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Old 04-19-2010, 05:21 PM   #101
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Who says feminism is dead?
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:20 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by HowSoonIsNow View Post
A new dawning..... We Shall Carrry On! And feminism is for Queers, as it never has stagnated and is always in flux... a living and adaptive social consciousness doctrine that will endure !
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:38 PM   #103
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Audre Lorde Biography
Also known as Gamba Adisa
(1934–1992) - its an excellent read

BUT I am LILLIE and I am a femenist because I believe it has allowed me to be all I am and be secure in all my decisions. I have read Audre Lordes' poetry and was moved to tears because here was a STRONG, amazing woman and lesbian who's life mirrored everything she believed in..

I am a mother, a lover, a hard worker, a lesbian and of course I am a femenist..I work hard at everthing I do. It gives me no less rights or privledges and the ignorance of this world is astounding at times. If we do not stand behind who we are as woman..who will? Do not walk behind me for you could push me..do not walk in front of me for you could trip me..always walk beside me as my equal..because if you don't how can I really see you? How can you really see me? YOU CANT..

Coal by Audre Lorde
I
is the total black, being spoken
from the earth's inside.
There are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a words, coloured
by who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open like a diamond
on glass windows
singing out within the crash of sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
in a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart—
and come whatever will all chances
the stub remains
an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
breeding like adders. Other know sun
seeking like gypsies over my tongue
to explode through my lips
like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
bedevil me

Love is word, another kind of open.
As the diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am Black because I come from the earth's inside
Now take my word for jewel in the open light.

I know I am ridiculously uncomplicated..simple if you will. I know who I am and what I want..just need to find the one who wants it too!..
I am me..I am Lillie
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The most expensive jewels I ever wore around my neck was my child's arms




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Old 04-24-2010, 06:36 PM   #104
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Rethinking Virginity Conference


About

Half a century after the sexual revolution, the concept of virginity remains as contentious as ever. While the sexual abstinence movement preaches in classrooms and college campus the dangers of premarital sex and “hooking up”, feminists decry scare tactics and “slut-shaming”. What are the religious, legal, and economic origins behind ideas of sexual purity? How does queer sexuality complicate the equation? Is a sex-positive vision of abstinence possible?

The Rethinking Virginity Conference at Harvard University seeks answers to these questions and more. Join us on May 3rd, 2010 as our panelists — sexual health educators, professors, feminist activists and bloggers, a documentary filmmaker — explore what it means to be a virgin and what the future of sexual abstinence should look like.

Stop by for one panel, meet speakers at the Boloco-sponsored lunch, or stay all day to experience the full diversity of our conference programming. Women’s, LGBT, and sexual health organizations will be tabling throughout the conference as well.

Free and open to the public. Hosted by the Harvard College Queer Students and Allies.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #105
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Well, this is a smallish good thing. We read two poems by Indian women poets (from India) just yesterday. i announced these poems as feminist, asked what that means -- only one kid knew.

I asked why there might be a lot of feminist poetry in India. They were able to talk about what little they know about women in India. We just started studying India. ANYWAY, maybe because it is not THEIR culture . . . no flak.

So we read both poems -- do not ask me the names of the poets. i can't recall. The students enjoyed the poems. They like interpreting poetry. It's like a puzzle.

Anyway, one was about a woman and her husband who choose not to have a traditional relationship -- they live apart and relate more as friends -- and how much criticism they have received for it. It was called "Ideal Wife," i think.

The other was about being looked at as an object of sexual interest in a way that damages you or just being looked at and despised. The better world this poet imagined was just one where women fought back. Not a world of mutual respect. It was like that was beyond her imagining. ANYWAY, the kids were way into this poem. They ended up writing about "mugging" and being stared at and how they respond to it. It's a common form of disrespect in their lives, and it causes a LOT of arguments and fights. It was an excellent discussion.

It wasn't about feminism, but the word DID get used in the class -- though it applied to another culture -- and we read about the injuries caused by patriarchy.




Quote:
Originally Posted by HowSoonIsNow View Post
Any thoughts on teaching high school kids -- boys in particular -- who OPENLY scoff at the notion of feminism or even the MENTION of this word in the classroom? And even recoil at reading anything written by women!


Honestly, they make me feel the word should not even be mentioned!

I should go into the story some more--today was a particularly harsh experience:

When it was learned that a couple of young women (gr. 12), who are in my class but out today at a gender/feminism conference at the University, a young man OPENLY derided the whole venture and questioned (among other responses), "How would it be if I attended a chauvinist conference?" WHAT?!

