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Offline Malaria

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Modern feminism and you!
« on: October 21, 2010, 10:54:56 pm »
I'm starting this thread as a response to comments made by DancingTofu in this thread, but it's intended as a general discussion of modern feminism, including its various movements and concerns. Reproductive rights, childcare, access to medical care, education, social justice, rape culture, portrayals in popular media, pay disparity and whatever else you might have, we wanna talk about all of it. If you've got some objections to some points of feminist thought, we wanna talk about that too.

First person to make a sammich joke gets the pleasure of knowing they're repeating the same tired, anti-woman lines we've all heard before.

And in case you're wondering why the hell you should care, keep in mind that in all likelihood, you are a feminist. Yes, you are.

My actual response to DancingTofu's comments going in the post below, 'cause it's kinda huge.
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 10:55:32 pm »
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Feminism, in modern society, is a farce.
That's a pretty sweeping derogatory statement.

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Women are genetically, physically, and psychologically different from men.
The average woman is physically different from the average man, but we have more than our share of people that defy those norms, either by being "too" masculine or "too" feminine. Unless you're directly addressing primary and secondary sexual characteristics, in which case I'd say those don't always develop as we expect them to, and we exclude and embarrass those who aren't the norm when we insist that all men and women must be a certain way physically. This also doesn't leave room for those whose sex or gender doesn't fit with the gender binary.
I'd argue that the differing psychology between men and women is largely a societal construct. Societies that don't encourage men and women to behave along a hard/soft dichotomy, such as the Forest People of Cameroon and the Congo, raise people that are alike in psychology and personality.
As for genetics, besides the XX and XY chromosomes, (which aren't always guaranteed; XXY happens) there are always men and women who will develop extremely gender ambiguous or ambivalent traits. As it is, we don't have a clear standard for determining what physical and genetic traits (excepting chromosomal typing) are "inherently" feminine or masculine, as in the case of Carter Semenya.

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This creates differences, such as women being better suited for creative tasks and men being better suited for systematic tasks.
I reject this outright. If we have more men in science or more women in arts, it's because we have historically encouraged men to intellectually rigorous tasks, while women were encouraged to pursue more artistic tasks. We encourage women and girls to think of themselves as being worse at science and math, and it's been shown that whether one enters those fields has nothing to do with objectively how skills one is, but rather how skills one thinks one is.

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It also creates differences such as men being more prone to Autism and ADHD, whereas women are more prone to Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar.
I don't know anything about this, so I can't say either way. I can say I don't think this has anything to do with whether or not men and women should be treated equally, which they are not.
 
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I'm not exactly an activist, but I've spent my entire life supporting equal-opportunity and minority acceptance, and I'm really tired of hearing ignorant feminists tell me that men are sexist and that society is dominated by "rape culture" and patriarchy.  It's not.
Your previous experience in supporting equality in whatever form does not leave you qualified to decide whether or not inequality of genders and sexes is an issue.
I wouldn't say that just men are sexist. I'd say everyone is sexist. It's written into us by our society, and also possibly by our genetics depending on what science you want to pay attention to. Just like we're all hardwired for racism. Fortunately for us, we live in glorious Western civilization, where we're supposedly above functioning entirely on the basis of our baseline genetic instincts.
Just because you believe that society isn't patriarchal or containing a rape culture doesn't mean you're right. It just means you don't notice or aren't bothered by these things. I can't walk around alone at night. I feel a moment of panic whenever I pass a man on the street. This is because it has been drilled into me that if I am not cautious, I could be raped. If a bunch of factors happen to coincide, (wearing a short skirt, alone at night, willingness to smile at strangers and engage in conversation with them) I will likely be blamed by at least some people for the rape. Not my potential rapist; me. Doesn't that seem indicative of a problem?
The most conversative estimates say that 1 in 6 American women will be the victims of sexual assault, either attempted or successful, at some point in their lives. That is a stunningly high number. I'm not saying men don't rape men or women don't rape women or women don't rape men and that these things aren't an issue, but this is disproportionately an issue of man-on-woman crime. Therefore it is an issue that needs to be addressed to men regarding their attitude toward women instead of victim-blaming, which is our current practice.

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The only actual serious sexism I've seen on a significant scale is workplace discrimination against men on the basis that it's apparently not professionally acceptable for men to have long hair, but for women it's fine.
Just because you haven't seen or noticed it doesn't mean it's not there. It just means it's something that isn't bothering you personally.
All right. Men can't have long hair. But women can't win for losing when it comes to dressing in a professional setting. Women are either too staid or too sexy. If they're too staid, they're perceived negatively by their coworkers and bosses, meaning a more unpleasant work environment. If they're too sexy, it's the same. Oh, and let's not forgot that pesky wage gap. Depending on your source, woman make anywhere from 75 to 84 cents for every dollar a man makes, with variables controlled for hours worked, industries and positions in their companies.

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Beyond that all the "sexism" I've seen is just feminist propaganda endorsed by matriarchal, hyperdominant women who profiteer on society's inherent gullibility.
I think there are misandrists out there, ruining it for people who actually seek equality of sexes and genders, but I'd say that the large proportion of feminists are people that want nothing more than to live in a more equal world.
I'm not sure what you mean by hyperdominant women in this case. Women who aggressively, confidently lead their organizations and movements in the way that they believe will most effectively achieve their ends? Because I wouldn't call them hyperdominant. I'd call them competent.
I don't really understand where you think anyone is profiteering. Women's rights groups are largely non-profits, and there isn't all that much money in the nonprofit sector.

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Just figured I'd, you know, throw that out there.  And for the record, I was raised almost entirely androgenous.  Didn't really identify as male or female until one day I found a moustache growing upon my face and decided I'd just live with being male.
That means that you haven't, at any point, lived as a woman, and are therefore making all these sweeping generalizations about something you have no firsthand experience about? Hate to sound like a bitter caricature of a feminist, but good job mansplaining to all us silly wimmenz. Without you, how would we really know what's going on?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 10:56:59 pm by Malaria »
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Offline NARUNIK

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 11:07:36 pm »
woah.....


The second quote is true.The fourth quote is true. Im not sure about anything else here, thank you very much.

My reasons are from Discovery Channal.

Can anyone explain SAMMICH to me?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 11:13:42 pm by NARUNIK »

Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 11:13:46 pm »
woah.....


The second quote is true.The fourth quote is true. Im not sure about anything else hear, thank you very much.

My reasons are from Discovery Channal.

Can anyone explain SAMMICH to me?
I maintain that that science generally holds. Unless you happen to be one of the many, many people for whom it doesn't. In which case, they're just one more reason for people to treat you badly for failing to fit the paradigm.

It's an extension of that whole line of thought where women belong in the kitchen, making food for their men. "Make me a sammich, bitch" is sort of the whole ideology condensed into one phrase, used for humor by people who think it's cool to say those sorts of things. They're being edgy, donchaknow.
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Offline NARUNIK

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 11:16:01 pm »
XD!!!!!


Oh I know those types of people. I think the joke is funny but the realism of it is not.

"DO THE DISHES HOE."- lol...

Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 11:22:36 pm »
I don't like it, but that's mostly because women do a disproportionate amount of housework and childrearing in most heterosexual couples. People make those jokes like it's some sort of antiquated way of thinking when it really isn't. With men doing on average a third as much of what's traditionally considered "women's work," what it really reflects is our modern situation. Not as bad as it once was, but still fundamentally unequal.
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 11:25:11 pm »
Sad to me this needs to be said but just in case I'm a moderator, administrator, director, but my opinions are my own

This thread could go utter super flame war REALLY fast, so I'm camping it here and now. I'll also be camping any male side counter thread (including the original post) for objectivity.

FULL Disclosure: I am female. I also grew up with sociological and ethical pressures to be a nuturer and a maternal entity at primary, and a provider and a active economical asset secondary. My personal aspiration is to one day be within my means to not be required to work the 9-5 grind, stay at home with my children and assume the physical attiributes, charisma and intellectual prowess of a 1950's classic television housewife. (re: I want to be able to wear a house dress and heals and pearls while I clean my house and look freaking classy as hell whilst I entertain my guests, teach my children, clean my house and portray model citizenship)

I do not, will not and cannot agree with the "femminist movement" until it, or those who lead it provide me an end game rationale for their actions. As with any community, movement, market or politically charged party; Femminism is based upon a good idea, powered by people (women?) who had individual goals, needs and rationales. These people use a very public, very smart business model and activism to power there own lives and careers. The industry of revolution and civil disobedience is one of the largest and most secure markets out there, especially on something that cannot be quantified or "won" like "equality" and "femminism". Its like the War of Drugs, or War on Terror... you cannot win them, but heaven knows we will spend billions of dollars trying.

