Topic: In Favor of Feminism: Share Your Views

Forum: Bonded by Breast Cancer — For those who have met on Breastcancer.org and want to continue growing their cybersibling friendships beyond cancer.

Posted on: Jul 13, 2021 01:13PM - edited Jul 14, 2021 07:48AM by divinemrsm

Posted on: Jul 13, 2021 01:13PM - edited Jul 14, 2021 07:48AM by divinemrsm

divinemrsm wrote:

I'm starting this thread for those of us who support feminism and its beliefs, so we can exchange thoughts, ideas, inspiration, frustrations, personal stories, news stories, famous people stories, memes, book & video recommendations and other matters pertaining to women's equality.

Here's a general definition of feminism: the belief in full social, economic, and political equality and opportunities for all genders. It's about respecting diverse women's experiences, identities, knowledge and strengths, and striving to empower all women to realise their full rights.

[[****Edited to add: The above description is taken from several websites and aligns with my personal view of what feminism means to me. You may have other thoughts. What does feminism mean to you? Please feel free to discuss.]]

Only in the last ten years or so have my eyes been open to the patriarchal world we live in. Since then, I'm continually aware of the many women (including from this forum and also myself) who've been conditioned (by society, religion, family tradition, etc.) to prioritize others before themselves; to take on a "less than" persona, to minimize themselves and their contributions. As women, we need to recognize our value individually and collectively, advocate for ourselves and treat ourselves with the same care and loving-kindness with which we treat others.

Please honor the spirit of the thread. It's not for opposing views. The intention is for those of us with similar views on feminism to have a space to gather, share insights and find support. I feel I will have a lot to contribute. Will you join me?


found lump 12-22-10—ilc—er+/pr+/her2—stage iv bone mets—chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex—March 2019-ibrance/aromasin* —Sept 2019-verzenio* —March 2020-xeloda*
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Jul 13, 2021 08:41PM betrayal wrote:

Moth: Thanks for the edification on your gender critical rad/fem stance. I, too, had to reread it to fully understand. I agree that we have not achieved equality yet but do accept that in my lifetime I have seen advances in some aspects for the female experience for the positive. When I first entered the workforce my male counterparts, performing the same job, were paid more and this persisted until we unionized. It has not been erased though because we still make less than males and are less likely to be given a promotion based on merit rather than penis status. So I don't think genitalia should be a deciding factor.

I am pro-choice due to work experiences where unwanted pregnancies were forced on women and I saw the aftermath in dysfunctional families, socioeconomic disparities and child abuse. I still believe I have the right to control what happens to my body and for that reason most of my physicians are female after negative, paternalistic experiences with male physicians who wanted to "little lady me".

I will not shop at Hobby Lobby due to their stance on birth control. They will pay for Viagra but not BCP. Same for Catholic church supporting Viagra but not BCP.

I do not bash males unless they need it and am selective in the process to not address their gender but the issue that is at hand or if they feel they can intimidate me. I had one guy aggress me by pressing close and hulking over me (he was much taller) and I just calmly told him to retreat because he needed to consider what was in reach of my hand. He got the message and backed off.

Not sure what kind of feminist that makes me but I raised my son to be considerate of women, he learned to sew and cook and is the chief cook in his household. My DD would be embarrased when I told her her dates were Losers and by my use of The thumb and index finger L on my forehead. When her last boyfriend harrassed her about getting a college education, I threw him out of the house and told him not to return until he could respect her and her decisions. It was the end of that relationship and she has since married the man of her dreams who loves and respects her.

So I think we will all have an aspect/interpretation of feminism that we feel best suits us and our definition. I hope we can discuss them and use this as a learning platform to promote ourselves and others. Unity is what we need, there is enough division in the world without it occurring here.

Surgery 2/1/2016 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Surgery 2/1/2016 Lymph node removal Surgery 3/4/2016 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2016 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/19/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/16/2020 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jul 13, 2021 10:50PM trinigirl50 wrote:

I don't think the definition of feminism is up for interpretation. It has always been crystal clear that it is about equality of the sexes (socially economically and politically). One and one = two. No need for interpretation.

What feminism means to you and how we can get to equality: now that is definitely something that can be different things to different people.

Moth's sound bite definition of Radfem still sounds like plain old feminism to me. The world is still a patriarchal dominated place and equality will never happen until things are re-ordered more equitably. Nothing radical about that really. Didn't quite understand the bit about Gender critical. Elucidate if you will Moth, I would love to hear more.

A person who hates/denigrates or seeks to devalue men is a person who hates men (for whatever reason)... nothing to do with feminism.

Anyway, things are becoming quite fascinating with the younger generations. Gender fluid, transgender are realities that are going to add more sauce to the pot..

For now, we still have many more rivers to cross before women gain true equality. And that's in the more developed countries...

trinigirl50 Dx 3/7/2015, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 20/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/7/2015 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/1/2015 Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 13, 2021 11:42PM illimae wrote:

I accidentally posted this to a completely wrong thread, I guess I can’t multitask like I used to.

