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  #41  
Old September 15th, 2010, 9:34 pm
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
However, while I agree that the fact that the father gave 50% of the child's chromosomes should not be ignored and he has a right to be heard, IMO the fact that the woman not only gave 50% of the chromosomes, too, but it's her body and lifestyle that is affected means that she should have the final say.
But we're not talking about abortion here. The scenario didn't say implicitly whether the woman was married or not, or if the baby was concieved willingly, or if the father was even in the baby's/mother's life. But let's go with the assumption that the woman IS married. Concieved with the father's blessing. And the father is willing to raise the child. He has more right than most men in the raising of his daughter/son. And that includes in utero. She implies that when she gets married that she will take his opinion into account in everything that she does. This includes the baby, imho. In this day and age of father's skipping out on their children I don't know any mother who would want to actively shut the father out of all baby decisions and leave her child fatherless because she was unwilling to compromise in her own marriage. After all we are talking about a police woman whose job is dangerous. This obviously isn't a run of the mill pregnancy.


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  #42  
Old September 15th, 2010, 9:49 pm
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
let's go with the assumption that the woman IS married. Concieved with the father's blessing. And the father is willing to raise the child. He has more right than most men in the raising of his daughter/son. And that includes in utero. She implies that when she gets married that she will take his opinion into account in everything that she does. This includes the baby, imho. In this day and age of father's skipping out on their children I don't know any mother who would want to actively shut the father out of all baby decisions and leave her child fatherless because she was unwilling to compromise in her own marriage. After all we are talking about a police woman whose job is dangerous. This obviously isn't a run of the mill pregnancy.
I'm not going to disagree with you. I agree that most women in that situation probably would want to take their partner's concerns on board. And I think a lot of the disagreements people are having over this may well derive from the fact that it is a hypothetical, fictional situation, far more extreme than the situations most of us are likely to find ourselves in in RL.

I've been chewing this over and I also think that in that situation it probably would be fair for the woman to compromise. On the other hand, though, I also think that if the pregnant partner of a male police officer were worried about him carrying on in his dangerous job, with the risk that their child could be left fatherless, it would be fair for him to listen to her and compromise. (Although in neither case do I think they should legally be compelled to). I totally agree that romantic partnership, marriage and parenthood should be about give and take, compromise and considering the other person's feelings and needs - I'm not saying the woman should have everything her way. But I think that applies to both partners equally.


  #43  
Old September 15th, 2010, 10:05 pm
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I'm not saying that the father doesn't have a right to voice his opinion - of course he does. I just don't think he has a right to decide anything on the woman's behalf. To discuss it - yes. To make sure she takes his feelings on board as well as her own - yes. To impose his decision on her - no.
You asked me: "What gives a father the right to decide what is and what isn't 'needlessly endangering herself and the foetus'?" That is not the same question as "What gives a father the right to decide what a woman can and can't do". Not even close. Any competent human can decide what constitutes needless endangerment. Otherwise court cases contingent on negligence or recklessness could never hope to seat a jury. A father's right to take a stand and say "that is irresponsible behavior" is so basic I can't imagine why it's being construed in the light of patriarchy. Because that's not what it is: It's about our society as a whole placing a value on protecting successful procreation. Are special parking spots for pregnant women sexist and patriarchal? Should I complain that pregnant women are treated to a bevy of specialized care and entire wards of hospitals that aren't available to men? No, it would be foolish to do so. Because having the healthiest babies we can benefits everyone. If feminists would argue that this special care and attention for pregnant women is sexist, then I wish them luck having children, because they'll need it.

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I may be overreacting to some of the language here, but it's only about 150 years since we were in a situation (in the UK, at least - I can't speak for other countries) where women had no domestic legal rights at all and I can actually remember when domestic violence and other kinds spousal abuse were still usually not pursued or prosecuted by the authorities. We're not so far away from times when wives were considered childlike figures whose smaller brains or hormones meant they couldn't be trusted to make rational decisions and they needed a paternal, authoritative husband to discipline them and make decisions for them. That's why I get scared when I think people are suggesting that a man has the right to make decisions if his pregnant partner is doing things he considers unreasonable.
Ideologically I think everyone in the thread is quite far away from thinking women have small brains and can't make their own decisions, so I would reassure you that your fear is reasonable but unfounded.

