Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 07/24/2009

A Feminist Wish List

 

generic feminist imagery! woo hoo!

generic feminist imagery! woo hoo!

 fgbm27 at daily kos recently wrote their feminist wish list, which was condensed and re-posted by Bitch. It brings up a lot of really interesting things to think about – most of which I completely agree with. Here is the list:

1. There must be a widespread understanding that feminism does apply to men. Therefore, men who stand up for feminist issues may, and should, be identified as feminist. It is counterproductive and hypocritical to discuss gender equality while simultaneously creating a double standard towards males who share feminist values.
(I think that the phrase “feminist male” should be dropped, as well. A feminist who identifies as female is never addressed as a “female feminist”)

2. While transsexual acceptance and rights are an important aspect of third wave feminism, it must understood that not every person is as educated on the topic as some are. Unless clear transphobia (a bigoted attitude transsexuals) is exemplified, ignorance should be contacted with empathy and, bluntly, education. Feminist infighting only hurts the cause.

Bill OReilly. sigh.

Bill O'Reilly. sigh.

3. Fox “News”, World Net Daily, CNS News, Drudge Report, and The Fox Nation are all unreliable, far-right, anti-feminist sources. While some feminists legitimately speak out against the mainstream media’s approach to feminism (which is more times than not negative), we must understand that these sources are beyond saving. While more feminists should be encouraged to appear in these sources arguing for the benefits of feminism, feminists should simultaneously discourage the use of them for anything else.

4. Applying make-up, nail polish, shaving legs, and most other sexist, cosmetic double standards are NOT antitheses to being a feminist – the motivation behind the products are. While these products are all derived from the sexist ideal of a “perfect” woman, many women (and men, for that matter) enjoy these items; there’s nothing wrong with that choice. However, there is an inherent problem when there is no choice involved. Feminists should be strongly encouraged to consider the motivations behind their habits but not castigated for living them out.

not the feminist enemy

not the feminist enemy

5. Feminists can be from any religion, race, creed, gender, socioeconomic class, country of origin, sexual orientation, relationship status, height, status of ability, experience or lifestyle. While some religions and lifestyles have very anti-feminist sentiments, accepting individuals of these communities will allow us to spread our message to even the most unlikely repentants. Feminism is about equality, not discrimination.

6. As feminists, we cannot allow sexism or objectification to happen to males, like it has to females. As embarrassing as Rush Limbaugh, Micheal Savage, or Bill O’Reilly and their visions of oppressed, white, straight, Christian males are, we must remember that white, straight, Christian, males need to be treated with the equality they deserve.

7. All women who are politicians, actresses, singers, CEO’s, or in any position of power are NOT necessarily feminists. While feminism has enabled most of these women to suceed, that does not mean that they currently identify with it. Sarah Palin, Tila Tequila, Michelle Bachman, and Lady GaGa are not feminists due to their success.

role model? feminist? methinks not.

role model? feminist? methinks not.

8. Despite the Republican party’s strong anti-feminist stances, being a member of the Republican party does not mean that one is inherently anti-feminist. Many economic conservatives hold strong feminist values. It hurts the feminist movement when possibly dedicated people are needlessly excluded.

9. Feminists must remember that men are sometimes the victims of sexual assault; not just women. Also, men are not always the assailant. While, statistically, women are usually raped by men at a much greater level, one must never forget that unconventional sexual assault is still sexual assault.

10. While one can be a feminist and personally oppose abortion, taking away a woman’s right to choose is an inherently anti-feminist position. There are many people that are pro-choice, but would personally never condone or undergo an abortion procedure. This is a very controversial subject, however an extremely important one as well; feminists cannot be silent or waver on the issue of abortion.

11. In cases of rape, victim blaming is always unacceptable. However, over time, there multiple cases have occurred in which the “victim” has lied about being raped for personal gain. While these attacks are very, very infrequent, feminism must not be blind to their existence.

12. Feminism must be unafraid to call “fakers” out. Every time that Sarah Palin would call herself a feminist (before promptly contradicting herself), every time Tammy Bruce agrees with Bill O’Reilly, and every time plastic surgery is marketed as a “liberating” thing to do, real feminists must speak up! How can the true message of feminism reach the people if it is drowned out by all of these fake feminists?

13. Making sexist comments against men, in favor of women, is a directly un-feminist action. Whether it be a joke from a progressive, Dana Perino discussing the Mark Sanford affair, or anything else, these comments enforce gender stereotypes and are still sexist.

