Are you a feminist?

I find that if you ask that question to a lot of women, in particular those women that are not in the workforce, they will reflexively and immediately answer "no." But I wonder why that is? The definition of feminism in the Merriam Webster dictionary is as follows: "(a) the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; and (b) organized activity in support of women's rights and interests."

To be honest, it really bothers me that so many women, and in particular women in their 20s and early 30s think that feminism is irrelevant, or worse, it's an insult or somehow unfeminine to be called a feminist.

If you believe in "equal rights and opportunities", even if you don't plan to use all those opportunities, for yourself and your daughters/nieces/friends etc, then why aren't you proudly standing up and saying you are a feminist. I am!!

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4Rina
    05/23/14
    Trema
    I'd have to say I'm a humanist. I love each sex for what they are/offer. Generally speaking I do feel there are "man/woman roles" . Ok, I'm sexist whatever. I'm just me. I'm old fashioned. I like to be a SAHM while my man brings home the bacon. BUT that's just me! By no means am I saying everyone should follow suit. To each their own. That being said. I also have 3 daughters and I believe I can raise them to be whatever they want. If they choose a different lifestyle ok, I just pray I have taught them our 3 basics! God, Family, Money.
    0
      05/23/14
      I don't think of myself as a feminist because I don't actively do anything to promote feminism... other then being a woman. I do believe women should have equal opportunities. I don't like it when people think that feminists automatically don't want to cook/clean/dress pretty/have babies. I think that mindset was set by men who were threatened by the movement. Feminists wanted to be wives, mother, AND have a career if they chose to.
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        05/23/14
        4Rina
        Wowzers, ladies! I have so many things I want to say in response, but too much to do today. A few observations: people on this site are generally so much nicer and more polite than on other sites (no name calling on an issue like this, which is frankly rare), so I am impressed. Also, there seems to be a disconnect between the feminist "movement" and believing in equal rights, which is what feminism is. I want to reclaim the term "feminist" to represent those that believe in equal rights! (More on that later) And also, I am surprised how many people feel that men and women have a "place". I'll be honest; pretty shocked on that one! Anyway, glad to have a good respectful chat on this. More detailed response to follow!
        1
          05/23/14
          I think that people have to have a place. I'm not offended by women who have a job instead of staying home with their kids, that's just not how I choose to live my life. I refuse to have a daycare or babysitter call to tell me that Charlie said his first word. The beauty of this life and this country is that we're allowed to make those decisions for our family on a case by case basis.

          People will find fault with whatever decision and whatever reason we have for our decisions. I want my son to be married to a woman that does his laundry, cleans his house, cooks his meals and raises his kids. In return, I want my son to go to work every day and provide for that family. I don't think that has anything to do with feminism or woman's rights. And if this don't happen that way, that's okay too.

          I'm in agreement. I applaud the women on this site for asking and answering questions in a mature manner.
          3
            05/23/14
            4Rina
            Wow, Alissa, you are hard-core, girl! I don't find fault with any decisions, but I am really interested in why people think or feel the way they do. Just reading your description of a man and woman's place to me (TO ME, I reiterate, and maybe not to others) feels horribly confining. Really like being locked in a small room. My viewpoint is, obviously, very different. I think the world is a better place when both men and women contribute to both home life and to earning an income. Again, I know that's not what everybody believes, but I do feel that pretty strongly. It's better for women and for men to both know how to care for children and how to earn a living. My dad died - without life insurance - when I was 10 years old and my brother was 5.5. If my mom didn't have a job, we would have starved, literally.
            1
              05/23/14
              4Rina
              But, by the way, I don't think being a feminist means you have to (or even want to) work outside the home. It just means you support women having these opportunities if they so desire. And so then it seems to me like we should all be feminists. Because we want the freedom to make choices in our lives.
              1
                05/23/14
                Here's the thing. During the day I'm working from home, watching my boy, cleaning, laundry, dinner, etc etc etc.

                When Ed gets home from work we work on our rental properties. We drywall, we paint, we do yardwork, etc..etc..etc. At home Ed takes care of everything outside. I take care of everything inside.

                Before this life I managed my department at a group of radio stations. That was my life then and it's all I wanted. Having a baby changed that. This world is lacking mothers who take this position seriously enough. If I can show one child, my child, the importance of a mother's presence, I'm happy with the new life I have.

                But again, I make no bones about anyone working outside the home. We all do what we need to do for our individual families.
                0
                  05/27/14
                  I believe in equality for everyone, not just the different genders. I don't like how subdivided it is, between race and gender and sexual preferences. It's just, equal, or not. I like the definition of feminism, but so many ladies have taken "feminism" to such extremes that when you ask a lot of people if they're feminist, they picture the short hair cut, lesbian, angry shouting bra-burning women who denounce men.
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                  05/27/14
                  4Rina
                  Morgan - I very much agree with you. "Feminism" has been given a bad reputation. I think part of that reputation comes from the women who practice extreme feminism (extreme anything is rarely good), but it's also from the critics of equality who don't actually want women to have equal rights. So I'm trying to reclaim the term!
                  1
                    06/03/14
                    4Rina
                    Guys, I just saw this article and thought it was right on point to this discussion. My favourite quote: "Not all men are part of the problem, but, yes, all men must be part of the solution."

                    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/02/opinion/blow-ye…
                    0
                      06/06/14
                      Something tells me that if I went into detail on my views of feminism...it would not equal good responses... So I will simply leave it at that we follow the God's definition of who is the leader in the home. It works for us.
                      2
                      About Rina
                      Birth: September 08
                      On Moms.com since: Dec 16, 2013
                      I'm a working mom of 4. My husband, kids and I live in Toronto, Canada. I love to read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, am addicted to chocolate and kissing my kids' necks (they all still let me do it!) and am a bit of a political junkie.