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Chat and Meet for "Country Here" > Feminism in Greece

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message 1: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Hello ,
Any other Greeks in this Group ?
I think we have a lot to discuss about feminism in our country .


message 2: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Papaioannou | 7 comments Hey!!
Finally another Greek in this group..


message 3: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments I thought I was the only one here !
So , should we speak in English , so everyone would understand , or in Greek ?
What do you think ?


message 4: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Papaioannou | 7 comments Well if it's ok with you I would suggest talking in English for everyone to have the opportunity to follow our posts!!!!


message 5: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Good !
So , a week ago , I was informed that according to the greek Agency for gender equality (11/2014) , 47,32% of the ministerial documents refered exclusively to the masculine and as for the districts' administrative documents , this percentage goes up to 66,13% .
Of course , the feminine always comes last .
The problem remains , so they published another circular 9 days ago , a call for all the agencies and ministries to change sexistic references through their documents .
You can see the files here :file:///C:/Users/USER/Downloads/%CE%9...


message 6: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Papaioannou | 7 comments The link is not working, is it possible to send it again??
The numbers don't shock me anymore.. Lately i have realized we are so back on equality so i would love to check the doc before i carry on with my story!!


message 7: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Of course you can ,Ramona ! Welcome :-)
Everyone can join the conversation , Greek or not .
Here is the link for the document I was telling Sofia about : http://www.isotita.gr/var/uploads/MEL...
The document is in greek .


message 8: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Kimball (gaylekimball) I'll be in Athens May 27-30. I'd like to interview activists for my book on global youth activism. (And Istanbul June 17-19). Suggestions? Thanks, gkimball at csuchico dot edu


message 9: by Tia (new)

Tia | 10 comments I have Greek heritage (both parents are Greek), but I was born in Australia.

Glad to meet other Greeks!


message 10: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Gayle wrote: "I'll be in Athens May 27-30. I'd like to interview activists for my book on global youth activism. (And Istanbul June 17-19). Suggestions? Thanks, gkimball at csuchico dot edu"

Hello Gayle ,
Would you like to contact activists in any certain field e.g. gender equality or environment ?


message 11: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments So , I have a question to ask :
Have you ever encountered a greek feminist blog or website ?


message 12: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Kimball (gaylekimball) Any young activists please!


message 13: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Gayle wrote: "Any young activists please!"
Ok , I will forward a few links to you soon .


message 14: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Kimball (gaylekimball) Very thoughtful, thank you. Send to my email please
gkimball at csuchico dot edu


message 15: by Anita (new)

Anita | 87 comments Hello. I am a Greek Canadian. I was born in Canada where I still live - and both my parents are Greek. Glad to meet you!


message 16: by Emily (new)

Emily (emyvrooom) | 64 comments My dad is Greek, his grandfather moved from Samos to the U.S. and I've been lucky enough to receive the surname. I visited the mainland for the first time about 7 years ago, I'd love to go back one day and explore more of my family's history. Thanks so much for creating this space to connect!


message 17: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Welcome everyone !
I am excited to see more and more people in the conversation !
I would like to see your opinion about how you think greek society treats women .
For the people living outside of Greece , do you believe women are treated differently in the microcosmos of greek communities ?


message 18: by Christiana (new)

Christiana (nana-reads) | 2 comments Hello, I'm from Cyprus (so basically Greek hehe). Feminism is way behind in my country. There has been some progress but we still think that women have to get married and have kids and not think about careers. It's still believed that the man is the main breadwinner of the house and the woman has to do all the house chores etc. I can see that even my parents - who are open minded and kind people - are like this. It's very subtle that people don't even think about it... It saddens me.
Thankfully, rape isn't that common here but unfortunately when it happens it's almost always the victim's fault.
We have along way to go... And so many more to add on the pile of gender inequality...
Christiana x


message 19: by Daphne (new)

Daphne | 1 comments Hello! I am also from Greece and very happy to discover that there are more greeks here! How do you order the books of the book club? Because I can't find them anywhere and I'm really disappointed.


