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Thread: Zosia Mamet: Feminism means we shouldn’t tear down others’ ideas of ‘success’

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Zosia Mamet: Feminism means we shouldn’t tear down others’ ideas of ‘success’



    I have been incredibly blessed with success in my chosen career. I’ve worked my ass off and had the support and encouragement of those around me to keep climbing. But what if tomorrow I decided I was content with the place I’d reached in acting and planned to open a small coffee shop in Vermont? That job wouldn’t necessarily be any easier, but I believe I would be considered less successful. My friends, some of them, would ask me if it was what I really wanted (code for “You’re making a mistake”). My agent would think I was insane, and my family would definitely be confused. And if I didn’t turn my little coffee shop into some world-renowned Magnolia Bakery of the north, if I kept it small and had a happy life, I probably wouldn’t be considered a success at that either, which is ridiculous.

    We are so obsessed with “making it” these days we’ve lost sight of what it means to be successful on our own terms. As women we have internalized the idea that every morning we wake up, we have to go for the f—ing gold. You can’t just jog; you have to run a triathlon. Having a cup of coffee, reading the paper, and heading to work isn’t enough–that’s settling, that’s giving in, that’s letting them win. You have to wake up, have a cup of coffee, conquer France, bake a perfect cake, take a boxing class, and figure out how you are going to get that corner office or become district supervisor, while also looking damn sexy-but not too sexy, because cleavage is degrading-all before lunchtime. Who in her right mind would want to do that? And who would even be able to?

    I think, unfortunately, some of our need to succeed professionally is a by-product of a good thing: feminism. Feminism was meant to empower us as women, to build us up for fighting on male-dominated battlefields. It did that, but it did some other things as well. It gave us female role models like Hillary and Oprah and Beyonce and in the process implied that mogul-hood should be every woman’s goal. We kept the old male ideas of success: power and money. We need new ones!

    I hate that we look at women who choose not to run a country as having given up. I get angry that, when a woman decides to hold off on gunning for a promotion because she wants to have a baby, other women whisper that “she’s throwing away her potential.” That is when we’re not supporting our own. Who are we to put such a limited definition on success? The Merriam-Webster dictionary says success is “the correct or desired result of an attempt.” But you get to decide what you attempt. If you get off running a global hair care empire, more power to you, but if working as a hairdresser somewhere within that empire brings you joy, then that should be just as admirable. You shouldn’t feel like you’re letting down the team.

    [From Glamour]

    Cele|bitchy | Zosia Mamet: Feminism means we shouldn’t tear down others’ ideas of ‘success’

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Hm, not bad. She's got a great point. Applies to men, too. Everybody can't be the richest or the boss and they may not want to even if they're capable. I think it's good to aim for the middle and still have time and energy left to enjoy other facets of life. Makes for a happier life if you ask me.

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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    I agree with everything she said. My idea of success is to be happy, stress-free and cause as little harm as possible (to the earth and to other people). I have zero ambition other than to not hate my job and to be able to keep a roof over my head. I have never lived up to my potential but I couldn't GAF.
    Be excellent to each other.


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    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    It's seems to be the fad about moment, asking celebrities what feminism means to them.
    sputnik likes this.

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    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    But for once the answer wasn't "I'm not a feminist, I love men!!"
    Ain't nothing wrong with Ohio wang! - MontanaMama

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    I agree and disagree with her.

    IMO feminism is about equal opportunities for men and women. Whether women (and men) choose to take advantage of these opportunities is obviously a personal choice. However, if the majority of women choose not to go for top politic and corporate jobs (which current societal norms tend to favour) then we create a situation, where women's issues aren't taken seriously. Which is pretty much the situation, we have today. So, I think there needs to be a push for more women to "make it" in politics, business, arts, whatever.

    Also, I bet she is just miffed, that people keep calling her crowdfunded folk band a failure. It's not a failure, if she is content with only 9 people donating, damnit!

