Home > feminism, feminist, gender roles, stereotypes > Feminism and the stereotypes

Feminism and the stereotypes

Courtney E. Martin, who speaks across country speaking about feminist issues, has written a nice little piece on the stereotypes of feminism and why there are those awful stereotypes. And she also brings up an interesting point of how everyone, no matter race, gender, age or religion, knows the “standard” stereotypes of feminists, and feminism.

I ask them “What are the stereotypes you’ve heard about feminists?” After a few timid moments, folks start shouting a flood of unsavory characteristics: ugly, bitchy, man-hating, boring, angry, bra-burning.

I believe that feminism has attracted so many unsavory stereotypes because of its profound power and potential. It has gained such a reputation, been so inaccurately demonized, because it promises to upset one of the foundations on which this world, its corporations, its families, and its religions are based—gender roles.

I think she has a really good point about the gender roles and that’s the huge reason why everyone is so afraid of feminism. They are so ingrained in our society, culture and our own minds that they can’t possibly be shaken. What people are forgetting though when they think that is that everyone is an individual. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again as an example. My mother is not the “nurturer”, stay-at-home-mom. She should actually be running the country, because she can. And personally, I like that my mother is not the “nurturer”, because we clash anyway. She’s done her thing, and my dad’s also had a career, but he is far more the “nurturer”, even though I never had any stay-at-home-parent. That was fine with me! I’m not scarred at all. Through this example, I just wanted to show that men and women are all different and it’s wrong to put them in a box because they either have a penis or vagina.

Do you all think that gender roles are breaking down a bit? Or are they still as strong as ever?

  1. laiven
    November 26, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    This is debate-worthy, on one hand I was visiting my cousin this past weekend. She’s a doctor and her husband is in finance. They both work fulltime and they have two kids and infant and a two year old. They share the responsibitlity of childcare. They both change diapers, get up for feedings etc. On the other hand, she made dinner while he watch football, nursed a beer. Are gender rolls breaking down, sure. Are they broken down, not even close … just pick up a fashion mag, you’ll get the idea.

  2. prufrockianpariah
    January 18, 2009 at 11:09 am

    love the thoughts.

  3. February 18, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I am glad you requested to follow me on Twitter, where I am now following you, and where my “accept” button won’t click. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have found this great feminist blog. I am sending the above, and a subscription to the blog, to my 25-year-old daughter who is, she believes, mostly a feminist, and she even took plenty of women’s studies courses at her fancy private college. So why does she insist I be a nurturer? I am a writer, not a cook, housekeeper or maid. Right now I am deep into my second novel. I also have several blogs, am a freelance alternative health research writer/reporter, and just spent months organizing and starting a support group for adults with ADD/ADHD.

    I called her several times during the past few weeks to see if she got her job promotion, but I am in the craphouse because I was sick with a bad cold and the phone unplugged the last four days and she found out she got the job four days ago. This makes me a crummy, aloof, distant, uncaring, isolated, self-centered, egocentric, narcissitic and who even knows what else worst mother in the world.

    Phase 2 comes next. She tells me that she’s sorry, but she has to end our on again off again relationship. It’s too hard having a parent that is so absorbed in her “own little world of computers and writing.” It is too painful.

    Excuse me, mothers, if you are still reading this rant. I am so tired of it. Where was she when I was out there in the trenches in the 60’s, and 70’s making feminism a responsible, positive choice for women who wanted to write more than they wanted to check in on a daily basis with their grown children, and for 20-somethings who don’t want or need to feel pressured to give up their career for marriage, children and the whole big sucking device that comes and eats you up ready or not, which was why I had my kids at 36 and 40–I should have waited another 40 years!

    MsRefusenik Tells It Like It Is

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