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[personal profile] sunflowerp
It's not altogether accurate to say that I'm planning a series of entries on feminist issues.  It's more that they're in me, and want to come out.  Some have been waiting for more than 30 years for me to have the life experience, the cohesion of thought, the shape and frame of words, to do them justice.  I can't blame them, now that I have these things, for getting a tad impatient.  "Planning" comes into it mainly in keeping their emergence organized.

Rest easy; you won't be reading any man-bashing rants.  You may, though, read some rants about those - feminist and anti-feminist - who present feminism as a philosophic monoculture opposed to men.

Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of the English Language, in the edition distributed as a companion to the 1959 (note the date) Encyclopaedia Britannica, says, "feminism n  1.  The doctrine which declares the equality of the sexes and advocates equal social, political, and economic rights for women."  (Def 2 is medical, and irrelevant.  There is no def 3.)  While there are quibbles that can be made about that definition (and, being a word geek, I expect to do so in some later entry), it makes, IMO, an excellent baseline.

That's about all the "philosophic monoculture" - what feminists all agree on - that there is.  Feminists disagree, often vigorously and sometimes virulently, about what that means, how best to accomplish it, how much or little has already been accomplished, whether men can be feminists, and what time to adjourn for lunch.  (Not unlike Pagans, or SF fandom.)

Personally, I don't see a damned thing in that definition that excludes men qua men (or includes women qua women, for that matter).  And if I get too hungry, I'll make the motion to adjourn; if the motion is defeated (or bogged down in interminable consensus-building), I'll slide out the back door and go eat.  Which, jesting and snark aside, says quite a bit about what kind of feminist I am.

If the idea of many kinds of feminism, some at loggerheads with each other, is new to you, I recommend Wikipedia's article on the subject (  It may not be accurate in all details, but it's certainly accurate enough to give you a solid notion of the diversity involved - that is to say, it'll probably confuse the hell out of you; feminism really is that diverse.  (Also not unlike Paganism, or SF fandom.)

I'm not an expert on feminism.  I've never taken even one Women's Studies course.  I haven't read anywhere near everything I "ought" to have read - and have read quite a few things that I "ought not", by some feminists' lights, to have tainted my mind with.  (I'm a Heinlein fan - that's like having a lifetime membership in the Acrimonious Debate With Certain Feminists Club.)

These posts are just what one feminist looks like, and thinks about.

Incidentally, of the "schools" of feminism listed in the Wikipedia article, I probably identify most closely with sex-positive feminism.  This will show in my entries (both in this series, and not), sometimes explicitly.  When that occurs, I'll use cuts with content warnings.  Minors are advised that the laws of their land may opine that they're not supposed to know about such things.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-19 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay, more reading... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-21 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
::nod nod::

Makes perfect sense to me. I look forward to reading more!

I'm glad to see it

Date: 2008-03-04 01:48 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm glad to see someone tackling the topic of feminism from a non-radical standpoint. IMNSHO there needs to be a lot more of that.

Keep it up!


Re: I'm glad to see it

Date: 2008-03-08 03:20 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That is so true. Ratings sell after all...


(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-20 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Howdy! (I think you figured this out, but just to be absolutely clear, I'm Holly Pervocracy.)

To be honest radical feminism bothers me every which way. It's so... miserable. I see arguments like "in an oppressive society, the oppressed can never consent to sex," and... yuck. I don't want to be all "cheer up ladies, you're perfectly equal now!", but I'm unable to read radfem writing without thinking I'm seeing some of the writer's issues.

Also I love men.

Also I'm bothered whenever a double standard is presented or implied in feminist writing--"women talking about sex is empowering, men talking about sex is threatening, a woman without a man is independent, a man without a woman is an immature boy"--because it's wrong and because it just makes the genders unequal again.

I'm definitely a sex-positive feminist, and sometimes more like a feminist sex-positiver, but at any rate I think that including and valuing men is an important component of feminism.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-20 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I was reading "I Blame the Patriarchy" because it was on so many of my blogbuddies' blogrolls, and... Twisty's nuts but at least she's intelligent, witty, and sort of admirably committed about her nutdom. Her commenters, however, are just straight up nuts.

(I mean, not all of them. But there's a significant man-hating baby-hating world-hating nut contingent and nobody seems to argue with them.

The weirdest part is--I wish I could remember the link here--sometimes they manage to go so far out that they actually come full circle. I saw a commenter arguing that women shouldn't have sex until marriage because it was the only way to get men to respect them. The comment was more or less a logical extension of the discussion they were having and it was also... WHOA.)

November 2009


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