Home | About | Donate

Beyond Abortion and Equal Pay: Survey Highlights Broad Scope of "Women's Issues"


Beyond Abortion and Equal Pay: Survey Highlights Broad Scope of "Women's Issues"

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Presidential candidates who think "women's issues" are limited to abortion rights and equal pay are sorely mistaken, according to the results of a new survey released Wednesday by the Ms. Foundation for Women.

"While just 16 percent of respondents identified as 'feminist' without hearing a definition of the word, that proportion jumped to 52 percent once the term was defined as 'a belief in political, economic, and social equality across genders.'"


"Among the poll's more intriguing findings was that while just 16 percent of respondents identified as "feminist" without hearing a definition of the word, that proportion jumped to 52 percent once the term was defined as "a belief in political, economic, and social equality across genders."

This is welcome news as was something posted on Huff. Post yesterday identifying prominent male actors who self-identify as Feminists. Two were handsome football players!

I would expand the frame to include equal representation by gender AND race in all key decision-making bodies.

The problem for the least imaginative, which is to say those most committed to the existing paradigm is this idea that in seeing a token woman or Black in high office, and noticing that said individual conforms to policies that promote war and continue to support the paradigm of sexist, racist, and class-based privileges... that there IS no difference.

If an animal with a white fur coat swims in a pool of oil, it will take on the oily appearance.

The analogy is that individuals allowed into the existing establishment "culture" must show fealty to it. They learn to blend in. Any who dare to rock the boat risk expulsion and that's painfully clear during this phase of Inverted Totalitarianism whereby those journalists, academics, media personalities, and whistle blowers who dare to deviate from Official Narratives pay a very high price.

Thus to determine that the token Blacks, Latinos and women IN positions of power reflect the GENUINE interests, needs, and values of these "other" populations; or otherwise conclude that these individuals are "just like everyone else" ... and therefore that there ARE no needs, values, interests, or perspectives that deviate from those upheld by the dominant paradigm is the ultimate mind control tactic. What it says is that there is no alternative. If women IN power act like men in power--they falsely argue--then THIS is "human nature."

The oily water and its power to discolor is NEVER discussed.

Just as right wing libertarian types in their endless salutations to The Individual--voter, consumer, citizen--assert that there is NO society, neither any alternative to the world system that they built; they are none too keen about this thing called Sociology and how people are conditioned through family systems, church teachings, enforced economic models, and media false message saturation... plus a school system that also answers to corporate patriarchs but likes to blame teachers for all those "failures" that show up on STANDARDIZED (antithesis to authentic learning) tests.

The Feminism that I advocate challenges the core foundation that patriarchy sits upon... since it's based on war--be it war against Cancer, war against drugs, war against poverty, war against women, war against Iraqis and/or ISIS, and probably worst of all... an ongoing war against nature starting with Monsanto's insane rape of DNA: the very BANKS that hold and sustain life's own essence.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Oh yes you two who have commented so far, this 80 year old Agent Orange widow of a warrior who hated the war of all those listed by rose, please let me add Dow Chemical and the Department of "Defense?" who provided the cancer (one more
war that the pharmaceutical appear to have won) that killed him.

But I do offer thanks to at least one of Rush' "femizazi" groups who chose to actually look at issues the Grand Old Party and all too many others want to take back. In addition, I find it past appalling women who never went to the streets to acquire the progress we accomplished, have yes, been brainwashed about the definition and the term: feminist.

I've watched my three daughters struggle to gain a portion of equality, but proudly
note at least two of my three granddaughters and my single grandson, all consider
themselves feminists and say so as does my only son.

Planned Parenthood now considers me too old to be an escort because of the necessity of the use of a walker, but nothing stops me from speaking. Thank you
both for you comments. And the next time you see an old woman, unlike all too many, who assume we're followers of the wing nuts remember there were a lot of
we feminist out there doing what we could. My only regret was we didn't succeed
in all we tried.


Thank you for your activism and raising those great kids. Your efforts made the world a better place! I enjoyed reading your comment, even though what happened with your husband was a terrible crime against you and your family.
Proud to be a Feminist


Sanne80...I, too, am appalled that younger women do not comprehend many of the rights they take for granted, were bitterly fought for. As a 56 year old, I remember the more blatant sexism of my youth. It is still with us and we need women to embrace feminism. I always remember (and I'll bet you so too) when Shirley Chisholm ran for president in 1972. She said she felt she received more backlash because of her gender than her race.


When it comes to women, we've pretty much been bullied out of addressing poverty, even though the majority of very poor are women. We can dare to say that women are largely relegated to the lowest-paying jobs. We can also sometimes acknowledged that after years of shipping our jobs out, there simply aren't jobs for all who urgently need one. We can even recognize, sort of, how poverty and the lack of affordable child care might be legitimate issues. Yet we can't put all this together to recognize that women -- especially those with children -- too often face extraordinary barriers and difficulties, and have little chance without implementing European-level social welfare programs.


How would one define "social equality"?


What you've said is why women's equality isn't a women's issue. It's everyone's.


I come from a long line of feminists. My maternal grandmother, who was a teacher in Brooklyn, NY, worked with Margaret Sanger to legalize birth control. My maternal grandfather, a dentist, was often confronted by acquaintances who felt he shouldn't let his wife work, but, they were also jealous because this was during the depression when jobs were so rare and so important.

My mother, too, had a career and she and my father were committed to equal rights their entire lives.

This background is why feminism to me is not a women's issue. There can be no freedom for anyone when half the population is oppressed.


I too was going to quote that paragraph you open with. One thing it reflects is an unfortunate association in minds with the word Feminism. Most respondents obviously needed it explaining to them - or had a different idea in their minds. Maybe it is a bit anachronistic, even if its use is understandable.
If one wanted to unite East and West, Westernism would be a bad PR title.