So thats my full disclosure, keep the discourse objective, and no mudslinging and I'm willing, for conjecture's sake, to allow the open market place of ideas to flourish here.

Edit for disclosure of my rank and status of opinions being my own.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 01:01:01 pm by AllyKat »
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Offline @random

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 11:32:33 pm »
As an addendum to AllyKat's comment:

The forum Code of Conduct states in part:
  • Keep discussion friendly and civil, and keep discussion focused on the issue rather than the person. No personal attacks or speculating about another person's motives.
  • Respect the subject matter of each thread. If you'd like to hold a discussion about a separate issue, please post in a separate thread.

Personal attacks will be removed posthaste. They're also likely to lead to negative consequences, so please don't push the line or even get near it.
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 11:35:10 pm »
This thread could go utter super flame war REALLY fast, so I'm camping it here and now. I'll also be camping any male side counter thread (including the original post) for objectivity.
To start off: thank you. I really want this thread to be a productive discussion and not a flame war, because it's a topic that I find interesting and vital.

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FULL Disclosure: I am female. I also grew up with sociological and ethical pressures to be a nuturer and a maternal entity at primary, and a provider and a active economical asset secondary. My personal aspiration is to one day be within my means to not be required to work the 9-5 grind, stay at home with my children and assume the physical attiributes, charisma and intellectual prowess of a 1950's classic television housewife. (re: I want to be able to wear a house dress and heals and pearls while I clean my house and look freaking classy as hell whilst I entertain my guests, teach my children, clean my house and portray model citizenship)
If you ever figure out the trick for doing tedious physical activity while in heels, you should share with the world at large.

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I do not, will not and cannot agree with the "femminist movement" until it, or those who lead it provide me an end game rationale for their actions. As with any community, movement, market or politically charged party; Femminism is based upon a good idea, powered by people (women?) who had individual goals, needs and rationales. These people use a very public, very smart business model and activism to power there own lives and careers. The industry of revolution and civil disobedience is one of the largest and most secure markets out there, especially on something that cannot be quantified or "won" like "equality" and "femminism". Its like the War of Drugs, or War on Terror... you cannot win them, but heaven knows we will spend billions of dollars trying.
I think you've pointed out for yourself here why there can't be an end game: the feminist movement is not a single coherent entity. Constant forward progress is the goal, in terms of reproductive rights, childcare, agency, equal ability to participate in society and a thousand other things women get short-changed on. Even if there never is a final goal, a world in which people can live with a little more freedom without the constraint of gendered expectations, is for me a worthy goal.
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 11:36:53 pm »
As an addendum to AllyKat's comment:

The forum Code of Conduct states in part:
  • Keep discussion friendly and civil, and keep discussion focused on the issue rather than the person. No personal attacks or speculating about another person's motives.
  • Respect the subject matter of each thread. If you'd like to hold a discussion about a separate issue, please post in a separate thread.

Personal attacks will be removed posthaste. They're also likely to lead to negative consequences, so please don't push the line or even get near it.
Thank you. I'll keep this in mind, and I hope everyone else does too.
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Offline superjaz

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 12:03:27 am »
I volunteered at womens resouce center at psu couple of terms great place.

I am a odd sort I love cooking and sewing but if I were ever told that "thats what your for" I'd smack some one

I am really tired now so what I write might get mixed up, but this just popped in my head, simular to a minority, generously say the last 100 years things have changed ALOT, many "rights" men had over their wifes, are now against the law, 100 years IS NOT A LONG TIME, to just forget, forget and repeat same mistakes, 100 years heck in some places these things still go on.

One thing that puts things into prespective is this:
 my great grandma was not a legal us citizen until she was 24 years old because she was a native american, family has been in the US since before it was the US and took 24 years of her life to get reconized by her goverment.

Hope I am not too confusing or jumping too much, really tired, just yeah I guess its I believe feminism is the need to protect and prevent making the same mistakes man I could tell you horror storys
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 12:14:06 am »
I'm a moderator, administrator, director, but my opinions are my own

I think you've pointed out for yourself here why there can't be an end game: the feminist movement is not a single coherent entity. Constant forward progress is the goal, in terms of reproductive rights, childcare, agency, equal ability to participate in society and a thousand other things women get short-changed on. Even if there never is a final goal, a world in which people can live with a little more freedom without the constraint of gendered expectations, is for me a worthy goal.

Setting aside the actual imperical data that may disagree with those claims in what has been catogorized as the "developed world" (I will set aside those countries classified as 3rd world by the U.N. and the E.U. because intrinsically you are asking a country unable to sustain its population to make a very large jump in Maslows pyramid) I would question whether or not certain changes are necessary to be "pushed" or whether natural evolution of sociology and economy intices these changes within us.

The first true femminist actions; and subsequent changes to government and policy occured out of economic need: Money and Stability made women feel powerless to provide because they had been required to fullfill a roll that relied on both from an outside source. In the early turn of the century the western world was becoming industrialized and commericalized, which meant the flow of power changed from those who do, to those who sell. When our male counterparts no longer physically control their income and social and economical standing, we in turn no longer control our households social and economical standing.

Because of this lack of control, women in western society felt helpless and demanded a oppourtunity to take control of their situation. Out of that need grew the inflation of needs and standard of living. Out of that inflation of standard of living grew more need to equalize. Thus began a increase of what requirements we (as society) had for sustainable lifestyles. We we demand more out of ourselves than one person can feasibly provide for their household, we naturally require those same things out of a secondary person. Thus began the stronger role of women in the workplace.

Historically woman have not been out of the loop completely when it came to society, and if history tells us anything it is that while it may not be obvious the role they play in our communities, it is with out a doubt as important, if not more so than their male partners.

While publically patriarical hierarchies have orchestrated our situation for the past few centuries I have no doubt that women with prowess have been monitoring and leading society quietly into equality through means genetically more adept in women than men; those of persuasion, coersion and delegation.

The genetic debate is one for another time. My overall point is the moment you center your crusade on one gender's rights specifcally, you assume that they take precident over anything else regarding gender rights. It's called centralism, and even those with intentions to make the "whole world" a better place are guilty of it when they call themselves feminists, or patriarchs or what have you.

Me? I am a humanist, whatever role needs to be played by you and yours, as long as you do it to the best of your ability and continue to support the overall continuation of the species in a sustainable and healthy way, that is all that matters. Intellectual and economic growth come through the practices of understanding societal and genetic limitiations and using those to our advantages objectively and without emotional involvement.

Edited to fix some big space gap I don't know how it appeared...
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 01:01:42 pm by AllyKat »
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 12:27:54 am »
For the record, everything I post here which I do not explicitly declare to be otherwise represents myself and only myself (and any sources cited); in no way are my statements those held or endorsed by Kumoricon and Altonimbus Entertainment, or relevant to my moderator status.  Furthermore, whereas all input is welcome, since the discussion subject is controversial, please keep statements informed, objective, and serious if you wish to contribute.  The intent of this debate (and any debate) is to exchange points of view, reasoning, and data so that all persons observing and participating leave with a more informed awareness of the subject.


I'm going to be truncating asides and portions of text that I feel can be left unaddressed.  If there's something you'd like me to rebut which I do not, let me know.  Truncations can be observed in the form of an ellipsis. (...)


My full initial response will take a while to full type because I want to be able to cite some legitimate scholarly articles in the interest of maintaining objectivity.  I'll be working in notepad and checking this thread regularly for new discussions to consider.  Hopefully I'll have a response available by Sunday, but I won't make any promises.


In the mean time, I've attached an essay I wrote a while back from when a feminist teacher gave the class a bunch of feminist articles and told us to write an essay based on what they said.  So instead I wrote an androgynist essay and I think I got a C.  It's probably not very good; I haven't read it since last winter so I probably don't even agree with most of what I said, but I figure it's an interesting read and something to put here until I can get my full rebuttal prepared :)
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Offline goatchild

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 12:31:16 am »
I would just like to add my personal story of sexual discrimination in the work place. My apologies in advance for the length. I wouldn't post something so tl;dr if I didn't think it was 100% worth posting. : x

Both my mother and my father are general practice physicians. They went to the same medical school, the same residency, and have almost always worked in the same hospitals together. They have nearly identical training and job experience, and practice medicine in a very similar fashion, with the acknowledgment of the differences that come simply from being different people.

