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Author Topic: Will feminism really bring women happiness?  (Read 9180 times)

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Offline Kythia

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2013, 09:37:15 AM »
Any statistical data to support these conclusions?  Any sort of social or economical research that shows this as been as you stated?  To me, this sounds like a great deal of speculation and what has been called "bro-nism"; a ideology in which people, usually men, vocalize against feminism because they feel as though women are overthrowing all male interests and feminizing everything to the point of destroying masculinity in all its forms and values.  Not only is this idea ridiculous in its implications based solely on the fact that feminism has yet to really achieve its own goal of equality let alone destabilizing the patriarchy but it has no statistical or sociological data behind it.  It sounds like a great deal of "the sky is falling!" mentality rather than anything logical or supported by rationality.

There is some evidence (here for example) that the fact that a majority of Primary School teachers being female and having, themselves, a poor grasp of maths is having a negative effect on maths teaching for young females.

I'd probably counter that what that shows is that Primary School teachers need a baseline minimum of maths confidence, regardless of gender issues, but I remember its a perennial topic in the literature.  I think I'm inclined to agree with Silverfyre and add that a load of issues where gender is relevant seem to get co-opted into a pro or anti feminist argument when in fact they're only vaguely related. 

The pattern of "male" and "female" jobs and roles is shifting, albeit incredibly slowly (and the very fact that I was surprised to read a male minored in Women's Studies shows how slowly that perception is moving - please don't take that as an attack, Siverfyre, I do mean surprised not disparaging or anything negative.)  But there are a host of reasons for that and while its certainly possible, helpful even, to view it from a Feminist perspective I think laying it at the movement's door is a bit simplistic.  Economics is a powerful mover.  Basically, what I'm struggling to convey is that while there does seem, anecdotally at least, to be a section of men unhappy and resentful with the glacial shift to more equality in jobs blaming that on Feminism seems reductionist when Economics is a stronger driver.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2013, 09:43:40 AM »
Being someone who is in the educational field, I can tell you that historically and otherwise, teaching has always had more female teachers than male.  This is particularly true at the K-12 level.   I have gotten many an odd look when I tell parents or friends that I am working to become an elementary school teacher and more than once have been asked "Shouldn't that be taught by a woman?".  I'm just as confused by it.

Economics is a powerful motivator and moving in itself.  I am not disputing that fact... nor am I blaming unhappy men on feminism.  Where in my statement do I imply this?  I am confused on what you are disagreeing with me over or what perception you are trying to impart?  Some clarification would be appreciated as I think we are on the same page here but speaking in different manners?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2013, 09:48:11 AM »
Being someone who is in the educational field, I can tell you that historically and otherwise, teaching has always had more female teachers than male.  This is particularly true at the K-12 level.   I have gotten many an odd look when I tell parents or friends that I am working to become an elementary school teacher and more than once have been asked "Shouldn't that be taught by a woman?".  I'm just as confused by it.

Economics is a powerful motivator and moving in itself.  I am not disputing that fact... nor am I blaming unhappy men on feminism.  Where in my statement do I imply this?  I am confused on what you are disagreeing with me over or what perception you are trying to impart?  Some clarification would be appreciated as I think we are on the same page here but speaking in different manners?

My apologies, I should have included RubySlippers' quote as well to make that clearer.  I was agreeing with your point:

Quote
vocalize against feminism because they feel as though women are overthrowing all male interests and feminizing everything to the point of destroying masculinity in all its forms and values

by trying to say that Economics is more to do with these changes than Feminism.  Sorry, serves me right for trying to type when I've just woken up.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »
Oh, no worries.  We are definitely in agreement. I just believe feminism plays a big part in trying to establish equality rather than destroying and subverting everything "masculine".  Economics is a huge player in the game.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2013, 09:59:51 AM »
Seperating the fact women exist with men and what affects them will affect women is the crazy thing. I think feminism is oddly important to a point but most of the theories especially more radical ones miss the basic point we cannot sit here and ignore men in this.

As for studies there are plenty women are getting more degrees, key male employing industries are dying slowly and were for some time and there are more women than men that is basic statistics. Add in issues with the certain areas of the population black men not being employed, lack of job opportunities for them and that has a clear impact on family structures and the odds of marrying. This is all not a joke to me. Just because I might favor Pagliaand Sommers as a feminist with others who I have on my bookshelf who may think like I do gender roles go both ways. And that we cannot ignore men in the move towards equality is a position I have doesn't make my opinions on this invalid.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2013, 10:04:02 AM »
You say there are statistics that support your idea that feminism is destroying male identity yet don't take the time to post any.  I'm sorry but I have a hard time taking such conclusions seriously without a) factual data and b) some point that pertains to feminism and the subject matter at hand.

