The radical idea that women are people

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galadran
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby galadran » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:05 pm UTC

Hm I'm going to dip my toe into what looks (from my perspective) to be shark infested water.

I agree with the principles of equality, anti-discrimination and anti-stereotyping.
I'm a 16 year old male so am probably speaking way out of my league on problems faced by working-age women all over the world.

That said:
Is the sexism problem that bad? :?

From perusing (albeit briefly) this thread, the case seems to be made that every human being with a Y chromosome is part of a deliberate conspiracy to discriminate against women and that a women doing stereo-typed "female" work is a traitor to their gender (possibly a little OTT).

Beyond certain people (both men and women) who have the ingrained belief that all women should be housewives and all men should be breadwinners people seem to remain pretty ambivalent to the whole issue. The paste (and current) state of events seem to suggest the following:

1. Men are worth less than women (Agression (violance), Life expectancy, birth rates)
2. Men are expected to work.
3. Women are expected to nurture.
4. Men are expected to sacrifice physical well being for women - the giving of seats/coats/etc
5. Women are expected to submit to men.
(Quixotess should note that 2 refer to men/women - 1 refers to both :wink: )

Those are all stereotypes. IE perceptions of a group of people as whole. Are they not created by a certain pragmatism?

1. Men are genetically/hormonally predisposed to aggression (Testosterone)
2. Men are raised to be/genetically less caring/indulgent of children
3. Women are said to have a particular bond with children
4. Men are genetically hardier than women
5. Women are not as aggressive or pragmatic as men (Referring to Jung Myers - Feeling V Thinking breakdown here)

By now I think I can hear a riot of people about to point out the simple truth that not everyone conforms to that stereotype - True. And to those that dont, career orientated women etc - does anyone stand in their way? Yes? More so than the problems non-conforming men face trying to enter "female" careers such as day-care workers etc?

So while most women are innately disadvantaged when it comes to pursuing a career - desire to start a family - isn't it right to take that into consideration into hiring a woman?

Analogy:
I will build a house for you. However while building I am going to take a year off and do no work. Meanwhile I expect you to pay me, and also find someone else to do my job. But when I have had my year off, I want my full job back and the choice to work less hours for the same pay. If you refuse to this, I may choose to sue you because you thought Sam(antha) who declared she wasn't going to take that time of work - might be a better choice for your company.

Discrimination - certainly
Valid Discrimination - I believe so

Now for me the problem begins when every women is expected to get pregnent and employers discrimminate based on that perception - that's clearly wrong. But women can't expect to have it both ways. Either everyone should get a year off when a kids born (mother and father) or neither. Either everyone should be conscripted - or no one. Either someone should fight for equalism - or they shouldn't. They shouldn't fight purely for one gender - that's not equalism. That's gender wars.

So the very long winded points I'm trying to make:

1. Men and women are equal. They should have the same rights. (Maternal V Paternal Care etc )
2. Men and women are different. They shouldn't expect to be treated the same.
3. Both genders have their own problems and its hypocritical to push for male dominated professions to be removed, while doing nothing about female dominated professions.

Finally this post isn't intended to rile up anyone here - so apologies if it does.

P.S - I'm interested in debate on this - its something that want to know more about.

P.P.S - Thats not to say that I want hear what an ignorant man I am and how I should go skulk under a rock.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:26 pm UTC

galadran wrote:Is the sexism problem that bad?

Yes.

galadran wrote:From perusing (albeit briefly) this thread, the case seems to be made that every human being with a Y chromosome is part of a deliberate conspiracy to discriminate against women and that a women doing stereo-typed "female" work is a traitor to their gender (possibly a little OTT).

Now, where in this thread did you see anyone say that?

You didn't happen to miss the Feminism 101 links, did you? You look like you want Why do Feminists Hate Men?, Isn't the Patriarchy Just Some Conspiracy Theory?, But Men and Women are Born Different!, and especially Addressing Claims of Female Privilege: The Military.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Lolsaur » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

Skipping over the rest of your post, as I believe it ash already been covered earlier in the thread, mostly.

galadran wrote:Either everyone should get a year off when a kids born (mother and father) or neither.


