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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:55 pm 
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My rule for compliments is that I compliment things people DO rather than things people ARE.

So, lovely skirt? Sure! It was a choice by the wearer. Nice gams? Probably not appropriate, unless she's a weightlifter and is explicitly showing you the hard-won changes. I think the rules can change as you build a relationship with someone and figure out what boundaries they need, but I would never go up to a stranger and compliment a body-part. I find that weird and intrusive. Awesome shoes? Sure!

And I agree, Tofulish, about how frustrating it is to be constantly told that you need to a) intuit the intent of some stranger's comments and b) assume good intent even in the face of evidence to the contrary

It does seem like the comments above are talking about those two different kinds of compliments. Tex doesn't like comments on what she IS (her body), Vijita like compliments about what people DO (their kindness or awesome jewelry). And Fee is going to make babies with her coworker so some stranger can admire the hypothetical eyes that will result.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:31 pm 
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I do, I guess (topic question). The tv is on mute since I'm not watching (I only watch tv news if it's Shep Smith), but the macaw likes it. Anyway, the anchor on is pretty good, has won lots of Emmys, and is sharp though her politics are probably dubious and all I can think is that her yellow ruffled dress is making her look like a big bird balloon.

Granted a yellow ruffled dress is hard to ignore, but if it were a male anchor, I wouldn't notice or comment. (unless it were Shep, but I can't help having a crush on Shep, can I? If you don't know who he is, he is worth a google. He got me with his hurricane Katrina coverage, and again when he said (on air) that the republican party is on the wrong side of history).

Which actually is another thing: women on Fox News often get called bimbos etc, but even if most of them have crappy politics, they all pretty much have brains accompanied by stacks of degrees. Why do we have to attack them for their looks instead of the substance? This bothers me a lot and it happens everywhere--the quickest way to diminish the value of any woman is just to write them off based on appearance. And then, of course, Rachel Maddow gets shiitake for not looking glamorous enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:37 pm 
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That is so well said (as always) j-dub!

When I met my husband, I noticed that he doesn't ever check women out, and he never makes comments about women's appearances. When I asked him why, he said that being active in the recovery community he knew so many sexual assault survivors, and didn't want any woman feeling unsafe because of him. I really liked that. I think "you're so pretty" is often used as a justification (not that it really is)- like your attacker just couldn't help himself and its some sort of warped compliment/blaming you for what happened. My rapist said "You're so pretty" over and over during the attack and after, and I don't think that is uncommon. So at least for me, comments about my body, even really nice ones can make me feel very unsafe.

That said, it sounds like your husband is really good at giving kind compliments, vijita!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:54 pm 
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Jesus, 'Fulish. I'm so sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:57 pm 
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And I hate the term "forced into prostitution." I keep hearing it in connection with the Oxford trafficking ring: http://www.theworld.org/2013/05/muslim- ... x-scandal/ Calling it prostitution makes it sound like the children/teens/young women were in some way willing participants. And it is especially heinous given that some of the victims, who came forward (at great personal cost), were dismissed for years as not being credible because they were prostitutes. Call a woman a prostitute, and she loses all her rights to be treated like a human being and be protected in our society. UGH UGH UGH

Twisty from IBTP said it best many years ago.
Quote:
In the popular consciousness there persists a clot of pernicious misogynist notions: that women are receptacles, that women secretly yearn to be raped, that prostituted women freely choose their “profession” and are fairly compensated, and that even a 14-year-old child might willingly consent to being used accordingly by a gang of thugs.
Thus, when the Seattle cops told the news-blobs that this girl was “forced into prostitution,” it was merely code for “she was used, perhaps a bit more violently than usual, according to her mutually-agreed-upon purpose.”

http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/200 ... n-seattle/

Why can't we just agree that if an 11 year old can't enter into a binding legal contract, or agree to have sex, that she can't agree to be a prostitute either?

lavawitch wrote:
Jesus, 'Fulish. I'm so sorry.


