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Senate Let's Talk: Feminism

Discussion in 'Community' started by blubeast1237, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2011
    It is offensive to many women, and those women probably think that band is demeaning themselves and women in general. There certainly are women who tell other women not to demean themselves in such a way, as they believe it demeans all women. Many of them undoubtedly think we should get rid of that term. Some progress has been made; the word is not used as often as it was even 20 or 30 years ago, including by women. Still, men who refer to women as chicks face more social backlash than women do (like the difference between white and black people using the n-word).

    I'm pretty sure that referring to women as chicks, while demeaning, was not so oppressive, so painful, and so harmful that its continued use causes the same sort of unbridled fury that has resulted in riots, statues being taken down, or the social taboo around white people using the n-word. The history isn't quite the same. There are degrees of offense. Some offensive things hurt more than others. There is more anger toward some offenses than others. Chicks hasn't caused enough anger to inspire an overwhelming urge to "get rid of" the term completely. The anger just isn't there in sufficient quantity, among a sufficient number of people.

    Regardless of what should be, there is what is. Words are more offensive when coming from some people than others. Your family and friends can say things to you that strangers cannot.

    Everyone has to pay attention to social cues and educate themselves. With the tiniest bit of social awareness, they'll notice that certain groups of people can say things that others cannot. The reasons why don't really matter as much as you seem to think. Sometimes rules are just rules and that's enough. There really aren't any white people who don't understand that it is not okay for them to use the n-word.

    This sort of social etiquette is everywhere in society, it's not solely the realm of identity politics. It's not merely "political correctness". As I said above, there are certain things family members can say to each other that outsiders cannot.

    Well, white Americans enslaved black people for centuries, not allowing them any kind of freedom. Then, even after slavery was abolished, black people were violently controlled for another century. Maybe after all that, we're not comfortable telling black people what they can say, after controlling them so totally and violently. Maybe it's another form of oppression. And, maybe, some black people feel something positive, perhaps even some power or pleasure, in having the liberty to say a word white people cannot. I don't think they're taking too much liberty.



    TL, DR: This is all just basic group dynamics. Those within a group receive more good will, camaraderie, tolerance, and lenience than those outside it. Those outside the group face tighter boundaries, and harsher consequences for crossing them. This is particularly true between groups who have a history of conflict, animosity, rivalry, and violence. White people and black people, and men and women, have such a history.
     
  2. Khalia Octa

    Khalia Octa Bringer of Truth to EUC star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2018
    Sorry it took me so long to get around to this!

    Firstly, I would clarify that I’m not of Aboriginal descent or relation, so I can’t speak on behalf of the indigenous community, just on my personal research and experience.

    Anyway, back to the question. Really, no one should need to ‘sell’ or convince anyone to care about other humans - that should be common sense, but sadly it’s just the society we live in today. Indigenous Australians have continually suffered since the British colonisation of Australia, even to this day. Their land, children and basic human rights have been stolen from them. They continuously experience racism and prejudice, but the government hasn’t done much to fix or even acknowledge these problems. In addition, historically it has never been easy to be a woman, let alone a woman of colour. So, I’m sure you can imagine what Aboriginal women have had to deal with in their lifetimes. Aboriginal women face higher risks from family violence and are more marginalised than other women of colour, plus they have experienced years of mistreatment especially in the years after colonisation. I hope that this paragraph has actually answered the question and been coherent :p
     
  3. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    During the 70s, 'queer' was used as a derogatory term, not just for gay people, but against anyone who was deemed a bit 'soft' (for want of a better word). As the 80s progressed, gay people started to reclaim the word, and it lost its potency; it then went on to become a more nuanced term with no offensive connotation at all within context.

    One can argue that black people are similarly reclaiming the 'N' word, and taking its power away from the racists. That is an ongoing process.

    The point really is that if you deny a word its power to offend, outrage, demean, and control, then you are reclaiming that word, and in time its use has the potential to change almost entirely.

    Who am I to say, as a rather boring, white, middle-age, cishet, man, what words others should use to describe themselves? They only offend if one gives them that power, and taking that power away from racists, misogynists, homophobes, or whomever, can only be applauded; but it isn't my job to enact that, I am a mere observer. I don't get to say what terms can or should, or should not, be used to describe any one group, unless I am a part of that group.

    Now there is no universal agreement in some cases (though general consensus is another matter); because complexity is a part of what we are as social creatures, and we should endeavour to try and understand those social cues; but if we're not sure in some instances, ask a friendly passer-by in a social forum like this, and I'm sure someone on hand can put you right, so long as you're respectful and open to listen. :)
     
  4. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    I wanted to talk about Lindsay Ellis' take on JK Rowling's transphobia and misogyny, and I agree with her, but I'll save that for later.

