Comments on: Sorry Feminists The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Sat, 28 May 2016 02:14:31 +0000 hourly 1 By: Corinne Corinne Fri, 12 Jul 2013 15:03:22 +0000 I was surprised by the amount of passionate responses to this post. Clearly, even though some seem to be offended, this is a discussion we need to have. It seems most women on this site agree about the core ideology of feminism, but have different means of expressing it. I’m glad to have been exposed through the comments (though I think some have misunderstood the author’s meaning) to so many different ideas about what it means to be a feminist. I have always been a feminist at heart, even though I stay home, and often cringe at the continued over-sexualization of women and girls in the media (in some ways, it is happening more than ever before). And yet, though I stand corrected after reading some of the responses, I had that old stereotype of staunch feminism burned into my head, that some feminists are/were so extreme that we can’t even look pretty anymore without offending the goddess of feminism. I now see that yes, those early women did make huge sacrifices so that I could enjoy freedoms which I take for granted. And clearly we have a long way to go yet, as some have demonstrated. My heart goes out to those still struggling in the workplace with so many challenges left to making sure women get equal treatment, and not just lip service.

So, for me, I’m thankful for the post and the responses. I’d definitely call myself a feminist, by this definition. And thankful that I can be a stay home mom who does some traditionally female things (and not others) by choice and not be demonized by anyone for betraying women. I feel more educated, now, thanks. :)

By: Jessica Jessica Thu, 11 Jul 2013 21:21:00 +0000 I know no one is reading this so many months later…but this comment is the best one in the whole thread and I had to tell you so.

I’m so tired of sarcasm and 140-character attention spans. Those #sorryX hashtags all perpetuate incorrect stereotypes in the name of #zomgiamsoculturallyawarelookatme. As has been discussed above, most of the tweets that precede #sorryfeminists are just blatantly incorrect and have nothing to do with feminism. Anyway, thanks, Leilah. It’s always heartening to read something sensible in a comments section.

By: Ian Ironwood Ian Ironwood Fri, 02 Nov 2012 15:38:14 +0000 Ladies, something you MIGHT want to consider:

Whatever else it is, feminism is no longer an effective mating strategy. I just ran a poll on men 25-32, asked to rate their “dealmakers” and “dealbreakers” for a second date. “If she mentions feminism or says she’s a feminist” hit 56% on the “dealbreakers” and only 8% on the “dealmakers”. Regardless of your thoughts on the subject and what it means to be a feminist, it seems that the emerging opinion from the men in the world seems to be that “what it means to be a feminist” is “single”.

Just thought I’d add that. I know it’s not a concern for many of you, but for the few who do consider such things, thought you should know.

By: Claudia Claudia Tue, 23 Oct 2012 12:54:45 +0000 I haven’t read all the responses, but, please, stop perpetuating the myth that feminists were ever “angry, bra-less women”.
The bra issue is just a metaphor.

By: Elizabeth Elizabeth Mon, 22 Oct 2012 15:16:52 +0000 I consider myself a feminist and to me that means embracing my womanhood. I’m not a man and there are roles that I only I can fill as a woman. I’m proud to be a stay at home mom who holds down the fort, cooks most of the meals, taxis the kids to school, lessons and practice. And I’m proud that my husband fills his role well. He is the breadwinner. He is there emotionally and physically for his kids. He’s their rock, example, pal. He cooks a mean Alfredo, changes diapers (I can change a tire if I had to), and he loves me with all his heart as I do him.

By: CC CC Sun, 21 Oct 2012 01:51:45 +0000 shadygrove I love you! My thoughts exactly, and those braless women were angry and fighting against tremendous inequality in America, our daughters would not have the amazing opportunities they enjoy today if it were not for these women.

By: Jody Jody Sat, 20 Oct 2012 15:47:43 +0000 Sarah,

LOVE what you said about ‘taking back’ domestic interest. I feel so fortunate to be a wife and mother in 2012.