14. There is nothing wrong with choosing to live in a traditional lifestyle (being a stay-at-home mom, wearing a burqa, having the male in a heterosexual relationship be the breadwinner, etc.), but there are major problems with expecting it and castigating those who do not fit into it. This being said, people who choose to live in traditional lifestyles must respect others choices as well.

15. Reaching out to younger people is one of the most important actions that third-wave feminists need to accomplish. Many myths about feminism – “feminism is irrelevant”, “feminists are sexist against men”, “feminism is only for women”, etc. -are accepted as truth to an alarming number of young people. If feminists hope to keep the movement alive, then young people must have exposure to feminist ideologies.

(hell yeah to the last one)

so what do you guys think? what would you add or subtract?

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  • Meggie @ at 12:05 pm, July 24th, 2009

    I disagree with 10.

    I personally oppose abortion and believe that it should not be allowed to continue in our culture. I will fight to make sure that doesn’t happen, just as I will fight to remove our rape culture, get rid of sexist double standards, and stand up for every other tenant of feminism.

    If you think that makes me not a feminist, then I guess I’ll have to join the “I’m not a feminist, but…” crowd. I don’t think that’s going to help anyone out.

    There are many women and girls like me, who feel alienated by the conservative right for their Feminist viewpoint, and alienated by the progressive left for their Pro-Life, anti-abortion views. If you want to marginalize me, feel free, but it only undermines your own cause.

    Sorry, I know this got ranty. But after finishing my first year of college, I now feel more than ever that Feminism is rejecting me, as I work and work to embrace it.

  • Zoe @ at 2:03 pm, July 24th, 2009

    A very good list. I liked many of the clarifications.

  • Miranda @ at 7:07 pm, July 24th, 2009

    This I like.

  • RebJ @ at 8:31 pm, July 24th, 2009

    @Meggie: Did you mean that you will fight to make sure abortion doesn’t continue in our culture? (Sorry, I didn’t really understand) While I respect your views about abortion, I don’t understand why you have to fight to take away that choice from others.

    I also feel frustrated with the politicization of feminism. I think one of the reasons feminism is so misunderstood today is because it seems to cater to a narrow set of people who all hold the same beliefs. This is not true; feminists hold a diverse variety of beliefs and values. We concur on one essential principle: equality.

  • links for 2009-07-24 « Jet Grrl @ at 9:04 pm, July 24th, 2009

    [...] A Feminist Wish List | Feminism | fbomb (tags: feminism) [...]

  • Jane @ at 11:25 am, July 25th, 2009

    You were going so well there and then you ended by addressing us all as ‘guys’!
    This is not a picky comment – language matters, it always has, as a part of feminist politics and action.

  • maevele @ at 1:57 am, July 26th, 2009

    okay, number 2 is beyond problematic. If trans rights are remotely a part of the movement, it should not be okay for feminists to be ignorant about the basics of trans 101, and not the responsibility of trans people to patiently and politely educate feminists who have no interest in educating THEMSELVES, when they do something so ignorant as to be transphobic. and the luxury of staying ignorant of someone else’s basic human issues is a matter of privilege that counts as a result of transphobia itself.

  • Alex Catgirl @ at 4:38 pm, July 26th, 2009

    It work to hard at being inclusive to other groups and doesn’t address the needs of modern women.

    But more importantly-

    It’s obvious that the original author kicked Lady Gaga out of them feminist camp simply because she has a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac kermit coat while they do not.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/07/21/article-1201068-05C91806000005DC-928_224x345_popup.jpg

    We should show the world that not all feminists are bitter Muppet couture h8ters by getting Julie a kermit coat to wear to her next interview.

    interviewer – is that a frog puppet on your head?

    Julie – Yes =/

  • Siby @ at 2:25 am, July 27th, 2009

    Meggie

    You absolutely are NOT a feminist. You’ve just stated that you oppose womens’ basic human rights. Abortion IS a basic human right. To me, saying that you oppose the right to abortion is like saying you oppose womens’ right to vote. You shouldn’t pretend to be a feminist if you oppose womens’ right to vote, just as you shouldn’t pretend to be a feminist if you oppose a woman’s right to choose. I’m generally very open minded about who I consider to be a feminist, and I’m generally not the type to tell a person that they are not a feminist when they believe that they are. However, I’m not going to pretend that someone is a feminist if they oppose womens rights. It’s just ridiculous.

    I don’t believe that feminism should be an exclusive club, but seriously, how can people consider themselves feminists when they have extremely anti-woman views (such as being anti-choice)? These people are just trying to take womens’ rights back many decades. They are NOT pro-women.

