TED Conversations

Adam Cross

Editor - Newspaper, Swing Vote Chronicle

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Is feminism right or wrong?

Feminism is the act of a woman bettering the circumstances of other women both socially and economically.

However, why does the focal point of feminism revolve around the shortcomings of men?

Is feminism an example of sex discrimination? Does feminism represent the institutionalized use of anger and discontent to attack the morals of men as a whole by citing a few?

What are your thoughts, can anyone accept that feminism is rational if the merits of women are not themselves suitable?

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    Jun 25 2012: Like many things, feminism is represented by a whole spectrum, ranging from the betterment of women's circumstances through considered and intelligent discussion at one end - through to the coercion of women's rights via hatred of men at the other.

    Likewise, our patriarchal society (within which feminism has had to develop), also lies on a spectrum, ranging from active oppression of women through to the more insidious 'positive discrimination' of women to satisfy political correctness - and whose demeaning and dissonant motives stem from what it has deemed is 'publicly acceptable'.

    I happen to think that it is the dysfunctional ubiquity of the patriarchal society at fault here. It has spawned the equal and opposing dysfunctionality of extreme feminism. Like the macho society, feminism gets a bad press through the actions of their extremists, and we tend to judge whole movement by those actions.

    What effect does that have? If an extreme view opposes another extreme view, then they will fight. The understanding of one another gets completely lost, making matters uncontrollable and potentially explosive.

    No war ever ends through the perpetuation of hatred through extremism. Wars always end through the forging of mutual understanding, via intelligence and negotiation.

    The patriarch must make that first genuine move towards understanding... and the feminist must listen without prejudice.
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      Jun 25 2012: Very well said Allan. It would benefit all of us to speak and listen with respect for one another:>)
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    Jun 18 2012: Feminism is very, very, right.

    Feminism really doesn't focus itself upon the shortcomings of men but rather focuses on the subjugation of women...by men.

    Feminism in its many different guises simply demands equality...it is not asking for sex discrimination but the removal of sex discrimination.

    There are some tricky aspects to gender equality, for sure, such as parental access to children, for example. But by and large the cause of feminism and equality is fairly straightforward in its aims.

    So, that's what I think!
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      Jun 18 2012: Yeah, but it doesn't necessarily go that way. Many women that are feminists(not all) are the type of people that think men are just lazy pieces of crap when we really do around the same amount of work as them. Men shouldn't have to take part in feminist movements anyways for these reasons and the fact that men aren't the ones looking for equality. The only thing I would ask of men is to treat women with respect. Nothing more, nothing less.
      • Jun 19 2012: Kevin, I think you are mixing up feminism with misandry. Feminists want equality between men and women. I know plenty of men who are feminists, and a decent amount of women who aren't. Misandrists are what you're referring to - people who believe that men are somehow inferior to women. (This is the complementary term to misogynist, people who believe that women are inferior to men.) A lot of people confuse feminism with misandry, and so they say that they are not feminists. Do you believe that women should have the right to vote? Do you believe they should receive equal pay for equal work? Do you think a woman should be able to walk down the street without fear of being raped (because trust me, that fear is pretty constant)? Then you too are a feminist.
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          Jun 19 2012: Ah, I never knew that term, 'misandry'...learn something new every day!

          And, for the record, I've always considered myself a feminist. It just makes good, fair sense.
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          Jun 20 2012: You are completely right, but what you have to consider is that "misandry" will likely incorporate itself into feminism by the means of a select few individuals. As long as misandy exists, there won't be complete equality for either gender.
        • Jun 21 2012: This is what i don't understand. All the things you mentioned are true in Western Society, so why is it always mentioned. Women can vote, women now make up more than 50% of the work force because the economy took away a lot of jobs dominated by men. Women should focus on helping other women who have real problems like in Congo instead of focusing on their careers
          This is another thing I don`t understand. Why is focusing on your career so important? mean seriously. Will it make you happy? No. Every RomCom is about an overworked woman in a superficial industry (fashion, flower arrangement e.t.c which I think is a bigger insult). For a man to focus his career a not have a family is seen as sad. And it is!!
          I think this whole thing isn't meant to help women the same way Rock n Roll isn't actually meant to promote free spiritedness.
          Correct me if I'm wrong
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    Jun 24 2012: I just think it causes more problems than it's worth. Think about it. When you see feminist protests, many men (not myself) are just annoyed by it because gender in-equality is pretty much a spent problem. Women receive quite a bit of respect. Plus, some women even want to be dominant over men by using feminism when the guise is equality. The reason women don't receive quite as much respect as men now days, is because a lot of them are afraid to speak out as individuals. That's what causes in-equality during this day in age. Besides, if you rule out all those factors, if feminists accomplished their goal, then the table would likely be turned on men.
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    Jun 19 2012: I remember studying feminism in school as a small group. Our group determined this was the rich white lady approach. There are many social problems, discrimination and victimization based on class, race, and status and we figured rich white ladies wanted to get in on the act.

    In reality, if you view the world through the lens that your situation is based on the injustices of half the population, you will be angry all the time. The truth is there is this reality, men and women see the world differently. If one or the other skews perception, the other needs to bring back the balance. It is a wondrous and great thing that we see the world differently.

    When the differences cause severe injustice or abuse, then it is the responsibility of all peoples to address. Work together to correct abuse.

    All in all, I cannot live my life with the worldview that it's all your fault. I refuse to give you that power.
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    Jun 18 2012: Feminism is not, I think, a specific act, does not suggest discrimination, does not necessarily concern the short-comings of men, and does not need to involve anger, institutionalized or personal. Feminism, if I remember correctly, arose as a point of view in reaction to a perception of widely held assumptions about women as a group, their abilities, interests, suitability for certain sorts of work, and so forth. I am generally unfamiliar with the scholarship of feminism, but I agree with Ricky that the thrust of the idea is that women should have opportunities in education, in the workplace, and in society that are related to the merit they bring to the situation rather than being denied opportunities because of gender or assumption about people of their gender.

    Any group of people will vary in how important they find fairness, what they consider fair, and how they propose to reach a goal of fairness.
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      Jun 19 2012: I feel that the goals of the feminist movement have been accomplished. Women are no longer seen as a lower class in 1st and even 2nd world countries. If we do not recognize this then we are standing in the way of real progress. One or two citations of a woman being excluded is not a justifiable excuse to continue. If I had given the same speech as the one by Megan Kamerick I could have sourced just as many male-discriminating articles as she presented.

      Almost all of my employees are women because they are self motivated and ambitious, so why do we need to "help" them get jobs when they are already highly capable AND proficient. Lowering the bar is almost a slap in the face to a woman. It is like saying "you weren't good enough on your own so we forced them to hire you."

      "does not necessarily concern the short-comings of men, and does not need to involve anger, institutionalized or personal." But it does often involve anger or biases from previous experience.

      I guess what I am trying to say is "Is it right TODAY. Have the efforts of feminist actions been successful and if so why is it still an issue?"
      • Jun 19 2012: Women still make .75 for every dollar a man makes in the same position.

        Women are still blamed for their own rapes.

        One in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

        A woman is raped every forty-six seconds in the US.

        What she is talking about is not blaming men, but blaming the culture at large. You may be a good guy, and so you may feel like some of that was pointed at you, as a man. However, it wasn't. What she was talking about was the culture in which women are devalued. This isn't about men, it's about women.

        You're basically taking a video about the challenges that women face and turning it into being about men. It's not about you, it's about us. We can't even talk about these issues without it suddenly being turned into not women's issues, but men's.
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          Jun 19 2012: You have hit the point I am trying to make, this is not just a woman issue it is everyones issue. The blame game is not going to make anything better, while I believe that women are going to face the same challenges as men in professional feilds I do not think that making this a woman only issue will be effective.