Do men push an entire baby through their genitalia?

No.

Women do. It's not a nice experience, I wouldn't have thought.

Women will also probably be ill after giving birth to a child, be drained, physically and emotionally. Have you heard of such a thing called post natal depression?

Maternity leave is there for just those reasons, and more. There are many places, in Britain, at least, that do do paternity leave. It's obviously not as long as for maternity leave, but it is there.

Now, you're about to get ripped to shreds by the actual feminists. I'm preparing myself for a whole load of ninjas....

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Yuri2356 » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

sophyturtle wrote:Perhaps I read your previous post wrong, as I did get defensive (though my defensiveness tends to lead me more to saying things like insensitive, not oversensitive in my counterpart). I felt like you were de-valuing what I said due to my hippy-like nature, sort of writing those off without really reading them and with it writing me off as being not serious or anti-science. That one stung because being a scientist is a big part of my identity (much more so than being a hippy, which others seem to see me as more than I see myself that way).
I am sorry you have such strong feelings of pain or offense from this, but please know there are nice hippies/nature worshipers out there who not only respect science but live it (part of me thinks any hippy who would harass you in the first place is not truly a hippy, but tangents often not helpful). There are things I dislike from this list too, but it is mostly wording and I don't know how much I can expect from a 17+ year old poster (I dislike saying disabled woman instead of woman with a disability, because the woman is the important part and the not the disability. it is something whose fashion has changed since this was printed).

Thanks and hugs, Soph. I do indeed know many good hippies, and many parts of their philosopies are quite credible and fun. I certainly did not mean to hurt your science (which is it, by the way?) and wish it well.

It's nice that this has resolved peacefully. :D

Limit the number of your descendants.

Is that considered a good thing? Is it a feminist thing? My first reaction was "I'll have a passle of kids if that's what makes me happy!" but I'm curious to know what people think the rationale behind that particular suggestion is.

I'd either interpret that as the hippy idea that we should avoid overpopulating the planet, or read 'limit' as 'control' and then it means "Have only as many kids as you want to."

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby galadran » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:53 am UTC

Rape is a type of sexism?
Hm

Does every rapist then firmly believe that women are valueless? I'm sure the majority of *repeat* rapists do. But to the man that simply subscums to his genetic imperative - it doesnt necassirily follow that he believes all women are inferior. (Although it certainly says something about his own character/quality of being.)

Still the rape debate is one for another time/thread.

In response to Lolsaur, that's a very true point. Men don't have to give birth so women should have more time off for pregnancy. So your pointing out a difference between men and women and saying we should treat them differently? So if I was to prove beyond reasonable doubt that men make better workers than women. You'd agree with me that men should be paid more? Such a thing is a long way from being proven and is certainly unlikely. But the point stands - Women typically correlate with the Feeling Decision making characteristic - does that mean we should treat all women as irrational people, in capable of making rational decisions and should therefore not be allowed to run for president? No. But the logical extension of your argument is yes.

Difference in men and women supports discrimination - or it doesn't? Women are different because of X so they should get Y? Men are different because of A so they should get B? Isn't this the kind of policy that we tend to call discrimmination?

Quixotess, I did indeed skip the links. I repent. The military one made good points. Although it dismissed all psychological differences between men and women and basically said it was all the men's fault anyway since they made the policy. So I back down on that point. The patriarchy one was also interesting. Now this is what I don't get. If its not a conspiracy. If men aren't deliberately conspiring to keep women down. Then if every man got to his position through hard work and/or approval of the people, is a patriarchy still wrong? What I'm trying to say is that if its not a conspiracy - is it "natural"? Men are more concerned with power etc etc? That's not to say we should deny women power on the basis that they don't want since I'm sure some do, but that in it self a hierarchy of controlling men isn't wrong. It only becomes wrong when women are denied power on the basis that they are women?

All in the all the main point I was trying to make was that its wrong to fight purely for one gender. Stop being "feminists". Stop being "masculinists". Can't we all just be equalist? Because while women do have significant problems (and I'm not trying to belittle them) - so do men. Look at education statistics, prison/crime figures etc. The TV shows that everyone picks up for reinforcing the housewife stereotype - does it also reinforce the helpless man image?