And so since we're talking about childbirth, let me ask a question: a woman is on the verge of dying in childbirth. She's asked whether she would prefer to save the baby or save herself, and she says save the baby. Does the father get any input in this case, and if not, should he (whether legally speaking or on feminist principle)?

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I find Rosemary's Baby one of the scariest films I've ever seen - not because of the devil worship stuff, which is far too tongue-in-cheek and OTT to be frightening - but because of the way that the power to make decisions about her own life are rapidly taken away from Rosemary after she becomes pregnant.

I know the whole issue of reproductive rights is a thorny one and I can understand that many men feel excluded from the process these days and why they would feel hurt and frozen out by that. However, while I agree that the fact that the father gave 50% of the child's chromosomes should not be ignored and he has a right to be heard, IMO the fact that the woman not only gave 50% of the chromosomes, too, but it's her body and lifestyle that is affected means that she should have the final say.
Surely this is not to suggest that a man's lifestyle isn't affected by having a pregnant partner, is it?

I would also add that people obviously make the wrong decisions sometimes, so just being a woman whose body is carrying a child isn't proof that you're making a good choice. From the perspective of a father whose partner and child are at risk, why would he not do everything he could to stop her from making a mistake? Say what you will about her right to autonomy, he has some pretty compelling reasons too, doesn't he?

The point here is that you, feminists, the world at large, we can all judge what we feel to be right and wrong. And if the matter at hand is danger to my child or even someone else's child, unborn or not, you better believe I'm going to intervene as aggressively as I can. If you still find that to be a scary notion, I'm sorry. But like I said, if feminism dictates that a woman need not take any precautions, heed any advice, or make any lifestyle changes after she consents to have a child, then feminism is not looking out for the best interest of our species.

As Yoana succinctly put it, the alternative is just deciding not to have kids.



Last edited by canismajoris; September 15th, 2010 at 10:08 pm.
  #44  
Old September 15th, 2010, 10:57 pm
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

Haven't got time to do your post justice at the moment, Bill, but a couple of things:

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Any competent human can decide what constitutes needless endangerment.
I think that's what needles me about this argument - the assumption that the theoretical, non-existent pregnant woman we're thinking of isn't a competent human and that the father in the scenario would have better risk assessment skills than her.

As I've said, I think one of the reasons why people are disagreeing so much is because we're not talking about a real scenario and we're all assuming that the person we're siding with in the anecdote is as reasonable as we are. You're probably thinking that, as a reasonable person, you would never try to stop a partner of yours from doing anything reasonable, so obviously you have the right to protest if she's doing something reckless. I'm thinking that, as a reasonable person, if I were pregnant, I would never do anything ridiculous, so I should be left alone to assess for myself what is and is not safe.

If I was faced with a RL example of a woman who was recklessly endangering herself, I possibly would agree with you. But, as I said in my reply to flimsey, I'd probably also feel the same about a man about to become a father who took needless risks.

Quote:
Are special parking spots for pregnant women sexist and patriarchal?
No, but IMO forcing a woman to park in one, when she'd rather park further away and walk would be.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to take care of people who are pregnant, it's admirable. But I think there is a danger of infantilising pregnant women. This is not necessarily sexist, though, as I think many of us do this to other vulnerable adults, too. I know I try to micromanage my elderly father too much, because I care about him and I worry about him trying to do too much and hurting himself or making himself ill. It's understandable and I do it because I love him, but it's still a bit patronising and annoying for him and an infringement of his rights as an autonomous individual.