          Rape is not and should not be a feminist issue, that is a criminal matter. It is worse than murder in my opinion. But if I've been offended by feminist action and I've never raped or let alone mistreated a woman then how many other men will become polarized by radical feminists.
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          Jun 19 2012: Good points Kathleen. I feel it is an issue for everyone. If we're not part of the solution, we're part of the problem. It is the culture, made up of both men and women that needs to change.
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          Jun 19 2012: It is always useful when someone can speak from data, Kathleen, and has it at hand.

          One issue that still confronts women when they have earned themselves a spot is that some people still believe that the bar must have been lowered for them. Others will think women are eager for the bar to be lowered for them in competing for jobs. I know no one who is looking for this or ever did.

          Other assumptions that are made about women or that women make about themselves, also influence the opportunities they seek and get. Women are often assumed to be hard-working, motivated, and efficient, as Adam notes. Women may well be abundant in jobs that fit this profile. But when it comes to needing someone who is willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty, some employers think that perhaps a woman is not as good a choice. These sorts of perceptions affect roles in an organization.
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        Jun 19 2012: Hi Adam,
        Do you honestly think/feel that women are no longer seen as lower class in some of our world? Do you honestly feel that the movement has been accomplished? Think about that. If the task had really been accomplished, we probably would not be here talking about it because it wouldn't be an issue one way or the other...true? We certainly are moving forward toward equality, and I think there is a way to go before women are considered equal in our male dominated societies.

        In my perception, feminism does not have to revolve around the shortcomings of men, anger and discontent. I don't feel it necessary to devalue one group of people in order to elevate another group. In my perception, the pendulum is still swinging, and it may take time to find the balance. We've experienced male domination for a long time. Then when women started speaking up for themselves, they were angry. Now, some women would like to dominate men, which is not ok either. We need to work together to find the balance.
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          Jun 19 2012: I absoluty agree with you Colleen ii am just worried about the transition period. I am of course excluding the Middle East and related countries when I speak of women being treated equally.
        • Jun 19 2012: Colleen - I think that some of the issue comes from the mistaken idea that feminists are misandrists. Relatedly, I think that once a group feels a weakening of privilege, they feel that they are being treated unfairly (eg the fundamentalist Christians who actually believe that they are being harmed by non-Christians being free to take part in things which go against the Christian religion, like same-sex marriage).
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          Jun 20 2012: Adam, I went to the web site for your paper "swing vote chronical" I could not find a list of your staff. I was interested to see if you employed women and if so in what capicity? As an editor what do you do to ensure that all parties are fairly represented, that the total story is told, and that the best person for the job has been assigned.

          I, like Kathleen, heard the speaker say that perhaps the best person for the job is not always assigned. That sometime the perspective of the reporters could be different. I did not hear her bash men. I, as a male, am not as sensitative or as aware of some issues as a woman would be and that would make her the best to investigate the issue and report . My wife does many things better than I. Some of her talents are "guy" things like cabnet making. She refurbished our kitchen and I was her assistant. I screwed up some things and she caught them. I am proud of her. That does not make me weak or her strong it recognizes where the strengths are and how to properly use them.

          All the best. Bob.
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          Jun 22 2012: Is it still up? I just changed web providers and I'm looking for a webmaster (if anyone is interested) I'm not very experienced with wordpress or joomla.

          I employee 5 women and 2 men including myself. The only other man is a part time ad salesman and PR rep.

          My main focus is presenting a story w/o bias and w/o personal emotions becoming apparent to the reader.

          In terms of the the video in question I deal with presenting information as unbiased as I can. This is very very very difficult to do. At this moment I can change the way you read this WITH ONE WORD!! Emphasis is everything, you probably read the capitalized words before you read the full sentence.

          In the video and in personal experience many feminists use the past treatment of women as an example of what is wrong with the world. What I asked was "Has feminism reached it's initial goal?"
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          Jun 29 2012: Hi Adam,
          In response to your question, Has feminism reached it's initial goal? I think we are in the process of getting there. I think the initial goals of the women that started the movement, was to make a breach for women, for equality between men and women.
          In the present it is true that women have more opportunities that we used to have, specially related with job opportunities, but the reality is that we are not there yet, we are not as equal as we should be.
          In my personal case, I work in an area dominated by men. I am the first women ever hired here in the department, because it was thought to be a man job. And my bosses just realize that is not true, I can do the job even better that some men that had been in the position in all the years the company has.
          I don't consider my self as a strong feminist, but my education and ideals are pro equality, and since I have suffered discrimination just for the gender, I think my answer to your question is that no, we haven't reach the main goal, that is equality.
      • Jun 19 2012: Replying here as it won't give me an option to reply further down in the thread. Just out of curiosity, how do you feel that Megan Kamerick was blaming men specifically?

        Her thesis is along these lines: That men will sometimes not pick up on women's stories, for the same reason women won't pick up on men's stories. Because people want to focus on stories that they can connect with, and for some people, they have a hard time crossing the gender line. Also, there are places that women can go, and people women can talk to that men specifically can't. The stories in these places are not being heard because the majority of journalists are men. So, what she wants is more parity between of how the genders are represented among journalists.
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          Jun 19 2012: I agreed with her message but not with the way she presented it. She presented the issue as being a male dominated industry (which is not true by any means) and that male editors are purposfully ignoring female issues. One of her focal points is the focus on the female body. The female body is art, that is why it has been revered for thousands of years. It is not some deragatory image to be ashamed of.

          I criticize her method not her motivation, but intentions do not exist only actions exist. The motivation is useless without proper action w/o bias and prejudice.
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          Jun 20 2012: Thanks Kathleen,
          I was not aware of the term "misandrists"
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        Jun 19 2012: Adam,
        Why are you worried about the transition period? We are in it right now....are we not?

        Why do you exclude the Middle east and related countries? Those may be some of the women who need our support the most.
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          Jun 19 2012: I am worried about the transition period (which has been happening since the 70's) because I worry about power hounds who are known for taking an ideal and distorting it for their own personal gain. This has happened with communism, religion, and environmentalism and if the advocates of an idea let it happen the ideal is lost. Right now the most adamant (loudest) advocates are misandrists as Kathleen pointed out. These are the harmful few but they cannot just be written off they must be condemned by the community of true supporters or else these power hounds BECOME the cause.

          For example, I am 22. I was not alive during the civil rights movement or the beginning of the feminist movement. Yet, every day I experience racism and gender bias towards myself (just two days ago again).
      • Jun 19 2012: Adam - did we watch the same video? I don't recall her saying that male editors purposefully ignored female issues. What she said was that she doubted that female issues would be reported on as much when lacking a female editor. I really don't think she meant that there was some malfeasance on behalf of the male editors, but rather, just ignorance that there are things that should be reported on, and an ignorant perpetuation of ideas about how men and women interact.

