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The Forum > Article Comments > Feminism is passť because it worked > Comments

Feminism is passť because it worked : Comments

By Vivienne Wynter, published 15/8/2006

The equalities we take for granted weren't won without a struggle.

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Interesting article.

I'm a gen-Y woman myself and my personal opinion is that young women today rejecting the word feminism is doing a disservice to those women in history who fought for many of the freedoms we enjoy today.

I understand that Gen-Y women today do feel that feminism isn't relevant to them but like you said: there's still a ways to go as far as women's equality is concerned. I think it's our responsibility, as Gen-Yers to reclaim the term feminism, wrest it away from the mainstream media and pop-culture, who attempt to sully it's meaning and image, and re-define it for ourselves.

If you'll allow me a shameless plug, it's something I've attempted to do by creating an online feminist magazine called "Wo!". The first issue went live this month and can be found here:

http://www.wo-magazine.com/

Cheers.
Posted by Anna_, Tuesday, 15 August 2006 1:24:56 PM
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Before I start, I should probably point out that this is from a male perspective, but it seems to me that this trend of going backwards or doing 'feminism a disservice' could actually be viewed as the epitome of women's rights - okay, yes, it's embarrassing for some, and no doubt these women won't be taken as seriously as they should, but they've been allowed to make that choice. Sure we can rail against them, but it's been their decision to make, and it is a decision which has probably contributed to their success.

I'll admit, I'm a tad concerned when I see young teenagers dressing in skimpy clothes, and no doubt some of this is the influence of those within the media - but men are changing too.
Take a look at what is being currently worn by 'trendy' inner city teen males - for the life of me I can't figure out why effeminate articles of clothing such as tight jeans or black singlets are all the rage, but hey, no doubt they said the same thing about flares in the 60s.

I could be wrong, but I always thought the feminist battle was about being able to make the decisions you want - not necessarily being able to make the right ones. It mightn't have turned out the way you wanted it, but take note that it isn't a trend exclusive to women.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Tuesday, 15 August 2006 1:40:26 PM
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When ever I hear the word 'feminism', I think of George Orwell's book 'Animal Farm.'

Yep! "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others!"

Carey Roberts writer and social commentator writes

"Blame It on the Patriarchy
August 9, 2006

The feminism is a secular religion with its own high priestesses, dogmas, and initiation rituals. Its creation myth holds that on the first day Goddess created Eve, and all was right with the world. But that idyllic state was shattered when first patriarch Adam stumbled into the Garden, pounded on the table, and demanded his apple."

continued

"The shibboleth of oppressive patriarchy lies at the very foundation of feminist ideology. So imagine what would happen if people arose from their slumber one day, looked around in amazement at the false idols that now surround us, and came to realize that Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and their fellow myth-makers are the modern-day incarnations of the Jezebels and Delilahs of yore?"
Posted by JamesH, Tuesday, 15 August 2006 8:10:18 PM
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Feminism gave women two jobs and reduced their quality of life.The real cost of housing has doubled and now we are all slaves to the banks.

If women were smarter,they could have had equality,a family and time to contemplate their navels.

We in the West,have shot ourselves in both feet.
Posted by Arjay, Tuesday, 15 August 2006 8:34:40 PM
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When I read posts such as those above and read the "abortion forums" i wonder whether those hard won freedoms to control women's fertility and earn equal pay can't be easily lost by complacent young women.

I am pleased that most women accept as their right the ability to control their fertility and have broader career horizons than previous generations but I also see growing numbers of conservatives on our landscape and I wonder whether the same battles won't have to be fought again.
Posted by billie, Tuesday, 15 August 2006 9:15:20 PM
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Well put Arjay... but on house prices, we can also blame encouraging a rental market, building apartments and skyrises, and not enough disincentives for speculation in the housing market (such as stamp duties).

Part of this rejection of feminism is the great dissapointment which it has largely been. Based as it is in neo-Marxist understandings of everything as just power relationships, it ignored many of the things which make us human, and which make the world interesting. Principly, it treated women like things which needed liberation from many things which they prized. The blinkered view of Pink that in the 50's women were supposed to stay in the kitchen and shut up betrays not only the joy of many families but also the real changes in society that were occuring, with higher rates of tertiary education for women.

As a young'un, I can report that many female friends see a few main problems with feminism...
1) It sees things as a battle of man v. woman. I think that nowadays we understand better that societies operate in units (once called "institutions") like the family, and that they decide how to organise themselves.
2) It sought, and still occasionally seeks, to compel women into work or delaying family for the sake of the sisterhood.
3) It sees women's wellbeing as being divided from men's wellbeing and children's wellbeing. It views society as individuals rather than families.
4) It lacks pragmatism. Its knee-jerk reactions at attempts to do good, such as the recent family relationship centres,
Posted by DFXK, Wednesday, 16 August 2006 12:00:23 AM
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