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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:19 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
b.vicious wrote:
If I wasn't clear before, my "it's useless to judge" comment was more of a response to Dave's post - obviously he's not going to go tell his friend that he thinks "everything is wrong with her decision" (I hope!), but if he was, I think that would be a bad, bad idea. If my friend approached me with that kind of talk I would find it pretty patronizing, like it hadn't occurred to me to seriously consider the reason(s) I wanted to get MAJOR SURGERY. But I don't get the impression that Kate Harding was really talking about one-on-one conversations, as she's writing in response to an opinion piece & the discussion there. I think group discussions like that are totally worth having, because everyone's choices are definitely influenced by societal expectations and it is important to be reminded of that once in awhile.


Actually, Dave the Cat is a woman. And I don't want to speak for her, but I got the impression from her post that what she meant was that she challenges her own feminism for harboring these thoughts about her friend's decision. It sounded to me more like a confession than a judgement of her friend.


Lepelaar nailed it - I was confessing. What I said to my friend was something like "I'm glad you're happy with your breasts now," and I also got to ask a bunch of questions about how her new breasts affect her running, which was interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:52 am 
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So this topic resonates with me. I have mentioned this before on the PPK, but I had a labiaplasty when I was 18 and was already having surgery for something else. I have been told by people who self-identify as feminists that I underwent genital mutilation. It makes me supremely uncomfortable that we appear to live in a society where we deem an action as anti-feminist (not the individual choosing it, but the action itself), when in fact things can be done for multiple reasons.

But if we are working within a framework where we deem plastic surgery as inherently anti-feminist, then I have a fucktonne of things to add to that list, including colouring your hair and wearing a dress.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:10 am 
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DrakeRedcrest wrote:
It makes me supremely uncomfortable that we appear to live in a society where we deem an action as anti-feminist (not the individual choosing it, but the action itself), when in fact things can be done for multiple reasons.


This. It makes me feel all kinds of icky when something is automatically an anti-feminist act regardless of the reasons behind it.

ETA: Genuine question but do all of these people who think cosmetic surgery is inherently wrong, for lack of a better term, also believe the same of piercings, tattoos and other body modifications as they could be viewed as purely cosmetic? This question isn't intended to be antagonistic, I am just wondering if you only have this belief towards certain types of surgery/modifications.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:28 am 
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i maybe see this from a different perspective, because I don't really feel comfortable with the term "feminist" [i think that the patriarchy damages everyone to some extent, and don't think it's fair to limit it just to women, though i do sympathize with most thinking that would be considered feminist] but i think making assumptions about other peoples' motivations is almost always going to cause trouble and be hurtful unless you know what baggage that person carries. and we never can. and so we never really are ever in a space to be passing judgment on what other people do.
i don't say this as a slam to dave the cat- talking about the topic in a thread like this demonstrates her own commitment to examining the topic and trying to do better.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:00 am 
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Sarah-Jane wrote:
ETA: Genuine question but do all of these people who think cosmetic surgery is inherently wrong, for lack of a better term, also believe the same of piercings, tattoos and other body modifications as they could be viewed as purely cosmetic? This question isn't intended to be antagonistic, I am just wondering if you only have this belief towards certain types of surgery/modifications.


I don't necessarily think it's anti-feminist, mostly my critique of it would only apply as long as it's expensive and not doable for most people in the world. The fact that rich people have access that to, medically speaking, unnecessary procedures when others don't have access to it. It creates even more of a class society, maybe. But you could argue that this applies to a lot of things we rich people do. And I do feel conflicted about luxery products in general. And it's just... the more people do it, of course, the more expected it gets. and unlike shaving my legs it's still more risky health-wise. (But of course, if you don't think people are responsible for other people's actions, the whole thing is negligible)

I'm just thinking out loud here, I really try not to judge people for doing something we all do to some extent. I dont think it's only a feminist topic, though. I feel more or less the same conflicted about men and surgery. It might not play into the patriarchy's hands so much, but the same problem arises that we are setting standarts that are unattainable, for poorer people especially. I guess that if cosmetic sugary was really cheap and not dangerous, I'd feel about it the same way as I feel about cosmetics and shaving your legs. Still conflicted, but less so. I mean, who else is to blame for crazy standarts but society, and society is made up of individuals. And still I agree that it's inappropriate to judge people for wanting to attain what we're told we're supposed to be.

And I do think about getting loose skin taken off myself, if it gets too bad for my mental health. And I actually worry about people judging me for that, too, the same way they judge me for being overweight in the first place...

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 3:44 pm 
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Everyone does things within their own cultural context. We live in a sexist culture, and we can never truly divorce ourselves form it, although we can certainly make changes. Saying our actions have as much to do with or more to do with outside forces as it does internal feelings isn't saying women can't make choices for ourselves, but we have limited choices. I do think people tend to abuse this idea though, kinda like how some people abuse the idea of "gender performativity" to erase trans identities. They don't really understand the words they're using to get their way.

