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> I'm More Feminist Than You Are! Or Am I?, What does it mean to be a feminist?
bustygirl
post Aug 18 2008, 01:58 PM
Post #21


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From: bible belt baby


QUOTE
She joins the movement by asserting her equality to do with her life as she wishes.


Very well put.
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Queen Bull
post Aug 17 2008, 10:31 PM
Post #22


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From: the rainbow of self discovery


So, i have always thought that feminism was really interesting and a 'noble' cause so to speak, but i havent had much exposure to it. and in fact, a lot of people havent, and to them Feminism is a bunch of unattractive lesbians who dont shave and hate men.

So that prompted me to actually look up the Dictionary.com definition, which is,


fem·i·nism
–noun
1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.
[Origin: 1890–95; < F féminisme; see feminine, -ism]

—Related forms
fem·i·nist, noun, adjective
fem·i·nis·tic, adjective


and while that answers the question on a broad spectrum, im more interested in specifics.

So, i pose the question of just that. What is feminism, specifically and in personal situations?

What i have gleaned from my small amount of research, which is essentially limited to the above definition, and using the primary, is that the movement was for equality, which is also, what my previous view was, but not that being a equally treated woman meant that one had to have a career and no children anymore than being american means you have to like baseball, but that feminism is the movement for choice. To have the option to Make that choice, to have a career and children or no children and a career of odd jobs, to be able to choose who we marry and who we divorce, whos shit we tolerate and whos ass to kiss, so that essentially, being human we are automatically feminists. I say that because humans were/are granted the intelligent capacity to reason and make choices, and we relish this ability. This ability is what granted us the option of even having a feminist movement. And being the ability that created this movement, every time it is exercised, the movement gains headway. Every single time that a woman makes everyday choices, chooses to be independent, single, married, Fortune 500 CEO, model, housewife, to have children, to have an abortion or adoption, She joins the movement by asserting her equality to do with her life as she wishes.

*pant pant*

wow that turned into quite the tangent. apologies busties.




<3's


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erinjane
post Aug 17 2008, 05:45 PM
Post #23


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I agree with you, busty. I don't think it's my place to tell anyone else how to live their life and I don't think there's a more feminist way to live if, as bustygirl said, "as long as that person knows what they want, has considered all the options, and has gone on their chosen path."


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bustygirl
post Aug 17 2008, 04:25 PM
Post #24


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From: bible belt baby


QUOTE
I think it's important for ALL people, men and women, to spend a time in their life, working, making money, and being financially independent.


Agreed. But making home and family important doesn't automatically negate the importance of career, or interests outside the home and family. It isn't an either/or proposition, and making one a focal point of a full life over another doesn't make a person less feminist, as long as that person knows what they want, has considered all the options, and has gone on their chosen path.

I get a little nervous when we as women, including feminist women, start placing value judgements on other womens' priorities based on what those priorities meant to women in ages past. Granted, for the fifties' housewife, it was not a choice, and that lack of choice is what our feminist forbears were fighting.

But it's not the choice itself that is restricting and confining, it's the outside pressure to conform: just as many women were not happy being stay-at-home moms, many women are likewise not happy in the workforce, away from their children. If they themselves make the choice, that's what feminism is.

It's counterproductive to assume career and singlehood are automatically more feminist than wife and motherhood. If that path makes my sistren happy, I will stand behind it just as I will my single/career gals, because we're all in this together.
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geekchickknits
post Aug 17 2008, 11:26 AM
Post #25


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QUOTE(bustygirl @ Aug 17 2008, 10:09 AM) *
Then I have a question for you: Do you consider yourself to be more feminist because you put your career above marriage? Or is feminism truly women doing what women really want to do, even if that follows the more 'traditional' path?


I think it's important for ALL people, men and women, to spend a time in their life, working, making money, and being financially independent. There is a wonderful sense of pride and confidence that comes with that, and I feel it's an experience important for everyone to have.

