More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

Posts Tagged ‘sexism


is all I can say.

Head over to Jezebel for more info:

http://jezebel.com/5673680/what-was-marie-claire-thinking-with-this-fatties-piece?skyline=true&s=i

I don’t actually think I buy anything from their advertisers, but I’m double checking and I urge you all to do the same, and if so, change products.

One unintended consequence of the article I’ve felt? Feeling really sorry for the author.

I didn’t expect to! I didn’t intend to!

But someone who holds that much contempt for other people, to the point of being physically sick over their appearance and likening them to heroin addicts (which everyone knows means Bad Person, yeesh), must have a lot of self hatred.

It hurts to see a woman hate her body so much.

And it hurts to know that thousands of women feel the same way.


This has made the rounds in all of my feminist circles and news sources: starting at Feministing, winding its way over all the forums, and finally ending up being posted seven times by different friends on my facebook feed! Reactions range from “Yay!” to “Too late, cute though.”

http://www.feministing.com/archives/021171.html
(I suggest not reading the comments on the Feministing article though, unless you want to see a man be condescending to women in a feminist space and people speak really harshly to each other for no good reason. 😦 Moving on,)

Props to Laura Bush for finally sharing her opinion. Boo for it happening far, far too late and only after her husband had managed to erode rights for both women and the GLBTQ community. I mean, why is she saying this now? If she backed these words up with some work with the HRC or a well placed donation, I’d be a little less suspicious, but I just don’t see why she’s speaking up now.

This also brings up some interesting ideas about the roles of first ladies. People were upset when Hillary Clinton worked on health reform during Bill Clinton’s presidency, people have criticized Michelle Obama for working on her childhood obesity program, etc. What do we expect from these women who are uniquely exposed to the highest level of political office in the United States? Do we want involved, active First Ladies?  When we criticize these women for their role in government, are we promoting the idea that politics are a men’s world? Are we stripping these women of their predefined social place (working on “social” issues, like poverty, nutrition, etc) like many First Ladies have done, in order to get women into a political position with more power? Or are we working for the patriarchy in that we’re trying to silence women who have a position where they can be heard, by saying that they weren’t elected? (Of course they weren’t: NO WOMAN HAS BEEN.) How will this change when a woman is elected, and will our views on what a First Gentleman should do be different, and if so, how?

Today is a question day! If I had answers I’d give ’em to ya.


“Men’s bodies are commodified too!” “Men can understand the female experience!” “Men’s genitalia are stigmatized, just like women’s!”

I really think this is  just another way of turning feminist dialogues into being about men and their oppression. Oh noes, it happens to them too!! Which can easily be turned into, “see, they understand what its like!!!”

Nope. Not at all.It happens to the general population, but it specifically and systematically targets women on a large and deeply rooted scale and men can not understand what it means to live that, because they do not live with that reality. Bringing their oppression and experiences into the discussion is another way of the privileged group exerting their privilege.

Example: I’ve been involved in a conversation on Livejournal where the experiences of people with “black” names, like “LaShawn” are treated negatively in job situations due to their names, either by not being called for interviews, but being called when submitting the same resume under Shawn, or by customers while working in telephone positions and giving their name and getting requests for “white” or “nonethnic” personnel. Suddenly, it seemed like a large storm of white people decided they needed to share their experiences with their names barring them from opportunities: a welsh girl in America’s name being spelled a more American way. A white woman named Monica (said Moe-knee-kuh, not mohnikuh) having her named said incorrectly in a waiting room. These events have little to NO significance in the context of discussing the systematic oppression of people of color through name/stereotypes, so it is totally inappropriate for these types of stories to drown out the voices of the people actually living this experience, and it is an example of them using their privilege to continue the oppression, HOWEVER unintentional it is.

That’s what I see whenever I hear “well men’s bodies are stigmatized too!” or “Men don’t feel good about the wage gap!” or “my boyfriend says…” in feminist discussion. It is just another way of shifting the focus off of the people who need to be doing the talking by making the problems less gender specific (“it happens to men too!”), thus marginalizing women even further.


Danny Dyer (British actor) wrote in an advice column in a men’s magazine,

You’ve got nothing to worry about, son. I’d suggest going out on a rampage with the boys, getting on the booze and smashing anything that moves. Then, when some bird falls for you, you can turn the tables and break her heart. Of course, the other option is to cut your ex’s face, and then no one will want her.

An ap0logy has been issued. The apology is half assed.

Due to an extremely regrettable production error, an inappropriate and indefensible response to a letter has appeared in this week’s issue. Zoo editor, Tom Etherington, apologises unreservedly for any offence the response may have caused and has launched an internal enquiry to ensure lessons are learnt.

Let me rewrite that for them.

Due to a culture of mysogyny and lack of understanding of the sexist culture we live in, an inappropriate and indefensible response to a letter has appeared in this week’s issue. Zoo editor, Tom Etherington, apologises unreservedly for blatantly furthering the culture of violence against women and making light of the plight of the millions of women who are physically, emotionally and otherwised abused each day. We have launched an internal enquiry to ensure lessons are learnt.


Okay: Florida just recently passed a bill making women considering abortion undergo an ultrasound.  Oklahoma just tried to pass a similar law. (It is now halted for 45 days while more middle aged white men twiddle their thumbs and consult their religious books.)

Ummmm what?

