One of the questions asked was "is feminism setting us back because it is separating the men from the women?" To me personally the answer is yes and no.
For Yes: The reason its setting us apart is because everyone has a different opinion of what a feminist represents. Due to this, these different feminist groups have or lack intersectionality and some believe that there is a white supremacy going on in feminism. With groups that have a lot of diversity and life experiences such as we have here in the United States there's no doubt that it may take more time to unify feminism as one. Another misconception about this subject is that some also perceive feminists as wanting to oppress men's role in society however it the complete opposite- we are trying to get equal rights. Until I get my 20 missing cents to a man's dollar and countries that are struggling with no rights and education for woman are fixed, the problem of sexism will exist.
No: Because let's say we labeled ourselves as "civil rights activists." This could mean so many things and targets many quality of life issues. Whenever there is a minority group that doesn't have rights, they deserve to have a label of their choice to fight for their cause of choice.
Another question from the audience was "where do you think this negative media about woman being catty towards each other came from? Did society make it up or media?"
The best example I could think of to explain how the media negatively causes our stereotypes is The Bachelor because women are put into a situation where they don't truly find the love of their life, but instead they are fighting to portray the perfect woman for the one guy they're competing for. This is negative Social Darwinism. Another episode I can think about is also Real World and Bad Girls Club - the purpose of the episode is to put a group of people that have different morals and strong views on life together to live which causes unnatural agnostic behavior.
The other day I watched the Hunger Games and I'll admit I was rooting for Katniss, the first female protagonist in a long time that wasn't hypersexualized and played the part of a hero which is often played by a male character. I truly enjoyed the movie up until the part where Katniss kisses Peeta to get more items from sponsors. Once again, the girl is saved by the man instead of fighting her own battle.
Women approve their own objectification by being misogynistic against themselves through using the terms such as b***h, son of a b***h, mother f*****r and calling men p****y when they don't follow up on something. We've approved our own labels because we use them and yet get offended when a men calls us that.
At the panel, the fashion industry was brought up to have a bad impact as well due to the rising statistics in bulimia/anorexia and the decreasing of self confidence. Our problem as a society is that we don't explain to our children as they buy magazine and see runway shows that bodies are re-touched drastically and the reason models' have to be extremely skinny is because the fashion designers want to spend the least amount of money possible to use a fabric. For instance if they were to hire a normal sized model, without any health concerns it would cost extra money and more time would be spent adding inches to the hips or bust. These same industries that we are watching to seek the definition of beauty don't offer fair trade for their hard workers and there are child labor issues going on day today. There is a significant paradox that we're taking example from these corrupt companies without morals and we're becoming immoral by supporting these brands.
There is also an issue of body-bashing in the feminist community because girls claim that "real women have curves" which is untrue. The girls that are naturally skinny for example are born that way and we're setting ourselves back once again by creating this perfect woman and "real girl." We can't allow ourselves to be judgmental when we are fighting to not be judged for our imperfections.
It's time to notice our own mistakes and to change them as one whole feminist group because our media is polluting our children's minds and showcasing idealistic and unrealistic roles that men and woman play in society.