By: Jody Jody Sat, 20 Oct 2012 15:42:40 +0000 Gabrielle,
I completely agree. I think many of us are struggling with the many meanings of the word feminist. I remember going to college with a very conservative Catholic girl who was furious when someone asked her if she was a feminist. She was completely offended. We spoke about it later and she said that for her, a feminist was someone who turned their back on family values.
I was so saddened, because for me being a feminist means quite the opposite.
FWIW, I don’t see this blog as turning political via this post. This is a family/women’s issue, not political.

By: debbie debbie Sat, 20 Oct 2012 12:04:24 +0000 we don’t need to change the word femenist any more than we need to change the word Jewish (i am both). The fact that some or many people have a hard time with a concept doesn’t mean the concept is flawed.
Did it ever occur to you that whoever started the line that: “feminists are angry man-haters” was someone who didn’t like having women stand up for themselves and demand to be treated eaqually? The fact that so many women today don’t know that all thier freedom was fought for and won by women all over the world makes me sad. it should be taught in schools
I’ve been a proud feminist ever since my clooge professor told us – if you believe men and women should have the same rights, are capable of being anything or doing anything… – then you are a feminist.. deal with it

By: Barbara Barbara Fri, 19 Oct 2012 21:28:06 +0000 I disagree that aesthetics is entirely irrelevant to feminism as a socio-political issue. Women’s attractiveness/youthfulness/aesthetics has very real “currency” and the lengths, costs, and sacrifices that women take on in order to meet certain gender expectations re: aesthetics in order negotiate success is pretty relevant. and at the same time, women must also endure their interest in aesthetics being dismissed as frivolity, unserious and “feminine.”

we are a part of this society, there is no way that we cannot be affected by how our society defines beauty, fun, fitness, etc. etc. etc. it’s all internalized. we don’t have to have hairy armpits and never wear lipstick, but we should at the very least acknowledge and have enough self-awareness not to ignore the subtext underlying why women get breast implants, wear six-inch heels, and sometimes spend an hour or two and a small fortune on our hair & make-up. that doesn’t mean that aesthetics isn’t wonderful or isn’t important and that it’s not incredibly uplifting to feel good about the way you look or empowering to make a statement with your individual style.

i think there is so often a natural defensiveness that comes out when there is a critique of something that a person loves to do or has done that has truly given them satisfaction. and we’ve got realize that identifying an issue with women spending thousands of dollars to go under the knife to preserve her youthfulness b/c age and unattractiveness diminish our worth out the world is not attacking women who want to look more youthful and do indeed feel better about themselves for looking more youthful.

women would be able to save a lot of money to do lots of other fun stuff if for instance, say, silver hair was considered sexy. and while, certainly, men are out there coloring their hair, salt & pepper is considered attractive for them in way it is not for women. that’s an important distinction and has meaning.

By: Reghan Reghan Fri, 19 Oct 2012 17:11:31 +0000 What a lively discussion! I immediately thought back to an interview by Terry Gross (NPR) that I heard back in 2009. Terry talks with Ayelet Waldman about her memoir “Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace”. Her perspective, being raised by a 1970s feminist mother and as she describes her childhood (listening to her mom and a “consciousness-raising” group of women from the top of the stairs), had a strong impact on me. We do owe these brave women a lot of respect – while at the same time we should examine how that movement (1970′s women in the workforce rather than earlier waves like the right to vote) impacts us today.

Read or listen to the whole interview here:

OR here’s a excerpt I find relevant to this discussion:
“Ms. WALDMAN: …my mom and her friends had these incredibly frustrated professional lives, and what they raised us to do, what she raised me to do, is to live out the kind of professional experience in life that she had never managed to have.

And they never said how hard it was going to be. You know, they never – my mother never made it clear that this was going to pull me in as many directions as it was, because I don’t think she even thought so. I mean, she thought that if I had the kind of professional life that she had always longed for, then everything else would fall into place.

So I’m 44 years old, and I think I’m part of the first generation of women raised by these feminist mothers. And when I first was feeling so frustrated and depressed and angry about being stuck at home, I really kind of turned on that message, and I said, you know, this was a lie. This whole thing was a lie. We can’t have it all. And at first I was angry, but I think what ended up happening is that I have – it’s not so much that I’ve mellowed but that I’ve developed some perspective.

