General Question

FLgator1289's avatar

Why is feminism still relevant? In what ways are women still not equal to men?

Asked by FLgator1289 (99 points ) September 11th, 2010

During a conversation with my sister today, I had mentioned that I considered myself a feminist. She laughed and asked why; I said because I believe men and women should be treated equally and have the same rights and privileges. She laughed and asked what rights and privileges women didn’t have that men do. I embarrassingly drew a blank because I was sort of frustrated by her ignorance and have been sort of stumped over this for the past hour. Women can vote, they can work, more women are going to college than ever, the wage gap is not nearly closed yet but it is getting smaller and smaller.

So how can I prove her wrong? I know that there are a lot of ways that women are not yet equal to men, but I’m completely drawing a blank. Thanks!

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114 Answers

cazzie's avatar

Well, for a start, and most importantly, we bare the responsibility for baring the children and ensuring their welfare. Men are quite free to walk away from this responsibility, and we are left with both the time, emotional affect and economic responsibility. This impacts our ability to be employed….. our continuity of employment, education and our own welfare.

Women are not paid the same rate of pay as men are for the same level of work. We still lag at least one third behind. The sick part is that employers use the excuse of the possibility of losing us to ‘family obligations’.... and that means the birth of our children and the care taking roles we take with sick and elderly relatives!

Women work harder than men. There is absolutely NO doubt about this fact. What happens is that we do all the unpaid work that is required by our families and this work continues to be undervalued by society.

What feminists need to do in present day is to bring about the realisation of all the essential but unpaid work that we do and DEMAND that when we are in the workforce, that pay parity be established, and when we are doing unpaid work, that that be realised by the Social Welfare departments of our state and nations so that we are NOT taken for granted.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It is usually a privileged person that can say, these days, that feminism is no longer necessary – it is also a person who hasn’t followed history closely or any of existing policies. Mainstream feminism never served anyone beyond middle class white women and therefore women of color today are not reaping much rewards from feminisms past. I am a feminist and I can tell you it is relevant because our communities are bigger than us, nationally and internationally. It is true that I can go to college and enter politics but systemic sexism exists, without a doubt and gender norms limit both men and women. There are a lot of things women can do but don’t do because of how society perceives them – anywhere from the beauty myth to the sensationalist studies ‘proving’ how women are better at x, y, z and men are z, y, x (these studies constitute about 5% of all studies testing for differences but are the only ones picked up by the media because they show a difference) to the packaging of girlhood into a vapid physicality and sexuality. There are issues with access to reproductive health, with domestic violence, prostitution and child trafficking that affect mostly women that we must continuously address. There are a lot of issues given the sexes and they must be addressed for the sake of all people. If you look into what’s happening worldwide with the health and safety of women, it’ll make you angry – just look into maternal mortality rates.

wundayatta's avatar

Paper rights do not equal lived rights. Girls are still called on less in classes. Women still do most of the domestic work, and don’t advance as quickly in their jobs as men do. Women earn less, overall, compared to me, although this can be explained by the fact that they hold different jobs.

Women still are at a power disadvantage in everyday life. They are the ones who don’t feel safe at night. They are the ones who let themselves be protected by men, thus giving up whatever power they might have. Women still segregate themselves into the kinds of work and games that men don’t play. They still feel the man should pay for the date.

I could go on and on, as I’m sure others are doing.

Feminism is not just about ostensible equality. It is about attitudes and the way people live and perhaps most of all, it is about awareness. Young women these days, for the most part, think they are equal. I don’t know why, but they seem to have blinders as to the forms of discrimination their mothers and grandmothers saw and worked so hard to raise the consciousness of other women about.

FLgator1289's avatar

Also, anyone quoting stats (wages, girls getting called on less in class, etc) – bonus points for the sources of where you’re getting the numbers

truecomedian's avatar

To believe men and woman are equal is being an egalitarian not a feminist, that could have been why your sister laughed and why you drew a blank. Men and woman are different therefore the roles men and woman play will always be different. RIght, is that right, someone help me with this. I grew up with a sexist pig for a dad and an ice queen for a mom so I don’t know if Im making any sense to anyone, Im making sense to myself. I stated facts that seemed rellevant to the question. The world is ruled at the very top by men and woman, or just men, or by woman? All three I guess, there’s gender issues all the way to the top of the heap. Globally speaking, woman have a lot of power. I guess you would have to examine the ways men and woman are different and apply that on a larger scale. Whatever.

