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Inquiry: Are you a feminist? - Page 5

post #81 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sustainer
I can't dispute isolated cases of racism, but the feminist movement was the civil rights movement's greatest ally.
I agree that civil rights movements, sovereignty movements and feminist movements were each others' greatest allies. The times were ripe for change and it was good politicking.

However, I think it was more than isolated cases wrt racism. Check out any major book on feminism by a woman of color and the illustrations of racism within the mainstream feminist movements were prevelent and systemic, especially within major organizations. Elizabeth Martinez, Barbara Smith and other WOC have very poignant essays specific to this in the collection The Feminist Memoir Project not to mention the myriad of other books like This Bridge Called My Back, Homegirls, When and Where I Enter, Chicana Feminists...
post #82 of 114
[QUOTE=mamawanabe] I cannot have this joy AND be a mother because of the way my profession is structured (read statistics on women who have kids before getting tenure at universities - they are harrowing). This structure is not necessary - it is a holdover to one parent income models, models that no longer reflect realities of work. [QUOTE]

Is your DH willing to let his career take a back seat for a while until you get tenure?

My DH's job, at his level and in his industry, requires that it come before his personal life. The few women who are at his level have to make the same sacrifices -- not because of some archaic policy, but because that's what getting the job done requires. I've only met 2 women at his level or higher who have kids, and they have husbands who are willing to make the sacrifices to their own careers so that some one would be there to see to the children.

Frankly, the society pressure on these men is much, much nastier than on women in any situation regarding children and career. If you are a woman, you can choose what you want and some in our society will think you are great and some will think you aren't. If you are a man and you make child rearing and supporting your spouse's career a priority, very few people say nice things about you behind your back
post #83 of 114
[QUOTE=Linda KS][QUOTE=mamawanabe] I cannot have this joy AND be a mother because of the way my profession is structured (read statistics on women who have kids before getting tenure at universities - they are harrowing). This structure is not necessary - it is a holdover to one parent income models, models that no longer reflect realities of work.
Quote:

Is your DH willing to let his career take a back seat for a while until you get tenure?

My DH's job, at his level and in his industry, requires that it come before his personal life. The few women who are at his level have to make the same sacrifices -- not because of some archaic policy, but because that's what getting the job done requires. I've only met 2 women at his level or higher who have kids, and they have husbands who are willing to make the sacrifices to their own careers so that some one would be there to see to the children.

Frankly, the society pressure on these men is much, much nastier than on women in any situation regarding children and career. If you are a woman, you can choose what you want and some in our society will think you are great and some will think you aren't. If you are a man and you make child rearing and supporting your spouse's career a priority, very few people say nice things about you behind your back
No. His career isn't one that allows for part-time or time off either. (though part-time is more of an option for him than for me; time off would effectively end his career). He also loves his profession - thrives in it, as I do mine.

My point about work structures being bad for families (and institutionally keeping women who want to be mothers out of its highest eschelons) is not to say that work structures are based on archaic rules, but that the vast majority of professions can re-structure themselves so that "getting the job done" does not equal one person working 50-60 hour weeks. Why not hire a husband/wife team (since people often marry people in their field) to fill one tenure slot at the university? Or hire two mothers to share one partner-track position in a law firm. Why not have part-time tenure tract positions where, for half the pay, the person has a 1/2 teaching load and 12 years instead of 6 to meet publishing requirements? Why, in favor of recent grads, blackball people who step out of the prefession for five-eight years? There is no reason why work can't be restructured.

Yes, gender norms are tough all around.
post #84 of 114
I've heard some feminists say bf is anti-feminist. I disagree.

http://www.parentingweb.com/lounge/WABA_bf_fem.htm
post #85 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa
I've heard some feminists say bf is anti-feminist. I disagree.

http://www.parentingweb.com/lounge/WABA_bf_fem.htm
I'm getting my Ph.D in feminist theory (not really - english - but a heavy empahsis on gender analysis in my dissertation). Anyway, it is true that feminist thoery doesn't spend enough time and energy on mothering issues, but it is anti medicalizing and sexualizing the woman's body, which would make it, in the main, pro-natural childbirth and pro-breastfeeding (breast are mamery glands afterall).

BTW, there is really interesting take on gynolcology that is along similar lines.

That isn't to say that feminist theory wouldn't have its reservations about a parenting philosophy (ap) that puts such a high premium on a woman meeting the needs of her child 24 hours a day for 2 years at least. There have been several threads on mothering and feminism that have dealt with this issue.

And it isn't to say that feminsist theory would ever let you get away with calling something "natural."

But I can't imagine feminsit theory being anti-breastfeeding.