GROSS: How would you compare your idea of what it means to be a feminist with your mother’s?

Ms. WALDMAN: Well you know, at a very basic level, we have the same idea of what it means to be a feminist. I mean, I absolutely call myself a feminist. And by that, I mean a woman who believes that your opportunities should not be constrained by your gender, that women should be entitled to the same opportunities as men – and my mother feels that way, too.

I think the difference is, in – between women of my generation and my mother’s generation, and between my mother and me, is a kind of gradations and shades of gray.”

By: Puja Puja Fri, 19 Oct 2012 06:07:29 +0000 Thank you for the kind words about my website.

By: Lauren Lauren Fri, 19 Oct 2012 03:00:26 +0000 I am so pleasantly surprised by the comments here.

Huh-ell yes, I’m a feminist!

By: Lauren Ashley Lauren Ashley Fri, 19 Oct 2012 02:23:50 +0000 I completely agree. I don’t think the two are necessarily linked – It worries me that people seem to assume that you can’t be both girly and a feminist, when as you say, they aren’t truly connected.

By: jenny also jenny also Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:11:01 +0000 So serious! Let’s play. I am addicted to Morman Mommy Blogs. #sorry feminists!!!

By: Delphine Delphine Thu, 18 Oct 2012 21:32:39 +0000 Well put, re: your paraphrase of Caitlin Moran!

What’s puzzling is this: why is aesthetics even a consideration in this particular topic? Aesthetics is wonderful and important and has its own domain. It shouldn’t figure in discussions of a socio-political issue.

To decide whether one is for or against feminism based on whether feminists can dress pretty or are obligated to have hairy armpits and a shapeless chest is as silly as trying to decide whether one is for or against slavery based on whether Lincoln’s hat is attractive or not. The relevance and value of an idea has absolutely nothing to do with the appearance of the person who is presenting it.

By: Lauren Ashley Lauren Ashley Thu, 18 Oct 2012 21:16:19 +0000 Oh man does this ever have me fired up.

Yes you can be sexy and be a feminist, yes you can cry during the Notebook and be a feminist – you can be a homemaker and be a feminist, you can love shopping, pink, lipstick, pearls, skin tight jeans, and glitter and be a feminist.

As the amazing Caitlin Moran awesomely said: Do you have a vagina? Would you like to be in charge of that vagina? If you answered yes, congratulations, you are a feminist.

What are we teaching our next generation of girls if the common perception is that you cannot be feminine and be a feminist? This is exactly why feminism is still so very relevant and important.

This is want a modern day self proclaimed Lipstick Feminist looks like:

By: Kat Kat Thu, 18 Oct 2012 20:22:37 +0000 Bam! You said it all, lady.

By: Delphine Delphine Thu, 18 Oct 2012 20:12:32 +0000 This sort of thing is why feminism is still relevant:

By: E E Thu, 18 Oct 2012 18:15:11 +0000 Interesting conversation – so many different ways of seeing this topic. My own identification with this term has definitely changed over time – I remember in college being appreciative of the fact that I was on the educational/career track that I was on largely because of the action of feminists from the decades prior, but also aware that the negative connotations associated with the term did not seem to fit for me (mid 90s). I agree that while the dictionary definition of the term is crystal-clear, the cultural interpretation of ‘feminist’ has been in significant flux over the last 40+ years.
To me, one of the interesting questions raised in this conversation is how, in 2012 and going forward, do we maintain equality while acknowledging that if you have a family, it can really be tough to have both partners continue at an ‘equal’ pace. I was definitely raised with a ‘free-to-be-you-and-me’ mentality, thinking that I can do whatever I want, but the reality is that I am in a 2-physician family with one child and in order to raise him there are some compromises that need to be made. I empathize with Hyzen’s comments regarding the workplace. It would be nice to hear more conversation in general about how we, as a society, can help women and men keep moving forward in their careers (obviously only if they choose to) while also making it a little easier to also manage a home. Possible? I’m not sure, but would like to hear others opinions….