message 20: by Sofia2p (new)

Sofia2p | 2 comments Hello from me too and thanks for initiating this conversation:)
We are still far behind in terms of gender equality in Greece, but there are also astonishing differences between various regions, e.g. between urban vs rural areas.


message 21: by Ali (last edited Sep 16, 2016 09:17AM) (new)

Ali (aliem) | 3 comments Daphne wrote: "Hello! I am also from Greece and very happy to discover that there are more greeks here! How do you order the books of the book club? Because I can't find them anywhere and I'm really disappointed."

Hi! You may want to try https://www.bookdepository.com/ ? Free shipping worldwide.


message 22: by Vanessa (last edited Nov 02, 2016 07:59PM) (new)

Vanessa Roussos (vanessaroussos) Hello! I am a Greek woman born in Greece and living (and having grown up in) Australia. I think feminism needs a lot of work - particularly among men my age (20s) of Greek heritage. It's not just an issue with Greek men from Greece, but also with men of Greek heritage and background. Their mentality is extremely hard to digest and I find that this is one of the reasons I have never felt like I would have a relationship with a Greek man. My mum married my dad, who is Greek from Greece and all my life she has been telling me to "never marry/end up with a Greek". I always agreed with her and as I've gotten older I can very clearly see why she's been saying this to me for so long. Does anyone else feel this way?


message 23: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Hello Vanessa . It is really interesting what you are saying .Can you mention a few examples of how Greek women are treated differently ? Why is your another so negative on marrying a greek man ?


message 24: by Angeline (new)

Angeline Yutakis | 1 comments Hi!! I live in the US but I am 100% Greek, may I join your group? :)


message 25: by Vanessa (last edited Nov 12, 2016 08:05PM) (new)

Vanessa Roussos (vanessaroussos) Maria wrote: "Hello Vanessa . It is really interesting what you are saying .Can you mention a few examples of how Greek women are treated differently ? Why is your another so negative on marrying a greek man ?"

Maria wrote: "Hello Vanessa . It is really interesting what you are saying .Can you mention a few examples of how Greek women are treated differently ? Why is your another so negative on marrying a greek man ?"

Hi Maria - yes, definitely. I feel that the general mentality amongst Greeks both here and in Greece is one of double standards. For example, it is okay for a man to do this or that but if a woman does the same thing, it is frowned upon. I know a lot of Greek men here, having gone to a Greek school, and these men have cheated in relationships, or lied or acted in ways that, if a woman were to match those actions, she would be looked down on and judged harshly. I also know a lot of guys who judge women on their sexual past - if a woman has had a few sexual partners, they're considered 'sluts' but if a man has had a lot of sexual partners, they're studs and are idolised. Another, more recent example is something a friend of mine mentioned to me the other day. She has just come from Greece and met a man here who came to Australia a few years ago to work and then go back. They saw each other a few times (not dating officially or anything like that) but he would constantly tell her that he didn't appreciate her 'liking' other guys' Facebook photos or posts and that for him to be in a relationship, he needed someone serious, who doesn't post 'selfies' to Facebook, etc.,. Basically, this sort of sums up the way I believe men view women - that women need to justify their actions but men can do the exact same thing and not have to be answerable to anyone.

I think this is why my mother has been so negative towards me being with or marrying a Greek man - her parents have always had a very modern mentality (to a point of course, and this is a product of the time in which they grew up) and I think it was a shock to her to come across the double-standard mentality and the inequality and unfairness between genders. My mum has always stressed to me how important it is to be financially and emotionally independent and to never rely on a man and I think this is very contrary to traditional Greek beliefs. I know this is a generalisation but this has been my experience so far.