GeorgeGee's avatar

For as many thing where women come up short, I’ll bet there are as many places where men come up short, and true equality would have to address these points as well. In divorce I’ll bet you wouldn’t bat an eyelash to hear about a woman who gets custody of the kids and half the man’s assets even if both spouses worked for equal pay and contributed equally to expenses. In the few times when it goes the other way, and the man gets custody, the woman must first be proven to be involved in drugs and ritual sacrifice.
I have gotten on a city bus carrying my then-infant daughter and a stroller, and the young women taking the front seats were happy go smile and wave at the baby but not one got up to offer a seat. I thanked the gentleman who did, however. When true equality arrives, women will have much to learn. I find that with respect to this issue, women generally don’t really want equality, they want more for themselves, and that’s something quite different.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@GeorgeGee As a feminist, I bat plenty of my eyelashes when men aren’t taken into consideration especially around roles as a caretaker, etc.

Facade's avatar

Off the top of my head, I overheard a conversation about firing a pregnant woman at my job because she’s going to the bathroom too much and not taking as many calls as other employees… Sad.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Feminism would do much better if there wasn’t so much man-hating going on on their ranks.

MeinTeil's avatar

Feminism is merely women telling other women what to do and think instead of men.

Arp's avatar

2 words: Porn Industry

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I want you to poke around a few websites: here and here (this one you can show to your sister, it’s good), and here.

weeveeship's avatar

The US presidency

syz's avatar

Why is feminism still relevant?

“Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
Pat Robertson

(Granted, it’s an older quote attributed to Past Robertson, but I have no doubt that there’s plenty of people out there with the same mind set.)

MeinTeil's avatar

I have a better defintion above

weeveeship's avatar

Also, there are still relatively few female CEOs.

roundsquare's avatar

So… just to throw this out there, the accomplishments to date are quite impressive. Equality between men and women is much better than it was and is continuing to improve.

That being said, the bigger problems now don’t seem to be about “official” inequality but inequality from perceived roles… and it comes from both men and women. I remember some women being impressed that I cook and saying “it’d be nice if my (future) husband would be able to cook a bit so that when I’m tired he can at least make something.” I was pretty shocked to hear that actually, I would have expected them to expect (more) parity here.

But the problems come from a lot of unexpected sources as well. For example, its still up to men to ask women out on a date (in general and with enough exceptions). This means that, on average, men get to be more choosy. Also, there is a buildup of resentment among men for a few reasons, but mostly it comes down to two things:

1) Feminists trying to show men up.
2) Women still get privileges despite fighting for equal rights. On this point there is a lot of scope for debate about how real those privileges are and if they are really ways to subvert women getting real power (i.e. the power to grant those privileges) but my point here is more about what is generally perceived.

Seems to me that feminism needs to move away from being “anit-male” and being more “pro-equality.” Unfortunately this may mean making sacrifices before the benefits come in, but thats the way it its with social change.

P.S. I have not studied this in any organized way so other people may well know more and be able to refute my claims.

FLgator1289's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Thank you so much for those wonderful links, I will forward them.

To everyone else – not interested in hearing your jokes/trolling like @Arp and @MeinTeil – answers like that will be flagged.

fundevogel's avatar

This is a far more comprehensive list of the social advantages men have over women than I could put together:

The Male Privilege Checklist

the100thmonkey's avatar

@FLgator1289 – I actually think @Arp‘s post was relevant and not trolling at all:

Q: Why is feminism still relevant?
A: Two words – the porn industry.

Have I missed something?

fundevogel's avatar

@the100thmonkey I don’t think the existence of the porn industry is synonymous with female exploitation. A woman should be able to seek employment in the sex industry if she chooses. I don’t see how proclaiming women shouldn’t be sex workers isn’t just as sexist as saying they can’t be carpenters. It’s making a judgment call on what work is appropriate for them based not on their desire or qualification but on your expectations of their gender.

This goes double for “feminists” that think its ok arbitrate what all other women should and shouldn’t do so long as its a woman doing the dictating. That’s not feminism.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@fundevogel I don’t think it’s the porn industry itself – but instead, it’s the kind of porn being made, overall.

fundevogel's avatar

@DrasticDreamer That’s a fair comment. I don’t take issue with porn in general but it is a shame that it is almost exclusively made for men.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have always striven for equal opportunity. I don’t care if a male considers me his equal, I just want to be able to have his job if I am more qualified and for the same rate of pay. I also do not want special consideration for pregnancy or child rearing. To me that IS a career choice and I don’t want to, as an employer, subsidize your choice or as a co-worker have more work on my desk because of your choice. That is not equality.

