My concept of feminism is quite simple.

For me, feminism is about Choices and a woman's right to make those choices about our lives, our bodies, etc. which are not restricted simply because we are women.

I'll try to illustrate this with some questions which I'll give my answers to, which are a reflection of my concept of feminism and perhaps others can respond with their answers and concepts.

(I've stolen this style from Nerd because I like it and it seems to work well in terms of opening up constructive discussions. Hope you don't mind Nerd).

1. Should women be allowed to be a Fireman?

There are height, weight and strength requirements to be a Fireman.

If she meets those requirements then Yes she should be able to make that choice and not be discriminated against.

2. Is it okay for a woman not to meet her full potential with a career and choose to stay home with the kiddies and be a housewife?

Yes, If this is what she wants to do.

3. Is it okay for a woman to objectify herself?

Yes, If this is what she wants to do.

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Replies to This Discussion

I agree completely and when I say that feminism is about choices implicit in that is equality. Without equality women can never be free to make these choices and have control over their lives.

Great point Sammy, and welcome!
While I agree that feminists can and should provide leadership in terms of what is "right and wrong" for women I don't agree that we have the right to sit in judgment on the decisions that women choose to make about their lives.

This is the point that I'm emphasizing.

It's simply a question of what the focus is in the situations that we are involved with.

Some of the examples I gave in other posts might clarify my position for you.

Thanks for your input Adriana.
Our overall concept of feminism and what it stands for is what determines how we approach all issues of feminism.

So, I disagree that this is the "least" of all feminist issues.

I also disagree that male bashing can provide anything constructive whatsoever to any debate which discusses the issues that women and feminists face.

So, I'd really appreciate it if this debate wasn't derailed into either of those issues.

Thanks Larry
Hi Golnaz

Hope all is well with you and your family!

My response to your comment number 3 is that we never know when we are making free choices because all of our choices to some extent are determined by our social environment and our physiology.

However, where I differentiate is on indoctrination of dogma (religious or political) and secular society.

In a secular society, is it really better for feminists to be the sole determinant for what is "good for women"?

I believe that we can and should advocate for what we believe as feminists (and many of us believe different things and have different concepts as this thread attests to) but I think we need to be careful not to sit in judgment of the choices that women make assuming that they are not based on indoctrination.

The rights of women are determined by what is universally beneficial but doesn't speak to individual actions or decisions that we as women make in our lives and in my opinion shouldn't.

I hope this clarifies my position :-) and nice to see you back and posting.
Hi Golnaz

I did reply to you but my reply seems to have disappeared so I'll try to remember what my original response was.

I believe I spoke to point 3.

Essentially all of our choices are influenced by many factors so we are never making "free" choices per se. The issue here, in my opinion, is that those choices aren't imposed on us either through religious or political indoctrination. They are made by us based on our requirements within given circumstances.

In those circumstances, the only right or wrong decision is the one that is right or wrong for the individual woman.

And while you or I may or may not agree with it for whatever reason it's not wrong for her to do it.

When it comes to moral issues, as someone stated previously, it should be as irrelevant if a woman does something as it is when a man does it. The only reason that there are special or separate requirements for women is this history of religious sexual repression.

Without that historical framework, objectification is meaningless.

Hope you and your family are doing well and it's nice to see you posting again.
So weird.

I couldn't see my original reply and then when I posted the second reply, the original was visible.

This Ning interface does some strange stuff. Lol.
Look at and follow the arrow backwards at the left of your picture. I don't really like the way that works either.
Thanks for the suggestion Chris, but it actually wasn't there. I scanned the entire page.

Oh well. Lol.
I did that and even after I logged out, closed down the browser and came back it wasn't there.

My cache and everything gets cleared automatically when I close the browser as well.

Seems odd. answer is no to this question. because i don't believe that when we are talking free choice, we are actually free about making our choices. moralities, values, and mentality of the society which we are living in is affecting our choices. how can some one be sure that is making her choices freely?

That would include your reaction to this question though. If we are all simply programmed by our societies to react a certain way, who is to tell your response is not of the same type?

Somehow I doubt you are mindlessly repeating what you were taught in your formative years.
I can see your reply to Matt. Is that the one you're talking about?

1. totally agree

2. mostly agree... but let's not call it a housewife! If our government wants population growth, then we need to value procreation. A child has a right to a parent, so each child should have a parent paid to stay home and be a parent. I can see that. But I don't see any need for a "stay-at-home" salary (other than what we have already in our society... welfare and employment insurance)

3.totally agree. Women in sex trades are there because of lack of choice. Choice is the illusion patriarchy gives to women who've been battered by patriarchy. A 14 y/o does not "choose" to live on the street, she is forced into it, so when she sells her body to men on the street or to movies, it is not a choice. And the women who objectify themselves are imitating the illusion of success perpetrated by that very illusion.

My poor analogy is : As long as a trap is open, hurt humans will fall into it. So close the trap and work on healing the humans.



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