Defining what feminism means to you

From the survey I conducted a couple weeks ago. It is now closed.

“Improving the lives of women.”

“feminism is the recognition of women’s inequality (in terms of education/career opportunities, legal rights, sexual freedom, economics, how society views us as wives/mothers/sexual beings – pretty much in every facet of a person’s life) and the efforts made to allow us as much freedom to live our lives the way we choose to as men have. calling it “the radical belief that women are people” is kind of glib, but at the same time, i think feminism really is the idea that women are people just like men are, and there’s nothing intrinsic to the female half of the species that makes us any weaker than men, intellectually or socially or in any way, and that we shouldn’t be treated like silly children who need to be looked after.”

“Finding the balance between justice and equity between the sexes.”

“Resisting sexism. Equal pay for equal work. Free birth control and abortion on demand.”

“Feminism is the radical pushback against sexism, homophobia, class prejudice, racism, anti-Semitism, and all the other ways women are denigrated. Because even though some of those isms affect men as well, the common theme among them is that women bear the brunt more than any other single class of human beings.”

“For me, ‘feminism’ means thinking critically about gender and how both women & men are moulded by the social implications of gender dynamics in our society(s) – for good & ill, on both (all) sides.”

“the radical idea that women are people, that boys can be girls, girls can be boys, that gender is both important and doesn’t matter.”

“This is a tough one. Equality, recognition that things considered traditionally “feminine” have value, looking at the intersections of oppression and systems (not just individual prejudice), working against internalized and horizontal sexism (i.e. “The Mommy Wars”, for example), talking care of yourself and being an ally to others who are part of oppressed groups, appreciating feminist humor and art (more of a benefit really), questioning the gender norms allowing one’s self to be outside of them if one wants to be.”

“To me, feminism means the belief that women have the right to make their own choices about their own bodies and their own lives, and that no one else has the right to make those decisions for them or tell them how they have to make those decisions.”

“Feminism is the advocacy of equal rights for individuals of the female gender.”

“The promise of ending the practice of ordering the (intimate, social, political) relations between people based on external genitalia and what we do with them, and so challenging the other orders based on skin-tone, wealth one is born into, place of birth, etc. A disordering, anti-authoritarian promise of erasing preconceived boundaries which separate us into fearful, easily-exploited, branded herds, of kicking over the boundary markers and retu(r)ning humanity to lives in the wild, free choice.”

“feminism is the struggle to win the right of expression of the full range of being human for all people, and to dismantle the oppressive systems that have been put in place to keep us from that expression.”

“the recognition that in order to fully empower ourselves, we have to be constantly aware of instances of misogyny, heterosexism, homophobia, racism, classism, abelism, ageism, and other ways in which distorted thinking causes dehumanization, and we have to war against these insidious forces within ourselves and within others to move toward a more consistently humane world.”

“don’t fucking tell me who and i am and then punish me accordingly.”

“Feminism is the idea that women are equal, that women should not be compelled to act in ways contrary to their goals, nature, ambitions, etc. merely because they are women.”

“Feminism means the rights we all have to purse happiness. It represent the struggle of all people to be viewed as equal under the law. I wish it were called something that represented the people a little better.”

“I’m not sure if this is what you’re asking for but, in my life, and from what I’ve seem in my family, the women are the ones who do EVERYTHING, keep it all going and keep the family together, one way or another. If you want it done, a woman will do it. There is nothing stronger than a woman’s love, trust, friendship, loyalty. Don’t cross me or my girlfriends, my child, my sisters. We work hard, despite the odds, and keep plugging on through the messes that men have created in the world, trying to clean them up. Equal rights, pay, plain old equality, we’ve still succeeded although these rights are not always available. Feminism is strength.”

“Women’s liberation. I’m a women’s libber!”

“Feminism is giving women the respect they deserve in accordance with basic modern humanist principles of allowing people to give meaning and shape to their own lives. At the same time, recognizing that the human social-cultural context contains inherent racism, elitism, misogyny and other discriminatory patterns that are built into the context of our world. It’s our responsibiliy to expose those patterns and to work towards correcting them.”

“Feminism is the ultimate “F” word for many in our society today. It has some disturbing connotations, some that come to mind are: “bitches with buzz cuts”, “man haters”, “feminazis”, “white middle-class women” etc. Unfortunately, these shadows have been cast by the movement itself. Many young American women across class, gender, and racial lines are feminists but recoil at the idea that they themselves could be the “F” word, once again for the above connotations. Yet, I have observed it in my kitchen over dinner many a time. Slowly, however, I think feminism is starting to redefine itself in the United States, as well as abroad. In the US for example, we have passed the Violence Against Women Act and there is an Office on Violence Against Women
headed by the beautiful and inspiring Catherine Pierce. And there was a conference in Washington D.C. with the inspiring title: Men and Women as Allies hosted by the D.C group Men Can Stop Rape. Additionally, magazines like Bitch and Ms. are alternative magazines that are reclaiming and redefining the “F” word. With all of that said, feminism is a fluid movement that in America itself is able to start creating affinity with people across gender, class, and racial lines. It is about person-hood and for the safety that arises from a world in which people judge each-other by the content of their character rather than those things that make us different. Difference should be embraced but it should not divide. Just as violence against women is not a means of blaming men but the society that endorses hyper masculinity, the media’s portrayal of men of color and white men, silences to the abuse they may endure themselves in various forms, and male bystanders to violence. To be a feminist is to be a sister of women and men to advocate better treatment of both. Feminism resides in everyone that dreams of having a safe and joyful society.”

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~ by realsupergirl on July 14, 2009.

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