Related news:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7746292.stm

48 weeks for what sounds to me like killing your own baby to hide your affair.

"Meanwhile, Mr Bezerra and Jones bought each other engagement rings and they even bought a car seat for their new baby."
The most harrowing line of the article IMHO. Poor Guy.

Your interpretations?

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby eternal luna » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:10 am UTC

So your pointing out a difference between men and women and saying we should treat them differently?
Indiscriminately equal treatment is not equality.
All in the all the main point I was trying to make was that its wrong to fight purely for one gender. Stop being "feminists". Stop being "masculinists". Can't we all just be equalist?
Did you read the thread?
But to the man that simply subscums to his genetic imperative
Fuck it, I'm sorry, but I don't think I can adequately reply to any of your post because of this. Fuck.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:36 am UTC

Rape as we know it in this society is a result of "the sexism problem," in no small part thanks to the sentiment you espouse.

galadran wrote:All in the all the main point I was trying to make was that its wrong to fight purely for one gender. Stop being "feminists". Stop being "masculinists". Can't we all just be equalist?

I'd like to quote from this comment thread at this time:

tekanji wrote:It's not that these resources don't exist, but rather that -- once again -- it becomes the non-privileged group's responsibility to hand-hold the privileged group. I mean, not only is it not our responsibility to make sure that the privileged people who read our blogs have done their homework, but even when we do go out of our way to provide them with resources they continue telling us to provide them with resources as if it was a new and brilliant idea that no one else thought of.

Right now I'm just hoping that the more posts like yours there are, the easier it will be for people to understand the systems of privilege and how we all contribute to them.

We have addressed that and addressed that and I gave you a link to that in my post that would have taken minimal effort to find. And now you expect to be engaged with and indulged, claiming you're looking for "debate." Well, I don't have that kind of patience.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby galadran » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:38 am UTC

I was in no way trying to say that what he did was any less excusable because of it!!!

"(Although it certainly says something about his own character/quality of being.)"

That wasn't intended to give the impression that he was in anyway excused for his actions :!:

Other responses:
:arrow: That wasnt the point I was trying to make. I was trying to point out that it follows that it was no more wrong of a man to give a woman his seat etc etc.. Since that too is based on a (real) difference.

:arrow: Not in as greater deal as I should. Due to its length I did the one.. two.. skip a few.. .. 20.. 21. approach. Sorry if I was reiterating what has already been said...

Edit: Didnt see Quixotess's reply before that got posted. It was partly your links that got me to that conclusion. Specifically
http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/10/faq-why-do-you-feminists-hate-men/.

I going to go to school and think things through. Maybe I'm expressing myself wrongly or miscontrueing what your saying.

Rape as we know it in this society is a result of "the sexism problem," in no small part thanks to the sentiment you espouse."


So I'm basically a rapist by association. Thankyou for your constructive response. Moving on.. :?
Last edited by galadran on Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby roc314 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:39 am UTC

galadran wrote:Rape is a type of sexism?
Not just rape, but the rape culture that surrounds it. It's not only that there are rapists out there, but that society in many ways encourages it--both subtly and not so subtly. (I'm having trouble finding one single web page to nicely sum up the problem, but the Feminism 101 link and this website can answer most of your questions if you're willing to search a little.)

The sexism is that society encourages this type of behavior and refuses to deal completely with the problem.

EDIT: Ninja'd much more succinctly by Quixotess.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby eternal luna » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:04 am UTC

Galadran, men (not including some pre-op transmen) can't bear children; you seem to be insinuating with your analogy that women can't stand up.
So I'm basically a rapist by association. Thankyou for your constructive response. Moving on..
Do you think that most people who perpetuate rape culture are aware of it? No. How can this be changed if you don't realise the harm you may be causing?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jessica » Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:50 pm UTC

Galadran. Everything you've said has been said before in this 800+ post thread. Including the "You're just calling all men rapists."