    I gotta say that the n-word is something that the white racists use that I would regard as vile as a how bigots use words to demean Jews, trans people, gay folks, and so on. I think that people ought to remember how much suffering has been endured by specific groups who have been oppressed and how that factors into language. Lots of good points raised here about that.
     
  5. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    On the recent birth control decision by the Supreme Court:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. 3sm1r

    3sm1r Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Not sure whether the Transgender thread was better for the following. Seems appropriate for both.

    I am thinking about those issues that appear to raise controversies between some factions of radical feminists and trans rights advocates.
    I know relatively little on the topic so I'm here mostly to hear other people's opinions. I might fail in the use of most terms, please don't take it personally.
    Anyway, here are two of the topics I've been thinking about.

    1) One of the goals of a certain factions of feminists is to go beyond the patriarchal system, and thus to oppose most of its manifestations. Refusing to shave legs is perhaps one of the most well known examples, but there are many others. On the other hand, it's quite common among trans women to rather emphasize the aspects of femininity that are prescribed by patriarchy, like make up, heels, sexy dresses etc etc. So I was wondering whether radical feminists see this as a sort of step backward, or something to be concerned about anyway.

    2) Female empowerment intrinsically requires the existence of clear gender definitions. In order to be proud to be a woman, I guess that the concept of "womanhood" should be as straightforward as possible (at least for some of them, I guess?), whereas from the results of gender studies it seems that the situation is actually quite complex and the boundaries defining genders are somehow more fuzzy (?) . This would explain some of the most controversial Rowling's tweets, like when she was mocking the expression "people who menstruate". In summary, I'm trying to understand whether re-visiting the structure of gender identity might be seen as if it was weakening some feminists' sense of belonging, or something on that spirit.
     
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  7. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    1. My take on this is if a person—female, male or non-binary—wants to shave, wear makeup or high heels, etc.—that’s their prerogative, whether they are doing it to make a statement or just because they like it.

    2. Female empowerment comes in response to a lack of empowerment for centuries by anyone who was not a white cis hetero male. As such female empowerment does not need a clear definition of what “womanhood” is; the person claiming it just needs to identify as female. Do people like Rowling really believe that cis hetero men who have always had power and are determined to hold onto that power, would accept trans women into their power structures?
     
  8. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Most feminists I know want to absolutely demolish gender norms. They don't want clear definitions, because those tend to pigeonhole women.
     
  9. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    A key component of third wave feminism, as I was always taught it, was that you should do whatever you want as a woman in terms of gender norms. So if you want to wear makeup, wear makeup. If you want to wear no makeup and not shave, wear no makeup and don't shave. The notion that a feminist has to be someone with no bra and armpit hair is a rather extremely dated one. That's like... 1970s second-wave feminism. It has nothing to do with most feminists today.

    And yes even as a genderqueer person I also still identify as a woman. And **** gender norms, abolish them for sure.
     
  10. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    Down with the patriarchy!!
     
  11. 3sm1r

    3sm1r Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Is it a fully free choice though? Or is it rather adapting to the social pressures from the patriarchal system?

    Like wearing a hijab. Yes, they should feel free to do it without discrimination, of course, but aren't they following the prescriptions imposed by a cultural framework that we oppose?
     
  12. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    It's a free choice if that's really what you want. Some people, of varying genders, love makeup and see it as a hobby. I don't, but for instance I love skincare and see that as a hobby. It has nothing to do with anyone else but myself and my own desires.
     
  13. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    I've been wanting to reply to this post for awhile but just keep forgetting, but now I'm finally remembering (hurrah). My two cents would be:

    In regard to the first bullet point, I think that a main manifestation of patriarchy is the idea of policing, controlling, judging, and scrutinizing the attire and appearance of women (a term I'm going to use to refer to all those who identify as women here) to a degree that is not done with men. So, to me, it is just as wrong to tell a woman that she can't shave her legs or underarms if she wishes as it is to pressure or shame her into doing so. The same goes with wearing make up, heels, or dresses. Plenty of women wear make up, heels, and dresses because they feel pretty or comfortable doing so and wearing make up, heels, or dresses is an expression of their own personal style and choice for which they should not be shamed. Any more than a women who decides not to wear make up, heels, or dresses should be shamed or ridiculed. Really, not wearing makeup or heels or certain types of dresses can be just as much of an expression of a patriarchy since women not wearing these things could be seen as being foisted upon them for modesty policing as it were. So, really, the thing I think society needs to learn is to not obsess so much over what women are wearing and how women look. Let each individual woman choose how she wants to dress and style herself, and don't have an obsessive need to judge her for it is what I think society should be striving to do. Speaking for myself, I don't intend to stop wearing makeup, shaving, putting on heels, or wearing dresses when I want to, but I also don't need to be judged if I go a day without wearing makeup or I choose to wear flats or I wear pants instead of a dress to work. Oftentimes, it's not be making a grand statement. It's just me living my life and wearing whatever I think looks nice or is comfortable.

