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No Apology

Can I say something to the ladies who are reluctant to proclaim they are a feminist and put a period at the end of that statement? Stop apologizing for being a feminist.

And I mean, stop joining the "I'm a feminist but I don't hate men" group. Because that sends all sorts of red flags, bad vibe, horrible juju and blaring sirens. I mean, come on, since when did wanting to become an advocate for your gender mean you hated men? Why is claiming to be a "feminist" even ABOUT men? Why are you even indicating that being proud, supportive, and interested in your rights as a woman meant that you had disrespect for men? Please, please stop.

I would like know why some women say, "I am not a feminist". Okay. Well why not? As a female it just seems natural to me that you would relate to a feminist who considers the blessings and issues of being female talk/blog/conversation-worthy. We have people who enjoy sharing their culture, their art, their personal experiences, hell even other people's experiences-- but when it comes to being female, you have nothing to say? No opinion?

Don't think I'm naive. I understand there are implied negative connotations to being a "feminist". There are certain groups of people that consider "feminist" an insult- but that person shouldn't be you. You shouldn't be the one apologizing for proclaiming your interest in being a mouth-piece for women's rights/issues/opinions.
KayKai KayKai 26-30, F 19 Responses Aug 15, 2012

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I have wondered what feminists thought of Margaret Thatcher...

Dykes

Ha ha, really?

I'm a feminist. When people proclaim that they aren't feminists, I ask them if that means they are not all for everyone having the same rights socially, politically, and economically. When they go "Of course I believe everyone should be equal" I tell them they are by definition of feminist.

So smile everyone, you wouldn't believe how many male feminists are out there by definition:D

Amen sista ;-)

Well OK, I'm am NOT a feminist. Feel better now?

Why? Because I believe VERY strongly in equality, integrity, and fairness and pride.

Belonging to some 'exclusive opinion group', be it feminism, or politics, or racial-pride does none of this. It by it's very nature requires separation, it enforces group sanctioned limitations that are contradictory to "the cause", it often stalls progress and unbinds us as members of society. One only needs to look at the "gay" community to see how this is increasingly evident.

Bottom line: demand nothing, and expect everything in return.

FWIW: I also discredit racism. I think most would argue this is a good thing, but you'd be wrong. I'm not "allowed" to do that either, because this is somehow insensitive to someones race. I look at people as people, individuals. Their race nor gender shouldn't provide any advantages - nor disadvantages. Nor should it be glorified without merit.

I believe equality starts with oneself. As soon as we separate ourselves from others - regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation - we put ourselves on an unequal plateau, one that could never be balance without discrediting the purpose.

Interesting, but I have to respectfully disagree. Isolation is what causes exlcusion, not a community that is built upon ideas and shared values. If you feel excluded because a gender and their issues is getting spot light, you are exlcuding yourself. Sharing ideas, "pride", and simply being "there" and loud about it doesn't discredit anyone else. Inequality among genders is a tangable thing. Women's issues are real, and perhaps not all women share the same issues but we share the same world where those problems are happening.

Maybe you're at the level to appreciate people individually without seeing race, gender, sexual orientation and age; but that is not common. And feminism has nothing to do with lifting up one gender as more important than another, as I think you're implying. (Which I guess would make it kind of a 'girls club' and exclusive.)

I really love men. I think it's a shame that around 93% of people in prison are men. That's a "man's issue" if I ever heard it. Definantly something that should be talked about and researched. Not necessarily by feminists though, and for a good reason.

Feminists are concerned that addressing men’s issues (or gender issues as a broad goal) will move the conversation completely away from women’s issues, resulting in no progress for the women’s part of the gender progress.

So instead feminists focus on women’s issues and allow others to focus on other’s issues. That doesn't mean that men's issues aren't important, or we view them as less important as ours, it's just not an issue we want to focus on because it's not our horse in the race. That doesn't mean no one else is as important as women.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I live these types of conversations. Anything thought provoking is nothing but wonderful.