        For example, the gang rape of the eleven year old happened close to where I live, and I followed the story very closely. She was quite right, in most of the articles, regardless of publication, the sympathy was clearly with the rapists. That was not any sort of exaggeration. And some of the quotes about how this child were inappropriately dressed were made by women, so it's not like the blame fall solely on the men. And, in my opinion, this is because people are socialized to blame the victim in a rape, particularly if that victim is female. A man might not question this, because we are all socialized into this attitude, and men rarely have to live with the fear of rape that women do. However, an educated woman, who does fear being alone with a man, *is* going to constantly have on her mind how she is dressed, where she is walking, etc, BECAUSE we are told that if we are not perfect we must be at blame. This kind of outlook in an editor would likely cause the editor to take a more sympathetic view of the victim. They might have talked more about how the child was neglected by her parents (which only came out after weeks of victim blaming). They might have talked more about how no one deserves to be raped because of what they are wearing, or the fact that they have makeup on. They might have even talked more about how it doesn't matter how "adult" this girl was dressed, she was known in the neighborhood as a child. But, none of these issues were covered until weeks into the story.
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        Jun 20 2012: Adam,
        Actually, I percieve the transition period to go back further than the 1970s. The women's suffrage movement was a big step for women's rights. An International Council of Women was formed in 1888, and the Woman's Suffrage Alliance formed in 1904. New Zealand became the first nation to extend the right to vote to all adult women in 1893, and South Australia achieved the same right in 1894. It was not until 1920, that the USA gave women the right to vote.

        There will probably always be people who are "power hounds who are known for taking an ideal and distorting it for their own personal gain". When we have enough MEN AND WOMEN who can see the distortions, then perhaps everyone will have equal rights.

        I'm sorry that you have experienced "racism and gender bias" Adam. That is not ok for anyone.
        "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world, and hopefully more and more people will see the benefit for all of us.
  • J M

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    Jun 30 2012: Feminism is female vent over...

    -Sexual dimorphism /the emasculation attack itself. (Since females crave this, they apparently have a dualism regarding their own desires ...undivulged.)
    -Aptitude differences. These stem from dimorphism itself and the consequent competition over fem sex value (which acts like a selective agent on males). And, specif for humans, these dimorphic aptitudes are amplified by the quid pro quo where fem humans get food from males. This acts like selective agent _on top of_ standard male vs male competition over just sex; ie the human genders exist in two different niches: the women are selected by their ability to manipulate men (over and above their instinct to induce[manipulate] competition over sex) and the men are selected by their ability to not only win but to win sustenance too. This is different than say tigers where only the fighing over fem sex value [passively or actively induced] is unique selector on males; other than that the tiger genders are in the same niche.
    -Unattractive girl issues.

    [cont]
  • J M

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    Jun 30 2012: And femi is..

    -Female human "gimme" tactic to get more free stuff per the food-for-sex quid pro quo humans come from--used time immemorial. (Same system seen in babies and parents [eg mammals/ birds].) It has been amplified --and combined with above vents-- by techno snowball(male human antlers piling up) over last few generations.

    -Male human display strategy for boxing out other males in the "I can provide better than you" competition; Also male 'soapbox' advocacy demagoguery so as to achieve more status (wrapping themselves up in the labial "flag" as it were). That is possible because 1000s of generations of quid pro quo protection and providing selected us to be susceptible to seeing fems as deserving; and the male vs male fighting over fems makes males prone to seeing other males as threats(when not fighting bigger groups of males). Male "bench warmer" types are extra prone to using pro-female demagoguery for it helps them vent against --and frame as unattractive-- the better males from kidhood (inherently sexier to women, once grown, given the tournament species men and women come from only a few generations ago), while hiding behind females.

    -Ethnic migrant "advocacy-demagoguery" trick to divide host society (ala using host culture plebeians against host culture patricians with migrant advocacy demagog activists positioned as the profiting patricians when the civil war smoke clears--similar to what christianity did in Greece 2000 yrs ago ...same migrants too).
  • Jun 24 2012: I just read this entire debate, and it is fascinating. One reply really stuck out, from Pat Gilbert:

    "The bigger picture problem I have with this is exactly what I have said. The growing cultural perspective of we need to get the government to handle this is the problem and one of socialism. We do not it needs to be handled by responsible individuals if they somehow can not muster the responsibility to handle it that is what we have the labor board or the rule of law for. Done deal end of story, lets please move on."

    Pat, No one has mentioned government action except for you. You seem to be strongly opposed to it. Then you bring up the rule of law. What law? Before feminism, there was no law for these disputes, and sexual harassment at work was common. I can remember these arguments from the 1970's, and had no personal experience with sexual harassment, so I started asking women if this was really a problem. Every woman I asked had at least one incident, and some had more than one. So I was, and am still, convinced that the issue is real, and it certainly is an injustice. And, unfortunately, it required a law to correct this injustice.
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      Jun 24 2012: Barry

      Once again you digress. This thread is NOT about sexual harassment it is about feminism.

      I don't "seem" to be anything, I'm absolutely against growth in government?

      Your anecdotal story does not indicate anything and I would contend is just conjecture. At the very least that is a two way street referring back to the story I related to Coleen earlier.

      I have no doubt that you are convinced that this is a "real issue". But that simply does not make it so...

      The fact that you think it doesn't infer some sort of government action is B.S.

      This video puts some facts in your conjecture:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_sGn6PdmIo
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      Jun 24 2012: Pat,
      The topic question is...
      "Is feminism right or wrong? Feminism is the act of a woman bettering the circumstances of other women both socially and economically." I would add that there are also many men who are working toward bettering the circumstances of people (both women and men) in our world.

      Sexual harassment in the workplace has been, and continues to be a challenge for women. So, Barry is very obviously addressing feminism, which is meant to better the circumstances of women.

      Millions of people (men and women) in our world are aware of the challenges we face regarding this topic, so to say it is all "conjecture" is not very realistic, nor is it beneficial to the conversation. I could say that your story is "conjecture" as well Pat, but I won't, because I respect your opinion, even if I do not agree with you.

      Pat, we are all aware of the fact that we can find a U-tube video to support ANY argument. The video for which you provide the link is simply one person's opinion
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        Jun 24 2012: Thomas Sowell and William F Buckley just an opinion?

        For the 3rd time sexual harassment is a two way street. There are existing government agencies to handle such problems, to add to this just adds to the cost of doing business and taxes and cultivates irresponsibility for all.

        Regarding Feminism the facts slice through the conjecture as indicated. More often than not the conjecture just gives the people an excuse not to try and the people who create the dissension a profit.

        You people act as if running a business is easy contrary to popular belief it is not. Additional regulations and other disincentives stop job creators from wanting to do this. Everyone loses but your right women will be treated equally and they will be unemployed.
  • Jun 22 2012: It is wrong that feminism should have to exist.

    Society should inherently view women and men equally. That 50% of humanity is somehow regarded as second-class to the other 50% in ANY manner, either way, is beyond me.
    Is it that generally those with more empathy are prayed on by others with less,
    that those with empathy give up from the self for the benefit of others (indiscriminately or otherwise),
    or is there an unfortunate mix?

    We could say men should have more empathy, or women should have less: I would prefer to say that men generally should have more empathy and women (generally) are probably good teachers to instill empathy. Though, of course that is an oversimplification. Probably also why men may be discriminated against in court child-rearing matters.

    I am sure emotional intelligence plays in here?
    A discerning society of generosity...

    May be I am going off-base now?
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      Jun 23 2012: Hi Enrico,
      I don't think you are off base at all. In my perception, you have touched on some important underlying causes.

      You ask..."Is it that generally those with more empathy are prayed on by others with less...?

      In my experience and observations, kindness, compassion, empathy is often percieved as weakness, and yes, I agree that people will often prey on those who appear weak. Some of our societal programming in the past, has taught men NOT to be weak...correct? I believe kindness, compassion and empathy to be a strength, and I think many women would agree. So, society has encouraged women to continue to be strong with compassion, which sometimes appears as a weakness to men.

      I think empathy, compassion and kindness is natural for all of us...both men and women. Perhaps men want to recognize it in themselves and maybe do not know how because of the societal teachings that tell them they "should" not show weakness.