I hope this somewhat explains it!


message 26: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 2 comments I am English but my parents retired to Cyprus a few years ago, having holidayed there for over 10 years. We all love Cyprus very much. My parents have local friends and I'm actually impressed by how matriarchal the society is. It may be a generalisation, and I'm only speaking from my experience, but the women I've met are the head of their family. They work all the hours that God sends to provide for their family, in a few cases they appear to work much harder and be more driven than the men in their lives. Maybe it's not empowerment, maybe the man is still considered head of the family and the women are just "slaves" to this perception, but I always feel like the women are the real force. The mothers always seem to be the ones that make the decisions.

Are there many women in senior Government positions in Greece and Cyprus? Does anyone have any information on employment statistics? I'd be intrigued to know if this empowerment transfers to other areas of society. Has there been a shift in recent years with more children moving to cities for work?


message 27: by Stella (new)

Stella A (stxllar) | 1 comments Hello ^^
I'm a student from Greece and I have to say, it may seem that way but women still have a long way to go to achieve equality.
The pay wage gap is not as prominent in our society (speaking about jobs in the public sector) or at least it's not addressed.
In politics there have been a few female leaders in political parties most notably Mrs Papariga as the former leader of the far left party of 'KKE' and Fofi Gennimata as the current leader of PASOK a center-left party. There have also been a few women in important positions in the Greek Parliament.
When it comes to equality in the family, the stereotype of the 'woman that knows what's going on' is true.Women ,often mothers, are percieved as either very docile or as angry and/or cunning. There's even a whole show dedicated to 'evil' mothers-in-law.
The older generations still have a lot of stigma when it comes to boy-girl relationships (also lgbtq+ but that's another topic). For example, this summer my cousin and I invited two of our guy friends for a sleepover and when my grandfather found out he called my uncle who proceeded to scream at my cousin through the phone and then not talk to her for 2 weeks.
There is hope however with the younger generations. We take more initiative , going on feminism marches and reevaluating given societal 'rules' that were once the norm.
I hoped this answered some of your questions!


message 28: by Liberty (new)

Liberty K | 3 comments Hello guys from Larisa!


message 29: by Sofia2p (new)

Sofia2p | 2 comments To present some data, you can check the Eurostat data on Gender statistics in EU (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisti...), which shows that the gender earnings gap in Greece is 45.2%, higher than the EU average of 41.1%. You can even have a look at the Global Gender Gap Index 2015 (http://reports.weforum.org/global-gen...), according to which Greece ranks 87/145 countries around the world. Those clearly show we still lag behind but there has been some progress despite also the severe financial crisis.


message 30: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Vanessa wrote: "Maria wrote: "Hello Vanessa . It is really interesting what you are saying .Can you mention a few examples of how Greek women are treated differently ? Why is your another so negative on marrying a..."

What really makes me wonder is how these traditional greek beliefs are transfered to a context outside of Greece. As I , born and raised in a small greek town, have experienced it , this kind of mindset is found mostly in rural areas and villages and the gap between greek villages and cities is quite wide. Of course, no one can deny that feminism in Greece needs work overall.
So that is why I am surprised with how this culture is predominant in men who were born and raised in a different context with quite a chance of developing a different perspective on gender roles.
Do you think it has something to do with the need for identity?
Also I would like to know how women think and react.
Thank you.


message 31: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Sofia2p wrote: "To present some data, you can check the Eurostat data on Gender statistics in EU (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisti...), which shows that the gender earning..."

Hello Sofia,
Thank you for these links. I am currently on my diploma essay on quality assurance in education and just today I gathered the necessary questionnaires ,which I have sent to school principals and guess the women-men ratio : only about 25% were women.
It is a really small percentage. If you take in mind that among the teachers, about 70% are women and still , only the 25% of them get to be principals , it is a bit depressing.But I also believe that we made some progress :-)


message 32: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Angeline wrote: "Hi!! I live in the US but I am 100% Greek, may I join your group? :)"

Of course , everyone is welcome here ^_^


message 33: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Lizzie wrote: "I am English but my parents retired to Cyprus a few years ago, having holidayed there for over 10 years. We all love Cyprus very much. My parents have local friends and I'm actually impressed by ho..."