BTW, there is really interesting take on gynolcology that is along similar lines.
post #86 of 114
All things being equal- feminism would certainly support breastfeeding but of course all things are not equal. If experts (mostly men) pressure women to be the primary parent due to their ability to breastfeed, that limits choices. If men were equally held responsible for the care of children, for children's health and well being, for children's nurturance- If fathers were 50% of the posters here, 50% of the readership of Mothering, then breastfeeding could be discussed differently. It all goes back to the biology as destiny question- because we carry and give birth, because we breastfeed, must we make the greater sacrifices? I worry that the question is always, how can we do what is best for children and still do what is best for women? I know we believe that what is best for children, is best for women and visa versa but we also acknowledge that life ain't fair and the choices we make are still not made on equal footing. When I dream of a revolution- I start with birth and breastfeeding. What would like look like if the most important value in our society was peacefull, natural birth and extended breastfeeding? Can you imagine? We would be acknowledged as the powerful leaders of society that we are.
post #87 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
When I dream of a revolution- I start with birth and breastfeeding. What would like look like if the most important value in our society was peacefull, natural birth and extended breastfeeding? Can you imagine? We would be acknowledged as the powerful leaders of society that we are.
I will be thinking about this- if i can clear my mind enough!
interesting!
post #88 of 114
Following this thread has made realize just how happy I am with my life as a SAHM. If being a feminist is about wanting a revolution, then count me out. I like my life too much. I don't want to work outside the home anymore. May be part of it is my age -- I turn 40 later this year and no one I know IRL my age loves their job. Everybody, no matter their gender or profession, has gotten pretty sick of it.

Today we went to the science center. This is so much better than work.
post #89 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda KS
May be part of it is my age -- I turn 40 later this year and no one I know IRL my age loves their job. Everybody, no matter their gender or profession, has gotten pretty sick of it.
That is really depressing. The majority of my older friends still love their jobs. I know a few people went back to school and changed professions mid-life to something they enjoyed more.
post #90 of 114
I think most of the people I know enjoy their work.

There are always those moments and such moments we tend to share with our friends. But I think most of my friends actually *like* thier work.

Part of the reason I'm going to school (at my late age) is to prepare myself for work that I'll love and I will feel as though I'm making the world a better place.

Debra Baker
post #91 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda KS
If being a feminist is about wanting a revolution, then count me out. I like my life too much. I don't want to work outside the home anymore.


The "revolution" mentioned was not a "work outside the home revolution". To reiterate, the post said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
When I dream of a revolution- I start with birth and breastfeeding. What would like look like if the most important value in our society was peacefull, natural birth and extended breastfeeding? Can you imagine? We would be acknowledged as the powerful leaders of society that we are.
(Which, BTW, still makes women who follow biologically-based roles as being more valuable or doing a more appropriate "job". Which, personally, I don't agree with. I think everyone is valuable and I think that not everyone is cut out for fulfilling biological "functions". And, certainly, NOT everyone finds personal contentment fulfilling them. Also, if giving birth is the most important thing, then we will only become more and more heavily populated. When I was born in the 1960's the world had approximately 3 billion people. It is now over 6 billion. It doubled in my lifetime. I definately question the "calling" of bearing children. )

BUT, Linda KS, MsMoMpls certainly was NOT claiming the same sort of revolution you are responding to. :





And on the feminism-is-anti-breastfeeding topic: If it wasn't for politically active feminists, we wouldn't have rules making sure women can pump at work, for instance.

In my experience, the feminists-want-you-to-formula-feed is a red-herring set up by people (male OR female, there are plenty of both) who want to keep women in their modern assigned sex roles. And just because some people who claim to be feminists also spout that drivel, it doesn't mean that it is a feminist position. There are lots of people who do not think things through before adopting a position in every political camp.



And now, an off-topic question: For those of you who are thinking of a version of feminism as some modification to the biology-is-destiny idea: What, exactly, do you do with people who are somewhere in the middle of the hermaphrodite spectrum?
post #92 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by sohj
In my experience, the feminists-want-you-to-formula-feed is a red-herring set up by people (male OR female, there are plenty of both) who want to keep women in their modern assigned sex roles. And just because some people who claim to be feminists also spout that drivel, it doesn't mean that it is a feminist position.
Thank you!
post #93 of 114
I think one of the flaws of modern feminism (aka feminism from the '60's and '70's era.) is the notion that women are men without penises.
The male model was set up at the ideal or norm which we must strive to attain.

Mothering children is part of who I am as a mother. My mothering is a bit different from dh's fathering (but it doesn't mean we follow the '50's patriarchal model) Birthing and nursing and nurturing children is crucially important and instead of dismissing it (because it's so inherently feminine) we should be out there demanding its respect.

I am not a penisless man, I'm much more than that. And as far as respecting the full spectrum of sexuality as someone noted, we must and we must understand that many of us women are not the little girlie girls. This goes far beyond feminism and back to basic respect.