I don’t know if that makes me a feminist, but that is my position and always has been.

chubbychu's avatar

I feel like angry-lesbian-mob-feminism clouds the real issues behind how and why women are perceived the way they are in society today. But I also feel like men are the reason why women become feminists. So, in that respect, because men and women are emotionally, mentally and physiologically different, there will never be a true equality. But true equality between women and men? At least in the United States of America there is nothing I can do that is greater than what a woman can do. Sure, physiological differences impact the advancement of women, but at the same time, just as childbearing is an integral part of a woman; working his ass off for his family SHOULD be a man’s labor. Sure there are going to be minor and major social discrepancies, but instead of making both women and men completely the same, man and woman’s differences should be embraced and utilized not ironed over and made all the same.

All that to say; I am still a sucker for buying a gal a drink at the bar.

MeinTeil's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir : My statement was a serious account of my impression of feminism.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MeinTeil Did I say something to you?

MeinTeil's avatar

oops, that was meant for @FLgator1289

lynfromnm's avatar

Juries in America award 18% more in damages for men than they do for women (see http://www.citizen.org/documents/HarvardRandFactsheet.pdf).
Women still earn only 79% as much as men for the same job.

flo's avatar

Women, in general earn less than men. That right there, is evidence they don’t have equal rights.

wundayatta's avatar

My God! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many straw men in my life!

Everyone is saying what feminism is—man-hating, etc—then shooting it down to say that’s what feminism’s problem is. Never mind that that is not what feminism is about.

Clearly this is an issue that means a lot to a lot of people. It means very different things to different people. There is no agreed-upon definition of what we are talking about. Some people talk about equal pay, and others talk about making everyone into a lesbian. Some talk about being aware of social attitudes and how they tend to pigeonhole people so their freedom is functionally reduced (even if it is still there on paper). Some even still talk about bra-burning (which turns out to be a myth).

It is interesting, in a sociological way, how people perceive this issue. It does make it difficult to talk about since people are talking about completely different things, only they are all called “feminism.” I am beginning to thing the the word is the problem, not so much all the ideas lumped into it.

For me, being a feminist does not mean that I believe men are women and vice versa. For me, feminism is about humanism. Let’s find a way to let people be who they are without being judged. It should be easy to walk around as a butch dyke or a flamboyant queer and not have to have your ears burn because everyone is making nasty comments about you.

I recently met a very limp-wristed gay man. He is absolutely charming and a deep thinker. He’s a bit crazy, too, but that doesn’t have anything to do with being gay, I don’t think. I suspect he is schizophrenic, but he is coping quite well.

The first time I talked to him, he told me that noone wants to be seen talking to him. It’s as if whatever people think about him gets transferred onto anyone seen relating to him. And I do feel that way—like people see me talking to him and wonder if I am gay, too. Otherwise, why would I talk to him?

For me, feminism is about not having to think that. People will look at him and look at me, and not make any negative judgmental assumptions. They will not treat others according to their prejudices, but according to how the person actually is. Feminism, as I said, is humanism, for me.

A lot of people make out that feminism is aggressive. It is man-hating. It wants women to take over the roles. It wants women to be men. This is utter bullshit, and yet so many people seem to believe it. Many on fluther seem to believe it. Wow! I mean, I am more shocked about that than about almost anything else I’ve seen here.

Just wow!

laureth's avatar

While they’re not the same question, a pair of complementary questions here and here might prove interesting reading.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@fundevogel – I never said it was; I was clarifying what I felt to be a misinterpretation of @Arp‘s post.

However, they do have a point, if we follow your line: pornography is not in and of itself the problem, how pornography is organised is.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@FLgator1289 If you or your sister really want to learn more, I suggest reading Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism. It’s a really great intro to why feminism matters in this day and age. There’s also some ebook formats of it floating around.

iamthemob's avatar

Pornography is really only organized that way because we’re afraid of female sexuality (and women generally).

I think feminism is still relevant for the same reasons the movie Teeth puts forward (hilarious feminist horror flick about vaginal dentata).

Facade's avatar

@iamthemob I love that movie

iamthemob's avatar

@Facade – I can’t believe I only RECENTLY discovered it…

flo's avatar

When you compare the status women in the western world, say in1990, and in 2010, is it going backwards or forward? Putting aside the equal pay part that is.

MissAnthrope's avatar

“Angry lesbian mob feminism”? What? What lesbian mobs? But actually, that is perfect case in point why feminism is still relevant. What is this mindset that if a woman wants to be accepted as equally capable as men, that she’s a man-hating lesbian? If every smart, strong, vocal, determined woman was a lesbian, well.. I’d be really happy.

