Feminism's many branches
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14-08-2015, 12:29 AM
Feminism's many branches
*I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this question, so if it isn't, hopefully it gets moved*
So, I have repeatedly asked this specific questions to other feminists and they have either gone around the question or they give me a really crappy, half-hearted, lazy answer. I notice that atheists have a really weird relationship with feminism, they either embrace it fully and are feminists (i.e., atheist feminism) or they really hate it and tend to be anti-feminist. Excluding myself, I have yet to find an atheist who is in-between and doesn't really know (Today I realized I have a love-hate relationship with feminism...). But anyway, I was wondering if people could actually give me a solid answer to this question I have because it's kind of bugging me.

There are many types of feminism. There is feminism that focuses only on misogyny and women's rights, then there is intersectional feminism which focuses on race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, class, ability and other factors as well as sex because those kinds of feminists believe that those factors and any discrimination people face intersect. There is feminism that wants to help trans* people, then there is feminism where you believe that trans* people especially transgender women are oppressing women and appropriating womanhood. There is liberal feminism and then there's radical feminism. There's religious feminism, then there's atheist feminism. There are many types of feminism and a lot of them clash and contradict each other. It reminds me of the many branches of Christianity, like Catholicism, Mormonism, Protestanism, Calvinism, etc. They all clash and contradict each other, especially when it comes to who gets to go to heaven and how. I think that Christianity loses credibility when its many branches, that are all for the same thing, don't even agree with each other. It's the exact same thing for feminism, if all these feminists say they want equality and for oppression and discrimination to stop, but they all believe and fight for different things...it's hard to know who to listen to. And they think that they are right, like all Christians. That doesn't make things easier.

Is there a way to combat all those different types of feminism? Does it matter that there are so many and that a lot of them conflict? Is it all just really messy and hard to follow? What's your opinion on this, I'm really hoping someone can give me an answer or idea that actually holds water.
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14-08-2015, 12:57 AM
RE: Feminism's many branches
Human society up until very recently was very male dominated. Even though women aren't inferior to men - they're physically in general a bit more delicate but that's about it. Yet society treats or has treated women as not able to look after themselves. As an example, my Mom had to get my Dad's permission to open a personal bank account back when they were first married. That's unfair treatment. There are countless other examples. Lower salary for the same job is a common one.

Feminism for me is the same as raising awareness about racism. Sure, there's a whole bunch of academic bullshit that gets talked, and there's a lot of fine details that people bicker about, but at the end of the day it's about treating people fairly.

Trans people have recently established an identity for themselves. I can't see how that takes away from feminism any more than I can see how gay people getting married takes away from 'traditional' marriage.

For whatever reason, people are a bunch of dickheads and will discriminate for any fucking stupid reason they come up with. That's fine, but when it becomes an institutionalised, established thing I think it needs to be opposed.

The wikipedia article on feminism is pretty informative.

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14-08-2015, 03:07 AM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2015 03:15 AM by Cosmic Discourse.)
Feminism's many branches
When it comes to the label of feminist, I don't utilize it in everyday conversation unless expressly asked, but I do consider myself to be one. In my view, having many flavors of feminism is quite normal, as it is in other movements, though I do feel it slows down the intended progression.

My stance is predominantly from the view of a need for equal rights. In other situations I might use the term "equality", but I feel in this case it wouldn't do the topic justice, seeing as I still attempt to be a fairly chivalrous guy, and I feel the term "equality" diminishes that a bit (personal hangup).

I believe that when men and women are offered similar positions of employment, the compensation should be comparable as well. I realize that the argument can be made, that some women choose to take extended leaves of absence before and after child birth etc, but I personally feel that's a flawed argument with the massive financial holdings of major corporations.

Moving to the topic of mixed workplace environments, I find myself to be a moderate on the issue. In my heart of hearts, I'd like to see as close to 50/50 male/female leadership in the corporate world. In the same breath, I'd also like to see it happen organically without invoking legislative action. Of course, that last part may be easier said than done.

As for the transgender portion of this issue, I take a hard-line stance that if a person is born in a man's body, but feels like a woman and identifies as such, that's good enough for me. Until it becomes good enough for everyone, it's probably gonna be an uphill battle, but every fight worth winning usually is.

The final piece I'll discuss, is my thoughts on the warring factions within the feminist movement. In the general public, I tend to see it breakdown into 3 camps of differing opinions.

On the one hand you've got the third wave feminist, who can be seen to lean in the direction of pushing for matriarchy. While I know (personally) that women are fully capable of assuming the responsibilities of what's normally viewed as male roles, the way they're (third wave) going about it is counter productive to receiving large scale support. By attacking the minute issues, they miss the opportunity to achieve larger victories, and it detracts from the movements overall effectiveness.

Next up, you have the women who don't want to be associated with the term "feminist" at all. Personally, I think it has more to do with the above description of third wavers than anything else, but there are also those who just don't relate to the issues being raised for one reason or another (good paying job, comfortable lifestyle, etc).

The third camp consists of those who know it's an important issue, but remain measured in their approach to bringing about change. This isn't to say that their inactive by any means, just that they're focus is on the battles which lead to winning the war, instead of the narrative of the moment.
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14-08-2015, 04:07 AM
RE: Feminism's many branches
Interesting post. I also enjoyed both answers.

I recall reading The Second Sex when I was about 16. It made me very aware of how female human beings had been treated my male human beings. Unfairly based upon strength I believe. Like in the wild. Which showed me how little different humans are from other animals.

Around the same time I was reading everything by Plato and Socrates always is said to have gone to the women for advice.