Aww! Thanks! No worries! I just brought my personal story in to illustrate a point, because I thought it might be useful.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 7:24 pm 
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vijita wrote:
My husband likes to compliment strangers and friends alike on something that stands out to him

I thought it was quite lovely the way J. interacted with strangers when I visited y'all. He made a remark to someone on a ferry that I thought was so genuine and kind, but about something rather small. I love it when people manage to do that, which I think is not too often.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:08 pm 
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I always just feel super uncomfortable when someone comments/compliments me on something.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:45 am 
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j-dub wrote:
My rule for compliments is that I compliment things people DO rather than things people ARE.
Yes! This is akin to something I learned when my kids were small; instead of telling my son he was "a good boy" for cleaning up his toys or playing nicely with a friend, I would say how great it was that he took such good care of his things, or that he shared his truck with his buddy even though it was his favorite, etc. "Good" (or, in the context of this conversation, "pretty," "attractive," etc.) are too general and fuzzy to be very meaningful, and can be easily dismissed and/or misconstrued.
Tofulish wrote:
...[it] challenges my feminism, that we live in a world, where our experience is questioned, and we have to learn to constantly look at our own experiences through a male gaze as part of our processing.
j-dub wrote:
And I agree, Tofulish, about how frustrating it is to be constantly told that you need to a) intuit the intent of some stranger's comments and b) assume good intent even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
And yes! Whatever someone's intention may have been in saying something, it doesn't trump or invalidate the hearer's response. "A jest's prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it, never in the tongue of him that makes it."

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:09 am 
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For me, compliments are in the delivery, regardless of if its about my eyes (something about my body that I can't control) or dress (something I chose and can control). I can tell if someone is being lecherous, offensive, aggressive, or just otherwise trying to take control when they say "I like that dress" or if they are just saying "I like that dress" and mean it as an innocent compliment. I am certainly not trying to say that anyone's feelings as a recipient of compliments are invalid, but I am saying that like a lot of things, the context and delivery shouldn't be overlooked. I don't *need* compliments to feel validated, but they are simply nice to hear on occasion if they are sincere. I wouldn't want to live in a compliment-less world.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:52 am 
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I hear what you guys are saying about controllable versus uncontrollable comments about appearance/dress/whatever.

So the woman who works at my post office--she has the most amazing eyes I have ever seen. There is something so playful and mischievous and fairy-like about them. They literally take my breath away. I want to say something to her--we are definitely friendly and chat on occasion, but this thread has me thinking I shouldn't. Yet sometimes I want to explain non-creepishly why I am always (trying to avoid and failing) staring at her.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:53 am 
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pandacookie wrote:
vijita wrote:
My husband likes to compliment strangers and friends alike on something that stands out to him

I thought it was quite lovely the way J. interacted with strangers when I visited y'all. He made a remark to someone on a ferry that I thought was so genuine and kind, but about something rather small. I love it when people manage to do that, which I think is not too often.

I shared that with him and he was really touched! <3


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 12:59 pm 
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vijita wrote:
I hear what you guys are saying about controllable versus uncontrollable comments about appearance/dress/whatever.

So the woman who works at my post office--she has the most amazing eyes I have ever seen. There is something so playful and mischievous and fairy-like about them. They literally take my breath away. I want to say something to her--we are definitely friendly and chat on occasion, but this thread has me thinking I shouldn't. Yet sometimes I want to explain non-creepishly why I am always (trying to avoid and failing) staring at her.

I get a lot of compliments on my eyes and I have never not felt a bit weird about it. Like, I have absolutely zero control over how blue they are (and I always wonder a bit if people are buying into a fetishization* of blue eyes as marker of whiteness because I have never heard someone compliment someone's beautiful brown eyes**). Compliments on my eye makeup please me because that's something I do and have worked hard to learn to do well. But my eyes themselves? I guess my genes might feel complimented?

That being said, I am not her. Maybe she loves compliments about her eyes!

*You can take the girl out of critical theory but can't take critical theory out of the girl...

**Which isn't to say it doesn't happen, but I feel like I always hear about beautiful blue and green eyes, not brown eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
vijita wrote:
I hear what you guys are saying about controllable versus uncontrollable comments about appearance/dress/whatever.

So the woman who works at my post office--she has the most amazing eyes I have ever seen. There is something so playful and mischievous and fairy-like about them. They literally take my breath away. I want to say something to her--we are definitely friendly and chat on occasion, but this thread has me thinking I shouldn't. Yet sometimes I want to explain non-creepishly why I am always (trying to avoid and failing) staring at her.

I get a lot of compliments on my eyes and I have never not felt a bit weird about it. Like, I have absolutely zero control over how blue they are (and I always wonder a bit if people are buying into a fetishization* of blue eyes as marker of whiteness because I have never heard someone compliment someone's beautiful brown eyes**).