Quote:
Ideologically I think everyone in the thread is quite far away from thinking women have small brains and can't make their own decisions
I just want to make clear, in case I offended anyone, because I don't think it was clear from the way I phrased it, I do not think anyone in this thread does think that. I was just trying to explain why this issue presses my buttons and I might read things into people's posts that aren't there. Apologies if I've done that.


  #45  
Old September 16th, 2010, 1:30 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Haven't got time to do your post justice at the moment, Bill, but a couple of things:

I think that's what needles me about this argument - the assumption that the theoretical, non-existent pregnant woman we're thinking of isn't a competent human and that the father in the scenario would have better risk assessment skills than her.

As I've said, I think one of the reasons why people are disagreeing so much is because we're not talking about a real scenario and we're all assuming that the person we're siding with in the anecdote is as reasonable as we are. You're probably thinking that, as a reasonable person, you would never try to stop a partner of yours from doing anything reasonable, so obviously you have the right to protest if she's doing something reckless. I'm thinking that, as a reasonable person, if I were pregnant, I would never do anything ridiculous, so I should be left alone to assess for myself what is and is not safe.

If I was faced with a RL example of a woman who was recklessly endangering herself, I possibly would agree with you. But, as I said in my reply to flimsey, I'd probably also feel the same about a man about to become a father who took needless risks.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to take care of people who are pregnant, it's admirable. But I think there is a danger of infantilising pregnant women. This is not necessarily sexist, though, as I think many of us do this to other vulnerable adults, too. I know I try to micromanage my elderly father too much, because I care about him and I worry about him trying to do too much and hurting himself or making himself ill. It's understandable and I do it because I love him, but it's still a bit patronising and annoying for him and an infringement of his rights as an autonomous individual.
Well I'm with you to an extent. But what I've been trying to say is that pregnant women are naturally going to be considered as a special group that deserves all the protection and support we can give them. But that's not an implication that they're incompetent or unwilling to make the best decisions for themselves or their babies, save whatever exceptions we might be able to find. I can tell you personally, that though I love my dad, he is fairly oblivious about certain things, and if my mother had had to rely on his risk assessment skills I might not be here.

And just to clarify: considering that we had a specific example, though it was a fictional one, the assumption you mentioned--which I believe must exist somewhere--wasn't a factor in my comments. OK, I may have gotten a bit carried away, I admit, and implied something like that pregnant women are helpless. I do not believe that, but my point was that pregnant women represent two or more lives in one package, so yeah, they may have to put up with greater scrutiny. It's something men aren't subject to because we can't be, and I don't think it's because of prestige or privilege or culture. What are men supposed to do, after all? We are in every literal sense outsiders to pregnancy, and advising, supporting, and protecting our mates (and unborn kids is) one of the few ways we can be involved. I'd be afraid that if some of the arguments here were followed to their logical conclusions, men would simply be disposable sperm dispensers who have no role after conception. And those men who want to be involved are fully involved--powerful incentives abound. If anything, the overbearing behavior that has been suggested, call it patriarchal or sexist, is just evidence of our helplessness.

And your counterexamples about risky male behaviors and jobs are perfectly valid. But the arithmetic of a possible life and death situation still leads me to pay more attention to pregnant women. Maybe it's unfair, but at least pregnancy only lasts nine months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I just want to make clear, in case I offended anyone, because I don't think it was clear from the way I phrased it, I do not think anyone in this thread does think that. I was just trying to explain why this issue presses my buttons and I might read things into people's posts that aren't there. Apologies if I've done that.
Oh, I suppose I was only bloviating, I'm sure nobody thought that's what you meant. I've actually quite appreciated your insights.


  #46  
Old September 16th, 2010, 2:30 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

I am the one who sent the PM. To be clear, I am not saying that a pregnant woman can't and shouldn't do certain jobs; my PM doesn't even imply that. Yes, the scenario is from a film. My problem is that it doesn't jive with reality. I will say that such a scenario would never take place and as said in the PM," I seriously doubt you would find a case of a female police officer who is that far along in her pregnancy chasing criminals and engaging them phsically. If you can, I doubt there's a trend."