Debra Baker
post #94 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker
I think one of the flaws of modern feminism (aka feminism from the '60's and '70's era.) is the notion that women are men without penises.
The male model was set up at the ideal or norm which we must strive to attain.

Mothering children is part of who I am as a mother. My mothering is a bit different from dh's fathering (but it doesn't mean we follow the '50's patriarchal model) Birthing and nursing and nurturing children is crucially important and instead of dismissing it (because it's so inherently feminine) we should be out there demanding its respect.
I think that this is an inaccurate stereotype--a caricuature, really, devised to distract and detract from the critical issues feminists raise(d) about equality-- of modern feminism--particularly when you take into account the "maternal feminism" and "difference feminism" that emerged in the 1980s and that are still with us today. As is true of any social movement, feminism is not a monolithic philosophy. There are sparring factions and warring ideas and differences of opinion. I don't think trying to gain access to traditionally-male realms is the same as trying to *be* men.
post #95 of 114
Quote:
What, exactly, do you do with people who are somewhere in the middle of the hermaphrodite spectrum?
Why, they can do whatever they want.
post #96 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by sohj
BUT, Linda KS, MsMoMpls certainly was NOT claiming the same sort of revolution you are responding to. :
I don't want a revolution because I don't see the need for a major change. I find the idea that natural childbirth and extended BF should be the primary goals of society absurd. I had 2 c-sections, so in MsMoMpls ideal world I would be a failure at the "most important values in society". So would an old friend on mine who never married and doesn't have kids. So would an adoptive mom. I cannot imagine anything more degrading to women than reducing us to our biological role in reproduction.

YUCK.

I think the best thing is for all people to have lots of options so they can decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives -- which is what we have, which is I don't see a need for revolution.

I get a lot of positive feed back from my DH and my friends for what I do. I don't expect everyone in American to validate my decision to be at home with my kids. I think there is a difference between having a choice, and having everything think you made the right one.
post #97 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda KS
I think the best thing is for all people to have lots of options so they can decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives -- which is what we have, which is I don't see a need for revolution.

.
Most of yoru post I agree with. Except the part above. Have you read through this thread - I can think of several posts by women who don't feel they have lots of options.

Because of economic reasons and/or because of the way professions are structured, women do not have "lots of options so they can decide for themselves what they want to do with thier lives."
post #98 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda KS
I think the best thing is for all people to have lots of options so they can decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives -- which is what we have, which is I don't see a need for revolution.
No, that's not what we have. I was in my fifth month of pregnancy before I was able to find a midwife, because they're illegal in my state. And I was one of the lucky ones. There are lots more women who never find a midwife. And there are so many women for whom breastfeeding isn't a real option because they are bombarded with misinformation and social disgust at breastfeeding their whole lives. A lot of change still needs to happen before we get to the point of women truly being free to choose.
post #99 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by sohj

(Which, BTW, still makes women who follow biologically-based roles as being more valuable or doing a more appropriate "job". Which, personally, I don't agree with. I think everyone is valuable and I think that not everyone is cut out for fulfilling biological "functions". And, certainly, NOT everyone finds personal contentment fulfilling them. Also, if giving birth is the most important thing, then we will only become more and more heavily populated. When I was born in the 1960's the world had approximately 3 billion people. It is now over 6 billion. It doubled in my lifetime. I definately question the "calling" of bearing children. )
Ok- you've messed with my perfect revolution fantasy but you've got me thinking. No- I don't think I value a world of out of control reproduction, I don't think everyone should or does want to birth, I don't think c-sects would be a failure but they wouldn't be the plan either. I do think that our biology (men's and women's) does invest us in the outcome of future generations. I think that the current world values of money and power are a great disservice to this generation and the next. And I do believe that it will take a revolution. I think that if the values reflected here at MDC were the values we saw running the world we would see less polution, less greed, less racism, sexism, homophobia, hatred, war, destruction of the planet. I guess that I believe that feminism speaks best to that fantasy for me.
post #100 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
Because of economic reasons and/or because of the way professions are structured, women do not have "lots of options so they can decide for themselves what they want to do with thier lives."
No one can do everything all at the same time. Having choices means being able to decide for one's self; it doesn't mean getting to do everything. I don't see options for women as being different than those for men. If you want to work toward tenure, or being a vice president, or a partner or whatever, you can. Being a woman won't stop you.

I find the idea that women should be able to do less than men and reach the same goals insulting. I think such a thing would only hurt career women.

Quote:
And there are so many women for whom breastfeeding isn't a real option because they are bombarded with misinformation and social disgust at breastfeeding their whole lives. A lot of change still needs to happen before we get to the point of women truly being free to choose.
I have a hard time accepting that women aren't free to choose something that I chose. There ARE options and women need to research do what is right for them. I feel like what you are saying is that women need to be spoon fed and patted on the back. I just don't see women as that stupid or weak. I think *most* women are strong people who can think for themselves.
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