@fundevogel – Porn is so much more than just two people having sex on camera. I highly recommend this book, which certainly enlightened me about the porn industry.. I felt much as you did, but I changed my opinion after reading this book.

iamthemob's avatar

@MissAnthrope

Does that book take into account gay (M4M) pornography?

MissAnthrope's avatar

@iamthemobIt may a little bit, but it mostly focuses on straight porn.

iamthemob's avatar

@MissAnthrope

I’m interested to see what the book goes through, but I think that @fundevogel‘s statement stands – the fact that the porn industry may be (on the average) sexually exploitative of women isn’t because porn, in a void, or industry, in a void, necessitate such an outcome. I think a much healthier view of sex in which women were allowed more of their own sexual subjectivity would more significantly address the concerns associated with the porn industry.

In many ways, I think it’s treating the symptom rather than the cause – BUT I am going to have to read the book to see exactly what issues it addresses (I’ve just read a lot about porn – and I’m not ashamed to admit that. ;-))

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think we’re veering toward the edge of off-topic, but the book I linked discusses pornography in the context of feminism (the author is an activist), so I will press on. I think the fact that women can choose to do this is a good sign of the progress we’ve made towards women being allowed, socially, to embrace their sexuality. So, that is not the complaint about the industry.

The larger issue revolves around the themes present in porn, which are growing more troubling as time goes on. Porn was way much more about simply filming people having sex in the 70’s than it is now. There is a growing demand from consumers for more and more extreme porn. Videos now regularly depict women being manhandled and being depicted as objects existing solely for the man’s pleasure. Sure the women choose to do that and I respect that choice, what troubles me is the climate where guys like that kind of porn. Where they’re not the least bit squeamish at watching women be treated this way, and where this breeds a portion of the population that expects or wants to do these things to the real women in their lives.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@MissAnthrope Exactly what I was talking about.

iamthemob's avatar

Okay – so, the greater trending of porn towards objectification, and the increasing market demand fueling that trending, serves as evidence of why feminist analyses of various modes of production and products released, as well as the accepted ideas behind and reinforced by such production, are still relevant…

…that’s something I can fully agree with (let me know if I have taken too much liberty).

MissAnthrope's avatar

@iamthemob – Yes.. you see, feminism and the sexual revolution brought women the freedom to make choices, including going all-out and doing porn. There is a knee-jerk reaction to pornography and an equally knee-jerk reaction to anti-pornography. Even the best-intentioned people championing sexual freedom and feminism may not understand exactly why they should be against most of the pornography being produced today. So, lots of people don’t know better and they support the porn industry, thinking the women are making a hard-earned choice and that that should be celebrated.

The truth is, quite a bit of porn is degrading to women, but not in the sense that they have no power or choice. Obviously, they do and they exercise it. The degrading part is the consumer mindset and the market for this type of porn. I personally find it disturbing that so many men get off to these kinds of themes.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@MissAnthrope: Do you think feminism is therefore socialist?

Words like ‘consumer’ and ‘market’ suggest that there is more going on here; I would suggest that a function of the market-oriented system we live under is increasing objectification – from life artifacts (that Ikea coffee table) to education (in the UK, at least, schools are graded and ranked, as if simply applying criteria is the way forward) to who we are (look at how we are expected to outline our life and skills in verifiable certification, and how those that don’t have them are economically and therefore culturally excluded).

That would be one of the many ways that feminism is still relevant, and is becoming more so.

roundsquare's avatar

@wundayatta

You really don’t think there are a lot of feminists like that?

I think you are talking about a more idealized form of feminism than really exists… or at the least, I’m fairly confident that some of the other forms of feminism described do exist as well (and might well be better known since they would be more controversial).

Arp's avatar

@FLgator1289 Whoops, sorry I am so late: I was not at all joking at my previous response. The porn industry would be fair if women were actually treated equally, and not like someones personal property. It often destroys the lives of women and often leaves them out on the street (ironically, having sex for money) with sexual diseases and the knowledge that they degraded an entire gender through their “life’s work”. Women in the industry are very often treated like trash or animals, and I personally think that is something for feminism to fight against.

fundevogel's avatar

I don’t disagree that porn a can, and sometimes does perpetuate negative views of women. I don’t know how wide spread this is. However I can’t help but think that blaming porn for some men’s warped view of women is no different than blaming violence on video games and TV. It’s a handy scapegoat but I’m pretty sure the root of the problem is much deeper. What can I say? I am guilty of thinking parents have a far more significant impact on their offspring than media they probably won’t encounter until their parents have already spent many years laying the groundwork.

