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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Mavketl » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:01 pm UTC

Rehash wrote:Men didn't shape and change the social landscape without strong, and obvious roles played by women. Whatever sexism is latent in our world is partially due to the willingness, or even support, of the females involved. I know, that seems harsh. It is.

I don't think anyone here would blame men for all sexism going on. The idea of institutional sexism is that the entire system is at fault, including its male and female members. Feminism does not deny that at all.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

When you see that gender equality is an issue and you approach that issue with the single intent of helping a single gender you've done more to join the problem than you've done to fight it. By the mere fact that feminists claim to fight for the rights of women, and not rights period - that blanket across all genders - means that they fight for a sexist end. While the imbalance they fight may be needed at times, and I admit it is, that doesn't change what type of instrument the movement is. The problem with having a singular purpose institution like this is that you have no balance. Feminists fight for the rights of women on topics like equal pay and maternity leave when the same issues are disregarded for men. I'm not saying that feminists are to blame for that. God no. But I am saying that their lack of equality in the application of social change is just as bad as the sexism they fight.
There's nothing I can think of on the male end that needs helping, outside of maternity leave. That said, I'm willing to forgo six weeks off work until it's all straightened out. Aren't I brave?

To top that off, Feminists often blame men for the social problems they encounter. That's what I was pointing towards when I said that feminists don't accept accountability for their own actions. Men didn't shape and change the social landscape without strong, and obvious roles played by women. Whatever sexism is latent in our world is partially due to the willingness, or even support, of the females involved. I know, that seems harsh. It is.
Some do, sure. Most of them aren't blaming men, but society. Hence the use of the words like Patriarchy. And you're right - the latent sexism is just as much of a fault of the complacent women willing to accept their second class status because they, for whatever reason, think it's okay or don't see it as such. But that goes back to society. If you're told your entire life, both directly and indirectly via advertising, observational clues of gender roles, even the genders of people in the entertainment you watch, read, and listen to that women are basically there to support a man, or drive a man, or be a goal for a man.. with an undercurrent of worthlessness if there's not a man involved in a woman's life.. even if you are a woman, you'll likely believe that if it's all you've ever known. That's what feminists are trying to change.

You can't approach the issue of the entire social structure regarding gender is broken, with let's all work to fix the issues with only one gender. By default the solution to sexism needs to be bi-gender.
... that's what they're trying to do, to get both genders to take a good look around, see how fucked up it all is, realize that this will not stand, and fix it. Both genders. Working together so that one of them isn't treating the other like shit by default, which is pretty much what's going on now.

Also, ninja'd like whoa.

And Rehash... did you read this thread? It's not long, given the standard length around here. Go read the thread.. I believe we've already covered all of this already.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:05 pm UTC

*ahem*

Rehash, you've entered this thread with a great deal of misconceptions. I suggest you read through the Feminism 101 link posted previously, and that you take the time to consider what you're saying before you post it.


Here's that link again, if you missed it.

Feminism 101: Educate yourself.

Yuri2356 wrote:Assault/Abuse/Harrasment is about impact, not intent. And I (and probably others) have the impression that at any given time you can descide that anything I do is a horrific crime that will get me placed on the special list reserved for the worst of all mankind. I will have no way to defend myself from this. I'm convicted the moment you open your mouth.

Naturally, having this concept hammered into my head makes interacting with you an unnerving concept at best, and it's the sort of thing that takes a bit more than a "Yes" and a safeword to get around.

It seems creepy to you, it's terror for me.

>.<

Your assumption that people take rape victims at their word is divorced from reality. Your assumption that people think rape is horrible and rapists are evil is divorced from reality. Society is not constructed the way you're saying it is. And that's all I can say right now without sliding into yelling and vitriol.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Monty40xi » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:06 pm UTC

Rehash wrote:
Monty40xi wrote:Rehash, we've already spent far too much of the last 400 posts debating what things should be labelled with which -ism. I, for one, no longer care about what is sexism and what is feminism. I would much rather be talking about what can be done in real-world situations to make things better for everybody. Forget the debates over -isms and movements because it's become pretty clear that nothing will come of those debates. Let's talk about our own lives and our own opportunities to act, so that we can actually walk away with something more than raised blood pressure and new grudges.


Given the disposition I have, the reaction I'd take should be simple. Bi-gender application of all rights, without question.

That's good, but not every situation can be fully answered with that. In the last few pages we've talked about awkwardness in co-ed full contact sports, mistaken perceptions, and what to do about changing a gender imbalance in a male-dominated industry. The "equal rights" motto doesn't actually tell me the best thing to do there. Peruse the hundred posts or so to see what I mean.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Teapot » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:07 pm UTC

Rehash wrote:Feminists fight for the rights of women on topics like equal pay and maternity leave when the same issues are disregarded for men.