I also think it is important for women to have a life and interests that are outside of the home. I think parents who have lives outside of their children, and partners who have lives outside of their partners make better parents and better partners.
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bustygirl
post Aug 17 2008, 09:09 AM
Post #26


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Then I have a question for you: Do you consider yourself to be more feminist because you put your career above marriage? Or is feminism truly women doing what women really want to do, even if that follows the more 'traditional' path?

I ask because sometimes I think women swap one set of externally imposed rules for another: instead of doing what the patriarchy wants us to do, we do what we think is feminist, and look down our noses at women we perceive to be following the old ways. Either way, we're not freed of the expectations of other people; which is what I have to assume is what the movement was originally about.

Not to say this is what you're saying, of course. Just playing devil's advocate. smile.gif There's not one whit wrong with focusing on your career, just as there's not one whit wrong with your friends focusing on marriage. As long as women are free to choose what they themselves want to do, I think our foremothers would be pleased.
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kissmeducky
post Jul 28 2008, 01:42 AM
Post #27


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Every now and then I'll have the discussion with my girl friends about our futures: marriage, kids, careers etc. We'll share our hopes and dreams and our expected timelines, and it surprises me that even in this day and age how focused my friends are on marriage and kids and how early they're expecting to accomplish these things. I am usually the only one who begins by rattling on about my career goals for awhile until I say "and then at some point I guess I'll get married and maybe eventually have kids."

A general outline for my friends:
-graduate college
-establish career
-get married by 23-25
-start having kids 25-27

And then my outline:
-graduate college (a year early)
-move to NYC to establish career
-hopefully be married by 30
-reconsider having kids

And I go to an artsy, extremely liberal school so these aren't the type of girls you'd expect to want to get married right out of high school. Is the pendulum beginning to swing the other way, towards women returning to more "traditional" values and goals?


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kittenb
post Jul 17 2008, 08:04 PM
Post #28


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QUOTE(girltrouble @ Jul 17 2008, 09:59 AM) *
thelma and louise didn't just drive off of a cliff at the end of that cop-out movie, it was a choice of the writer or/ director(the storyteller). in the normal formulation most movies are the individual vs. society, the storytellers felt they were to rebellious for our society, and needed to be killed/die.


See, to me, Thelma and Louise just could not go back to living in the rules of and oppressive society. They chose death/freedom rather than be punished for not playing by the rules. Here they chose to make it by their own rules.

(Of course, I always have to snap back w/ "We never saw the car land!" when someone dares to say that they died so I have some level of denial with that movie. I loved it. biggrin.gif )


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culturehandy
post Jul 17 2008, 07:20 PM
Post #29


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I didn't suggest that anyone on here was, but when you tell people you are a feminist, sometimes they give you a really weird look, and you just know the thought that is running through their head is; oh, you're one of those people. Some people seem to think that beig a feminist equals being the radical feminist they've only heard of.

Nelly, I have honesly have encountered people who think this. Not a word of a lie. many times.


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Hatred does not cease in this world by hating, but by not hating; this is an eternal truth. --- Buddah, The Dhammapada
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neurotic.nelly
post Jul 17 2008, 12:48 PM
Post #30


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QUOTE(culturehandy @ Jul 17 2008, 08:25 AM) *
Syb, I totally agree with you on that. It's funny that some people have these preconcieved notions about what feminism is. it's like people think we are a bunch of man hating, hairylesbians who want to stick it to the patriarchy, who want to silence men and are the stereotypical feminazi.

Where are these feminazis? *eagerly looks around*

What people think this? Obviously, people that I wouldn't give two thoughts about. eta: I want to explain this further. This image of "feminist" is played out. Its a stereotype (from the 60's/70's, yes those women were real), granted there are strands of truth in all stereotypes, but to apply any stereotype to the whole lot is just ignorant. Yes, sometimes generalizations need to be made because there are trends or whatever, but I thought this image had died out in the 80's and 90's when the third wave of feminism broke through. Naomi Wolf wrote The Beauty Myth and had it published in 1991. Obviously, feminist, and obviously beautiful. How has this image managed to remain so prevalent?