Offline BlackestKnight

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2013, 11:15:27 AM »
Seperating the fact women exist with men and what affects them will affect women is the crazy thing. I think feminism is oddly important to a point but most of the theories especially more radical ones miss the basic point we cannot sit here and ignore men in this.

As for studies there are plenty women are getting more degrees, key male employing industries are dying slowly and were for some time and there are more women than men that is basic statistics. Add in issues with the certain areas of the population black men not being employed, lack of job opportunities for them and that has a clear impact on family structures and the odds of marrying. This is all not a joke to me. Just because I might favor Pagliaand Sommers as a feminist with others who I have on my bookshelf who may think like I do gender roles go both ways. And that we cannot ignore men in the move towards equality is a position I have doesn't make my opinions on this invalid.


I'm glad someone acknowledges this because we're not the same as the white boys, no offense but a lot of times people do this thing where they put all men underneath the same umbrella for the sake of making an argument when they truly mean to say "patriarchal white men" not to say that there aren't brothers out there who are independently established enough to practice patriarchy,  but just that there isn't a black male institution, the closet thing that mimics that is the rap industry and even most of those guys "came from nothing" and they are hardly thinking about social empowerment.  We got our own unique set of economic circumstances. While some can say gender roles shouldn't matter in the black community, a boy who doesn't know how to conduct himself as a man will get eaten up. I've seen it happen. I don't expect boys to identify with their moms, but shaming alone isn't going to get fathers back into the homes. We need to incentivize fatherhood even if that means we ruffle a few feathers.

While I don't think of myself as an MRA, I do think there needs to be some sort of organized political black male movement that focuses on empowering the boys to take an active position in their community. As much shit as the National of Islam gets for its misogyny and anti-semitism. It does produce law abiding productive black men. It does instill a sense of purpose in the boys. If you don't offer people something of value, they're going to turn to the streets. People complain about inner city black males following the destructive street culture but that's only in the absence of the traditional male as "protector provider" model. People redefine what they lack.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 11:19:31 AM by BlackestKnight »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2013, 11:32:07 AM »

I'm glad someone acknowledges this because we're not the same as the white boys, no offense but a lot of times people do this thing where they put all men underneath the same umbrella for the sake of making an argument when they truly mean to say "patriarchal white men" not to say that there aren't brothers out there who are independently established enough to practice patriarchy,  but just that there isn't a black male institution, the closet thing that mimics that is the rap industry and even most of those guys "came from nothing" and they are hardly thinking about social empowerment.  We got our own unique set of economic circumstances. While some can say gender roles shouldn't matter in the black community, a boy who doesn't know how to conduct himself as a man will get eaten up. I've seen it happen. I don't expect boys to identify with their moms, but shaming alone isn't going to get fathers back into the homes. We need to incentivize fatherhood even if that means we ruffle a few feathers.

While I don't think of myself as an MRA, I do think there needs to be some sort of organized political black male movement that focuses on empowering the boys to take an active position in their community. As much shit as the National of Islam gets for its misogyny and anti-semitism. It does produce law abiding productive black men. It does instill a sense of purpose in the boys. If you don't offer people something of value, they're going to turn to the streets. People complain about inner city black males following the destructive street culture but that's only in the absence of the traditional male as "protector provider" model. People redefine what they lack.

I do wonder what would have come of things if some of the civil rights leaders of the 60s like MLK and Malcolm X had lived. I know X was starting to push a quite a bit in personal accountability, I had a chief in the Navy who was working on and off on a book on him. (He had met the man as a boy). I read his interview with Playboy and  his 'Ballot and the Bullet' speech. Left me wondering what type of leader he would have been in the decades to come.

I know a lot of single parents families (black, white and otherwise) from going along with my mom when she worked with the health department. To me, as an outsider, it was more of the community outlook than the family that effected how the sons in those families developed. A strong supportive community, poor or not, helped the mothers instill a strong sense of focus on the child. Granted the focus still had to ome from a parent figure.