Feminists fight for equal pay for women because on average women get paid less than men, so it's more of an issue for women. Also I wouldn't say maternity leave is disregarded for men. In Britain a lot of workplaces are starting to give paternity leave, so that men can spend time with their families after the baby is born. It's not as much as it is for women, obviously, but it is there. (Although I don't think everywhere offers it, which is unfair.)

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Pandercolour » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:09 pm UTC

Mavketl wrote:
Rehash wrote:Men didn't shape and change the social landscape without strong, and obvious roles played by women. Whatever sexism is latent in our world is partially due to the willingness, or even support, of the females involved. I know, that seems harsh. It is.

I don't think anyone here would blame men for all sexism going on. The idea of institutional sexism is that the entire system is at fault, including its male and female members. Feminism does not deny that at all.

We wouldn't have a patriarchy were it not for men.

What I want to see from the feminist movement is action that can't go ignored. No matter how (justifiably) angry you are or aren't, if all you do is use words then people can ignore you. Unfortunately, the people we need to change are the kind of people who will NOT sit down and listen. They will ignore you or hurt you. We need to do something that nobody can ignore.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Moo » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:15 pm UTC

Pandercolour wrote:We need to do something that nobody can ignore.
That kind of statement makes something crawl under my skin. It sounds exactly like the kind of thing the terrorist leader says just before lots of people get very very hurt in a bad film.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Monty40xi » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:15 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
Yuri2356 wrote:Assault/Abuse/Harrasment is about impact, not intent. And I (and probably others) have the impression that at any given time you can descide that anything I do is a horrific crime that will get me placed on the special list reserved for the worst of all mankind. I will have no way to defend myself from this. I'm convicted the moment you open your mouth.

Naturally, having this concept hammered into my head makes interacting with you an unnerving concept at best, and it's the sort of thing that takes a bit more than a "Yes" and a safeword to get around.

It seems creepy to you, it's terror for me.

>.<

Your assumption that people take rape victims at their word is divorced from reality. Your assumption that people think rape is horrible and rapists are evil is divorced from reality. Society is not constructed the way you're saying it is. And that's all I can say right now without sliding into yelling and vitriol.

Well, it's horrible and evil to Yuri, and it is to me. We're talking about a male fear - which may or may not be rational, but is very very real - that a slight accidental misstep will be misconstrued as something far worse and our lives will come crashing down around us. I have known (sort of) only one rapist, who was the brother of one of my friends in high school. He narrowly avoided the death penalty in his case, but even though he's family to one of my friends, I can't say I'm entirely happy he's alive. The guy's name is Lucas Salmon if you want to look up the case - he's come up in capital punishment debates fairly often in Colorado.

Guys like Yuri and myself are terrified of the idea that we might do some little thing that, at worst, is only stupid and tasteless, but that in people's minds we'll be seen as just another Lucas-in-training.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Lolsaur » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:22 pm UTC

Rehash wrote:When you see that gender equality is an issue and you approach that issue with the single intent of helping a single gender


When feminism was first brought about, women were seen to be inferior to men and as such, these people were trying to bring about equality for women. Now, as a man, I can't think of many things that should be lowered for men in particular - women's rights and dues should be raised to this level, to increase their standard of living while men are not discriminated against for what they have.

It has been pointed out to me that your point is "feminism isn't helping men, it's only helping women and is therefore sexist". Now, men aren't needing as much help as women and the whole idea of feminism is to level the playing field for both sexes, not to make men inferior to women. That's not sexist - that's a basic human right, equality. What kind of program do you suggest to meet your end of a bi-gender* solution, if not feminism? Some sort of "masculinism" to balance things out?

*Also, feminism isn't purely sought after by women, as has been seen, there are men who do promote it. Surely that is a bi-gender solution, if men and women are both supporting it?

EDIT:
Rehash, you've entered this thread with a great deal of misconceptions. I suggest you read through the Feminism 101 link posted previously, and that you take the time to consider what you're saying before you post it.


So as you know, red text means mod text. Mods have the power to evict you from the fora here - please do what they say. It'd be a shame to lose another person to discuss this with.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby 22/7 » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:34 pm UTC

