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> I'm More Feminist Than You Are! Or Am I?, What does it mean to be a feminist?
geekchickknits
post Jul 16 2008, 08:07 PM
Post #41


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QUOTE(sybarite @ Jul 16 2008, 03:24 PM) *
My biggest problem was with how they 'punished ' Samantha for having a straightforward, often fulfilling sex life by giving her cancer.


I don't view this as punishment - as dramatic structure, and if you look at the series as a whole, all of the characters were given challenges in their life that are viewed as obstacles in the life the want to lead:

Miranda has an unexpected pregnancy (true, brought into the script by the actress' pregnancy)- potentially the kiss of death to a high powered career woman.
Charlotte is essentially infertile - she who desires a baby and to be a mother more than any of them.
Carrie, who makes a career out of studying love, relationships, and sex has an inability to see the reality of her own relationships.

Samantha self-image is tied up in being a sexual person, and a sexual being, and part of that for her is physical attractiveness. She gets Botox (and an unfortunate incident with a chemical peel), she gets nude photos taken of herself, and her breast cancer is discovered when she goes in for a boob job. The cancer (which she beats) forces her to address her physical body in a different way, and truly accept it.
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culturehandy
post Jul 16 2008, 01:14 PM
Post #42


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Syb, I totally didn't mean that towards you at all, I just meant it is a generalization. It's like saying you can't sugar or shave or wax your cooch because it's "unfeminist". I seriously had someone tell me that once.


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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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sybarite
post Jul 16 2008, 01:07 PM
Post #43


it's cards on the table time
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I don't mean to be prescriptive about Sex in the City; I certainly think you can be a feminist and also enjoy the show. It's not like I haven't watched loads of episodes and laughed. I was just sick of the glut of articles which came out around the movie insisting how great and liberating the show was, because I think in the end it did devolve into being about shoes and the return to traditional roles and responsibilities for the characters. My biggest problem was with how they 'punished ' Samantha for having a straightforward, often fulfilling sex life by giving her cancer. I did like that article though AP.

Feminism encompasses so many historical stages and approaches that I just try and use and reference those I agree with. One woman's feminism might not be my version but I respect her right to it. But I'm preaching to the converted here I'm sure...

As for men calling themselves feminists: I used to have a problem with this, as I figured they hadn't experienced those gender-based inequities feminism works to overcome. These days though I'm happy if a man is reading up on and engaging with feminist arguments; making an effort is a great start.
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auralpoison
post Jul 16 2008, 12:50 PM
Post #44


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It kind of reminds me of the Men We Love Issue with Justin Theroux on the cover. One of the men we love, I don't recall who, mentioned that he'd read a lot of feminist books & that they all had different ideas of what feminism is/was, so he wasn't sure how to define it. But he defined himself as a feminist, I suppose in the sense that he he is pro-woman, pro-equal rights.

Maybe feminism's like porn, you know it when you see it?


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culturehandy
post Jul 16 2008, 12:39 PM
Post #45


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You know I'mso sick of people saying that as a feminist this is what I should or shouldn't like. By some feminists applying this label, they are becoming the very thing they are fighting against.


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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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auralpoison
post Jul 16 2008, 12:28 PM
Post #46


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From the Guardian: Can a Feminist Really Love Sex & the City.

I can't say I am a big fan of the show, but I certainly do love shoes & I buy 'em on my own dime. Picked up a pair of Mizrahi oxfords today.


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"You're cute, like a velvet glove cast in iron. And like a gas chamber, a real fun gal."
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neurotic.nelly
post Jul 16 2008, 12:03 PM
Post #47


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Sex and the City - a feminist show! "Ha! Ha!", said or laughed like Nelson Muntz.

ETA:
"I think if you are speaking to a woman or community unfamiliar with the term except where it has been bandied about in the media to describe so-called extreme activity/events, then it can be less than useful, initially. Talking to people unfamiliar with 'feminism' can include discussing feminism's history, but maybe starting with key issues (labour, childcare, healthcare) would get you further."

Sometimes, it is appropriate and necessary to separate academic feminist theory from the "everyday hard working Joan". I do not need to call it feminism to know what it is and how it plays out in everyday life.


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Earth: A Satanically ran planet where 98% of it's inhabitants are unquestioning, conformist idiots who are totally controlled and manipulated by the Satanic governments of the world and have been made complacent by said governments, through rigorous brainwashing.
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geekchickknits
post Jul 16 2008, 11:30 AM
Post #48


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I as well am on the feminism train for many reason, not the least of which is respect for the women who went and fought before me. When my mother was attending university 40 years ago, she wasn't allowed to wear pants to class!

That being said, I do believe Sex and the City is a feminist show. I love shoes, and getting dressed up and looking pretty. I love being an independent woman and paying my own way. I want to have children and a family one day. I love having a lot of sex and right now I love having a lot of promiscuous sex.

