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In Favor of Feminism: Share Your Views

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  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,926

    I don't get the amount of scrutiny over Kamala Harris as Vice-President. She was one of the contenders for president and she and Joe Biden had a few sparring matches during those debates. He's been in politics most of his life and knows what's personal and what isn't, and I think he respected her for speaking up. Sure, he picked her partly for demographic reasons - like every presidential candidate has done for decades in selecting their running mate. But she was certainly qualified, more so than some of the other candidates. Remember last year's nominating process was different due to Covid, so a lot of it was streamlined and kind of rushed and less public. I don't remember any previous Vice-President at the six-month mark being questioned about their accomplishments. And I REALLY hate seeing women doing that questioning, like more is expected of her just because she's a woman and a person of color.

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,004

    Hey just to clarify, I didn't refer specifically to Harris in my post and did not have only her in mind, even though she had been mentioned . I was absolutely speaking generally, not just of her.

    True, I'm not a fan of her and I think it's funny or weird that, if the aim was to get votes, they chose the female candidate who got the fewest in the primaries. Why not Liz Warren? I don't know if Harris is “mediocre" or brilliant - but her performance in the primary in terms of votes and popularity, was surely mediocre or worse.

    In the end, VP is not that important a position other than the fact that this person is a heartbeat away from becoming President. In that way, it's very important. But I consider other positions in government, like the Supreme Court and Federal judiciary, much more crucial, much more necessary to appoint talented judges than a VP.

    I tend to avoid political discussion on here but I think pointing out that a candidate did not garner many votes is a pretty objective measure, so I feel safe doing that

  • erento
    erento Member Posts: 187

    I didn't criticize her either, but she's not above criticism by women just because she's a woman. I meant generally, she just happens to be the most high profile female figure. I don't like this trend in the corporate world either, a world in which by and large women are privileged by virtue of having an education and white collar jobs. Moth's list is largely rooted in poverty AND being female. I think female poverty is a special area that needs extra attention and has been largely ignored.

    And thank you Divine for starting this topic. It's lively and I look forward to reading more of different views!

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 462

    I was excited to vote for Kamala Harris for VP. Since I was a kid I have dreamed of the day when a woman would finally be at the top levels of our government. She is very accomplished and overall being VP is a thankless position. Women who are in the public eye are reported on in a very different way than men.

    We could have an unending thread here of instances of misogyny in how women are presented in media. We are steeped in views of women told from the male perspective from the time we read or watch video. Then add on if it is a Black woman--I mean for example just look at how Meghan Markle, Serena Williams, Michelle Obama are discussed.

    If you are curious about Kamala Harris's resume/accomplishments you can check out her Wikipedia page here She is impressive and driven. I'm sure her mom would be proud.



  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,004

    Alice, I was a programmer too for awhile, back in the early 90s. I still know how to code, too. After the internet took off, taught myself web design, a little PHP, a little Java script.

    Anyway, the attitudes toward women, on the part of **some** men in that environment, was fascinating. Was eye opening to see how casually and openly they displayed prejudice.

    For the most part, programming is a field where if you can actually do the job, you will be respected. Once I had proven myself, I got respect from everyone. But getting there, I had my run ins with a couple of backward men. It did seem to be older men who were the worst to deal with, a lot of younger guys were very supportive and open minded. That gives me hope that things have gotten better, notwithstanding some of the complaining I see online.

    The group leader of my first placement was also a woman and a brilliant one. Our superiors and the clients were all fantastic - and they appreciated the quality work we did. But there still were those peers who tried to use femaleness to elbow me out of the way or underestimate me.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328

    In 1984 I voted the Mondale/Ferraro ticket, hoping to see America's first woman vice president. I've been waiting 25 years for this milestone. I am damn well going to be happy about it.

    For those who think that every job should be "may the best man win", I just want them to think about how there are barriers to even considering the woman for the job when no woman has had the job before. It was a big symbolic and practical victory when Kamala Harris became VP.

    I worry about challenges to women's equality such as complementarianism. I worry that the right wing religious groups are working to undermine women's position in the United States. I worry that some people think there is no need for feminism.

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311

    I understand what Moth is saying. I worry about the Afghanistan women if the Taliban takes over. I don't like what is happening in Cuba. I really like Maria Elvira Salazar and others. There is so much going on in the world and on our borders. I know we aren't perfect and have a long way to go, but things are better than what my Mom went through and my daughter's aren't going through what I had to. For that I am thankful to live in the USA.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,102

    I graduated high school 1966. My mom suggested I go to the local department store, pick out a bedroom set, make payments on her account. I did. She signed the account Mrs His Name.

    Got married in 1968. Wanted a credit card. In my name. Couldn’t do it. When a friend told me I could get a card, I really didn’t believe her. Probably in early 70s. But was true, and I did. Prior I felt sort of second citizen class.

