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July 30, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Snapshots of Feminism

Hi all!

For this column I decided to look at quotes depicting women and feminism. I did this for two reasons: firstly, many women before my time have put things much more eloquently than I could, and secondly I think it’s an interesting way to see how feminism is expressed and remembered in witty one liners. Let them entertain you, and I challenge you to question which of these are relevant to you and your society. What are you not comfortable tolerating? Many of these were written well over 20 years ago, yet are applicable to our community today.

Any woman whose I.Q. hovers above her body temperature must be a feminist. – Rita Mae Brown

When we talk about equal pay for equal work, women in the workplace are beginning to catch up. If we keep going at this current rate, we will achieve full equality in about 475 years. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait that long. – Lya Sorano

I am a woman above everything else. – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women’s opportunities, not to limit them. The self-esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering. – Elaine Heffner

Does feminism mean a large unpleasant person who’ll shout at you or someone who believes women are human beings. To me it’s the latter, so I sign up. – Margaret Atwood

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute. – Rebecca West 1913

Women need not always keep their mouths shut and their wombs open. – Emma Goldman

The history of all times, and of today especially, teaches that … women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves. – Louise Otto

Some leaders are born women. – Unknown

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels. – Faith Whittlesey

Last but not least, I am compelled by sisterhood to include a quote from the overexposed avengers of girl power: “Feminism has become a dirty word. Girl Power is just a 90’s way of saying it. We can give feminism a kick up the arse. Women can be so powerful when they show solidarity.” – Spice Girls

I hope this provides you with something to think about this week. As students we are compelled to question our society’s standards of justice. As female students we are challenged to celebrate our successes while still fighting against the injustices in our world. Don’t settle for the status quo.

I am excited to announce the coolest new addition to the Internet: the Women’s Fest MySpace page! This has been created to keep you up to date on all our plans and allow you all to let Ali and myself know what you want there. URL: http://www.myspace.com/womensfest. All the kids are talking about it, be in quick to add to your favourites!

Lots of love,

Gabbie x x

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Comments (11)

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  1. Marcel Blaxall says:

    Feminism is the radical notion that femists are women

  2. Seann says:

    No real feminists around these days – maybe a few older ones still alive but most of them are similar kinds of power-mongers to many men anyway. Best feminists Im aware of are:

    E Goldman – open-minded, sexual revolutionary, could be a bit of a bitch in a bad way though – seemed to hate the masses – which is probably a minus, although that said, the masses can be annoying in terms of their readiness to assimilate into the world as it is – so I sympathis with Emma.

    Valerie Solanas – saw through crap, considered a nutter, real under-dog, lived life on the edge, tried to kill Any Warhol – he died later because of complications with the condition he suffered after being shot – I love V because she hated pop culture and pretension of middle-class thinking and life – she was also a sexual revolutionary and a funny, intelligent writer — and could have been a brilliant scientist.

    The women of the Symbionese Liberation Army (not Patty Hearst, that lying rich cow)

    “Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people”!
    Kathleen Ann Soliah

  3. Darren Davis says:

    Hi Seann! I want to add something – Can someone please show me an actual ‘feminist’ here in this country and say what makes them feminist? True, I have a particular view of what makes a feminist and its not the usual bunch of riff-raff around today. My idea isn’t a woman who is middle-class, shallow, rude, inconsistent, psychologically damaged and egotistical – which is how many self-proclaimed feminists seem to me to be!!!!!

  4. josie says:

    Any women can be a feminist, they don’t have to fit in to your idea of what it means to be a women,or a feminist.

    I’m a feminist, no, not the liberal kind, not middle-class, not pakeha (you didn’t mention this, but its usually what people mean when they say middle-class feminist) not shallow. Sometimes rude and inconsistent, but give me an example of someone who isn’t.

  5. darren d says:

    you forgot to mention psychologically damaged and egotistical!

