feminism and nsg--whatcha think? - page 2

I'm a second year BScN student and I'm writting a paper for a Sociology class (senior elective) about feminism and nursing. I've found plenty of academic info about the subject, but I'm looking for... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    Wow Peeps, I have seen that happen to a lot of guys. I had a teacher (philosophy) who said that feminism is about bucking the patriarchy and that women and men are both victims of the patriarchy which is evidenced by male nurses being made to feel wierd. I think the basic problem is that feminism has a pr problem.
  2. by   CareerRN
    "I think maybe part of our problem is that as women, many of us were broght up to be "nice" and not get angry and always put others needs before our own. So it's tough for some to switch gears and start looking out for ourselves instead of everyone else. I don't mean to ignore you guys, but since the profession is largely female we need females who are willing to speak up and not take any crap. I guess I'm more of that "old-fashioned" type."

    I agree, this could be part of the female attitude that needs to change. It has been used against women for generations. It has been used to make women feel ashamed and to keep them in check.

    I also agree that it would be nice if the public knew what we actually did and all the rest. This might garner a bit more respect and better treatment from them, but we have to remember that the public does not sign our checks or dictate our working conditions. The public does not make cuts in budgets by reducing staff including non- nursing personnel while many CEO's continue to make very lucrative salaries and bonuses. The public does not dictate nurse to patient ratios.

    So why are we appealing to the public? Are we trying to get the public to cry out and in some way shame the people who do into changing their behavior. This tactic might work against some women, but do you really think that this will work against CEOs?

    I can also understand the giving up after beating your head against a wall routine. I especially understand after standing up repeatedly just to see that you are the only one standing. I also understand more today about why so many other nurses have just given up and left altogether. I can imagine hearing each and everyone of them that went down this road saying to themselves, "let them lay in the mess that they refuse to do anything about."

    There are so many excuses out there not to do anything. I do not want to jeopardize my patients. It is really not that bad yet. I have it pretty good right now so why should I be concerned. I say a little prayer before I go to work and am exhausted when I get home but I can tolerate it right now. All the nurses who b**ch and complain are not very good nurses in the first place. They will eventually listen to us and make the changes we need so there is no need to say or force anything to happen. A recruitment campaign is underway so the open positions will be filled soon and staffing levels will even return to normal. I am so tired of working like this, but I can not afford to take the chance of loosing my job. If you do not like nursing then just leave, the profession does not need people like you. You can always go into sales, law, teaching, research, or something else as a nurse. So you have no reason to complain. If you can not hack this field then there is something personally wrong with you. You need to make changes in your personal life in order to be a better nurse or keep from getting burned out. You apparently do not have the calling that is needed to be a good nurse. You have forgotten what it means to be a nurse and self sacrifice is part of the price we pay for our calling. I know there is more excuses than this.

    The spirit of feminist movement would serve this profession well. The actual card carrying, bra waving aspect of it would not if we want to continue to attracted males. I know some nurses probably still believe that males do not make good nurses. I bet there are male nurses that believe that they really screwed up by getting involved in this profession with the way things actually are. Something has to change and the more I read the more I get the message that it is the overwhelming attitude of nursing in general or nursing will soon be a dead profession. It is slowly dying today, but everyone says, "no, it is just a nursing shortage".

    It is like a deadly disease. We are focusing on the symptoms and not actually treating the disease it's self.
  3. by   nurs4kids
    Peeps, VERY well stated. I completely agree.

    I HATE the word "feminism" and wish to have no association with a feminist organization. To me, this implies that I am incapable of standing on my own feet and defending MY rights. I do NOT need a bunch of, to steal Tracy's line "bra burning lesbians" to do it for me (like tracy, I absolutely have no problem with bra burning..see personal gain in that action , wish they were all burned..and as for lesbians, to each her own). It just infuriates me that women still feel so suppressed and gentle that we can't stand on our own. I welcome the men to this profession, because for one thing we need their balzs!!! Do I really think it would help our profession for us to be associated with a feminist group?? I think it'd do greater damage by making us the laughing stock of the medical community.

    I don't even think we need "feminist ideas". Why do feminist get credit when someone speaks of women with guts??? I'm for damn sure not a feminist (in the literal sense), but I am fully capable of standing up for myself. NOT because I am a strong WOMAN, but because I was raised by two wonderful parents that taught me that the only difference in sexes is physical, that they are NOT differentiated by potential.

    The opinion that the problem is that women were raised to be subtle, soft-spoken, seen and heard only when requested is a bunch of BS. We can ride on that lie as long as we want, but that just continues to drag us down. If a woman is capable of making that statement and applying it to herself, then she has the power to change..she's already admitted the problem. I was raised in the south, that didn't make me a racist. Being raised to be a "lady" doesn't have to make someone a pushover. I'm fully capable of being the most "ladylike" woman on earth when the occassion fits, but foremost I'm more than capable of standing up for what TRACY believes and deserves. One doesn't have to be sacrificed for the sake of the other.

    Again, no thank you. I don't need a bunch of women that have made their living speaking for the weak. I am fully capable of speaking for myself.