For myself, who really grew up alone, I saw everyone as equal. No matter the sex or the colour. Later when I was working in the entertainment business I came across many gay and lesbians and transgender people. They mostly seemed very nice so I saw them as equal too.

I try to avoid "isms" as much as possible. Although by default I am a part of atheism. I tend to prefer the company of atheists. And I see religion, monotheism in particular, as extremely dangerous to health. It's like cancer.

I wish females were treated equally the same as I wish gays were treated equally. And racism is also just as idiotic to me. But I find most musicians and artists to be like me.

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14-08-2015, 05:24 AM
RE: Feminism's many branches
In every ideology, human nature is to separate into tribes.

Some of the distinctions you're talking about are also arising due to academic competition, since academics need a niche to specialize in, and in the social science areas it can be career-enhancing to carve out a niche yourself.

I can't give you help in terms of deciding which area of feminism is the best for you, but I can share my own approach, which is the same one I take towards Christians. Anyone who wants to call themselves a feminist, I call a feminist. I am a feminist myself. So are my husband and son. For me, feminism means supporting women having the same range of choices, responsibilities, and rewards as men, advocating for women's rights worldwide, and supporting women's rights to make their own decisions about pregnancy and birth control. I am absolutely uninterested in what "brand" of feminism the above position falls under, since I'm not an academic. It is probably counterproductive to feminism as a whole for feminists of one denomination to attack different denominations, although as noted, this can be productive for the personal careers of some feminists (and therefore maybe advancing feminism by advancing these females, so that muddies the waters).

Certainly, transgender and other sexual orientation issues can be considered part of feminism, but in my mind they fall more under the religious area, since GLBTQ rights are most commonly opposed for religious reasons, by people who want their religion's laws to affect everyone, including nonbelievers. I think a great victory for humankind could be won this century if, worldwide, we could get all of the religion out of laws.
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14-08-2015, 05:25 AM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2015 05:31 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Feminism's many branches
One can identify many branches of both.
So what ?
One is a cult, one is a movement for civil and cultural equality.

They have nothing to do with each other.
One can identify many braches of the class of arthropods that insects belong to.
I respectfully suggest Christianity's branches are more akin to bugs, or rodents (rats) or infectious bacteria or viruses.
Feminism is more like periods of art.
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14-08-2015, 06:16 AM
RE: Feminism's many branches
(14-08-2015 05:25 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  One can identify many branches of both.
So what ?
One is a cult, one is a movement for civil and cultural equality.

They have nothing to do with each other.
One can identify many braches of the class of arthropods that insects belong to.
I respectfully suggest Christianity's branches are more akin to bugs, or rodents (rats) or infectious bacteria or viruses.
Feminism is more like periods of art.
Tongue

You're right. Cancer is not contagious. But works within the body like xianity.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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14-08-2015, 07:54 AM
RE: Feminism's many branches
(14-08-2015 12:29 AM)PrettyGirlRock Wrote:  It's the exact same thing for feminism, if all these feminists say they want equality and for oppression and discrimination to stop, but they all believe and fight for different things...it's hard to know who to listen to. And they think that they are right, like all Christians. That doesn't make things easier.

You see what everyone has to say and decide for yourself what makes sense and what doesn't. Feminism, by definition, is simply equal rights for men and women. It is not called "equalism" basically because women were in a much worse place back when the first feminists appeared.
I don't call myself a feminist when I'm asked because of all the negative connotations, stereotypes and misconceptions. But I am one.

(14-08-2015 12:29 AM)PrettyGirlRock Wrote:  Is there a way to combat all those different types of feminism? Does it matter that there are so many and that a lot of them conflict? Is it all just really messy and hard to follow? What's your opinion on this, I'm really hoping someone can give me an answer or idea that actually holds water.

What do you mean by "combat"? You can simply ignore stupid people. Calling feminism "misogyny", for example, is like calling atheism "satanism". Yeah, sure, some atheists may be satanists or follow religions or whatever, but that does not change the true definition of atheism.

There will always be different ideas, perspectives and interpretations on every issue. If you don't want to be called a feminist even if you believe in equal rights, that's fine as well. You don't need to "listen" to anyone. Use critical thinking and make up your mind based on your own conclusions Thumbsup

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14-08-2015, 08:03 AM
RE: Feminism's many branches
I am not feminist but I can understand and agree with some of the goals of it. The tumblr feminism scares me though.

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14-08-2015, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2015 09:24 AM by jennybee.)
RE: Feminism's many branches
This could also go in the Political section, but I think here is fine too. From my experience on TTA, you can post things wherever you deem appropriate on here.

As with anything--there are many different labels people like to use to identify with. It's the same with vegetarianism, for example. There are vegans, vegantarians, pescetarians, vegetarians, lacto-ovo vegetarians, lacto-vegetarians, pastafarians (not FSM kind Wink ), flexitarians, pollotarians, etc.

I don't think you will combat all the different types of feminism because people like labels and like to use them as ways to express themselves, their political and social views.

Does it matter that there are so many and that a lot of them conflict? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that if someone finds one branch of feminism off-putting--then they tend to lump everybody together. No, in the sense that each branch has a different ideology and so in that way, should be viewed as separate entities.

I am a feminist. I want to be paid equal to a man's wage since I put in just as much time and effort in college obtaining my degrees as he did. I am working just as hard as he is in the workplace and I am just as competent. I don't want to be called Honey, Sweetie, or Babe by male co-workers.

I don't like to put labels on myself--however, if I had to choose a branch of feminism, I would probably be more in-line with socialist feminism.
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