I’m also anti-censorship, so I can’t very well say porn that repulses me should be banned. That would make be a hypocrite. So long as the production is made by consenting adults (free of minors and animals) I’m ok with any sort of porn being around. I wouldn’t want to deprive any mutually respectful couples or singletons from something to their particular taste just because someone else might take it the wrong way. No matter how accepted, regardless of intent or purpose, someone always takes it the wrong way.

fundevogel's avatar

@Arp “It often destroys the lives of women and often leaves them out on the street…with sexual diseases and the knowledge that they degraded an entire gender through their “life’s work”.”

Each person is responsible for their own actions, and theirs alone. The idea that a single person can degrade everyone in their gender is gravely disturbing. I am appalled to think you or anyone else would see the whole of feminine kind defined not by their merit as individuals but by a shadow you perceive being cast upon them.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Porn has changed a lot in the age of the internet. There is a lot more porn intended for women, lesbians, and gay men today than 20 years ago, so old arguments about it featuring only women and being directed only toward (presumably) hetero men is no longer accurate if it ever was to begin with. Also because digital video cameras are readily and inexpensively available, the process of making porn has been democratized, and anyone can make porn in their own bedroom. Thus amateur porn has exploded as a market segment, and this in many cases breaks down the arguments about how the “porn industry” uses and abuses women. Many couples now make their own porn, for instance Heather Harmon and her husband.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Harmon
Why? They might be exhibitionists, or they might find that it’s a good way to pay off their mortgage and fund their kids’ college educations. But the assumption that there’s some sleazy “porn movie director” taking advantage of (only) women and beating them between filming segments on 16mm film is… well… a tired cliche that is out of touch with modern reality.

iphigeneia's avatar

I know posting links doesn’t make a very good answer, but this has been written about before, so here are three similar, but not identical, lists that answer the question better than I could and are worth reading.

1. The Male Privilege Checklist
2. 20 Reasons Why We Still Need The F Word
3. Think women have achieved equality? Think again.

Basically, though we are equal under the law, in real life women still often get the short end of the stick. The fact that men are often bullied or harassed for being “effeminate” while women are praised for being “masculine” speaks loads about how society views the different genders.

iamthemob's avatar

I think that @iphigeneia is right to bring up the issue of how we mock certain behaviors. It’s odd (rather, it’s completely predictable) how “strong women” are acceptable as long as they are still sexualized (and therefore not “bitches” – I would say women are praised for being masculine up to a point (i.e., as long as they still know their place)). To bring up a frivolous example – I just watched the new Resident Evil, and there’s still nothing hotter than a hot woman with a gun (and I hate myself a little for saying that).

It’s still important that we have feminism to look at these types of reactions.

mammal's avatar

it’s totally relevant, because in nearly each and every case i’ve come across where one element or class is subordinate to another socially, you can bet your bottom dollar the women within the subordinate class are subordinate yet further by the men of that class, so in such cases, women are not second class citizens they are, in fact third class citizens. Pretty grim.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MissAnthrope You know it’s been years I’ve looked for an angry lesbian mob that I can invite over for dinner and between my sheets, ya know…well, they’re impossible to find, damn man-haters.
@wundayatta I thank you for your response, I was too passive to write something like that and I shouldn’t have been – it’s such a knee jerk reaction for people to say that there are these mythical feminists out there (‘cause I’ve never met them and I don’t have friends who aren’t feminists) that are crazed man-haters and I swear people get their beliefs out of the blogosphere.
@iamthemob – the debate about porn has been going on in feminist circles for decades – after all, there are many different kind of feminisms – some, btw, make perfect sense when aligned with socialism or with eco-environmentalism.

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angelique_1's avatar

no i dont think men and women are still treated equally.

iamthemob's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

Sure. I know that. That’s why I think it’s still important, and still relevant.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@iamthemob – Economics is a topic that I find to be uninteresting and/or over my head, so quite honestly, I have no idea. :P

The importance of mentioning the market for types of porn is relevant in that it illustrates the trends without having to do a complicated study. I do think it might not be a bad idea for someone to do a study on porn themes.. perhaps if we had it quantified and all scientifical, people would pay more attention.

iamthemob's avatar

@MissAnthrope

I can almost guarantee you someone already has. :-)

MeinTeil's avatar

“Different things are treated differently”. – Chris Bangle, former BMW crief of design.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MeinTeil Yeah, cause women are just like cars – hey, some men actually think this!