The talk about "anti-feminist" makes me think of how the feminist police aren't selective about who gets to call themselves feminist. I mean a lot of feminists often hold up very oppressive (transphobic, homophobic, racist, ableist, etc) feminists up as heroes, while trying to police the word "feminist" so only feminists who agree with them get to use the label. Like I don't really care if Sarah Palin calls herself a feminist because I'm sure I can think of celebrated feminists who are just as bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Sarah-Jane wrote:
ETA: Genuine question but do all of these people who think cosmetic surgery is inherently wrong, for lack of a better term, also believe the same of piercings, tattoos and other body modifications as they could be viewed as purely cosmetic? This question isn't intended to be antagonistic, I am just wondering if you only have this belief towards certain types of surgery/modifications.


I don't think cosmetic surgery is inherently wrong but I do think that societal pressures on women in particular to look a certain way are incredibly damaging, as they encourage people to tie up their self-worth with their appearance and their attractiveness to men. To me, it seems pretty clear that the trends towards women (and it is overwhelmingly women) having unnecessary invasive and potentially health-damaging surgery are a result of this.

I don't think piercings and tattoos are comparable. They may be about changing appearance, but they're nowhere near as invasive, permanent or damaging to health as the majority of cosmetic procedures.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:52 pm 
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But how is doing something permanent, invasive, and being potentially damaging to one's health a feminist issue? I could definitely see why one would avoid cosmetic surgery for themselves for those reasons, but I don't understand why people judge one another for choosing it for themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 5:31 pm 
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I guess because it only becomes more pressuring the more people do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 6:05 pm 
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All the ads incorporated into my newsfeed on Facebook are either about losing weight or shopping. I don't "like" any pages related to either (unless you maybe count some vegan stuff, like healthy blogs or the vegan rd??), so I feel like it must just be because I'm a woman. The clothes/purse/shoe ads are just annoying but all the weight loss ads have pics of women in bikinis, talk about getting in shape for summer, diets, etc and are making me really upset.

Anyone else getting these weird ads?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Tattoos and piercings can also damage your health too, though.

I think the way I look at it is like this: I would place some things squarely in the feminist box and some things squarely in the "anti-feminist" or opposite-of-feminist box, but then there is a huge variety of things that is on the floor around the boxes. The things on the floor can be put in either box depending on various contexts. For me, plastic surgery is on the floor, as well as changing surnames after marriage and BDSM, to use other examples from this conversation. I am certain there are contexts where all of these things are heavily influenced by patriarchy, but I am also certain there are contexts where the patriarchy is not involved.

To use my personal example of labiaplasty, when people have told me that I was "mutilated," and that my action upheld the patriarchy (and I have been told this), the implication is that the way I existed before I had it done was the "feminist" way. This period before the procedure included, from the age of 10 to 18 when I had the procedure, seriously considering (various and numerous times) cutting them off myself. I do not like the implication that existing in that state would have been "more feminist." I read this as a form of body policing.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 8:13 pm 
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I get really uncomfortable when people describe voluntary appearance-modifying procedures as mutilation. 'Mutilation' isn't a word that at all acknowledges the agency of the person going under the scalpel/needle/wax strip.

Vanity? Bowing to societal pressure? I may not agree, but whatever, sure.

Mutilation is just such a loaded word.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:27 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
All the ads incorporated into my newsfeed on Facebook are either about losing weight or shopping. I don't "like" any pages related to either (unless you maybe count some vegan stuff, like healthy blogs or the vegan rd??), so I feel like it must just be because I'm a woman. The clothes/purse/shoe ads are just annoying but all the weight loss ads have pics of women in bikinis, talk about getting in shape for summer, diets, etc and are making me really upset.

Anyone else getting these weird ads?


So obviously this is only a fix for you, not for society, but if you want to hide those ads/sponsored stories (and oh so much more -- it's wonderful!) you can use the FB Purity browser extension to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:49 pm 
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I changed myself to a genderless septuagenarian as far as FB is concerned, and I instantly got a lot less of that stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:50 pm 
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I use AdBlocker!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:14 pm 
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I use adblocker as well, but it doesn't seem to catch the inline ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:29 pm 
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Teaching forum. Whole thread about IKeA with everybody hahahahing about needing boyfriends or husbands to put crepe together.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 12:38 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Teaching forum. Whole thread about IKeA with everybody hahahahing about needing boyfriends or husbands to put crepe together.

Oh please. My ex-boyfriend would have been sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor after he moved out if I hadn't borrowed a pick-up, taken him to Ikea, told him what to buy and then put it all together for him.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 2:12 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Teaching forum. Whole thread about IKeA with everybody hahahahing about needing boyfriends or husbands to put crepe together.


