People & Ideas

Oct 17, 2013

She said/she said: does feminism need a rebrand?

Is feminism a brand? Is it damaged? Does it need a rejig? Women's Agenda editor Georgina Dent sparked a debate; marketing guru Jane Caro responds.

Georgina Dent, Women’s Agenda editor:

There has been some discussion recently, not for the first time, about whether feminism needs rebranding. To me these discussions always indicate, quite persuasively, why feminism does need a rebrand. Urgently.

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5 thoughts on “She said/she said: does feminism need a rebrand?

  1. Malcolm Harrison

    You’re right, re-branding is an admission of defeat. However, beyond agreeing with you on that point, the rest of the article is just the normal spin that feminism is a priori a good thing, was a good thing and will always be a good thing.
    As with many ‘brands’, Catholicism included, mea culpa is largely non-existent in feminism. Opposition has always been perceived as degenerate or merely sexist. Second wave feminism has been in the public domain now for almost fifty years and has had plenty of opportunity to commit error and it certainly has not squandered those opportunities. Yet amongst my female friends and acquaintances, I come across little or no self-examination.
    The primary points to make about feminism are that it plays the victim card too often and too quickly, it’s precepts are largely incoherent as an ideology, and the word is not a synonym for equality – in fact many feminists are chauvinistic and show little understanding or tolerance of men, and make the same kinds of disparaging casual criticism of men that early feminists complained that men once made of women.

  2. Altakoi

    You could lose the ‘guy cures cancer, world happy, femminists decry lack of women in science’ arm of identity politics which sees achievement as a zero sum game. Femminism is a good analytical response to a set of problems like discrimination, sterotypimg, unfair pay, disenfranchisement. But its a rubbish total world view and, when used as such, pretty indistingishable from sexism.

  3. Anon

    One of the strengths of feminism is that it has always represented a diverse cross-section of voices, as many as there are women on this planet I suspect… But this means that not everyone’s interests on the good ship feminism are going to be the same.
    I once joked in a discussion about feminism that women on boards isn’t a big issue for me, because like 99% of all employees – male or female, I’m not going to ever sit on one. I’m not saying that barriers women face in their careers aren’t important or real but actually feminism has a lot to say about living a different and more fulfilling life both as women and men.
    We don’t need people like Marissa Mayer to get that message out there, as Jane Caro correctly points out feminism is a movement and I think it should be for everyone and of course that couldn’t be encapsulated in a brand.

  4. Susan Sayers

    Malcolm Harrison, that is an excellent summary. Altakoi and Anon, ditto.

  5. Captain Planet


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