MeinTeil's avatar

Mr, Bangle uses the word ‘things’. This could mean individuals, situations, races, nations, genders etc.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MeinTeil Well, the quote is so vague and obvious that I suppose it’s irrelevant.

liminal's avatar

@roundsquare Would you mind saying in what context you know feminists like that?

@wundayatta‘s “Feminism is humanism” has it.

MeinTeil's avatar

“Feminism is sexism” is far more accurate

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MeinTeil Yeah, wanting equal footing with men isn’t sexism. There are some feminists that think men are below them and want something having to do with that, but I disagree with them, obviously. Systemic sexism (not on a personal level) occurs in one direction, in our society – from men to women. On a personal level, there are plenty of women making sexist statements about men but that problem isn’t as big as problems of systemic sexism.

iamthemob's avatar

@MeinTeil

Indeed – in order for feminism to be sexism there really needs to be an element of control or power. Let’s not conflate the two concepts.

FutureMemory's avatar

What kind of asshole doesn’t want equality for all people?

Brian1946's avatar

@FutureMemory

Ironically enough, Phyllis Schlafly is one of those aholes.

FutureMemory's avatar

@Brian1946 I can’t wait for old geezers like her to die off so that the collective intelligence of our nation will be raised by default through simple attrition. Listen to this gem:

Schlafly became the most visible and effective opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment during the 1970s as the organizer of the “Stop the ERA” movement, widely credited with stopping it from achieving ratification by its legislative deadline. “STOP” is also an acronym for “Stop Taking our Privileges”, because Schlafly argues the amendment, if passed and ratified, would take away privileges enjoyed by American women, including “dependent wife” benefits under Social Security and exemption from Selective Service registration.

fundevogel's avatar

@FutureMemory “I can’t wait for old geezers like her to die off so that the collective intelligence of our nation will be raised by default through simple attrition.”

And how. Though I would settle for too old to hunch their way to the voting booth. I’m sorry to say it but ignorance is the best argument for voting tests, or at least making political theory a core part of education. A democracy really is only as good as its voters.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m gonna say feminism is still relevant because of this.

truecomedian's avatar

Who says it’s still relevant?

iphigeneia's avatar

@truecomedian I’ll hazard a guess and say most of the jellies in this thread, at least.

flo's avatar

I am not sure if the horse stall is about __“women are less than human, they can be used as replacement for horses“__ or what. Anyway here:
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/travel/news/racing-queensland-bans-in-bikini-horse-race/story-fn3015fd-1225932301612

A partial quote: __“The Bikini Track Sprint has been slammed as tacky and demeaning by critics including Queensland’s top female horse trainer, Gillian Heinrich.“__

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DrasticDreamer's avatar

Why was my response moderated?

Edit: Never mind. Figured it out.

rooeytoo's avatar

Men don’t have to play volleyball in speedos or football in their lingerie.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh and this is a good website.

flo's avatar

As soon as something is labelled entertainment, and is on TV, & radio, it gets brushed off, as “Oh it is just a show”. The show ‘Jersey Shore’, where the men see the women, as lower than dirt. That is just one example of a ton of others.

flo's avatar

Cont’d from above:
... do the women themselves see themselves as worse than dirt?

truecomedian's avatar

Won’t femminism always be relevant? I just hope it doesn’t mess it up for us egalitarians. A better question would be is Helen Reddy still relevant?? There will always be some men vs. woman struggle going on, right? But it’s still a man’s world, right? Who knows.

roundsquare's avatar

@truecomedian I guess the hope is that eventually it won’t be relevant.

flo's avatar

If the fashion designers (some of them women) tell women to expose their cleavage, wear ridiculously short skirts, to wear stripper boots, to wear bright red lipstick, and on and on women just follow the order.

fundevogel's avatar

@flo Nothing wrong with sexin it up. Sure, women shouldn’t be pressured into sexin it up but the issue isn’t the clothes, it’s the judgment that their value is influenced by the way they look. It’s just as vile to denigrate women because they choose to highlight their sexuality in their style.

The decision to wear a push up bra or abandon the razor have absolutely no bearing on feminist ideology. Nor should they.

flo's avatar

@fundevogelNothing wrong with sexin it up.” Yes there is, if it is in the wrong place. At work, for one.

rooeytoo's avatar

When it is no longer socially acceptable or politically correct to make jokes about women or women with pms or any other stereotypical baloney, just as it is now not acceptable to make jokes about muslims or mentally challenged or any other sort.

cazzie's avatar

@rooeytoo Oh… I don’t think we should lose our sense of humour. Making jokes isn’t serious. I’d like to see more real changes about how the ‘unpaid’ work a woman does gets valued more etc…

rooeytoo's avatar

@cazzie – that is important of course, but I don’t think it should be an either/or situation. They are both important.