So, really, it seems maybe reading the thread, or reading the links provided would help. The way I see if, if you're not willing to read the thread, or the links (critically), why would we assume you'd read our responces to your arguments.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:22 pm UTC

galadran wrote:All in the all the main point I was trying to make was that its wrong to fight purely for one gender. Stop being "feminists". Stop being "masculinists". Can't we all just be equalist?



Main Entry:
fem·i·nism
Pronunciation:
\ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\
Function:
noun
Date:
1895

1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

In short, stop telling people what words to use, especially when you yourself are ignorant of their definition.

Now go read the thread before saying anything else. Or even reading any more posts.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby galadran » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

Feminism is a belief in the political, social, and economic equality of women
Taken from wikipedia article - first line.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism


Many of its active proponents also seek to analyze gender inequality and promote men's rights, interests, and issues.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculinism

Egalitarianism (derived from the French word égal, meaning equal) is a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights.[1] Generally it applies to being held equal under the law and society at large. In actual practice, one may be considered an egalitarian in most areas listed above, even if not subscribing to equality in every possible area of individual difference.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalism

Off to read the thread it is!

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Belial » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:43 pm UTC

galadran wrote:Off to read the thread it is!


Generally, it is considered good form to do this before ever posting.
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They/them

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Jessica » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:44 pm UTC

galadran wrote:Feminism is a belief in the political, social, and economic equality of women
Taken from wikipedia article - first line.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism


Many of its active proponents also seek to analyze gender inequality and promote men's rights, interests, and issues.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masculinism

Egalitarianism (derived from the French word égal, meaning equal) is a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights.[1] Generally it applies to being held equal under the law and society at large. In actual practice, one may be considered an egalitarian in most areas listed above, even if not subscribing to equality in every possible area of individual difference.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalism

Off to read the thread it is!

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com ... lusionary/
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby galadran » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:48 pm UTC

Hm but if as the post implies that all feminists are equalists. It extends that all masculinists are equalists. Thus both feminists and masculinists are equalists. So again, why the need for the distinction?

Tangent: I'm suggesting that say a blog with two authors, a man writing about mens issues, a women writing about womans issues, and both commenting on the other would be an "equalist" blog rather than "feminist" or "masculinist"

Thoughts?

Edit: true Belial and I confess to my bad etiquette, leading to much unneeded aggravation for everyone :oops:

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby kinigget » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

hey. Don't feel too bad, you're doing better than a lot of people. Most people will never willingly admit that they were wrong. You have a good start.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Belial » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:25 pm UTC

galadran wrote:Hm but if as the post implies that all feminists are equalists. It extends that all masculinists are equalists. Thus both feminists and masculinists are equalists.


As the privileged group, there is very little about mens' rights that even needs to be discussed, and the people doing so are rarely doing so in good faith.

Which, it turns out, has also already been discussed in this thread. Less apologizing, more reading. Go go go.
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They/them

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby galadran » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:05 pm UTC

Observations:
I think I remember why I never completely read the thread originally:
.the crust was nice...

*Cue galadran rolling his eyes and dismissing the next 20 pages as pie-related babble* (Yes, I know it was wrong of me. I repent!)

Hm it seems if I want to survive among XKCDians I'm going to need to send diplomatic packages to Belial and Quixotess. Compare to some earlier posts, I seem to be treated quite.. tolerantly. (I'm using tolerant relatively here).

Well I'm 9 pages in and sleepy so goodnight for now, I'll hopefully finish my reading tomorrow:

Points/Things in my head that may get discussed in the pages i still have to read so don't respond to them if you feel they've already been answered.

Discussion of sexism against men is limited to anaceadotes/non serious issues. Education gap in Britain, Family Courts, Prison Ratios, Male support groups.