My mother has been fired from at least two jobs because a male coworker or superior was disregarding certain rules, or cutting corners, etc. and my mother called them on it. She went through the appropriate procedures to register her complaint and have something done about it. This was not my mother simply being vindictive against her fellow doctors who happened to be male, or her trying to take over and make things run the way she wanted them to. She was also not alone in her feelings. My father and other doctors shared her concerns. She was just the only woman who chose come forward and speak up, and refused to back down when her male coworkers and superiors tried to brush her off as a “female doctor” who didn't know what she was talking about.

There were legal discussions within the hospital that escalated to actual court trials and lawyers that drained my parents’ paychecks until we were living on spare change. My parents would not put the livelihood of our entire family on the line simply for a “misguided feminist temper tantrum”.

After that, my father began working at another health center. My mother started working as a part-time physician in the same health center. She was essentially doing the same job as the full time physicians, she was just limited in the hours she was allowed to work. There were several times where there was a full-time job opening at the health center, and my mother applied. She was rejected. The first time it happened, it wasn't a big deal. Then it happened again. And again. During this time my father had become an administrator for the health center. I would like to emphasize again that my parents have nearly identical training and experiences, and that my mother was, for all intents and purposes, already doing the exact same job that she was applying for.

Again, there was a full-time job opening, and my mother applied. My parents agreed that if an applicant who was significantly less-qualified for job was hired instead of my mother – who was doing the job already – they would both quit. A significantly less-qualified applicant, who happened to be male, was indeed hired. My parents both quit, and began a desperate search for new jobs. Again, my family’s livelihood was put on the line, even more-so this time because one of my sisters was in college now, and another family member was in and out of drug rehab programs, both of which my parents were already taking out loans and scraping change together to pay for. Funding the education and rehabilitation of our family members was just as important to them as being treated equally and with professional respect in the work environment. Eventually they found a job where they could BOTH work, doing the SAME job, and get the SAME paycheck. This job was in a completely different town. So my family packed up and left our home of thirteen years. My parents are currently working quite happily – and equally – in the local hospital of their new town.

Obviously there are other factors in both of these stories, as well as legal and occupational details that are protected by confidentiality and therefore I am not informed of. The facts still stand that when my parents were in the exact same job environment, my mother was more than once treated as if she were significantly inferior, ignorant, and unqualified, and subsequently labeled a “hot-headed angry feminist on a rampage” for fighting for the equal respect she deserves as an educated professional.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 12:38:19 am »
Thanks for the thread, Malaria.  I taught a 6-month Free School course on "Women Resisting Genocide & Gynocide", using examples from the Holocaust, Burma, India, and Argentina. Misogyny and patriarchal oppression are real and are deadly. Not universal, but close. Not inbred, but inculcated. To dismiss the exigency of resisting them because a few opportunists entrench political fundraising on related diction is naive and dangerous. Oh, and some use other terms, e.g., mujerista and womanist, to differentiate from the most-publicized hegemony, viewed by many as insufficiently inclusive. Ally: Like voting? For real, outside of con? Thank a Suffragette, and then see if you feel less inclined to summarily dismiss feminism. M: For tips on doing housework in heels, ask a drag queen ;-) Really. That's from whom I learned to walk in 5 1/2-inch heels for a photoshoot. I don't wear heels anymore; I am too afraid to do other than wear shoes in which I could run away if I (G-d forbid) have to, given the rape 2 blocks away
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Offline @random

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2010, 12:46:33 am »
(My personal opinion, which reflects only upon myself)

Two things to keep in mind about the relative prevalence of sexism:

1) We live in one of the most liberal regions of the US. There are a whole lot of -isms that are diminished here, but are very much alive and well (even flourishing) in other parts of the country. Even if you take "That doesn't happen here" as true, that doesn't mean it's not common elsewhere.

2) It's easy to notice an injury when you're the one on the receiving end, and difficult to notice it when you're on the end that benefits. Out of all the personality aspects humans are hardwired for, self-serving bias and selective obliviousness are two of the most pervasive. If even I (being male) notice sexism against women going on, then it's a fair bet that there's a whole lot more that I'm not noticing.

My overall point is the moment you center your crusade on one gender's rights specifcally, you assume that they take precident over anything else regarding gender rights. It's called centralism, and even those with intentions to make the "whole world" a better place are guilty of it when they call themselves feminists, or patriarchs or what have you.

Absolutely true, though it kinda bothered me on the first read until I realized that "you" was being used in the "any given person" sense of the word and not as a 2nd-person identifier. (English really needs more pronouns.)

I've also heard such people called "single-issue voters", and they range a wide gamut of issues. But I don't think that the existence of such people inherently discredits the cause they support. It's just to their discredit, personally.

I would just like to add my personal story of sexual discrimination in the work place. My apologies in advance for the length. I wouldn't post something so tl;dr if I didn't think it was 100% worth posting.

Wow - thank you for posting it; it was 100% worth it. I really admire your parents' courage.
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2010, 12:57:41 am »
Setting aside the actual imperical data that may disagree with those claims in what has been catogorized as the "developed world" (I will set aside those countries classified as 3rd world by the U.N. and the E.U. because intrinsically you are asking a country unable to sustain its population to make a very large jump in Maslows pyramid) I would question whether or not certain changes are necessary to be "pushed" or whether natural evolution of sociology and economy intices these changes within us.
I maintain that the pay gap and the rate of rape in the US (we're not Johannesburg, but we still outstrip most other MDCs/first world nations) are stark examples of the inequalities faced by women.
At every turn, social change requires someone to push. Women didn't get the vote in 1920 because men finally decided that might be a swell idea or we all came to some sort of utopian agreement. Suffragists worked for those rights.

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The first true feminist actions; and subsequent changes to government and policy occured out of economic need: Money and Stability made women feel powerless to provide because they had been required to fullfill a roll that relied on both from an outside source. In the early turn of the century the western world was becoming industrialized and commericalized, which meant the flow of power changed from those who do, to those who sell. When our male counterparts no longer physically control their income and social and economical standing, we in turn no longer control our households social and economical standing. Because of this lack of control, women in western society felt helpless and demanded a oppourtunity to take control of their situation.
Women were demanding power before industrialization was a major force in the US. Immediately after the American Civil War, suffragists lobbied for the women's vote to come at the same as that of African-Americans. Frederick Douglass encouraged them to shove it so that the suffrage activists could focus on getting the black men's vote. So I don't think you can say that women fought for their rights primarily as a consequence of the power shift of the Industrial Revolution.

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Out of that need grew the inflation of needs and standard of living. Out of that inflation of standard of living grew more need to equalize. Thus began a increase of what requirements we (as society) had for sustainable lifestyles. We we demand more out of ourselves than one person can feasibly provide for their household, we naturally require those same things out of a secondary person. Thus began the stronger role of women in the workplace.
I haven't seen this connection, but this really depends on your interpretation of American consumer history, I suppose. My understanding was that working class women worked outside the home long before it became a consideration for middle or upper class women, not out of some need to raise the standard of living, but because working class wages were terrible and it was "work or starve," not "work or you won't get a better tenement."

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Historically woman have not been out of the loop completely when it came to society, and if history tells us anything it is that while it may not be obvious the role they play in our communities, it is with out a doubt as important, if not more so than their male partners.
I agree. History has really amazing individuals throughout. But just because those specific women, and women in general, are critically important to our development as a culture and society, doesn't mean we give women the acknowledgment they deserve. Our capitalist society, which you cited above, does not value work that is not monetized. That extremely critical work women do is not monetized or valued in the same way that paying work of similar difficulty or duration is valued. This leads to a lack of respect and lack of options that come because of lack of acknowledgment.

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While publically patriarical hierarchies have orchestrated our situation for the past few centuries I have no doubt that women with prowess have been monitoring and leading society quietly into equality through means genetically more adept in women than men; those of persuasion, coersion and delegation.
Most women are responsible for propagating the patriarchy to some degree. It's written into our culture, therefore it's written into us. We think in ways that privilege men over women. I catch myself at it sometimes. I reject outright the idea that women use more subtle methods of persuasion because of a genetic predisposition; it's because for a long time, those were the only options available to women. Even as the wisdom of the individual woman was valued, she was seen as an exception, and she still didn't have the opportunity to speak up directly and make her case, as men (assuming they were of the correct class/social station) could.