    In regard to the second bullet point, I don't know if female empowerment, at least for me, requires clear gender distinctions. For me, it just boils down to the fact that I know I'm a woman or a female, I identify in that way, and I want the same rights as a person who identifies as a male or man. I also want the same rights to be extended to all who identify as women or female. So to me, that is female empowerment. Female empowerment, to me, isn't about telling other women what they have to be doing. Quite the opposite, to me. It's about giving women the right to choose for themselves what they want to do as an individual and giving them the power to pursue that path, whatever it is. To me, being proud of being a woman is just saying that I'm proud of a fundamental part of who I am. It's not saying that women have to be pigenholed into one type of category or personality.

    On the subject of Rowling's tweet, I have to say that I find "people who menstruate" to be in all ways a more accurate statement than "women" or "women who menstruate" which I think is what Rowling wanted the article title to have read. I don't like the idea of linking womanhood to periods because plenty of women don't have periods at any given time. That could be because they are pregnant, because they have gone through menopause, or because they have some medical condition that prevents them from having periods or regular periods. Periods also start when girls are quite young (typically between the ages of 9-16 with the average age in the US being around twelve) so it's more accurate to state that these are girls getting their periods rather than women. Calling them women would tend to sexualize girls as young as nine and generally feed into traditional, patriarchal ideas of defining womanhood by when a girl becomes fertile. That has a pretty gross history in my opinion of causing early, often arranged marriages.

    In general, I will also say I don't feel the need to take pride in getting my period or anything like that. It's necessary and not something to be ashamed of or to see as unclean. I suppose that the idea of taking pride in a period might have come out of the idea that it isn't something shameful or unclean to talk about. I think it's fair to say periods aren't shameful or unclean and that people should feel comfortable talking about them but I don't think it should be seen as some sort of feminist badge of honor or that it should be used as a way of excluding or mocking people, which was the spirit I got from Rowling's tweet: that it was intended to be exclusionary and mocking.
     
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  14. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I don't menstruate because it makes me dysphoric, so I use hormones to skip all my periods. Yet Rowling would say I am a woman because I am XX and AFAB. Yet a trans woman who also doesn't menstruate is also a woman. That's why "people who menstruate" actually does make way more sense than "women". There are many women who don't menstruate due to various reasons, jeez JK.
     
  15. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Yeah, we all stop being women after menopause. Or a hysterectomy.

    And good point on sexualizing young girls as “women” because they’ve started their periods. Ugh.
     
  16. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    Appearance is such a complicated matter, and my own thoughts are contradictory at times as well. At the moment I'm reading a very interesting book in Swedish with a title that is translated as "Pink - the most dangerous colour", it's a scholar in anthropology and gender studies that have done studies on what people associated with pink, from parents with babies, to pre-schoolers, to schoolkids, and right now I'm reading about grown up men, both gay and het. The parents are all convinced that it's keeping their girls from wearing just pink and frilly dresses will help them to not be automatically confined to the traditional role of a woman, at the same time they refuse to let their boys wear pink because then they can be seen as too feminine. So it's ok for a girl to challenge the gender norm and act more like a boy, but the boys are very much confined to a traditional gender norm where feminine traits are seen as threats. In the kindergarten all the kids have already learnt that pink is girlish and that boy should hate pink, but the girls also use pink as a way of excluding boys from their sphere. Then the school kids all agree that pink is a childish colour that they used to wear when they were small.

    Even if I haven't finished the book yet it's clear that all our attitudes to apperance and what's inside the gender norm can be discussed within the scope of just one colour. I think this is also why opinions on women's appearance are so conflicted. A woman should be free to wear whatever she wants without being judged, but at the same time how much is really free will and what is just a learned norm. If four-year olds pick up on what it signals to wear pink, how much free choice is there really? As I said I am very conflicted myself, I can admire a woman wearing a great vintage outfit, with full make-up, but at the same time feel sorry for the teenage girls who spend large amount on make up and hair and trying to follow the latest fashion trends. But what makes one better or worse than the other?
     
  17. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    May 10, 2001
    What is the name of the author @Obi Anne ? Do you know if there is an English version?
     
