Are you a Feminist?

BettyJean Downing Kling

Are you a feminist? To many this sounds like a silly question, and some might respond with a statement like; “Well Yeah! If not a feminist, what does that make me? A misogynist (having a hatred of women, as a defined group)?”

Men and women alike call themselves feminists believing the term refers to respecting females and believing them equal and capable deserving the same opportunities as men. And yet describe yourself as a feminist and there is a good chance your will be misjudged!

Feminism comes with a lot more negativism than it deserves. Unfortunately not everyone has a positive opinion of the term or for what the movement accomplished for women and girls. In order to undermine the feminist movement a great number of negative stereotypes have been perpetuated; such as the man-haters, ugly, lonely, barren, angry woman who is a feminist only because she cannot find or keep a man etc. etc.

These stereotypes are intentional propaganda, plain gibberish, served up to give the so called “post-feminist” generations pause about self-identifying as feminists. Instead are we to be ashamed our foremothers fought for the right to vote and are still fighting for equality under the laws?

I suggest films like “Feminist: Stories from the Women’s Liberation Movement” are very important and serve to correct the history of women’s history and struggles. This independent film, made by Jennifer Lee (@JenniferLeeUSA) documents some significant events of the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and reminds us of the positive changes which addressed the legal and economic obstacles facing women.

Men and women worked together to tackle issues of working women, gender roles, salary, and opportunities of women in the workforce . It is important that we tell the whole story, correct the lies instead of focusing on Bra-burning for example, which became associated with the movement, but the term is a misnomer as no bras were actually burned at the Miss America protest.

“Feminist: Stories from the Women’s Liberation Movement.” 

Why are people reluctant to call themselves a “feminist”? Why aren’t we proud of what the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and the 1970s did for us?  I am making this documentary film about the significant events of the Women’s Liberation Movement so that we can remember why we’re proud of the word “feminist.”  I have traveled all across the United States and interviewed over 30 feminists who participated in the Women’s Liberation Movement – including some famous faces. The Women’s Liberation Movement was a momentous time in our history – when you see these feminists tell their stories, you will be proud to call yourself a feminist.

Why is this film important?

The fight for equality is not over. For example, today only 17% of our congress is female with only six female governors. In order to move forward and truly have equality we must embrace our history. Rejecting the word “feminist” holds us back. Hearing and seeing the stories of what these women did when they were college students during the Anti-War and Civil Rights Movements will show us how to move forward.

As a mother, it’s important to me that my child knows the history of women in the United States. Women have a rich history full of dramatic stories, tough fights, and huge successes. In order to create equality for women in the United States, we must honor the work done during the Women’s Liberation Movement.

I completed all of the interviews with my own money. The cinematographers who shot the interviews did so for free. This film is a labor of love for all of us. ~Jennifer Lee

Willingly falling into second place and believing it is their choice

“It’s Me Louise”

A proud Female is one who is strong and is always in control of her own body. She may be a feminist, a wife, a mother or she may remain single. Whatever she chooses to do with her life or how she chooses to share her time or affections, she is a complete and honorable person who deserving full respect.

She may enjoy sexual intercourse or not. It should be her decision to accept or reject sexual advances, however at not time should she be forced into having unprotected sex. A first-rate man who respects a women would be prepared with “condoms” both for his protection against  sexually transmitted diseases and to prevent unwanted pregnancy rather than relying on the female for the entire responsibility of birth control. Unprotected sex is exclusively for couples who are planning to create life and are both prepared to have a baby!

Any man that claims he does not like to use condoms is a low life that has no respect for a female or for the potential child resulting from his action. He is also someone who would rather drop his easily discarded slime into a woman’s body using use her as his toilet!

Females, wake up, you are not a toilet! Why would you ever allow yourselves to become a receptacle for excess male sperm or why stand for someone you love to use you and treat you as a toilet? You deserve better than having to clean up his slime left in your body. Insist he use condoms and clean up his own residue.

Women have always intrinsically known that they were equal beings and should be independent but never before has woman had more opportunity to fight for their rights, equality, freedom, representation and to hold the highest offices. Yet with all this opportunity, so many still subject them selves to being sex objects and sperm receptacles for men’s pleasure buying the notion that anything less is a sign of sexual repression. Willingly falling into second place and believing it is their choice rather than the result of brainwashing to submit to one of the two options offered women. Neither subordinate wife or unrepressed sperm receptacle is a totally free first class citizen of the same stature man is !

If our Great Grandmothers could risk life and death fighting for the vote 200 years ago and if they could reason that women should be the only ones to determine their own destiny – surely today’s women should be equally as perceptive.

 “I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.” Susan B. Anthony 1875

Is the Conservative Media Really Anti-Feminist?