  • ann @ at 1:24 pm, July 27th, 2009

    @Jane
    yes, yes language is often patriarchal. but seriously, maybe we should worry more about sexism that is INTENDED rather than the unintentional use of a “patriarchal” word.
    @alex catgirl
    i actually think it’s a pretty good balance. people too often forget that feminism DOES include everyone

  • ahahahahaha @ at 6:54 pm, July 27th, 2009

    TILA TEQUILA? wtf smh!!!! lmfaoooo!

  • Kathryn @ at 7:00 pm, July 27th, 2009

    @Meggie well whether the abortions are legal or not, there will ALWAYS be people wanting to get abortions and trying to rid themselves of the children they will not be able to provide for.
    Would you rather them do it themselves in dangerous ways? Back alley abortions?
    It’s the same idea as trying to tell teenagers to never have sex rather than giving them SexEd to keep them sex.
    It’s going to happen anyway, so at least give people a safe option if they are going to an abortion.

  • Fossu Duvo' @ at 7:20 pm, July 27th, 2009

    WTF Tila aint no feminist u idiots! Tila is our slave queen, nuttin’ less! She’s sumthin of an antonym of feminist!!!

  • Jaqob Jackson @ at 8:27 pm, July 27th, 2009

    All of the original feminists were pro-life/anti-abortion. All of em!

    Talking about Susan B Anthony and those around that time.

    Real feminism opposes the violent murder of innocent baby girls which is almost always done out of pure convenience.

  • Jaqob Jackson @ at 8:31 pm, July 27th, 2009

    FYI – Both China and India have exhibited sex selection abortion which has resulted in MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of baby girls being aborted simply because they weren’t baby boys.

    An aborted baby girl thrown in the trash is the least effective feminist imaginable. You know, because they’re dead and can’t do anything ever.

  • Julie Z @ at 8:59 pm, July 27th, 2009

    @ Jaqob
    I’ve addressed female feticide in this article:
    http://thefbomb.org/2009/04/the-50-million-missing-campaign/

    it’s one of the main reasons I got into feminism, as I describe here:
    http://thefbomb.org/2009/07/my-story/

    and it’s not “almost always done out of pure convenience” – it’s almost always done out of pure sexism, as parents prefer baby boys because they can pass on the family name in addition to just being more valued and they don’t want to waste money (dowry, resources) on girls. I have extensively researched this topic.

    the issue is not that these baby girls are the “least effective feminist(s)” the issue is that what their parents are committing is grossly misogynistic.

  • Allison @ at 9:21 pm, July 27th, 2009

    So murder is a basic human right? wow, you feminists are fucking nuts. I am a female proud of it. But i will never, ever condone abortion. If you know anything about human development, abortion is the ending of a human life. an embryo is a unique genetic person. It is a person. you were a person in the womb. Its funny how pro choice people are born. You make me sick. You should have your ability to have children taken away as you abuse it by killing innocent children.
    I do support womens rights- the rights of unborn children.
    and unlike you, i use scientific facts to back up the FACT that an unborn child is a human being an has the right to live.

  • Atlanta @ at 12:07 am, July 28th, 2009

    SPELL CHECK “While feminism has enabled most of these women to suceed, that does not mean that they currently identify with it. Sarah Palin, Tila Tequila, Michelle Bachman, and Lady GaGa are not feminists due to their success.”
    ***SUCCEED*** NOT SUCEED

  • fgbm27 @ at 4:10 pm, July 28th, 2009

    @Atlanta

    Damn, I did spell that wrong. Thanks for picking it up!

  • fgbm27 @ at 4:12 pm, July 28th, 2009

    @maevele

    Allow me to repost what I responded on Feministing with, to a critic of similar demanor:
    “I’m trying to explain that not everyone is as educated on the topic as some are. Those who are educated should not be driven to assume bigotry on the part of others – it leads to unnecessary and unproductive bickering. My writing also made it VERY clear that transphobia is unacceptable and so is ignorance.”

  • Ryan @ at 3:55 am, July 30th, 2009

    I would like you all to pay attention to the growing Men’s and Father’s Rights Movement. If you feel men should be able to be fathers after divorce and think shared parenting is a better idea, please go to ACFC.ORG and sign the shared parenting petition.

    Feminists say that having contact with all men who are fathers is inherently dangerous to women. THIS IS NOT TRUE…MEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE A FATHER.