      I believe one of the biggest challenges, is the roles we have been given by society. We ALL have the ability to be compassionate, empathic, kind and good people. Women have been traditionally given the role of emotional supporter of the family, so she would be thought of as the best parent, and not so good at financial issues. Men have been given the role of financial supporter of the family, and not so good at emotional support.

      These roles are changing as women are out in the workforce, and many men are now stay at home dads. The roles are physically changing, but some of the old beliefs still exist. Previous ideas, paradigms, and programming has not yet caught up to the reality on a large scale. I believe it is happening slowly, and I also know that change is often slow. We all need to encourage and support the change and realize that we are all capable of supporting each other in the life journey.

      I don't think/feel you are "off-base" at all. You seem to be right on base my friend:>)
      • J M

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        Jun 29 2012: Believing that WOMEN are more empathic is _sexism._ (See how this denouncing things as "sexism" trick works?)

        All females don't just have empathy for losers and all men are not just without it. But females are good at using advocacy demagoguery (as male politicians are).

        If someone were saying FEMALES are inherent victims of a "penis fencing" emasculation attack that created vertebrate sexes --500myr ago-- in the first place with the parasitic attack continuing to the point the "female" hermaphrodite has been optimized to crave her emasculation by best possible emasculator, then yes the weak are "preyed on" (as a prey creature who craves that preying and seeks it out, instigating fights to see which parasite attacker is best).

        BUT no feminist would ever speak such filthy filthy dirty truth (it is both over their heads and counter productive politically and to the self empowerment blabber). (Would not speak it, unless he was using a spin of that fact in his "why it is good for females to be allowed to abort [the parasite]" argument.)

        Why would a male feminist be one? (Why would he use spins?) To marginalize other males in the sexual battles of life over females. ...who remain as "UN-empathic" about these battles as ever they were (while enjoying instigating them --another optimization that has developed in her chemistry).
    • J M

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      Jun 29 2012: The problem is female empathy for losers and female libido are separate impulses. Consequently males fight to not be the losers; consequently there are always more male losers.

      Conferring more "active agent" power on females isn't getting rid of the winners and losers dance of NATURE (with female sex value --whether passive egg or active male-fight inducement (per her instincts)--as the caller of the tune). The conferred power --given to fems now by men as their way of fighting each other-- is simply causing the females to see more males as low and thus beneath fem libidos. ...This causes males to compete in winner and loser hierarchy all over again!...

      It is just a question of how it will costume as humans flip from tourny sp (mammals) to display based sp (birds) --and possibly to male hyper-disposability sp (eg pray mantises); and how future tech on immediate horizon will intersect these trends. (Eg if people think high IQ men are not going to start making high IQ children artificially --once possible-- so as to go around the female question they're wrong.)

      It is not that hard to understand. But it apparently is for some.
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    Jun 21 2012: Here is a a scenario that happened in my family. It may be unusual but it does illustrate one situation where women are definitely discriminated against. When my uncle and Aunty had their first child my Aunty was the breadwinner as my Uncle had only just finished university. Their plan was for my Uncle to be a stay at home dad from the start as my Aunty was gainfully employed. It would have been most convenient if my Uncle could have carried the child. My Aunty had to decide on whether to have the child now and give up hopes of promotion or waite untli after the promotion and take the risk involved with reproduction in later life. The point being that if a man wants to reproduce his partners career suffers if a woman wants to reproduce her partners career is unaffected. There are some inequalities that can't be changed so some compensatory arrangements are needed.
  • Jun 19 2012: RIGHT! It'll stop as soon as women and men share power equally in all parts of life. MALES EQUAL FEMALES. That reality must be accepted and implemented throughout all society before we can all live happily, healthfully, prosperously ever after.
    • Jun 22 2012: If Male = Female, then we can no longer count the two as separates categories for calculating statistical representations, and we can no longer say that we must increase female representation - because increasing male representation is the same as increasing female, is the same as .... I argue, however, that males and females are NOT the same. We must strive for creating equal opportunities for both to succeed to his or her fullest potential, but recognize that even if the doors are open equally for both sexes, some opportunities will naturally be more highly represented by men, and others by females - and that this is OK. Women's equality should not be measured by 50/50 representation in all parts of life, but through the breakdown of sexist barriers blocking women's dreams, and the attainment of each woman knowing that opportunities are equally available, and that its okay to go whichever path she chooses.
      • Jun 23 2012: There is a significant difference between the word "same" and the word "equal."
  • Jun 19 2012: I am not sure if you can really decide whether feminism is right or wrong because you will always have people under any ideology or framework that will take it to the extreme.

    However if we look at the core issues we can see that women are or were discriminated. They were not given the same opportunities, rights and protection as men. This is still the case in numerous developing countries. Even when we exclude Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. we have countries like India and China where having a baby girl is not favorable by many.

    In developed countries the situation is much better but still not optimal. It is more subtle. Does our society spend enough resources to provide services to abused, beaten and raped women? Do men still control majority of media organizations show women in unfavorable way focusing more on their appearance then anything else? What roles women typically play in movies? What toys do toy makers offer for girls? Is it true that top management positions are still hard for women to reach because of "boys" clubs?

    I think people in general and men in particular should try to help remove any remaining inequalities, promote opportunities for women (and girls) and society should spend more resources on educating the public.

    cheers
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    Jun 19 2012: Two thoughts immediately come to mind:

    1. I sense some insecurity in masculanity

    2. Nothing is either right or wrong but thinking it makes it so.

    If you know who you are and what your role is then why would this threaten you as a male. My wife does many things better than I. I think it is great. I have had great bosses male and female. I have had lousey bosses both male and female. Why does this have to be a he / she thing. Promotion should be based on merit. Not on some quota system. Viva la difference.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Jun 19 2012: I think we should better call it humanism rather than feminism.
    • Jun 19 2012: Rafi Amin - we all have to clean this dirty floor. I can't clean it all by myself. So, I'm going to stick to my corner and call it feminism. I'm sure you've got something to clean yourself, and you can call *your* cleaning humanism if you want.

      Point is, if you are working for a specific cause, it helps to have a specific label, so people can identify with what you're working towards.
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        Jun 19 2012: You can not change this with this approach ?
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          Jun 20 2012: I see your point Rafi. We are all humans, and perhaps a reminder of that could help remove some of the typical gender roles, stereotyping, assumptions, and beliefs regarding gender differences?
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        Jun 20 2012: "have to clean this dirty floor."

        Was that pun intended? If I would be drinking milk, it would be all over my screen now.
        • Jun 20 2012: I guess I'm missing the play on words? Or are you talking about the irony of talking about doing a household chore in a conversation on feminism.
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        Jun 20 2012: Yes, that's what I was talking about. No offence though.
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        Jun 20 2012: That might be because a wife taking up a job is seen by some as a wife taking up a hobby because she's bored around the house. So if the wife has been at her hobby all day, and he's been working for the income she better does something in the house too. A masculinity thing where a bloke wants to be the main provider to feel manly I guess.

        Ofcourse if your partner has a fulltime job and you stay home, it's not wrong to do the chores. But though it worked for generations, I don't think it's the best solution. Goes for men and women.
        Bringing up the children should be done together in whatever scenario, since that's the best for the kids I think.

        Some people take chores too far though, I've lived with a landlord that cleaned his house every single day, bordering the obsessive. You'd think it's a showroom if you didn't know better. Many people could do with a little dust on the shelves if it gives them a lot of time on their hands.
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    Jun 25 2012: I think it is neither. It is just a response. I hope to act and try not to react.
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    Jun 23 2012: Adam,
    I asked two questions 4 days ago, and you replied to the first part....thank you for that.
    I have not found a reply to the second part, and I'm curious, so I will ask the question here, at the beginning of the thread so you may notice it....Why do you exclude the "Middle east and related countries" in one of your comments? I don't understand what "related countries" may mean to you regarding this topic.

