Feminist Fridays Are Back!

I set the kickoff date for this round of Feminist Friday discussions two months ago. We have Feminist Friday posts at nine different blogs coming over the next couple of months. I’m hoping for some awesome discussions this summer.

As I was preparing to put together this kickoff post a couple of things happened that I really wanted to write about. First, there was the Game of Thrones rape scene controversy, which touched off a lot of arguments and caused some people to decide they were done with that series. Then a week later, the Josh Duggar story broke.

I’ve been struggling for the last couple of weeks to write a post about one or both of those events, and relate them to rape culture (which I’ve written about before). I haven’t been able to get a rape culture post together that I am happy with, so today I’ll announce the venues for the next two discussions and ask a simple, easy question.

Next week, June 12,  Natacha Guyot offers a French perspective on sex education at Science Fiction, Transmedia, and Fandom.

On June 19, the discussion will be hosted by Gretchen Kelly at Drifting Through My Open Mind.

The full schedule will be released later this week.

We often begin these discussions by talking about what feminism means. The first Feminist Friday post I ever wrote was about the usefulness of feminism as a political label. I kicked off the last round by talking about why I am a feminist. So, for today: What does feminism mean to you? If you identify yourself as a feminist, why?

You can download the best of last year’s Feminist Friday posts as an e-book for free at Smashwords and find every post we’ve written for this project to date linked here.

Join us next week at Sci-Fi, Transmedia, and Fandom. We’re just getting started!

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30 thoughts on “Feminist Fridays Are Back!

  1. “Feminism” to me is about gender equality. I think the word “feminist” sounds like it means “for women only” and that’s a big part of why it’s easy to confuse/twist around so we have to keep posting that infographic. I will generally say, “I support gender equality.”

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  2. I don’t know if I would call myself a Feminist, I definitely do believe in treating all people with respect equally men or women. Does that make me a Feminist? I think so.

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  3. For me, Feminism is Gender Equality. I’ve never thought of Feminism as being just for Women, although it has been portrayed that way far too often. Looking forward to the posts on this!

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  4. As others have mentioned, I support gender equality. “Feminism” means that we’ve noticed it’s women who are being mistreated in the current system, and it’s a way to go about fixing the problem. The problem can’t be fixed without a way to name it and collaborate against it! The word may have its problems, but that may be unavoidable under the circumstances. A bit like the word “homophobia” — People say “oh, I’m not afraid of gay people” without seeing the whole rest of the issue the word refers to.

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  5. I’m a feminist because I don’t think I should be treated like I’m lesser for something I can’t control. I’ll accept criticism of negative qualities I have power over (I’ll admit I can be ridiculously stubborn at times), but it’s absurd to me that we should treat ANYONE unfairly because of a situation they were born into.

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  6. Pingback: Next Week on the Blog | Natacha Guyot

  7. Pingback: #WeekendCoffeeShare: In Which I was (Sorry!) Too Busy to Post | Part Time Monster

  8. I prefer the term humanist, because it encompasses more than gender, and because feminism as a word has its issues, for me. But I grew up in a home where it was definitely a derogatory term used by one parent against another. So I grew up thinking that though I had those belief systems, I wasn’t a feminist, because feminists were those women who had to turn “everything into a gender-political argument,” etc.

    I don’t believe that now, but I do think that there is a certain provocation from both sides that I don’t like. I saw an article headline today that said “Let’s Only Publish Female Authors for a Year” and I could only think: Why? Do all men need to be excluded? What sort of message does that send? I just want a world where everyone, regardless of background, genetics, or gender, can stand on equal footing with their peers. So… I say humanist. 🙂

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    • I also identify as humanist, but that’s a specific moral position, as far as I’m concerned. It’s an identification I use instead of a religious identification. It encompasses a desire for everyone to acknowledge human rights, but that’s a very small part of it. So to me that would be a confusing replacement for “feminist,” which is specifically about patriarchy (not to say that other forms of oppression shouldn’t be addressed). I get where you’re coming from with that being a derogatory word, though. It wasn’t a good word in my house or school either.

      (And yeah, “Let’s only publish female authors”? That’s not very helpful…!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s interesting. I haven’t actually read up on the whole humanist movement. I actually never connected it as a counterpoint to religion, which does make sense. I just looked at the word, and the people who used it, and thought it fit. 🙂

        I know it doesn’t work as a replacement. But besides for the history of the word, I think it will always be difficult for the strongest opposers of the movement to see it as equality. The word leans towards feminine, or femininity, just as far as simple language goes. I imagine a lot of the people who fear or misunderstand the term (and therefore the movement) also don’t use ‘patriarchy’ for themselves. For me, the words I use are really important, so that’s one of my huge hang ups. Same with really wanting gender neutral pronouns (not for myself, but for others), but that’s a different argument. 😛

        (And yeah, that article, though meant to be provocative, does more damage than good to the image of equality.)

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with Hannah.

      Humanism is mostly about not needing a religion to arrive at correct moral & ethical positions. “Egalitarian” is also sometimes put forward as an alternative to feminism — I’ve seen both terms offered as perspectives that will allow us to get to the same place while side-stepping the problems of feminism. I don’t believe either will suffice, though I identify as an egalitarian and a humanist as well as a feminist.

      There’s a post in the trash at Part Time Monster in which I try to explain how the three -isms are different, and why humanism and egalitarianism will not serve as substitutes. Never could get it right. Came across sounding like a professor, and possibly also condescending. So we did not run it. I talked instead about why I chose to identify as a feminist on the Internet.

      Bottom line for me: Theories are tools for understanding the world, and that is all they are. When I’m attempting to analyze and communicate specifically about equality issues that turn on sex and gender, there is just no substitute for feminism. It’s a lens I use to examine the social world, and it’s a powerful one if you keep its limitations in mind.

      We thought long and hard about whether to label these discussions feminist discussions. Talked about it on several threads. Couldn’t find a viable alternative, so we went with it.

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      • Yeah, it was my error and ignorance. ☺ I read up on it afterward. I don’t mind the word feminist to that extent. I engage and agree with the movement, but I’m probably a egalitarian, but also a humanist and feminist. Seems like they all fall in line with being a ‘decent human being’, which is what I think all the groups are aspiring for anyway. 🙂

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    • Here’s what happened to me (similar but not directly related to my household because my family doesn’t give a shit about politics.) There was “sexism” which is supposed to be “prejudice against women” and then there was this nebulous thing called “feminism” and most of it seemed to revolve around how bad men were or excluding men like that article you mention. So, I went, “Okay, so “feminism” is prejudice against men. That’s gonna help.” Obviously that’s not what feminism IS, but that’s where the semantic confusion comes from as far as I’m concerned. I’d just rather talk about what I want: I want equality. I support equality.

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    • Cool. I’ve been mostly offline for like a month, so did not get the full schedule up yet. Working on getting that done, with links to Natacha’s and Gretchen’s posts, now.

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  9. Pingback: Feminist Friday Summer Schedule | Just Gene'O

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