A Pioneer Dissident Speaks Out

by Phyllis Chesler
NewsRealBloghttp://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/11/30/is-the-conservative-media-really-anti-feminist-a-pioneer-dissident-speaks-out/

Excerpt:

Recently, a good feminist—yes they do exist–someone who has fought in the trenches for years on behalf of battered and raped women—implored me to stop publishing at this site. She said that I was the only “real,” pioneer feminist left standing who had continued to engage in the most important battles which humanity now faces. However, she was getting flack when she sent my pieces around precisely because my work is being published on conservative websites and by someone like David Horowitz.

Right there, that should have made her wonder why allegedly “feminist” or liberal websites were neither publishing nor even linking to my work and why allegedly “conservative” (and therefore presumably anti-feminist) venues have embraced that work.

She wrote (and I am paraphrasing):

Read the complete original version of this item…

How Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg Flunks Journalism

Another Rant By: BettyJean Kling

OK – I am ready to have it out again – can we have an honest discussion about this. I tend to think the truth lies somewhere in the middle between what Sarah wrote in Palin’s new book,
America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,
and Michelle Goldberg’s assessment of How Palin Flunks Feminism

The governor-turned-reality-TV-star’s new book dives into feminist history—distorting and misunderstanding it every step of the way, says The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg.

First – someone better clue Goldberg in on Wikipedia- stuff there is not written in stone Michelle—even Sarah can go in and change history on Wikipedia! Talk about being worried about distortions – this gal is relying on Wikipedia for Pete’s sake for her history! YIKES!

“As so often with Palin, it’s hard to tell whether ignorance or dishonesty is at work. Perhaps neither she nor her ghostwriter had time to read up on women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, presented here as a pious Christian conservative. But couldn’t one of them at least have perused her Wikipedia entry?”

Then she leads you to believe that Palin is lying and distorting Susan B. Anthony’s abortion position. It reads thus:

“America By Heart packs a lot of deceit into a small package. Indeed, it’s an object

lesson in the power of right wing propaganda to create imaginary histories.”

Followed by this:

“Palin also tries to claim Susan B. Anthony for her side. The idea that Anthony was anti-abortion is a cherished one on the right; one anti-abortion political action committee calls itself the “Susan B. Anthony List.” “Susan B. Anthony saw the fight for the rights of the unborn as part of the broader fight for women’s rights,” writes Palin.”

And then lays the conclusion that Palin is distorting the facts on others who wrote those conclusions entirely having nothing to do with Palin’s book.

“Again, not really. As Ann Gordon, the editor of Anthony’s papers, and Lynn Sherr, one of her biographers, wrote earlier this year, “We have read every single word that this very voluble—and endlessly political—woman left behind. Our conclusion: Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies. “

Read it at The Daily Beast:

http://e.thedailybeast.com/a/tBM8R$eB7SwhTB8V8yUCz-wH$lK/dail2

 

Clearly Ms. Goldberg flunks journalism but is queen of distortion and as for being a feminist- she doesn’t even know what the word means. Clearly she is not a woman’s woman – she is a political lemming!

As for the term Feminist and the vote:


The question was – Is Sarah Palin a Feminist? The article presented parts of her book to have you believe she is not and then asks you to vote. I voted yes but the results showed most readers either fell for the ruse or are lemmings!

One has to know the term Feminist and its meaning- obviously these voters know neither to have voted no in such large numbers.  Let me set the record straight.

 A Feminist plain and simple is the belief that females are equal to men! 

To suggest that Sarah Palin is not a feminist meaning she does not think she is equal to any man is a laugh a minute.  No doubt in my mind she thinks she and many of us are equal – she probably also thinks many other women are idiot lemmings and she would be right about that too! Damned fools would believe anything you read!

Finally, I suppose most voters in this poll were Democrats, and Liberals but they certainly were not feminists who stand up for other women – regardless of the political affiliation, religious beliefs or ability to unite. Most of Sarah’s book readers will be Conservatives and Republicans and they certainly were not feminists who stand up for other women – regardless of the political affiliation, religious beliefs or ability to unite. Both conservatives and Democrats have an awful lot to learn and until they do – feminists will never achieve equality- we are holding ourselves back by remaining in two separate camps fighting over abortion. You will fight to the death and never win!


How Palin Flunks Feminism packs a lot of deceit into an even smaller package. Indeed, it’s an object

lesson in the power of left wing propaganda to keep women divided over abortion.

What is Feminism?

Cross post by Bettyjean Kling from: The Confluence
http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/what-is-feminism/

Posted on January 31, 2009 by bostonboomer

… What, in your opinion is feminism? And what is a feminist? Here are some basic definitions and a few questions to ponder.

Wikipedia:

Feminism is the belief in the right of women to have political, social, and economic equality with men. It is a discourse that involves various movements, theories, and philosophies which are concerned with the issue of gender difference, advocate equality for women, and campaign for women’s rights and interests.

