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March 29, 2004 | by  | in Opinion |
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Feminism

Feminism has gained a reputation as a dirty word, like panties or paedophilia. And it’s not surprising, considering some of the actions that have been carried out under the feminist flag.

Today, the face of feminism is visible in organisations such as the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and its so-called campus equivalent, VUWSA’s Women’s Rights Officer. Recent attacks by female media columnists have made claim to MWA’s redundancy, while similar opinions have likewise been voiced about Victoria’s own WRO. Indeed, they’ve come straight from the mouth of the very woman currently holding the position.

Such attacks, some would say, must hold at least an ounce of validity. After all, it’s women (as opposed to men) that appear to be putting them forward – and not even ordinary females, but women chosen to represent women’s interests. Surely, if these women (selected directly or otherwise by ‘the people’) are saying that they don’t require a ‘special’ ministry or a ‘special’ position on the students’ association executive, then it would seem in the interests of fairness to listen and give them (ie. women) what they want.

Which would all be well and good if what women want (or more basically, require) was adequately reflected in the words and actions of those that claim to represent us as women.

A fundamental problem of the women’s movement today – indeed, of feminism throughout history – is that what’s held to be the ‘real issue’ for women has, and does, generally consist of what’s important to a very select group of women.

Although all feminists are likely to claim that their aim is to achieve some sort of gender equality, feminists differ in what they see as the ‘problem’ in need of rectification, and in what they see as the ‘solution’ in order to achieve the liberation of women.

The liberal feminist approach, for example, perhaps most influential in this country and throughout much of the West, has clung to a theory of equality via reformation of the ‘system’, where proponents have helped to eliminate discriminatory practices in three key areas: education, the law, and the economy. And the practice hasn’t been altogether shabby. The achievements of liberal feminism are both important and numerous. But that is not to suggest that its accomplishments haven’t been narrowly self-serving. Though it is to highlight the staggering gaps in mainstream feminist thinking and applications.

While the seventies feminist slogan ‘Sisterhood is Powerful’ may ring true for some (the liberals, for instance), perhaps the likes of early nineties mandate, ‘Jenny Shipley is not my Sister’ may fare slightly more adequately for others.

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (6)

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  1. O_o says:

    Feminism is ruining this country. Countless amounts of innocent Men are being purged for very little things (ie Male assaults female law) when it is Women who in fact always start or engage the fight.

    If these Feminazi’s want equility, how about we implement a Woman assaults Male law with the same 2 year penalty? 10 years imprisonment for false rape claims for all? Have a Men’s Internal Affairs?

    A man, now, cannot even forcefully defend his partner against another woman without being charged with Male Assaults Female.

    So, being a man, I will no longer help a woman in need, ie if she is being beaten or raped, i’m not helping, i’ll probably be the one getting arrested. The same goes for a child.

    It is “policy” for airline companies not to have a male sitting next to an unaccompanied child on a plane. Labeling ALL men as paedophiles. 90% of all child abuse (sexual, physical and emotional) is done by woman. 1% get charged.

    Equility?

  2. Jock says:

    Equility? Equality?

    What do you know o_o, surely the thing that is killing our country is uninformed individuals like yourself who feel somekind of selfrighteous indignation at the “sexism” towards women. Try working in a factory, then you’ll see that much work still has to be done towards the “feminist agenda” which you obviously believe exists

    Be a real man, and read some books, perhaps gain some more intelligence.

  3. O_o says:

    HAH, i’m not sexist at all to women. I want our laws changed, you see, that’s what i’m talking about here, the law.

    That’s fine if you feel like that, I see you growing up to be a bigot police man :)
    That’s also fine that you like to be labeled as a Paedophile, because I sure as hell don’t like it.

    Maybe when you trip up and are in the hands of the law, your mind might change.

    Now, I think I hear your whip being cracked. Go to her! Or you’ll be in trouble!

  4. 0_0 is a swine says:

    o_0 you are a vile piece of dirt and too stupid to be in university. You probably stand up in class and whine about Maori privilidges.

    I hope you get raped by four policemen who are subsequently found not guilty.

  5. scott says:

    well we are always going on about what is going wrong in society today with our kids. marriage breakdown. i blame the feminists for all that society is today women are looking to get it all the career the marriage. kids they want it all but are failing miserably they cannot hold it all together society as a whole is suffering just look back 20yrs or so and remember a time when families where more stable men where out working women were raising there kids choosing to start a career later in life the feminist movement has pushed women to abandon natural roles and in to stressful working life juggling work .kids and a marriage its time for society to offer the option for women to step back from this society destroying way and get back to more traditional living i am not for one moment saying that we should go back to the dark ages i am not saying women should not have a careers but the quest to have it all is hurting society as a whole perhaps our kids would be better behaved if the mother and the father were both together

  6. scott says:

    well we are always going on about what is going wrong in society today with our kids. marriage breakdown. i blame the feminists for all that society is today women are looking to get it all the career the marriage. kids they want it all but are failing miserably they cannot hold it all together society as a whole is suffering just look back 20yrs or so and remember a time when families where more stable men where out working women were raising there kids choosing to start a career later in life the feminist movement has pushed women to abandon natural roles and in to stressful working life juggling work .kids and a marriage its time for society to offer the option for women to step back from this society destroying way and get back to more traditional living i am not for one moment saying that we should go back to the dark ages i am not saying women should not have a careers but the quest to have it all is hurting society as a whole perhaps our kids would be better behaved if the mother and the father were both together

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