Rehash wrote:Why I think Feminism is, by default, sexist. -

When you see that gender equality is an issue and you approach that issue with the single intent of helping a single gender you've done more to join the problem than you've done to fight it.
Men made more than women for the same job (and in some places/situations still do) and so they worked to raise what women made to make it equal to what men made. How do you create that same change without "fight(ing) for the rights of women"?
Rehash wrote:By the mere fact that feminists claim to fight for the rights of women, and not rights period - that blanket across all genders - means that they fight for a sexist end.
They're fighting to make the rights of women equal to the rights of men, to, in effect, end the measurable effects of that sexism. How is the negation of sexism and its effects a sexist end?
Rehash wrote:The problem with having a singular purpose institution like this is that you have no balance.
What? That's like saying that the problem with a hammer is that it's not a wrench. We already have a wrench (strong men's rights). What we need is a hammer (strong women's rights). If you haven't noticed, the previous (and to a lesser but still not perfect extent current) situation was (is) unbalanced. The goal of feminism is to balance all that out. How can you claim that a force whose very goal is to create that balance that doesn't currently exist is unbalanced?
Rehash wrote:Feminists fight for the rights of women on topics like equal pay and maternity leave when the same issues are disregarded for men. I'm not saying that feminists are to blame for that. God no. But I am saying that their lack of equality in the application of social change is just as bad as the sexism they fight.
First, explain to me how fighting for equal pay is sexist. No really, you keep talking about fighting for women's rights is sexist, but when you actually stop to consider that what is being fought for is for things to be made equal via the suppression/elimination of the quantifiable effects of sexism, how can you claim that that is sexism?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Monty40xi » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

We already know that there are two radically different definitions of the term "sexism." Let's stop bickering about which to use, shall we?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby felltir » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:46 pm UTC

Rehash wrote:By the mere fact that feminists claim to fight for the rights of women, and not rights period - that blanket across all genders - means that they fight for a sexist end.


WRONG. We want equal right for both genders. It just so happens that men have (most) of the rights we consider to be necessary, where as women do not, for whatever reason. So we TRY TO FIX THIS.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:50 pm UTC

Monty40xi wrote:We already know that there are two radically different definitions of the term "sexism." Let's stop bickering about which to use, shall we?


Yes, and the next person to come in and post bullshit without reading the damn thread will also be burned alive. I don't like the tone this thread took in the last page and I'll thank you all for elevating it to something like civilized discourse.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jebobek » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:51 pm UTC

Also from earlier in the thread, we are to accept that the "Feminism/Feminist" title is to be kept in spite of something more universal for a gender-equality title, to honor past history of feminism, and because women's rights are in the society's highest focus. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:52 pm UTC

If you're using a title for yourself like Equalist... well, women are part of that, making you a Feminist.

Or a hypocrite, if you actually aren't a Feminist.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Noc » Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:59 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:Also from earlier in the thread, we are to accept that the "Feminism/Feminist" title is to be kept in spite of something more universal for a gender-equality title, to honor past history of feminism, and because women's rights are in the society's highest focus. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't think that's necessarily the case? I think it's a matter of it being a particular issue. As in, "Oh, hey, everybody should be equal and we shouldn't discriminate" is a good thing to say, but when you're actually trying to FIX things you need to approach issues singularly. Thus, the reason we use the Feminist title is because it refers to the particular field/school of thought/philosophy/body of work/movement that deals with attempting to change this particular facet of our culture.

As opposed to, say, dealing with racism or homophobia or stigma against the crippled or mentally ill or elderly or one of the million other similar problems we've got. Feminism is Feminism because the problem it deals with is the way our social structures deal with women. It's a necessary and accurate descriptor, instead of being a sort of token label to honor it historically.

I think.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jebobek » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:06 pm UTC

Noc wrote:
Jebobek wrote:Also from earlier in the thread, we are to accept that the "Feminism/Feminist" title is to be kept in spite of something more universal for a gender-equality title, to honor past history of feminism, and because women's rights are in the society's highest focus. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't think that's necessarily the case? I think it's a matter of it being a particular issue. As in, "Oh, hey, everybody should be equal and we shouldn't discriminate" is a good thing to say, but when you're actually trying to FIX things you need to approach issues singularly. Thus, the reason we use the Feminist title is because it refers to the particular field/school of thought/philosophy/body of work/movement that deals with attempting to change this particular facet of our culture.

As opposed to, say, dealing with racism or homophobia or stigma against the crippled or mentally ill or elderly or one of the million other similar problems we've got. Feminism is Feminism because the problem it deals with is the way our social structures deal with women. It's a necessary and accurate descriptor, instead of being a sort of token label to honor it historically.

I think.
Sorry, thats sort of what I meant with "society's highest focus," as in, the focus in regards to gender-equality. And to show what we're concerned with, or the focus, we use the term "feminism."
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby sophyturtle » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:19 pm UTC

Rehash wrote:
It's also a place where consenting parents, who are unable to raise a child (for whatever reason), go through a horrid choice where they choose to end a pregnancy. The male is contained in a male-only (or mixed) waiting room, while the female is ushered alone, into the medical rooms then into a female only recovery room. I know, I've been through that. I wanted nothing more than to have my partner in the room with me, but because all men are assumed to be rapists and abusers, policy forbids it. Even at my request.



This assumption you have is wrong.
Yes, the recover room is all female. Since it is sort of hard for men to have abortions it would be hard to have a male patient. You being selfish and wanting your lover in their does not trump my wish to not see him while I am recovering. It is called patient privacy.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Noc » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:22 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:Sorry, thats sort of what I meant with "society's highest focus," as in, the focus in regards to gender-equality. And to show what we're concerned with, or the focus, we use the term "feminism."

