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Old 11-10-2012, 07:05 PM   #21
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I think labels divide people
I kinda agree with this, but it's more that the people with extreme beliefs ruin the labels for the reasonable people
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:14 AM   #22
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It looks to me like an entire article was written based on a throw-away quote

I thought it was an interesting article, not because of Taylor Swift, but I've heard similar aversion to the word "feminist" from a lot of women. That doesn't particularly bother me. You embrace the word that resonates with you and for a lot of women, there is no resonance with "feminist". Perhaps they'll need to find a new word. Maybe they don't need any word. But if they think the journey is done...when there is so much more to travel....that would be a shame.

Women take stands for many things, but not always for themselves.
I've learned to be selfish that way. And I've learned to be generous that way.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:28 AM   #23
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I agree with all of you who said that the word "feminism" is often the issue. In that sense, labels can hurt.

Do I consider myself a feminist? Yes. Do I think that women have reached parity? No. It is a very obvious statement of fact in less developed countries so we don't even have to discuss it. Women there have limited opportunities with respect to work, education, independence, etc. In the west it is more difficult to see, but still exists. There is a reason why women make about 70 cents for every $1 made by a man. Now that number is skewed because of certain industries, but holds true.

I am a corporate lawyer. It is an extremely male-dominated field, to this day. I was the only woman in my year in my practice group when I started working at the firm right out of law school. Almost all of the women leave well before partnership year which then skews the ratio even further. Obviously some of it is due to self-selection, but there are many things about working at a large corporate firm as a woman that work against you. I have to say that aside from your usual asshole that every workplace has, I was treated extremely well there, by the men and women. Male partners were great, willing to mentor and I never felt like I was getting worse assignments than my male peers. To be perfectly honest I think that my path to partnership was in some way easier than theirs because I would be fulfilling a quota. Where the differences arose was in networking opportunities. Keep in mind that corporate clients are overwhelmingly male. So when a client invites a partner for a day out on his sailboat, or to play 18 holes of golf, or to go to a hockey game or for drinks after work, etc. do you think that the 55-year-old partner will invite me to join them or the 30-year-old guy sitting next to me? This in turn means that my relationship with the client will never be the same as theirs, which means it is harder for me to drum up business in the longterm, etc. It is things like these which are far less obvious that hurt women in that particular field.

As for Taylor Swift, I don't mean to sound judgmental about age, but she is only 22. I can almost guarantee to any woman out there who is 22 right now that when she is 30 or 35, she will have a VASTLY different view of the world. It is something that can only come with age and time and experience and the observations that come with it. At 33 I wouldn't presume to understand our world the way my Mom does at 58. In addition to age, Taylor Swift is the 0.1% and therefore has essentially no understanding what life is like for women generally. Does she worry about getting a promotion, paying her mortgage and all her other bills, how she can afford a new car for the winter when the old one craps out, her husband's job security, how she can get her kids into a good school district, how her elderly parents will retire without a pension and on and on.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #24
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Hey anitram, my brother is also a corporate lawyer, is also from Toronto, and also works in new York. I'm sure it's a big industry, but I wonder if you might know him.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:33 PM   #25
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I would generally agree that labels are much less important than actions and behavior, but in the case of the term "feminist" we have a word that has been coopted by the Right to the extent that people now are often hesitant to use it. In that sense, I think using the term "feminist" is empowering in and of itself, simply because it represents a rejection of conservative propaganda.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #26
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Hey anitram, my brother is also a corporate lawyer, is also from Toronto, and also works in new York. I'm sure it's a big industry, but I wonder if you might know him.
Probably not as I have not been in NYC since 2008. I know I should update my Interference profile!
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:26 PM   #27
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Well he's been there since 2003 or so. But ya, it's a big place. He's at Sullivan & Cromwell
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #28
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i has a big so i will comment more another day....

I am a proud Feminist, especially as a girl growing up in the late 50's - mid- 60's who loved "girl" things like clothes/fashion & jewelry but also "boy" things like science, politics, tinker toys & lego. It wasn't exactly easy, but thank goodness, I did live in nyc in a mixed ethnic neighborhood I didn't live in an enclave of just my ethnic group; where it might have been even harder to be myself.

and still love all these things!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:51 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by iron yuppie
I would generally agree that labels are much less important than actions and behavior, but in the case of the term "feminist" we have a word that has been coopted by the Right to the extent that people now are often hesitant to use it. In that sense, I think using the term "feminist" is empowering in and of itself, simply because it represents a rejection of conservative propaganda.
Good point. I hardly think Lady Gaga is alone in equating the word feminist, or any sort of feminist ideas/ideals, with man hating. You can still find plenty of examples of that. Right and left, male and female. All over the spectrum. Her whole issue with her weight gain recently and the scrutiny of it..well maybe she could look at that as a feminist issue.

And Taylor Swift is relevant because of her age, and as anitram pointed out - her income level gives her a whole different perspective. She's symbolic in those ways. To be that young with that kind of.money and that kind of life , well it's difficult to relate. Her father was a stockbrocker and she grew up on a Christmas tree farm. Rather idyllic 22 years so far. I applaud her for it, she 's beautiful and writes very catchy songs and is very successful
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by BonosSaint

Women take stands for many things, but not always for themselves.
Yep. It's selfish to take a stand for yourself, that's what some of us are often told. You get the message that you're not worth it, not supposed to feel like you are. Sometimes you learn the hard way and sometimes it takes way too long.

