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girltrouble
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.
culturehandy
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.
candycane_girl
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.
girltrouble
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.
auralpoison
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.
neurotic.nelly
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.
culturehandy
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.
kittenb
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 )
kissmeducky
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?
bustygirl
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.
geekchickknits
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.
bustygirl
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.
erinjane
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."
Queen Bull
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
bustygirl
QUOTE
She joins the movement by asserting her equality to do with her life as she wishes.


Very well put.
Queen Bull
QUOTE(bustygirl @ Aug 18 2008, 02:58 PM) *
Very well put.

ty so much.
roseviolet
Queen Bull, read this piece on feminism. I think you'll like it: http://tomatonation.com/?p=677


BustyGirl, I completely understand what you're saying and I totally agree with you on it. I saw a program on TV a number of months back that pitted stay-at-home moms against mothers who work full time. It got so ugly as the two sides fought over who were better mothers & who was providing the best life for their children. It was ridiculous and insulting. In my opinion, both choices are perfectly legitimate and healthy. You have to follow your gut and make your own choice based on your personal situation. These women should be supporting one another & their right to choose, not tearing one another down for choosing different things.


I have to admit that I giggled a bit when I read that bit in KissMeDucky's post about the young women who are planning to get married between 23 & 25 ... especially since they appear to be (1) quite young and (2) aren't even engaged yet! Have they managed to fit in the funerals for their parents on their little timeline yet? Sorry to sound morbid, but in my mind it makes just as much sense to plan for one as it does to plan for the other. It's all too heavily dependent upon fate & upon the actions of others. It's certainly fine to think ahead & wonder how you'll react in those situations, but there's a very large chance that your imaginings will be quite different than reality. That's certainly been true for me.
bustygirl
Roseviolet, the sad thing is that the TV program probably either threw out or didn't record the responses of women who refused to be pitted against one another. (I'm going to err on the side of hope that there were some women who balked at being divided)

That's the biggest problem I see with how the media portrays most of womens' issues. It's much easier to play divide and conquer than ask why this choice is being dissected only on one side of the gender line. Certainly no one asks men whether they're doing an adequate job of parenting by working outside of the home.
Christine Nectarine
roseviolet, i love that article! it reminds me of all those who say "well of course i believe in equality for women and men, but i wouldn't call myself a feminist".

well why not? to use the word does not mean that your definition of self ends there.
as for me, i'm a feminist, i'm also an environmentalist, humanitarian, and many other things. i like to spend time figuring out what MY feminism looks like, and how it plays out in my day to day life. if you don't like the idea of labelling yourself, then why not phrase it differently, as in "i believe in feminism", or "i support feminism".

most of the time i think being feminist means that i value choice for both genders, and also that i recognise gender inequalities is society. apply the ol' "gender analysis" so to speak.

i guess some would argue that "feminist" is an out-dated term. any thoughts on this? is feminism too narrow a term, and irrelevant if we want to recognize all forms of oppression?
<3drums
hmmm... i agree Christine Nectarine, i think its a shame when people don't want to stand up and be proud of believing in equal rights! But it's all just a question of semantics... the word 'feminist' seems to have been hijacked somewhere along the way and turned into something scary or shameful; it automatically reminds people of "dirty hippies" (i have nothing wrong with hippies, but they're not exactly accepted by the mainstream, are they? tongue.gif), of rabid misandry, of feminism turned nasty... and i completely understand why people won't want to use a word which had those sorts of connotations. I know that i have quite intelligent guy friends who say that they are "scared of feminazis", assuming all feminists are man-haters!

i think all the busties who hang around here are clever enough to know the differences between the reality of feminism and society's negative perception, so we're just lucky to be able to be proud of being feminists smile.gif

I guess another part of it is that lot of people have also been taught to ignore the gender bias that still exists because it's not as glaring as it once was. I think this is why some see feminism as out dated and no longer needed.

It's time to get more feminism into the history books i say! if people realise how so many rights they take for granted were fought for by our feminist foremothers, then maybe feminism wouldnt be such a dirty word to so many people.

(btw, apologies if this is stating the obvious/repeating previous comments... i haven't finished reading the whole thread yet...)
Christine Nectarine
thanks <3drums. after reading your entry, i have realized though and am forced to admit: sometimes i like using the word "feminist" precisely because of it's presumed connotations.
am i selling out the cause by knowingly doing so?
i think it's just an easy way to be a shit-disturber. wink.gif
geekchickknits
Cross posted in the "Suffragettes" thread

Interesting article by Camile Paglia on Palin. Calls her a feminist and has good supporting arguments.
Persiflager
Reviving an old thread as this looks like the most appropriate place...

I really like this column by David Mitchell, particularly his scorn of our obsession with the appearance of politician's wives.
auralpoison
*bump* for Girl Power
Girl Power
Thanks to auralposion for helping me find this thread. Here is my question below.

What is the True Definition of Feminist and how it Relates to our Struggle for Equality?
stargazer
Girl Power, you might want to search through the thread since a lot of Busties have been talking about the different defintions of a feminist and how this definition impacts their lives.

What is your definition of a feminist and how to you see this impacting the current world of equal rights?

You might get more bees with honey if you take the lead in this discussion. A broad, open ended question usually doesn't attract posters. Just thought I would help you.
Girl Power
Feminists are women who support equal status with men within a woman and mans separate distinctive roles.
girltrouble
ok, i'll bite...

yes, but with women and men having "distinctive roles" doesn't that just lead to gender typing, gender reinforcement, and a return, ultimately, gender roles? how is if feminist to say women must be one way only?
auralpoison
I gotta say, I am with GT on this. What exactly are these "separate distinctive roles", who defines them & how?
Girl Power
I believe males and females having distinctive roles doesn't lead to gender typing because it is so easy to see males and females as a majority have many different traits.
auralpoison

*head meet desk*

This joke isn't funny anymore. It was entertaining at first, but now? All I'd get out of fucking with this is a headache I don't need. Seriously. WTF? Stick a fork in it already.
girltrouble
uh.... yeah. you do know that gender is a social construction, right?

you kinda contradicted yourself a lotta bit there. if women conformed to gender roles, then they would still be stuck at home. after all that is a feminine gender role. surely you've heard the old saw, a woman's place is in the....

it's confinement in those roles that have held women back....

Girl Power
If many of us women were not stuck at home raising a family the human race would become extint.
girltrouble
uh.... you need to watch "Mr. Mom."
Persiflager
All I have to say to Girl Power is.... down with (unnecessary) Capitalisation!
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