    It was a baby step, many more have been taken, many more to go. And a prospective employer can’t ask if you are on the pill, or planning to get pregnant. So there’s that.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,926

    I've been thinking about my Mom as I read this. She died in early 2018 at the age of 97 (lucky in a way since I didn't have to go through telling her about two cancers later that year). I don't remember ever having a conversation with her about feminism or equal rights or any of that, but she talked quite a bit about wanting to see a female president in her lifetime. I think Hillary Clinton was the only candidate she ever sent money to. Back in the 1970s, she really wanted Barbara Jordan to run for president. During World War 2, Mom was an inspector in a couple of aircraft factories, and supervised a crew of men. After the war, her supervisor wanted her to continue, but she and my Dad (who was in the Coast Guard) were moving back to Detroit, where she was from and where he'd been living before meeting her. She was the daughter of factory-working Hungarian immigrants, and had to do a lot of the translating for them, especially her mother, while growing up. Although she didn't work when I was little, she got a job once I was in junior high, and a lot of her talk was about how much faster and more organized she was than the other workers! (Yeah, she could be a real pain that way 😏) She also had the last word on all decisions in my family except when it came to cars, since Dad was a mechanic. I always wondered where she got her confidence and assumption of equality (or superiority) in those circumstances. Just recently, I found this quote in a Wikipedia article when I was looking for more information on the neighborhood where she grew up:

    Steve Babson, author of Working Detroit, stated that in the 1920s, women from Hungarian and Finnish houses had "considerably more freedom" compared to those from Italian and Macedonian houses. Women from Hungarian and Finnish houses opened social groups for both sexes such as political, benevolent, and sports groups; women from the ethnicities often had more encouragement to attend high school and further education compared to Italians and Macedonians. In the late 1920s Lois Rankin of the International Institute of Detroit stated that in Detroit "as in the home country, Magyar [Hungarian] women occupy a position of equality with men, and there is little subservience to be noted in their attitude."

    So now I know at least some of why my Mom was the person she was.

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 1,911

    So let's applaud her for being the first woman VP and the first woman of color to break that glass ceiling. May she be the first of many to come.

    Yup, Hillary should have been president based on merit. She was derailed through machinations that if pulled on any male would have been declared as "foul" and "unfair" words bandied about by some candidates today.

    I admire Nancy Pelosi for standing up to those men (and even other women) who would try to intimidate her, to demean her intellect and to dictate her demeanor (witch). When she is aggressive (a trait admired in men but demeaned in women) she is attacked as being "crazy" and her stance belittled because she won't play hardball according to their rules.

    I love Michelle Obama for her intellect, earthiness, and ability to relate to people's needs with empathy and caring. She is funny and I found it hilarious when Obama said both he and the girls are afraid of her and she rules.

    So 4 somewhat dissimilar women that have had an impact on our lives and current situation. Outspoken, steadfast, intelligent, prepared to think on their feet, and able to tackle adversity with aplomb. Any more candidates? What traits and/or women do you admire and use as a template for your growth?

  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311

    Our former first lady was fluent in 5-languages and never was appreciated. I thought Nikky Haley did a great job as an the Ambassador to the United Nations. I like Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Theresa May, Margaret Thatcher, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, Malala Yousafzai, Diana, Princess of Wales, Susan Solomon, and Creola Katherine Johnson to name a few!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,507

    flashlight,

    Not to nit pick but there is some doubt as to whether or not Mrs. Trump was actually fluent in five languages. She does speak Slovenian and English for sure and I think bilingualism is to be admired. However since she lied about having a degree from a university in Slovenia I have a hard time believing her claims. She did attend university but never completed her course of study. Her claims of multilingualism are very much in doubt so perhaps that is why she was never appreciated. ?

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/melania-trump-multiple-languages/

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    Moth, if by your saying “I know some people think I'm an angry feminist" you are referring to anyone on this thread thinking that, let me say that for me, your anger is perfectly warranted. I am angry, too, about about all those things concerning women that you listed in your post. Share your anger here, we are listening and not judging.

    And while all the women's issues you wrote about are very compelling, I want to, need to have an impact in my own world on a personal level. That's why the expression “Women hold up half the sky" speaks to me. It is a starting point for me. It says to others “This is where I'm meeting you. We aren't going to work to get up to this point, this basic truth is where we begin. I will be coming from this perspective." Six words to show my belief that women are equal to men. It does not say women are superior to men or that they hold up more of the sky than men hold up. To me, it's an expression of leveling the field. Women, when given the opportunity, can rise to any occasion the same as a man.

