... issues and tissues with a touch of the spicy from the spirit hag ...
(aka how the history of feminism made us what we aren't today )
Published on September 4, 2004 By mignuna In Current Events

According to Princeton University’s online dictionary, the word ‘feminist’ means:

(noun) feminist: women's rightist, women's liberationist, libber (a supporter of feminism), reformer, reformist, crusader, meliorist (a disputant who advocates reform).

(adjective) feminist: (of or relating to or advocating equal rights for women; "feminist critique") (this use is rare)

In the 1800’s women commenced their path to ‘equality’ by focusing on the right to vote. Despite this not being formally granted for over a century, some major steps forward for women were still achieved, such as the inaugural ‘women's rights convention’ in Seneca Falls in 1848, which formalised the agenda for the ‘women's rights movement’ in the United States.

Yet, in 1916, when New York city’s first birth control centre was opened by Margaret Sander and Ethel Byrne, the centre was forcibly closed by the authorities and the women imprisoned for their (then) illegal acts.

After the 1919 passing by congress of ‘the woman's suffrage amendment’ finally gave women the right to vote, early feminism hit a stumbling block with reports as late as 1955 quoting women as earning 63 cents for every dollar earned by men in equal work.

In 1963, Betty Freidans' book ‘The Feminine Mystique’ coinied the term "The Housewife Blahs” to describe millions of unfulfilled women. Freidan looked at unhappy, unfulfilled women and diagnosed the problem as patriarchy, or a male-dominated society. She alluded that if women are unhappy, the reason is that men are in charge.

In 1968, the ‘Presidential Executive Order 11246’, dated 1965, (which prohibited discrimination by contractors in employment on the basis of race, colour, religion or national origin), was amended by President Johnson to include discrimination based on sex.

In 1969, an abortion referral service opened in Chicago, providing women with safe and affordable abortions for the first time, and spawning the decades long ‘right to life’ debate, along with a divided female opinion on the abortion issue itself which persists to this day.

This was followed by Edith Green drafting legislation prohibiting sex discrimination in education in 1970, which was passed as an amendment known as ‘Title IX’ in 1972. In 1978, for the first time in history, more women than men entered college, and Sandra Day O'Conner became the first woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ‘Gender Equity in Education Act’ was adopted by Congress in 1994 to train teachers to prevent sexual harassment in schools and provide counseling to pregnant teens.

And as feminism spawned it’s more sinister cousin, the feminazi, and things began getting a little complicated.

Rather than just a name for the tool chosen by women to fight for the right to vote, work, and own property, the word ‘feminism’ has became a convenient umbrella for any number of complaints and a ‘one size fits all’ blame-vehicle for maligning the male sex.

Feminist thought then leaned towards the assertion that women are not just equal to men, they are actually better than men. With quotes like Gloria Steinem's famous "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle", the 90’s are entrenched as the decade of the male-as-a-joke.

Feminists should share a general concern for women and their advancement in society. They should recognise the real challenges that women and girls face, including denial of education, female genital mutilation, severe gender-based punishment for crimes, and crippling poverty.

Yet the dangerous overuse of the word ‘feminist’ with it’s accompanying ‘modern’ negative connotations merely makes a mockery of the advances women have rightfully gained by turning so-called gender 'equality' into a contest.


References: Link , Link , Link


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Comments
on Sep 04, 2004
feminist is the new "liberal"
on Sep 05, 2004
I agree with most of the points made here but I think that a majority of people still do recognize the positive contributions to women and society that "feminists" and their organizations have made. Having said that, there is a radical aspect to feminism. The few that embrace it to the extreme have made it more difficult for the rest to get the recognition they deserve. They get labeled as"man haters" and "fema-nazi's) with superiority complexes because of the actions of a few. It is a pity but the same can be said of many rights groups and political affiliations (liberalism, conservatism, etc., etc.
on Sep 08, 2004
feminist is the new "liberal"


(ducks for cover) thanks history is here !

I agree with most of the points made here but I think that a majority of people still do recognize the positive contributions to women and society that "feminists" and their organizations have made.


it's tru, zobelisk, that the womens' rights movement has addressed some very important and valid issues as well .

Having said that, there is a radical aspect to feminism. The few that embrace it to the extreme have made it more difficult for the rest to get the recognition they deserve


an insightful comment. thankyou.

They get labeled as"man haters" and "fema-nazi's) with superiority complexes because of the actions of a few. It is a pity but the same can be said of many rights groups and political affiliations (liberalism, conservatism, etc., etc.


i do agree, and i thank you for adding your thoughts, zobelisk.

vanessa/mig XX
on Oct 15, 2004
Part of the problem with "feminist" is that it is a term that covers too many phenomena and political positions. In most academic circles, folks talks about feminisms rather than Feminism writ large.

So there are second wave feminists, third wave feminists, eco-ferminists, social-feminists, gender constructionist feminists, NOW feminists, riot grrl feminists, male pro-feminists, separatist feminists, lesbian feminists, soccer mom feminists, and so forth. You think the feminist bashing around here gets heated (e.g. "feminazi" and "fembot" charges)? You should listen to the feminists tear eachother apart in journals and at conferences!

Personally, I think it is important to ask people what they mean when they claim to embrace feminism. I also think it is important to ask the same thing when folks criticize feminism out of hand, as if all feminists believe the same thing.
on Oct 22, 2004
Mig: I think its time for you to delete the spam.... this is getting ridiculous....

Spammers deserve to get a big ole boot up the behind.
on Oct 22, 2004

Oh this is fucking ridiculous now, Miggy.  This is akin to blogging rape...you have been violated!


 

on Oct 23, 2004

Oh this is fucking ridiculous now, Miggy. This is akin to blogging rape...you have been violated!


i feel violated, dharma !. as you know, i take my blog very seriously, and now the people who are good enough to read my stuff are getting annoying ads for their trouble. i so much value article replies, and i used to love it when an old post got a new comment from a recent blogger. now every time i see a old article 'revived', i just know it's that stupid thing again. it's beginning to spoil my blogging experience.


Mig: I think its time for you to delete the spam.... this is getting ridiculous....


i try, historyishere. it's done about 40 comments now. it hits old blogs and i sometimes don't even see its' comments for a few days, if at all. i'm just ignoring it now, but i delete them as i find them. it actually stopped for a while, too, and i thought i was in the clear. *sigh*


thanks for your comments guys


frustrated mig XXX


 

on Oct 23, 2004
Well, if its any consolation, the spammer hit one of Draginol's blog entries last night too...
on Oct 26, 2004

Well, if its any consolation, the spammer hit one of Draginol's blog entries last night too


you're kidding me ?. it's spamming brad now ?. great. i bet he's as pleased as i am (ie: not at all) !.


Personally, I think it is important to ask people what they mean when they claim to embrace feminism


a good point, bungy32. thanks for your comments


mig XX

on Nov 23, 2004
Bungy32, excellent response.
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