I don’t think it has anything to do with having a sense of humor, I have an excellent sense of humor, I just don’t find degrading, generalizing jokes funny.

As I said, it is not acceptable to make ethnic or racial jokes, why women???

fundevogel's avatar

@flo ah, well I wasn’t under the impression that the fashion designers you were objecting to were pressuring women into wearing stripper boots to the office. If they are I expect the proper response would be pointing and laughing.

Though if you think about it, 100 years ago today’s professional attire would be considered down right whorish, what with all that scandalous ankle. Who knows, maybe in another 100 years stripper boots will be considered perfectly acceptable office attire. Probably not, but maybe there’ll be topless Fridays.

cazzie's avatar

100 years ago, women weren’t in many other professions other than ‘whores’. LOL

flo's avatar

@fundevogel
So, “but the issue isn’t the clothes, it’s the judgment that their value is influenced by the way they look” So, it is the same whether we are dressed like a stripper or not, as we go about in their daily public life like go to job (not as a sex worker) interviews?

I wasn’t specifically refering to stripper boots at work, I never saw that. I am refering to the women who buy and wear it just in general. There are messages you send when you wear certain things whether you mean to or not. If you advise your female loved ones to dress…

Some of the postings demonstrate why there is still a need for feminism.

I came here to add to my last posting to find 5 more posts. “My New Acivity” list didn’t include this thread, and the number of “Activity for You” didn’t increase by 5.

fundevogel's avatar

@flo “I never saw that. I am refering to the women who buy and wear it just in general. There are messages you send when you wear certain things whether you mean to or not.”

Yeah, so? We’re adults, we get to choose what we wear and that includes outfits that some won’t like*. It isn’t freedom if you only get it to use it to do what other people would have you do. Feminism doesn’t mean women or self-proclaimed feminists get to tell women what do or wear rather than men. That’s just trading one overlord for another. Real feminism respects women and their right to manage themselves, regardless of how other people might judge them for it.

*in situations where we aren’t bound by a dresscode

cazzie's avatar

‘messages you send’..... I really don’t like that argument. It sounds too close to, ‘she deserved to be sexually assaulted because of the way she dressed’.
and ‘Advise your female loved ones to dress….. ’ then you trail off.

Sorry… but I’m not going to let my older brother’s dress me. I’m a big girl now. eyes rolling

iphigeneia's avatar

@fundevogel Well said. I just realised I’ve rambled a bit below, but I’ve written it now so it’s staying.

A woman’s character is still far too heavily linked to her sexuality, or perceived sexuality. People don’t make a fuss about men and boys talking about sex, watching porn, thinking about sex, masturbating, trying to pick up, etc., because “that’s what guys are like”. Well, girls are like that too.

Bearing in mind that I am making a big, but not entirely inaccurate, generalisation of society here:

When a girl wears a short skirt we assume that boys will see her legs and this may make them want to have sex with her. If she doesn’t know this, she must be taught that males only want sex, and her ability to permit or deny men this is one of her greatest powers, but this power is diminished if people think she lets men use her too easily. So cover up because everyone knows that girls who have sex wear short skirts (this is often accompanied by a contradictory ‘modesty is even sexier!’ argument). If she does know that wearing a short skirt may make boys think about sex with her, but she wears the skirt anyway, she must want it, and this is a bad thing.

On a similar note, while we’re talking about workplace presentation, the standard of appearance that is expected of men is less demanding than what is expected of women. In many offices, women are required (whether by an official dresscode, or through an aside from a superior) to wear makeup and heeled shoes.

At some companies, women are not allowed to wear trousers. True, men must wear trousers, but A) a knee-length or longer pencil skirt is incredibly impractical and B) men should be able to wear skirts and be socially accepted. I know this is a long way off, but the bottom line of feminism is sex and gender equality. It expands the options for men as well as women.

fundevogel's avatar

@cazzie “B) men should be able to wear skirts and be socially accepted. I know this is a long way off, but the bottom line of feminism is sex and gender equality. It expands the options for men as well as women.”

lurve.

Brian1946's avatar

@laureth

I read another report about that.
I just signed a petition where I accused those 173 Rep’s of being pimps for the rapist lobby.

flo's avatar

”...the proper response would be pointing and laughing.”

