see change in feminist circles.

Maybe we can discuss that here?
I agree. I do have issues myself with feeling superficial though as I myself am very privileged in the grand scheme of things (just another middle-class white college-educated heterosexually-partnered woman here). I know that feminism is not about having a "who's the least privileged" contest, but I can't help questioning whether or not I am focusing on the "really important" things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Likewise, very socially oriented.

Do you folks have any wisdom to share with me? I have been active in existing movements before, but never set one up from scratch - that's something totally different. Any of you know about the logistics of this? I have been brainstorming over a non-governmental org to empower women on birth options, that is, to open up non-existing options to them, and to educate. Where I am, this seems to be one of the most pressing issues. Obviously, I'd need funding etc. Any ideas?
Find like-minded women through the internet and start meeting? There must be at least a couple other women in Serbia who are similarly disillusioned with the birthing environment. In Finland there is a total of ONE organization that is pro-natural-birth-and-birthplace-choice and I believe it was started by a small group of concerned women. They produce a quarterly magazine that you get by paying a small membership fee. It was very small when it started in the 80s but has been growing consistently since then. Finland is a very small country population-wise and very unquestioning of "the establishment" but there are still enough alternative-minded people to be found - Serbia has more people, there must be some chance of finding other people with your feelings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by katmann View Post
I can't say I have any advice, but I think this is a great idea. I was really struck during my pregnancy how the issue of birth options is NOT part of the feminist agenda. Reproductive choice is a huge issue for me, and it should include protecting our choices in the way we deliver. An OB can represent the patriarchy just as well as a politician, IMO.

As far as my personal feminist philosophy, my mom was a feminist writer and came from what I think of as an old school of feminism. She really focused on childcare, the pro-choice movement, protection of victims of domestic violence, and equal pay for equal work (those things still being crucially important, of course). I feel more like feminism now is a part of human rights in general, and is tied to basic human needs like clean water, reducing hunger, and environmental protection. We need to address all these issues to truly empower women around the world.
Yes, yes, yes! I have been reading Vandana Shiva and the rights of the world's women are SO tied up with the exploitation of 3rd world countries. And I think it is the same underlying system/mentality that justifies the patriarchalness of western birth options and the plundering of the 3rd world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
There is so much to be done here when it just comes to basic respect for women. It is difficult to know where to even start.
I can totally see why you feel that way based on everything I have heard about Eastern Europe. It will be really interesting to hear about your experiences if you start some sort of organization or movement! You must feel something like how feminists felt in the states in the 50s...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinsTwicePlusTwo View Post
IMO, the feminist movement has seriously dropped the ball on our birth rights.
Oh yes. That's the case here too. If the Nordic feminist movement was ever even holding that ball I don't think radical feminism ever really made it here. And I think it is too system-questioning to be listened to seriously over here - Finns do love working with their systems and very few actually question the status quo. Perhaps part of that is that on the surface everything is so good here. For example with birth rights - most births are attended by midwives in the hospital, and the rate of interventions and c-sections is far lower than in the states (though increasing all the time ). There is less of a crying need to change things than in the states or in eastern europe, so it is harder to get people really mad about how it is virtually impossible to choose a homebirth here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Me too . I am afraid that some of my views are even too radical for MDC .

Birth rights are very important to me, especially right now as I am realizing the depth of some peoples' prejudices with regard to UC. As for abortion, *Yeah, I know MDC's policy on discussing that* I strongly feel that in this country, it is not one of the rights that women have fought for, but rather, something that many women are coerced into much of the time, because of lack of economic possibilities for single moms. Abortion "rights" are well established here, and it is not something I would ever campaign for.
I think that, despite the attack from the right, women in the states too are often forced into abortion due to lack of options for single mothers. I came across this site a while back - Feminists for Life. Not sure how religious they are or aren't, but I like their premise: "women deserve better than abortion". I think they focus on the need for better social resources for young mothers so they actually have a CHOICE about having an abortion. I haven't read through the entire website though so please don't get mad at me if there's something there you don't like - chances are I wouldn't like it either. And it's not my website anyway I just thought it was an interesting example of feminists who noticed that the be-all and end-all of reproductive rights is not just access to abortion services.
Here I have no quarrel with the abortion resources/pressure. It is certainly possible for a young single mother to survive quite well due to the welfare state, and abortion is legal, cheap or free, and easily accessible until the end of the 3rd month. This makes for the real possibility of choice about whether or not to keep one's pregnancy and less of horrific late term abortions. Public opinion takes these services for granted. So the main problem here is the birth rights. It doesn't help that everyone is convinced that birth is a horrible emergency and that every time a mother accidentally gives birth outside the hospital that it's a huge miracle that both mother and baby survived
Anyway, looooooong post, sorry! Looking forward to following this thread.
post #40 of 281
For ursusarctos
A new site by a Finnish homebirther. I don't speak or read Finnish so I have no idea how feminist it is but I know she's pretty passionate about natural birth so I thought you would find it interesting
http://www.bebesinfo.fi/
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