Last edited by NumberEight; September 16th, 2010 at 2:34 am.
  #47  
Old September 16th, 2010, 6:30 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Any competent human can decide what constitutes needless endangerment. Otherwise court cases contingent on negligence or recklessness could never hope to seat a jury.
I disagree. Certainly, there are some things that are pretty clear-cut. We know, for example, that smoking can harm a fetus.

But I don't think the average person can judge what is or it not safe for a pregnant woman to do, in general. For one thing, most people are not medical professionals. Also, most people are not the pregnant woman's doctor. What's safe for one woman may not always be safe for another.

How many people really have accurate and realistic expectations for what a pregnant woman can do? Personally, it always surprises me to hear of pregnant women exercising, but certain exercises can be safe for a lot of women up until a certain point. Since I'm not the woman in question, and I'm not her doctor, I don't really have the authority to know if she can exercise safely or not.

And I think your mention of juries supports my point, actually. We have juries in part because not everyone is going to see a situation the same. That's why juries have to deliberate and come to an agreement. If these situations were obvious, we wouldn't necessarily need juries, or even trials.

Quote:
Are special parking spots for pregnant women sexist and patriarchal?
No, but it would be to insist that all pregnant women have to use them.

Quote:
And so since we're talking about childbirth, let me ask a question: a woman is on the verge of dying in childbirth. She's asked whether she would prefer to save the baby or save herself, and she says save the baby. Does the father get any input in this case, and if not, should he (whether legally speaking or on feminist principle)?
I don't really see why he should. It's her life at stake. She has a right to preserve it, and if she chooses to save the baby instead, he has the option of putting the baby up for adoption if he doesn't want to raise it.


  #48  
Old September 16th, 2010, 7:04 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
I disagree. Certainly, there are some things that are pretty clear-cut. We know, for example, that smoking can harm a fetus.

But I don't think the average person can judge what is or it not safe for a pregnant woman to do, in general. For one thing, most people are not medical professionals. Also, most people are not the pregnant woman's doctor. What's safe for one woman may not always be safe for another.

How many people really have accurate and realistic expectations for what a pregnant woman can do? Personally, it always surprises me to hear of pregnant women exercising, but certain exercises can be safe for a lot of women up until a certain point. Since I'm not the woman in question, and I'm not her doctor, I don't really have the authority to know if she can exercise safely or not.

And I think your mention of juries supports my point, actually. We have juries in part because not everyone is going to see a situation the same. That's why juries have to deliberate and come to an agreement. If these situations were obvious, we wouldn't necessarily need juries, or even trials.
Well the point I was making about juries is that determining right from wrong is not rocket science. It's true that juries are somewhat unreliable in themselves, because they rely on only the facts presented to them (in stark contrast to "what really happened"). Furthermore, I would argue that the nature of the law assumes that juries can reach a consensus on moral and ethical issues (as defined). If there were such a marked diversity in people's opinions, I maintain that the whole system would be useless and we'd have abandoned it by now.

But I say no, you don't have to be a medical doctor to feel something is irresponsibly risky. If I understand you correctly, it's like saying you shouldn't stop a child from playing with a gun, because you're not the child's parent, and the parents probably advised them on proper gun safety.

And in fairness I'd like to remind you that I was reacting to a scenario involving a pregnant woman chasing down and fighting criminals. And not to put too fine a point on it, but women aren't different enough from each other to exclude most of the more salient behaviors I had in mind. Smoking, drinking, anything that's excessively dangerous, and so on. I'm not talking about berating a pregnant woman for taking a hot bath or anything so paltry.

But in the end, what you've said seemingly brings up a troublesome contradiction to the point that has been made previously, that women themselves are the best judges of what's safe for them and their unborn kids. If you're claiming that people in general are not to be relied upon, then women, as a subset of people, aren't either. Back to square one?

