‘Feminism is over … say women’ 

 

Wow. That is a snappy headline. The alternative headline, “Feminism is over according a small sample of mothers on a parenting website that doesn’t really ‘do’ feminism” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but would be more accurate. 

 

 

 

FEMINISM IS OVER… SAY WOMEN – Daily Express

 

FEMINISM in the modern world is viewed as outdated and aggressive and is being shunned by women, research has found.

One in seven would describe themselves as a feminist with many believing they have achieved equality with
men on issues like fair pay and skills.They believe single mother turned multi-millionaire author JK Rowling is a better example of a strong independent
role model than feminist icon Germaine Greer.

 

 

Just one in seven women describes themselves as ‘feminist’ – Telegraph

 

The survey of members of Netmums, Britain’s largest women’s website, revealed almost a third (28 per cent) think traditional radical feminism is ‘too aggressive’ towards men while a quarter (24 per cent) no longer view it as a positive label for women.

One in five describe feminism as ‘old fashioned’ and simply ‘not relevant’ to their generation. And less than one in 10 (nine per cent) of those aged 25 to 29 identified with it, while a quarter of older women aged 45 to 50 described themselves as a feminist.

Instead, two in five want to ‘celebrate difference’ rather than be equal to men.

And the biggest battle for modern women is to reinstate the value of motherhood, with more than two-thirds (69 per cent) making it top priority.

 

 

The death of feminism? – Daily Mail

 

It is the movement that, among its many triumphs, won women the vote. Yet, for the average modern woman, feminism is dead, research claims.

Just one in seven women describes herself as a ‘feminist’, it found, with younger women even less likely to describe themselves as such. 

A third view traditional radical feminism as ‘too aggressive’ towards men, while a quarter no longer view it as a positive label. One in five describe it as ‘old-fashioned’ and simply ‘not relevant’ to their generation.

 

Girls say feminism has lost the point – The Sun

 

One in five now says the term is “not relevant to my generation”.

Half of the 1,300 women polled felt feminism should be about equal rights and pay.

More than three quarters backed women who have breast enlargements and almost two thirds believed topless modelling was acceptable.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling, 47, was viewed as the best role model for young women.

But just one in 50 chose feminist icon Germaine Greer, 73, the study for parenting website Netmums showed.

 

 Gosh, that all sounds really quite worrying for feminists in UK, but never fear. The ‘research’ that these stories are based on is a survey of just 1 300 women of the parenting website Netmums (not to be confused with Mumsnet where the survey would have been laughed off the site). 

Aside from the fact that a study of 1 300 women of a certain demographic cannot be seen as ‘research’ the survey itself was so ridiculous. Under the headline FeMEnism, Netmums informs us that just one in seven would describe themselves as a feminist.

I would question if they even understand what feminism is, since few seem to have questioned a survey that asks:  

 

 

Now, I am not a RadFem, and I am not as well read as some in the theory of feminism, but since when has the baking of cupcakes, or the application of fake tan or eyelashes been a feminist issue?  Ok, I get that some people still have this impression of feminists as dungaree wearing, hirsute dour women (I blame Jilly Cooper). I also know that there is  definitely a case to be made against the idea that women should always be perfectly turned out (see the criticism of Hilary Clinton’s unmade up face, but the acceptance of Boris Johnson’s dishevelled appearance). 

As to the ‘acceptance’ of topless modelling and prostitution, escort models and pole dancing – is it any wonder this group of women did not refer to themselves as feminist? I would like to have known if any of them have read a book or an article about feminism before filling out this survey.

Just one in 50 chose Germaine Greer as a role model for young women – I’d be surprised if that question wasn’t mainly answered with ‘Who is Germaine Greer?’

According to a Mumsnet user, who filled in the survey, the alternative answers for that question were apparently ‘Colleen Rooney’ and ‘Jordan’ – those well known feminist activists.

 

 

 

Over half the mums said that their teenage daughter was not aware of the feminist movement. As SGM argues – this is quite astounding, considering it is part of the curriculum in UK, but it is also quite worrying. I needn’t look for readers of Jump! Mag on Netmums then. Or maybe I should.

 

My criticism today is not towards the users of Netmums who answered this silly and inherently flawed survey. In fact, the thread about this survey on Netmums shows that some of them are quite upset about this.  

My ire is reserved for the creators of the survey, who it seems have no earthy idea what feminism is about and is more interested in getting their website into the national press than accuracy or – you know – truth.

They have also skewed the quotes to concentrate on the negative, as one Netmums poster pointed out. 

 

I find the results quite strange with the focus on the negative. It seems that an anti-feminist message was almost sought. 

So, “almost a third (28 per cent) think traditional radical Feminism is ‘too aggressive’” Doesn’t that mean two thirds don’t think that?? 

“17% claim feminism has gone too far, oppressing men and ‘losing sight of the natural roles of men and women’” What do the other 83%think?

And only “1 out of 5 describe Feminism as old fashioned and simply not relevant”, brilliant, that means 4 out of 5 think otherwise.

My experience tells me that feminism is on the rise, more and more women are sick to death of misogyny in society. As for the ‘man-hating’, it’s just an anti-feminist myth. Feminism is about a progressive society for women AND men, girls AND boys.

 

 

The national press have a LOT to answer for. Journalists are not stupid, they recognise a dud survey when they see one, but the press has decided to ignore that and concentrate on the snappy headlines, and great quotes. 