There you go - I'm Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha all in one!
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sybarite
post Jul 16 2008, 06:26 AM
Post #49


it's cards on the table time
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I prefer and use the term feminism because of its history, as GT says, and also because it means what it says (or means many things to many people); it still has a strong currency, even if it provokes an indignant reaction. I don't want to water it down. Feminism is a broad, often contradictory church but I appreciate that the word alone has such discursive power.

Saying that, I see it used in discussions I find irrelevant, such as how Sex in the City is a feminist show. I didn't know feminism made a point of supporting shoe shopping and general materialism.

I also agree with AP's point that 'feminism' isn't always particularly accessible, even if people agree with its tenets. I think if you are speaking to a woman or community unfamiliar with the term except where it has been bandied about in the media to describe so-called extreme activity/events, then it can be less than useful, initially. Talking to people unfamiliar with 'feminism' can include discussing feminism's history, but maybe starting with key issues (labour, childcare, healthcare) would get you further.

I'm just echoing what's just been said actually: just mulling as I write.

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girltrouble
post Jul 15 2008, 05:59 PM
Post #50


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i'm of two minds in cases like that. does it matter if she calls it feminism or not? but if you ask her if she should be paid equally for equal work, i'm sure her answer would be the same as mine or yours. perhaps it's a bit age-ist of me, but that education about what feminism is, how it works needs to be focused on those coming up. they have to carry on the struggle.

you can see all around us what happens when education of the younger generations is neglected in the deterioration of the labor movement. it grew stagnant, comfortable, lazy. it forgot it's history, and suddenly in the last 10 years they find themselves practically irrelivant and toothless. in the last two years they could have co-ordinated strikes to force national healthcare. instead they went on strike, half heartedly, then progressively gave in to the big 3 auto companies, only to find that along with giving back all the benifits they had fought decades for, once the ink was dried on the new contracts, the companies announced massive layoffs, violating many of the terms of the contracts, and erroding their numbers even further.

i say this as a person who used to be unquestionably pro-union, who left a union job to work at a non-union shop, because i could nearly double my pay. the union stewards where i had worked had a contract where new employees got shit pay, and old timers got paid for doing little. the union seals it's own fate when it fails to look after it's chicks. in ten years that place will be non union, and 80% of it's employees will get shit pay...

same with feminism. if we fail to instruct our sisters, our daughters our nieces, and their male siblings, those things we've struggled for, those gains will evaporate without a peep. think of roe v. wade. instead of taking it for granted we need to tell those stories, sow those myths ingrane them in those coming up so they can see when they try to cross those lines.


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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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auralpoison
post Jul 15 2008, 03:04 PM
Post #51


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See, it's funny. I've been spending a lot of time with one of my aunties as of late. She's a great lady. BUT. If I tried to bring feminism up to her she'd think I was talking some kind of witchcraft. And I'm not kidding in the least. None of the waves of feminism have crashed upon her shores. She works two jobs to put her kids through school & has an alcoholic husband, & frankly, I don't know what he does for a living. He comes & he goes. She still wants a man to take care of her, not realizing that she's doing a great job of taking care of herself & hers. She's a feminist in her own way, she just doesn't know it, nor would she label it as such if she did. To her, it's just what a "grown" person does. And I doubt that she'd know who Bell Hooks or Moraga Cherry or hell, even Alice Walker are. She'd be familiar with the Color Purple & Maya Angelou because of Oprah or Tyler Perry, maybe.


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girltrouble
post Jul 15 2008, 02:34 PM
Post #52


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*sigh* i heart busties....


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

"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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neurotic.nelly
post Jul 15 2008, 02:06 PM
Post #53


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here's the definition of womanist as defined by the woman who coined the term, Alice Walker, from 'In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose'

" the black folk expression of mothers to female children, 'You acting womanish,' i.e. like a woman … usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous, or willful behavior. Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered 'good' for one … [A womanist is also] a woman who loves other women sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women's culture … and women's strength … committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist … Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender."

Again, the term womanist is dear to my heart. But I love the shock and awe of feminist.

My introduction to feminism theory came by way of women of color, that third wave of feminism. So, I think women like bell hooks and moraga cherry really grabbed feminism by the horns and made it ours too. No doubt.