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Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
I don't really see why he should. It's her life at stake. She has a right to preserve it, and if she chooses to save the baby instead, he has the option of putting the baby up for adoption if he doesn't want to raise it.
I'm inclined to agree with you, I was just wondering what people thought. The stereotypical (and perhaps entirely fictional) case is usually presented as the woman not being conscious or lucid enough to make the choice, so the father has to, but I was thinking to myself how I might feel about it. Turns out I'd be rather distraught either way, I think, so even if I would wish to override her, the best thing is probably for her to make the decision.



Last edited by canismajoris; September 16th, 2010 at 7:07 am.
  #49  
Old September 16th, 2010, 11:27 pm
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

Just on the matter of the film scenario, although it's one I can't see happening in real life. I'm of the opinion that responsibilities are sometimes neglected when the discussion on rights comes up. IMO, rights and responsibilities go hand in hand. In this scenario, if a woman makes a choice to take a pregnancy to term, and give birth to the child, she has a responsibility to take the welfare and safety of the foetus into account, IMO.

Another out-there scenario, but if an action sports centre/adventure centre has a policy of not allowing heavily pregnant women to abseil, or kayak, or bungee jump, is that sexist/discrimination? Or trying to protect their business by ensuring there are no disasters with a high-risk category?

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Originally Posted by halfbreedlover View Post
Of course, I'm not entirely sure where his issue is. Is he angry with the woman for continuing to work a dangerous job while pregnant? Is he saying that police departments should fire pregnant employees as soon as they reach 7 or 8 months?
I think a lot of countries now have legislation preventing employers from dismissing women solely on the grounds of pregnancy. However, a female police officer can be assigned desk duty for a few weeks before her maternity leave commences.

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
So...A man that hits a pregnant woman (that is already engaged in dangerous activity) is considered endangering the unborn child.
While the woman who has already put herself in such a position to begin with isn't engaged in dangerous activity?
I can see the double standard there, yeah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
The running and jumping and excercise may all be fine and dandy. Those are things that the mother can control. But the danger of the unknown she can't control and would be foolish to presume that she could.
I agree, whether it's safe for a pregnant woman to exercise is a matter for her and her doctor, and is nobody else's business. However, the scenario in the film, chasing after felons, who may be armed, is clearly a risk, IMO. It's not the same thing as someone not minding their own business and telling a pregnant woman she shouldn't jog, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
But like I said, if feminism dictates that a woman need not take any precautions, heed any advice, or make any lifestyle changes after she consents to have a child, then feminism is not looking out for the best interest of our species.
Even leaving aside reproduction, as not every woman (and not every man, either) wants to have children, I do think it's an issue. I think people have responsibilities as well as rights, and I personally don't think it's reasonable to want one without the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
There's nothing wrong with wanting to take care of people who are pregnant, it's admirable. But I think there is a danger of infantilising pregnant women. This is not necessarily sexist, though, as I think many of us do this to other vulnerable adults, too.
I agree that people do this with people other than pregnant women - for example, personally, I'd stand up on a bus to give a seat to an elderly person (male or female) a person on crutches (male or female) and, yes, a woman who is clearly pregnant.


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  #50  
Old September 17th, 2010, 2:09 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
But I say no, you don't have to be a medical doctor to feel something is irresponsibly risky. If I understand you correctly, it's like saying you shouldn't stop a child from playing with a gun, because you're not the child's parent, and the parents probably advised them on proper gun safety.
Huh? Not sure where you got that from my post. I pointed out that some things are pretty clear-cut. Of course it would be dangerous for a kid to play with a gun -- we know guns are dangerous.

But would it be dangerous for a child to learn how to shoot a gun in a controlled environment, with a responsible adult teaching and supervising them? A lot of people would disagree on that, and I'm sure a lot of people would agree that this might depend on the specifics (the child, the family, etc.).

I think you may be overestimating peoples' ability to know others' physical limitations. Around a month ago, I had some minor surgery done in my mouth. After the first few days, my family definitely did not have realistic expectations of what I could and could not eat. Either they expected that something would be too difficult for me when it wasn't, or they thought I was being overly-cautious when in reality I was paying attention to physical cues (and my doctor agreed that I was right to do so).