I replied, "We live that every day." His response (something to this effect): "Oh, you're one of those."

This went on for a bit, and I tried my best to engage (discussing male on female violence, economic/educational disparites) w/o letting him get to me , but it was very discouraging. I could see the other boy sitting next to him talking under his breath and both were not listening but just ... pretending to...just to let me...um, GO ON and have my say. I did so without any acknowledgement or engagement from them (the girls were silent) and knew the conversation was over before it even happened in their minds.

I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on young people and the word feminism and how (on a previous occasion he used the term feminazi--undirected AT me but was still planted in the convo.) I can approach this subject?

The term humanism (for me) just does not work do address all the injustices that are perpetuated against women--locally and globally. Why should I shy away from this word just to avoid this sort of confrontation and/or silencing (etc)?

I don't know what I can do.

We haven't even read ONE female author--the next one is and, yes, she makes no apologies for being a feminist--which they will know prior to studying her poetry.

I just am so frustrated. I find myself avoiding the subject sometimes, but, today, it was brought up (due to these students at the gender/feminism conference), and I just know I am in for resistance and eye-rolling when we study our FIRST female author of the year.

Thanks for any advice and/or just reading b/c it helps me to vent.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:38 AM   #106
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:56 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclopea View Post
To me feminism means a belief in equality for women in every sphere. It means undermining all structures of male supremacy.
Not all women are feminists. When a woman says to me that she is not a feminist, I believe her.
Are non-feminists sometimes allies on certain issues that intersect with their personal concerns? Occasionally.
Feminism means equality for women and men. Many aspects of male supremecy are not very healthy for men at all.... especially traditional roles that they also get put on them. Now, it seems that feminism has a new road to hoe in light of gender identity. It will give this justice as it did in bringing gender theory to us all in the first place. There are many contemporary feminist theorists developing a very queer sense of humanity and equality...
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:39 PM   #108
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:26 AM   #109
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Feminism: A Moral Compass for Change?

...

Author Isabel Allende, one of the many accomplished women who are quoted in "Daring to Be Ourselves," summed up the problem quite succinctly:

Today millions of young women who benefit from the struggles of their mothers and grandmothers and would not give up any of their rights don't call themselves feminists because it's not sexy. They believe feminism is dated. They have not looked around, they are not aware that today, in the 21st century, women still do two-thirds of the world labor and own less than one percent of the assets; girls are still sold into prostitution, premature marriage, and forced labor. In times of conflict, war, poverty, or religious fundamentalism, women and children are the first and most numerous victims. Women need all their courage today, as they needed it before.

Singer Annie Lennox, in an interview with Marianne, shared her views: "I get very frustrated when I hear women saying, "Oh, feminism is passé," because feminism means empowerment. We need feminism. It's not against men; it's about the empowerment of all."
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:35 PM   #110
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Feminism permeates my life, right from my name. Miss? Mrs? Ms! And I think that the previous post's Allende quote encapsulates the whole thing perfectly. Humanism really isn't a relative term unless *all* humans are under discrimination/threat by something that isn't human.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #111
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Default by Annie Lennox

Reclaiming Feminism

It shocks, disappoints and angers me that in a world where man has traveled to the moon and where we can connect to people anywhere on earth instantly online, men and women are still not equal.

The statistics are sobering. Across the globe, gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women of child-bearing age than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. Even in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo, it's safer to be a soldier than a woman. Women do two-thirds of the world's work for a paltry 10 percent of the world's income and own just 1 percent of the means of production.

On the centenary of International Women's Day, I urge you to stop and think.

Last year, I did just that. I participated in one of 119 bridge events for International Women's Day involving 20,000 women across four continents. It was a moving and powerful show of strength. I saw many wonderful women there, standing up for equality, justice and peace. But I was struck by how many other amazing women weren't there. It seemed to me that some people must think we already have equality. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, huge gains have been made since 1911, but we still have a mountain to climb. We need to persevere with this for the sake of our daughters, our granddaughters, and the generations to come.

Motivated and inspired, I became convinced that collectively we could make a loud noise. I want this year's centenary celebrations for International Women's Day to be a turning point, a catalyst for tangible and positive change.

Despite the fact that half of the world's population is female, women's rights have become marginalized as a "minority issue." Many young women feel that the label of "feminist" is, at best, irrelevant to their lives and, at worst, a stigma to be avoided at all costs. Sullied by stereotypes of hairy, arm-pitted man haters, the concept of feminism and its principles of equality and anti-sexism need to be refreshed and reclaimed by a new generation. Feminism shouldn't be an F word. We should embrace it.