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Earth: A Satanically ran planet where 98% of it's inhabitants are unquestioning, conformist idiots who are totally controlled and manipulated by the Satanic governments of the world and have been made complacent by said governments, through rigorous brainwashing.
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girltrouble
post Jul 15 2008, 01:37 PM
Post #54


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if you've been around long enough you've heard me talk about 1st, 2nd and 3rd wave feminisms, but i think they are important in this discussion: i always view feminism in terms of that last wave-- it's last revison.

every ism needs to "work out the bugs" so to speak, the weaknesses that aural is talking about are the bugs, the blindspots that the original constituency failed to anticipate. any movement has a group of like minded people with certain things in common, but while that homogeny serves to strenghten the bonds needed to take that movement to a wider audience, it fails when it has to be incorperated by people who are different.

that was first and second feminisms. so while i sooooo get where women of color, trans women, poor and 3rd world women were left out of the original equation, that third wave compensates. it sees those people left behind and hopefully works towards including them. now what is needed is to do exactly what aural was talking about-- taking it to those groups and explaining how it benifits them. i think in a lot of ways that problem is the same one that afflicts progressive politics in general. too much ground has been ceeded to the right. they have painted us, our ideas with a tarbrush, and now we have to pay the price of neglecting those groups who were heretofore ignored.

that said, i prefer feminism.

i like it's history. i like that it represents that fight, that struggle, not just for white middle and upperclass women, but also those outsider women who had to fight to have their ideas, their point of view and womanhood recognized by that feminism that was all but set on ignoring them, discounting them. i love those scars. those battlewounds. i love all of those women that came before me. their heart, their suffering, and their sweat. most of all, i respect their sweat. that hard work they did to get us to this point.

like the lady said, "ain't i a woman?"

i hear that phrase, and i think, f'ing yeah! feminism! so, as much as i believe in a womanism, and that feminism, like all human rights struggles must have a bedrock of humanism, and compassion for all people, for me to call myself a feminism is an act of self-definition. it is a battle cry, a rallying point, a point of pride.

for me, it's always feminist3 first.


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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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auralpoison
post Jul 15 2008, 12:35 PM
Post #55


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See, I don't see feminism so much as a "white woman's movement" as much as a socio/economic one wherein the white folks simply have more money. In the more povertied classes, whether they be black, white, or Latino, feminism is almost non-existant.

I was part of an organisation in the mid to late nineties that tried to address this issue by going out into communities & talking to women about feminism & equal rights. Projects/section eights, community centers, trailer parks, motels, shelters, etc. The thing was that most of the women involved with the group were white, idealistic, *upper middle class*, *educated*, & lived fairly *comfortable* lives. They had no idea how to talk about feminism to women of all races with five kids, three jobs or welfare, an abusive husband in jail, & the equivalent of an eighth grade education. The word feminism made the women cock their heads & look at us funny because they thought of feminism as some kind of evil, man-hating, bull dyke, hairy-legged, bra-burning brigade out to get men. It was counter-intuitive to them, & in their guts they didn't trust the majority of the volunteers at all. I think that maybe if we had used the term womanist or womanism, they might not have felt as threatened or have been as suspicious of us as they were.

I suppose I also prefer feminist, but womanist is fine, too. I definitely think it reaches a broader audience & is less scary to the uninitiated.


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kittenb
post Jul 15 2008, 10:53 AM
Post #56


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I used to think that womanist was a copout from saying feminist but then someone explained the history of the term. Apparently, womanist was started as a reaction to the fact that feminism has so often been a white woman's movement. So, while I still prefer the word feminist, it seems the ultimate goals of both movements are the same.

I'll write more later, maybe. I'm not at my deepest mental space right now.


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neurotic.nelly
post Jul 15 2008, 09:04 AM
Post #57


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I don't think those terms oppose each other. I am a feminist, but I love the term womanist, and I think being a humanist is essential because we've got pyschopaths in power killing humans and calling it freedom. But I digress. I think focusing on terms and categories is limiting. Ty faerietails, I wasn't sure how long that was going to go on.



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faerietails
post Jul 15 2008, 02:10 AM
Post #58


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*delurks*

... blink.gif ...


... unsure.gif ...

Anyway...
Do you think "womanist" and/or "humanist" is a copout for "feminist?"
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knorl05
post Jul 14 2008, 11:39 PM
Post #59


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funny how some busties think they can assess a person's character and life experience based on a few posts in an online forum. the street reference was satirical. i'm not taking any of this seriously, hence making it campy. hey maybe -on some level- i am an elitist, but it's not something i feel bad about. i've got compassion and empathy for everyone, so i've got nothing to prove.

now that this thread has been COMPLETELY derailed... think it's time to just go *hush* and move onto something else.


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We adore chaos because we love to produce order.
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girltrouble
post Jul 14 2008, 04:53 PM
Post #60


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wait starpiss? you didn't call me a twat? oh pooh. now you have broke my feelings. *sniff*
and my gf was calling me a twat all weekend. (love that!)
tsk. too bad. if youre gonna call names atleast have to huevos to stand behind em, not hide behind semantic bullshit.
just as well. your reply was...

...well it was just...... boring.
not sharp, not biting, not funny, not insulting, not smart, nothing but mealy mouth horseshit.
the only reason to put the energy into a bland, back petaling post like that is to get the last word.
ok. you win. you've bored me into submission.


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

"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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