That is a BIG problem I see these days everywhere. A lack of community. How does the old saw go? 'takes a village to raise a child'. Your community builds on what the parent does or doesn't teach you. Without it, you have to have extraordinary focus to move forward.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2013, 11:37:22 AM »
Definition of feminism/feminist - A social movement, having its origins in eighteenth century England, which seeks to achieve equality between the sexes by extension of rights for women. (Oxford Dictionary of Sociology published in 1998 and edited by Gordon Marshall).

My background in this area is a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with a focus in Gender Studies.  Disagreeing with the notion that feminism is about gender equality is fine, but wrong.  A large portion of the shift has been a focus on women certainly because the disparity was so great between the genders at one point.  Feminists that hate men are obviously more prone to receive attention from the media because the notion is fear inspiring, easily taken apart and serves to make less people identify themselves as feminists.  As Ruby has pointed out, men are as much part of the equation as women.  Many of the greatest strides in the feminist movement were over issues that affect both sexes and have caused a general shift forward culturally for both.

That being said I do agree with Moraline that the Feminist Movement is out of date.  The original push forward of the feminist movement was an emphasis on masculinity being something to aspire toward.  An odd thrust was that feminists wanted women to be more like men.  At the time this served a purpose to display to an ignorant world that women could do the tasks of men.  This lingering drive is still with the movement despite being over played.  Femininity is still regarded as weak among people.  A desire to nurture and support, to be delicate and graceful and a want to connect with emotions is seen as below the desires of masculinity.  The Feminist Movement is out of date in that aspect and largely failed both sexes in that task.

Out of date of course does not mean irrelevant.  There are great disparities in all sectors between the two sexes from finances to cultural.  Modern feminism is largely suppressed due to a lack of media attention and a unified voice.  There are a lot of misunderstandings about the place of feminism and those misunderstandings are showing themselves in a solid erosion of woman’s thought and place in society.  From the systematic removal of abortion clinics and access to healthcare to the continued poverty of female dominated households.  There is certainly a place for feminism.  In large part women did come together to make their voices heard during the most recent presidential election and that did bring a smile to my face.  Unfortunately, women were painted as being in opposition to men by many news channels (in particular Fox) which is not the case on many issues.

As for the role of black men in the family, I would say this has less to do with feminism and more to do with the stress of inner city life.  Finances are the leading cause for divorce and the leading cause for breaking apart families.  I do not think black men need an incentive to be fathers as much as they need an opportunity to become the fathers that are needed.  Dr. Wilson of Harvard University has many published works on this subject and there are also many publications supporting or critiquing his work to draw upon.  There is also the writing of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community which goes into detail about the topic mentioned by both yourself and Callie.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 11:38:30 AM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2013, 11:59:36 AM »
Personally, I disagree with this, Pumpkin Seeds. There are various branch of feminism - and I can tell you that the feminism I'm familiar with is definitely anti-male. I mean, one of the leading feminists in my country voiced an opinion that women are better suited for ruling than men, as women are naturally altruistic and men are egoists. If that a pro-equality, men-respecting statement, then I'm an ostrich  >:(
But that's not feminism, that's straight out sexism.

Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2013, 12:54:06 PM »
But that's not feminism, that's straight out sexism.

I'd risk saying that quite a few feminists in my country would disagree. Heck, I've read interview with one *male* feminist who openly claimed exactly such a thing. Self-hate much?

And regarding the lady herself, I'll give you another tasty bit: remember the 2010 Presidential plane crash? The woman I mention commented that the reason for the disaster was "typical male sloppiness". And that the plane crash wouldn't happen, were there more women in the military.

You keep saying you have been on the internet discussing feminism for years as though it is what gives you this incredible validity into the whole ideal; good for you.  I'm glad you are discussing it but the subjectiveness of such forums and discussions does not make you or any one else the "be all, end all" in defining feminism.

Of course. I don't claim to be an expert or anything like it. I'm just saying that I have some experience with discussing stuff with feminists. And I also have a feminist as close relative. I think it does give me some first-hand experience...

Quote
As far as my own credibility goes for using such an approach, I have a minor in Women's Studies and have spent several years in undergraduate level course work studying feminism as both a literary and social movement.  That hardly qualifies me as an expert but I did feel it worth mentioning that I am not just speaking out of some tentative intellectual grasp of the subject.

Fair enough.