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    Elite Member BelledeJour's Avatar
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    As women we have internalized the idea that every morning we wake up, we have to go for the f—ing gold. You can’t just jog; you have to run a triathlon. Having a cup of coffee, reading the paper, and heading to work isn’t enough–that’s settling, that’s giving in, that’s letting them win. You have to wake up, have a cup of coffee, conquer France, bake a perfect cake, take a boxing class, and figure out how you are going to get that corner office or become district supervisor, while also looking damn sexy-but not too sexy, because cleavage is degrading-all before lunchtime.
    This - I see this everyday on my FB-Newsfeed. It is so ridiculous.
    arie_skop likes this.

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    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    I find we have a lot of high achievers on Facebook lol
    BelledeJour likes this.

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arie_skop View Post
    I find we have a lot of high achievers on Facebook lol
    I think they are there to offset the ones who have an illness or major meltdown about everything and anything sixteen times a day.
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    Elite Member palta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faithanne View Post
    I agree with everything she said. My idea of success is to be happy, stress-free and cause as little harm as possible (to the earth and to other people). I have zero ambition other than to not hate my job and to be able to keep a roof over my head. I have never lived up to my potential but I couldn't GAF.
    This.
    I've been working hard for my little ambitions, it's not easy at all.
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    I too would say I have to agree and disagree, though I think she overlooked some important things.

    Prior to late 20th-century feminism, many women were obsessing over different things, like being the perfect wife, mother, lady, beauty, etc.. Now perhaps we tend to judge ourselves on even more things. BUT let's not overlook the fact that so much media aimed at women conveys constant messages of not being good enough and needing to be in a continuous state of self-improvement--while most messages aimed at men seemed to convey that they were OK as-is and deserved to be in charge. This was true 50 years ago, and it's mostly still true. If there's been any progress in this area, it's that increasingly men are getting messages of not being good enough in certain areas, mostly around appearance. Progress?

    Otherwise, I get what she is trying to say. I'm an individual human being first and foremost, then a woman, and there's no reason we should all want the same thing, beyond being happy and treated with respect.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    she makes a lot of great points. especially in view of the recent ick-inducing trend of corporate feminism, from 'lean in' to arianna huffington. slate had a really interesting article about that a few days ago: The business of feminism: Star-studded women's conferences empower the powerful.

    Quote Originally Posted by arie_skop View Post
    It's seems to be the fad about moment, asking celebrities what feminism means to them.
    Quote Originally Posted by levitt View Post
    But for once the answer wasn't "I'm not a feminist, I love men!!"
    yes, it does seem to be a recent trend. but i don't think it's a bad thing to take the 'stigma' out of the word feminism so that you stop getting stupid answers like 'i'm not a feminist, i love men'.



    Quote Originally Posted by idunno View Post
    I agree and disagree with her.

    IMO feminism is about equal opportunities for men and women. Whether women (and men) choose to take advantage of these opportunities is obviously a personal choice. However, if the majority of women choose not to go for top politic and corporate jobs (which current societal norms tend to favour) then we create a situation, where women's issues aren't taken seriously. Which is pretty much the situation, we have today. So, I think there needs to be a push for more women to "make it" in politics, business, arts, whatever.
    good point. and i totally agree with you that feminism should be about equal opportunities for men and women. that's what it means to me as well. but feminism the idea and Feminism the political/social movement are, in my view at least, 2 different things.
    feminism the ideal is about achieving equality. Feminism the movement... well, let's just say that gets a lot more complicated. anyone who's ever taken a women's studies class or been involved with feminist associations or even just feminist blogs can tell you that it can also be an extremely insular and hostile environment that shuns not only men who could be potential allies but also women who aren't the 'right' type of feminist or hold different views while still believing in the feminism = equality ideal.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Jezebel comes to mind. So ridiculous and extremist, they get on my nerves so much.

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    and anyone that uses the spelling 'womyn'.



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    or says 'herstory'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beeyotch View Post
    Jezebel comes to mind. So ridiculous and extremist, they get on my nerves so much.
    jezebel is a mixed bag. they have a lot of contributors, some are great, others not so much. but i totally agree that they tend to be way, way too preachy and extremist and hive-minded, and the comments section is a fucking clusterfuck of baby feminists eager to spew everything they learned in their women's studies 101 class. and i think that's what ends up alienating a lot of women that hold feminist viewpoints but don't want to be a part of a movement that delivers its message in a way that turns off not just its detractors but also a lot of potential allies.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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