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The genetic debate is one for another time. My overall point is the moment you center your crusade on one gender's rights specifcally, you assume that they take precident over anything else regarding gender rights. It's called centralism, and even those with intentions to make the "whole world" a better place are guilty of it when they call themselves feminists, or patriarchs or what have you.
I don't think I'm privileging feminist activism over any other form of activism, this just happens to be something I am comfortable discussing and engaging about. I feel as if I have some understanding about what needs to be done, which I don't have for alterabled, elder or race/ethnic rights. We fight what battles we are capable of fighting.

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Me? I am a humanist, whatever role needs to be played by you and yours, as long as you do it to the best of your ability and continue to support the overall continuation of the species in a sustainable and healthy way, that is all that matters. Intellectual and economic growth come through the practices of understanding societal and genetic limitiations and using those to our advantages objectively and without emotional involvement.
I'm a humanist too. But like I said above, I do what I can where I can.
I think it's too easy to say everyone should act how they can act. Our abilities are limited by our circumstances. People in less advantaged situations will develop abilities that are different from those in more advantaged situations. It's too easy to say that we believe everyone should be equal and free to act as they can, because circumstances play a part in who we are. In order to have a world where genetic predispositions and natural abilities can flourish, unhampered by social disadvantage or lack of privilege, we have to work for it. I think that mess is something too complicated to be dealt with in one fell swoop of fervent humanism. It must be chipped away at from every angle, every rights discrimination tackled by those who understand that particular facet.
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Offline tofutakeout

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2010, 12:59:16 am »
All I'm going to say is the 4th quote is wrong. You do not get a certain disorder more so than another gender because you are that gender. I've known plenty(far too many actually) of men that were Bi-polar or Schizophrenic(Or both). And the same goes for woman with ADHD or Autism. I'm not even going to press the rape issue, it's too personal of a subject.

I'm not a feminist, I have my own views on things but I do not think one gender is better than another. This goes along with my sexual preference of being Pansexual. I feel that this is a topic that is somewhat necessary is the world(if done correctly) to help somehow achieve a type of quality. But I also feel that it might be a bit much for the forums here. But that's just my opinion.
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Offline Gryffinclaw Princess

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2010, 01:00:57 am »
Okay so I didn't read most of the stuff before this because frankly...it was mostly all tl;dr for me.


Now, I don't intend this to be a flame or a personal attack or anything of the sort. This is simply my own personal opinion on the topic of equality.
If anyone is offended by this then please tell me so and I will change it, delete it, or something.

Also, I probably repeat myself in this a bit so forgive me.


I can honestly say I am not a feminist. And yes, I went to the link.
I say this because I really don't care about equality. I'm probably one of the only women in the world but hey, it works for me.
I don't expect to be treated equally because I honestly don't believe men and women are equal. Men are better at some things and women are better at other things. I am not saying women are better at cooking because hell, I can't cook worth jack. But I can bet you there is at least one thing I am better at then most men. Every person, no matter gender, is better at one thing or another. So no, we are not equal and I do not expect equality.
I expect to be treated better than others in what I am good at. If someone of lesser ability is treated as my equal, I get extremely pissed because I know I am better. To me, (again, no personal attacks meant here!!) equality is an excuse made up by those who feel dehumanized and pushed down under the foot of someone "better" than them.
To be equal, one must be the exact same. That is what equality means. That is why in a math equation, we can do the same thing to both sides. Because both are the exact same and equal each other in every single aspect. Men and women are not like this. One is always greater than the other in one thing or another.


(Another disclaimer of not trying to attack anyone. Just giving my own opinion here.)

I am a woman who loves feminist jokes. I am always telling men to grow some balls, put on the pants, and chain their women to the stove. Why? Because it's funny to me. Why is it funny? Because of the looks on the faces of the men when I say it. I love making fun of women and I have been one for 19 years.


Again, I don't like equality. I know equality isn't just skills but it is also just the idea of men and women. That mindset is needed.
Navy SEALs: Women aren't allowed because they are women. (Long submarine travels [Period issues here] and a need to always stay calm with no change in emotions during a mission which is hard for a lot of PMSing women.)
If we demanded equality in that branch of the military, a lot of people could end up dead because of women and their raging hormones.


Also, our society was built upon a standing of men above women. Men naturally are stronger than women unless a woman works hard at it. But if we don't go buffing up our muscles, we are naturally weaker. We are also naturally shorter than most men. The average height of an American woman is 5'5". I'm 5'3" and I can barely reach the shelf in my closet and I need to use a step ladder in the pantry.
My brother is about 5'9" and uses me as an arm rest sometimes. He never works out and I do. He is still probably ten times stronger than I am.
Why? Because, to me, men are naturally stronger and built to be more efficient than women.


As far as men and women being treated equally in simply the gender aspect...
Yeah, again I really don't care. Men can treat me like crap all they want and I will just treat them like crap right back.
I know in the work place I can't do this but I can easily deal with it. They can say whatever the hell they want to be about being a woman but I'm not going to let it effect my life. And if someone who is a man gets hired above me when I am obviously more qualified well...then I guess I know to not apply there again, don't I? It's their loss, not mine.


So that is a brief little bit about my belief of equality. :/
It just...doesn't work for me and I don't care for it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 01:01:22 am by Gryffinclaw Princess »

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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2010, 01:06:16 am »
Sorry for the break; my phone allows only X # of letters per post. Ally: I had read only your 1st post when I replied. While I respect humanism, I try to get beyond anthropocentrism to include as many species in my consciousness as I can (starting with but not solely by being vegetarian for 20 years).Jaz: Your gramma's story is very important and epitomizes social constructionism and the need for feminist reconstructionist epistemology: whomever is in power not only sets the paradigms but even defines whom are considered valid participants in discussions, politics, the nation, etc. & thanks for your volunteering.G: Thank you for such classic examples of entrenched institutional sexism/the glass ceiling. M: The stats are 1 in 3 women get sexually abused, 1 in 10 men. Oh, and marital rape exemptions are still on the books in several states: If the guy who raped you is your husband, you're SOL in those states, where you're still chattle. Anyone still want to be Devil's Advocate on that one? Thought not.
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2010, 01:07:30 am »
You all are super awesome for taking the time to thoughtfully respond to this thread. Thank you. <3 Unfortunately, I'm tired and my brain is shutting down, so I'm not gonna be pulling apart any more posts tonight. I'll get through what I can tomorrow.
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Offline ~boogiepop~

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2010, 01:21:03 am »
Men and women both suck.

Extreme for reals Woman Haters should get kicked in the balls.
Extreme Feminists should get kicked in the cooter.

I don't consider myself a feminist and my views on things like this are relatively simple, because I like to keep things that way. I'm a hater, but I hate everyone equally no matter race, gender, sexuality, all that junk. People are generally just terrible things.


That's all I really have to say on the matter.

(Also if this sounds retarded, I'm totally sorry, my brain is melted from animating and writing papers.)
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Offline @random

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2010, 01:29:50 am »
I expect to be treated better than others in what I am good at. If someone of lesser ability is treated as my equal, I get extremely pissed because I know I am better. To me, (again, no personal attacks meant here!!) equality is an excuse made up by those who feel dehumanized and pushed down under the foot of someone "better" than them.

At least as I understand it, equality doesn't mean everyone gets treated the same. It means that everyone gets the same chances.

You say you'd be extremely pissed if someone of lesser ability is treated as your equal. (So would most people.) Would you stop being extremely pissed if you knew that the reason for it was because you're female?
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Offline makichan

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2010, 02:04:39 am »
I find these quotes to be very useful for this discussion:

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

-and-

"We should strive to create environments that are safe for discomfort." -Bell Hooks

That being said, I think that this is an appropriate topic to explore. If we aren't respectful of one another's opinions and it becomes a matter of who's right and who's wrong, the discussion will be rather counterproductive. Hopefully this can be an educational experience.
I believe that there should be equal opportunities given to men, women, and intersexuals. Equality, for me, is very important even if it happens to conflict with my own personal beliefs. Who am I to say what's immoral or that certain people should be given more opportunities while others just have to "deal with it"? We as a society should strive towards acceptance and equality rather than trying to fit everyone in boxes.
I don't see anything wrong in wanting to stay at home and raise kids and there shouldn't be anything wrong with wanting equal opportunities in the workplace.
I can probably carry on forever about this topic but I'm absolutely tired.
I kind of want to sit back and see what others have to say and I'll go through and read through all of these again tomorrow. Hope that what I said made sense to someone lol. Night everyone '3'
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2010, 07:30:42 am »
If you ever figure out the trick for doing tedious physical activity while in heels, you should share with the world at large.