Not to say the whole violence between men/women isn't a serious issue - I'm well aware of the social stigma with it. In year 8 (14 years old) - girl uses a hot gun (the kind you find in technology class) to pour it all over my arm. On purpose. Unprovoked (she was a pretty demonic girl). I still have the scar mark which tbh looks pretty unsightly (not off your dinner bad but "eugh" response sometimes). Despite me appealing to technology teacher, head of year and assistant head - total action taken against girl - none. If I'd done that to her - Exclusion? Expulsion? Assault? - Permanent record type things. An extreme example which is representative of English schoolroom society. (I know that reiterates slightly but I felt it was relevant)

Agree with the whole anti-angry thing when discussing anything really. Being right is no excuse for abandoning all argument in favour of personal attacks (none saying anyone did but the sentiment seemed to be there)

Point relating back to my point - Have yet to find a convincing explanation for as to why we shouldnt just ditch femism and masculinism and start calling ourselves equalists. If the point stands that there all the same, why not be inclusive rather than exclusive?

G'night all

-Galadran

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:22 pm UTC

galadran wrote:Points/Things in my head that may get discussed in the pages i still have to read so don't respond to them if you feel they've already been answered.

Dude. You could have just not posted them.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby natraj » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:23 am UTC

galadran wrote:Hm it seems if I want to survive among XKCDians I'm going to need to send diplomatic packages to Belial and Quixotess. Compare to some earlier posts, I seem to be treated quite.. tolerantly. (I'm using tolerant relatively here).


Actually, if you want to survive here, you might just do people the courtesy (as has been said) of reading threads before you post the same exact stuff we've already gone over and over and over, rather than expect to be coddled because you're too lazy to bother.

Just saying.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:14 am UTC

No no.. keep posting like that. For bonus points, do it in SB.

... What? I just want to see how fast someone can get banned from SB...
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:10 pm UTC

I'm sure I could do it faster.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby michaelandjimi » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

<whine> I was talking to a friend who I converted to feminism, basically about stuff I'd learnt from this thread and SoLaB. It was a long bus trip down to a holiday place, and we didn't talk about feminism until towards the end. But other people on the bus got so amazingly sick of it, despite the fact it was pretty much an entirely new subject (Of the people in the car, I'd only spoken to the friend and one of the girls). I mean, we're nerds/whatever and tend to get into political arguments and stuff often, but cut me some slack, please. Just because you're uncomfortable about treatment of women, doesn't mean you can govern what I talk about in my own conversations, thanks.

It was an odd phenomenon, to be honest. There were 10 people in the bus, 4 guys, 6 girls. 3 of 4 guys were openly feminist, the girls not at all.

Maybe I'm just uninformed, but I'm amazed by a lot of the resistance to feminism. I remembered Quixotess talking about the characterisation of feminists as being girls who never shave their legs and so on, and assumed it was exaggeration or something before I heard almost those exact words come out of a girl's mouth on the way to a party, and it seemed to be one of the main reasons why she didn't consider herself a feminist. Pretty sure I've got her convinced now, though.

My own father, who's amazingly liberal-minded, had to check with my brother's Arts Major girlfriend (definitely doing some sort of Woman Studies) that feminists could be men too, when I told him I was one.

Has anyone else encountered the phenomenon of guys being only too willing to become feminists, whereas there is strong resistance from girls? It's possible it's the way I'm convincing them, but the gender of the person seems to be an amazing rule of thumb for their response to my conversations. Again, perhaps it is the people I hang around with - I have less male friends so I tend to choose them more carefully, but yeah.

My explanation for it is the mass-media view of feminists - the man-hating, Amazonian, evil feminist (who apparently must have hairy legs) is something that girls do not want to identify with, whereas there isn't a media portrayal of male feminists basically anywhere, so men are more willing to listen to the ideas given they don't have any reason to be petrified of stereotypification [should be a word].

tl;dr: I've seen a couple of irl instances of anti-feminism and it annoys me. </whine>

Sorry for my mainly-incoherent, probably wrong post, but I figured I would rant somewhere.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Moo » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:22 pm UTC

I have made very similar observations.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:55 pm UTC

I haven't. That's not something I've noticed.

