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-   -   any radical feminists on MDC? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/7-finding-your-tribe/1076351-any-radical-feminists-mdc.html)

princesstutu 04-26-2009 10:57 PM

Lately, I feel so bogged down by patriarchy. I wanna discuss life with women who "get it".

Plus...I want to know what other rad fems are doing in this world. You know...w/o reading their blogs.

lolar2 04-27-2009 12:49 AM

I guess that describes me philosophically, but I don't really DO much about it at present (in terms of activism). Someday when I have more time, I guess.

princesstutu 04-27-2009 01:10 PM

Hi, again, 1hautemama! Hi to you, too, lolar2!

I feel like I'm at a standstill politically. I almost didn't vote in the last election, but voting is such a strong issue for me, I couldn't allow myself to not do so. I ended up voting for Obama, but I didn't think he was a good choice and I feel like that's borne out. In the end, he is representative of the patriarchy and I think his democratic leanings will allow some benefit for women, I think we (women) really need to rethink how much energy we put behind male politicians and female politicians who want to play with the Big Boys.

I feel like we're at the scraps portion of the day and I want to know what we can do to get past this. It feels so intimidating!

BUT! I finally called the YWCA about volunteering today. I kept forgetting to do it until it was too late in the day (I really need to get back to making lists), but since I was sitting here reading, I picked up the phone and called. I generally volunteer with social community efforts, not ones that are more political, but I really feel the need to get extra political lately. One step at a time!

I don't worry about Roe v. Wade being overturned. There are many reasons for that and maybe I'll get into later. I am boggled by women who are not pro-choice. I understand it's their right, but...I just don't comprehend how one feels that's even a possibility. How could you NOT think you should be able to do what you need to do with your own life and body?

Actually, I'm boggled by a lot of things women do. I really don't think most of us see clearly. I guess that's the plan, tho.

peace

Hazelnut 04-27-2009 01:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I guess that describes me philosophically, but I don't really DO much about it at present (in terms of activism). Someday when I have more time, I guess.

sort of me too, and I probably don't appear to be much of a radical feminist by how I am currently living. Frankly I think a lot of women feel threatened by some feminists (I stress "some") who put down childcare, and other things that women have traditionally done like cooking, sewing, etc. I think, however, that rejecting feminism b/c of this is as misinformed as putting down these activities in the first place. We need a restructuring so people (and not just women) can work and have kids, with less power imbalance. Well that's not all we need, but I do think that's why some women reject it. My take anyway.

I also fear that I've become apathetic. I'm not okay with sexism when I see it, but there's this acceptance that it all just sucks, and it doesn't go away, and I haven't the thick skin for all the backlash I suffered from saying the simplest things.

Teenytoona 04-27-2009 01:33 PM

My ideal self is closer to radical feminism, but I suppose I look like someone who's feminist when it suits me, and I suppose lately that's how I've been. I'm working on it, but am not the greatest at balancing life and ideals!

But I wanted to say I'm here too!

PiePie 04-27-2009 01:41 PM

I'm pretty hardcore in my feminist convictions. However, I have to say that at the moment the vast majority of my energy is centered on my family, which I experience as a political act (DH would differ). Lots of thoughts and ambitions around work/family restructuring, which i guess is more of a liberal feminist goal. I guess I should be : that it's moving mainstream.

princesstutu 04-27-2009 01:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
I also fear that I've become apathetic. I'm not okay with sexism when I see it, but there's this acceptance that it all just sucks, and it doesn't go away, and I haven't the thick skin for all the backlash I suffered from saying the simplest things.
That was my fear for a while, too. Then, I realized that I'm (still) very angry and I decided to use that anger instead of trying to get rid of it. I feel like I had a thicker skin when I was younger. As I get older, I feel more compassionate and I feel more, period. I wonder if that's just part of being a woman? Sometimes I feel like I carry all the pain of the world on my back. It's draining, but I'm working on channeling all that so that I don't become a depressed, lethargic mess.

Good to see you both here, Hazelnut and Teenytoona!

