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Michelle

I've been away for a while, and upon returning it seems that the voices of conservative women have disappeared from this blog. They've been drowned out by that of a lot of arm-waving conservative men, some of whom apparently need any women who calls herself feminist to also declare herself a "masculist" for fairness (never heard of such a word, but a *masculinist* is a an advocate of male superiority or dominance).

Did I just come in at a bad time? I don't think so, because it was already happening when I left. Which is a real shame, because this blog started with a really unique premise: that of building communication between feminist and conservative women.

But now, where are the voices of conservative women speaking, in their own words, about their real life experiences? I know from experience how differently conservative women speak and act when men are around, and what interesting discussions can develop in a female-only space. It's hard enough to bridge the gap between conservative and feminist women online already, and having conservative guys jump in and tell us why feminists or feminism suck so much effectively breaks up the discussion happening between feminist and conservative women.

The disappearance of conservative women's voices from this blog makes me very sad.

Sydney

What do you mean by "conservative?" Do you mean people who think that women must submit to their husbands and remain in the home (i.e. socially conservative)? Or do you mean fiscally conservative (pro-free trade, laizzez (sp?) faire economics)?

The Happy Feminist

Hi Michelle! Thanks for checking back in.

One of the things that motivated me to start this blog were my conversations with very traditionalist women over at Biblical Womanhood Online. I continue to enjoy my conversations with women like Mrs. B and Erin, and I think they still check in here from time to time, but I am not sure whether I have too many other conservative women readers. (Actually, I do have an email from one conservative woman who reads and I am going to respond to that email in a post soon.)

As the blog has evolved, I have found myself attracting more and more feminist readers and adding more and more feminist bloggers to my list. So I have seen this blog moving more in the direction of being a standard feminist blog. Part of this may be that sometimes the conversation between feminists and Biblical traditionalists shuts down because we are talking from such different premises.

Then there is the issue of argumentative anti-feminist or non-feminist men. I definitely do want this blog to remain open to men and women of a variety of different views. I do worry about the discussion getting derailed by the concerns of a small minority. I have tried to institute a relevancy requirement (i.e. your comment should pertain to the post) but I admit I haven't been great about policing it.

I would urge any one who wants to comment to please weigh in -- even if there seems to be thread drift or the thread seems to be dominated by conservative men. Just say what you think, get us back on topic, and I would love to hear from you!

mythago

"Feminism" isn't a perfect term, but I can't help but notice how much of the "you should use a different word" arguments are less about linguistic perfection and more about a dislike of any form of anti-sexism that remarks on how the burdens of sexism are not exactly distributed equally.

The Happy Feminist

This is why I LOVE Mythago. So pithy.

will

The word feminist doesnt bother me at all.

There are some people who call themselves feminists who bother me because my perception of what they are advocating disturbs me. They appear to think that women are generally evil and men generally just want to hold women down.

But all groups have differing elements. I agree with the central tenet that men and women should be treated fairly. I tend to view that word as a word to describe someone for whom gender equality is a main focus.

The Happy Feminist

Wait, there are self-described feminists who appear to think that women are generally evil? I have never heard that one before!

ballgame

I am not yet ready to give up hope that there are at least some other feminists out there who see the movement as one devoted to gender egalitarianism and not simply to advancing the interests of a particular group (particularly one based on relatively immutable genetic characteristics). I think there are sound analytic and political advantages to a movement whose fealty lies with a principle and not a tribe.

But, "Hippy Feminist", it's always a pleasure to post here.

--"ballpark"
;)

The Happy Feminist

I think you've missed the whole point, ballgame. Feminism is aganst the idea that we should be judged "based on relatively immutable genetic characteristics." But the fact is that women are adversely judged and categorized on such characteristics, and feminism is a response to that.

Also, see Mythago's comment above.

bmmg39

"Thus, I may agree with a men's rights activist like bmmg39 on a lot of issues, but he is more likely to focus on gender stereotypes as they adversely affect men, and I am more likely to focus on gender stereotypes as they adversely affect women."

It's natural to see what comes right at you a little better than what comes at others.

"They've been drowned out by that of a lot of arm-waving conservative men, some of whom apparently need any women who calls herself feminist to also declare herself a 'masculist' for fairness (never heard of such a word, but a *masculinist* is a an advocate of male superiority or dominance)."

This is why I prefer the terms "MRA" and "egalitarian," because neither prohibits inclusion of women's rights, too.

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