I understand what you’re saying. It has a lot of merit and is the most common approach. I still think it's the wrong approach as is doesn't take into account or spends too much time fighting reaction/rejection of others. To make progress in anything, we first must reduce the rejectionist to a thin minority, not empower them. The opposite often first occurs with any loud movements of change. Martin Luther King was a master at understanding this and often DISCOURAGED demonstrations that would unbind the founding message of civil rights to one of radicalism - An approach he absolutely loathed.

I'm very uncomfortable relating feminism to ‘her vs. him’ battle. To me this dismisses a large population of men who agree with true equality. It's also strongly suggests strongly "pro-woman" and "empowerment of woman". Here again, the core message of 'equality' becomes lost by the very people we're trying to reform. It's for these reasons that I can't say I am a feminist. I don't want to be associated with the few radicals. You said it yourself – this is not about “hating men” – But that IS the perception, like it or not. And until that perception is reversed, or flattened – progress will remain slow or stalled.

This is why I have a problem with labels. It inherently binds me to ALL the members of a group and instead of promoting a great cause; I have to be apologetic, or explain that there are exceptions, radicals that I don’t agree too, or morons that completely distort the cause. This happens – ALL the time. It can’t be discredited.

I absolutely refuse to associate myself to any political party for this very reason. And I'm not alone in the reasoning. As an example, I have a few friends who happen to be homosexual. One of their biggest complaints about the "gay pride" movement are the idiots that perform outlandish things during a public displays of support, not demanding recognition, but demanding "respect". People need to be respectful to get respected. Others remember these moronic moments first and unfairly associate gay to mean representitive of these few idiots. The same is true with Feminism. People remember the radicals and associate all "feminists" with them. We've all heard the phrase 'femi-nazi'.

These associations are caustic and stalls or even reverses progress, reducing members to just "trouble makers" instead of intelligent beings arguing a case.

By no means do I mean stand silent. I could never do that. No way. My friends would get a kick out of that, as I’m not an “ignore” or “forgive and forget” type. I can get into peoples face - if merited.

But again, I support the cause of equality for ALL people - regardless of gender, age, race, and heritage. I'm also sensitive to the traditions and beliefs of others. This is equally important to remember. I believe this approach gives my voice merit, and credibility, and without any negative connotations. If enough in-mass practiced this approach rather than the perception of "the clan of universal sister-hood", I think greater progress can be made.

On a happy note: I work as an HR rep in a large multi-national corporation. I can tell you first hand that gender equality and anti-discrimination are very very high standards for us. We have recently removed first names from employee databases and us employee number+last name to identify people within the company. This helps level the playing field.

You are correct that we can't shrug off the reputation of being a "man-hating" group. Yes, there are women that hate men that are feminists, and there might even be a lot of women who identify with the feminst movement that hate men- but a portion is not a whole, even if that portion of the movement (the negative man-hating movement) is loud. To it's core feminism is about gender equality, and that's the message/goal, and should be treated as such. That's how I identify myself and the feminist movement.

A lot of people get drunk in college, but we know that college is more than a big drinking club, right? I wouldn't reject telling people I went to college because I didn't want them to think that I was a drunk party girl. I do think there is power in being the "example". (A feminist who is outspoken about not hating men.) Maybe we need to be louder than man-hating feminists instead of giving up and letting them own a bad reputation to a good thing. Even if we never erase that horrible reputation, I would want to try.

