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Feminist or FemiNazi? Truth and Myth

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posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 10:32 AM
We are making this thread because we think it is about time we begin to deny ignorance regarding feminism on ATS. Far too often feminism is misrepresented, and far too many see all feminism as a "feminzai" movement.

Feminism is, quite simply, a belief and support of the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. Feminists work to make a reality the social, political and economic equality of women and men.

Due to the common misconception that the average feminist is a "feminazi" far too few young women and men choose to declare themselves feminists, yet you will be hard pressed to find a young woman who says she does not believe in social, political and economic equality.

We need to deconstruct this image and rebuild what it is and what it means to be a feminist. Feminism has become a negative, dirty word. But why? It is not a negative project. Whose interests are served by lumping it as detrimental, extreme and negative?

Bring to this thread all your common beliefs about feminism.
Non-feminists, how do you see feminism? What is feminism to you? What are the common beliefs about it? What do you see as its purpose?

Ask us (Benevolent Heretic and I and any other feminist who feels like contributing!) any questions you might have about feminism. We will answer to the best of our ability and hope to shed some light on what feminism is, as opposed to what it is represented as.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:27 AM
High Time someone came out with this. Equal pay for equal work. Equal rights for all sexes.

Realizing that a woman is equal in all respects doth not a weak man make.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:37 AM
But at the same time, some Feminist movement sects have been hi-jacked by extremist "femnazis" if you want to call them that, to propagate an "anti male" movement.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:43 AM

Originally posted by WolfofWar
But at the same time, some Feminist movement sects have been hi-jacked by extremist "femnazis" if you want to call them that, to propagate an "anti male" movement.

Can you elaborate?

Which feminist movement sects? Do you have any examples?

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 12:00 PM
Sure, the specific Extremist Feminist movement that comes to mind if Radical Feminism, which actually considers its movement as "a war against men."

Ofcourse, in no way do I not condone feminism, I think trying to gain equality is a givenright for all peoples, male or female. But at the same time I think alot of feminists tend to overlook the fact that there is a reason why feminists are labelled as extremists, and thats because certain groups are more of a breeding ground for more extremist idealogies then others.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 12:13 PM

Originally posted by WolfofWar
Sure, the specific Extremist Feminist movement that comes to mind if Radical Feminism, which actually considers its movement as "a war against men."

Is that right? May I ask which radical feminist, or which radical feminists said this, or where you are basing this on?

From my understanding of radical feminism it is not a war against men at all. Rather, it is a war against what they see as the root cause of women's oppression, which is patriarchal gender relations. Now if you understand that as a war against men, I have to say that it is a misinterpretation of the theory. Men are not the only ones who promote and maintain patriarchal relations, and it would be unwise to assume that radicals, and all feminists alike, assume that it is only men who benefit from patriarchy.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 12:16 PM
Parr I would have to agree. However its not exclusive to the femminist movement per say. Extremist viewpoints and agendas get the headlines so to speak and people with them tend to have the drive, motivation, and ability to gain controll and hijack even the most logical movement.

I see the femminst movement from a slightly differnet perspective. As a nurse I work in a female dominated field so so while I can't offer many insights (large female group dynamics are interesting to say the least) I do see both sides of the coin so to speak.

I have seen both sides of the coin so to speak from my mother who was a 70's era feminist and a housewife (could that have been a contradiction) to the far end "man haters" at work. WHo gets the most attention? The far end of the spectrum.

My personal view of the femminst movement is much like the GOP. Its been hijacked by a vocal and radical minority which may have paid short term dividens in the short term but may have or be compromising the long term future of thier movement.

Perhaps a reinvention is needed. My question for you is this: Has the femminist movement adapted to the changes in our society since the inception of the movement?

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 12:42 PM
I dont quite have a quote offhand, but I would suggest to read into some of Wendy Mcelroys views on Feminism.

Also, extremist feminist rhetoric can be seen almost everywhere if you open your eyes to see it. it has affected our schools, our television shows, commercials, and ultimately, how our society views men. How many times on a crime show like law and Order: SVU, have you seen a woman being the perpretrator of a heinous act?

Also Extremist feminists try to paint a picture of girls in school being given unfair disadvantages.

The truth, however, is that boys, not girls, display the signs of educational and social disadvantage, and the cause of this turns out to be a combination of feminist reeducation programs and general "progressive" educational theory. The interaction of these influences is one of the most interesting features of the book. As part of her conclusion, Sommers says:

"The War against Boys"

Gender Bias

18 September 2002 Martin Lehmann


If you saw a TV commercial or sitcom depicting a clumsy, bumbling, dork, is it more likely the person is: male[ ] female[ ]

If you saw a TV commercial showing the dangers of drinking and driving, would you expect the persons in the commercial to be: male[ ] female[ ]

If you saw a TV commercial about domestic violence would you expect the perpetrators of the violence to be: male[ ] female[ ]

If you saw a TV commercial or sitcom showing a smart, competent person with a confident, all-knowing smile, is it more likely the person is: male[ ] female[ ]

In a recent Perth survey of Year 11 students (male and female), 82% answered male, male. male. female to the survey questions.