I moved the entire charity auction items from the dealer's hall to the auction site while wearing high heels back in '09, and I'm a male.  That was, well, painfully fun.  I think I was able to do it as well as I did because of some of the various exercising and training techniques I did in sports.

As for this argument, I will agree that there needs to be a little more respect from the males of our society, but also, there's a high percentage of "feminists" who take things way too far (I'm not saying a majority, but a high enough % that makes all of them look bad).  It's like they find "sexual discrimination" in places where there was none.  Having a feminist for a cousin gives me jurisdiction to say this; she even tried to use caber tossing as an example once.

Oh, and as for the "sammich" thing, I'll say that to whomever I want to, which is usually a friend that I'm just playing with (until she throws a shoe at me) or a Subway employee, because that'd be her job.  Now I want a sammich.  Hey, I have bologna in the fridge...

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Offline sandrobotticelli

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2010, 08:01:56 am »
This is definitely an interesting read. Unfortunately I have not done a lot of in depth analysis of feminism and thus cannot make a good argument for or against it.

I will say this however, extremes of anything are not good. I don't mind feminists, but I don't like the ones that take it overboard. For instance, I was in a class with someone who considered themselves extremely feminist and we both saw this woman with some books in her hands walking towards a door. A man came over and opened the door for her and the feminist next to me said, "Isn't that absolutely disgusting? What, he thinks she couldn't open the door for herself? Asshole." Yes, or maybe he was just trying to be polite. I personally like gentlemanly behavior, even if there are some that consider it to be demeaning to women. I like being treated like a lady from time to time, I'll admit it.

 Not to mention in some of my literature classes as well I see this, if you're majoring in women's studies it makes sense to discuss it a lot, or if it's a general concern to you, but my Celtic mythology class is often overtaken with nothing but the roles of women topics. Which are, in fact, interesting mind you. However, they have come to the conclusion that the writers have made women "weak" even though the strongest characters often take charge over their husbands and the strongest woman in the stories is richer, and more powerful than her husband the king. Even if this wasn't the case, it's important to look at things from a historical context, unfortunately that's how things were back then and we have to analyze it with a grain of salt. Maybe that's the inner anthropologist/archaeologist coming out in me. For instance, Uncle Tom's Cabin would probably be considered "racist" by today's standards but that doesn't mean that it's not a good piece of literature. People could argue about the role of women in Jane Austen's stories as well. I'm not saying that people don't have the right to be critical of the role of women in literature, in fact it's a way of analyzing it.Not to mention if you're majoring in women's studies this can often by a necessity, and I understand that. But when you get too wrapped up in the fact that it's not fair to women you lose the merit of the story in general. There are some women in my Celtic mythology class who have decided not to read anymore of the stories because of some of its sexist nature. This is sad, because there are a lot of good and interesting messages in the stories that they're missing out on.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 08:06:58 am by sandrobotticelli »
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2010, 09:17:05 am »
Malaria - a response to your commentary is being created. I started on it last night, and fell asleep midway, only to wake up a bit behind schedule for work this morning and not have time to complete it! It is on my computer at home, and I'd prefer to use those thought rather than attempt to recreate them.

However, I think its worth noting that it appears we all have different versions or definitions of what equality means and where equality can be achieved. This is why the argument for feminism or centralism has so many misnomers. Since we need some definitions, I figured I'd try and provide some.

Equality: (n)

- the quality of being the same in quantity or measure or value or status
- a state of being essentially equal or equivalent; equally balanced; "on a par with the best"
-  Mathematics A statement, usually an equation, that one thing equals another.

Equal: (adj)

- of the same measure, quantity, amount, or number as another
- regarding or affecting all objects in the same way
- capable of meeting the requirements of a situation or a task
- not showing variation in appearance, structure, or proportion


What the definition of these two words shows me is that the idea of equality of two beings with completely separate genetic traits, though of the same species; is scientifically impossible.

To assume complete similarity in quantification of a human male to a human female requires so many concessions it is unlikely have any intellectual merit. Genetic anomalies occur in all creatures to permit a bit of leeway between the two averages. In general, those anomalies cancel each other out against the average, leaving the "norm" to be (as far as humans are concerned) a dominate male and a passive aggressive female.

Regardless; the point must be made that equality is, or can be likened to, a pipe dream of society. Without hierarchies, a consumerist society ceases to function. Actual equality requires every person to be capable of, and allowed to achieve the highest possible outcome of all scenarios. This means that EVERYONE must be capable to achieve the top score on every test, everyone must be allowed to apply for and be hired to perform every job, no human may be excluded from the pot in reference to anything and everything, or all must be excluded.

Class-ism is an imperfect societal model, it requires that there must intrinsically be some peoples who leave below human comfort, societal comfort and well below their means, in order for people to live within and above them. The ying to the economical yang. However, I would argue that Communism too, has its own imperfections, namely regulation and the survivalist and aggressive nature of all human beings to preserve ones self. In a society without social ladders and hierarchies, who governs and delegates? Who monitors and regulates education to ensure all peoples are qualified for any job?

The only way to ensure exact equality would be if we were to create robots that did EVERYTHING, maintained by other robots that required no maintenance or were maintained by other robots of the same style, allowing humans to have no job, no need for income and no desire. Only without the desire and drive to achieve more do we cease the drive for equality. Complete equality if impossible because it is against human nature to remain at the same level as all others. We naturally desire some edge against the competition.

However, that does not mean we shouldn't strive to perfect and equalize the feasibility of opportunities. Education and training should be available at an equal rate, as should benefits and securities. These things are the real building blocks of sustainable equal communities. When we encourage the differences within human beings, celebrate them and support their growth, however the differences may be traced to origin, and when we give everyone the chance to succeed (not entitlement, the right) and the opportunity to be happy (not entitlement, the right) then we are successfully promoting "equality" as best it can be promoted. But that doesn't come from one gender or one focus point, it comes from all of them turning their backs on individual agendas and focusing on the whole communities most basic needs; knowledge and well being.

When we have those two things; the need to fear in order to survive loses its inherency.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2010, 09:32:55 am »
Re: Ally's reference to 3rd World nations as too focussed on survival to work on feminism. While I believe the comment was well-intended, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Can't end hunger without ending overpopulation, which means empowering women to say no, to use contraception, to refuse to be child brides. Can't stem AIDS without helping women have jobs other than prostitution. Can't end poverty without encouraging literacy and public education for women. Can't save dwindling natural resources without ecofeminism.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2010, 09:43:50 am »
empowering women to say no - or neutering the men that can't control themselves (I'd like my tax dollars to go to that!)
to use contraception - or guys could give a crap enough to wear something
to refuse to be child brides - Okay, I agree with this one 1,000,000%
Can't stem AIDS without helping women have jobs other than prostitution - AIDS knows no profession; new cases happen more from "doing it" with someone you "love" than from a prostitute
Can't end poverty without encouraging literacy and public education for women - or anyone, for that matter...
Can't save dwindling natural resources without ecofeminism - Huh?
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2010, 09:44:51 am »
Oh, and as for the "sammich" thing, I'll say that to whomever I want to, which is usually a friend that I'm just playing with (until she throws a shoe at me) or a Subway employee, because that'd be her job.  Now I want a sammich.  Hey, I have bologna in the fridge...

"WASHOUGAL!  GO MAKE YOURSELF A SAMMICH!!!"
"Aaron, you sexist jerk..."
"...just do it."
"Okay."

In case anyone was curious, I decided to make a bowl of cereal instead.
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2010, 09:47:04 am »
Re: Ally's reference to 3rd World nations as too focussed on survival to work on feminism. While I believe the comment was well-intended, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Can't end hunger without ending overpopulation, which means empowering women to say no, to use contraception, to refuse to be child brides. Can't stem AIDS without helping women have jobs other than prostitution. Can't end poverty without encouraging literacy and public education for women. Can't save dwindling natural resources without ecofeminism.

Although, if we go that far, then we could objectively say we are disturbing the natural order by not allowing women to empower themselves and instead are allowing our societal makeup (which already assumes degradation of women) to invade what used to be a dual controlled society.