There is certainly less risk involved for men, though. Belial brought up earlier that sexist men make more than feminist men, but it's still true that - as Chai Kovsky confirmed - men going into a certain profession/field tends to legitimize that profession, whilst women going into a profession tends to delegitimize it. Same holds for feminism. If a man thinks it's important, then maybe there's something to it. Women are biased on gender issues, you see.

michaelandjimi wrote:I remembered Quixotess talking about the characterisation of feminists as being girls who never shave their legs and so on, and assumed it was exaggeration or something before I heard almost those exact words

Ha! Yeah, no. Remember that the correct reply there is not "They are not all hairy-legged!" but "What's wrong with being hairy-legged?" Don't buy into their framing.

At Thanksgiving, I had the chance to visit my cousin, who's a senior in high school now. She's getting into feminism herself, and apparently her family thinks it's all quite funny / offensive. It's incredibly frustrating for her, because her parents are the authoritarian sort and will use that to end arguments about feminism with, basically, the Miss Trunchbull method. ("I'm smart and you're dumb. I'm big and you're small. I'm right and you're wrong. And there's nothing you can do about it.") In fact, my aunt walked in on my conversation with her and my little sister and little brother, and, addressing my brother, said "Watch out, Nathan. Those girls will make you a drag queen. You'll be in dresses and make-up if you're not careful."

I sort of fixed her with a stare and said "What's wrong with that?"

There was minor fumbling before she said "Nothing. But I don't want you to make him do that; putting pressure on him."

Me: "I'm sorry. Who's the one who's putting pressure on here?"

Anyway, then she left, but if that's really the kind of thing my cousin has to put up with when she talks about feminism with her own family, then I'm glad she's getting out of that damn house. She told me she doesn't really have anyone who will take her seriously, or else they take her seriously enough to cut her down.

I wrote down the URLs for Shakesville and the feminism101 blog (she already reads Feministing, which is good to start with, I suppose, but is a bit feminism-lite), encouraged her to get a new e-mail (her parents read the one she has; a new e-mail is her idea but I was making sure she knew it was okay) and told her she could contact me any time. Also I went to the bookstore on Black Friday and bought her Susan Faludi's Backlash. Which I am totally reading before I wrap. I'm also totally buying her a This is What a Feminist Looks Like shirt for Christmas.

Quixotess: does not stand for any of that shit.

Oh, and don't worry. Her parents are controlling, but not so controlling that they'd confiscate any of that stuff or punish her for having it. I'm not going to get her in trouble. They'll just make fun of her.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby sophyturtle » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:30 pm UTC

I had a friend in college who said she was not a feminist. I was confused and asked why, and she said something about not being gay and thinking we were pretty equal already (this coming from a girl I made out with by the way...)
Anyway, when her mom found out that she would not say she was a feminist she was appalled and spent the holiday informing her daughter. My friend came back a feminist.
I personally have found I did not need to convert people, but make them realize they already agreed with feminism. It is irritating to have to combat the negative stereotypes. It is irritating to not be listened to.

I forget that some people do not have awesome parents. My parents have the joke "what do you call a radical with 2 kids? A liberal!" and my father has been a feminist since the 70's. My heart goes out to people raised in houses where women could not be strong, and men could not be beautiful.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Monty40xi » Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:49 am UTC

michaelandjimi wrote:Has anyone else encountered the phenomenon of guys being only too willing to become feminists, whereas there is strong resistance from girls? It's possible it's the way I'm convincing them, but the gender of the person seems to be an amazing rule of thumb for their response to my conversations. Again, perhaps it is the people I hang around with - I have less male friends so I tend to choose them more carefully, but yeah.

My explanation for it is the mass-media view of feminists - the man-hating, Amazonian, evil feminist (who apparently must have hairy legs) is something that girls do not want to identify with, whereas there isn't a media portrayal of male feminists basically anywhere, so men are more willing to listen to the ideas given they don't have any reason to be petrified of stereotypification [should be a word].
My cynical theory? Guys think publicly proclaiming themselves feminists will help them get laid.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:02 am UTC

Clearly, the solution here is to administer a feminism quiz to separate the allies from the asses. "What do you think have been some of the drawbacks, disadvantages, or failures of feminism?" would be a good place to start. "What feminist writings have had the most influence on your feminism?" would be another.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:08 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:"What feminist writings have had the most influence on your feminism?" would be another.
Is "blogs and message boards" an acceptable answer?

