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  1. #1
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    Feminism --awareness in young women & bridging the schism

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    Since Teamestrogen doesn't want any political discussions (too bad, since as a Canadian, I could learn a lot from hearing regular folks...), I will just say: I've been intrigued some of the American commentary why Hillary Clinton as part of the older generations of career women and feminist, doesn't know how to speak to the young women electorate.

    Methinks, hectoring young women about historic (though recent) milestones in North America, about workplace equity, changed societal attitudes about balancing career and family: it takes enormous self-restraint not to fall into lecturing younger generation. To let the younger generation of adults, fall down and struggle first. Then offer support and helping hand.

    When I learned my partner's daughter was reading about feminism when she was around 15 yrs. --I inwardly cheered. I told my partner I thought it was great. And he thought so too. Better they take the initiative learn and appreciate the historic recent trajectory. She is now 37 yrs. old.

    When now, I see my 30 yr. old niece's tweets that clearly show clear broad understanding of ongoing problems in misygony in certain workplaces, pay equity for same work, value of women for full breadth of her skills, knowledge vs. youth/beauty....I am relieved. But she earned that understanding the hard way: she has an engineering university degree and has worked in predominantly male workplaces. (mining industry). I believe she has had unpleasant experiences since she is lovely looking quiet woman because she said to me "it was horrible". I have not inquired about that work history. But know she reads and tweets about geek feminism (women in the technical fields and dealing with certain attitudes).
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  2. #2
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    I think this may be my first official post to TE!
    I work in a very large corporate office (in the United States) of a very large 'corporate america traditional' international company.
    I'm always a little surprised at the lack of knowledge of the history of women's rights in the U.S.; that the young women professionals have. Especially the highly educated ones. Especially those under 30.

    Their parents probably worked hard to give them a good education and are proud of their daughters. And rightly so.

    I don't want to make anyone defensive, it's just sort of the way SOME young women/people are.

    I hope they can over time learn the struggles that older generations of women fought for so that they can have the more equitable lives they have now.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbike View Post
    I don't want to make anyone defensive, it's just sort of the way SOME young women/people are.

    I hope they can over time learn the struggles that older generations of women fought for so that they can have the more equitable lives they have now.
    Just 2 years ago, my youngest sister who is 10 yrs. younger than I, started to launch into some sort of feminist explanation. I think it was related to women and careers since she herself is a physician. I sort of gentle stopped her and let her know that really I did understand and picked up the sentence that she started off. She assumed that I didn't have understanding. (Groan, several years ago, I was involved in documenting oral history for a book anthology on life stories on contributions of Chinese-Canadian women...and I gave a copy of the book to each of my sisters as a gift)

    I found it strangely ironic, coming from within my family with more women than men (because just more girls born than boys) and a strong thrust/hope for all of us to gain college/university education plus earn money. Sometimes when people are living the major "change" that's happening in their own family, other people can't quite see it unless one takes a big step back to see the bigger picture. I don't talk overtly about "feminism" with my own sisters....I guess we just "live it".
    Last edited by shootingstar; 02-21-2016 at 05:15 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  4. #4
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    Well, my 2 DILs are 28 and 36. One had a very non-traditional upbringing (lived in a commune for 4 years), with 2 weird parents. She is actually pretty traditional, but very aware of feminism. The younger one lived with 2 fighting parents, 4 sibs, they were poor, until the parents divorced. Her mom went back tos school, got a college degree in her late 40s and is a psych nurse now. I'd say she is traditional, but she *was* a Marine, then went to school to be an RN. She's tough, but wants to be home with her kids, although she will probably work part time, to keep her skills up. Her end goal is to get a master's to be a nurse-midwife. They are both pregnant and it will be interesting to see what they do. The older ones need the money more, as they have a home, and need at least some of her income. My younger son is in school, living off of the GI bill and has investments that most 30 year olds don't have. She will not have to work, whether he goes back active duty military as an officer or goes into his field of economics. I think she will, at least part time. I feel like the older one is more aware of the work that people of my generation did, because of the environment she was brought up in, and the younger one not so much, because her mom is more than 10 years younger than me. I never considered staying home full time, and wouldn't have done so, even if I had a ton of money back then. It seems like neither of my DILs want to "do it all," like i did.
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  5. #5
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    Well, second-wave feminism wasn't the same as first-wave, and third-wave isn't the same as second-wave either. I think it's natural for everyone to think that the way we did things when we were young, is the way young people should do it now. But that feeling that we have, doesn't mean that young people's practice of feminism is not as good. Back in the '80s, transphobia was just about celebrated - it was way beyond accepted. And while exclusion of minorities is still a very serious problem in the women's movement in the US today, at least there's a lot more consciousness of intersectionality than there was even five years ago.

    So, no. As a member of one of the first majority-female classes at one of the nation's larger law schools, I know that the many micro- and macro-aggressions I experienced at work were very different from what, say, Sandra Day O'Connor experienced. I don't take for granted the fact that no one questioned my right to take the LSAT or apply to law school. Misogyny looks different now from what it looked like 30 years ago, and it looked different then from what it looked like 30 years before that, but it's still here, and I give today's young feminists credit and self-determination.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
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    My grandmother was in the same work and social circle and a good friend of Simone de Beauvoir. In my early teens she and my mother started teaching me a lot about feminism and social theory during conversations and more importantly with their actions. Ms. Greer and her writings about the struggle for the freedom of women to define their own values, order their own priorities and decide their own fate, made her, in my teenage mind, a hero who I knew would be good for my soul. The knowledge and values I’ve learned have helped me in trying to embody and wholly own being a strong, independent and successful woman through hard work and dedication. Having the influences i had were important but the same learning can be done today especially with the internet as a starting point. It just takes someone to instill the idea in a positive way and a curious mind.