Word to GT and Syb for the theoretic breakdown of the show. I especially liked this statement by Syb,
"I do think it's disingenuous to see these things as 'just happening' to the characters, especially as each character reverts to a more traditional role, albeit in different ways. Miranda, represented as the most independent of the lot, is put in a position where she's not only looking after a baby but also her M-I-L."

I always noticed the way Miranda, the most independent and most "feminist" of the bunch, was written to have the most despicable attitude, sometimes, and I never much appreciated that. Also, she most closely fit that feminist stereotype of the hairy feminist remember the movie, that was just uncalled for.

I honestly love the show, but there are so many reasons why its not a feminist show, and so many other reasons why it was a landmark for women and television.


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auralpoison
post Jul 17 2008, 11:10 AM
Post #31


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Edited to fix, I think I misinterpreted what some Busties said, so I'm taking it all on me. 2:22pm Central time

I often wonder about the hard & fast supposed rules of feminism & the people that purport themselves to be the be all end all of feminism. The ones that sit in judgement of "Oh, that's feminist, oh that isn't" & nitpick every detail. I mean, for fuck's sake, we have a thread where we can air out our filthy, non-feminist transgressions. The fact that I don't shave my armpits or legs doesn't make me any more or less feminist than the person next to me, it makes me hairy. Yes, I suppose it is a tiny bit subversive in a culture where gender etiquette often requires that I remove body hair or be seen as unfeminine, but I can't say I feel it makes me particularly feminist. Just comfortable.


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girltrouble
post Jul 17 2008, 09:51 AM
Post #32


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i am so not saying it can't be those things, candy. it can be just one of those things that was wrote in, and it could have been something they chose because it effects women, but if we read things in terms of film theory, semiotics, then it becomes less about the original intent than the final product. when "reading" a film, that becomes an irrelevancy, after all when you read a book, you don't really get into what the writer was thinking as he got to chapter 12. the work must stand on it's own and there are certain things that mean certain things. it's like you know it's a western, not because it takes place in the west, but because it uses certain tropes of the genre. film, televison when read semiotically, has a determinable meaning because of all the films (tv shows) that came before it, it is a decipherable language.

it's just a different, more concrete way of looking at film and the culture at large. so i'm not saying you're wrong, i'm saying there is another way of looking at it.


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"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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candycane_girl
post Jul 17 2008, 09:38 AM
Post #33


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On the character of Samantha getting breast cancer: I always thought it was just one of those life things that they wrote in (just like when Miranda had chlamydia) and I figured that her character got it because she was the oldest. As for the punishment thing there actually is an episode when Samantha is talking to a doctor who says that women who have children are less likely to get breast cancer and she actually says "I'm being punished for not having kids!" or something to that effect.

I really felt that the cancer storyline was just something that they put in because it affects so many women. In fact in real life Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) battled breast cancer as well. It's one of those things that can happen to anyone.
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culturehandy
post Jul 17 2008, 09:08 AM
Post #34


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It's interesting to look at things that way. I know when I read about Hitchcock movies that this idea was in place.

Syb, I totally agree with you on that. It's funny that some people have these preconcieved notions about what feminism is. it's like people think we are a bunch of man hating, hairylesbians who want to stick it to the patriarchy, who want to silence men and are the stereotypical feminazi.


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Hatred does not cease in this world by hating, but by not hating; this is an eternal truth. --- Buddah, The Dhammapada
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girltrouble
post Jul 17 2008, 08:42 AM
Post #35


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and there is a long history of that type of punishment. one thing that needs to be kept in mind when gleaning meaning (ha! it rhymes!) from film and tv, is that these things don't "just happen" these are selected choices. film and tv are constructed stories. thelma and louise didn't just drive off of a cliff at the end of that cop-out movie, it was a choice of the writer or/ director(the storyteller). in the normal formulation most movies are the individual vs. society, the storytellers felt they were to rebellious for our society, and needed to be killed/die. janet leigh did not just happened to get slashed in psycho, she was being punished for being a sexual woman earlier in the film.