“Though if you think about it, 100 years ago today’s professional attire would be considered down right whorish, what with all that scandalous ankle. Who knows, maybe in another 100 years stripper boots will be considered perfectly acceptable office attire. Probably not, but maybe there’ll be topless Fridays”
That shows that your goal is to get women equal rights? @fundevogel. That it is a serious enough matter?

Women who are truely into improving women’s status don’t waste a lot of time getting into an arguement with someone some creep grab them just because “you didn’t dress like that to not attract this kind of attention”, or worse. Proving that you have the right to wear those things doesn’t lead to it is the ideal thing to do. They find it not at all a productive way of getting women equal pay for example. And they don’t want to put themselves in an alliance with the mysogynists who just want women for one purpose.
It is bad enough that there are men who think it gives them the excuse to rape, but that does not mean that we should increase the chances of a women getting raped just because we can’t restrain from dressing like that.

We all have the right to be in an alley, at night, but we don’t do it. We don’t sacrifice our safety just to prove a point.

We don’t eat the unhealthies foods just to prove that we have the right.

iamthemob's avatar

Women are prey so we should stop them from dressing in a sexy way because men can’t help raping them.

Women who dress sexy are like unhealthy foods.

Men shouldn’t be the focus because if a woman dresses sexy, she’s playing a part in rape.

@flo – Your sentiments are, perhaps, the least pro-woman sentiments I’ve ever seen.

flo's avatar

@iamthemob ok then.
Women should always go out dressed like sex workers, for maximum result – i.e to get equal rights, reducing violence against women, etc.

laureth's avatar

I believe, here, that the most pro-woman thing one could say about how women should dress is not that they should dress like virgins OR whores, but that they should have the right to decide for themselves what mode of dress suits them most appropriately.

cazzie's avatar

There are ‘Take back the Night’ rallies… why not ‘Take back the Miniskirt’ rallies? LOL… sorry… I tend to joke about serious subjects when coming across ridiculous argument’s like @flo ‘s.

I’m in my 40’s now and still a size 36, but age has made its mark. I see dresses and outfits that I WISH I had had the confidence to wear when I was rocking my bod in my 20’s and 30’s, but I dressed how I felt; a bit repressed, overly serious and thought my body wasn’t that great. (looking back now at photos… how wrong I was..) I see women in more revealing outfits now and I think… now, there is a CONFIDENT woman. (not a whore….) so…. who’s the one being sexist?

iphigeneia's avatar

@floWe all have the right to be in an alley, at night, but we don’t do it. We don’t sacrifice our safety just to prove a point.

We don’t eat the unhealthies foods just to prove that we have the right.

Food doesn’t choose to make you unhealthy. When a man rapes a woman, he is in control of that action. If I need to, I will walk home alone after dark. I have the right to not be assaulted, and everybody else has the responsibility to not assault me. True, I understand there’s a risk and there are some areas and situations where I probably wouldn’t be out alone, just like I wouldn’t keep money in my pocket in a crowded subway station. But at the end of the day, it is not my behaviour that needs to change.

Likewise, we are not necessarily going to bring about change by adhering to expectations with regards to dress. Sure, there are occasions where clothing that reveals a lot of skin is inappropriate, but if, in the name of feminism, we were to denounce women who dress “like sex workers” in general, it would undermine the fact that we are fighting for respect regardless of what we wear.

I recognise that the clothing we wear sends out signals. I like that my work clothes say “I’m serious about my job.” and that my casual clothes can say stuff like “I’m feeling bright and optimistic today!” or “I am probably celebrating Chinese New Year.” or “I am vain and value my appearance more than my comfort.”

The thing with placing too strong an emphasis on fashion is that an outfit can be interpreted in various ways by various people, depending on time, subculture, age, etc. While some may see a woman wearing ‘stripper boots’, that woman might be wearing them because she just read a magazine which had a page of celebrities wearing those types of shoes. Fashion is a form of self-expression, but it’s not something you can read objectively.

flo's avatar

-I am working hard to never be easily duped, by the fashion, entertainment, Holloywood, porn industry. Or any other entity.
-I hope I don’t end up in a position where I have to take a job doing brainwashing of women.
-I hope there are fewer and fewer women who can’t be confident quietly.
-I hope never to waste so much time just so I can exercise bad judgement in appearance.

laureth's avatar

Also, this. When people put forth bills like this, feminism still matters.

flo's avatar

Noone has the excuse to rape anyone. Period.

flo's avatar

Chris Brown is on Dancing with the Stars and Saturday Night Live. People are still not getting it. It is not just a women’s issue.

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