    Because of the "I need someone to speak for me" attitude, nursing will continue to suffer until more men enter the field. The last thing we need to do is encourage a movement to drive men away!!!
  4. by   Jenny P
    I still can't stop hoping that all of the licensed nurses in the US would someday stand up and speak with one voice saying that nursing is a worthy occupation that takes brains, skill, caring and hard work to do and demands respect from the healthcare industry and the public. There are 2.5 million RNs in this country and approx. 1 million LPNs*-- can you imagine the voice we COULD have if we just directed our energies to working together on this? I personally feel that if we could get nursing care listed separately in hospital billing, we could have more political clout. This might also make the public more aware of what we do do, and it may also help our own self esteem, too. As it currently is, we are part of the vague bed costs, and as such are just another part of depreciation and materials and services. P.T. and O.T. are now separate billings, why isn't nursing? Some may say that this is because of our "pink collar" mentality, but nursing did not start out that way. Nurses were paid separately for their services, and were respected for their work, even though it did include cooking, cleaning, and working under the direction (and at the side) of the old time doctors. It was only in the late 40's and early 50's when hospitals started to hire their graduate nurses they had trained (student nurses were "free" and plentiful workers who had staffed the hospitals before this) to be their head nurses, then to be the staff, that we lost the control of our profession. Nurses before this worked until they were married, then quit nursing to have kids and a family.

    Sorry for the history lesson, but I'm sleep deprived and rambling.

    *Numbers of RNs and LPNs in the US obtained from ANA and NFLPN websites.
  5. by   psnurse
    Feminism. The solution or part of the problem? Good arguments can be made for either side.

    Personally, I don't take much of the feminist movement very seriously. Not that I do not emphatically stand up for myself. Not that I do not think I deserve equal pay for equal work. But because I don't believe that everything that happens to me happens because I am a woman.

    I don't know that I believe feminism has anything to do with the feminist movement. Some of the issues that have their roots in the feminist movement started out on the right track and proceded to the mockery making stage. Sexual harrassment has become such a joke that I often hear people stating their intention not to be sexually harrassing when they say "love the new hair cut", "that outfit looks great on you". The original intent to protect from unwelcome sexual advances or loss of employment if one did not comply with the advances seems lost in a sea of petty issues like calendar girls (or boys). Hang up whatever calendar you want... no way my job could depend on it. But sexual harrassment charges have been leveled for just such stupidity.

    oops... off on my tangent about the liberal left being the greatest censors of free speech. Sorry
  6. by   JennieBSN
    Last edit by JennieBSN on Dec 8, '01
  7. by   nurs4kids
    Once again, you and I seem to totally agree on an issue. Very interesting website, thank you for the link. Did a quick read on it, took the quiz..pretty heavy ifeminist here..lol. As I've stated before, I'm sickened by the sexual harrassment crutch, I no more think women should be given preferential treatment for hiring processes than I think any other "minority" should. These "cushions" that groups are so ready to grasps, that they feel helps them only hurts them in the long run. I do not want a job because I'm a woman, I want a job because I'm the best candidate for the position. I feel any worthwhile American would have the same stand.

    The following is cut and pasted from the website Kday linked above. I feel it makes some very valid points:

    In recent years, feminism has come to be associated with anger toward men who, as a class, are viewed as the political enemy. Some feminists have attacked the sexual choices of adult women who enjoy consuming and posing for pornography. Many feminists have called for the government to impose affirmative action policies and speech codes. Other feminists even want to ban new reproductive technologies that offer hope to infertile women.
    ifeminism turns the old stereotype of feminism on its head. Pornography and prostitution? Let women do what they want to with their own bodies. Verbal sexual harassment? If women want an equal right to explore their own sexuality, they risk encountering the offensive sexual attitudes of others. Affirmative action? You cannot create equality with men by embedding gender privilege for women into the law.

    Freedom and choice do not threaten women. Government and orthodoxy do. A new generation faces the millennium. They deserve a new feminist paradigm that celebrates the diversity of their choices and the wonders that technology can offer to them.
  8. by   psnurse
    Bravo on the website.... two thumbs up!!!
  9. by   canoehead
    Feminism, like the abortion issue is on a continuum. You can be radically for one side or the other, but there is also a middle ground- I think the middle ground on this issue is equality between the sexes. We will probably never all agree that we've reached that goal completely, and there will always be someone using sexism and discrimination as a crutch, but I hate to see good ideas thrown out because of their association with radicals.

    We want to be paid the same as male RN's and LPN's with equal experience.

    We want to be given the same consideration for management jobs when they come up as men.

    We want to have collaborative relationships with the medical staff, no matter what their or our sex.

    These are all components of feminism that I bet we can agree on to some extent- so we could all be called feminists. And look- even with all the feminists in the room the only burning underwear in sight is those hideous smiley face boxers Dave was wearing a few days ago.
  10. by   Aerolizing
    I am not sure if I am answering your question or not but here goes. I consider myself both a nurse and stay at home mom. I think that nursing has given me a wonderful opportunity to earn a decent wage and still be home for my children. I work the weekend program (2-12 hour shifts). Daddy watches the babies when I am working. I earn a full time wage with the shift diff and benefits. Someday I want to go into management and work a regular day shift job. Those things are important to me but they take a back seat to my being a mom right now. I am happy that nursing has flexible hours and that I can have a career part time.
    I want to teach my daughter that feminism is all about choices. She can stay at home and be a mom if she wants to or be a doctor or teacher or whatever she wants. I think I am lucky to have the choices I have.