It gets demoralizing to always have the backs of others and to sometimes feel like no one has yours. That's when it's best to just have your own and be able to shrug it off.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:13 AM   #31
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Yep. It's selfish to take a stand for yourself, that's what some of us are often told. You get the message that you're not worth it, not supposed to feel like you are. Sometimes you learn the hard way and sometimes it takes way too long.

It gets demoralizing to always have the backs of others and to sometimes feel like no one has yours. That's when it's best to just have your own and be able to shrug it off.
Yes!
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:34 AM   #32
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Not just selfish, frankly you're seen as a bitch too. Etc. Whatever term (s) you want to use. When men are far more often applauded for taking a stand for themselves, and sometimes for far worse behavior.

Not always is that the case, or under all circumstances. But that double standard still exists.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:14 AM   #33
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As someone who has a job in a predominantly male field I have to say that yes, feminism is still relevant and sexism is still rampant. It isn't even about equal pay, it's about the strange assumptions and rules and gender roles forced upon women in this day and age. That is not to say that men do not have gender roles forced upon them, it's just that those roles are far less restrictive.

A woman who speaks her mind is considered tactless and a "bitch". A woman who openly talks about sexuality is considered loose. There are taboo subjects and things that are considered appropriate. Many females I know don't even think twice about it and just accept the rules society have placed on us--so they don't really understand what it is like to challenge them. I've seen woman fighting against woman and sexism even between females as we seek to degrade others based on what our idea of a good woman is. "Slut" is thrown around an awful lot.

In the 21st century it still is not okay to question society's rules. But making progress in the legal system doesn't mean we have made a huge dent in society's system.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #34
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It feels good to have this discussion. We don't really talk about it often enough.

Quote:
But making progress in the legal system doesn't mean we have made a huge dent in society's system.
I think there is an unconscious bias toward men even among many women who consider themselves feminists.

In my family, my father is a feminist; my mother is not.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:19 PM   #35
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Speaking about sexism in the workplace, there's still a belief that if a woman is a boss, she is automatically a bitch and is impossible to work with. Sure, there are some female bosses who get big egos when promoted to a managment position, but so do men. The difference is, a man with a big ego is simply a jerk. But a woman with one is not only bitchy, but is not a real woman at all.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:28 PM   #36
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I realize that as a man, my perspective on this may be skewed. But I wonder if extremism is the issue here. There are extremes on any ideological issue, and those extreme voices tend to dominate and define conversations. As a result, the "bra burners" of the 70s became the defining characteristic of the feminism movement (as least in the eyes of the media), while (I would argue) more important but perhaps more moderate voices that argued for pay parity in the workplace or maternity leave were drowned out or ignored.

Just wondering.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:57 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan1977
I realize that as a man, my perspective on this may be skewed. But I wonder if extremism is the issue here. There are extremes on any ideological issue, and those extreme voices tend to dominate and define conversations. As a result, the "bra burners" of the 70s became the defining characteristic of the feminism movement (as least in the eyes of the media), while (I would argue) more important but perhaps more moderate voices that argued for pay parity in the workplace or maternity leave were drowned out or ignored.

Just wondering.
I think most "movements" get overshadowed and hurt by extremism: religions, as mentioned before PETA, certain environmental groups, and most recently the Republican Party. Extremists get more attention and often cross the lines of common sense, law and/or morality therefore skew reality. Extremists will always hurt the cause because you end up having to battle the ignorant that oppose and the extremists who apparently share your cause.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:35 PM   #38
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I realize that as a man, my perspective on this may be skewed. But I wonder if extremism is the issue here. There are extremes on any ideological issue, and those extreme voices tend to dominate and define conversations. As a result, the "bra burners" of the 70s became the defining characteristic of the feminism movement (as least in the eyes of the media), while (I would argue) more important but perhaps more moderate voices that argued for pay parity in the workplace or maternity leave were drowned out or ignored.

Just wondering.
Sure. A lot of that was not helpful. Although to be honest, I don't think the bra burners, although an easy image and titillating (pun intended) to the media were particularly off-putting. We were pretty much burning everything (from draft cards to flags to whatever) in the 70's. It was the protest du jour.

I think among certain segments, there was a perceived hostility to men (and in some cases, it was genuine), and a broader unwillingness to give the dignity of choice to stay-at-home mothers. Not many protest movements want people to stray far from the stated line. There was a certain radicalism that was fun to discuss in women's study classes, but not particularly practical.

But it got attention. It made people draw sides. It got some things done.
Just not enough.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #39
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What's wrong with bra burning? Try wearing one-you'd want to burn it too

I think extremism was probably necessary at first, in order to get anyone to pay attention.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:08 PM   #40
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What's wrong with bra burning? Try wearing one-you'd want to burn it too

I think extremism was probably necessary at first, in order to get anyone to pay attention.
Some people did pay attention and saw what they thought were total nutcases ,and ignored and scorned feminism, even those who simply advocated equality to men.
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