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  18. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    Her name is Fanny Ambjörnsson, but I can't see that it has been translated into English. It should also be said that she has some very interesting discussions on class and gender norms as well, something she talked about in her PhD thesis about gender, class and sexuality among girls in upper secondary school. One thing is that the one children's clothes store that doesn't carry clear gender aisles, and have a girls section that isn't all pink, is also a more expensive store that caters to the middle class and upper middle class, while the cheaper chain stores have girls sections that are just big explosions in pink.
     
  19. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Generally speaking, depraved people sexualize girls even before their cycles. This is true of cis and trans women per se. Everywhere in the world they hurt girls. Afghanistan and the U.S. are no different in this regard. Some say that trans women are treated worse than cis women. But I think that privilege difference does not protect either. I commend those that stand up to this, as well as feminist allies.



    Of course, after a while, you just want to raze all the fundamentalist churches and Hooters that encourage that. Seriously, though, I think fundamentalism encourages that more than anything. Cis women are objecitified for their periods and child-rearing abilities. Trans women are objected in a different way, but I would argue they are even more objectified, for we are viewed as tools immeasurably. Our brains experience and feel the same thing that cis women feel. We just don't have the parts to process it elsewhere. I mean, I have a thyroid condition and I experience PMS. I don't do well in heat, which is why I moved to a pretty cold state. I may eventually move to western Canada (between the mountains, not a city per se) just to deal with it. But I often say that we ladies can be like Medusa. We turn effers to stone. Funny thing is that I can sound just like Jim Carrey and I do my little Medusa story about how I turn certain people to stone who mess with girls. It's funnier with context, however.
     
  20. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    I'm sorry I missed your posts, Solojones. My dysphoria mainly is caused by internal factors, and so I'm different from others in our community. However, I mainly experience PMS and cramps. Comparatively, the estrogen has made me more delighted than anything. Before transition, my cycle was like a zig-zag. Now, it's like rolling hills in Fantasia, which I prefer over the former. I try to be optimistic about it, and I only would say this about myself. I would not say this about any ladies, cis or trans, but me. But I feel the external drama and nonsense is taxing, whereas I find the internal difficulties preferable to the outside ones. I suppose that's subjective, given that I'm more introverted than extraverted per se.

    And Anakinfan brought up the social constructivism imposed on us by society. Women are ignored after menopause by those who define us by childbirth. I know my Mom was, but she became the best nurse in her county. I feel bad for those with Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome insofar as society really, really ignores and belittles them. But I've met some wonderful teachers during my sub days who had that. What we find as the most cruel forms of misogyny come from those who want to rate women as superior or inferior based on child-birthing capabilities. This is caused by fundamentalists, New Age Hippies in Dallas (my trans friends call them Nazis), or secular people who want to find another excuse to control and disgrace girls. It goes back to the days when women were expected to be subservient to men in tribes, fiefdoms, empires, and other places. Marriages among the highest classes were political, for they rated women primarily on the capability to further the male lines for nobles and monarchs. All in all, it's gross, and I'm glad more people find that system of control vexing nowadays.

    That said, I like how women can be maternal as they seek to mother societies and help them in some cases. I think we are all maternal in one way or another. We just apply it in different ways, for good or not. After all, sometimes our maternal sides can become narcissistic and toxic, but only in reaction to other factors.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  21. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 3, 2016
    That’s why my mother refused to allow my sister and I to play with Barbie dolls when we were little. She said they were sexist, and now as an adult I can see what she meant. Body issue images aside, they give the image that little girls should have bleach blonde hair, tiny hips and giant boobs. Ick! How is that normal? Don’t get me started on the whole “math is hard” because I did really well in geometry in high school , and I wound up getting a B+ in the math course I had to take in order to get my A.S. in General Studies.

    When I were worked at Gold’s Gym when I was still getting my degree in the Kids Club, we had a patron who looked like a living Barbie doll, albeit middle aged. Not pretty at all. Her skin was fake tan and her eyebrow piercing did not flatter her. She also was something of an airhead, and her hair was dyed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    You have a good heart, Nehru. There's nothing wrong with pointing out the sexism of others, especially those who hurt others. I know how you feel. I was bullied for being interested in most things and finding math boring back in the day.

    At any rate, I was reading about Maxwell. I hope the girls who were hurt by her and her boss get some justice somehow, someway. But it would take a long time. We need to do some cleaning of house in a justice system that blames the survivors. Sexism has many forms. It's not just misogyny. It includes biphobia, transphobia, racism, etc. In the end, it's anti-humanitarian.
     
  23. Adam of Nuchtern

    Adam of Nuchtern Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
  24. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    She’s right. She’s trying to help people, and he demonized her. He’s a Barbarian of sorts.
     
  25. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011