I think "feminist" can be misunderstood by some because lately the loudest voices seem extra angry but I'm old enough to know better, where the fight for equality came from and how far it's come.

What do you all think of a female VP, not in general but specifically this last election? A lot of women were cheering but I thought it was a hollow victory. No men were even considered, so how was that true equality? I'd love to see someone win the top spot against all others.

Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 1/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+, HER2+ Radiation Therapy 10/20/2017 External Local Metastases 10/20/2017 Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External Local Metastases 4/18/2018 Brain Radiation Therapy 5/23/2019 External Local Metastases 5/23/2019 Brain Surgery 1/22/2020 Radiation Therapy 2/17/2020 External Local Metastases 2/17/2020 Brain Radiation Therapy 7/20/2020 External Local Metastases 7/20/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Radiation Therapy 12/4/2020 External Local Metastases 12/4/2020 Brain Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 14, 2021 12:30AM trishyla wrote:

As opposed to nearly every election in the past 250 years when a woman wasn't even considered? I disagree about Kamala Harris, illamae. Even though she wouldn't have been my first choice, I think her election was a step toward some equality in our political world here in the US. Not a huge one, but progress nonetheless.

As far as what feminism means to me, it doesn't mean replacing a patriarchy with a matriarchy. Then we become that which we decry. And as some one who loves the men in my life, I would never want them to be told to sit down and shut up anymore than I want women to be told to do so. To me it reeks of revenge, not equality.

Just my two cents. For what it's worth.

And thanks for starting this thread, Divine. We women need to be empowered, not just in our personal and professional lives, but in our medical care as well.

Trish

Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/6/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/4/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 8/5/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 14, 2021 08:09AM - edited Jul 14, 2021 08:18AM by divinemrsm

I just edited the original post, making note of the addition. It's kind of funny, because looking at the post, I think I could have simply wrote the first paragraph and hit the submit button and all woulda been well. Instead I sort of shot myself in the foot by expounding on the topic. My mantra this year has even been “Less is more". Ah, well. Part of me does want to delete everything after that first paragraph, but I will let it ride for now.

On to other things.

I was rather surprised that there wasn't already a dedicated thread on this forum to discuss feminism. I searched numerous times over at least the past year or so, thinking maybe I was overlooking it somehow. I'm glad to see it's of interest to others, and I find the comments very interesting and in this big old patriarchal world, I feel wonderfully supported by your views. When I get a bit more time, I want to address them.

found lump 12-22-10—ilc—er+/pr+/her2—stage iv bone mets—chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex—March 2019-ibrance/aromasin* —Sept 2019-verzenio* —March 2020-xeloda*
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Jul 14, 2021 09:31AM summerangel wrote:

To me, my feminism is just a part of my wish for equal treatment for all people, and I agree that replacing a patriarchy with a matriarchy is the opposite of what feminism is seeking to do. I'm confused about the term "gender critical", too.

As for Kamala Harris, I have an interesting anecdote. I watched the early debates for the Democratic candidate. One day after a debate my manager (a woman, first female manager I've had in about 15 years) asked me if I watched the debate and what I thought. I told her that I was disappointed in quite a few of the candidates and said my favorite of the group was Pete Buttigieg. She actually accused me of sexism for not liking Kamala Harris! So there I was treating all candidates equally and judging the debate by their performance and yet I'm accused of being sexist for choosing a favorite who wasn't a woman. Anyway, she still isn't my favorite person in the world, but I teared up when she was elected. It's great that we finally have a woman in one of the top spots.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 3/27/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Surgery 8/28/2015 Reconstruction (Left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/4/2015 Reconstruction (Left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (Right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Jul 14, 2021 10:10AM flashlight wrote:

I agree with illimae and SummerAngel about the VP. It is kinda of embarrassing to see her laughing at every comment and not saying anything substantial. Then the press gives her kudos for hosting a luncheon and cooking! Possibly this is from who is in charge of her? I see the most hypocrisy and lack of feminism coming from Hollywood actors. Except for my stint in the service, most of my bosses have been women. Now, that there are more men in health care things are changing there as well.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy Whole breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Jul 14, 2021 10:13AM mainejen wrote:

I love this thread and thank you for starting it. There is a very painful, but extremely feminist and brilliant book/memoir/illness narrative about enduring breast cancer. I strongly recommend it - although I read it in my first week of chemo and it was too hard/painful - I should have waited. LOL. That said, if you can tolerate the rawness (please: I warned you), it won the Pulitzer Prize. It is that good. "The Undying" by Anne Boyer. It spoke to me on so many levels as a woman/human/cancer patient, etc.. It's relevant to being a woman and a feminist and to being someone who is living through what we're all living through in some way. Anyway, just throwing that out there.