The Right wing has done a spectacular con job (as they have on everything since Reagan) of convincing lots of white women of all income strata that they only have a couple of things to think about, and that the feminist movement wants to "take away" something from them. In the interim, we received winners like W and Cheney, who many women voted for, as they do now in red states like voting for scum like Inhofe of Oklahoma who not only want to control women's bodies but have us all sinking in his oil pit.
Much of this goes squarely on the shoulder of women who should know better but live in total fear--and they are from all income strata and are fearful for reasons that are both real and imagined.


My oh my Walter,

Nothing like an bit of analysis squarely used to play the blame game. There are some real issues you failed to or chose not to include about we poor brain washed who were born without penises. First, maybe it's just the old timers like me who remember the old days, not all that long ago, when the single method for women to be able to have complete and total control of the ability to reproduce or not was abstinence. No woman can have the ability to have control over a variety of issues sans that simple little biological issue. One that is basic to all the other issues put forward in the article and responses.

How about Griswold back in 1965 when for the first time in the US contraception was made legal for all by that Supreme decision. And then comes along another when in 1973 Roe made abortion legal for all. Maybe if you came along a bit later, you might consider both decisions established law and ancient history. And that great GOP hero you mentioned who led the charge the right continues to wage, though few are aware of it, had already signed the legislation making abortion legal in CA when he had been unfortunately elected governor. Of course the one decision and the Constitutional change that might have finally changed it all didn't happen and under the current social and political status may never was that oh so dangerous Equal Rights Amendment. btw one more this old woman once more went to streets to do what I could to to establish equality for all earlier Constitutional amendments passed and confirmed shortly after the end of the US Civil War failed in completing the job.

Furthermore, nothing works in any society or culture in the ultimate control of women better than "god." One more issue so effectively used in the voting booth or around this barely blue planet when considering "control." Just a small suggestion Walter while you analyze and play the blame game, acquire a bit more knowledge about the subjugation of the female of the species both presently, historically and culturally. A bit of education never hurts.


"Feminism", like the word "liberal" has become a pejorative term by the right wing media and pundits who smear it. In the last twenty or so years, I have witnessed "girl power" go from meaning female pioneering into formerly male vocations to "looking sexy for your man." I don't think today's girls have the same quality role models I did when growing up. I remember Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug. Most especially, though, there was my grandmother. She and Granddad lived with us before I was school age. It was she who taught me to read and lit a passion in me for all things literary. But moreover, Granny was a rebel. She was outspoken, headstrong, and she got things done. In her youth, Granny was a flapper. She was an adventurer. My family and I have shared the story over the years with a sweet laugh about the time Granny got stopped by the cops. She was tearing down the road in her classic Lincoln, and when the policeman reached her window he just about messed himself when he found a little old lady behind the wheel.
One of her sayings was "go out and kick up your heels!" I was lucky to have had her presence in my life.
She did not scoff when the first toy I gravitated toward was a dump truck and I hated all things pink.

I think women in large cities have more leeway about self-expression and the path they take in life. In the small town I live in, one is expected to pursue gender-specific vocations like teaching and nursing, if they aren't stuck in retail and fast food. Those beyond a certain age experience alienation among their peers if they don't have a husband and house full of babies and drive a minivan. Your identity is based upon your marital status, and you will forever be referred to as "Miss" Something in a patronizing tone, because you are only as good as the man you can get. You are also automatically assumed by other women to be a threat.

I will say that I had an easier time getting work in traditionally men's fields nearly 20 years ago than I do today. I think the conservative backlash has a lot to do with it.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


No, the "economic inequality" discussion today is (at best) misleading. It focuses on the income gap between the better-off and the very well-off, the middle class and rich, while continuing to ignore America's poverty crisis. The majority of US poor are women and children, and we decided that the range of factors that created this poverty crisis are irrelevant. In the real world, not everyone can work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US shipped out a huge share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s, and liberals raised the banner for the bourgeoisie alone, the middle class. What should we do about all those who are left out, with no means of providing for themselves? What is "economic justice" for the jobless poor, and many of the unemployable? How do you get a job once you no longer have a home address, phone, bus fare? The UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which liberals claim to support, states that food and shelter are fundamental human rights -- even for the jobless poor and the unemployable. When was the last time you heard a "bold progressive" call for restoring these basic human rights to America's poor?


WOW! Well said, sanne80. We're not too old until we're dead, and even then I plan on speaking to the issues if I can break through from the other side. heart_eyes


Thank you for pointing out the elephant in the room–bullying. So many of our disastrous problems fit the pattern: bully makes power play, bully prevails, all those around the bully seek the bully's favour by applauding and aping the behaviour. Contemporary macro examples include Hillary Clinton and Margaret Thatcher. The micro sociology is quite frightening as I recall the case of a woman, raped and beaten from her wedding night on, who hears her daughter-in-law screaming and does nothing, because, and here it gets confusing, that's what was done to her and that's the way it is and I'm so satisfied it's no longer happening to me. Women become the agents enforcing the status quo and that's a problem!


I believe that when all salaries are publicly known, then and only then will we have FAIR and honest pay for women, fair pay for all workers and leadership of any companies. It would be the best outcome in my view, to get legislation that demands all salaries be publicly available. No one should be forced to take less pay than someone else of equal "training", whether it be through education or simply through actual job training in any role. I know a lot of very highly educated people who simply do not have the real training or that really current knowledge that allows for good job function outcomes. Those who never got the formal education should not be paid less, if they perform.


Thanks renew hope,

Meet you there and we can kick up our heels and continue the job until it's finished. smiley