From Milwaukee to Malawi, women are being short-changed on life chances. From India to Illinois, women face violence just for being female. Of the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, the vast majority are female. For many, just getting an education is a real struggle, major decisions such as who to marry and when to have children are made for them by others, and without economic independence or a say in their own future, the chances of women escaping the poverty trap are virtually nonexistent.

Whether you're a woman or a man, this affects you. And you are part of the solution. The impact of inequality is felt by every woman worldwide -- your friends, your family, your colleagues, your neighbors, the people you emailed today, the woman in the car next to you, the faces you saw on television and the voices you heard on the radio. How many have been abused or faced discrimination today?

The 100th anniversary of International Women's Day is a moment in time. Let's make it a moment that counts. Let's make it a moment that lasts.

Annie Lennox is a singer, song-writer and performer, a renowned international icon, and the winner of numerous prestigious awards, including several Grammies and an Oscar. Annie is also an internationally recognized and highly respected political and social activist. As a Global Ambassador for Oxfam, Annie has taken part in a wide range of activities, events and international trips, working hard to raise awareness about on AIDS and women's issues.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:22 PM   #112
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*clears throat for first substantive post to the forum*

Every time I witness a discussion of what feminism is and why we still need it, I rediscover the truth of Kramarae & Treichler's quip that "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."

Sexism against women is so deeply entrenched in USAan culture (not to mention other cultures) that it's hard to imagine ever jogging it loose. It's very alarming to me to see young people raised in that culture who have absorbed anti-feminist values without even realizing it.

I am reading Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender, which contains a whole chapter on just this phenomenon. As an example, she describes administering a math aptitude test to various groups of students at elite colleges. Remind the students of their sex before they take the test (i.e., by having them mark a check box at the top of the page), and the female students don't perform as well as the male students. Remind them of their status as students at an elite college - and not of their sex - and men and women perform equally.

To me, stuff like this proves why we still need feminism. Just existing as a woman in our culture is enough not just to make women think they're not as good at math, but enough to turn that into measurable, objective truth. Wow!

I could write for hours, anecdotes and expressions of why I think we still need feminism. I'll try to contain myself, but here is one more quickie. An anthropologist named Laura Martin wrote a superb debunking of the "Eskimos have 100 words for snow" myth, which was virtually ignored in both anthropology and linguistics scholarship until Prof. Geoff Pullum published a paper several years later that cited it extensively. Prof. Pullum now laments that most people credit him with Martin's work - as I once heard him put it, every good idea by a woman scholar tends to stick to the nearest man. I heard Prof. Pullum make this remark when, after a talk, a young (female!) linguistics student asked him about the work. This student at least knew that Pullum based his work on Martin's, but she could not remember Martin's name - which, Pullum rather wryly remarked, proved his point quite nicely.


So, yeah, I am a feminist. Until women get equal pay for equal work; until women are not labeled "bitchy" or "shrill" for having an opinion, or labeled "weak" or "soft" for showing emotion; until just being reminded you're a woman isn't enough to make you forget how to do math - we still need feminism, and I am still a feminist.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:04 PM   #113
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:04 PM   #114
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I'm a feminist b/c I believe women deserve equality
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:27 AM   #115
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Default * B U M P *

Today is March 30th, 2020 and it's nearly ten years later, after I joined this online community back in May of 2010, that I finally read this forum thread on a subject of great interest: Feminism.

Wherever all of you are today, I just want to say thank you for the insight and perspective shared by each member who has posted in this forum thread.

I'm have a few thoughts to add toward this particular discussion, and I've picked up certain posts and will contribute my thoughts in response (see below):



Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart View Post
Feminism is the essence of my life in that without it I would be nothing more than an empty sack of skin used up, battered against walls, bruised, silenced, dead. Feminism is VOICE, ACTION, RESISTANCE, RECLAIMATION.

Feminism, in all its ongoing permutations, shifts, schisms and glory, is the single most important universal liberation movement in the world.

Think beyond yourself.

Read this:
http://www.halftheskymovement.org/

Watch this: "Tribute to an Amazon Sister: Mary Daly" (a video on YouTube)
I love that Heart invokes the idea of "Think Beyond Yourself" (I highlighted and bolded that strand of thought in Heart's post). I believe this is what is at heart of the women's movement of Feminism, that the core belief of thinking beyond yourself is of paramount importance to finding social and economic equality for everyone. Just this last week, when I went to my favorite washeteria, the owner posted public warnings on all entrances to her laundromat which stated the same thing Heart posted, except she added one extra item of interest: "Think beyond yourself; Consider Others". Isn't that the heart of feminism? Being able to think beyond your own self and consider others as we all face that which limits our ability to be treated with social equity (without biased prejudice)?

