Beware commercialized feminism -- or embrace it?

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a similar “semiotic” dilemma

I need some time to ruminate on that one.

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Iirc, MS magazine didn’t take advertising at first. And then when they did, they had a huge job of educating advertisers on the sorts of ads they would carry, since a lot of companies figured it was just another women’s lifestyle magazine.

It’s basically to say that speaking out is hard. You stand up and say something important, and then you’re in a very noisy place with a bunch of other voices that would like to co-opt what you’re saying so it sounds like you’re agreeing with what they’ve always said.

I suspect this has been going on for as long as there has been language.


Maybe she means she is open to Asguardian Gods and also Liam Hemsworth.

As to the commercialization of feminism, I think the problem is the word itself, it’s exclusive and this will always be divisive. It’s obvious that some groups, because history and culture happened to play out the way it did, aren’t enjoying equal opportunities or freedoms - but the solution will never be a word that stems from one gender that it constantly trying to redefine itself instead of just letting go of its initial conceit.

Promote humanism, and then give some time to everyone, such as men who aren’t being treated fairly in child custody or other areas and then go on to trans issues and FGM in Africa and I would bet you grow the pie of support rather than trying to just get a larger slice. I know it feels difficult to admit that even the most lucky of groups have problems, but being on everyone’s side is going going to garner more support.

There are lots of people in patriarchal societies and cultures who just aren’t going to accept your verbiage as stated, but would be more open to the idea of taking people equally as long as they don’t feel excluded by the terminology being employed.

It reminds me of Dune, the slow blade pierces the shield. It might not be as flashy but of this is all really about being effective in changing minds and attitudes instead of being sneaky and aloof then the method should be a lot less important than the results.


That’s been tried and it doesn’t work, except in favour of the most powerful group. Anarcha-feminism only came into existence because of the failings of what you want to do.

It’s not that child custody issues are not important, but people being killed and mutilated is a bigger problem than most child custody cases.

Besides, aren’t you fighting the wrong battle? Shouldn’t the childs interests and rights be far more important than either the mothers or fathers? Children shouldn’t be property, you know.


Feminism is already a subset of humanism. That is to say, what you describe already exists: there is a broad humanist effort to fight for the rights of all people, and that includes movements like feminism.

The problem is that whenever humanists try to give attention to feminist issues, someone like you speaks up to say “Don’t be divisive, other people have problems too.” It’s exactly that eagerness to change the subject which gives rise to feminism as a specific effort. It’s the only way to make progress on women’s issues without someone distracting us with some “more important” thing.

If you truly want humanism to be the broad fight that you describe, you should embrace the feminist movement rather than nitpicking it. Use less “No, actually…” and more “Yes! And…”


Gosh, it’s like one can’t count on a single word to convey the subtle nuances of one’s point of view anymore.


Yes, and describing/reducing feminism as/to “sneaky and aloof” isn’t helpful either, @martin0641 .


Beware thoughtless marketing, no matter what label they put on it.


And let’s not forget getting more women into Silicon Valley.

Wait, you mean there’s people fighting to get more women into positions of privilege before the problem of people being killed and mutilated is solved? It’s almost as if it’s possible to fight multiple fights as the same time.

If you can convince the courts to see it that way, more power to you. The way the U.S. legal system works, the courts decide what’s best for kids. Sometimes, a shitty judge will look at a couple and decide that even though the mother reminds them of Lizzy Borden, the mother needs custody because women are kind, gentle, and nurturing. We could argue about whether that’s the patriarchy at work or not, I suppose.

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I think that in many cases (one’s I know of at least), they do want the divorcing couple to attempt to work out a plan and the court will sign off. That’s the case around here, at least. A court will intervene if it’s clear that the parents are too stuck up their own asses to do what’s best (or if there is clear evidence of neglect/abuse).

Again, this is just for cases I know of, here around ATL. It might be different elsewhere, so I can’t speak for that.


What I am suggesting hasn’t failed in the sense that all airplanes before the Wright brothers “failed” but that does not invalidate the concept - it just means we have more work to do to get there. Feminists are constantly trying to redefine themselves and I think the term itself is a needless barrier.

I agree that the issues mentioned aren’t weighted equally, but unfortunately if you want to get people on a team some of them might not be the most empathetic or virtuous so you have to include them so they don’t feel excluded. You are making an argument with “should” and I am making a practical statement about how people “are” and what I think it might take to engage everyone into the greater effort.