Hello Lizie,
Thanks for sharing your experience. You can see this type of matriarchical society in Crete also.Since the Minoan years , in Crete women were considered the head of the house, especially the mothers , because they brought life and they deserved respect. Of course this didn;t apply to all areas and it didn't apply at all in ancient Athens.
What I want to say is that these kind of perceptions in general have deep roots in history.
In greek government the ration is : 7 women, 39 men. I think there is no need to comment on that :P


message 34: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Stella wrote: "Hello ^^
I'm a student from Greece and I have to say, it may seem that way but women still have a long way to go to achieve equality.
The pay wage gap is not as prominent in our society (speaking a..."


Hello Stella,
I really liked that you discuss the issue of the women pictured as cunning and evil. It really is very often that women are considered irrational hormone-driven monsters. The same applies to marriage, like woman-man relationship have somehow to be tiring and miserable.


message 35: by Λίζα (new)

Λίζα (lisa-and-her-dark-paradise) | 10 comments Hello there!

Nice to find some fellow Greeks in this group :)


message 36: by Ross (new)

Ross | 1444 comments Love how international the group is OSS is world wide gives me hope for the future.


message 37: by Nyx (new)

Nyx So, I have lived in Greece my whole life and while you've mentioned quite a bit of the concerns regarding gender (in)equality in this country, there is a subject I want to touch upon.

How do you view the unfiltered import of feminist terminology and issues in our country? For instance, I have seen posters by feminist activists which refer to "cisgender" males (the quoted word here left completely untranslated) as the bane of the female existence. Similarly, a very popular (one would say notorious) Facebook feminist group often leaves terminology untranslated and unexplained, while focusing on issues that are more prominent in western societies instead of our own.

I personally find this practice off-putting and ineffective. I understand that all these groups mean well, but they must take into consideration their target audience; people whose only contact with the western world is celebrity gossip and Hollywood movies. Your "barba" in the village has no idea what cisgender means and why he should give a rat's ass about it and to be honest, neither do I. I honestly don't know why your "barba" or any "barba" should worry about such things when as a society we have very different problems to discuss.

Greek society's issues with inequality are mostly centered around the traditional female roles (stay-at-home housewives whose only job is to clean, cook and pump out kids like they're going out of style) and slut-shaming. The thing is, activists who go around saying things "Σταμάτα με το slut-shaming, ρε βρωμιάρη cisgender scum", manage to do nothing, but make themselves look like idiotic yuppies. The target audience needs to understand you completely before they can work with you and would-be allies (aka the younger generations) need to not see you as a parrot that mimics things off the internet.


message 38: by Leon (new)

Leon | 8 comments Finally συμπατριωτες :D . Greece is back. Greece is not following the world. And of course not in feminism. People here think like people were thinking 150 years ago. Man still don't respect women but also women don't respect men. I don't think there is a way fixing that in my country. And that's one of the reasons im going to study abroad. Cause yes. Our ancestors were intelligent , clever but our generation is the exact opposite. I think that feminism in Greece exists in such low percentages that isn't even enough to be considered as feminism .. Glad to find some people from my country here though :D


message 39: by Christina (new)

Christina (undomiel) | 2 comments I'm glad to find people from my country here too! I'd say that feminism activism is so low here in Greece (correct me if I'm wrong) and what Nyxteriri said is very correct. Thankfully more young people get exposed to those issues through the internet, get more educated on them and women FINALLY realize that calling yourself a feminist is not a bad thing, and in my social cycle I see men speaking for it and calling against sexism.