It doesn't have anything to do with how high a priority it is, though. We do have a million other issues to deal with, too. And all of these issues, I think, are marginalized to various degrees; the greatest enemies of Feminism, and people who try and combat racism, aren't the angry ranting bigots and misogynists. It's all of the people - a group that outnumbers the bigots rather solidly* - who simply don't think that it's a problem and see nothing wrong with the way things work now.

If combating discrimination and fixing all of the nasty leaks in our social plumbing was our society's highest focus, we'd be in a very different place than we are now. But the plumbing is all down in the cellar and running through the walls, and most people really don't know much about what pipe runs where and don't want to get their hands dirty and really wish that the plumbing would just work and that their toilet wouldn't regurgitate its contents all over their bathroom floor.

So society's attitude towards women becomes the highest focus of the bunch of folks who try and make it their business to spend their time in the cellar, trying to reorganizing the pipes and dealing with angry residents who don't like having their tap shut off while the work is going on, even though the work is necessary to keep their neighbor from being sprayed with sewage every half-hour like clockwork. These people are Feminists. Other folks who work on different parts of the plumbing, or fix the wiring or the central heating, are activists of other sorts.

This might be what you were trying to say in the first place, but I'm clarifying it anyways. For, uh, clarity's sake.


*Not always the case, of course. The fact that four states sort of gut-punched their homosexual populations yesterday is a bit telling. And frown-inducing. But the point still stands for a lot of things, especially those that aren't currently hot-button issues; people assume that because they aren't in the news all the time, and there aren't riots about them, that they aren't a problem anymore.

And we also have a habit of mistaking issue-fatigue for issue resolution. As in, since the aftermath of Horrific Event X in Location Y is no longer breaking news and we're sort of getting bored about hearing it, that everything is fine now. But that's a whole other discussion.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby KingLoser » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:35 pm UTC

Noc wrote:
Jebobek wrote:Sorry, thats sort of what I meant with "society's highest focus," as in, the focus in regards to gender-equality. And to show what we're concerned with, or the focus, we use the term "feminism."

It doesn't have anything to do with how high a priority it is, though. We do have a million other issues to deal with, too. And all of these issues, I think, are marginalized to various degrees; the greatest enemies of Feminism, and people who try and combat racism, aren't the angry ranting bigots and misogynists. It's all of the people - a group that outnumbers the bigots rather solidly* - who simply don't think that it's a problem and see nothing wrong with the way things work now.

Persecuting people for not subscribing to your ideas sounds a little preachy. Was that really supposed to sound like that?

NOTE: I have read the thread, I've been following it. I'm just looking for some clarification on something.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:41 pm UTC

I'm not sure where Noc's advocating persecution. He's saying that the biggest enemy of any movement are those who can't be bothered to pick a side.. any side.. even if they get to make up their own side.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby KingLoser » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:47 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I'm not sure where Noc's advocating persecution. He's saying that the biggest enemy of any movement are those who can't be bothered to pick a side.. any side.. even if they get to make up their own side.

Persecution was just my choice of word, "General nastiness" wouldn't really work in the context of this thread. I think I see what you (and Noc) mean though, but I find it hard to accept those on the fence are really the true enemy of a movement... considering there is (and at least we can all accept this..) negative groups branding themselves with the title feminist tearing down the reputation of the movement from the inside.

Surely these are a bigger enemy?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:51 pm UTC

Not really. Someone who's vocally opposed to it you can at least engage. They have an opinion on it. They're willing to stand up for what they believe and fight you about it.

The kind of fence sitter we're/they're talking about is the kind who, after being told that women make less and are usually shown subservient to men and have a second class citizen status and so on, takes a look around and says "Eh, whatever" and does nothing. You can turn an enemy into an ally. It's difficult, but it can be done. It's harder to turn someone who doesn't care into someone that does.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jebobek » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:01 pm UTC

Yea thats about it noc, thanks to spending the time to clarify, better than I would. I would have used some sort of flawed analogy like needing a whole team to make a delicious cheeseburger and serve it.

Going along with ST's stuff, I'll post the MLK quote again, not like I'm some sort of pro at history or quotes, but because it was an eye opener for me when I read it in the context of this thread:
MLK wrote:I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I'm guessing that alot of activists have came to this regrettable conclusion.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Noc » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:05 pm UTC

KingLoser wrote:Persecuting people for not subscribing to your ideas sounds a little preachy. Was that really supposed to sound like that?

Well, to repeat part of my metaphor . . . suppose you live in an apartment building. The apartment downstairs has a toilet that regurgitates and overflows whenever you take a shower. Now, there's nothing wrong with you taking showers, really, but there is something wrong with your downstairs neighbor's floor being covered with sewage every morning.