    Speaking from this truth. I've been able, in many everyday conversations, to point out to others ways women are being treated as “less than". My objective is not to win an argument or prove a point. I am planting seeds; giving people another way to see things and other ways of thinking about things. And I will keep on doing it. To my surprise, my approach is being received by people. I'm heavily surrounded by family and acquaintances who are immersed in the patriarchy and many don't even realize it. I can't pound them on the head with my views. But I do want them to know not every one accepts the status quo of men as the ultimate authority. So I speak up when I sense an opening. And my radar is always scanning for those moments.



  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,413

    Divine, I appreciate this thread and all who contribute to it, I also appreciate the differences of opinion. Personally, I’ve never known a time when both parents did not work or have equal access to the usual thingsand some of the pre 1980’s descriptions are quite shocking but I’m happy those old ways are so unimaginable to me in the present.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    illimae, you young thing, you! :)

    Women I admire, there are many and certainly, Betrayal, the ones you mention are beyond amazing. After reading Michelle Obama's autobiography I love her even more than I already did. Can't say enough about Pelosi and Hillary too. Incredible.

    The women I admire are ones who speak up for women's equality in their own ways. Certainly, Jill Biden is one of them. Along with her political views, she has a certain refinement and beauty that especially appeals to me.

    Marlo Thomas did groundbreaking work with her creation of “Free to Be...You and Me", developing a show, book and album from this theme. The album is supposedly on the list of 100 best selling albums ever. Marlo's efforts started ripping away at gender stereotypes like never before.

    Melinda Gates does much so work for women's causes worldwide including providing birth control.

    I'm drawn to the writing of Glennon Doyle, author and activist known for her bestsellers like "Untamed" & founder/president of Together Rising, an all-women-led nonprofit organization supporting women, families, and children in crisis.

    I've read books by all 4 of these women, all of which I highly recommend.


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    Btw, Alice, what an incredible story of your mom with her Hungarian roots and her longevity of life! You had to be amazed reading Wikipedia about Hungarian households which shed light on why your mom experienced more freedom to speak up than woman of other ethnicities. I love the history lesson!


  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,413

    Speaking to the Hungarian subject, my grandmother was a Hungarian freedom fighter, though I don’t think it was in person, she and my grandfather stayed involved in the struggle and related foreign affairs after emigrating here by boat sometime in the 40’s, I think. I always found that passion and courage very cool.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,926

    illimae, I wish the current crop of Hungarians were as admirable as earlier ones. The current batch (at least politically) is not so admirable, with their anti-gay/trans laws. But I guess this country hasn't looked so great to others in the recent past, either, and I need to remember that it's not all of them who have regressed.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 1,878

    Ooooooohhh! I just found this thread. I've enjoyed catching up on the discussion.

    I too am a gender-critical radfem. I am completely comfortable being, and being considered, a woman. But I have had well-meaning people with love in their hearts tell me that I am actually trans because I don't wear makeup or nails, follow the Kardashians, or do "girly" things. No, sorry. First of all, there's no such thing as "girly things" or "boyly (is that a word?) things". They are simply things that people like - be they male or female. This also applies to clothes. As Eddie Izzard said, "It's not a woman's dress. It's my dress. It's a man's dress."

    Interestingly, I am caught up in battling the White Penis Club (TM) at work. Our company has an online continuing education system that is being horribly managed. The unit tests are riddled with errors, and many of the informational slides have typos or awkward sentences. It desperately needs an editor and proofreader, if nothing else. I have even offered my assistance to correct them personally, so I'm not just complaining without being part of the solution. Unfortunately, it was launched by a director who considers it his pet project, and you don't dare call his baby ugly. I am trying to get these issues fixed, so that we don't lose our accreditation. But the bros at corporate don't want to recognize that there are any problems, especially any that have been pointed out by a woman. Gossip has gotten back to my team that they call me and my other team leads "brash and abrasive". If we were men, we'd be called "passionate and willing to speak truth to power". It's so frustrating!

  • sampy661
    sampy661 Member Posts: 36

    I’m a simple feminist where I believe all transwomen are men and all transmen are women and should stay in their lane, especially when it comes to sport, prison and rape shelters

    Patiently awaits her banning from forum.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 462

    Trans rights are human rights. I stand with all people who identify as women.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    HI Sampy, my sister, I hope not! I'm with JKRowling and Maya Forstater. IYKYK

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,004

    Brave ladies. I totally know what gender critical radical feminism is but my controversy-avoiding self did not want to speak on it. I used to read Meghan Murphy's website and though I don't agree totally on every issue, I do completely agree on the gender issue.

    Stay in your lane, indeed.