Oh, and I was gonna speak on the "feminists put us down" mentality. I understand that. I'm one of those feminists who will question a feminists claim to feminism if she's trying to put limits on women. I'm not a feminist b/c I want to be more like a man! 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!

princesstutu 04-27-2009 01:47 PM

Hi, PiePie! I agree that focusing on the family is a political act. How could it not be in this day and age?

the_lissa 04-27-2009 02:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I guess that describes me philosophically, but I don't really DO much about it at present (in terms of activism). Someday when I have more time, I guess.
This is me right now too.

calpurnia 04-28-2009 07:03 AM

i'm here too! definitely a radical feminist, but like most of the others, i am not really active. & i am very conscious that i don't "look" like a feminist atm, especially since i am a young mum & i'm sure people think i was just dying to get into the kitchen & start raising babies, iykwim. that might just be my paranoia though!

i live in the uk, & all the mums i know through antenatal class etc are going back to work since our babies are nearly one. i am currently obsessed by the "work/life" balance, "mommy" track, maternal profiling, childcare, paternal input etc issues. there doesn't seem to be a feminist movement around these things??

MittensKittens 04-28-2009 08:03 AM

I'm in! I'm Olivia, solo mom by choice of two great kids, living in Serbia, and trying to figure out where to go next in terms of life choices. This is a pretty uncharted place as far as feminism goes, although many locals wouldn't agree. Society is very patriarchal here, and I have to admit I have a hard time dealing sometimes. I want to be get active. The brands of feminism that exist here are not ones that I personally identify with, at all. OK, so that's me. I really hope to see this thread grow as well!

princesstutu 04-28-2009 04:45 PM

Hi, the_lissa, calpurnia, and MittensKittens!

Quote:
i am currently obsessed by the "work/life" balance, "mommy" track, maternal profiling, childcare, paternal input etc issues. there doesn't seem to be a feminist movement around these things??
I think it gets encompassed in certain feminist tracks, but it certainly doesn't get a positive level of attention, IMO. 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?

boigrrrlwonder 04-28-2009 06:28 PM

:

I'm a feminist and young parent. I remember trying to get through <i>The Maternal Is Political</i> and it just didn't jive with my parenting values or the experiences I have as a young parent in a blue collar family.

princesstutu 04-29-2009 01:37 AM

We can still post links on MDC, can't we?

If we can, read this article about homeschooling as feminist venture.

flapjack 04-29-2009 04:15 AM

I'm kind of here: more of a socialist feminist, tbh.

Melissa Benn wrote Madonna and Child: the politics of motherhood, which is a good read IMO. Calpurnia, Naomi Standlen wrote What Mothers Do, and I know she has links with the Active Birth Centre in south London.

MittensKittens 04-29-2009 06:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
I'm kind of here: more of a socialist feminist, tbh.
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?

Astrogirl 04-29-2009 06:31 AM

I think I am, although I'm not sure what the "quintessential radical feminist" is. Maybe i should google. Personally, my inner convictions may be controversial in that I think women should proverbially rule the world, so I try to keep those opinions somewhat discrete and do my own thang.

Quote:
Originally Posted by princesstutu View Post
I think it gets encompassed in certain feminist tracks, but it certainly doesn't get a positive level of attention, IMO. 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, and I would love to be involved in such a discussion.

katmann 04-29-2009 09:40 AM

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?
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.

greenmamapagan 04-29-2009 11:53 AM

*Puts hand up* I consider my choice to meet my children's needs as fully as I can a political act.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katmann View Post
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.
Agreed. There is a bit of feminist birth activist movement here in Aus, here are some articles from a friend of mine:
http://www.ilithyiainspired.com/2008/03/wild-birth.html
http://www.ilithyiainspired.com/2008...ryone-but.html
By the way, most of the feminist womyn I know here would point out that "Pizzas are delivered, babies are BORN." Language can be subtly disempowering.

princesstutu 04-29-2009 01:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

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?
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?

Ambystoma 04-29-2009 03:05 PM

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

MittensKittens 04-29-2009 03:42 PM

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.

boigrrrlwonder 04-29-2009 04:31 PM

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.

princesstutu 04-29-2009 11:30 PM

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.

MujerMamaMismo 04-29-2009 11:50 PM

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!

Shabbers 04-29-2009 11:51 PM

*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.

MittensKittens 05-02-2009 10:30 AM

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...

TwinsTwicePlusTwo 05-04-2009 03:47 AM

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.

MittensKittens 05-05-2009 03:18 PM

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?

Hazelnut 05-05-2009 04:21 PM

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. :


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