It's a plumbing problem that you didn't put there, and isn't your fault. And it's fixable! But while it's being worked on, your tap is going to get shut off, and you won't be able to take showers.

There are a bunch of different reactions people could have to this situation. In one, you really, really don't like your downstairs neighbor. And you're an asshole. You refuse to let your tap be shut off and take three showers a day because you relish the thought of them being ankle-deep in sewage and think that they deserve whatever's coming to them. It's a really hateful thing to to.

In a second possibility, you aren't really informed about what the problem is. Apparently your neighbor's having some trouble with the plumbing? If it was really that bad, you'd have heard more about it, wouldn't you? It's clearly a minor issue, and you really don't see why you should have your water turned off to fix something small and inconsequential. The problem here is that you're not properly educated about the issue, and you don't really know very much about what's actually going on and your role in it.

Of course, if you don't really like your neighbor to begin with, you might tend to assume that when she talks about her bathroom flooding with sewage, she's exaggerating. Or you might assume that the plumber is exaggerating a minor, minor issue out of self-interest because he gets paid for fixing it. This is where you've been educated about the problem, but are denying it.

You could know about the problem, but still refuse to have your water shut off. You could say "Well yeah, it sucks to be them, but it's not my fault. It's a plumbing problem. And I have a right to be able to take showers, so don't turn off my water. Find a way to fix it that doesn't inconvenience me." The approach here would be to explain to you about how the plumbing works, and how your showers are causing the issue and why, exactly, they need to be shut off while the work is being done.

Ideally, when told about the problem, and have the situation with the plumbing explained to you so you're fully aware of the crapsplosion that's going on downstairs and why your shower needs to be disconnected to fix it, you'll say "Sure" and allow it to happen and let the plumber do his work. It requires a change in behavior on your part, and might be inconveniencing, but it's sort of necessary so that your neighbor does not have to live ankle-deep in fecal matter. Ideally you'd recognize the situation and the necessity, and allow the fixing to happen.

Of course things are not always ideal, and you might hold out, either because you're convinced that the neighbor and the plumber are lying or stupid, or because you simply don't care and don't want to be inconvenienced. In this case, what's left for them is to go over your head and talk to the Super, and have him shut off your tap whether you like it or not.

There's another option, of course. It's where you hear about the problem and say "Oh, crap, I'm flooding her bathroom with my shower! I don't want to bother a plumber, and don't want to cost anyone money, so I'll never take showers again." This isn't really a reasonable thing to ask, and it doesn't actually fix the underlying problem, because when you move out someone else is just going to start showering again and then everything's back to how it started. Some people, though, think that this is what's being asked of them when the problem is raised, and resent the idea that the plumbing problem is somehow their fault and that they need to abase themselves to fix it. But it's really not.

. . .

Is it "Preachy?" Yes, it's very preachy. People tend not to like anyone else coming along and saying "Hey, you're doing it wrong!" And the idea that you're somehow party to bad things happening isn't something a lot of people like to consider. But it's sort of true. Also, as other people (who ninja'd me) have pointed out, "persecution" isn't really something that came up.

And yes, I've been constructing an elaborate metaphor comparing feminism to plumbing. But it's a good metaphor, although feminism contains at least 50% fewer exposed butt-cracks. I guess that's the point where the metaphor falls down. (*Rimshot.*)
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby KingLoser » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:16 pm UTC

Haha, thanks. That's a great metaphor.

I wish I could add more, but I got the clarification I wanted.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Yuri2356 » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:17 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:>.<

Your assumption that people take rape victims at their word is divorced from reality. Your assumption that people think rape is horrible and rapists are evil is divorced from reality. Society is not constructed the way you're saying it is.

Yeah...
Quixotess wrote:And that's all I can say right now without sliding into yelling and vitriol.


But you already have. And more. I'm paralyzed right now. There is nothing I can say or do. All roads lead to death.

It's taken nearly and hour to type this.

If you knew half of what I was thinking right now I don't know if you'd sympathize or flee. Or if you'd even listen.

I need to stop. I can't do this with text. Just read what monty said.

Edit: I've relaxed a bit now. I still don't know what to say, but I'm calm.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Indon » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:29 pm UTC

I toned this thread down a bit before posting, but I dunno if it might still be too mean - I don't really post in General often enough to know the social norms and such, so if I'm going overboard, someone toss me a PM so I can edit this.

Rehash wrote:Feminism, as it stands today, is the radical idea that all women should be giant children, provided for without condition.

That's an interesting view.

Rehash wrote:On the back of planned parenthood pamphlets it lists one of the possible reasons you should consider an abortion, verbatim, "because he forced you." As if men are these primal creatures that lurk in the shadows awaiting the chance to pounce and impregnate the weak, powerless females.

Have you seen the rates for rape in this country? They're disgusting, and quite possibly still underreported.

Here you go, courtesy of the Federal Government, since you seem to be unaware of them.