    From my mother, grandmother, a few professors and now Ellie as mentors I feel I have a good grasp on the first wave of feminism to today’s intersectionallity. Whether we call ourselves Feminists or not, whether we are of the first, fourth, fifth or sixth wave etc., we each should take our turn in working for global equality/social justice issues while giving birth to our own feminist ideals...that would also be my reply to a someone who told me young women don’t know or care they are reaping the benefits of past battles that older feminists won. I know a LOT of other millennials, female and male that see the light of equality in the same way i do.

    From Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’
    “But as the years went on, I realized that what I really want to be, all told, is a human. Just a productive, honest, courteously treated human.”

    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    I've been intrigued some of the American commentary why Hillary Clinton as part of the older generations of career women and feminist, doesn't know how to speak to the young women electorate..
    I see my feminism as also working on rights for the poor, for minorities and especially lgbt’s…..and to get political, for me Sander’s activism is certainly more aligned with mine than Clinton’s.....and voting for a man who offers economic and social justice policies that help people, especially women and the poor and has a well-documented commitment to women’s rights, is in my mind….an act of feminism.
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 02-22-2016 at 03:48 PM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
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  7. #7
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    Truthfully, when I look at Sanders' supporters, I see myself in the 60s/early 70s. The good thing is, I stayed politically active, and (some) younger people are politically active.Totally agree with Oak's statement. What we take for granted now, was not what our mothers took for granted. Despite being very diferent and 8 years apart in age, my DILs are both refreshingly inclusive and so are my sons. I worked hard to make sure that happened. My older son said last night that people have said incredibly stupid stuff to him about having a daughter, including the fact that he must "not care, because you are not a macho guy."
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  8. #8
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    One thing that helps me "keep up" is my subscription to a magazine whose title I can't post in this forum - a five-letter word beginning with "B" that's a historical slur against women, that the publishers are trying to reclaim as a word of power. It's all about feminist critique of pop culture, by definition aimed at younger people who form the largest market for pop culture. It's a quarterly, at least used to be available on newsstands, though I've been subscribing for a while and haven't looked in the stores. b****media.org
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    So, no. As a member of one of the first majority-female classes at one of the nation's larger law schools, I know that the many micro- and macro-aggressions I experienced at work were very different from what, say, Sandra Day O'Connor experienced.
    I think that is the key. Each generation faces something different. At some point I believe it may just as frustrating to fight misogyny when its hidden and invisible and those who are treating women differently won't admit their innate prejudice. It often doesn't help that the older generations often seem to "haze" the younger generations reminding them how much harder it was in the past. When you're fighting your work's policies against child sick time and you're struggling, it doesn't help when an older woman responds "well, you still have it so much easier than I did." I even sometimes find myself doing the same thing and I have to remind myself that I'm not helping.

    I believe feminists are still working hard, each just in their own way.

  10. #10
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    I like Caitlin Moran, and I especially like her take that it's about being a good and decent and respected human being. I think my personal brand of feminism (in my lucky position in a very egalitarian country) is trying to always think of people as people first, gender second, myself included. Not genderless, but not defined by their gender first. And secondly being aware that everyone, me too, is a product of more than just "free will". That we are all heavily influenced in our choices and preferences by our upbringing, friends, family and society, and that if we want true free will we need to challenge our own assumptions of what we (think we) like and what we (think we) are good at.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lph View Post
    I like Caitlin Moran, and I especially like her take that it's about being a good and decent and respected human being. I think my personal brand of feminism (in my lucky position in a very egalitarian country) is trying to always think of people as people first, gender second, myself included. Not genderless, but not defined by their gender first. And secondly being aware that everyone, me too, is a product of more than just "free will". That we are all heavily influenced in our choices and preferences by our upbringing, friends, family and society, and that if we want true free will we need to challenge our own assumptions of what we (think we) like and what we (think we) are good at.
    We most definitely are a product of our upbringing, family, friends and society...so "free will" is a slight misnomer. It requires making a conscious decision to challenge ourselves, our own limits of understanding, our own tiny worldview.

    I just finished interviewing an East Indian woman doctor (psychiatrist), mother of 2 ...who happens to bicycle several times per month where she lives in southern India. It's for my blog later. Here is an excerpt of what she said:

    "“Regarding children cycling, it would possibly surprise you to know that cycles are so popular here ( among children), that the Government of Karnataka gives out free bicycles to girls from economically disabled backgrounds, so that they will not drop out of school! Each school has about a minimum of hundred to two hundred kids cycling to and from it. With the advent of school buses in the bigger cities, the numbers who cycle is slowly dropping!”

    If we feel great strides of advancement in North America, elsewhere...

    I do have a cousin in mainland China who is a welder. I bet she didn't think she was doing anything radical..probably wanted a decent job.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 02-22-2016 at 06:06 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

 

 

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