    "Adam Cross
    4 days ago: I absoluty agree with you Colleen ii am just worried about the transition period. I am of course excluding the Middle East and related countries when I speak of women being treated equally."

    "Colleen Steen
    Reply4 days ago: Adam,
    Why are you worried about the transition period? We are in it right now....are we not?

    Why do you exclude the Middle east and related countries? Those may be some of the women who need our support the most."

    Again...you answered the part regarding transition period, which I subsequestly responded to. It would be helpful to know why you are excluding certain areas of our world.

    Your topic question asks...
    "Is feminism right or wrong? Feminism is the act of a woman bettering the circumstances of other women both socially and economically."

    You did not specify certain parts of our world, and it would be helpful to understand your intent regarding that part of the topic. Thanks
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      Jun 23 2012: Hi Coleen

      My question is what comes first a rule of law or education? I think it is education. The main purveyor of education is a culture. Cultures change over generations. So first of all you are talking about a long time to make the changes. Look at this country since the days of Gloria Steinum. Imo the women in the middle east are genuinely oppressed. In this country the whole women lib thing is a canard as I stated earlier. Here is the million dollar question why do the oppressed women of the middle east get priority when everyone including children are also oppressed???

      Real change will have to come from a PR campaign towards the benefits of education and jobs and higher standard of living without provincial thinking.

      Look at about 5 min into talk

      http://www.ted.com/talks/rory_stewart_time_to_end_the_war_in_afghanistan.html
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        Jun 23 2012: I totally agree with you Pat,
        Cultures change over generations, change takes a long time, there are many people throughout our world who are oppressed, change needs to come from many different angles...let us begin.
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        Jun 24 2012: Pat, women in middle east are oppressed than in any other place in the world. That society thinks educated womens are not good to be included in the family. Because they might wont look after the old family members and doesn't do the house holds like uneducated womens. So lot of womens are not able to marry from their country, because they are educated. And for the same reason most parents wont send their daughters for education, worrying about their marriage. Lot of womens stay isolated from society because of this reason. I read about this recently in an article. That culture wont change with time if we keep on waiting, because it haven't changed yet. Its way past the time when those believes should have changed if time could change them. And the women there, are not bold enough to fight for their rights and place in the society rather than cursing their fate. So if someone could give them a support and show a way to earn their rights they might put up a fight..
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          Jun 24 2012: Pranoy

          In those countries how are the rest of the people treated?

          From what I read the whole region is screwed up not to mention the rest of the continent. Why women's rights in particular?

          The proper tool for this problem is PR, the Madison ave boys are the ones to talk to about this problem, much more effective than a general Petraeus and and Abrams tank.
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          Jun 24 2012: Pat,
          You ask..."Why women's rights in particular?"

          Because that is the topic of this discussion. If you want to address the rights of all people, start that conversation. I do not percieve anyone on this thread denying the rights of ALL PEOPLE.

          While there are several men commenting, who seem very aware of the challenge and comfortable addressing the topic question, you appear not to be so comfortable with it.
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        Jun 25 2012: Pat,
        we are talking about the way people treating peoples. Nothing between government and people. In the case i said earlier, womens are not denied from the right for education legally. Its a culture that has to be changed not the laws first. We need to change that view of peoples about womens.. Women are beeing murderd there in the name of honor killings. A school head master was beheaded infront of his women students for teaching them.. And these domestic violences are not even treated as a murder. Men doesn't have these kind of restrictions on the other hand.
        Ofcourse a war would be a bad idea to change these scenario.. A war for peace is stupid. What needed is organising peoples there who are against all these discriminations and start a movement against it. I'm sure that majority of youth is against it and same time helpless.
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          Jun 25 2012: Pranoy

          Yes that is obscene but at the same time all citizens are being oppressed not just women. E.G. I have a friend who is from Iran he is of the Baha'i faith. His brother is in prison for life with conditions that will almost certainly kill him. What was his crime? He started a university. The Iranian government gave him a choice to renounce his faith or go to prison and certain death. Here is an individual who has more integrity than anyone I know.

          Imo the answer is a PR campaign to change the culture. As is obvious you are not going to change this culture with force but with the essences of PR which is good manners as is indicated by this awesome talk by Rory Stewart:

          http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/rory_stewart_time_to_end_the_war_in_afghanistan.html


          It occurs to me that the solution for all of this is this really esoteric skill of communication, I think we can all agree on that?

          Why doesn't this occur? Why? Why? because we don't wanna we want to grind our axes, we want to be right, we want to spew our dogma that has be planted in our skull when we weren't looking by a dubious 3rd party, because our culture put specious ideas in our skulls before we even knew to consider anything else. As Coleen says what we see is just a reflection of us.
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          Jun 26 2012: Yes Pat, that is one of my beliefs...that we are all like mirrors reflecting information to each other all the time. With each and every interaction, we are expressing what is in our heart and mind. Which leads to another one of my strong beliefs...we need to "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world.

          I agree with you that information has been planted in our skull. As thinking, feeling adults, however, we have the opportunity to evaluate information, change some of our thoughts, feelings and patterns that are influenced by information. We can make different choices in each and every moment.

          Yes, I agree that how we communicate with one another is very important.
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      Jun 23 2012: Exactly the Middle East, Africa, and Burma are areas in which human rights are not seen as a priority or even an afterthought. In these regions feminism cannot exist at this moment because anyone involved would be killed or murdered. The economic and cultural situation must become stable for certain rights to become an issue. In the Middle East the religion is the dominant set of laws and women are seen as procreation tools, not human beings. But how do WE fix this? We can't, not right now. Maybe in 20-40 years, hopefully sooner, but the area is literally a battleground. Should we go to war to promote human rights? Should we kill to "teach" equality? What can we do in these places???

      Colleen I respect your viewpoints and your ideas but please do not quote me out of context.

      "However, why does the focal point of feminism revolve around the shortcomings of men? "
      Every feminist speech I have seen in my lifetime has been geared towards the faults of men when relating to women. That is why I asked the question.
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        Jun 24 2012: Adam,
        Your own definition in your opening introduction to this discussion:
        "Feminism is the act of a woman bettering the circumstances of other women both socially and economically."

        Feminism, as you define it, can exist anywhere, anytime, regardless of existing circumstances.

        Adam, you seem to be confused and confusing? First you say "In these regions feminism cannot exist at this moment because...."Then you ask "What can we do in these places? If you've already decided that "in these regions feminism cannot exist...", why are you seeking resolutions?

        "Where exactly do you feel you were quoted out of context?

        I am confused about what you are trying to gain from this topic conversation, and/or what direction you would like to take the conversation. As I stated in a previous comment..."In my perception, feminism does not have to revolve around the shortcomings of men, anger and discontent. I don't feel it necessary to devalue one group of people in order to elevate another group.
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          Jun 24 2012: I was replying to your question concerning the Middle East and related regions i.e. Africa, portions of Southeast Asia, and in regions which are in such a state of disrepair that human rights do not exist period.

          You said in a previous comment that the women in these areas need our help the most. I was addressing the question " how would we help these women, that is why I excluded it from the topic.

          The transition period worries me because if the goal is reached and the movement continues then the movement will either evolve into A) a discriminatory faction or B) a dormant but observant organization. As long as feminism is lacking organization I foresee it becoming the former, it is not the ACLU or the NAACP.

          This is where you quoted me out of context
          "Is feminism right or wrong? Feminism is the act of a woman bettering the circumstances of other women both socially and economically.--

          --Which was followed by--
          "However, why does the focal point of feminism revolve around the shortcomings of men?"