Greek people take baby steps in terms of progress on feminism but I can see that I've seen big difference in contrast to 6 years ago for example. I wouldn't expect people older than 50 to change their mindset so quickly when they've grown up viewing women as inferior. The sad and infuriating thing is when I see those beliefs on 20somethings or even kids. (But I guess this happens in many countries.)


message 40: by Nyx (new)

Nyx Christina wrote: "I'm glad to find people from my country here too! I'd say that feminism activism is so low here in Greece (correct me if I'm wrong)"

The thing is most progressive people have feminist ideologies but just don't call themselves feminists. That's okay. It's the ideas that matter, not the label.


message 41: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Omnipotent | 1 comments hello from a greek 25 year old studying abroad!
i am afraid Greece is stuck far behind Europe in many parts of human rights, and the doctrine fed to youth especially by the church but also by bad uneducated parents keeps the bad traditions going, i truly believe that only when the 60's generation passes away only then things might get better.
it is similar in many governments , even if we have a small female representation it is only upper class women with connections that dont really wish to change things or adress female and human rights just to take advantage of the wage and their position.

Even with very small exceptions that of course get mocked by the press or internet as being ''ugly'', ''unkept'' or '' annoying'' women just for wanting their voices to be heard.
The teenagers brought up in Greece at the moment dont really give me hope for the future, only people in their 20's that are woke and really want to be involved do. Hope i am not too pessimistic but i cant help being a realist having grown up in a family where being a woman only gave me insults and degradation.

and of course Happy womens day to all :)


message 42: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (lesliejean43) | 88 comments I'm sorry you're so depressed about the quality of feminism in Greece. In what country are you studying?

When you speak of the possibility of things only improving when the 60s generation 'passes away', are you referring to people in their 60s, or to those who were young in the 1960s? Of course some people would fit both categories!

I am almost 74, and live in Canada, where our Prime Minister is clearly a feminist, and I believe that the situation is improving here, although there is obviously more work to be done.

I hope you had a happy Women's Day, and that you will see more hopeful signs for the future.


message 43: by Hara (new)

Hara Joy (harajoy) Hello everyone! I come from Mitilini, a small town of 35-37,000 people in the Aegean. This group is a fantastic initiative, and I'm really glad we have the opportunity to talk about this subject and share opinions and knowledge. Also, the more links that you have to share, the better!

As far as Nyxteriri's comment goes, I mostly agree with you. I say mostly, because it's true that sometimes, if not most, it's really hard to translate some words, and indeed some don't even have a translation (cis and trans, for example). However, terms like 'entitlement', 'shaming' etc. can and absolutely should be translated, even if this can't be done with just one word. Using foreign terminology is quite harmful to our cause, because it alienates people, and I think it is often perceived as posh and snobbish, not to mention disrespectful towards people who are not fluent in English. I think we should always do our best to translate the meaning in our respective languages as best as we can.

On that point, and in relation to Maria's question about Greek feminist blogs/sites, a really good one is Kamena Soutien (Burnt Bras) https://kamenasoutien.com/. They post original articles that are really good, and they do their best to translate foreign terminology, with a really good result in my opinion. They also translate articles from English to Greek, which is simply amazing, and an immense help to the cause. Finally, they have a radio show on Sundays that is also really good (it's stopped for a while now I think, but they have over a hundred shows already on their mixcloud).

Other good sites are:
-Φύλο Συκής http://fylosykis.gr/
-To Μωβ (The Purple) http://tomov.gr/
-Φεμινιστική Πρωτοβουλία για την Εξάλειψη της Βίας κατά των Γυναικών (Feminist Initiative for the Eradication of Violence Against Women) https://feministikiprotovoulia.wordpr...
-Φύλο και Φτερό http://fulokaifteroreth.blogspot.gr/

Looking forward to finding more through this site :)


message 44: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Hello everyone :-)
Well, am I glad to see this group flourishing ! When I started the discussion I was afraid that we couldn't find enough Greeks to share our opinions, but here we are :-)
Greece is a complicated country, is quite interesting to study how the different societies here work. You can see people fighting for other people's rights and people who are compassionate and open-hearted and on the other side, well, things are rather awful. Slut-shaming, laughing at and insulting female drivers.
That is why we need to inform people on gender roles and equality issues, to build a bridge between these two sides. And of course we should translate these terms, or else we will achieve nothing but confussion.
Also Hara, thank you so much for the links !