The campaign of affirmative action over the past three decades to improve opportunities for women has been hijacked by radical feminists to denigrate, belittle and emotionally castrate men (particularly white heterosexual men). Many of the feminist zealots are now in positions of power as government advisers where they increasingly influence public policy.

Gender Bias in Australia

Now I in no way condemn the core beliefs of feminism. I believe women should be equal, in an ideal world, I do not think we should havea patriarchial society. But one cannot be blind to the fact that certain groups of feminists have hi-jacked these beliefs to fuel a change from a patriarchial society, to a matriarchial society. That is not equality. :T

I am sure my responses here will not havea warm welcome, but I guess most views that go against the norm never really do.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 01:30 PM
A most excellent, important thread! Thank you Parrhesia and Benevolent Heretic. Yes, feminism discusses and takes action for equality and freedom for men and women in social, political and economic contexts. As in any movement, there are extremes with misplaced hatred. Rather than understand that feminism was not only about women or that not every woman "hated men", some men out of fear lashed back. And, true, some men suffer from misogyny.
I no more want a man to suffer inequities in society than I. Those that advocate (usually based on outdated/erronious religious beliefs or a politics of differences) against feminism are either misinformed or have to defend their own agenda. While there have been advances, ours is still a patriarchal society, and, thus, to defend the status quo it will speak out against feminists, accusing feminism as in a witch hunt.
Are women the same as men? Good Lord, no! Are we equal? Yes! Are both sexes still fighting patriarchy, you bet!
Re domestic violence. Yes, most documented is men abusing women, but, oh yes, men suffer domestic abuse, too. You see, here is where we need to help each other--a patriarchal society will not concieve of males being abused, so men suffer in silence. Serial killers and pedophiles are usually men. Sorry about that. Could that also be a product of a patriarchal society? Oh, Australia... now a colleague from Australia considers Australia a very patriarchal society. Sorry again.

Forgot to add, maybe we're starting to see a chink in the armor of patriarchy. My niece recently divorced and went to go change her name on all the legal documents in one's life. Since 9-11 it's a nightmare. I never did change my name for either marriage, and am I doubly glad now.

[edit on 28-4-2006 by desert]

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 01:59 PM
I'm not embarrassed at all to say I'm a feminist. I believe in equal rights for women; equal job opportunities, equality in politics, equality in relationships-the woman not being the man's property. Also I believe women have the right to divorce if their husbands treat them badly. I believe women should not be slaves to reproducing. They should have full access to birth control to decide when and how many children they will have. I also believe they should not be looked at as just sex objects by men.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:16 PM

Originally posted by parrhesia
[Is that right? May I ask which radical feminist, or which radical feminists said this, or where you are basing this on?

Mary Daly Former Professor at Boston College and author of Quintessence
2001 Interview with What Is Enlightenment magazine

WIE: Which brings us to another question I wanted to ask you. Sally Miller Gearhart, in her article, “The Future—If There is One—Is Female,” writes: “At least three further requirements supplement the strategies of environmentalists if we were to create and preserve a less violent world. 1) Every culture must begin to affirm the female future. 2) Species responsibility must be returned to women in every culture. 3) The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately ten percent of the human race.” What do you think about this statement?
MD: I think it’s not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff anymore.

Susan Brownmiller
Quote from her book “Against Our Will: Men Women and Rape”

“Man's discovery that his genitalia could serve as a weapon to prehistoric times, along with the use of fire and the first crude stone axe. From prehistoric times to the present, I believe, rape has played a critical function. It is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”

Took me about 15 minutes of searching to find these. I'm sure that there are many more.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:18 PM
I don't see the need for a "feminist" movement in America. Women have equal rights now, so I fail to see the need for such a movement. I hear "feminists" speak on my campus and all they do is bash men as being dumb or mean.

I think that the "feminist" movement hurts women, by making those that choose to stay home and work seem somehow less equal to men. Also, besides getting to right to vote (which was before the modern feminist movement) I don't think feminism has done anything positive for women, or anyone else for the matter.

-- Boat

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:21 PM
If men were only 10% of the population wouldn't they have to be polygymas (can't spell)? Don't feminists disagree with more than one wife for a man?

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:44 PM
Mary Daly--has written many books, is far out, can be shocking, certainly not known to be mainstream
Rape--it is an act of violence, aggression,dominence , whether man to woman or man to man; soldiers/armies historical use of rape, also helps spread conquerors "seed". As recently as mother's/grandmother's times rape was viewed as only of a sexual nature and women who were raped had encouraged it.
Men as 10% of population--war can have similar effect.

Forgot again, had to edit,...feminism never said a woman must work outside the home! Poppycock! Feminism said a women should have a choice. Unfortunately, the nation's economy forces women who would rather choose to stay home into the workforce ; some family values when both parents are forced to work. This affects men as well as women.