  6. Seann says:

    Darren D said: I have a particular view of what makes a feminist
    Josie said: Any women can be a feminist

    HI D et J, OK, what ARE your views? What IS a feminist? This might take a while though, given people’s tendencies toward reletavism these days/constantly changing the terms of debates etc.

    Im a male feminist who sympathises with untidy pseudo-feminism (i.e. anarcha-feminism), radical and socialist feminisms.

    I don’t consider women leaders and managers in this country to be at all feminist. I don’t think they fit into any category of feminism. I think they are SHE-SLUGS, FASCIST INSECTS that have USED AND ABUSED the best of the various feminist ideologies (few, if any, of the practices) for their own progress and are ultimately responsible for the degradation of most women.

    Women in refuges, in prisons, women being bashed and abused by State agencies (many of the women – e.g. CYF social workers – most of whom are women are doing the bashing), those who remained economically and psychologically impoverished and who are FORCED to stay in these situations are the women who any decent feminist would be fighting for – dying for, if necessary. Im sorry, but life for most women who claim to be ‘feminist’ and have a good knowledge of the ideology are in a much better position than MOST women and will always be in a better position because they too want what power/war mongering males want.

    THE BIGGEST THREATS TO FEMINISM IN THIS COUNTRY ARE:

    The Corporate Dyke
    Helen Clark and ALL Labour party women – in fact ALL women in parliament
    Women who become PIGS (i.e. police – the female of the species – term also includes CYF social workers, Corrections, Parole, Teachers, pro-Labour Party “Unionists”, Censors, Judges and more – in other words, MALE EGOISTS IN DRAG.

    I expect more of the contemporary feminist – its very disappointing.

    Feminists whose goal is power over others in the same way as men have and do is not a feminist, it is a FASCIST SLUG who ought to know better.

  7. Jane Henri Windsor says:

    Fact: Women’s Oppression still exists.
    What has nearly 40 years of Liberal Feminism has done for working women?
    Very little. Women still form a high proportion of people on the DPB, on Sickness and Invalids Benefits. Most women earn on average earn less than most men.
    Women are still regularly beaten up and raped.
    If feminism is about fighting for gender equality, then we still need it.
    However white, middle-class, affluent, so-called ‘feminists’ still chat to each other over their soy-milk lattes above how far they have come and what a wonderful role model Helen Clark is.

  8. Seann says:

    Excellent Jane, totally in agreement.

    HELEN CLARK is NO role model. A hateful, prejudice, self-centered, egotistical, power-loving weasel who’ll politicise the most vulnerable situations in order to get votes – actually that’s politicians in general – BUT – Helen is the PM, she should be held ultimately responsible.

    To many self-proclaimed feminists its more important to testify loudly their feminism or pervert words like women (wimmin, womyn) than it is to help out actual WOMEN. i.e. Mainly university educated girls who have been introduced to a 100 level course and assume they know everything in their first year hint hint!!!!!

  9. Marcel Blaxall says:

    Excellant Seanne as well

  10. Mike says:

    hint hint!!!!!

  11. Seann says:

    Hi Gabbie,

    some comments:

    Rita Mae Brown’s quote is simply dangerous and not in a cool way (e.g. in an Emma Goldman way). So only women with measurable ‘intelligence’ can be a feminist? Preposturous – and WRONG on so many levels.

    Is Lya Sorano some sort of backward unionist? No different from capitalists, atypical unionists only value people in terms of their productivity, they’re slave-labour capacities.

    Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – who cares? A self-centred, image obsessed millionaire. No feminist.

    Margaret Atwood is brilliant. This is the thing, like Orwell, Atwood can see through bullshit, in her thinking and writing she is concerned with the whole well-being WOMEN – not accumulating oppressive power (like many feminists nowadays).

    The last point made by Rebecca West is odd. For some reason many feminists think whoring is a good thing. Prostitutes are trendy – totally want to be abused as long as they get paid for it. So, what IS the feminist view now??

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