My mom has a heart condition. While I more or less know what could be dangerous for her, I'm definitely not in a qualified position to know what she can handle. She knows her body a lot better than I do.

Yes, it's easy to say that a pregnant woman shouldn't smoke, shouldn't engage in overly-strenuous or dangerous activity, etc. But do you really think you'd be able to judge if a pregnant woman could handle a light exercise regimen? Or if she'd be okay standing for a bit? Could you decide, without being in her shoes or knowing the specifics of her condition, if she's capable of walking the full distance of a parking lot or if she should opt for a special parking space?

I know I can't judge any of this. I'll never even be pregnant myself, let alone be able to know what someone who's pregnant feels like.


  #51  
Old September 17th, 2010, 2:34 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
Huh? Not sure where you got that from my post. I pointed out that some things are pretty clear-cut. Of course it would be dangerous for a kid to play with a gun -- we know guns are dangerous.
That was my analogy for your assertion that a woman should follow the advice of a medical doctor and nobody else is qualified to tell her what to do.

Some children have probably been taught gun safety well enough that they could theoretically handle a gun without much disquiet, but the consequences of believing this and being wrong are far greater than the inconvenience of admonishing a child who happens to know better.

My point is not that pregnant women are like children, only that pregnancy is probably a condition that most people are familiar with. If I think a pregnant woman is doing something reckless, I'd rather eat crow later than find out something terrible happened.

In fact, I would feel rather strongly obligated to err on the side of caution. How is that unreasonable?


  #52  
Old September 17th, 2010, 3:06 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

1. How would you define feminism?
Movement towards political, cultural and economic equality for Women.

2. Do you define yourself as a feminist? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, I am a Woman and I care about my rights, and the rights and
issues that affect others.

3. What positive things (if any) do you think the feminist movement has achieved?
The Vote. I am also particularly proud of my county's heritage. Women's Suffrage was granted in New Zealand in 1893 (a world first!), to which I thank Kate Sheppard and Mary Ann Müller, both of them mothers and intellectuals.

In 1919 Women were eligible to be elected into the House of Representatives, and in my lifetime I have been governed by 2 Female Prime Ministers - Im hoping for more. I also consider a Women's right (in most countries) to: work, own property, be educated, serve in the Military, and have maternity/paternity leave, be considered as a person in a marriage as opposed to chattel and be in a relationship with another woman - positive outcomes of the feminst movement.

4. What (if anything) do you think the feminist movement should be working to achieve now? What methods do you think should be used to achieve those goals?

Reproductive rights for all Women (education, control and support - including the right to legal and safe abortions), Parental rights (particularly adoption rights for lesbian couples) and abolishing gender discrimination (particularly in the workplace). I believe more positive female representation in politics would be the best place to start.

5. What negative effects (if any) do you think the feminist movement has had?

Negative stereotyping.

6. Have you had any negative experiences of feminists in RL?

Assumptions stemed from aforementioned negative sterotyping. Feminism when paired with the fact I am a lesbian is apparently intimidating. My opinions, future plans and even my dress sense has been judged and criticised. Apparently if I want to be a feminist lesbian, I have to shave my head, start wearing plaid and hating all men.

7. Do you feel there are any common misconceptions about feminism and what would you say to someone who holds these misconceptions?

See above for misconceptions.

My response would be:

Feminism is all about giving women a choice. I am young, I have a feminine dress sense, I enjoy being in the kitchen, I want to get married and have children - I want to do this with another woman. I want a career. These are my choices.

___________________________________________

In regards to the current debate. I am all about choices, I believe a woman has the right to decide what her limits are in regards to her pregnancy, but I belive that should also include taking into account her unborn childs safety. If it was me I think I would opt for a desk job for at least the final 3 months, but that's just me.

I also think that it is fair for the other parent (if there is one) to have a say as they have an invested interest, and not neccessarily chromosomes.