The terminology used is enough to get some people to scoff, so I don’t see anything wrong with using a more inclusive term and making it part of a multi-point plan to address everyone’s needs in such a way to garner their support and participation instead of their derision. It’s more about engagement than about making a list of victim groups and trying to read the tea leaves of who is the worst off in a never ending game of universal equality.

A rich white male’s pet issue might not be as important as some other issue, but to HIM it certainly hits home.

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Actually, I’m fighting against that too.

It (anarcha-feminism) is described to be an anti-authoritarianism, anti-capitalism, anti-oppressive philosophy, with the goal of creating an “equal ground” between males and females. The term “anarcha-feminism” suggests the social freedom and liberty of women, without needed dependence upon other groups or parties.


[quote=“martin0641, post:4, topic:78138”]
Promote humanism, and then give some time to everyone, such as men who aren’t being treated fairly in child custody or other areas and then go on to trans issues and FGM in Africa and I would bet you grow the pie of support rather than trying to just get a larger slice. [/quote]

I think you mean egalitarianism, not humanism. Humanism is a ethical/moral belief system (quasi-religion). Although the free agency part of humanism would be necessary to really compare it to feminism.

The only thing I can think of that comes close to an all-inclusive ideal would be the French tripartite motto: liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Of course, we’d want to get way from the latin root of fraternité which would be brother, and frankly the mysogyny after the French revolution so a modern version would be more like liberty, equality, camaraderie or maybe even liberty, equality, solidarity in English.


I can’t believe I looked this up, but according to the gossip sites, they are getting married. Who she is dating shouldn’t call into question her self-identity as pansexual. Bisexual erasure (pansexual in this case) is monosexist bullshit.


Indeed, that word “fraternité” is questioned in France. It could be accepted as neutral by convention if women’s revendications hadn’t been extensively suppressed during the French Revolution. It’s a side issue, but a highly symbolic one that French feminists won’t let be put under the rug. Not indefinitely, anyway. The ghost of Olympe de Gouges is there, kicking and screaming. A gender-neutral neologism has even been proposed: “adelphité”, based on Greek “adelphos”, meaning roughly “sibling” (and root for “Philadelphia”).

While I’m at etymology and semantics, I can answer to @martin0641 about the word “feminism”. It has a history, you know. It comes from French “féminisme”, which used to be a medical term for the condition of a male bearing female physiological traits, and ended up used by Alexandre Dumas, Fils, as a derogatory term for men who supported women’s rights. It’s an early case of a terminology that’s been revendicated and appropriated by the movement it was supposed to disparage. As such, it’s an important conquest. A trophy. It won’t be given up, even if it confuses some ignorant folks.


That’s a rather shortsighted reflexive stance to take then. Of course, historically female dependence has been overemphasized (to put it ridiculously mildly,) but taking that fish/bicycle thing beyond a personal empowerment awakening to some larger social proposition amounts to juvenile contrarianism. Solidarity means we all need each other.

My mother has been independent since she was a teenager, and a professional since not long after. She’s certainly put up with more sexism and harassment than what she’s ever let on to me. She gave birth to me as an intentionally single mother – in 1970! – and to hell with what the neighbors whispered. She agrees with every principle of liberal feminism. Yet she refuses to identify as feminist, because she thinks the term is a label for fringe radicals like Andrea Dworkin and Valerie Solanas.

Do you think that would have happened with a word that was less easily perceived as confrontational and “reverse-sexist?” Do you think excluding swaths of actual feminists who just wouldn’t call themselves that was helpful to the movement? Was having an obscure linguistic trophy on the (wo)mantlepiece worth sowing division among the women whose struggle for liberation it was supposed to represent?



Has celebrity feminism failed?

It has become fashionable to identify as a feminist in Hollywood, but a social and political force needs substance, not just award-ceremony speeches, to refocus the spotlight.

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It needs to be seen in context.

Anarchist women were (and still are) being told to focus on issues that primarily effected men (Which women were fighting for anyway, in solidarity), and that all womens problems will be solved after the revolution. No one ever said how their problems would actually be solved, and the revolution could happen at any time between tomorrow and 1000 years from now. Is fighting for your freedom without depending on those men who won’t fight with you anyway really juvenile contrarianism? We aren’t talking about separatist feminism here, just a fight against manarchism.

If there is a lack of solidarity (and I agree that there is), it is from the anarchist men who tell women to wait until the revolution.