The radical idea that women are people

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:51 pm UTC

Yeah, I am definitely closer in my sympathies to your posts than to Sophy's link. That is the sort of radicalism that we sometimes wish were just a straw man. I mean, you cannot write an article where you claim to be tired of being called man-hating, but also not want any men to like your movement. If you would like to very carefully stake out a place in conceptual space for "man disliking feminism" by all means try, but the subtlety will be difficult.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby cephalopod9 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:40 am UTC

I think the key element is that, while I know (and I think that most would realize that) it's not your, bigjeff5's, intention, when you say "make an effort to get men involved", you're saying "make men like you", and you can't really do that without also suggesting (in a small way, but it's still there) that feminists cater to the patriarchy (in the form of men's lingering presumptions)

It is definitely an idealistic issue rather than a pragmatic one, but it's a really important one.

Getting men involved with gender equality, as a personal mission, is certainly commendable. (Even though friction arises when you ask that of the movement.)
What made you want to invest in educating yourself about gender equality in the first place?

I think you might be going a bit far to assume goodwill on the part of individuals who bring up father custody cases. It's not a bad topic, and I don't want to discourage communication, but bringing it up in a discussion that isn't already about egalitarian parenting, or parenting stereotypes etc., can easily have less to do with fair treatment between the genders and more to do with making the conversation about men. If that's the goal, trying to appeal to their interests is less than beneficial to the conversation as a whole.

But good news, we now have a place to send them: http://noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz.wordpress.com/. I'm not completely sure how I feel about this website blog. They could maybe use some help on some topics, but if all it does is gather up people who want to have men centric (mentric?) discussions in feminist spaces, that seems like net gain.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby bigjeff5 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:12 pm UTC

Right so, I had this long response written up, when I realized that I was doing exactly what you pointed out and what I hadn't initially intended at all - turning the conversation to be all about men in a feminist space.

>.<

Hard problem is hard.

Anyway, regarding the sudden interest in feminism, it was quite accidental. Probably the shortest way to say it is that I don't like being wrong. When I am wrong, instead of trying to pretend I'm not wrong, I try to figure out why I'm wrong and how to make my opinions/assumptions/beliefs, etc reflect reality. It's a relatively new thing for me, I've only been doing it in the last year or two, but my world view has been changing rapidly because of it.

So when I followed a link to this thread, I had several "wait what?" moments, which is a big clue that my assumptions may not reflect reality. That lead to seeking out more information. Since so much of it was collected here, I simply read the whole thing.

That site you linked seems like it has good intentions, at least. I've read a little bit of it and it's kind of hit and miss.

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:16 am UTC

bigjeff5 wrote:Right so, I had this long response written up, when I realized that I was doing exactly what you pointed out and what I hadn't initially intended at all - turning the conversation to be all about men in a feminist space.

>.<

Hard problem is hard.
Indeed.

But.. seriously now.. congratulations for figuring out what you were doing and then.. not. Took me longer...
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby cephalopod9 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:53 am UTC

bigjeff5 wrote:Probably the shortest way to say it is that I don't like being wrong. When I am wrong, instead of trying to pretend I'm not wrong, I try to figure out why I'm wrong and how to make my opinions/assumptions/beliefs, etc reflect reality. It's a relatively new thing for me, I've only been doing it in the last year or two, but my world view has been changing rapidly because of it.

So when I followed a link to this thread, I had several "wait what?" moments, which is a big clue that my assumptions may not reflect reality. That lead to seeking out more information. Since so much of it was collected here, I simply read the whole thing.
Do you care to go into details? Is there a particular issue or argument that caught your attention or something that you're especially moved by?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:00 am UTC