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby sje46 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:22 am UTC

sophyturtle wrote:I had a friend in college who said she was not a feminist. I was confused and asked why, and she said something about not being gay and thinking we were pretty equal already (this coming from a girl I made out with by the way...)

I don't mean to be offensive or anything, but I don't understand why people say or do stuff like this. How they aren't gay, but they sometimes make out with girls, or something. I mean, I'm no expert in these things, but are girls more adventurous in their sexuality than men? And when they are more adventurous they still call themselves not gay . .. which they might not be, all the way, but they are at least a little bi, right? I mean, if I kissed a dude because I wanted to, and not because of a dare or something, wouldn't that make me a little gay or bi or something?
According to my own anecdotal, biased evidence, I hear a lot more stories about girls straight making out with each other--usually when they are drunk--than guys . . . is this because guys acting in a homosexual way is so wrong, and thus they don't like to act on their urges, at least in public, or do some girls do it for attention from males and DON'T feel attracted to the other girl?
Sorry if this is a bit off topic.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:38 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:
Quixotess wrote:"What feminist writings have had the most influence on your feminism?" would be another.
Is "blogs and message boards" an acceptable answer?

Yeah. You would then be asked to elaborate. ("What blogs do you read? What blogs have you stopped reading? What was one of the most memorable arguments about feminism that you've had or witnessed on a message board, and why?") Just like if you said "bell hooks" you would then be asked to elaborate. ("Which of her writings have you read? Which one had the most impact on you? What's your biggest disagreement with her?") Basically, you're looking for them to propagate misunderstandings of feminist arguments. Also note how easily this can all seem like conversation, and if you have found a feminist, they'll probably enjoy answering your questions.

Okay, okay, I'm mostly not serious here. But it would be nice sometimes.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby JayDee » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:47 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:
Quixotess wrote:"What feminist writings have had the most influence on your feminism?" would be another.
Is "blogs and message boards" an acceptable answer?
Not really. Anyone who could give it as an answer should be reading those blogs close enough to be able to at the least name a couple of writings, if not reference them convincingly.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:52 am UTC

Eh. True, but a lot of the writings that have had the most influence on me are themselves blog posts by feminists whose writings exist mostly, if not exclusively, online.

Hm, so I guess saying "blogs and message boards" is roughly equivalent to saying "books and literary journals." So no, that's not a very good answer. Specifics! We demand specifics!
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:01 am UTC

The thing is, while I've certainly read pieces on feminism, the majority of my conversion was through discussions online with feminists, via message boards. While reading blogs like Shakesville has certainly augmented my knowledge, I would say I knew enough from those discussions alone to understand what feminism is all about, why it's important, and how to argue in favor of it.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:06 am UTC

What was one of the most memorable arguments you've had on a message board, and why?
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:29 am UTC

For me, the moment I recall really "getting it" was an argument about rape culture. Someone mentioned it, I responded in a defensive "I'm a male and I would never rape! You're saying that I'm naturally inclined to rape, because of my sex, and thats sexism!" because I was predisposed to expect feminism to be attacking me, personally, as a man. The other poster explained how it was fueled by the common stereotypes of both men and women, and perpetuated by society as a whole, the whole concept of gender as a social construct, socially imposed, rather than intrinsic qualities, how it wasn't about what I personally would do, but what all these factors were encouraging me and others to do. They were arguments and concepts I had heard before but blocked out since I was expecting to hear something offensive instead. Once it clicked I went back and read just about everything this other poster had written, which I had ignored before.

It's kind of hard for me to name specific arguments for that reason, since most of them didn't get to me at all at the time, but once it clicked they all made sense.

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby Quixotess » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:45 am UTC

Congratulations, you just passed!

TheAmazingRando wrote: The other poster explained how it was fueled by the common stereotypes of both men and women, and perpetuated by society as a whole, the whole concept of gender as a social construct, socially imposed, rather than intrinsic qualities, how it wasn't about what I personally would do, but what all these factors were encouraging me and others to do.