They know that this survey is not worth the pixels it is shown on, but have given it huge publicity – it was debated on the Loose Women TV show yesterday, and is scheduled on Mathew Wright show today. It is pure and simple lazy journalism – most of them have simply cut and pasted the ‘results’ of this survey without questioning it. 

At a time where feminism is so important – tell Malala Yousafzai that feminism is dead. Tell it to the thousands of women who will suffer casual sexism today. Tell it to the women around the world who are denied the right to control their fertility – it is vital that our press does not play down this importance. 

 

How can we say there is no need for a feminist movement when women are still not earning the same as men, not being treated equally, not able to make independent decisions about their lives?

 

Those responsible for creating and publicising this ‘research’ should be forced to sit in the front row of the next 200 One Direction concerts as punishment for their sins. Wearing Justin Bieber tshirts.

 

 

 

 

UPDATE : 

Grazia gets in on the act

 

Read the thoughts of other bloggers on this topic 

 FeMEnism – Netmums re-invents choice feminism

A Rant About That Survey

Friday Feminism – Reinforcing Stereotypes

Why the Netmums Study of Feminism is Absolute Bollocks

The Rise of FeMEnism and why it must stop

Netmums Survey – Only 1 in 7 women call themselves ‘feminist’

 Netmums Should Take Responsibility for Their Role in Perpetuating Patriarchy 2.0

Feminism – A Role of Motherhood

 

 

16 Comments

 

  1. October 19, 2012  9:36 am by Charlie Reply

    The only correct answer to "what is acceptable for feMEnists?" is "I don't know, you just made the word up".

    • October 19, 2012  10:13 am by Lynn C Schreiber Reply

      Ha. Brilliant.

  2. October 19, 2012  10:51 am by Tee Reply

    Um...Netmums is " Britain’s largest women’s website"? Based on what?

  3. October 19, 2012  11:35 am by Alex Reply

    Absolutely. I'm heartened by the comments on the Netmums thread. I filled out the survey and tried to encourage others to as I was concerned that the way the questions were structured was going to come to this - I had some small hope that if a number of critically minded women saw through that and answered differently than expected, they wouldn't get the response they were trolling for.

    It's particularly annoying because of all the mum sites I generally find Netmums the most accessible and friendly, but now I feel like they've rather let me down.

    Great response, Lynn.

    • October 19, 2012  11:39 am by Lynn C Schreiber Reply

      That is great to hear - I am glad that there was a push back within Netmums, but sorry that it was not enough to ensure that the results were different. It is interesting that you write 'that they were trolling for' as that really describes it well. They deliberately sought this result. I wonder if they wanted to position themselves as very different to the 'angry feminists' of Mumsnet, or is that overthinking it?

      • October 19, 2012  11:49 am by Alex Reply

        I don't think it is overthinking, and I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, you do these things for a reason and there are loads of headline-making surveys they could have done instead. Why this one?

        I make no secret of the fact that I'm not overwhelmingly keen on Mumsnet (though I do agree with some of their campaigns, such as We Believe You) but it's really only because I find some of the posters are quite brusque and unwelcoming. I deal with communities every day and don't really want to have to be on my guard in my time away from my desk! I find Netmums threads generally a bit more relaxed and friendly. But I suspect that Netmums know what Mumsnet's reputation is, and are trying to push out and attract a different audience. In doing so, they risk alienating the one they've already got.

        • October 19, 2012  12:26 pm by Lynn C Schreiber Reply

          That is interesting.

          I agree that Mumsnet can be... shall we say robust? ... and that it is not for everyone. I never held Netmums for the bubble headed airheads that they are sometimes portrayed as on MN. Each to their own, and every online community has their own internal structure and leaders. It is a shame that their own official leader (ie. those running the site) has shown them in this so unflattering light.

  4. October 19, 2012  8:09 pm by Tricia Reply

    Well said Lynn, (that was my comment you picked up on btw), you have to wonder at the way the media jump on anything like this. To look at it in a positive light, if feminism were dead they wouldn't feel the need to attack it.

    • October 19, 2012  8:16 pm by Lynn C Schreiber Reply

      Thanks, Tricia. Was glad to see that there were posters on NMs who were unhappy about the survey.

  5. Pingback : Why the Netmums ‘Death of Feminism’ Study is Utter Bollocks « Tricialo

  6. Pingback : Feminism Friday: Reinforcing stereotypes - Rarely Wears Lipstick

  7. Pingback : Feminism. A Role of Motherhood.

  8. October 25, 2012  3:25 pm by Lexicon Lane Reply

    I love this! So well written. A serious topic but you've balanced the blend of humour perfectly.

    I suspect those that answered the survey didn't really understand the meaning of the word feminism. In a world full of awful media news, how can mothers not think feminism is relevant today. So much of it highlights the inequality directed towards women.

    I enjoyed reading your post - I have linked to it in my blog on the very same topic (from a rather different angle though!).

    • October 25, 2012  3:28 pm by Lynn C Schreiber Reply

      Thank you for your comments, and for linking up. Am off to have a read of your blog.

      • October 25, 2012  5:24 pm by Lexicon Lane Reply

        Hi Lynn, thanks for adding me to your list of links.

  9. December 18, 2012  5:34 pm by Lesley Beeton Reply

    Lynn, I wonder if you have a view on the Holly Baxter/Julia Long/Mumsnet debate?

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