So over the weekend I'm selling pottery at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, and I say to one couple who stops by that the young man may want to buy something for the young woman. Or vice versa, as presents don't imply ownership, or a lack of self sufficiency, or anything like that, and the young woman replies, "Oh, I'm not a feminist, I don't need to be." after I swallow a whole range of responses, I ask her how she feels about making 79 cents on the dollar, and she mentions that she works for her family's business and she trusts that they will take care of her. She was bothered by the fact that women aren't allowed in combat roles in the Armed Services, and agreed that gender equality has not yet been reached. I can't even remember if they bought anything. They looked like they were in their 20s. Gahhhhh.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:07 am UTC

Hmm. I'm not a car owner because I don't need to be -- anytime I absolutely need a vehicle to get anywhere, someone vehicled is always going along with me. I have the privilege of not needing to own a car. It's a nice state of affairs for me, and much less draining on my resources to not have to worry about such things.

I suspect that this young woman finds herself in a parallel situation. I kind of envy her, maybe. I wouldn't consciously choose to give up my feminismness (?) for anything, though. (Well, anything realistic. Eternal world peace and plenty and personal fulfillment for all, okay, we might talk.)
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Chuff » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

Hi. I just read through the whole thread, but I don't really have anything to add, so I'm just egosearchin' right now.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby mochafairy » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:24 pm UTC

So, I'm taking a Women's Study class this semester, and Oh me yarm I think it's my favorite class, and some of the people in it are awesome...and some of the people in it are, well, less than awesome.

For example, we read Oppression by Frye yesterday in class.

[TW for discussion of sexual violence]
Spoiler:
A question came up about rape and why she kept mentioning it in the piece. Everyone else in the class was kinda dumbfounded, but for some reason an adrenaline rush kicked in and I just started talking.

I talked about how rape is a silencing mechanism, how it's an oppression mechanism, how it's an othering mechanism. I talked about how victims of sexual assault/harassment/rape are commonly blamed and mocked, and how these crimes are deemed "funny" by many. I brought up shows like Family Guy (which started to make some people squirm...how dare I say their favorite show isn't totes the awesomest thing EVA) and mentioned comedians and how many shows mock the crimes and the victims. I somehow remembered RAINN's stats, and mentioned those...and how in many places in the world these things aren't even a crime.

Some bro chimed in and mentioned that dudes totes get played at the bad guys in rape though...

And then the adrenaline totally kicked in.

Are you freaking serious? Have you watched tv/listened to anything on the news about actual cases? Whenever someone is brave enough to actually go through with a whole trial, the defense is generally "well, she totally deserved it and she's trying to ruin this poor dude's life." As a society, there is really no other set of crimes to which we act this way. Murder victims (in general) aren't systematically made out to be the bad guys. Victims of theft aren't systematically made out to be some "idiot" who wasn't proactive enough about their personal bubble. It's not about "dudes being evil"; it's about a systematic tool for people who have power to keep having power and silence and discredit those who don't.

The guy looked like his world had been turned upside down, and then he kinda hung his head for the rest of the class...

My prof gave me a high-five.

tl;dr, or skipped the [TW], I think I'm going to enjoy this class, even if I do have adrenaline rushes that last for hours after the class ends.

Oh, and the piece was pretty good as well. :)
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby sophyturtle » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:51 pm UTC

I would have given you a high five too.
Wait..
*high five*

Awesome. Also, good control. My adrenaline rushes tend to lead to swearing.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby TaintedDeity » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:44 pm UTC

That's awesome, mochafairy :) *highfive*
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby phlip » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:52 am UTC

sophyturtle wrote:I would have given you a high five too.
Wait..
*high five*

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:21 am UTC

Tell it, sister!
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Jessica » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:15 am UTC

*high five!*
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Kulantan » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:00 am UTC

*highest of fives*
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Aaeriele » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:34 am UTC

mochafairy, please accept this donation of every five ever. High, low, sideways, behind the back... you name it.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Glmclain » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:36 pm UTC

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Last edited by Glmclain on Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:01 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:02 pm UTC

I call regularly call groups of just women "You guys". It's leftover from growing up in Seattle, I guess. I got chewed out in Texas for it because the correct term is "y'all." :P
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Glmclain » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:14 pm UTC

