Wednesday, January 11, 2012


i am a big fan of women. not only do i find them incredible and attractive, but i also see that they are often unappreciated. i applaud the efforts of women's rights activists, and i am glad that women are now nearly equal in society. they are not treated perfectly equal to men, but i also think that there is no level of equality that would please everyone. because men and women are different, i don't know the point at which we would all agree that 'we are equal enough.'

i hope that the woman i one day marry will be equal to me in many ways. i want her to be equal in intellect. i want her to have her own ideas, and i will value those ideas as equal to my own. i want her to have ambition, goals, and dreams.

i wonder whether some feminists take things too far. i think that many girls and women are afraid to identify themselves as feminists because that word has a negative connotation. is it a deserved connotation?

i was surprised as one of my BYU professors identified himself as a 'flaming feminist' on the first day of the semester. he said that his girls were going to grow up in a world where they were treated as equals and were not told what they could and could not do and what they could and could not accomplish. i totally agree with him. but am i willing to call myself a feminist, let alone a 'flaming' one? i'm not sure.

is there any specific definition of feminism that is generally accepted?

the merriam-webster dictionary defines feminism as:
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

working with that definition, i am quite comfortable calling myself a feminist.  in contrast,  casual conversation tends to depict feminists as man haters.

compare the merriam-webster definition with this one, found on 

An ideology defined by the following equation: F = (A + B) - C. Feminism equals Avarice plus Bigotry minus Conscience. Its most recent incarnation is characterized by supremacist whining, a form of double-think that would have made Orwell retch... This, in turn, guides us to feminism's core philosophy: "Our say-so makes it so; if our pronouncements contradict each other, you males are required to believe both but only to the extent that they run counter to your interests and in favor of our convenience. This rule is absolute until it yields an outcome we don't like. Then we will pretend - and you are required to believe - that it never existed. Oh, and you are evil and sexist if you point to any flaw in this philosophy, even after we've abandoned or changed it. But you are a patronizing bastard if you fail to give our point-of-view your full critical consideration ... just as long as you don't disagree with it ... or agree with it for the wrong reasons ... and we will from time-to-time declare what the right and wrong reasons are ... and then change them to suit ourselves."
Feminism is nothing more than the politics of convenience.

i think that the variety of opinions on the subject is astounding.  i found another interesting definition on (unlike the last definition, i like this one): 

1. The radical idea that women are people. 
2. A social movement created by those who believe that women are people. 
3. Something a women is accused of believing in if she does or says anything that implies she believes she is a person.

it is interesting that definition number three shows that some women are fearful of being labeled as feminists. 

as usual, i am interested in the thoughts and ideas of my assorted readers. what is your take on feminism and sexism?


  1. I remember a situation when my boys were very little and I was at a parenting conference. A woman who I didn't know (and didn't know that I was overhearing her conversation) said to a friend of hers something like, "That woman who said she has 4 boys...I would HATE to be a mother of 4 future MEN!!!!" Was she a feminist, or just a very hurt woman?

  2. I consider myself a feminist because I want women to have their full agency and do whatever they choose. Women (and men) should/do have the unalienable right to pursue whatever makes them happy even if it breaks the traditional boundaries that our society is comfortable with.

    I do support the Proclamation in its statements of the primary roles of women and men. My point is that equality to live our lives as we choose should be universal.

    However, I wouldn't classify myself as a "flaming feminist." To me, the connotation to that phrase is extreme and could even suggest women are better than men which is untrue.

    Equality of women to some isn't just salary amounts, careers, and domestic roles -- it's in the attitude of how men treat them. It is natural for men to protect and hold respect for women (hopefully), but that isn't equality to some women. To some women that is condescending or chauvinistic -- they do not want doors opened for them or any other type of outward expression of respect.

    The definition of freedom is something every woman must decide for herself. She must let it be known how she wishes to be respected (or not respected) or she will never feel equal to men even if they are making an effort.

  3. I agree with Kenyon. To me a "flaming feminist" is someone who supports the bra burning side of things and definite female superiority.
    I tell people I am a feminist all the time because I do not believe it has a negative connotation; though often times people give me strange looks. They don't understand that femininity is my divine right and I am proud of what I am and I will not let any one belittle that.
    I am so glad Kenyon talked a bit about the Proclamation. It clearly shows the roles of men and women and the importance of each, to me this is equality. The scale is balanced.
    It really hurts me when people say that women in the LDS church are not equal with the men. To refute that notion I would like to say I have never felt more empowered in my role as a woman as I have when I am amongst those with my same standards, the world does not offer me this luxury. I feel like I can not reach my true potential and the world is holding me back, but when I step through the doors of a meeting house or the temple or even go out to meet some member friends I know I can trust them to see my divinity as a daughter of God.

  4. I think that the world's view of feminism is a corrupt version. Men and women are equal, not the same. The world's feminists demand the same role for women that men have. To me, this belittles women more than empowering them. If we would just allow ourselves to be confident in our own divine roles I think we would all be happier.

    I think of myself and have referred to myself as a feminist, but certainly not by the world's conception. Both men and women can accomplish great things and nothing should hold anyone back; but what makes being a woman, a wife and mother, a nurturer, etc. any less important and influential than whatever career someone may have?