  • Ryan @ at 4:05 am, July 30th, 2009

    ALSO I HAVE SEVERAL ARTICLES I’D LIKE FEMINISTS TO READ. PLEASE GOOGLE AND READ THE FOLLOWING:

    NO COUNTRY FOR BURLY MEN

    A NEW FRONTIER FOR TITLE IX SCIENCE

    IS THERE ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT MEN DR. ROY BAUMEISTER

    AND THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvxSQKqyX0A

  • Em @ at 3:38 am, August 6th, 2009

    @allison. whether or not the fetus is a “person” is sort of irrelevant to the whole abortion debate. the point is that when one being (i.e the fetus) completely relies on the body of another being to survive (i.e. the mother) the rights of the host being will always take precedence over those of the reliant being.
    Yes, It is a basic human right to have control over what happens to your body. That mean having the right not to be forced to carry around another and essentially parasitic (meaning completely reliant on the body of the “host” and having first dibs at the consumption of nutrients, also often making the “host”) being in one’s body for nine months. This right cannot simply be taken away from someone based on another person’s moralistic convictions. While you are certainly welcome not to choose abortion for yourself, it is really not your place to dictate what another woman can or cannot do with her own body and the reliant beings surviving off her body. Furthermore it really is impossible to have a society in which both gender equality and an anti-choice policy exist. Since one of the main goals of feminism is creating gender equality, the idea of being an anti-choice feminist seems a little contradictory…
    @Jaqob Jackson
    Causes and philosophies do evolve. The context in which early feminism was created was very than our modern circumstances. As with any movement old ideas will be discarded and new ideas added as information and circumstances change with the time. Therefore you comment regarding Susan B. Anthony is somewhat irrelevant. I’m sure there are many other aspects of modern feminism that Susan B. Anthony would not approve of, but that does not mean we should simply discard it.

  • chromagrrl @ at 2:57 am, August 13th, 2009

    GG’s and what you stand for have been an inspiration for me since art school. I think all 15 points are right on the mark, especially #15. My own daughter is 23, and throughout her life i have used real life examples to help teach her how to identify discrimination, and to rise above it. I was a single parent for many years, and she grew up watching me encounter many gender obstacles(i chose a male dominated career path)and overcome a good number of them. I have tried to teach by example. She and her generation could use some more current, relevant feminist role models…when i look around, i see more marginalized “faux feminism” than i do the real thing. The young are bombarded with more information than any previous generation in history – most of it commercialized to sell something. That’s why the Guerrila Girls are even more important now, in my opinion. The more media visibility you get, the better for passing the f-torch.

  • jess @ at 3:34 pm, August 27th, 2009

    I love this list!!! I just saved it on my computer and I illustrated it with my own pictures!!! You are awesome!!!

  • Kameron @ at 10:56 pm, September 30th, 2009

    Here’s some advice from a founding mother of feminism that’s 100% relevant to your idea that feminism is good for men:

    “We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men, and if we were free and developed, healthy in body and mind, as we should be under natural conditions, our motherhood would be our glory. That function gives women such wisdom and power as no male can possess.”

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, diary of 27 December 1890. Published in “Elizabeth Cady Stanton as revealed in her letters, diary and reminiscences” By Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch. Harper & brothers, 1922. p 270.

    By which I mean, feminism is steeped in misandry for more than a century and has nothing of benefit to offer men. And I don’t think feminism has much to offer women, apart from ill-defined and untestable theorizing.

    But that’s all just my opinion.

  • bugged @ at 8:44 pm, February 15th, 2010

    I would check your facts about point 11. It is nowhere near as rare as you think and as long as prosecutions for false allegations are so rare there will be a problem with the number of prosecutions of actual rapists.

    There are plenty of insentives to lie about being raped and until they are taken away innocent men and actual rape victims will suffer.

  • G @ at 12:38 pm, July 30th, 2010

    Allision, I’m curious about your stance on miscarriages then. Those happen spontaneously without any warning (just in case you didn’t know). If life begins at conception, then a miscarriage is involuntary manslaughter and should be punished as such.

    While fighting to ban abortion, you must also fight to ban smoking and drinking while pregnant, as well as women who have polycystic ovary syndrome, and any other factors that may induce a miscarriage, from getting pregnant. Miscarriages kill a human life, you know! Gotta make sure that every woman who gets pregnant is not at risk for spontaneously killing an innocent life! Fetal rights forever!

    You put the “rights” and the life of a fetus – a clump of cells – over the life and rights of a fully-developed, grown, adult woman. Now THAT’S “fucking nuts”.

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