Way back in the day, I worked for a company of predominately male employees. I was the person who put all our office furniture together when we set up the new space. They still referred to me as the little girl.

And on a similar note... I was surprised to hear my son say that women couldn't work the kitchen at his work (fast food chain) because they were too weak. Really?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Beer pong. The whole girls throwing with the left hand and guys throwing behind the back when they get the ball back. YES, men are generally more athletic than women, but this is beer pong. It has nothing to do with athletic ability, so i don't see the point in giving girls a handicap.
Really, just parties in general challenge my feminism. Every time i go to one, someone says something sexist and i end up yelling (not aggressively, just enthusiastically) about why they're wrong. Usually once i speak up about it, people agree with me so i guess that's reassuring.
I brought these awesome Obi Wan inspired cupcakes to a friend's birthday party the other day. This guy was talking about how good they are, and my boyfriend was like "This is what my life is like all the time. Everyday it's another caramel filled, peanut butter topped thing of delicious." and the guys response was "You are such a lucky man to have her." He was being nice and i wouldn't label his response as sexist, but i don't see why he chose to compliment my boyfriend because he is my partner instead of complimenting me directly because i am the one who makes amazing food. Plus, he's not lucky to have me as his girlfriend. He has me as his girlfriend because he's a wonderful person, not because he's lucky.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:05 pm 
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I spend a lot of time on the phone with insurance companies and most of them have some sort of on hold music or recording. One of the ones we deal with most has some PSA about heart disease in women and for some reason it's always like "1 in 4 women are dying of heart disease. This means mothers, daughters, sisters, etc are dying" and it always grates on my nerves because maybe I'm self centered but if you want to relate to me on this PSA wouldn't you be like "more importantly YOU could be dying of heart disease too...not just your female relatives" but maybe they're just assuming that all callers are men? Or just that all callers have super heart health and only need to worry about their relatives.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 6:24 pm 
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If one more person asks me if I'm going to use my PhD in chemistry for "teaching" I will bust a gasket. No one asks my husband if he's going to use his much more esoteric PhD in astrophysics to become a teacher. In fact, no one asks any of my male chemistry colleagues if they're going to become teachers. Just me. I guess my little lady brain can't handle a big scary job as a flipping scientist; apparently it's only good for relaying information! I have mad respect for teachers and think it's an incredibly challenging and demanding career. From the very brief stints I've done as a teacher's aid and a uni TA I know I couldn't do it. However, implying that it's not even in the realm of possibilities that I could actually do scientific research or be a scientist (and it's not ever said condescendingly, these people are being completely genuine and unaware of their sexism) is infuriating and makes me stabby.


mandycoot wrote:
couroupita wrote:
All the ads incorporated into my newsfeed on Facebook are either about losing weight or shopping. I don't "like" any pages related to either (unless you maybe count some vegan stuff, like healthy blogs or the vegan rd??), so I feel like it must just be because I'm a woman. The clothes/purse/shoe ads are just annoying but all the weight loss ads have pics of women in bikinis, talk about getting in shape for summer, diets, etc and are making me really upset.

Anyone else getting these weird ads?


So obviously this is only a fix for you, not for society, but if you want to hide those ads/sponsored stories (and oh so much more -- it's wonderful!) you can use the FB Purity browser extension to do it.

I think the problem is I usually access fb through the iphone app, so you can't block anything. I have AdBlock on my computer, which is why I think I'm so irritated by it because I'm not used to seeing them! I'm not sure about the newsfeed ads, which are the offending ones. Somehow I never notice them on my computer but I do on my phone.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 10:25 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
If one more person asks me if I'm going to use my PhD in chemistry for "teaching" I will bust a gasket.

Next time tell them, "No, I plan to cook blue meth for a living."

couroupita wrote:
I think the problem is I usually access fb through the iphone app, so you can't block anything. I have AdBlock on my computer, which is why I think I'm so irritated by it because I'm not used to seeing them! I'm not sure about the newsfeed ads, which are the offending ones. Somehow I never notice them on my computer but I do on my phone.

I don't think they appear on your computer but I've definitely noticed them on my phone and they are annoying! All of the time I'm getting ads for stupid things like Pork and Pantene.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:04 am 
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I initially thought this must be the Onion or similar, but no. Stuff like this confounds my feminism, my humanity, my sense of credulity, and a whole bunch of other stuff...what the fizzle??

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/vendor-that-pulled-obama-target-at-nra-convention

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 11:21 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
I initially thought this must be the Onion or similar, but no. Stuff like this confounds my feminism, my humanity, my sense of credulity, and a whole bunch of other stuff...what the fizzle??

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/vendor-that-pulled-obama-target-at-nra-convention


Quote:
… to discriminate against Women by not having them represented in our product selection would be just plain sexist," the company states on its website.


See there! They are NOT being sexist.

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