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Non-feminist Women Writers (or Artists or Actors)

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message 1: by Mickey (last edited Jun 05, 2016 04:46PM) (new)

Mickey I am curious about how self-styled feminists would react if it came out that a female in the public eye did not consider herself a feminist. Would it change the way that you feel about her or her work?


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 07, 2016 03:50PM) (new)

I have watched this post to see what responses would be.

My concern is that the language is somewhat pre-determining. From phrases such as "self-styled" and "if it came out," I take it that I am not allowed to rely on the term feminism as it arose in the 18th century, as believing in gender equality, and that if a woman were to declare that she did not consider herself to be a feminist, she would be "coming out," i.e., revealing herself to attacks from ... somebody, I guess.

It's hard, speaking only of writers, to think of a woman author who was not a "feminist" to some degree, going back to Austin, Eliot, Sand, in that they felt that women were not recognized for their abilities or contributions to society. To use the term "self-styled" implies, or perhaps I should say, the term causes me to infer, that this is an artificial term which a man or woman may apply to themselves, but is either meaningless or contradicted by their actions.

To "come out" has a direct and indisputable connection not only with persons who declared themselves to be homosexual in the face of societal condemnation, but with persons who, perhaps, were of color and were "passing" as white. I'm not interested in what any person chooses to label themselves; I think actions and artistic creations are much more important.

With one caveat. If I were to be asked to purchase a book, or a movie ticket, or a work of art, by someone I had reason to believe was abusive of other person (male, female, of whatever race), I believe I would decline, yes.

If someone said in an interview, "I don't consider myself a feminist," I wouldn't much care. Unless it were, perhaps, someone running for the top position in the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, where I happen to live, who said that he lost interest in women as they rose in his companies and became extremely capable executives, thereby becoming less feminine and less attractive to him. This is someone I couldn't much admire, since men are allowed to be and admired for being capable while this person does not admire women who demonstrate the same qualities. To be fair, he was speaking specifically of two of his previous wives. There seems to me to be something inherently unfair in his statement. Although I do love a person without a filter between impulse and speech; one rarely has to wonder for long about what sort of person one is faced with.

If they said, on the other hand, "I am not a supporter of human rights," yes, I would have a problem supporting them financially by purchasing their works.

"Feminist" is a term, in the United States, we have the extravagance of being able to rank below some other labels. (Although recent questions as to why we cannot discuss rape culture without ultimately saying the victim should not have been where she was, wore what she wore, drank what she drank give me pause; there is a difference between men and women. (I'm not talking about adults of either gender who abuse children; I'm talking about one gender with a projectile sexual organ who is often of greater physical strength than the woman or man whom a person with a projectile sexual organ can choose to penetrate against their target's objections.) ) (I really tried hard to make that a gender-free statement, which is one reason we cannot discuss rape in this country.)

"Humanist" would be a more interesting topic.

I am only responding because you have crafted your statement in such a way as to signal that you require interaction on some level. I know that you rarely use any given term without thought, which I say with all respect.

So what would be the point you would like to discuss, exactly? Do you have an example?


message 3: by Mickey (new)

Mickey AnnLoretta wrote: "I am only responding because you have crafted your statement in such a way as to signal that you require interaction on some level. I know that you rarely use any given term without thought, which I say with all respect.

So what would be the point you would like to discuss, exactly? Do you have an example?"


I am curious about how self-styled feminists would react if it came out that a female in the public eye did not consider herself a feminist. Would it change the way that you feel about her or her work?


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 08, 2016 03:02AM) (new)

I don't know anything about the demographics of a group called "self-styled feminists." I'm not sure how one labels oneself is more important that the actions one takes, the way one treats other people. So if someone said they were not a feminist, but she comported herself (there are also males who "self-style" themselves as feminists) in such a way as to treat others with respect and dignity, I don't think how she (or he) desires to be labelled matters. I would not feel differently, personally, speaking for myself as a woman who cares to see women treated equally and with dignity by all other people, if a woman did not choose to call herself a feminist or be so identified by others if she lived in freedom and safety and allowed and encouraged an environment which allowed others to do so also.

Your declining to offer examples or define your terms is somewhat discouraging to conversation. But that's all right. Insofar as I understand your question, my answer then, is no.


message 5: by Mickey (new)

Mickey I'm a bit sad that this conversation never managed to get off the ground, so I've decided to add an example to discuss what I'm taking about.

I think it would be fun to have a thoughtful conversation about whether women in the spotlight are allowed to "speak their minds" about feminism or if they feel that they must "toe the line" in order not to create controversy or risk turning off other women who self-identify differently.

There are several examples like this where women will give an opinion about feminism: Kaley Cuoco and Lady Gaga come to mind first, but there are probably others, who later feel like they have to retract what they said. This seems disempowering to me- preferring to reject a woman's experiences in favor of an ideology that she does not identify with.

In December 2014, actress Kaley Cuoco stated that she did not consider herself a feminist in a magazine article. She later claimed that her comments were taken out of context, and reversed her affiliation. Here is the link to one article about it: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-n...

I'm interested in a thoughtful conversation about women's agency to self-identify with a movement (or not) and whether there can be a real conversation about affiliation.

AnnLoretta, thanks for your views on this! But hopefully we can get some other views on the topic, too.


message 6: by Mickey (new)

Mickey I found an article that discusses the point I'd like to explore: http://www.crushable.com/2014/03/24/e...

Women celebrities who have refused the label of feminist (which would seem to me to be a basic right of choosing how to define yourself) facing criticism for doing that.


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