Thursday, June 19, 2008

Last Call: Feminism Definitions

Last Sunday, in response to some mean-spirited definitions of feminism over at Urban Dictionary, we asked readers to send us any of the following:

1. Your definition of feminism
2. A post on how you came to call yourself a feminist, or your 'click moment' with feminism
3. A discussion of how you practice feminism in your daily life, and how others respond
4. Links to posts you've already written about any of the above

I'm really excited by what we've gotten so far, and it looks like we'll be able to run a series of fascinating posts by guest bloggers next week, along with a list of feminism definitions. There is still time to add your thoughts, though! Send your definition or your post to pobrehabladora [at] gmail [dot] com by this evening to be included in next week's series of feminists on feminism.

This is last call!


Valerie Connors said...

My Response to Not Anti-Male Blog posted on

I do agree that the word feminism, even today, carries a stigma because, unless you take a Women’s Studies course or stumble upon the word’s meaning during your life’s journey, you may never truly encounter the “real” meaning of feminism. I also noticed that the women who did not consider themselves feminists and told us why, spoke from a Christian point of view. From this religious perspective, these women believe that men are the head of the household, that women are lower hierarchically than men, but do not feel that this diminishes their status whatsoever. I found this to be quite interesting. At the end of the day, though, I do believe that if these women are working toward equity for other women, then that is what truly matters above everything else.

I learned a great deal about feminism last semester when I took a Women and Social Action course as a part of my Women's Studies cognate. Margaret Andersen's text called, "Thinking About Women" gave me a much greater understanding of feminism. I realized that I am a feminist, and by her definition, my husband said, "Well, heck, then I'm a feminist too!" We both had a good laugh. We realized that we both had the same impression of feminism that so many other people have, that feminists are anti-male, that feminism is about women taking power away from men in order to gain it and it could not be less so.

To me, feminism is about women having the freedom to make the same choices as men. It's about lifting that oppressively low ceiling that so many women bump their heads on way too often. It's about women being able to feel safe in and out of their homes. And finally, it's about men and women truly respecting and loving each other.

Valerie Connors
Circle K International
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

Sally said...

Reading Valerie's post reminded me of a few books I like to recommend to "non feminists" that seem to get them thinking:

Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement (Rosalyn Baxandall & Linda Gordon)
The F Word: Feminism in Jeopardy (Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner)
Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters (Jessica Valenti)

Habladora said...

Valerie - just under the wire! I'll be happy to include your definition, and to link to the rest of the conversation in full. Thanks so much, we're honored to be able to include you!

Sally, the book choices come at a good time too, I'm just about to head towards the library.

Oh, and we got a lot of great 'feminists on feminism' posts and definitions for next week - I'm so excited about both the definitions and about about our first guest bloggers. Happy Friday!

pc said...

Just getting it in under the wire: Feminism is power - the power to be the best me I am capable of being. It is the power to try anything my skill set will allow me to try without anyone's telling me, based on my sex, what that is. It is the power to be a full member of the human race.

daedalus2u said...

I only came across this post after the deadline, so I couldn't respond in time. I did want to share my perspective, so I will post it here. I am male, but that does not disqualify me from being a feminist. I think I am more of a feminist than my grandmother was, and she marched for women's suffrage. I think I am more of a feminist than my mother was. I know I am more of a feminist than many women I have known.

I came across some of the MRAs, and they are very sorry excuses for males. Why any woman would put up with anyone like that is completely beyond my understanding. They are completely unprepared to take responsibility for their actions. What I find infuriating is their irresponsibility toward their children and unwillingness to pay child support. Hurting their ex is more important to them than doing right by their child. They are people who never should have reproduced. Why women put up with guys like that is a complete mystery to me. Maybe because that is what their fathers were like? If that is who they choose to be the father of their children, that is what their sons will be like, and who their daughters will be attracted to.

I have a blog on myspace where I blog about relationships (or lack there of), and some MRA requested me as a friend, so I looked at their blog and it made me sick. I blogged about it

In my view, I see the objective of feminism to allow women complete self-determination, and that there is nothing anti-male about that. If a man wants to interact with a woman, he has to be willing to do it on her terms without lying and without coercion or threats of coercion implicit or explicit. The same is true for men, complete self-determination. If a woman wants to interact with a man, she has to do it on his terms too, but those terms can't include coercion.

FeministGal said...

Oh no! i was away but would have TOTALLY participated in this had i known! I am, however, looking forward to reading all that others have to say!!! :)

Habladora said...

Feministgal- We actually got enough of a response to run a week-long series, so there is still time to get your thoughts in and be included!