Of course, once you accept that, unfortunately you have to roll it back a little and learn about your personal complicity in rape culture, which exists even if you don't ever rape.
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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby T-Form » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:06 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Clearly, the solution here is to administer a feminism quiz to separate the allies from the asses. "What do you think have been some of the drawbacks, disadvantages, or failures of feminism?" would be a good place to start. "What feminist writings have had the most influence on your feminism?" would be another.

This sounds like it'd end up separating people by class (and education level), too. Working-class people typically don't have the luxury of spending hours in libraries or reading blogs, and without an academic background, the language in some books (Gender Trouble springs to mind) can be pretty inaccessible even if you have the time. Beyond the class issue, a focus on the writings that have influenced people also seems to suggest that the theory is more important than the practice.

Actually, the notion of "feminist writings" isn't well-defined at all. Some of the things written by some first-wave feminists wouldn't seem like feminist writings if they were written today (e.g. the idealised view of women as mothers, and the various nationalist/racist/eugenicist/anti-abortion notions that became entangled with that ideal), but they're clearly feminist when taken in the context they were written in. Mill and Plato seem like borderline cases; a lot of feminist theory is built on Foucault's ideas, but I'm not sure whether his writing is feminist in itself; conversely, a lot of queer theory and masculist theory is built on feminist theory, but isn't necessarily feminist.

sje46 wrote:I don't mean to be offensive or anything, but I don't understand why people say or do stuff like this. How they aren't gay, but they sometimes make out with girls, or something. I mean, I'm no expert in these things, but are girls more adventurous in their sexuality than men? And when they are more adventurous they still call themselves not gay . .. which they might not be, all the way, but they are at least a little bi, right? I mean, if I kissed a dude because I wanted to, and not because of a dare or something, wouldn't that make me a little gay or bi or something?

Would it? Categories like "gay" and "bi" suggest a very simplistic model of human sexuality - I'm not sure whether more complicated models such as the Kinsey Scale or the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid provide much more insight on an individual level, but at least they're probably more precise. Simple categories also carry the implications that the meaning of sexual desire comes as much from your own body as from those of whichever people you're attracted to, that everyone feels sexual attraction to someone, that sex and gender are binary and immutable (and that sex equals gender), that attraction is immutable, and probably a bunch of other questionable ideas. Frankly, I don't see how it can a good idea to put people into boxes labelled "gay" or "bi" or whatever - it's a very crude representation of reality, and it also lends itself to an "us and them" mentality all too easily.

According to my own anecdotal, biased evidence, I hear a lot more stories about girls straight making out with each other--usually when they are drunk--than guys . . . is this because guys acting in a homosexual way is so wrong, and thus they don't like to act on their urges, at least in public, or do some girls do it for attention from males and DON'T feel attracted to the other girl?

It's probably a combination of the two. I'd say that society doesn't really know how to be afraid of women, but men are seen as much more dangerous and difficult to control, so a pair of men (or worse yet, a group of men) with a strong emotional connection are seen as a threat - their loyalty to each other might be stronger than their loyalty to the state or church or society. A female "bisexual" identity (or visible homosexual behaviour between women, which is socially interpreted as much the same thing) also works better because it agrees with various stereotypical masculine fantasies (not that that necessarily invalidates the identity or the behaviour), while a male "bisexual" identity is probably going to make a lot of people think "eww, where has this guy's penis been?".

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Re: Feminism (split from 'nfessions)

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:20 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Congratulations, you just passed!
I would like to think that my posting history has been passing enough.
Quixotess wrote:Of course, once you accept that, unfortunately you have to roll it back a little and learn about your personal complicity in rape culture, which exists even if you don't ever rape.
Quite true, but I had to be convinced of the basics first. The concepts and the logic behind them seemed to click all at once, but actually accepting the logical conclusions of what I knew took a bit more time to really settle in. The memorable part to me, though, was the initial moment of sudden realization. So much of defending feminism is refuting the same arguments, reiterating the same points over and over again, the fact that I had a sudden about-face in the way I responded to them gives me hope that others can do the same.


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