Yes, i agree on all of this j-dub. It happens a lot here and I usually divert the conversation and say "you should have seen my father's eyes" and start talking about my father [when his hair grew back snow-white after chemo his eyes went from striking to spooky, people would stop on the street open-mouthed]. I find it interesting that when I complement someone's brown eyes [my daughter and husband both have the most amazing cinnamon eyes] sometimes the response is "but they're just brown". Uh-huh.
Or better, when someone looks at me and my kid and says "oh how sad she didn't get your eyes". Classy.

Perhaps you could try some of these gems I've heard...... NOT!
"your eyes are so blue! just like a dog!"
"your eyes are so blue! just like one of those weird crosseyed cats!"
"your eyes are so blue! you must not be able to see anything." [?]

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 2:02 pm 
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This doesn't challenge my feminism, necessarily, but it drives me crazy. I don't understand why people in feminist communities feel compelled to read blogs posts that are CLEARLY about rape or other upsetting topics and then leave comments that say "you triggered me!" Well then why did you read it?!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 2:12 pm 
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I dont know, I think it's an important topic and I want to read about it and sometimes I am taken aback by the detailed descriptions etc. I wouldnt say "oh god, no, you triggered me!" if I knew what the topic was beforehand but I definitely understand it emotionally.
I think it's important -> I go and read articles about it -> in the middle somewhere it gets way too detailled and there s stuff I didnt expect -> triggered.
I guess the main problem there is that everyone is triggered by other stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 2:20 pm 
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I almost don't want to accept eye color compliments because its always from people with brown eyes and all I'm thinking is "please don't feel like my eyes are better than yours...my eyesight is shitty and and I'm more likely to get a sunburn because of my recessive eye color gene. We both bleed red, lets hold hands" but then they don't want to or something.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 3:00 pm 
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I hate eye comments. People say I have beautiful eyes and then are leaning in or staring to try to figure out what color they are. Awkward. (they are brown, gold green, or hazel, depending on I don't know what)

It's kind of cool that my mom and I (who look nothing alike, at all) have the exact same eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:56 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
"I don't like it when women have lots of tattoos. It looks bad. What you have now is acceptable and you still look pretty." I grabbed my shoes and told him nevermind on the repairs and walked away.


Good on you for doing the proper thing! And undoubtedly sending him a clear message.

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aaaaand, sigged.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:22 pm 
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The five year old girl who was raped in India is recovering. She still has scars all over her body and needs further surgeries, but at least she didn't die. http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-new ... 62383.aspx

So incredibly sad.

And in other news, Cafe Press thinks its fine to sell these sexualized onesies for newborns: http://melindatankardreist.com/2013/05/ ... -clothing/ "No gag reflex"

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:30 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I am kind of shocked at the lack of outrage around the issue of sexual assaults and bullying in the military and the crazy hubbub around allegations of preferential treatment of certain teaparty groups by the IRS. One is about people's lives while the other is really just about money. But then one is about a marginalized group and one is about the people who support the GOP.

26,000 service members were sexually assaulted last year. I was listening to survivor stories on NPR and they were terrible and so sad, and I thought back to j-dub's post that rape breaks people. One story was from a woman who signed up with an Air Force recruiter who then invited her to his house to meet other recruits and learn more about the Air Force. Once there he roofied and raped her. The documentary, on this "The Invisible War" talks about how there are serial predators in the military who know exactly how to target their victims. And a system in place to cover up their acts, down to three star generals dismissing all charges against them.
Trigger warning: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =184206620

And I thought IBTP was great: http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/201 ... e-serious/

Here are some of the legislative attempts to address the issue. Not one has been endorsed by Pres. Obama though he has called the situation deplorable.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/1 ... 95508.html

Contrast that with the huge "Heads Will Roll" full court press on the IRS issue, that has consumed my Politico feed.



I will check out the links you posted. I am always a little surprised by the implication that sexual assault is covered up in the military - maybe it is by someone, but I haven't seen any evidence of this (though there are a few cases that we've been disgusted by where people accused of ridiculous behavior - not sexual assault, but thoroughly inappropriate sexual behavior - are fired from their specific jobs ("loss in confidence") but allowed to quietly finish up their 20 or whatever and retire honorably).