Is this the newest thing, since recent challenges to Roe vs. Wade haven’t worked?  If you can’t make it illegal, make it more emotionally painful, increase intimidation and government interference, and up the expense? None of these laws, and there are currently twelve involving mandatory or recommended ultrasounds, have anything to do with health or science. There’s no mention of how an ultrasound might increase abortion safety, due to more accurate dating of the pregnancy, or more information on fetal position and other complications. It’s all about convincing a woman to make a decision that the state has decided is the correct one for her, regardless of any of her personal needs.

As written by Cara on Feministe, who says it more eloquently than I could,

“It all seems to be about the poor little woman who doesn’t understand what it means to be pregnant, or who will surely have a change of heart once she sees a blurry, cloudy image that I’ve never been able to personally make out.  It’s about forcing government into the decisions of doctors, trumping science with ideology, and attempting to take away the privacy of women.  Indeed, it’s about taking the focus off of women and their rights and yet again putting the fetus, this time literally, right in the front and center of the picture.”

Yup!

-Radfemles


Iceland, which banned prostitution last year, has now banned all strip clubs and “any business that makes money off of nudity.”

I mentioned a few posts back about the anti/pro sex feminism chasm, and this is a big example of the anti-sex side. A lot of immediate reactions I’ve heard to this new legislation (after “people go topless in Iceland? Isn’t it cold?! GAHHH) tend to support it, under the guise of protecting women. But who are we protecting women from, and who is doing the protecting?

Here are a few things to think about before supporting this type of legislation in your community and abstractly.

Making things illegal doesn’t mean they stop existing. They go underground, where the likelihood for crime and abuse skyrockets. Banning stripping doesn’t mean banning strippers, it means banning strippers in public places. Back alleys and underground clubs aren’t the sort of public that respond to that regulation too well.

-Limiting options isn’t feminist. Regulating women’s sexual expression and what they can do with it isn’t what was fought for.

-What happens next? Are these sources of money going to be replaced by other jobs that these women have skills for? “Helping” women who haven’t asked for your help by “liberating” them and then leaving them high and dry only opens them up to further abuse.

Assuming demographics makes an Ass out of U and Me. All too often, anti sex feminists support an image of a downtrodden woman, suffering from abuse and drug habits, as the main workers in the sex industry.  These people totally exist, but those who choose to work in the sex industry through no coercion are impacted negatively by these sort of bans.

So what’s a feminist to do? I’m going to go with: support a moderate option! (Being moderate is very radical these days, people. Isn’t it crazy?)

Regulate the sex industry! Make it safe for women to request their rights and have a safe, judgement free legal system to go to! Offer support programs for workers lacking options! Promote a fair living wage for all workers, and judgement free, affordable healthcare for those in the industry. Stop the circumstances that result in people being forced into the sex industry, i.e: have programs that target violence, poverty, substance abuse and promote education and job training.

Make the industry safe and consensual by eliminating undesirable factors that make women feel forced to enter the sex industry and allowing those who wish to work in it a safe, healthy, respectful environment.

All too often we find ourselves separate from these issues: “I’d never want to work there!! Who would!!!” (that’s my inital reaction, srsly, I understand.) but eliminating options and looking down on other women for their choices isn’t cool, either.

Over and out,

Radfemles


Okay, does everyone know MTV’s television show 16 and Pregnant? I’ve gone back and forth on what aspect of this show to talk about, both positive and negative.  So here’s my handy dandy chart!

Positive

-Sex education ads, encouraging teens to seek information and giving then handy websites

-Fairly realistic portrayals of problems: a child with some sort of heart or lung problem, some difficult labors, and multiple complicated living situations.

Negative

-Exploitive

-Dr. Drew

-Possible glamourizing of situation?

Dr. Drew? He’s a negative? Uhm, yeah. Have you seen the Season wrap up?

Maci and Ryan have had problems all along: Maci is a star mother. She’s in college, she works hard to ensure her son Bentley has food, birthday parties and toys and a stable living situation.

Ryan: can’t hold down a job, shows no interest in his child, doesn’t come home for nights on end, and won’t change his son so Maci can take a shower or study.  He’s called her a bitch, called her lazy, and said they wouldn’t be together if it wasn’t for Bentley, and that he’d never speak to her again if it wasn’t for the baby, that he doesn’t care about Maci.

Well, guess what: you officially suck as a father and a boyfriend.

So there’s Ryan!suck. But where does Drew suck come in?

Right around when, on the season finale, he says that he believes Maci and Ryan can work it out.

Work what out, exactly? Ryan’s immaturity, his lack of care towards his son? Maci doesn’t have shit to work out, she’s got it worked out, except for this deadbeat boy who stays around, calling her a lazy bitch.  But instead of condemning him for his immature, irresponsible behavior, they can “work it out.”

Way to pass the buck, Dr. Drew. This isn’t a relationship problem. It’s a “boy is too fucking immature to be a dad or a husband” problem. It isn’t like they’re not communicating over their budget or how to cook hamburgers, HE’S CALLED HER A BITCH AND STAYED OUT FOR NIGHTS ON END.

If you really supported a strong mother raising a strong child, you’d say “forget him. you can raise your child in a healthy environment where he won’t see his mother mistreated, even if it means no father figure for a while.”

But its so much easier to blame “the couple” (which we all know secretly means the woman) and encourage a heterosexual, nuclear family centered “ideal,” even if it is far from ideal.

So, Dr. Drew, thanks for showing the thousands of young women who watched that it really is their fault. Or at the very least, it isnt HIS fault. Oh god, no. Why won’t that lazy bitch just cooperate?

Over and out,

Radfemles (who is swearing off mainsteam media again.)