Most "undeveloped" countries were tribal in society, providing for the means of a small community on both the spiritual and physical needs. Tribal communities of almost every region are known for the partnership of the feminine and masculine in all things, a balance in nature and a celebration of the duality of life. Westernization paved the way for economic growth and a sensation of wayward-ness, the feeling that these beliefs of co-evolution were misguided or old fashioned, and women were the ones who got the boot.

Fall far enough into the jungle, the desert, the mountains or the valleys however, and you return to a cooperative community of both.

But that is, unfortunately almost always the case; the hand that helps is also the hand that hurts.
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Offline goatchild

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2010, 12:03:30 pm »
However, that does not mean we shouldn't strive to perfect and equalize the feasibility of opportunities. Education and training should be available at an equal rate, as should benefits and securities. These things are the real building blocks of sustainable equal communities. When we encourage the differences within human beings, celebrate them and support their growth, however the differences may be traced to origin, and when we give everyone the chance to succeed (not entitlement, the right) and the opportunity to be happy (not entitlement, the right) then we are successfully promoting "equality" as best it can be promoted.

This, I feel, is the main purpose of feminism for many feminists. Yes, there are radicals, and yes, there are goals that feminists fight for that are much more difficult – or impossible – to achieve. While I would love to live in a society where women don’t have to be so afraid to walk down the streets alone, and are not judged solely on their appearance in the work place as if their choice to wear a skirt or pants tells you whether or not they are competent at their job, these kinds of goals are much harder to fight for and take much longer to achieve. I will still fight for them, but the vast majority of my effort remains focused on legal equality. Because that IS something concrete than CAN be achieved, possibly in the very near future.

But that doesn't come from one gender or one focus point, it comes from all of them turning their backs on individual agendas and focusing on the whole communities most basic needs; knowledge and well being.

I agree. Unfortunately such a widespread unified action is very unlikely. In our country, any sort of legal privilege has to be gained by being focused, specific, and precise with whatever it is you are trying to legalize (or outlaw). I am equally active in and support many other groups who fight for equal rights, not just women, but in order to make any progress in those individual groups, they must centralize their arguments and focus on the most specific goals they can. They cannot simply band together and end legal inequality for all people in one fell swoop. They simply would not win that legal battle. Instead it must be done step by step, piece by piece, group by group, like every fight for equal rights in our nation’s history has been fought (and sometimes won). With every group that gains legal rights, our nation gets one step closer to granting equal legal rights to all its citizens, and fulfilling “the whole communities most basic needs; knowledge and well being.”
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 12:04:47 pm by goatchild »
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2010, 12:58:50 pm »
This,.../snip [my post on education and training]....snip\ I feel, is the main purpose of feminism for many feminists. Yes, there are radicals, and yes, there are goals that feminists fight for that are much more difficult – or impossible – to achieve.

This is why I am in a different resolution than the feminist or feminism strand of opposition to oppression. By being "feminist" I akin myself to holding the female above the male (that is by definition, the position of the feminist) which is not, I believe, what most rational minded women opposed to oppression believe;

They believe in dual partnership and the ability for women to have the same rights, responsibilities and consequences as their male counterpart. That isn't really "Feminism" it's actually Androgynism - the belief that both sexes are united in one person, without preference to one or the other. When you work on one, you detriment the other. Much like attempting to work a seesaw by yourself - you can push one side up or down, but that is always going to inversely affect the other side.

More Definitions for the debate:

Feminism: (n)
- the presence of female characteristics in males
- the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

Masculinism: (n)
- to make or become masculine, esp to cause (a woman) to show male secondary sexual characteristics
- an advocate of the rights of men

Androgynism: (n)
- the quality or state of being androgynous
- a person wishing to abolish gender

Humanism: (n)
- a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity.


Hope those help with the discourse!

edited because I forgot the snips! whoops!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 01:05:27 pm by AllyKat »
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Offline makichan

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2010, 01:12:45 pm »
Since we're telling stories in between our perspectives I thought I'd share one of mine.
So, my cousin and I come from completely different backgrounds. I was raised in an all-women family that traveled state-to-state in order to find better job opportunities. My cousin was raised in a traditional family in Houston, where men's work and women's work are clearly defined and separate.
When he came to visit me a few years ago, he had a huge attitude. Since he didn't understand the dynamics of our family, he came off, well, sexist. We were doing chores all throughout the house and this kind of came up:
Me: 'Kay, so it's your turn to do the dishes.
Chris: Hah. That's a woman's job!
Me: Well then, you better get your ass in there and do some dishes >:O

And he did. Actually, he was kind of surprised that I reacted so harshly. I think it's because he's never seen me react that way before. That comment just struck a chord with me. We had sort of grown up together and I would often stay in Texas during the summer. As a guest there, I was expected to contribute so it's not like he was Cinderella or anything. I mean, I understand that the dynamics in his family are different... but you can't say those things to a group of women that have divided both "men and women's work" for the majority of their lives.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2010, 03:14:16 pm »
Everyone is entitled to differing definitions of feminism. Mine is simple:If you are someone who is cognizant of any particular aspect of oppression (including misogynist violence, institutionalized sexism, denial of opportunities, etc.) that is specifically afflicting women and/or girls and/or disproportionately affecting women and/or girls; and you are someone who would like to see that dynamic change, either so that that form of oppression is eliminated (or as close to such as is humanly possible) or so that the way that it affects people is no longer based on gender; then you are thinking along the same lines as what I consider to be feminism, though only you can choose whether you adopt the specific label.This is true even if someone else might think that what you want is "conservative" or "backward". For example, there are a wide spectrum of women who all would like to see an increase in options women have to utilize midwives. Some are coming from a radical, overtly feminist perspective, deconstructing the oppressive nature of patriarchal medicine, how the growth of the male-dominated OB/GYN profession pathologized the most natural act there is, the giving of birth. Others are rural fundamentalist Christians or Christian scientists who desire fewer medical interventions for completely different reasons, have different values, are pro-lifers who would not call themselves feminists. But if both share the goal of increasing women's healthcare options, they can work in coalition and build consensus--both of which acts are,themselves, processes from the feminist movement. I know; I just helped the (feminist) midwife whose (feminist) books I edit run a conference for midwifery educators (some who would and some who would not adopt the title).
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 03:15:31 pm by RemSaverem »
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Offline goatchild

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2010, 04:07:57 pm »
Feminism: (n)
- ...
- the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

Androgynism: (n)
- ...
- a person wishing to abolish gender

First of all, thank you for posting all of these definitions. They are very helpful. : )

I personally, and most of the feminists I know, do not wish to abolish gender entirely, though I certainly know feminists and non-feminists who do. Men and women (and everything in between and outside of) are very different, in many ways that have already been discussed in this thread. I do not think men and women should be equal in all parts of life, because that simply isn't possible, for genetic, physical, psychological and so many other reasons. I love being a woman and would never consider myself even capable of being equal in all ways with people of other genders. I had not heard the term Androgynism before, and it did make me pause and consider what exactly I am advocating. In essence, I believe that a person's gender should not dictate what rights they are or are not entitled to by law, whether they identify as male or female or outside of the sexual binary. But I certainly don't wish to abolish gender entirely. All genders should be celebrated and respected for their differences. In the end, I am still a feminists, because I am still fighting for the "social, political, and all other rights of women [to be] equal to those of men". I fight for the rights of other gender groups as well, but as I said before, one step at a time. I do what I can where I can.

Thank you again for posting these definitions. On a side note, I am very intrigued by how non-specific the definition of masculinism is compared to the definition of feminism:

Feminism: (n)
- ...
- the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

Masculinism: (n)
- ...
- an advocate of the rights of men

I would just like to ask if this was paraphrasing, or if this is the actual dictionary definition that you found before I comment on it. : )
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Offline @random

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2010, 04:11:55 pm »
Just a random thought, as befits my handle:

To me, it's somewhat ironic that one of the talk radio hosts who was instrumental in tarring the word "feminist" by redefining it as "a woman who wants to treat men as inferiors, demonizes the other side, and makes histrionic, overblown claims of victimization"... was fond of replacing it at every turn with "feminazi" to clarify how horribly they mistreat him and other men.