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Last edited by Glmclain on Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:01 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:35 pm UTC

I think a lot of it is in your intent, how you say it, and how you know your friend will respond to it. As you already said, there are ways to express aesthetic appreciation that uses negative words to demean someone, or there are ways to use positive words to express the same appreciation that isn't as demeaning. Also, it helps if you know your friend will respond to it in the spirit that it's given, in that s/he knows that you mean it in the sense of an aesthetic observation and not a sexual objectification, and you both know that your views on the other gender are not confined to just appearance.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
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tenant |ˈtenənt|
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a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby TaintedDeity » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:37 pm UTC

For the record: "guy" is still sort of gendered. It's part of the trend to extend male words to refer to both males and females.
By referring to a group of mixed-gendered folks with a male term it could be argued that you're erasing females or treating them as other by using the male as default. Not everybody agrees.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:43 pm UTC

I think compliments are also better done specifically. Instead of saying someone is pretty or hot, as if these were summations of their personhood, be like, that is some delightful hair, or your stripey socks are the shit, or you have an ass that just won't quit. Maybe not the last one.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Glmclain » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Chuff » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:50 pm UTC

Glmclain wrote:Language changes though. I've seen girls refer to each other as guys in that context just as much as actual, well, guys.

I would argue it's more the evolution of casual language than an actual concentrated effort to wipe out women or something. Guy doesn't have any negative connotations really, so I just find your point a little hard to argue.
I'm not sure where I stand on the use of the word guy specifically, but for what it's worth, it's rarely, if ever, a concerted effort to wipe out women. Using a masculine word to describe women isn't negative because of the word's connotations, but because of the connotations of using male terms as the default and only using female terms to describe women. It contributes to the marginalization of women as the "other."

Fixed: Rephrased a lot, because it was incomprehensible.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby TaintedDeity » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:58 pm UTC

Yeah, just because it's not your intent to do harm doesn't mean you aren't doing harm.
Also, I never said it was my argument; I was explaining what I understand to be the logic behind it.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Aaeriele » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:19 am UTC

Just going to second doogly's sentiments; "I love your hair" comes off as a lot less creepy/objectifying than "you're hot" (and the same applies for talking about someone in the third person).
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby setzer777 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:57 am UTC

What if you're trying to express (in the third person) that someone has a set of physical and/or non-physical qualities such that, were the ideal circumstances to arise, you would love to have sex with them?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby cephalopod9 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:30 am UTC

I think the key thing is still to respect anyone, particularly someone you might want as a sexual partner, and treat 'em as human beings. There's quite a bit of confusion that feminists are all opposed to sexual attraction always (which is problematic for a lot of reasons), however while some feminists don't like sex ever, the bigger issue is bringing up sexual attraction when it isn't appropriate.

There's nothing (that seems to me) inherently demeaning or dehumanizing about having traits you find attractive. It's making that a criteria by which you judge all women, or making a person feel like their self worth/value as a person depends on this kind of evaluation (positiver or negative) that is sexist and bad.

As for general advice on how to communicate sexual attraction in ways that are respectful and polite, first and for most, only do so when it's appropriate (not when you're supposed to be having a professional relationship, not if your unclear on whether the recipient is comfortable, etc.)
I'd say focus on how they are a person, and (if you are talking to them) that they are doing things rather than just physical traits and how you feel about them (y'know, don't presume you are the intended audience, don't treat them like an object). I'm not an expert, but my feelings are that you should show that you are thinking about their feelings and that you are considerate of their perspective. For example, instead of just focusing on a person's figure, maybe also make note of the clothes they are choosing to wear, and how they present themselves with their actions.

I also have a healthy respect for fantasy, and, so long as you aren't projecting or enforcing problematic attitudes, hypotheticals shared privately between friends aren't going to hurt anyone.
It is good to evaluate how you think about things, and the feelings you cultivate privately, but how nice you are in your imagination is also not something you need to stress over.