--------------------

"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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sybarite
post Jul 17 2008, 08:07 AM
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GT, disease=punishment for transgressive behaviour was exactly my reading for the reasons you mention... but then I studied film and tv theory too, so there ya go. wink.gif

I do think it's disingenuous to see these things as 'just happening' to the characters, especially as each character reverts to a more traditional role, albeit in different ways. Miranda, represented as the most independent of the lot, is put in a position where she's not only looking after a baby but also her M-I-L.

It's interesting to me that so many of us have definite, thought through responses to the show. I'm not exactly objective: I turned against the show precisely because I do think it's been influential, and I didn't like that the message seemed to change. Samantha and Charlotte became caricatures and Carrie just frankly irritated me. No role model of mine is going to be a simperer. But even my reaction there is strong, instead of just 'whatever.'

Oh CH, I didn't think you were singling me out; I was just treading carefully as I dipped my toes into the thread... I've known women who argued that shaving any body hair was unfeminist. The dogmatic lists of sanctioned 'feminist' behaviour are what put a lot of people off feminism IMO.
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culturehandy
post Jul 17 2008, 06:36 AM
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I never veiwed Samantha getting breast cancer as punishment, to me it was something written into the show, as many women go through it. I'm sure that a lot of women who watch the show can relate to aspects on the plot, so why not have another life event which somen women can relate to.


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Hatred does not cease in this world by hating, but by not hating; this is an eternal truth. --- Buddah, The Dhammapada
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neurotic.nelly
post Jul 16 2008, 11:37 PM
Post #38


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Hmmm... there's plenty of men that are unable to connect with the show and pretty much loathe the show. Wasn't it Maxim that clowned SJP as the most unattractive woman in the world of something to that effect. You know, it just maybe a feminist show. *snickers*

Meanwhile, I saw a picture of Mr. Big's real girlfriend who looks Guamanian or something, and hubba hubba, she's pretty and thick and almost as tall as him.


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candycane_girl
post Jul 16 2008, 11:11 PM
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I'm a big fan of Sex and the City. It came on when I was only 15 but I've seen every episode. To me it was finally a show where women were simply...who they were, living their lives and not giving a damn. And yes they focused on shoes and clothes but it's not like that's what the characters were all about. They weren't just their outfits.
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girltrouble
post Jul 16 2008, 09:27 PM
Post #40


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i was gonna do a post on the last few comments on SITC, but i know fuck all about the show* (it's not exactly my pair of jimmy choo's), i've watched exactly 1.5 episodes of it. while i live for semiotic readings of tv and film, and gleaning meaning from it, i doubt anyone else likes reading 'post-modern readings on darwin's evolutionary theory as it applies to the film, the french lieutenant's woman' other than me. but well, i'm a film theory geek. i get into this stuff and i start talking in theoryese, and well, i'm sure everyone's eyes would glaze over, so instead, i'll just recommend my favorite film theory book, which is the bible on the subject, leo baudry's the world in a frame:what we see in film.

however, i will say this, disease, death and prison are usually punishment for any sort of transgressive behavior, in film tv etc.. while all the characters may have obstacles, it's not really a point of "moral equality" since that is just a matter of dramatic structure, and drama requires conflict. the rare case where it's not is when it is something that is present at the start of the film and usually the focus of the film. a good example would be eric stoltz' character in mask. because he has the disease at the start of the film, he is never punished for it. inspite of it's rather sympathetic view of transmen, a film like boys don't cry is a case in point of how death is a punishment for brandon teena's transgressive behavior.




*if you'll note, i'm putting that i know nothing about the show upfront. my area of expertise is in semiotics in film, tv.


--------------------

"what a swell farewell party! we said goodbye to everything, including the lining in my stomach." - garvey, from the film, born bad

"That's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we've got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we've had or wanted." --margo channing, all about eve
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