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Archive > Feminism: It's All About Theory?

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message 1: by Carolina (new)

Carolina Echevarría | 29 comments First of all, I hope this isn't on the wrong folder.

A week ago I had a little conversation with a really close friend of mine (he is a strong advocate of gender equality and loves Judith Butler, who is the one and only feminist theorist), and he said something that I cannot keep off my mind: "The only way to understand feminism is reading theory, mainly Judith Butler, and Emma's vision is stuck in what was said years ago and she is taking too many steps back."

I do not agree with him. I mean, yeah, Judith Butler is brilliant as are so many philosophers, but she isn't the only author who has said wonderful things. Also, basing feminism on theory only would mean not everybody has access to understanding and approaching it (the level of illiteracy around the world is awfully high). For a really long time I was really confused about what it meant to be a feminist, I read some books about it, but still I couldn't grasp it. It wasn't until a professor told me: "Do you believe men and women, no matter their race, religion, sexual preference... deserve the same rights? If so, you are a feminist, you believe in gender equality," that I truly understood it.

I think Emma has managed to open the dialogue to different people all around the world, not only to the intellectuals, and through that she's allowed the "younger generation" to approach the topic in a welcoming way. Some people will reach for theory books to get more into it, but that doesn't mean that only through reading one kind of book you'll get the truth. We are learning more about it from each other and by our virtual talking circles (at least I have) than by reading tons of theory books.

And, well, this rant (that I hope makes sense), was all to say: What do you think? Is feminism all about theory or it goes beyond that?


message 2: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Kimball (gaylekimball) I think feminism is about action first and foremost, how we live our lives.


message 3: by River (new)

River Yaka (Riveryaka) | 6 comments It took me a long time to understand what feminism meant as well but when I finally got it, it was it for me! Now I will fight for feminism by talking about it everyday, teaching to the people who are also confused, and of course suggesting books that explains a lot better then me.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

The more knowledge you have, the more influencial you can be. But we should be careful not to become a society of philosophers who do nothing but acquire knowledge. We need to have an equilibrium between knowledge and actions. And we obviously don't have it. In the past, most of the population was hugely more ignorant than now, and they actively stood for their beliefs anyway (which usually was a bad thing because they defended idiotic ideas). Now, we live the contrary situation. We all know a lot of things but we stay home and chat. We receive too much information and we never process it.

It's enough to know that men and women are equal in order to be a feminist. You don't need to read a thousand books in order to understand that and stand for it.


message 5: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments If we mean statistics and practical examples (proof of what sucks) to stop doing what harms some of us, then yes. We need to know what we are up against, what needs to change permanently, but to immerse ourselves in theory theory is time spent away from fixing the problems.


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