          I do quite a bit of reading so let me show you two current events I found today.
          NOTE: I was not looking for feminist related material when I found these articles.

          http://grist.org/population/why-womens-needs-must-be-part-of-the-conversation-at-rio/

          http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/06/22/can-women-have-it-all

          Please read these if you have the time and we will discuss them.
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        Jun 25 2012: Adam,
        Your words seem confusing. We cannot help someone and exclude them at the same time.

        With an open mind and heart in all of us, "the movement" may evolve into equality for all people.

        Adam, I quoted exactly what you wrote and used it in appropriate context.

        Re: The links you provided:
        I agree...women's needs must be part of the conversation, and men are a valuable part of the conversation as well....WHEN/IF we can all have the conversation with respect, and intent to find solutions, rather than create more disharmony.
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          Jun 25 2012: Feminists promote women rights not human rights. When did family planning become a women only issue and when did it become relevant to a summit dedicated to climate and economic issues? What I have been trying to say for two weeks is that as long as women exclude men then men will exclude women. Why is this so difficult to understand? What would you say if I fought for the equal treatment and rights of white people only, would this be right? What if I started a group fighting for the rights of men, making statements like "Men are being taken for granted in the household." "Men do not receive maternity leave for helping his wife bear a child." Does this seem appropriate?

          Equality does not come out of fighting for one side! It comes from fighting for both sides. You cannot dismiss extremist actions as merely what happens.

          Colleen Are you forgetting my previous posts?

          Adam-
          "In the Middle East the religion is the dominant set of laws and women are seen as procreation tools, not human beings. But how do WE fix this? We can't, not right now. Maybe in 20-40 years, hopefully sooner, but the area is literally a battleground. Should we go to war to promote human rights? Should we kill to "teach" equality? What can we do in these places???"

          Colleen-
          "First you say "In these regions feminism cannot exist at this moment because...."Then you ask "What can we do in these places? If you've already decided that "in these regions feminism cannot exist...", why are you seeking resolutions?"

          Adam-
          "I was replying to your question concerning the Middle East and related regions i.e. Africa, portions of Southeast Asia, and in regions which are in such a state of disrepair that human rights do not exist period."

          Colleen-
          "We cannot help someone and exclude them at the same time."

          I have addressed the question "What should we do?" and have not yet received an answer.
          Also you didn't address the second article on "Having it all."
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        Jun 25 2012: Adam,
        It feels like you simply want to argue. I have been saying throughout this thread that men and women need to work together with respect. I'm not sure what it is about that statement you do not understand. This conversation is going nowhere, with your confrontational approach.
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          Jun 25 2012: Colleen I am looking for answers to these questions but instead my questions are put into question. I do not want to argue I want an answer. If looking for answers to questions is too much I will end my participation in this discussion today because out of 117 comments I have only seen statements of belief and past actions. We CANNOT justify wrongs committed today by citing wrongs that were committed in the past.

          In all seriousness Colleen forgive me for my tone I hold respect for you and your opinion and I do not intend to come off as confrontational. However, I hope you understand my viewpoint. I feel that I am asking legitimate questions and I become frustrated when answers become elusive.
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        Jun 26 2012: Adam,
        I asked questions to try to clarify some of your statements. Unfortunately, I do not have all the answers, and I feel that exchanging some of our thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and beliefs often helps us to find more answers together.

        I do not want to regurgitate the past either. I mentioned the information regarding the women's suffrage movement because you stated that "feminism" began in the 1970s. I believe that an active movement started around the world almost 100 years prior to that, with women working toward getting the right to vote, and working toward better conditions in the workplace. Sometimes, it helps to be clear regarding where we have been, to know what steps we can take to improve conditions.

        I have nothing to "forgive" you for Adam because I didn't "blame" you for anything. It is apparent that the comments presented so far are not what you are looking for, and I have simply been trying to the best of my ability to understand how to address your topic in a way that might be acceptable and/or useful to you. I am, of course, not striving to be elusive, but rather, seeking clarification of your questions and comments.
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      Jun 23 2012: What's worse is that I have worked for feminists and they blatantly discriminated against the other male workers. That isn't equality, and it is just one of my experiences, but I don't blame all women for it. So I'll ask again, is feminism right or wrong? Does feminism teach women that discriminating against men is acceptable? Are men an oppressive force in today's society in America 6/23/2012
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        Jun 25 2012: Seems like a rhetorical question.

        In part it is like asking is racism by the oppressed back against the more powerful acceptable. Of course not. Understandable? Perhaps.

        You have successfully highlighted that there is some negative coming back the other way.

        My view: Feminism that supports equality is a positive.

        If they are teaching the facts about history and the current situation fine. Promoting hatred not fine.

        In regards to discrimination, perhaps there is a role for it to address some inequalities, but as little as possible. Blatant hateful discrimination and sexual going both ways is not acceptable.

        We have come a long way, but are women still paid less for the same roles and service? Are there still attitudes that a woman's place is in the home? Are women still sexually assaulted? Are women under-represented in positions of power? Do women still feel there is some discrimination, with evidence?

        There is more to it than getting the vote and removing legal discrimination. But agree it should not go too far in the other direction.
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    Jun 22 2012: Equality of the sexes is something positive to strive for in my view. It improves the human condition for half our species without unreasonable detriment to the other half..

    I note feminism is in tension with the right of women to be free to choose a sexist way of life. Its not all about men.

    Many of my peers grew up taking equality of the sexes for granted in our own attitudes.

    I understand it can be confusing for men sometimes. Not all women want the same thing. We all have sexual drives. You can not please everyone all the time. Men and women are different. And some men are different from other men etc. But we are getting closer, I hope, to a better equilibrium.

    We need to be sexual creatures without force or harassment. Consenting adults fine.

    I would hope one day we don't need a feminist movement.
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    Jun 22 2012: I believe in equality as far as is possible..but there will never be true equality between males and females. feminist attitude was good for the society in early centuries where womens were treated way worser than now. but in this century things are different, womens now holds honorable positions in the society as mens do. most of the feminists urge womens to be tougher, to learn to fight, to learn to "play the game" in the world like men. women's value will not be in trying to imitate men, or in becoming more like men. women are not the same as men. ..there are differences and those differences should be celebrated not criticized.
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    Jun 21 2012: Does the focal point actually revolve round the shortcomings of men? Or is it that, being a man, references to male shortcomings jump out at you?

    Belief in a religion does not imply that a believer discriminates against believers in other religions. The same applies to feminism.

    If the base assumption is that it is morally wrong to exclude, subjugate, or economically deprive, other human beings on the grounds of race, age, gender, sexuality, or other intrinsic feature, why do you suggest that feminism is irrational? Would you describe opposition to colour prejudice in the same way?
  • Comment deleted

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      Jun 21 2012: Pat,
      People around the world are subject to hardships:>)
      Yes...so far, you're hearing me...thanks:>)

      The fact that women, and some men are oppressed is not conjecture. And that's ok if you don't want to do anything about it.

      Well, apparently you had a bad experience...sorry about that. One experience does not balance the scale, in my humble perception.
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        Jun 21 2012: Colleen

        I have read your posts over time and come to respect your opinion a great deal, but not on this.

        I didn't have a bad experience my customer did, it was fine by me if the girl dressed the way she did.

        The bigger picture problem I have with this is exactly what I have said. The growing cultural perspective of we need to get the government to handle this is the problem and one of socialism. We do not it needs to be handled by responsible individuals if they somehow can not muster the responsibility to handle it that is what we have the labor board or the rule of law for. Done deal end of story, lets please move on.
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          Jun 21 2012: It's ok if you don't respect my opinion on this Pat.