Dictionary.com

1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy:

The term ‘feminism’ has many different uses and its meanings are often contested. For example, some writers use the term ‘feminism’ to refer to a historically specific political movement in the US and Europe; other writers use it to refer to the belief that there are injustices against women, though there is no consensus on the exact list of these injustices. Although the term “feminism” has a history in English linked with women’s activism from the late 19th century to the present, it is useful to distinguish feminist ideas or beliefs from feminist political movements, for even in periods where there has been no significant political activism around women’s subordination, individuals have been concerned with and theorized about justice for women. So, for example, it makes sense to ask whether Plato was a feminist, given his view that women should be trained to rule (Republic, Book V), even though he was an exception in his historical context. (See e.g., Tuana 1994)

Questions:

1. Are you a feminist if you attack other feminists and say they aren’t ideologically pure enough?

2. Are you a feminist if you support a politician who can empirically be demonstrated to be a misogynist?

3. Are you a feminist if you claim a demonstrably misogynistic man is a feminist?

4. Are you a feminist if you attack and lie about female politicians who don’t share your particular ideology?

5. If you are a feminist, is it reasonable to attack and tear down men who support equal rights for women simply because they don’t agree with your notion of feminist ideology?

6. Can you be a feminist and still support a demonstrably misogynistic man over a demonstrably feminist woman for high political office?

Please discuss.

UPDATE: Another way of expressing what the quote at the top of this post says: “A feminist is a woman who doesn’t want to be treated like sh&t.” — quoted by Afrocity on The View from Under the Bus

A Feminist? You betcha!

 

Another Rant by: BettyJean Kling

Below see Governor Sarah Palin’s speech. I choose to believe she means what she says – why shouldn’t I? It is clear that this woman is her own person and she has made her own choices and she has climbed the ladder of success on her own merits. She was not cultivated as a politician – she owes no one any favors and she is one of us with all her differences – she is woman watch her roar.

 

And as my PumaPac friend Murphy wrote,

 

Yesterday, Sarah Palin made the most explicitly feminist political speech by ANYONE running for national office in the last 20 years. She said,

“Women of my generation were allowed finally to make more of our own choices with education, with career, and I have never forgotten that we owe that opportunity to women, to feminists who came before us,” Palin said. “The belief in equal opportunity is not just the cause of feminists, it’s the creed of our country — equal opportunity.”

 

As Democrats, we likely disagree with Sarah Palin on many things, not least of which are environmental protections and corporate reform. But as WOMEN, how can we not read these words and be inspired?

 

 

These words indeed are the words of a true feminist- make no mistake – none of us are in full agreement on every issue- but I believe we can all agree – she is a feminist?

 

“When it came time for choosing, somehow Barack Obama just couldn’t bring himself to pick the woman who got 18 million votes in his primary, and that seems to be too familiar a story isn’t it?” Palin said at a rally in Henderson, NV on October 21. “How it is for so many American women that the qualifications are there, but for some reason the promotion never comes?

 

“You’ve got to ask yourself why was Senator Hillary Clinton was not even vetted by the Obama campaign?” Palin continued. “Why did it take 24 years, an entire generation from the time Geraldine Ferraro made her pioneering bid until the next time that a woman was asked to join a national ticket?”

 

“In the long history of our country, 74 people have held the position of President or Vice-President, and why have the major parties given America only two chances to even consider a woman for either office?” Palin asked. “This glass ceiling, it is still there, but it’s about time that we shattered that glass ceiling once and for all.”

 

“Out on the stump he talks a good game about equal pay for equal work, but according to the Senate pay roll records women on his own staff get just 83 cents for every dollar that the men get,” Palin said of Obama. “That’s 9,000 dollars less every year that he pays the guys. Does he think that the women aren’t working as hard? Does he think that they are 17 percent less productive?”

 

“The working women of this country, those who work inside the home and outside of the home, they’re overlooked by politicians in Washington, and Barack Obama hasn’t given us a single reason to believe that he would be any better.”

 

“I’ve been very, very blessed to have a husband who’s supported me along the way. He’s a great dad who doesn’t disappear at bath time or run from diaper duty, and I appreciate that,” Palin added. “But a lot of women have it much, much harder than I’ve had it. And they need child care, which today can cost some families a third of their household budget. And they need reforms in labor laws that allow greater flexibility in the workplace, including more tele-commuting. And they need a tax code that doesn’t penalize working families.”

 

“Women of my generation were allowed finally to make more of our own choices with education, with career, and I have never forgotten that we owe that opportunity to women, to feminists who came before us,” Palin said. “The belief in equal opportunity is not just the cause of feminists, it’s the creed of our country — equal opportunity.” ~ Gov. Sarah Palin

 

I Join Murphy in asking you to please pass this on to every women you know and ask her to have another look and decide how much longer we will wait for a THE perfect women to show up?  You know the woman that will appeal to everyone in the country — apparently that is what we are looking for right? Hillary wouldn’t do for half the country and now Sarah will not for the other half. Stop the insanity and let’s give this woman-the same opportunity we have always given the men we have elected – when’s the last time you agreed totally with any one of them?