Feminism. Women's Rights.

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  1. What do those words mean to you?

    I took a class about Women and Communication last semester. We dealt with a brief overlook of feminism, and then discussed the way that women communicate and are communicated about. It was a women's studies/comm class.

    Admittadly, I don't have much historical knowledge on feminist movements, aside from the obvious ( right to vote, etc.)

    The class I took really opened my eyes to so many things, and I was very happy for taking it. I think that a lot of people have negative reactions towards the word "feminist." They picture some masculine, militant, bra-burning, man-hating extremeist. ( Kind of like how PETA gives all animal rights activists a bad name.)

    I think that our culture is still ridiculously prejudiced against women. There are still a zillion and one stereo-types that work against us, and no matter what we do, we always end up being the object of sexual attention.

    MY particular area of concern is in the job market. Statistics don't lie, and affluent, white men (especially good looking ones) have the most advantage when applying for jobs, and are the most promotable. Women are faced with sexism, and we are also expected to be attractive, but not too attractive- because then we're just seen as a pretty face. I think that the treatment of women is practically an epidemic. I also think that women are not aware of how bad it still is for us. According to one of my proffs, less than 15% of women hold execuative positions, despite the fact that more women than men are enterting the work force these days.

    So, I have a few questions.

    1) What does feminism mean to you? Do you consider youreself a feminist..why/why not?

    2) Do you think women like Jessica Simpson, who flaunt their body and portray an image of helpless stupidity harm women, or it doesn't make them different?

    3) Have you been affected by sexism in the workplace ( not limited to just sexual harrassment.) How did you deal?

    I'm incredibly interested in this topic. :smile: Also, a big pet peeve of mine is guys who think it's ok to HONK, yell lewd things, or say dumb things at me while I'm walking and they drive by. I've taken to swearing various things back at them, which I'm sure will get me slapped ( or worse) some day. If I had a nickel for every time this has happened to me, I could by myself an Hermes Birkin. It disgusts me to think men have the right to yell out comments about my body, or say thing like "hey hunny..bla bla bla." It's like, um, I'm sorry but just because I'm in public doesn't mean you can treat me like an object. !!! Also, women should NOT have to be afraid of walking alone at night. but guess what, we are.

    So many things to be pissed off about! Lol.

    Just interested in your responses. :love:
  2. 1) I'm proudly a feminist, for all the reasons you've listed above and more.

    2) I do enjoy fashion and media, but do think there's far too much objectification of women in the media and popular culture. When women are treated like so much meat or just interchangeable body parts, that's where I draw the line and feel it's harmful to all women.

    3) I've been in the workplace a long time, and in my early working years, sexism and sexual harassment were not only common, but accepted behavior. For example, back in the early 80's I supervised a group of 6 sales assistants, only one of which was a guy. He did less work than any of the others, spent most of the day with his feet up on his desk chatting it up with his buddies over the phone and never pitched in to help anyone else out as we were all expected to do. One day my boss' boss says to me "It's a shame we can only pay Pete* as much as we pay the girls...after all he'll have a family to support one day." (This during a time when I was supporting a husband in grad school. Needless to say I had to take a walk to calm down so I didn't explode all over the department head.) Another time, I worked in a small office, and the general manager used to come in and say to me "Good morning, Miss Boobsley! and how are the both of you this morning?" while staring at my chest. After a few months of this I had enough and went in his office and calmly told him that while I'm sure he meant no harm, his comments made me feel degraded. He actually stopped doing it, to his credit.

    And yeah, street harassment sucks. It's not about paying you a compliment, it's about dominance and making sure you know who's in charge.

    *name changed to protect the guilty
  3. I definitely consider myself a feminist and I believe very strongly in three fundamental values: equality, freedom and choice. What really pisses me off is all of the double standards we still face in the workplace. I think women have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously, and if we are as agressive as a man (or as successful) we are often accused of being a *****= a term which I now take great pride in!

    As far as women like Jessica Simpson- I do believe this helpless and stupid image has hurt women to some extent. However, I will be the first to admit that I have used my looks to gain acceptance and credibility when necessary. No, this does not mean that I did anything other than show up with my hair done, make-up on and my best foot forward. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword- because on one hand, if you are attractive, then you are given some sort of credibility (and in my job, people tend to open up to you quicker). On the other hand, some people look at you and assume if you are remotely attractive, then you must be stupid (a la Jessica Simpson). Either way, you must work hard to prove yourself.