Quote
I define feminism and use it in the context presented here in the textbook manner; I am using what most scholars of feminism define it as. The definition, in its basic form, is this:

The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

If this person is calling for the elevation of women over men, then yes by this definition, she is a radical and not necessarily a feminist.

And yet, she *is* one. She's even involved (and may be even the head of) University of Warsaw's postgraduate Gender Studies!

That's the problem I have with feminism (or, to be more specific, our local version of it): it's far more than just an advocacy of the rights of women. Back here, it's seems to be a whole ideology with definite ties to one side of our political scene and some undertones I definitely can't accept (like rabid hate of religion).

Quote
So view it how you want and through your country's lens; I don't pretend to know what it is like to live in your nation or see things through your eyes.  However, from the way you describe this woman and using the textbook definition of feminism as it has been presented to me, I would see her views as radical.

Okay, but you're speaking from a perspective of someone who lives half a world away. Back here, Środa's views aren't considered radical at all (by other feminists, that is). So, please - don't discount my opinion just because it doesn't fit your theoretical model of what feminism should be.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2013, 12:59:57 PM »
I'd risk saying that quite a few feminists in my country would disagree. Heck, I've read interview with one *male* feminist who openly claimed exactly such a thing. Self-hate much?
Still doesn't change the fact that it is Sexism.  And it's not just where you are either.  There are some proponents of the same damaging philosophy up here.  So far it's been pretty local, but they're still here.

Offline MonfangTopic starter

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2013, 01:24:24 PM »
Damn, I go to bed, wake up and it seems I started a wildfire, thankfully I haven't been crucified yet.

What about ya'lls opinion of what I wrote for the proper traditional family unit was? I got it out of the pages from Christian Philosophy and I did my best to explain each part.

Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2013, 01:27:46 PM »
What about ya'lls opinion of what I wrote for the proper traditional family unit was? I got it out of the pages from Christian Philosophy and I did my best to explain each part.

Personally? I don't get it. Why should a woman submit to a man?

I understand that the ideal traditional family could work well. But why should the people force themselves to live that way?

Offline MonfangTopic starter

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2013, 01:32:32 PM »
Personally? I don't get it. Why should a woman submit to a man?

I understand that the ideal traditional family could work well. But why should the people force themselves to live that way?

First, let me ask what you picture when you say 'Why should a woman submit to a man?'

Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2013, 01:36:04 PM »
First, let me ask what you picture when you say 'Why should a woman submit to a man?'

I picture a man making all the major decisions in the family. Which doesn't sit well with me, as I know too many intelligent women and feel that it'd be a disservice to them...

Offline MonfangTopic starter

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2013, 01:48:07 PM »
I picture a man making all the major decisions in the family. Which doesn't sit well with me, as I know too many intelligent women and feel that it'd be a disservice to them...

Ok, but you are missing the part where it is includes being a good helper and transparency as both good traits to have. A woman who just rolls over and lets her husband do everything on his own isn't completing those duties just as much as a husband who keeps out his wife from assisting with those choices. It requires that the wife join her husband in making choices of actions and the husband is tasked with taking in everything his wife says.

It is said above that the traditional marriage had the husband in control of all the finances. Well in this ideal marriage laid out in the philosophy, it may still be true, however the wife has her say in all aspects of what the money is used on.

There is a difference between being the head of a household and being a dictator of a household.

Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2013, 01:52:29 PM »
But what about the situation where the wife is definitely smarter and more sensible than the husband? Why should the husband have the final say there?

I don't know, I just don't get this whole idea of a "head of a household". Couples should make decisions together, like partners. It's... natural.

Offline MonfangTopic starter

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2013, 01:58:32 PM »
But what about the situation where the wife is definitely smarter and more sensible than the husband? Why should the husband have the final say there?

I don't know, I just don't get this whole idea of a "head of a household". Couples should make decisions together, like partners. It's... natural.

If we go into what is 'natural' then we open up a whole new can of worms.

If the wife is definitely smarter and more sensible than the husband then as a suitable helper, she would make the decisions and he would just sign off on it. Or as the head of the household, he would make the decision that she would handle it all as she is better at those things than he and he would do things he is good at.

Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2013, 02:02:46 PM »
Ah! But, if it's allowed for a woman to be really in charge of the household, why the insistence that the man should be the "head"? Isn't it better to say that the smarter person should be the "head"?

And what about situation, when the man doesn't want to listen to his smarter wife and give up the power? Should the wife obey him, according to the traditional model? If so, why?

