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NerdyKeith's avatar

What are some ways that feminism has impacted the western world in the last 20 years?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) April 27th, 2016

(PS this is the last of my classic Yahoo Answers content)

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

1. More women in higher positions in corporate America.

2. More women in traditionally male-only workplaces. (Think firemen, construction workers, etc.)

3. Less condemnation for women choosing to work or women choosing to stay home and raise their children.

4. In short, more opportunities.

5. A lessening of the double standard for sexually active women vs. sexually active men.

Inspired_2write's avatar

In the beginning it created an equal voice for women, but it has not deteriorated into fanatical reactions.
There are always some around whom will take an issue too far.
I believe that women were searching for equality not full control!
I have seen some young women just out of Women studies program at University go to wild portions in there approach..even making a scene for nothing!
Ex: At a bar ( dance) where a young man approaced these three ( fanatics) just for a dance and receivedm a barage of insults about men in general , all negative…and then these young women had the nerve to be agast “that no one” wnated to approach them!
I sat with one of those teary eyed girl and explained to her how she appeared to others at that moment when she expoused her insults. She had NO CLUE?????
Perhaps she would had been better to include sensitivity courses along side her Womans Studies program.
Some people come out of courses very angry and I think that that was the case with all three women. By the way , not surprising, they left the Town.

Coloma's avatar

Even though I was on the ground floor of the feminist movement back in the early 70’s as a teen, one thing I have really noticed is that my daughters generation ( she is 28 ) seems to have really made strides in male/female friendships that are free from the sexual tension of my generation. It was rare for girls and boys to really be just friends in my younger years there was always the sexual thing looming and most people did not aspire to cross gender friendships, only sexual encounters. haha
The 20 somethings seem to have made a lot of progress in this area IMO.
My daughter had multiple male friends in middle school and high school that were, strictly, platonic.

Inspired_2write's avatar

“Now” deteriorated…

Judi's avatar

35 years ago I had a child out of wedlock. I was on welfare and the consensus was (even among conservatives) that it was best for a child to be raised by his or her mother in the early years and it was a reasonable investment to pay for welfare and medical for the mother and child until the child reached school age.
I know that the feminist movement has done a world of good but the insidious way that the corporate world has taken advantage of it makes me angry.
Once upon a time one person (admittedly usually men) could make enough money to support a family.
Now, the buying power of that one job rarely is enough and both parties are REQUIRED to work outside the home to make ends meet.
Although women have earned the right to compete in the workplace, their choice to stay home and raise their children has been drastically reduced and the vocation of parenting has lost prestige.
I’m 55 and that’s my experience from my generation.
On a positive note, I have noticed that in my children’s generation more young women seem to be finding ways to stay home than they did in my generation. I’m glad that my daughters have more choices than I did.

Coloma's avatar

@Judi Totally agree, women were screwed in many ways, expected to bring home the bacon and still do the lions share, if not still all of the domestic chores and child rearing and take time off for the kids needs, appts. etc. while most of the men in our generation just kept doing what they always did, going to work and coming home, putting their feet up, cracking a beer and still waiting for the women to serve them dinner and wash their clothes.
My ex was so proud of himself whenever he did some little thing like run the vacuum around , he talked about it for days like he was so enlightened. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

Men of the younger generation are not nearly as prone to dismissing a woman’s opinion as are men of my generation. I still have to kick Rick in the shins sometimes to get him to take me seriously. He’s learning.

Kropotkin's avatar

Okay. This answer isn’t going to be liked by many.

In practical terms, I think feminism has done basically nothing in the last 20 years. Just leaving aside my view that feminist theory is simply bad theory, bad methodology, and pseudoscience—I think the activism of feminists has done nothing practical for people in the last 20 years.

The observed changed and “improvements” that many attribute to what they call “feminism” is better explained by changes in technology, the economy, and the dynamics of the labour market.

Ideologically, feminism has been the bane of the left. All forms of identity politics have been. Identity politics has supplanted and undermined class politics. Now I have to listen to self-styled “left-wingers” prattle on about the “need” for more women in boardrooms, and more women CEOs—or wanting a woman as the first US President. Yeah—feminism is going to put a malevolent, mendacious psychopath in the White House because it has a vagina.

And on the other side—it’s added fuel to a right-wing backlash and to their deranged anti-left conspiracies. Traditionalists, neo-cons and various odious characters from the New Right, get to rant every day about how feminism is corrupting everything—because those gender studies and women studies classes are just breeding grounds for radical extremists hellbent on destroying everything your know and love and turning your kids into Marxist robots.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, as a female who was alive before the movement started, I couldn’t disagree with you more @Kropotkin.

Kropotkin's avatar

@Dutchess_III Sure. Now if you can demonstrate that the differences you observe are attributable to feminism—and not anything else.

There were a couple of points I was going to add originally, but ended up omitting in my actual post.

Feminism didn’t invent the contraceptive pill—and yet this one technological change dramatically changed the dynamics of how men and women relate to each other.

Feminism also didn’t decrease worker remuneration in relation to productivity—meaning that fewer men could maintain a family as the sole bread winner, and leading to (forcing) an increase in the proportion of women in the workforce.

I’ll admit it’s probably been quite good for a few ambitious middle-class liberal women who now want to express their new found female emancipation by matching equally bourgeoise males in their roles as good capitalists, politicians, and corporate executives. Not really the case at the other end of the scale—women in “male dominated” professions like mining, construction and the fire service are a vanishingly small number.

Judi's avatar

Not much longer than 20 years ago (less than 40) a woman had to have her husband or fathers permission to buy a car.
When I was in elementary school in the 70’s I wasn’t allowed to play the Bass because I was a girl and had to spread my legs to play it.
I was sent to a counselor at school because a boy passed me a note that asked if you had to fuck to get pregnant. The counselor suggested that it must be my halter top.
In the 80’s I had a female supervisor when I was a housekeeper in a hospital express dismay at my review that I was just as good if not better than most of the men at using the floor polishing equipment.
This is all pretty crazy stuff by today’s standards and if it weren’t for the persistent push of the feminist movement they may not have changed.
In the 80’s the women’s movement campaigned against sexual harassment in the workplace and if Clarence Thomas has done nothing else for women, his disgusting behavior sparked a conversation about sexual harassment and businesses, encouraged by the women’s movement set up standards and policies to make women safer in the workplace.
The feminist crusade of today is against slut shaming and victim blaming. Women should be allowed to be as sexually active as they want and men should be responsible for their behavior regardless of what a woman wears or how many sexual partners she’s had.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, GREAT post, @Judi!

I was strongly discouraged from taking shop or mechanics because I was a girl.

In 2002 I was once working on a push mower at the small engine repair shop I owned, and an older man saw me, literally pulled me away, out of the mechanics area telling me that was no kind of work for a woman. We just don’t have the aptitude, you know.

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