          NO ONE HERE IS TALKING ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT PAT....except YOU.

          I believe that we all can "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world......simple:>)
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        Jun 21 2012: I'm sure you believe that is true but it is being inferred on this thread no doubt about it.
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        Jun 21 2012: I'm not asking your permission.
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          Jun 21 2012: I understand that Pat....nor am I trying to give it. I am simply acknowledging your choice to percieve as you do.
        • Jun 22 2012: Colleen - please don't mind Pat.
          As you know, sometimes people can be crude.
          (Too much Kool Aid for Pat? or is it an apparent dis-empathy-ment?)
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    Jun 19 2012: Q: "Is feminism an example of sex discrimination"?
    Ans : Yes it is , as it resulted from longstanding discrimination to women by male dominated society even in the so called most enlighten society..........it's observable. while some people are fighting for rights they deserve , pro-establishment part of society tend to coin some negative conotation to that movement.....feminism seems facing such fate ....

    Q: "Does feminism represent the institutionallized use of anger and discontent to attack the morals of men as a whole by citing few" ?
    Ans : No it is not as "Feminist" are yet to be that powerful compared to male dominance to institutionalize anything...... I don't konw why it is being said as "by citing a few" ...when the reality is a huge lot......

    Can anyone say me why women even got the voting right even in the most elighten society much later than the male counterpart ?

    There are some interesting data mentioned here....any answer how many women Head State currently we have ?
    How many CEOs of big corporates are there when women constitutes close to 50% of total human population ?
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    Jun 19 2012: In a world where women rights are neglected, feminisim seems right but only temporarily and until the equilibrium is brought back, any further emphasis would be wrong since we are all human and gender is our second attribute.
    • Jun 19 2012: If core value of feminism is equality, same rights and opportunities wouldn't it automatically disappear if that was the case?
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        Jun 20 2012: The core value of feminism should be equality but that is not what is being practiced. I see an spirit of dominance of female over male in feminists around me.
        • Jun 21 2012: Can you please provide concrete examples of representative group of feminists that you feel practice dominance?
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    Jun 19 2012: At the risk of sounding like a misogynist, Megan's view is specious and does not give the whole picture. The fact is that women generally work less than men because of child bearing, and a disposition towards part time work for whatever reason this leads to less influence in the work place. In fact women that don't take time from a career statistically make more money than men.

    My point is that there are people who stand to gain from this conflict and are renting space in our heads.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EK6Y1X_xa4
    • Jun 19 2012: Ah, so, women should give up child bearing in order to concentrate on their careers. I totally agree, since we've overpopulated the planet anyway. But, since a lot of people don't agree with us, do you think that women, who have the entire burden of the childbearing, putting themselves at risk of death, and otherwise damaging their bodies should likewise suffer on a career front? Most countries say no, that a woman should have time to have her child and have an (variable, depending on the country) amount of time to raise it at first, before returning to their career without losing seniority or pay raises.

      In addition, managers to this day use your outlook to justify giving men better raises. (He will have a family to support, meanwhile, she will quit to have children and be supported by her husband.) This is despite the fact that the stay-at-home mom is dramatically in the minority, ESPECIALLY in lower income classes, in which women of color are likely to be impacted.

      I've personally seen men who have less experience and qualifications than I have get promoted over me. I've personally seen another woman who was less qualified, but more physically attractive get a job that both of us were up for. I've personally seen a woman get sexually harassed (I mean, propositioned for sex in exchange for money by someone in a position of authority over her), and when she went to her manager, the manager complained about how bad she was about spreading rumors.

      But yeah, you're right. I'm just being manipulated by people who are "renting space" in my head.
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        Jun 19 2012: I don't doubt your experience. In the big picture the statistics indicate that women take time off for child bearing and prefer part time work which reflects in the statistics,

        Apparently you feel you have a monopoly on injustice in the workplace, all I can say is I will compare war stories with you anytime and would be wiling to lay odds that you will walk away saying hmm what am I complaining about.

        So yup I'm saying that there are people who benefit from creating this sort of conflict.
      • Jun 20 2012: First, we haven't overpopulated the planet. No, I won't argue this point with you.

        Second, no company should be prohibited from dismissing a woman who chooses to "take time off" to procreate. I won't be cowed by the feminist establishment and I won't be compelled by your appeal to common practice. Widespread acceptance of unjust laws doesn't make them any more legitimate. Slavery was condoned for thousands of years. Now we can look back and recognize that it was an atrocious practice.

        A person that will stay and work is more valuable/deserves better compensation than a person that will abandon the company for years at a time to pursue a personal goal. YES; making a family IS a personal goal. Women who don't take time off to give birth and raise children actually make more than men. Maybe it's time for a masculism movement to correct THIS injustice.

        Your stories of being wronged and observing others suffering are anecdotal and implausible. Just because you have a scary story doesn't prove that there's systemic injustice.
        • Jun 20 2012: Ah. I see. Since you did not cite sources, I figured that we were in a more casual debate, and anecdotal evidence would be permissible to use. Please feel free to correct my assumption by showing your sources.
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          Jun 22 2012: Steven, what about a woman who takes time off work to procreate because her husband wants a child. Why shouldn't he share the burden with regard to loss of employment? You talk as though only women want to reproduce.
      • Jun 20 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow

        Everything else was opinion.
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      Jun 20 2012: Pat and Steven,
      Just wondering...are you taking into account the thousands of women in various parts of the world who work as laborers in the fields? They go to the field to work, and when it's time to deliver, they often deliver their child in the field, strap the baby on their back (or front, as the case may be) and continue working.

      In the introduction to this discussion, Adam asks..."why does the focal point of feminism revolve around the shortcomings of men?"

      I'd like to point out, that with my contribution above, there is absolutely NO reference to the shortcomings of men.

      I am so incredibly impressed with the strength, endurence, and determination of so many women around the world, there is no need whatsoever to talk about the shortcomings of anyone.
      • Jun 20 2012: "are you taking into account the thousands of women in various parts of the world who work as laborers in the fields?"

        No, because I don't see how it's relevant. I don't see how inequality plays a role. If a woman is forced to give birth in a corn field on her coffee break; it's probably happening in an area that's undeveloped. In undeveloped places, everyone lives in equally crappy conditions.

        ...but now that you brought it up. Why is ACTUAL inequalities in the third world being used to justify feminism in the first world? I'm sure this will be perceived as snide but it's a valid point: if the injustice is in Africa/South America/Asia, why are you fighting here instead of there?
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          Jun 20 2012: Steven,
          I did not notice in Adam's introduction to this topic that we were talking about certain areas in our world. I think/feel that this topic question addresses the rights of women, and there are women throughout our world.

          Women who are working in the fields in various parts of our world do not have "coffee breaks", and it doesn't do any good to address a topic with distain and sarcasm.

          I'm not "fighting" Steven....you are, and it's not very useful.
      • Jun 20 2012: You COMPLETELY misinterpreted the tone of my reply. Or maybe you're just being disingenuous.

        He didn't; but your example was clearly a person living in the third world. Standards are different there than they are here. That's just the way it is. There are no male rights or female rights; there are human rights. We all deserve the same rights. Besides, I thought feminism was about inequality. So long as everyone in the third world is equally disadvantaged; there's no inequality.

        Really? You're going to scold me for saying that your imaginary person got a coffee break when they didn't? This is a red herring. Stop pretending what I said was offensive.

        Again, you're being disingenuous. Fighting inequality here(in the first world) instead of there(in the third world). You know what I meant.