Rehash wrote:While feminists claim to fight sexism, latent sexual comments like "a woman's touch" or "the fairer gender" still are Basically Decent.

So's "Housewife". Your point?

Rehash wrote:It's still common practice to reduce men to nothing more than beer drinking, football watching imbeciles who like to tinker with their little power-tools and toys, while the women must slave away to keep the men functional in all public media. Ever seen a commercial? Ever watched a sitcom? Hell, men still don't get paternity leave. It seems that the only social obligation of a father is a child support check. Because god knows men never get custody.

All of this has been touched upon in the thread repeatedly. You should have read that thread. That is to say, this thread. You should have read this thread.

Rehash wrote:Edit; For those of you who want to claim that this isn't "feminism" - go to hell. It looks like a dog, it smells like a dog, hell it even calls itself a dog. Don't go calling it something else.

Congratulations, you have succeeded in describing the version of feminism that is promoted by people who oppose feminism. Good job!

After all, if all your friends who also aren't feminists claim that this is what feminism is, it totally must be right! Because you're too smart to not have done the research beyond asking people who also don't agree with feminism.

Rehash wrote:"If he forced you"

I think I might see your problem with the term 'feminism' - English seems to be a second language for you!

You see, in English, the word "If" describes a conditional situation, a possibility.

Like, "if I won the lottery, I would quit my job". Am I quitting my job? No, because I haven't won the lottery. My statement doesn't even imply that it's likely for me to win the lottery, now does it?

Rehash wrote:Having the words "because he raped you" on a pamphlet is akin to putting any other prejudicial line.

Wait, what happened to 'if'? Did that pamphlet get changed from not accusing all men of being rapists, to actually accusing all men of being rapists, or did you decide to write that line in a way that made you less obviously wrong?

Because personally, I would call something like that having no integrity and being a failure as a person.

But that's just me.

Rehash wrote:They outright said that men were not allowed to be in the back, even on request, because it was assumed men would coerce women into requesting that partners would be allowed to join them, just so that the men could force abortions on unwilling women. To assume that of all men, and make a default policy barring all males from a clinic... That makes me so upset.


Here we come across another ESL problem. There's this word, "Ethics", that describes constraints on people's behavior in certain situations even if they wouldn't do anything wrong.

Example: If my boss is female, we can't just up and get a hotel room together. Do you know why? Here's a hint: It's not because anyone assumes she'll use her position to rape me. It's because of ethics - it's good to avoid the appearance of an unprofessional relationship.

Rehash wrote:To top that off, Feminists often blame men for the social problems they encounter.

Well, yeah. It kind of is the men who have the lion's share of the ability to change things, because we don't have nearly as many of said social problems.

Rehash wrote:That's what I was pointing towards when I said that feminists don't accept accountability for their own actions.

Quoted because three lines down this line's going to be relevant.

Rehash wrote:Whatever sexism is latent in our world is partially due to the willingness, or even support, of the females involved.

Apparently you're having a problem distinguishing the difference between a woman and a feminist.

You see, A feminist is a person (not always a woman) who does not support sexism.

So you're blaming people who by definition do not support sexism, for supporting sexism.

You don't have a clue as to what you're talking about. I know, that seems harsh. But it isn't, I toned this post down a lot from what I think you deserve.

Rehash wrote:You can't approach the issue of the entire social structure regarding gender is broken, with let's all work to fix the issues with only one gender. By default the solution to sexism needs to be bi-gender.

Read the thread.
Read the thread.
Become literate in English and read the thread.

Rehash wrote:Given the disposition I have, the reaction I'd take should be simple. Bi-gender application of all rights, without question.


Congratulations, if you could be moven to give a damn about what's actually going on, you could have been a feminist. Instead, you're not, because apparently you couldn't even be bothered to read a thread on the internet for the sake of gender equality.

Way to go, buddy.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:21 pm UTC

I highly recommend NOT skimming past Indon's post right there, because it was a lot of stuff I'd have said if I wasn't busy as hell today. Only, he's a lot nicer than me.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jessica » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

If it is too long, I think the main point that you should pull from his post is "READ THE THREAD BEFORE POSTING".
But, I still recomend reading his post, as that would be part of reading the thread.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Lolsaur » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:28 pm UTC

Indon, you have basically put all of my thoughts into a coherent post of AWESOME.

Also, do as Meaux says - for all of our sakes. I'd rather not lose the entire thread...
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Monty40xi » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

Noc - I think an important category that your metaphor overlooks is people who are already giving their all and fighting the good fight for some other cause. We shouldn't ask someone who gives their heart and soul to ending gender biases why they're not also giving their heart and soul to end genocides in Africa, religious oppression in the middle east, suppression of free speech in Asia, cancer, and global warming too. Likewise we shouldn't call a dedicated environmental activist lazy if they don't want to march for feminism.

