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I've created this thread to solicit opinions and personal perspectives. This certainly isn't the first thread on this topic in the history of babble, and is unlikely to be the last, but given some of the discussion that's going on around this issue, I thought it necessary to create a space where people can express their ideas about what feminism is, from a personal point of view, and perhaps learn from others' perspectives.
It is my hope that this thread will be a vehicle to share information, thought and experience. It is not intended to be a place to argue what feminism is or is not. It's a place to share perspectives, not debate who is correct and who isn't.
I ask for contributors to be tolerant of others' perspectives, and to treat each other with patience and kindness.
When I was young and easy under the apple boughs and first got involved in political and social issues, feminism was the "ism". Most of the activists were women, a whole range of feminist issues were key issues around which some of the sharpest struggles took place, a country boy like me took a horrible, but richly deserved, beating on my sexist attitudes, and there was much theoretical interest in combining Marxist views with feminist ones. Lots of women I knew experimented with their sexuality (I know this more in hindsight, btw) and I have to admit that lots of it bewildered me. It was a lot to absorb coming from where I did and as far as I did. ETA: I learned to admire women I had only previously desired and what a struggle that was.
There is before and there is after. This I know.
Rebecca West wrote: I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.
That is my favourite quote EVER.
A few random musings for a Sunday morning: as a younger person, feminism was for me about correcting social inequities, women getting paid the same as men, having the same career opportunities, not having our rights limited by male-dominated parliaments, equality of respect, getting to play the same sports, and suchlike. As an older experienced person I see feminism as a part of humanism, moving towards embracing a greater diversity of gender roles, empowering men as well as women to not be limited to stereotypical roles.
feminism to me is the radical notion that women are human beings.
The opposite of masculine?
As a male I would say to me it means respect followed by positive action when requested. I have never called myself a feminist but have felt great satisfaction when I have heard my feminist friends use the term to describe me.