Repeat something often enough and people tend to believe it, even if it doesn't logically follow: Women who advocate equal rights... are the moral equivalent of the regime that perpetrated the Holocaust? Which would make you the moral equivalent of Holocaust victims? And they demonize the other side, and they're also grossly overdramatic in claiming to have been victimized? You don't say. =/

Don't get me wrong - I know that shrill, histrionic feminists exist. (There are shrill, histrionic people in every group.) But in his specific case, it was the fireplace calling the kettle black. And personally, I think it's sad that we've allowed people like him to redefine term after term (union, liberal, socialism, feminism, progressive, equality) as something horrible and ugly, then abandon it for fear of being called one. But what makes me saddest of all is that apparently, his definition is now so universally believed that the dictionary definitions of the word had to be modified to accommodate it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 04:19:31 pm by randompvg »
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2010, 04:23:21 pm »
@ Random: That was Rush Limbaugh, right? Ugh.
There are very few things that more render me incensed than the abuse and trivialization of diction related to the Holocaust to attempt to render impotent valid progressive social movements and/or to ostracize or ridicule their earnest, ethical proponents.

@ androgynism: Check out Marge Piercy's "Woman on the Edge of Time". I remember it from when I was in undergrad for its depiction of a culture in which only one pronoun was used: per.

I do not think of androgynism as desiring to abolish gender, but as desiring to decrease the extent to which there is a focus on gender differentiation within culture, and as desiring to increase the awareness that black/white thinking as to male/female presents a false dichotomy, as there are more than two gender orientations (and even more than two sexes, chromosomally and anatomically).
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2010, 04:48:34 pm »
I can honestly say I am not a feminist. And yes, I went to the link.
I say this because I really don't care about equality. I'm probably one of the only women in the world but hey, it works for me.
So the fact that average pay for women working the same job as an equally qualified man is (depending whose statistics you're using) anywhere from 75 to 85 cents for every dollar a a man makes? I imagine as someone who will eventually be working for their living, (if you aren't already) that's sort of a problem. Love don't pay the bills, after all.

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I don't expect to be treated equally because I honestly don't believe men and women are equal. Men are better at some things and women are better at other things. I am not saying women are better at cooking because hell, I can't cook worth jack. But I can bet you there is at least one thing I am better at then most men. Every person, no matter gender, is better at one thing or another. So no, we are not equal and I do not expect equality.
A common misconception running through this thread is that feminists are using "equal" to mean "the same," when what that really means is equality of rights and privileges without discrimination based on sex or gender.
Humans are largely a dimorphic species, but choosing to conceptualize feminism as only a struggle centering around the man/woman dichotomy is flawed. It doesn't take into account people who aren't clearly one or the other sex or gender, or who aren't cisgender or cissexual. It also doesn't take into account men and women who are cisgender/cissexual and just happen to have traits that are traditionally associated with the other sex.
For example, there's me. I recently took the Bem Sex Inventory Report, which is a test constructed during the 70s in order to parse how a person fits, personality-wise, into the traditional traits associated with masculinity, femininity and androgyny. These are my results:
"You scored 82.456 out of 100 masculine points, 33.333 out of 100 feminine points, and 48.333 out of 100 androgynous (neutral) points." I obviously lean very strongly towards masculine traits even though my sex is female. I don't want to be treated badly for expressing traditionally masculine traits, which I am naturally inclined to, just because I happen to be female. But I am treated badly. I am called a bitch, hyperdominant, overly aggressive and am told I should be more ladylike. But being ladylike doesn't make happy. It won't fulfill me in this life. As a feminist, I want the option to be able to choose what fulfills me. I want everyone to have that opportunity, including the men who would score low in masculine traits and high in feminine ones. I don't believe the traditional understandings of sexual roles should inhibit people from expressing their real personalities the way they do now.

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I expect to be treated better than others in what I am good at. If someone of lesser ability is treated as my equal, I get extremely pissed because I know I am better.
I do too! So I hate it when a guy is privileged as a leader over me because we believe men are naturally inclined to leadership roles. I want to be valued for the skills and personality I actually have, not what I'm assumed to have because I happen to have a bunch of female physical characteristics.
This is a large part of the feminist movement. Women and men are automatically assumed to be good at some things and worse at others solely on the basis of their sex, without consideration for facts of personality, education or experience. People should be considered as they are, not as the stereotypes of their sex dictate they should be.

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To me, (again, no personal attacks meant here!!) equality is an excuse made up by those who feel dehumanized and pushed down under the foot of someone "better" than them.
I'm not sure what to make of this statement. Don't you find it bad that we are making entire portions of our society feel dehumanized because we can't find it in us to treat people like whole individual humans, rather than representations of a stereotype? I don't like feeling that way, and I don't think anyone should ever have to. It's a miserable feeling. To me, it's a worthy goal to change our society in such a way that no one ever has to feel that way because of a chance of genetics that made them their sex, ethnicity, race, gender, age, ability, class or any other thing.

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To be equal, one must be the exact same. That is what equality means.

That is why in a math equation, we can do the same thing to both sides. Because both are the exact same and equal each other in every single aspect. Men and women are not like this. One is always greater than the other in one thing or another.
Not in this discussion (at least not how I'm using it), and not colloquially. This isn't mathematics; this is human life. I'd argue that the bulk of skills associated with one skill or the other are mostly skills that either sex could do, if we were raised in such an environment that men and women were encouraged to develop them equally and not split along lines of sex.

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(Another disclaimer of not trying to attack anyone. Just giving my own opinion here.)
I think you're good. There's an implication here that we're dealing in personal opinion and ideology.

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I am a woman who loves feminist jokes. I am always telling men to grow some balls, put on the pants, and chain their women to the stove. Why? Because it's funny to me. Why is it funny? Because of the looks on the faces of the men when I say it. I love making fun of women and I have been one for 19 years.
That's cool. I don't find them funny because encouraging gender and sex discrepancies makes my life a lot harder, and doesn't leave room for people who defy norms just by being who they are inherently.

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Again, I don't like equality. I know equality isn't just skills but it is also just the idea of men and women. That mindset is needed.
I disagree. When we value one sex over the other as we do now, we engender and pathologize a lot of unnecessary complexes and lose out on the competence of a lot of people.

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Navy SEALs: Women aren't allowed because they are women. (Long submarine travels [Period issues here] and a need to always stay calm with no change in emotions during a mission which is hard for a lot of PMSing women.)
If we demanded equality in that branch of the military, a lot of people could end up dead because of women and their raging hormones.
Women aren't allowed because we have all sorts of assumptions about the limits of the abilities of women, as clearly demonstrated in your post. However, we also have a lot of assumptions about men that are affecting this situation. For one thing, we assume that men are naturally better at controlling their emotions. But if you were told from a very young age that you were naturally good at any given thing, you'd either get good at it or feel terrible all the time for failing to do this supposedly natural thing. Men have to be good at controlling their emotions out of self-defense.
Also, here's a dirty little secret of biology that no one really talks about: men experience monthly hormonal cycles. They're different from the ones women have, but they still involve emotional upheaval. I can't source this, unfortunately, since I learned it from my fifth grade bio text.
So if we expect everyone who is a Navy SEAL to abide by their very strict discipline, including stoicism and the ability to keep minor physical nuisances from interfering with their duties, than we can easily take on women. We just have to make sure they're capable, in the same way that we make sure the men are capable. Besides, women in the military are already expected to go about their duties normally, period or no. There's no reason that some of them can't manage the extra difficulty inherent to being a Navy SEAL.

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Also, our society was built upon a standing of men above women. Men naturally are stronger than women unless a woman works hard at it. But if we don't go buffing up our muscles, we are naturally weaker. We are also naturally shorter than most men. The average height of an American woman is 5'5". I'm 5'3" and I can barely reach the shelf in my closet and I need to use a step ladder in the pantry.
My brother is about 5'9" and uses me as an arm rest sometimes. He never works out and I do. He is still probably ten times stronger than I am.
Why? Because, to me, men are naturally stronger and built to be more efficient than women.
Yes, we did build our society on those foundations. We also built our society on slavery. I think we can take that to mean societies can change over time to suit the needs of the people living in them.
Height seems like kind of a non-issue. We have stools and stepladders and all sorts of other innovations to deal with things out of reach.
Efficiency is not the same thing as strength, especially since the bulk of our work nowadays is done on computers. He-Man's giant muscle fingers aren't much of an advantage when you need someone who can type 80 WPM.

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As far as men and women being treated equally in simply the gender aspect...
Yeah, again I really don't care. Men can treat me like crap all they want and I will just treat them like crap right back.
But I don't want to be treated like crap. And I don't want other people to be treated like crap on the basis of aspects of themselves they can't control. Just because you're comfortable in the status quo doesn't mean everyone is.

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I know in the work place I can't do this but I can easily deal with it.
I don't think you should have to deal with it. I think you should be valued entirely on your skills and experience, without anyone making assumptions about ability based on your sex. Did you read Goatchild's story? Sometimes it's more than a little tolerable sexism. Sometimes it's your career on the line.