When my husband was the naval personnel duty officer - one week a year, he routed incoming personnel-related SITREPs for the entire Navy - he was appalled at the reports that would come in, but they received these reports and acted upon them. The one time there was an assault issue in a previous command it was taken very seriously, and as far as I know the sailor in question faced criminal charges - it was in barracks on base so I don't know whether it was handled under the UCMJ or civilian court, but I am fairly certain that someone above the ship's CO dealt with it ultimately...but they had the full cooperation of the command. Without getting into specifics, I think that particular case actually would have been taken less seriously outside of the military, had it just been two civilians.

Personally I feel generally very safe on base and among other sailors, and have never gotten the grabbing and catcalls that happen outside that environment. The statistics are bad, and I will read the articles, but I always wonder whether they're any worse than a demographically comparable group of people outside the military.

None of this is to deny those cases, or that assaults happen when they should not. I think the military should do what it can to prevent sexual assault... I just wonder what else it can and should do, because I don't see the culture of dismissal that I read about, and I have trouble reconciling that. Admittedly, my husband's work environment may be unique - he doesn't work with women (not that male rape victims do not exist; they do, B's read the SITREP! but they do not seem as common, at least not reported assaults), and submariners tend to be a very different crowd than, say, infantry. And like I said, we've seen some crappy things happen, but in general it is widely condemned and the people involved are removed from their jobs. There are absolutely the same biases as our wider culture. But I have trouble squaring what I've seen with what I read in these articles.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:53 pm 
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Did you see this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nat ... story.html

Quote:
An Air Force general has run afoul of Congress for granting clemency to a convicted sex offender without any public explanation, the latest case to raise fundamental questions about how the military justice system handles sex crimes.

The case is the second this year in which a three-star Air Force general has raised lawmakers’ hackles by effectively pardoning an officer found guilty of sexual assault, a crime many experts see as a growing problem in the military.

....

In both cases, the generals ignored the recommendations of their legal advisers and overruled a jury’s findings — without publicly revealing why. Neither general was a judge and neither observed the trials, but they intervened to grant clemency before the convictions could be heard by an appeals court.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:02 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
And in other news, Cafe Press thinks its fine to sell these sexualized onesies for newborns: http://melindatankardreist.com/2013/05/ ... -clothing/ "No gag reflex"
WHAT DID I JUST SEE???

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 10:20 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
And in other news, Cafe Press thinks its fine to sell these sexualized onesies for newborns: http://melindatankardreist.com/2013/05/ ... -clothing/ "No gag reflex"
WHAT DID I JUST SEE???


0_o Right? What disturbs me more than the existence of those is that there actually appears to be a market for them?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 11:40 am 
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Quote:
As Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, told Boston Magazine:

The fact that Boston College is honoring the man who is pushing an abortion bill that will lead to the mass death of preborn Irish children and the harm of countless women and families is unconscionable. … If Boston College won’t stand for the preborn at its graduation ceremonies, we will.


http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/05/2 ... 88_1_1__ss

Mass death of PREBORN????

eta: I can't believe people are buying those baby shirts!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 12:00 pm 
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annak wrote:

None of this is to deny those cases, or that assaults happen when they should not. I think the military should do what it can to prevent sexual assault... I just wonder what else it can and should do, because I don't see the culture of dismissal that I read about, and I have trouble reconciling that. Admittedly, my husband's work environment may be unique - he doesn't work with women (not that male rape victims do not exist; they do, B's read the SITREP! but they do not seem as common, at least not reported assaults), and submariners tend to be a very different crowd than, say, infantry. And like I said, we've seen some crappy things happen, but in general it is widely condemned and the people involved are removed from their jobs. There are absolutely the same biases as our wider culture. But I have trouble squaring what I've seen with what I read in these articles.


Wouldn't you be surprised if there were fewer male-on-male rapes in the military than male-on-female? Just because of the populations that are in the military, issues of access, etc.? I would certainly believe that submariners may be different in a lot of ways from other military populations, though.

I am similarly not all that believing when it comes to large-scale "cover ups." I tend to think that the nature of the structure of the organization squashes all to conform to its needs - more harshly punishing minor infractions of sexual codes to maintain control while simultaneously maybe being likely to dismiss allegations that would ruin that same control should they become public. And of course, the organization is full of the same rape-denying people we live with in civil society. Some of them just have an obscene amount of power over both victim and perpetrator which makes the narrative of rape victims not being believed just that much more messed up, even if it's not at all unusual.


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