    As for street gawkers- i try not to let it bother me, but I feel very uncomfortable when a stranger tries to approach me, even if its innocent. So I try not to make eye contact and just keep walking as fast as I can.
  4. 1) I think being a feminist means supporting women, and if you're a woman, being comfortable being one. I think a woman could be a housewife and still be a feminist. It's more of a belief system. I don't consider myself one. I consider myself a person who's for supporting equality and fairness in both sexes.

    2) I actually think Jessica could be considered a feminist. I mean, she's using what God gave her as a woman to make money, get attention, and have a career. I think if a guy was flaunting his body no one would care. I do think, though, the media is for entertainment mostly. So, don't take it too seriously.

    3) I don't work, but in high school a certain teacher was very sexist. He would always get the girls in trouble but never the guys. I just worked harder and behaved the best I could. To show him I was smart and no worse than anyone else. I got an A.
  5. Feminism is that crazy idea that women are the equals of men, I hate how the term has been stigmatized to mean really butch women who don't shave their armpits. Women aren't the same as men, but that doesn't mean that they aren't their equals, I firmly believe in equality and for that reason, I am a feminist.

    I find Jessica Simpson questionable in a lot of ways. She seems to always be selling an image, her whole Christian image at the beginning of her career and lately the image of a stereotypical blonde girl. Quite frankly, I don't think she makes a good role model for any cause. If you take a stance on something, you can't just suddenly not follow that through.

    In terms of sexism in the workplace, I've been exposed to sexist behaviour on the part of the customer but never among my co-workers or up the ladder. There are still some that believe women don't belong in IT, and women seem to believe that too given the applications that are received at work. It's rather disappointing really.

  6. I completely agree with you!

    This is my theory on men and women coexisting in a more productive way. Men and Women are, obviously, very differet. We think, act, and communicate in ways exclusive to our own genders ( I say gender, because that's the psychologcal aspect of being male or female, and is not necessarily related to sex, the biological aspect of being male or female.) Here lies the problem. Since men and women do communicate differently, it is assumed that the female way is the weaker way. BOTH genders have their flaws and their strengths. If only people could understand they should play off of each genders strength, rather than trying to high-light their weakness, the business world would actually BENEFIT. Interestingly enough, I believe that "female" styles of leadership are actually becomming viewed as more and more valuable.

    Also, with Jessica Simpson, I could not agree more with Reese Witherspoon in her W mag. interview. She states that women have obviously forgotten how bad it was for us, such a short time ago, and that they're abusing their position in the spot-light, but portraying themselves as idiots to gain popularity. Not the exact quote, but that was the overall feel. There's a difference between being empowered by your womanly body, and exploiting it. I think the girl is an idiot, but not in the way she'd like me to think she is. :smile:

    and Psueb, I agree! People are always like "it's a compliment!" and I'm heck no it's not! It's a public display of dominance and power. "Me. Man. Me can yell at women." :-P

    good replies everyone!
  7. This is exactly what I was thinking!! great response!

    I really disklike everything about jessica simpson: her attitude, the way she looks/presents herself, and her hypocrisy. I really cant see why people like her :weird:
  8. 1) What does feminism mean to you? Do you consider youreself a feminist..why/why not?

    Not really...people deserve respect regardless of their sex, I wouldn't give special treatment to women. Belief in equality yet promoting special advancement of women over their male counterparts seems paradoxical to me. I'm not going to go around screaming "C***!' a la the VM, and I'm not going to complain about sexual harrassment every time a guy says something remotely suggestive...goodness knows how inappropriate women can be to men in public.
    however, I believe in HUMAN rights a great deal, and I would work or give for an organization that helped out abused women or was working to find a cure for female diseases. I may not be making much sense but I'm just saying that if it benefits humanity, I'm for it, but if its just getting 'revenge' on patriarchal society, I think that's stupid.

    2) Do you think women like Jessica Simpson, who flaunt their body and portray an image of helpless stupidity harm women, or it doesn't make them different?

    Most men have sense enough to know that most women are not like Jessica Simpson, and most men can value depth of character in a woman. I don't think we've (yet) gotten so media saturated that it has changed anything. She's just selling herself like jackass guys sell themselves. that's why its called entertainment.

    3) Have you been affected by sexism in the workplace ( not limited to just sexual harrassment.) How did you deal?

    I don't have any really good stories. I spent most of my working career in retail, where it was mostly women and I felt kinda sorry for the men who entered our domain. I have spent almost my entire school career with more or less geeky guys, who have always respected me and I never felt bad when they commented on my appearance or made sexual jokes, because I don't take everything seriously or personally. And I don't want them to take everything I say seriously or personally.