Thank you Heart for that kernel of truth: Think Beyond Yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherylNYC View Post
Feminist means a person of any gender who believes that men and women are equal.

And, ummm... no one actually ever burned their bras.
I picked up Cheryl's post because of the notion she mentions in that one element of socially engineered ideas of the late 60's and 70's (at the height of the Feminist movement back then), was that mass social media messages on TV or on product labeling or on radio commercials on-air often sold the idea of the burning your bra. That, for certain, was a liberating idea, but like Cheryl submitted in her post, I don't think anyone actually burned their bras. I know I was a young lady during the 60s and 70s and going without a bra would have been highly policed by my mother and her mom and heaven forbid that you oppose the patriarchy. I remember actually leaving my bra off a few times and being made to march back to my bedroom and hearing a searing lecture that young ladies should wear what they're told to wear, etc.
Well, as you might well imagine, that type of policing of choice in my own family's household is largely why I actively resisted their chosen style of social beliefs. No one has the authority to tell me what I can or cannot wear or how to identify or ... (etc, etc, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Rex View Post
I am creating this thread for JulieisaFemme, and for all of us to share what Feminist means to us. How we think the Feminist movement impacted or didn't impact our lives.

Here are some suggested jumping off points:
  • Why are you a Feminist?
  • Why are you not a Feminist?
  • Is the Feminist movement dead? Why?

Feel free to add your own. I am hoping this thread will also be a teaching tool, so please tell your own stories, cite references, suggest books and engage each other in discussion!
And now I am finally to the original poster's post made by T-Rex and the questions she left as ways for others to share about their own ideas, etc. I'm only going to lift the first question, at this time:

Why are you a Feminist?

I'm a Feminist because I believe in social equality for everyone, especially as it pertains to liberating women from socially held ideas that finds its roots in patriarchal construction, which seems to be socially accepted since time immemorial.

I believe Feminism is a governing element in the way I process daily life because not being valued equitably, within any social construct, still to this day, only makes feminism more salient in terms of am I being treated with social equity (which I am not and sadly, never have been unless you count the ways that Patriarchal constructs value female bodied individuals, which I reject and do not adopt or find acceptable).

There are a few 20th century critical thinkers who have influenced my ability to understand Feminism in ways that helps me to see the underlying social conditions that women face in society today, if not in any year prior to the present day: Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich. Both women identified as Lesbian and both were not only Feminist but also Poet's.

Take Adrienne Rich's poem, as an example by which we can view feminist thought:

Diving Into The Wreck
-- Adrienne Rich (1972)


First having read the book of myths,
and loaded the camera,
and checked the edge of the knife-blade,
I put on
the body-armor of black rubber
the absurd flippers
the grave and awkward mask.
I am having to do this
not like Costeau with his
assiduous team
aboard the sun-flooded schooner
but here alone.

There is a ladder,
The ladder is always there
hanging innocently
close to the side of the schooner.
We know what it is for,
we who have used it.
Otherwise,
it is a piece of maritime floss
some sundry equipment.

I go down,
Rung after rung and still
the oxygen immerses me
the blue light
the clear atoms
of our human air.
I go down,
My flippers cripple me,
I crawl like an insect down the ladder
and there is no one
to tell me where the ocean
will begin.

First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful
it pumps my blood with power
the sea is another story
the sea is not the question of power
I have to learn alone
to trust my body without force
in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget
what I came for
among so many who have always
lived here
swaying their crenellated fans
between the reefs
and besides
you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed.

The thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned faced staring
toward the sun
the evidence of damage
worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty
the ribs of disaster
curving their assertion
among the tentative haunters.

This is the place.
And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body.
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold.
I am she: I am he
whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes
whose breasts still bear the stress
whose silver, copper, vermei cargo lies
obscurely inside the barrels
half-wedged and let to rot
we are the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course
the water-beaten log
the fouled compass

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our name do not appear.



Isn't this how it is with anything, and in this case it's Feminism, that we come back to the 'scene of the social crime' and we have an open invitation, seemingly, to keep pouring over items we see as those things which keep us from being treated with social equity.

And I would iterate the final passage of Adrienne Rich's poem, that:

We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to this scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our name do not appear.


In my mind, that is how we keep Feminism as a priority amid the 'book of myths' (I interpret that line as the mythical concepts privileged by the Patriarchy).... to make sure our names do not appear in the 'book of myths'.

In solidarity,

K.
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