TaintedDeity wrote:Yeah, just because it's not your intent to do harm doesn't mean you aren't doing harm.
Verily! It is truly appalling how many individuals clearly struggle with this concept. "I/they didn't mean ~~~~~, it was a joke!!" OK, BUT THAT IS STILL A THING YOU SAID, AND FEELINGS THAT YOU CAUSED BY SAYING IT.
Glmclain wrote:I told her that I supported feminism and her anger was misplaced, but then she told me I secretly like that women are second class citizens.
Depends a lot on how you said it and how it came across.
While you absolutely do not need to let any one person define what is and isn't feminist, I'd recommend making an effort to show that you respect her feelings and whether or not you intend to modify your behavior acknowledge the validity of her point of view. (although making an effort to change your language when speaking to her would be a nice demonstration of good will)
"I'm sorry to make you feel that way. My intended meaning was ____ (In the future I will ____)".
Whether or not a person's assertions on grammatical significance (or anything else) are reasonable, they are an expert on their own feelings, and that deserves respect.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:54 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
Glmclain wrote:I told her that I supported feminism and her anger was misplaced, but then she told me I secretly like that women are second class citizens.
Depends a lot on how you said it and how it came across.
While you absolutely do not need to let any one person define what is and isn't feminist, I'd recommend making an effort to show that you respect her feelings and whether or not you intend to modify your behavior acknowledge the validity of her point of view. (although making an effort to change your language when speaking to her would be a nice demonstration of good will)
"I'm sorry to make you feel that way. My intended meaning was ____ (In the future I will ____)".
Whether or not a person's assertions on grammatical significance (or anything else) are reasonable, they are an expert on their own feelings, and that deserves respect.

I agree with this...but I also think that Glmclain's opponent expressed her views exceedingly disrespectfully at the same time, and she doesn't come off innocently here.
tenet |ˈtenit|
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

Yeah, I'll agree with that. A habitual use of a noun to refer to a group not of a particular format (that is, 100% Ladies... ladies) does not inherently mean the speaker views said ladies as a lesser, but more that the speaker perhaps needs to stop and examine the language used. As guys is an informal gentlemen, and you would not greet a mixed gender group with "Gentlemen", perhaps you should switch your informal group greeting to colluders, conspirators, fellow ne're-do-wells, vagabonds, or some other non-gendered term of endearment.

...though you probably want to avoid "What's up, my bitches?"... just.. yeah. Avoid.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby setzer777 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:03 pm UTC

As Pod mentioned, we have an easy non-awkward solution for that here in Texas: "y'all".
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:11 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:...though you probably want to avoid "What's up, my bitches?"... just.. yeah. Avoid.

"what up my glip glops" is generally the preferred verbiage around my parts anyway.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

My friends (male and female) prefer the more elegant (and gender-neutral) "hey you whores."
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
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tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:14 pm UTC

I'm sorry, but that's just offensive. You're really gonna have to stick with "Hey ya'll whores" in polite company.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby setzer777 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:18 pm UTC

Heh, actually I don't know if people here really use y'all before a noun like that. Seems like it's usually just a pronoun.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:23 pm UTC

Perhaps much more common in the Bronx. Though actually I'm more used to this construction with far less polite nouns than "whores" or "bitches."
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:42 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:As Pod mentioned, we have an easy non-awkward solution for that here in Texas: "y'all".

Look.. I.. I just can't see someone from, say, Seattle or Chicago or Providence being able to say "y'all" successfully. Not without lots of coaching. And god help us if the Canadians get ahold of it.

"Hello y'all, eh?"
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Jessica » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:49 pm UTC

Ey! How's y'all eh?

I... I'm sorry. I think I had a stroke.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Belial » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:02 pm UTC

That was nature, protecting itself.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:11 pm UTC

doogly wrote:"what up my glip glops" is generally the preferred verbiage around my parts anyway.
Look, I don't see how what you call your testicles is relevant to this discussion.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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