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ballgame

Richard: I agree. (Boy I feel funny saying that.) I hope that at some point in the future men will eventually be granted permission to be as emotionally alive and as fully human as women are.

The basic feminist exercise of flipping the gender of pronouns and re-evaluating a social expectation has been an eye-opener for me — for both sexes — since I started doing it in late adolescence.

mythago

What hasn't it done for me, really?

Antigone

1. When my parent's decided they wouldn't support me for college, feminism gave me the ability to pull loans out in my own name.

2. And I can go into aviation without the professors being allowed to force me out of the class.

3. When I critique a professor for being sexist, I have a leg to stand on.

4. I am not pregnant.

5. And I can be friends with guys without being thought of as a whore.

Dodo

first off: "I wish I could transfer this to my girlfriends" cassandra, oh you take the words out of my mouth!!! on how many, many various occasions did i think exactly this?

okay here's mine:

1.) A LOT of my self-respect and therefore self-confidence and self-loving has its roots in feminism. without it... i dunno where i would stand now.

2.) encouragement. empowerment. lots and lots of it. daily. sometimes feminism is the only thing that keeps me going on.

3.) i don't have to go through things like my mom had to (premaritally pregnant at 18, in the 60ies, in a suuuuuper conservative town, which is located in a really catholic region, forced to marry at 19, divorced 4 months later. even nowadays - and shes one strong woman, believe me! - she almost doesnt talk about this time at all. people who had been friends with her refused to even speak with her when people got to know she was pregnant.). and feminism also gave me a fucking strong mom who survived all this and never gave up, who always pursued what she thought was the right thing to do, the best thing for her to do - with all consequences.

4.) awareness. before i came in touch with feminism (as a movement) i didnt see a lot of things, even though i've always been a very critical and open minded thinker (again: thanks mom. and thanks dad.) it gave me so much awareness and insight of how many things still go wrong in our society, although everyone tries to tell you we've already achieved everything.

5.) lovely scenes like the following:
even though i'm only in my early twenties, my grandma (86 years old) is sooo worried that i have no boyfriend and that i might "end up" unmarried or alone for the rest of my life.
granny: "are you gonna come over on sunday?"
me: "no, felix will visit me"
granny: " your boyfriend?"
me: "no, just a friend"
granny: "you can tell me! i will keep it to myself!"
me: "hey only cause its a male friend doesnt mean we automatically have a reationship. if i go out with karin, you also dont ask if i'm lesbian!"
granny: "you're lesbian???"
me: "no im not!"
granny (obviously very disappointed!): "oh. but you should be! at least then you wouldn't be alone anymore."
haha i LOVE her!!
and without feminism a sentence like this wouldve hardly been uttered by a lady this age. :-)

j0lt

Feminism has given me:
1. The ability to pursue a career that uses my talents.
2. The ability & knowledge of how and where to obtain contraceptives not only as a married woman (they used to only permit married women to get them back in my mom's day) but before I became sexually active in my teens.
3. A husband who was raised by a feminist mother and is a strong supporter of feminism.
4. Fabulous supportive friends who share common principles and who, when we get together, are all in the kitchen cooking & cleaning (& laughing!) regardless of gender.
5. A mom who supported me in all of my academic and career endeavors, who worked the entire time I was growing up (for a while as a single mom) so I knew first hand that having a mom who works outside the home is no big deal despite the articles you read all the time.

dragonsmilk

1. The assumption, from childhood, that I would spend my life developing my intellect for my personal satisfaction and some form of service to the world. The assumption that I am completely able to balance reason with emotion, empathy with self-care. The gift of the responsibility to become an adult.

2. The friendship of a number of delightful men with whom I can fraternize freely without fear or shame and speak with the freedom that can only be between equals.

3. The ability to realize, some four years after the fact, that the responsibility to prevent my ex from coercing and humiliating me had in fact been his. (Hey, I'm a little slow sometimes.) The knowledge that I need never again accept such treatment as fitting, and that the law will never compell me to. The ability to discover rank festering swamps of anger hidden beneath layers of guilt, and to begin to drain them.

4. A feminist boyfriend who flatly refused to play by the rules I'd learned and helped me to discover the security, freedom, and joy that intimacy can bring. The fact that I am bound to him only by my deep love for him.

5. The undisputed right to strike off alone for long hours into the woods or through the city, to have spontaneous adventures, to build physical strength, to devote time to all manner of indelicate hobbies, to hop around the living room on one foot for no apparent reason, and to do it all in comfortable clothes.

Man, I already have five more in mind. But those will do for a start.

Kathryn

Feminism is simply the belief that women are people, and that any belief system that downgrades them should be rejected. I am a Christian feminist because I believe that the above statement is consistent with true Biblical Christianity. Yes, the Bible has been misused to hurt people, but that is what it is, misuse. "There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female; ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)". Study the attitude of Jesus toward women and you'll see the truth of that verse borne out. I am so thankful I don't have to conform to anyone's idea of what my "role" is as a woman. Do I agree with all secular feminists on every issue? No. Abortion is murder (although you do save the life of the mother), and homosexual behavior is a sin. Why am I a feminist? Because it is right. For more on this issue, go to Christians For Biblical Equality at cbeinternational.org and look up Woman Be Free by Patricia Gundry. There are many great books there, also some wonderful discussion.

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