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Maria wrote: "Hello ,
Any other Greeks in this Group ?
I think we have a lot to discuss about feminism in our country ."


Hey, I am Greek, too! I recently joined the club! Τι κάνετε;


message 46: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Nefeli wrote: "Maria wrote: "Hello ,
Any other Greeks in this Group ?
I think we have a lot to discuss about feminism in our country ."

Hey, I am Greek, too! I recently joined the club! Τι κάνετε;"


Welcome Nefeli ! Good to have you here :-)


message 47: by Μαρία (new)

Μαρία | 2 comments Hello fellow greeks! I'm Maria, a greek born and raised in Athens.

I think sexism and feminism in Greece are very complicated issues, that no one really seems to be talking about. One of the biggest problems is I think the everyday linguistic sexism of comments and "jokes" against women, as well as the fact that women often accept them, without even realizing they're insulting.

I would also like to point out how prominent sexism is in the media, in big and small matters alike. For example, as I was flicking through the tv channels the other day, I came across an image of Emma Watson meeting the Canadian Prime Minister (on Star channel for those living in Greece), so I stopped to listen, only to furiously change the channel ten seconds later, after listening to the commentator saying that she was "feasting her eyes" on him, or "τον κοίταζε σαν ξερολούκουμο", which is far more graphic. Dozens of similar and far more sexist comments are made everyday on tv, even by supposedly progressive shows (like Ελληνοφρένεια) and no one seems to think there's anything wrong with them, so I don't see this changing any time soon.


message 48: by Christina (new)

Christina (undomiel) | 2 comments Μαρία wrote: "Hello fellow greeks! I'm Maria, a greek born and raised in Athens.

I think sexism and feminism in Greece are very complicated issues, that no one really seems to be talking about. One of the bigge..."


Yes the fact that most people take these comments as jokes perpetuates the problem. Even women laugh when men make these "jokes" which shows how deep the roots of these issues are.

Another thing that doesn't help feminism in Greece, is that for ages, mothers have been telling their daughters to care only about how to win males, how to approach the rich husband and compete against each other, and to not care much about their personalities and abilities...


message 49: by Maria (new)

Maria Is Reading | 19 comments Language is certainly a major issue, and non just in the jokes, but is all types of every day communication like "be a man", "don't act like a petty woman" , "be feminine".
I want to share an experience with you. I was volunteering at a summer school for primary school children and it was drawing time. The teacher handed sheets of colored paper to the children, which ,in that class, were 5-6 years old. The sheets were pink for the girls and blue for the boys (!). Finally, the blue sheets were gone and a boy had to take a pink piece of paper.
The other boys started laughing at him and the poor fellow ended up crying his eyes out and the boys kept laughing like crazy. I was shocked by the way the sexist frame of mind had already poisoned these small children, they were only 5. And on the top of that, the teacher said : Come on now, men don't cry.
Aaannd the kid's sentimental world became forbidden, just like that.


message 50: by Hara (new)

Hara Joy (harajoy) Sexist stereotypes are reinforced daily by ourselves. I was working with children (ages 3-14) for six months, and this was more than evident. For example, once we were sharing craft ideas, and a coworker proposed that we make heart-shaped bags out of plastic plates and paper - to which another coworker replied 'What will the boys make?' This has happened many times in my work, and it goes both ways (for example, what will the girls do while the boys are playing football). The best you can do it challenge this notion straight away. In the first case, I instantly asked my coworker why does she think that boys should make something else.
Let me repeat that: it's EXTREMELY important that we instantly challenge these notions. It can be done in the form of a question, pretending that you don't understand why this comment/action is made, and asking them to explain it to you ("Why should the boys do something different?). It can also be a direct statement ("There's no reason for the boys to do something different"). It's when these notions go unchallenged that they become mainstream, and the kids internalise them almost immediately, and reproduce them in their lives.


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