[edit on 28-4-2006 by desert]

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:44 PM
Nah, because most men wouldnt be used for reproduction, theyd have us locked away in sperm camps for them. That and all manual construction work.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:53 PM
Firstly, WolfofWar, all opinions are warmly welcomed here as far as I'm concerned.

As regards your gender bias survey, I answered female, male, male, female. The reason being that I have been that dork and I have been that smart student.

I don't think this is an unfair assessment, seeing as how the large majority of drunk drivers and domestic violence perpetrators are men. I'm not sure that the quiz answers indicate extreme feminist rhetoric, but it is interesting.

I agree with you that there are small vocal minorities in EVERY group who hijack the cause and spread their rhetoric far and wide. We have that with Christians, Muslims, Men, Gay people and Republicans, Liberals.
Every group has their extremists.

I think the message Parr and I would like to get across here is that the Feminist Movement is not accurately represented by the extremists (feminazis) and the word Feminist is not a negative label synonymous with Feminazi. Sure there are sects that basically hate men, but they don't represent the whole of Feminism. And the existence of those groups does not diminish the relevance of the movement as a whole. We cannot look at those groups and establish that all feminists are like that.

I am a feminist. I believe in equality for men and women. I believe that women have been oppressed in a male-dominated society and they need to stand up and be counted. Not to overpower men, but to be equal to men.

I LOVE men! I adore men! I think they're great, most of them, anyway. I have one of my very own and I wouldn't trade him for anything. And I LOVE being a woman! I love being compassionate and soft, caring and open, but I also embrace my inner bitch.
As some of you know.

I am a homemaker.
I had a very successful career in electronics and I chose (my husband and I mutually decided) to give it up to better provide a nice home for my husband and myself. No kids.

Too many people, when they hear the word "Feminist" think of the bitch in the suit without an ounce of softness or femininity, and that's only one small representation of the feminist group.

Originally posted by FredT
My question for you is this: Has the femminist movement adapted to the changes in our society since the inception of the movement?

The feminist movement is so many things it's hard for me to answer that question, but overall, I'd say yes, they ARE adapting and evolving.

To make a quick comparison, if you'll look at the African American movement toward equality, we can see the same variety in 'militance', for lack of a better word, that we see in the Feminist movement. You've got MLK, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Spike Lee, the more 'devoted' and driven (even radical in some cases) of the group, whose main force is to promote the Black person's equality. Then you have the black population in general who believe in equal rights, but aren't the leaders or outspoken minority of the movement. But they are the movement.

Sometimes people who shoot for something end up overshooting and then they get labeled as "the movement" and it isn't an accurate representation at all.

Boatphone, the Wage gap stands at 77%. Maybe you don't see a need, but many do.

It is 2006, and the wage gap hasn't budged for a decade, even as women have improved their education and qualifications. We are talking about women working full time -- not part time, not on maternity leave, not as consultants. We are talking about women working at every economic level, from waitresses to corporate lawyers, from reporters to CEOs.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 03:10 PM
Good responses Benevolent. What I was trying to get acrossed was a bit of devils advocate, mainly saying that any negative connotations to feminism has been because of extremists in it, parr asked for examples, I, aswell as Jim, gave a few examples of some extremist views.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 03:24 PM

I do know that Gloria Steinhem, a key leader in feminism decades ago, is admittedly a CIA agent. Seems like feminism was hijacked early on in an effort to destabilize the family unit in America.

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 03:34 PM
I've always hated the term feminism. I mean, if someone started a movement called manism, they wouldn't get out the gate without falling under the weight of protest.

I'd reccomend humanism, but unfortunately that moniker is taken.



Something, anything besides the term feminism. That doesn't speak of equality, it speaks of a different brand of inequality.

Just my .02

posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 03:36 PM
In looking into this subject I have noticed a few things that make me wonder.

Why are the radical feminist organizations so quick to ally themselves with the Gay and Transgender movements?

Why do so many feminist organizations support abortion and eschew motherhood?

Why are so many women turning their backs on feminism?

The last thing is why can’t people accept the fact that men and women are NOT equal.
I know I lit the fuse with my last statement, but lets see if I can stop it before it blows up.
By its definition equal means without difference and let’s face it men and women are not the same.
Should this be used for a basis of discrimination? No. I firmly believe that there should be equal rights for men and women. I believe in equal pay for equal work, but let’s define equal work. I am not still sure if it is in effect but UPS used to have a policy that required met to be able to lift packages weighing 75 lbs., while requiring that women only have to lift 50 lbs.. To me that is discrimination both ways. I know several men who can’t lift 75 lbs. all day long and I know several women who can. If I have to send two women to carry a package that I would only send one man for I have to pay twice the labor for the same work. The solution is simple either lower the weight for both to 50 lbs. or only hire women for the job if they can lift 75 lbs. either way the pay should be the same for both if they are doing the same job.

By the way the Gloria Steinhem, CIA thing is an urban legend from aways back.

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