    Also having lived through the second wave, whatever happened to “free to be you and me"? Not to berepetitive but - boys can play with dolls, girls can play with trucks, women can be software engineers, men can be hairdressers, etc

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 1,878

    Rape shelters for trans victims should absolutely be their own spaces with their own dedicated counselors. When men rape women, it is to exert control over them, to punish them, or because he felt entitled to her body. When men rape transwomen, it is a projection of the perpetrator's homophobia and repressed homo-oriented sexual feelings. (Not necessarily true homosexual feelings, but feelings that they would normally feel around women but are experiencing around a man.) In order to reject these homo-oriented feelings, they attack. They can't attack themselves, because that would be admitting that they can experience feelings about another person with a penis. So they blame the person who "made them feel like that" and attack them violently and/or sexually.

    Women assault-survivors need dedicated penis-free zones to feel safe. They deserve that to heal and find support among their peers.

    The social dynamics surrounding trans rape means that they will need different and separate support groups. Besides, women worked hard to build their safe spaces. The trans community can do that for their own too. They deserve full ownership of their safe spaces, created by their community for their community to meet their specific needs.

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 1,911

    In the mid 70's when the hospital where I worked was a planned closure within 6 months, I was 3 months pregnant and sought a new position. I went for an interview, was qualified for the position and met with the HR department head and the hospital president. Over lunch, the president asked obliquely if I was planning on a family in the future and I admitted I was currently pregnant. He sort of gulped, he did not pursue my response and we continued lunch. When we returned to the hospital, the president invited me to his office and asked if I had any questions. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I told him that I was clearly qualified for the position and that if I did not get it, it had best be because someone was more qualified and not due to my pregnancy. He chuckled and offered me the job on the spot even without input from HR. He later told me that he felt I was not only the most qualified for the position (of the other candidates) but that I also would be able to deal with any resistance offered by the medical staff which was predominantly male.

    During the 70's it was not unusual to be asked questions about your family planning when interviewing. I was offered another position contingent upon my signing a contract guaranteeing I would not get pregnant for several years and if I did, I would have a position but most likely it would be a demotion with loss of pay (unpaid leave as well). I respectfully declined. Don't think men were asked reproductive questions nor if they broke a leg, had a car accident, etc. would their position be a demotion when they returned to work.


  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311

    I worked in health care in the 70's and I was never asked about family planning. My brother had to co-sign my car loan for me and it took longer for me to open a checking account at the bank when I moved to Delaware. The Army last year updated their 40 year old smock maternity uniform and talking about or has issued a lactation shirt. Things are changing. My paternal grandparents came from Hungary. My grandmother had 10 children, 6 that lived. It was interesting to see their signatures at Ellis Island, through Ancestry.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    Two more women are on my list of highly admired. One is Stacey Abrams. She may even be my most admired. Learning all she did to register voters in Georgia, and it was extensive, tedious, one by one by one by one registering voters, and then knowing that her efforts turned Georgia blue and helped deliver a Biden presidency to our nation was, in my opinion, what literally saved the United States of America. I know that Stacey was joined in her voter registration efforts by other organizations and other people and together, they did the grassroots groundwork to secure those votes, but it began with Abrams and stemmed from her loss of the Georgia’s governor’s race. The amount of registrations they procured in less than two years time was staggering. I think perseverance is the trait I admire most, and I give Stacey Abrams the Olympic gold medal in that category. She is an author whose books I haven’t yet read, but they are on my list.

    Another woman I admire whose memoir I did read is Gloria Allred. From her book description: Voted by her peers as one of the best lawyers in America, and described by Time magazine as "one of the nation's most effective advocates of family rights and feminist causes," She is most definitely a standout in the trailblazer category.


  • flashlight
    flashlight Member Posts: 311

    Sorry, I disagree with you about political Stacey Abrams, but I give her kudos for being, the first black woman to lead in the House of Representatives and to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly. I haven't read any of her romance novels as "Selena Montgomery", so maybe I would like her as an author. I agree with you about Gloria Allred. I'm reading The Triumph of Nancy Reagan and it is very good. I had forgotten that she had a mastectomy in 1987.


  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 1,911

    I am in support of tolerance thus do not sit in judgment on those whose genetic make-up may be in conflict with their birth assigned gender.

    Divine, I concur on Stacey Abrams. She is a force to be reckoned with and really upset the apple cart in the male domain. Gloria Allred is also in my esteem and a forerunner in women's legal rights. Go Gloria!

    edited for a spelling error

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    flashlight, it isn't necessary for you preface your comment with “sorry" because you don't have to apologize for disagreeing with my view on Abrams. You simply don't agree.

    Apologizing is something I'm very aware of and notice that quite a few women do, they apologize for many things that are not their fault. Recently a young salesclerk literally apologized five times because when I gave her a $20 bill for a purchase, she had to give me change in 16 one dollar bills because she didn't have any larger bills. I had to tell her that it was truly insignificant and she had no need to apologize. I am very careful to only use the word sorry when I've done something wrong that needs an apology. Having an opinion is not one of them. Taking the blame for things I did not do or am not responsible are other areas where I'm not going to say I'm sorry.