        I expected better from you Colleen. Not sure why.
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          Jun 20 2012: Yes Steven, standards are different in different parts of our world. "That's just the way it is" is not an acceptable explanation any more. Adam is pretty clear with the topic question and subsequent questions/concerns.

          No, I don't think I misinterpreted the "tone" of your reply at all.

          I agree, we all deserve the same rights....wherever we live in our world.

          My "person" is not imaginary Steven. I saw a women give birth in a field where she was working. I also saw a sea lion giving birth on the beach in the Galapagos Islands, and you know Steven, that sea lion got more support from the sea lion community than the women who was giving birth to a child in the field. The other field workers were not allowed to even help support her, because they would be punished.

          Why don't you put your "fight" and ego away and have a useful conversation.
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        Jun 20 2012: Hi Colleen

        This as with many protests of injustice there is no injustice. It is what it is.

        People who would stand to gain from the perception of injustice create it. This applies to inequality in income, race, gender, housing, education, age, etc. Every time the government steps in to help it makes the situation worse and I do mean every fiing time. And the consequences are always long term and horrendous.

        I have explained this many times including in this thread if you don't hear me before then you won't hear me now. Is that some sort of injustice? (8^(l)
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          Jun 20 2012: Pat,
          Saying "it is what it is", tells me that you don't want to do anything about "it"?

          I KNOW that people who would stand to gain from the perception of injustice create it. Does that mean you want to accept it? Sounds like that Pat.

          I didn't see any discussion about the "government" stepping in here on this discussion...did you?

          I hear you and what you're saying....are you hearing me?
        • Jun 24 2012: Pat, clarification please. It sounds like you believe there is no such thing as injustice. Is that correct?
      • Jun 21 2012: Not an acceptable explanation? It's a fact. Undeveloped regions are crappy. People don't have access to things like hospitals because the hospitals don't exist.

        I'm certain you misinterpreted my tone. My tone wasn't adversarial. My goal was mutual respect. I don't know why you got all upset. I also don't understand why "tone" got quotation marks.

        OH. Now I see what you're hinting at. The field worker was forced to give birth in the field and go back to work by men. That's called slavery. As I stated in a previous post; slavery is atrocious. Perfect opportunity for first world activists to intervene in the third world and squash injustice.

        "I'm sure this will be perceived as snide but it's a valid point: if the injustice is in Africa/South America/Asia, why are you concentrating your efforts/activism here(in the first world) instead of there(in the third world)?"

        I hope that helps to clarify.

        ...and the ego/useless perspective comment; I won't even dignify that with a response.
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          Jun 21 2012: Steven,
          If you review my earlier comment, you might realize that I made no reference to anyone being oppressed by men.

          My comment is...
          "I'd like to point out, that with my contribution above, there is absolutely NO reference to the shortcomings of men.
          I am so incredibly impressed with the strength, endurence, and determination of so many women around the world, there is no need whatsoever to talk about the shortcomings of anyone."

          I think I understand you pretty well Steven....he protests so loudly!!!
          I'm not "hinting" at anything Steven. I say what I mean and mean what I say pretty clearly...how about you?
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          Jun 24 2012: Barry

          The context of this thread is feminism. Your question is a digression, but I will say that there is a lot less injustice in the U.S. and the first world countries than the media would have you believe. Of course there is injustice give me a break.
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        Jun 21 2012: Hi Collen

        Let me see if I am.

        Women around the world are subject to hardships.
        This thread is not about the shortcomings of men.
        You admire the toughness of these women around the world.

        Am I hearing you?

        My point is that NO I do not want to do anything about something that is conjecture. Furthermore the usual routine on this sort of thing is enough of a stink is raised that some grandstanding politician gets involved and the next thing is a new agency is formed to fix this problem that wasn't a problem.

        This subject is also a two way street.

        An anecdotal story. A customer of mine had an employee who dressed extremely provocatively and had the proverbial "body for sin" one of the guys hit on her so she called in the authorities for sexual harassment there was a big stink that took a lot of company resources were wasted the guy was warned and the girl did not change the way she dressed one bit.

        What should have happened both employees should have been told to knock it off and there should have been no government interaction at all in fact there should have not have been an agency for this in the first place.
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          Jun 21 2012: Pat,
          People around the world are subject to hardships:>)
          Yes...so far, you're hearing me...thanks:>)

          The fact that women, and some men are oppressed is not conjecture. And that's ok if you don't want to do anything about it.

          Pat, no one, to the best of my knowledge, has suggested a politician get involved with this discussion.

          You and Steven started this part of the thread by complaining about women taking time off for having children...check back in the comment thread to varify this.

          Well, apparently you had a bad experience...sorry about that. One experience does not balance the scale, in my humble perception.
      • Jun 21 2012: But you don't say what you mean.

        What is it that you want to hear? Do you want us to praise the field worker? Fine. The underprivileged worker is strong and resilient. She deserves better. Everyone deserves better, regardless of gender.

        Which is why I don't see how it relates to feminism.

        Why are you so angry at me? I just wanted to have a polite discussion and you got all upset.
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          Jun 21 2012: Steven,
          I say EXACTLY what I mean. What part of the conversation are you not understanding???

          I agree...everyone deserves equality, regardless of gender.

          I'm not angry at you at all...are you projecting? I'm not upset at all...simply saying what I mean and meaning what I say:>)
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          Jun 22 2012: Steven and Colleen you are both arguing semantics at this point. Both of you agree on the points of equality and human rights so let's put away the bayonets for a moment.

          This is a touchy subject (I am sure both of you would agree with me on that) and I posted it because I wanted to delve deeper into the ideals and core values of Feminism. Perhaps I posted the question in a manner which was more inflammatory than it was helpful and I will accept that this was my fault.

          I do however notice that regardless of debates on this topic everyone agrees on the point that Men and Women are Equal or at least they should be treated equally.

          This is the key point of this discussion.

          We need to set aside semantic differences and sit down on the same side of the table. We are all on the same side so I suggest that we "de-fragment" feminism. There are too many loose strings and dead branches on this tree. It must be trimmed so that it must grow. In my opinion Feminism needs a true leader, a leader that will make it clear to everyone what the goals of feminism are. A leader who will dispel false feminists, or misandrists.

          Everyone is on the same side but it's the little things that are keeping us divided.
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          Jun 23 2012: Adam,
          I do not own a bayonet. The only weapon I carry is knowledge. I do not find the topic to be "touchy" for anyone who wants to honestly address the issues presented. I have taught "women's studies", facilitated empowering workshops for men and women, facilitated cognitive self change sessions, etc. etc. etc. I've discovered that "touchy" only manifests in those who are afraid to honestly address the issues....whatever they may be.

          You will notice, if you review the comment thread, the exchange above, began when two commentors seemed annoyed at the idea that women get time off for childbirth.

          I simply stated:
          "Just wondering...are you taking into account the thousands of women in various parts of the world who work as laborers in the fields? They go to the field to work, and when it's time to deliver, they often deliver their child in the field, strap the baby on their back (or front, as the case may be) and continue working.

          In the introduction to this discussion, Adam asks..."why does the focal point of feminism revolve around the shortcomings of men?"

          I'd like to point out, that with my contribution above, there is absolutely NO reference to the shortcomings of men.

          I am so incredibly impressed with the strength, endurence, and determination of so many women around the world, there is no need whatsoever to talk about the shortcomings of anyone"

          This comment seemed to ruffle feathers.

          Adam, when there is information presented, and you brush it off as "semantics" it appears that the subject is "touchy" for you. It is important to always "trim your own tree" before trying to trim others' trees. You can "BE" one of the leaders regarding this topic when you can see the forest AND the trees:>)