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  #53  
Old September 17th, 2010, 3:07 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
In fact, I would feel rather strongly obligated to err on the side of caution. How is that unreasonable?
Well, I've been in a lot of situations where well-meaning people have given medical advice when they weren't qualified to do so, and have done more harm than good in the doing. When it comes to my health, I'm very careful about who I trust.


  #54  
Old September 17th, 2010, 4:12 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
Well, I've been in a lot of situations where well-meaning people have given medical advice when they weren't qualified to do so, and have done more harm than good in the doing. When it comes to my health, I'm very careful about who I trust.
I can agree with you there, but, not everything we're talking about here falls under "medical advice". There is a rather small set of things I'd have any reason to mention, and they're mostly not things that require a comprehensive knowledge of physiology or someone's medical history. That list quickly delves into the extreme and unlikely, but frankly I've seen pregnant women doing some pretty questionable things (like I've seen every other possible category of person doing questionable things), so I don't think I'm blowing anything out of proportion.

Anyway, I think the original complaint here, although based on a fictional character, was that telling a pregnant woman she shouldn't be running down criminals is sexist. I feel rather certainly that a pregnant woman represents a special case that isn't strictly comparable to much else, and that sexism is not likely to be among the motives if someone's overprotective.


  #55  
Old September 17th, 2010, 10:35 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Posted by FurryDice
Another out-there scenario, but if an action sports centre/adventure centre has a policy of not allowing heavily pregnant women to abseil, or kayak, or bungee jump, is that sexist/discrimination? Or trying to protect their business by ensuring there are no disasters with a high-risk category?
I don't think that's sexist. It's the same that when theme parks don't allow people with heart conditions to get into roller coasters. The centre must guarantee the safety of its users; if they think they can't guarantee unborn children's safety, the responsible thing is not allowing their mothers to do those activities.


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  #56  
Old September 17th, 2010, 11:39 pm
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Anyway, I think the original complaint here, although based on a fictional character, was that telling a pregnant woman she shouldn't be running down criminals is sexist. I feel rather certainly that a pregnant woman represents a special case that isn't strictly comparable to much else, and that sexism is not likely to be among the motives if someone's overprotective.
I agree, most of the time, concern for a pregnant woman's safety is just concern, not sexism, imo. Loads of people give well-intentioned advice, whether it's welcome or not, and they give it to women and men alike. Pregnancy is only one such situation where people give unsolicited advice. Most of the other situations are ones that affect men and women.

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Originally Posted by MmeBergerac View Post
I don't think that's sexist. It's the same that when theme parks don't allow people with heart conditions to get into roller coasters. The centre must guarantee the safety of its users; if they think they can't guarantee unborn children's safety, the responsible thing is not allowing their mothers to do those activities.
I agree, they're doing the responsible thing there. But following on from arguments that it's up to a heavily pregnant cop if she wants to chase armed felons, an extension of that would be it's up to a heavily pregnant woman if she wants to go on a roller coaster or skydive. I think the same argument applies - in either situation, the pregnant woman needs to be responsible, for herself and for the foetus. I don't think that's unreasonable; if a woman decides to carry a pregnancy to term, I think she should take precautions where the safety of the child is concerned. However, scenarios like the one in the film, and the rollercoaster/skydive are extreme examples, imo, and generally, a pregnant woman and her doctor know what's safe better than a bystander or well-intentioned friend or relative.

But there's the example of a pregnant drug addict or chronic alcoholic, for example. I can see why people may have reservations with preventing her from making her own choices about her body, but then I think it's a good idea for the child to be taken into care once it's born - then it's not her body, it's a newborn who is in a high risk situation if a parent isn't sober or in control enough to take care of a child. Personally, I really, really don't like the idea of people being able to do whatever they want and not take responsibility - male or female.