So you've got people who actively support your cause, people who actively oppose it, people who just don't care, and people who are - as terrible as this sounds - too busy. How big is their slice of the pie chart? I don't know. Probably smaller than the group that doesn't care, but they don't deserve to be lumped together.

I tried thinking of a way to incorporate people like that into your plumbing metaphor, but that would take us to a pretty ridiculous place where not only does the shower flood the downstairs neighbor, but the microwave gives puppies cancer, the doorbell electrocutes your mother, and the welcome mat amputates the mailman.

EDIT: Never mind, Sophy's right. Some causes like fighting cancer or fighting heart disease demand that you give up time and money for them. Treating people with respect doesn't. So, as much as I love the crazy apartment of death and its evil welcome mat, I'll let go of this one.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby sophyturtle » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:52 pm UTC

To help feminism you don't need to take extra time out of your day to picket.
All you need to do is treat the people in your life with respect.
it's not that hard.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Noc » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

Monty40xi: There are two kinds of people involved, though. There are the activists, and the bystanders. ("Bystander" isn't quite the right word, here, but I think you'll see what I mean. I'll be continuing with the metaphor, because it does account for what you're saying, and because it's a dead good one.)

For instance, I don't consider myself a feminist. This is not because I have any issue with feminism, or think that some other label describes me better, or because I think I'm somehow divorced from the argument or the issue or the society that it's dealing with. It's not because I consider a feminist something I would not want to be.

I don't consider myself a feminist because I'm not any sort of activist. I'm not very well educated about the history, I don't keep up with the issues and I don't make a point of making sure that both I and the people around me are informed about them. I don't research the subject and don't write about the subject, and outside of discussions like these it's not something I do very much about at all. I'm not a feminist in the same way that I'm not a plumber; I have not made it my business to do the actual work of getting down and trying to fix the things that are wrong with society in any real way. I would be a better person if I did; at the very least, I'd be better educated and better informed. But I'm not, so I don't really deserve the label.

What you are talking about are different kinds of activists dealing with different kinds of issues. Plumbing is only one such; fixing the heat is another, as is the wiring, in the same way that there are people who are Feminist activists, and there are activists for religious freedom or the environment or all of the other things that are worth being active for. I'm not taking issue with these people; they fall, for the purposes of the metaphor, in the same category as Feminists: they're the people who see something wrong with the workings of the system, and get their hands dirty trying to understand it and fix it.

I'm not a feminist, I'm not an activist, and I'm not a plumber. I'm a bystander. I'm not the plumber, but I'm the person with the upstairs apartment who's flooding the downstairs bathroom when he takes a shower. I'm not the person getting my hands dirty doing the fixing, but when the problem comes to my attention, I can do one of two things: either I can recognize the need to change my behavior and let them unhook my shower for a little bit so that the problem can be fixed, or I can say "Fuck off, I'm not doing anything wrong and there isn't really a problem anyways" and refuse.

In the same vein, I'd be willing to stop plugging fifty different things into one outlet when I'm told that doing that shorts out the power upstairs. It's an entirely different issue, affecting entirely different people, and the electrician is probably an entirely different person from the plumber. And no one's saying "Goddamnit, Electrician. You're an asshole because you aren't fixing the plumbing!"

They're both, as per the metaphor, activists for different things. I'm not, but I'm a tenant in the house; I'm a participant in the system that's causing these problems in the first place. I live there and I use the plumbing. And I use the electricity. And when the plumbing and the electrical systems are causing problems for someone else, then I can do one of two things: I can tell those involved to fuck off, and resent their intrusion into my life and their claim that I shouldn't be doing things that are perfectly reasonable that I have a right to do . . . or I can listen to what they're saying, understand how the system works and what the problem is, and make the changes I need to so that they can be fixed and things can be better.

In conclusion: I'm not blaming people who are activists for other things. I'm not blaming people who try to fix things, but who specialize their knowledge and their efforts in other fields. I'm blaming tenants who reject their responsibility for being a participant in a larger system, and refuse to alter their behavior when that system starts shafting other people.

I'm not a feminist. I'm not a plumber. But I'm a good neighbor.

(It's worth noting, though, that being a plumber or an electrician does not necessarily preclude someone from being a bad neighbor. See here.)

[Also what Sophy said. But more concisely, and with less plumbing.]
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Indon » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:45 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote:To help feminism you don't need to take extra time out of your day to picket.
All you need to do is treat the people in your life with respect.
it's not that hard.


I dunno. I think that once you agree with feminism cognitively, it could be very difficult to actually act appropriately.

That sort of behavior involves needing to examine and override your own behavior, sometimes quite frequently, and as such it can require a lot of introspection and self-discipline (and if you don't have those, well, add developing them to the list of things you need to do).