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They can say whatever the hell they want to be about being a woman but I'm not going to let it effect my life.
That's very strong of you, and I commend that. Not everyone can take constant constant criticism being leveled about them because of their sex. Some of us find it wearing and miserable and would like to live in a world where it isn't an issue.

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And if someone who is a man gets hired above me when I am obviously more qualified well...then I guess I know to not apply there again, don't I? It's their loss, not mine.
It is your loss. Because you just lost something most everyone in our society needs, which is a source of income. It might not be an issue for you now at this stage in your life, but if you're ever independent you're gonna need a way to pay the bills. If no one will hire you because they assume you're in some way deficient purely because of your sex, I seriously doubt you'll be so cavalier about it.
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Offline AllyKat

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2010, 05:12:36 pm »
I just have a quick side note, as I really didn't want to get into this incredibly a lot but its an interesting fact:

One of the biggest reasons why women are not allowed to be Seals or Rangers or on the front lines (As far as the general public knows) is because of Politics. Every time a female military officer dies, political ratings for the party in charge go down more than when they report a whole helicopter or platoon of male military officers. Political monitors track these changes and have advised heads of DoD areas to prohibit women from being in areas where they are more likely to die. Apparently seeing a girl die in combat upsets Americans too much.... interesting isn't it?

See, here's my take on the whole thing; cause basically I agree that rights are good and we should all have them and work to have them. I just see the equality differently.

However; I think both males and females can do almost any job. Given enough time and energy anyone can do just about anything. What it comes down to is your leaders... is how you will get it done the way they want it done?

I think this conversation is getting some really interesting comments!

I'd like to congratulate Gryffinclaw Princess, regardless of if I agree or disagree with your perspective, I'm proud of you for stating it. You know well it is not a popular opinion, but you discussed it openly. To be fair to you, there are more women than you think who are of the same belief. They work the maternal and very earnestly rely on the males in their community to provide the paternal as society has defined them historically. A woman with that mentality would not find the concept of lower pay disheartening because she'd either be working a minimum wage job to assist minimally with the bills or to get her family through a rough economic patch or she wouldn't be working at all. Another option is she is working for the fun of it, and doesn't care about her wage, just the job.

But I hope everyone is having fun... this is really a great conversation!
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2010, 05:22:16 pm »
Thanks, Ally! I am having fun, and I agree that this is really valuable! So thanks to Malaria for starting it! (I'm at work and will have to read your epic deconstruction of Griffinclaw Princess's post at another time, sorry for that.)

I was wondering if there would be interest in a sidebar thread: Feminist characters and themes in anime & manga?

I was brainstorming about this this morning, watching the extras from disc 2 of Princess Tutu.

I consider Princess Tutu to be a feminist anime for two main reasons (the following might be viewed as spoilers):
(1) The use of a nonviolent, non-confrontational, collaborative, supportive approach to resolve both inner conflicts and interpersonal conflicts, rather than engaging in any form of battle.
(2) The emphasis on the characters' choosing to be who they want to be, love and feel whom and how they want to love, ally with whom they want to ally, and live how they want to live, regardless of the scripts the one in power has written for them.

Any comparable observations? (Trigun & Utena come immediately to mind.)
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Offline Felix

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2010, 06:23:45 pm »
Quote
Feminism: (n)
- the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
Just want to restate this. Feminism is not about elevating females above males; its goal is to achieve equal opportunity for all sexes and genders. Radical feminists who go beyond this into the realm of 'women are superiour' are just as wrong as men who believe they are better than women.

A discussion on feminist issues in anime and manga would be interesting. It's much harder for me to find female characters that I can respect in anime/manga as opposed to male characters, due to the way the genders are often portrayed.
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Offline reppy

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2010, 07:19:10 pm »
I once stumbled upon a hardcore feminist message board -- you know, the ones who call themselves "womyn" -- and it wasn't pretty.  I'd never heard the phrase "I wish I had my son poured down a drain at Planned Parenthood when I had the chance," (or some variation thereof) used so much.  Yikes.

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Offline NARUNIK

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2010, 07:23:09 pm »
I once stumbled upon a hardcore feminist message board -- you know, the ones who call themselves "womyn" -- and it wasn't pretty.  I'd never heard the phrase "I wish I had my son poured down a drain at Planned Parenthood when I had the chance," (or some variation thereof) used so much.  Yikes.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2010, 07:44:13 pm »
There are as many different variations of radical feminism as there are denominations of Christianity. So it is as illogical to overgeneralize about us as it would be for me to allege all Christians plan to murder abortion providers or that every otaku only writes flames. The unifying characteristic of any radical philosophy or activism is simply the aim to foment some sort of perceived improvement in  paradigms and structures, often redefining and redesigning them, rather than simply asking to be allowed to access the status quo.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2010, 08:07:14 pm »
I once stumbled upon a hardcore feminist message board -- you know, the ones who call themselves "womyn" -- and it wasn't pretty.  I'd never heard the phrase "I wish I had my son poured down a drain at Planned Parenthood when I had the chance," (or some variation thereof) used so much.  Yikes.

I've heard similar things before, including reading something about a woman who became a feminist because her husband was an abusive [CENSORED] and left her after having their son.  She put her son up for adoption when he was 3, I think, saying that she refused to have a male living in her house ever again.
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2010, 08:30:03 pm »
There are as many different variations of radical feminism as there are denominations of Christianity. So it is as illogical to overgeneralize about us as it would be for me to allege all Christians plan to murder abortion providers or that every otaku only writes flames. The unifying characteristic of any radical philosophy or activism is simply the aim to foment some sort of perceived improvement in  paradigms and structures, often redefining and redesigning them, rather than simply asking to be allowed to access the status quo.
I wanted to say something along these lines, in response to all the comments about "radical" feminists. I am, within the terminology of the feminist community, a radical feminist. I believe in more than just the need to guarantee equal rights and privileges for men and women. I believe we need to find a way to make room in our society and in our notions of sex and gender for third-gendered, intersex, transitioning, gender-fluid and otherwise varied people so that they can exist comfortably, with full acknowledgment by the world at large.

People who hate men and want to see them subjugated by women aren't any sort of feminist. They are misandrists, which is what most of you seem to mean by radical or extreme feminist.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 08:31:26 pm by Malaria »
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Offline Malaria

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2010, 08:38:08 pm »
Men and women both suck.

Extreme for reals Woman Haters should get kicked in the balls.
Extreme Feminists should get kicked in the cooter.

I don't consider myself a feminist and my views on things like this are relatively simple, because I like to keep things that way. I'm a hater, but I hate everyone equally no matter race, gender, sexuality, all that junk. People are generally just terrible things.


That's all I really have to say on the matter.

(Also if this sounds retarded, I'm totally sorry, my brain is melted from animating and writing papers.)
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Offline Felix

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2010, 08:41:59 pm »
Quote
People who hate men and want to see them subjugated by women aren't any sort of feminist. They are misandrists, which is what most of you seem to mean by radical or extreme feminist.
Yes, that is what I meant. Sorry for the confusion!

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I believe we need to find a way to make room in our society and in our notions of sex and gender for third-gendered, intersex, transitioning, gender-fluid and otherwise varied people so that they can exist comfortably, with full acknowledgment by the world at large.
THIS.
Though I don't usually have any problems with being... alternately gendered. People are confused by it, but I've yet to find myself in a situation where it made me uncomfortable.
Done: Blue Spirit (A:tLA), Sollux Captor (HS)
will do: Yukio (AnE), Robin (YJ), genderbent Nilus (MAOH), Dave and Signless (Homestuck); other things I'm forgetting

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Modern feminism and you!
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2010, 08:49:14 pm »
Quote
I believe we need to find a way to make room in our society and in our notions of sex and gender for third-gendered, intersex, transitioning, gender-fluid and otherwise varied people so that they can exist comfortably, with full acknowledgment by the world at large.
THIS.
Though I don't usually have any problems with being... alternately gendered. People are confused by it, but I've yet to find myself in a situation where it made me uncomfortable.
[/quote]

I personally don't care; I don't get uncomfortable about it unless the individual makes me feel uncomfortable, just like if they were a "normal" male or a "normal" female.
My cosplay plans for 2022 (thus far): Vanir from Konosuba
My son's plans this year (thus far): Penguin Chiyo-chan from Azumanga Daioh