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  #57  
Old September 17th, 2010, 11:59 pm
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
But there's the example of a pregnant drug addict or chronic alcoholic, for example. I can see why people may have reservations with preventing her from making her own choices about her body, but then I think it's a good idea for the child to be taken into care once it's born - then it's not her body, it's a newborn who is in a high risk situation if a parent isn't sober or in control enough to take care of a child. Personally, I really, really don't like the idea of people being able to do whatever they want and not take responsibility - male or female.
Well to that I would only say that alcohol has been proved harmful to a fetus, and that drug abuse is typically illegal in most jurisdictions. So while I don't happen to know my local statutes, I think I'd be comfortable arguing that drinking and drugs are not protected under the umbrella of personal autonomy for a pregnant woman. Drugs at least are not generally permissible for anyone to use, so whether there are additional penalties for pregnant women in these situations, there would be a penalty regardless.


  #58  
Old September 18th, 2010, 12:31 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Well to that I would only say that alcohol has been proved harmful to a fetus, and that drug abuse is typically illegal in most jurisdictions. So while I don't happen to know my local statutes, I think I'd be comfortable arguing that drinking and drugs are not protected under the umbrella of personal autonomy for a pregnant woman. Drugs at least are not generally permissible for anyone to use, so whether there are additional penalties for pregnant women in these situations, there would be a penalty regardless.
I was referring to previous posts expressing discomfort with the idea of a woman's choices being put behind the needs of the foetus in terms of drug and alcohol use. Personally, I think that if a woman decides to take a pregnancy to term, she should take responsibility for the health and wellbeing of the child - starting while pregnant, in order to maximise the chances of giving birth to a healthy child. I'm not too sure of the statutes either, but I agree, illegal substances are illegal for everyone, and if a pregnant woman is in custody for drugs-related crimes, or is otherwise discovered to be using drugs, I think it's understandable that attempts would be made to prevent or at least dissuade her from using drugs.


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  #59  
Old September 18th, 2010, 5:15 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Originally Posted by Yoana
In my opinion, it's judgemental to insist what pregnant women can or cannot do. It's her right to do whatever she wants, being pregnant doesn't cancel it out. Is smoking while pregnant a crime? No. I notice the same trend with mothers - everyone seems to feel at liberty to criticize their parenting decisions and tell them how to raise their children (from what I see). That's just as judgemental, in my opinion.
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Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
Well, I've been in a lot of situations where well-meaning people have given medical advice when they weren't qualified to do so, and have done more harm than good in the doing. When it comes to my health, I'm very careful about who I trust.
I see where you guys are coming from, but I dunno... I think it's pretty safe to say that if smoking is known to cause cancer and is generally known to be bad for non-pregnant people, it's probably bad for pregnant women too. That, and it's also kind of a medical fact that smoking is bad for a fetus. The same goes for drinking in excess, doing illegal drugs, overexercising, overeating, and pretty much every other unhealthy thing out there to do. I mean, sure, there's freedom to have as many habits and vices as you want, but pregnant or not pregnant, that doesn't make it less bad for your overall health; let alone your child's.

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Originally Posted by Melaszka
What gives a father the right to decide what is and what isn't "needlessly endangering herself and the foetus"? He is not in loco parentis to his own partner. She is a sentient adult, too.
So a father's only options are:
a) Stay, but give up the right to express your opinion about your partner and/or child's well-being.
b) Leave and pay for every expense the mother and child may have, but give up the right to express your opinion about your child's well-being.
Maybe I'm misconstruing your argument, but this is what it sounds like. The baby wouldn't exist without the father. If parenting is supposed to be team work, why are fathers made out to be disposable, unimportant variables?


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  #60  
Old September 18th, 2010, 6:13 am
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Re: Feminism: Definitions and Misconceptions

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Maybe I'm misconstruing your argument, but this is what it sounds like.
Me thinks she made clear what she meant in her next post on the matter.
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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I'm not saying that the father doesn't have a right to voice his opinion - of course he does. I just don't think he has a right to decide anything on the woman's behalf. To discuss it - yes. To make sure she takes his feelings on board as well as her own - yes. To impose his decision on her - no.


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