Also: I love, respect and adore and admire my husband, my son, and my daughter. I went to an all girls school growing up and to a woman's college. I'm 52 now and I am definitely a feminist. I love your definition and I understand that you were just trying to start a conversation on this site that did not seem to happen elsewhere. Thank you for doing that. I've been wondering how there can be such a giant collection of women on this site and why there isn't a direct dialogue about all of this anywhere. So this was brave of you to post. It couldn't have been easy. And making yourself vulnerable is always a healthy choice, even if some people aren't able to be gracious or considerate or kind in return. I just worry about online vulnerability because - well - you never know who is out there ready to stomp on you because you took a risk. Social media has its downsides for sure. Upsides too. But yikes, people can be so awful online - where they might not be that way in person, you know?

I feel old now (especially as I struggle with breast cancer and the treatments - ugh) - and when I think about how far we have come since I was in high school and college, it is amazing. Back in high school, I took a women's studies class and it was so exciting, energizing and mind blowing to me as a teen. Also: it was unique and so many people thought my teacher was silly or crazy for teaching that class. People were so dismissive of her - back then. It was awful! Also: my best friend in high school was a closeted lesbian and now she's been legally married to her wife for years and they have 2 grown sons. So much good change. SO much change in so little time! And it's all related, I think. On the other hand, there is still a LONG way to go. When RBG died, look what happened to the Supreme Court. Huge backlash. So upsetting. And the ways many people talk on tv and in social media and just out there about our VP, it's all so grotesquely racist and misogynist and we are living with so much backlash, etc. now. Modern technology has allowed us to connect in such amazing ways. But also, people seem to feel free to use social media and even this site to be hateful, angry, intolerant and vicious. That's not progress, that is scary and sad and holds us back. 2 steps forward, 3 steps backward. 10 steps forward, 12 steps backward.

I think how great it is that my daughter can safely explore her sexuality and ask questions about what it means to be a girl/woman now without fear and out in the open. At least in our family. And in some parts of our culture. I think it is amazing that my son is thoughtful and wants to deliberately grow into a respectful, loving, kind, open-hearted and ethical man. I deeply value the men in my life and the women in my life. I've been abused severely - truly in grotesque ways - by a woman (my own Mom) - so I know to my core that men and women can be equally horrible. And abuse from anyone is awful. Male or female. I've felt safer with my husband than with anyone ever in this life on this planet. He's a beautiful, generous, open soul. He deserves as much respect and kindness as woman does. I don't want him to sit down and be quiet. He has a lot of really powerfully beautiful, generous, loving, amazing things to say. He should be heard too.

I just want my daughter's voice to have the same air time as my son's. I want her to get equal pay for equal work. I want her to feel safe in this world. I want all girls to grow up feeling safe and respected. All boys. All humans deserve that.

Anyway, thanks for opening up this dialogue. I'm not sure I'll participate much, as I hesitate with online forums to say much. It can get really ugly and I feel scared for people when they stick their necks out on social media. I just threw myself into this to offer support. I send you all my best wishes and hope that everyone is feeling ok today. I'm in chemo now, so I'm feeling crappy. But I'll make my way through, as we all do.

Peace.

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Jul 14, 2021 10:33AM illimae wrote:

Tryshla, I think there should have been more women in the past too but I understand why there weren’t (too many barriers, legal and societal). My thing is, when it was stated that a woman would be picked specifically, I heard “gender is our primary qualification for this job, above all else” and that, no matter what gender it benefits, bothers me.

Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 1/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+, HER2+ Radiation Therapy 10/20/2017 External Local Metastases 10/20/2017 Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External Local Metastases 4/18/2018 Brain Radiation Therapy 5/23/2019 External Local Metastases 5/23/2019 Brain Surgery 1/22/2020 Radiation Therapy 2/17/2020 External Local Metastases 2/17/2020 Brain Radiation Therapy 7/20/2020 External Local Metastases 7/20/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Radiation Therapy 12/4/2020 External Local Metastases 12/4/2020 Brain Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 14, 2021 11:32AM erento wrote:

As a centre-leaning liberal Canadian, I don't like the new trend of favouring someone based of their gender or race. I check the gender and race box (female Iranian immigrant), but I would like to primarily be chosen for my qualification for the job and treated on equal playing field. I'm a grown up and don't need special needs and can take care of myself and my needs. To be honest, I find it condescending that someone thinks I need extra help. It diminishes my accomplishments and it may even set me up for failure.

But I agree with OP's definition of feminism and as someone who grew up in a society that treated women as half men, I am extra grateful for the equality of opportunities I enjoy now. There is a lot of work to be done, but we'll get there in the fullness of time, maybe not in our lifetime, but we'll get there. Given the millennia of patriarchy, it's too much to expect things to change in a generation or two. We are still in the shock and adjustment phase. I prefer gradual and lasting changes over radicalism, the latter never ends well.

Survived an unexplained sudden cardiac arrest b/w surgery and chemo (while attending a chemo info session at the hospital). Code blue, CPR, induced coma, ICU, ICD. Escaped alive with heart and brain unscathed! Dx 12/8/2014, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/12/2015 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 3/20/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/23/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 8/4/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes

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