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2013, 02:10:50 PM »
If we go into what is 'natural' then we open up a whole new can of worms.

There is nothing "natural" about the traditional family model imo, but that is a whole other thread.

Quote
If the wife is definitely smarter and more sensible than the husband then as a suitable helper, she would make the decisions and he would just sign off on it. Or as the head of the household, he would make the decision that she would handle it all as she is better at those things than he and he would do things he is good at.

I don't understand why you seem to be espousing the idea of a "head of household" as a standard necessity to modern society at all. A true partnership is a shared thing, with both voices equal to their comfort levels. I understand and even know women who are completely comfortable with the precedential model of a man as The Boss, and I'm sure there are men comfortable with their wives making all the decisions.

I've been married for ten years. Requiem and I have equal voices as a whole, and individual responsibilities. As he is a stay-at-home father, I usually defer to him in regards to grocery needs and household chore schedules, as he is the one who is home taking care of it. As I am the one who has employment and manages the budget, he defers to my need to know what expenditures the households needs. Were I a stay-at-home mother, and he the working father, the roles would be reversed.

Offline Caeli

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2013, 02:31:22 PM »
Monfang, were you going to address Pumpkin Seeds' post, Silverfyre's points, and Trieste's post at all? I'm interested to hear your response, as you didn't address any of their thoughts in your first post this morning.

What about ya'lls opinion of what I wrote for the proper traditional family unit was? I got it out of the pages from Christian Philosophy and I did my best to explain each part.

This would imply that any other configuration of a family unit would be "improper". Here, you only relate the idea of a "traditional family unit" to an idea that seems to be drawn from Christian ideals (though without the source material, I can't pinpoint the exact branch you're drawing from). Many households do not ascribe to this configuration, and I think a discussion about that is really beyond the premise of this thread, which relates feminism to the family unit, and not general thoughts on the "traditional family unit" as described here.

Also, I just wanted to mention that this:

So here's my suggestion. Women, if you want to dress sexy.. do it! I know the honest reason why you dress sexy, it's because you are trying to attract a male! You don't have to do anything else than to show men that you have breasts and hips and they will do the rest. In nature, this is why males have prominent features so that they do all the work and can attract the females. In human culture, Men do this by making themselves seem strong, seem powerful, seem wealthy, or seem smart. Nature already had it so that men had to do all the work to get your permission to mate, you don't need feminism to do it.

... is completely off base. As others have mentioned before me, you make this remark assuming that feminism (or specifically here, dressing sexy) has anything to do with women's relation to men at all.

Which it doesn't, not at its core. (I agree very much with Trieste here on that point.)

Women dress sexy for themselves, to bring confidence and power to themselves, and to look good for themselves. As Pumpkin Seeds mentioned in her first post in this thread, a man's attention may be desirable at times - but in my experience, dressing nicely gives a woman a boost of confidence, and any attention achieved is a result of that. I've also read various articles during my quest for knowledge re:body positivity that women actually more often 'dress to impress' not for men, but for other women.

That point seems to have been made assuming that how women dress is at all related to men or made in consideration of how they appear to men, which seems sexist at best.

Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2013, 02:38:26 PM »
Hmmmmmm. Now I'm stumped, as I've always believed that women dress nicely to appear attractive to men. At least, in part. In turn, men dress nicely to appear attractive to women... At least, that's what I've been brought up to believe...

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2013, 02:43:59 PM »
Hmmmmmm. Now I'm stumped, as I've always believed that women dress nicely to appear attractive to men. At least, in part. In turn, men dress nicely to appear attractive to women... At least, that's what I've been brought up to believe...

I dress to suit my job and circumstances and to feel comfortable.  Many people dress to present a pleasant appearance.  Anyone who can prove they never dress well or otherwise with the intention of attracting attention has my admiration.

Also, I would rather be seen as a humanist because neither men nor women deserve an advantage because of their gender but all deserve the same respect irregardless of their gender.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2013, 02:46:59 PM »
Hmmmmmm. Now I'm stumped, as I've always believed that women dress nicely to appear attractive to men. At least, in part. In turn, men dress nicely to appear attractive to women... At least, that's what I've been brought up to believe...

I dress up and put on makeup because I want to look pretty. Not for a man. I have a couple of those kicking around already. Sometimes, I just want to look nice. The rest of the time, the world AND my men can deal with my pyjama pants or my jeans or my hoodies.