In fact, I can use myself as an example. I'm a homophobe. Not cognitively - you put a ballot in front of me banning gay marriage, I'm not going to vote for it, I know in my head that would be ridiculous and stupid - but viscerally. I'm at the stage where I need to consciously edit my own reactions and behavior to keep from feeling (and thus acting) creeped out just knowing someone physically near me is a homosexual, and I tell you what, it's not always easy for me. I imagine eventually I'll get the hang of it, though.

Similarly, a person who is cognitively, but not viscerally, a feminist, can say perfectly honestly that they believe in gender equality, and that the woman's place is in the home. This is because they haven't performed the quite difficult task of using their conscious mind to, as it were, 'clean house' in the rest of their thoughts and behaviors.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Belial » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote:To help feminism you don't need to take extra time out of your day to picket.
All you need to do is treat the people in your life with respect.
it's not that hard.


It's not that hard, but it's harder than it sounds. You can't just say "Duh, of course I respect people, because my feelings tell me so." Because chances are you're still doing a whole pile of subtly (or not so subtly) sexist (racist, ablist, whatever) things without even realizing it. There's a certain amount of effort that has to go into learning about this shit, much of which is counterintuitive (because our intuition is shaped by our culture, and our culture is broken), so that you know how not to disrespect people. For a member of a privileged group (and, honestly, almost everyone is a member of at least one. I apparently got fucking yahtzee), that includes examining and understanding your own privilege, and, where necessary, eschewing it.

It's not a lot of effort. But it's not effortless. And it comes hard to some people who don't take self-examination (and well earned criticism) well.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jebobek » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

The hardest thing for me is avoiding pejoratives, especially when half of the people I'm talking to tells me that something is really "gay." When I agree I usually go, "yea, thats ga-... annoying." Then people look at me like I'm mentally ret- shit, I mean, silly. Hell, gay people tell me when something's "gay," and they admit to making that mistake, but keep doing it.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jessica » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:10 pm UTC

Belial wrote:and, honestly, almost everyone is a member of at least one.

Man, one day you're going to meet a quadropalegic blind trans half black half asian person and eat those words ;)
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Noc » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

The thing, though, is that task itself isn't really all that difficult.

Changing habits is; the homophobia one's a good example, because you need to de-train a lot of your ingrained reflexes and responses. It's the same thing with changing any kind of habit we don't like, whatever the cause; it takes work to train ourselves out of conditioned reactions, and into a new set of reactions. It often needs external support. And it doesn't happen just by thinking that it should.

But rationalization plays a big role in decision making. Again with homophobia: you're trained for most of your life to shy away from it. But when you're confronted with it, you need to make a decision about what to do. Do you suck it up and try and shrug it off, or do you cross the street and walk on the other side?* If you're intellectually homophobic, and think that it's something that's unnatural and is perfectly alright to want to avoid, then you'll cross the street. Or make an ass out of yourself in other ways, because you've got the rationalization for it right at hand. If you don't, however, you won't be able to rationalize the avoidance and you won't do it.

This is the sort of process we use all the time for decision making. We have emotional pressures, but we also have cognitive pressures, and these are determined by the ideas that we adopt. You don't need to be particularly introspective or self-disciplined to bow to cognitive pressures; relevantly, "rules" like "don't hit girls" are cognitive in nature, and aren't behaviorally induced and reinforced. Things like "Don't steal" or "Leave a tip" are cognitive in nature; you start doing them because you're told to and believe that you should.

Cognitive pressures don't always trump emotional ones, especially when the emotional ones are particularly strong or particularly ingrained. But they do play a big part in a lot of our decision making, so recognizing when you're being an ass (and how you're being an ass) and resolving not to be one can go a long way towards not being one in practice. The problem is that cognitive pressures aren't present when you don't know how or why doing something is wrong . . . which is why discussions like this are important in the first place.

*Not the euphemism it could be.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby T-Form » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:12 pm UTC

I'm not sure that the plumbing analogy tells the full story. The guy in the upstairs flat typically knows bugger all about plumbing, and the first time he hears of the problem is hearing the downstairs tenant complaining that "that bastard upstairs" made her toilet overflow. She might be talking about the landlord (who lives on the top floor, and who installed dodgy plumbing so he could steal from the tenants' supply of hot water), but that's not at all clear. This is followed by "turn off your water" and usually "no, you can't use my shower in the meantime". Her plumber detests competition too, even if the guy upstairs only wants to call a plumber of his own to confirm the problem, make sure the water will be turned back on afterwards, or check that the solution isn't going to cause his toilet to overflow further down the line. The landlord - the person who is the source of the problem - largely avoids the dispute, and once the plumbing is sorted out he fiddles with the wiring to power his second hot water cylinder at the tenants' expense, and the dispute starts all over again.

All that said, he should be happy for his water to be switched off for a while once he actually knows what's going on and he can be confident the plumber won't screw him over - he'd have to be a bit of an arsehole not to, once he has all of the information. It also helps create goodwill between the tenants, so that they can work together to deal with the landlord in future.


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