I AM A FEMINIST AND I DON'T HATE ALL MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (loud enough? :-D)

Oh great example! Touche'! :) So it's agreed. Let's quiet the trouble makers (respecfully) and move forward. And at the same time, we need to recongnise that progress has been made over the last 3 decades and compliment those who helped make this happen. Woman and men alike. Thanks for taking the time to explain your position in detail. Either way we look at things - I got yer back. :)

Would this be the right time to talk about INTERSECTIONAL feminism?
Nah, let them struggle a bit more, maybe they figure it out for themselves. ;)

This system has been constructed since long, long before you were even born. The fact that you choose to be in denial about oppression and supposedly "look at people as people, individuals" does not discredit the suffering of billions throughout the history of the world. I honestly think this is on par with denying the Holocaust. One woman can do little to prevent seven men from gang-raping her because a system several decades in the making has been constructed to market women's bodies as objects to be used by men. One starving child can do little to reverse their circumstances because society has made it nearly impossible for someone of his family's race and background to claw their way out of poverty. But excuse me for "glorifying" my gender without merit.

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I'm pro-aliens, so I must hate humans right?
Or wait, no, "secretly" I love and help humans (as I'm altruistic by nature), so I "secretly" must hate aliens, right?

Yeah, indeed, that logic doesn't make sense. ;-)

totally agree!

Extremely well stated! Love it!

This was very well stated. I also enjoyed: "The idea that feminists hate men is a myth. If you hate men, you're not a feminist--you're a sexist. End of story" <br />
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I love the intelligent, insightful comments that often follow a thoughtful write up such as this. A stark contrast to those that generally follow the tired "femi nazi" stories written by the same few individuals.<br />
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How genuinely sad it must be for some people to dislike women so much.

Bravo Kay! Again! Thanks for succinctly spelling it out. Feminism as with mediums and movements, is not defined by a very fringe element. The sexes are indeed equal except at this moment that is not how a majority of the world interprets it. I think of the lone Saudi participant in the Olympics, a woman who had to (politely) stand up to the authorities who gave every reason for her not to compete. This is just one of a thousand stories and perhaps the most timid and the one with the least repercussions. It's actions and deeds and not words. And a resounding "YIPPEE!!" to stand up to the churlish bully and oaf, Knightrunner, a true woman hater. The femi-nazi message is deeply implanted, pervades his brain and seems to block out all else. Scary person.

Yes to all of this Katie....yes.

The emergence of the anti-feminist woman seems to be a particularly, but not exclusively, American phenomenon. It owes its existence to misconstruing feminism as man-hating in the same way as opposition to healthcare reform is ba<x>sed on misconstruing the proposed reforms as being a step towards communism. Parity of esteem and equality of opportunity as between genders is essential in a civilised society - it is not a women's rights issue, it is a civil rights issue.

Sometimes you make me swoon. (I mean, I'll go back to throwing thing at you, but sometimes...you make perfect sense)

That's nice. You do know I'm just trying to score feminist chicks?

At least you have good taste

agreed. it as in part why i created the group I AM A FEMINIST BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN EQUALITY group (wink)<br />
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it should be I am a feminist!!!<br />
<br />
I

I loved this! I agree wholeheartedly. I believe most people are feminists but dislike the term and so disassociate themselves while still maintaining a belief in equality.

Very well said. Only someone very insecure would assume having respect and appreciation for women (and oneself) automatically means hating men. I too am a proud feminist.

Exactly. ;)

So true and so well put: "Only someone very insecure would assume having respect and appreciation for women (and oneself) automatically means hating men."

We've allowed media spin to pervert sooo many words ... socialist ... communist ... liberal ... conservative ... life ain' all bout political spin. Best to focus on issues - not words.<br />
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ModLulu put it very well.

Hahaha! Let me guess...Knightrunner posted his usual links to Feminists and Nazis???<br />
Good for you, Kay, for deleting that nonsense. He likes to post in groups he opposes, not enough members in his MRA club.<br />
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Excellent post, by the way. I am a feminist. And I am NOT sorry!!!!

*Sigh*. A troll. Don't feed the troll!

Knightrunner, grow up.

Kk. Go have sexual intercourse with yourself.

I'm deleting all your comments except this one, so everyone can see what a stupid ******* you are without reading your idiotic bullshit.

Feminism is the radical belief that women are people. End of story. I make no apologies, either.