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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Imogen wrote:
The men in this city in Brazil are challenging my feminism just now. I love travelling alone as a woman, but I've never had so much street harassment before as I am here, and right now I don't feel safe even just walking around in the daytime. I've been told that it's very unusual for South American women to go out alone, but I've seen other women out alone in the day who aren't getting bothered. I'm pretty sure it's because up here in the north I stand out a lot more as being a gringa as skin colour in general is a lot darker here than in the south.


I wish Torque were here so she could really speak to this. First, I want to majorly emphasize that I don't think how you're feeling is wrong or unwarranted in any way. There seems to be a huge cultural difference though where catcalling in the street is not only accepted but almost expected? I don't think that it's right or that you should let your guard down, but I think it is the norm. What area are you in now? In a bigger city?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:10 pm 
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"They" as a singular English pronoun is a common practice of long standing. It's totally natural. Except among language prigs.

My apologies to language prigs.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:27 pm 
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Imogen wrote:
You can use "they" or "them" as a third-person singular pronoun although it can feel a little strange at first (it's quite common in trans*/genderqueer discourse).

In many ways, I think we're quite lucky to have any gender-neutral third-person pronouns at all in English! I'm learning Portuguese just now and it's similar to many other romance languages in that a group of people are always referred to as "hims" [eles] unless the group is 100% female, in which case it is "hers" [elas]. This means that even if you have a group of 1000 women and just one man, they are described collectively as "eles".
In French, a person (la personne) is feminine but people (les gens) are usually masculine (although this word is weird and kind of changes gender depending on adjectival positioning).

There are a handful of cases where you refer to men as elle, as well. Linguistic gender and social gender have a loose and fickle relationship. The noun class names masculine and feminine are traditional names, but in many cases could be substituted for Class A and Class B. (I wrote my dissertation on linguistic gender and social gender.)

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Fee wrote:
All these ladies in my office collectively talking about how "wretched" and "evil" little girls are. And they keep sprinkling in stories of little girls that they know that are great! And yet, those are the exceptional little girls - all other little girls are "drama queens"

And most of them are mothers of boys, but there's at least one woman in there that has two girls and she's being totally quiet. I wonder when they're going to realize that she's offended.


My MIL had 4 boys and last time we saw her (at Christmas last year) she was making jokes about how our 1 year old was trying to lure her 45 year old son away from his girlfriend. She is always talking about how rotten little girls are and how great boys are, even though her sons have one of the most impressive record for property damage I've ever seen.

Why can't we just agree that little kids are awesome small human beings and that we should grant them the best listening we can and foster those things in them that we would like other humans around us to have?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:52 pm 
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Yikes- I guess I've never been around this or never noticed it, myself. What horrible things to say to/about children. What the hell is wrong with people? I can't believe someone would sexualize your one year-old, like that, 'lish. There are a lot of great things to appreciate about kids without having to make them weird or competitive or sexual. Yeeesh.

ETA:
Tofulish wrote:
she was making jokes about how our 1 year old was trying to lure her 45 year old son away from his girlfriend.


As in, your daughter was trying to 'seduce' her own uncle? Am I reading this wrong, because that comment is so incredibly cuckoo bananas.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:

Image


This challenges all the shitty sucky things in my life.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Leela was cooing and smiling at her uncle, who was also cooing and smiling back at her (this was before she was really even talking). I hate that people call that eye-contact and smiling "flirting" when it involves babies, but they do. And of course it was a joke, she didn't really think that our child was a "home-wrecker" (the term she used), but it was a joke that came from a really ugly set of stereotypes and assumptions about women. My MIL spouts tons of sexist rubbish about women being untrustworthy, backstabbing husband-stealers. She and my husband's cousin (who is being raised in the "boys have guns, shoot things and stuff them, never shower and don't have to listen to stupid women" mode by her ex) were commiserating about how terrible little girls are, shortly after her son told the psychologist that he was going to go and shoot up the school where she works.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:29 pm 
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ndpittman wrote:
Imogen wrote:
The men in this city in Brazil are challenging my feminism just now. I love travelling alone as a woman, but I've never had so much street harassment before as I am here, and right now I don't feel safe even just walking around in the daytime. I've been told that it's very unusual for South American women to go out alone, but I've seen other women out alone in the day who aren't getting bothered. I'm pretty sure it's because up here in the north I stand out a lot more as being a gringa as skin colour in general is a lot darker here than in the south.


I wish Torque were here so she could really speak to this. First, I want to majorly emphasize that I don't think how you're feeling is wrong or unwarranted in any way. There seems to be a huge cultural difference though where catcalling in the street is not only accepted but almost expected? I don't think that it's right or that you should let your guard down, but I think it is the norm. What area are you in now? In a bigger city?


I'm in a fairly large city in the north of Brazil. When I was in the south I didn't have this problem at all! From a few more days here, I've realised that it's deeply connected to skin colour and assumed nationality in addition to gender, as other European women at the hostel with darker skin who can "pass" as local aren't being bothered, while those of us with lighter skin (including lighter-skinned Brazilians) are being frequently shouted at in the street if we walk alone. I am definitely keeping my guard up, not drinking or even going out at night, which has already proven to be sensible even beyond catcalling and street harassment fears as two other women in the hostel were robbed at knifepoint this weekend. It makes me sad.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:49 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
"They" as a singular English pronoun is a common practice of long standing. It's totally natural. Except among language prigs.

My apologies to language prigs.
Dude. I am a HUGE language prig, and I tell my students to use "they." So there.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:05 pm 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminists_for_Life This organisation.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Someone I know (a man) posted this on FB, and it got a lot of "likes." Personally, I found it troubling for a number of reasons. While we can probably all agree that the standard fairy tale princess trope is anti- or at least non-feminist, I don't think this project does much to meaningfully challenge (or even repackage) it. Additionally, the longstanding issues of class, cultural appropriation, and culturally constructed ideas of physical beauty in these stories are actually reinforced, if anything. (Pocahontas, Jasmine, Red Riding Hood, and the Princess and the Pea were particular standouts to me in these regards, while Rapunzel just seems cruel.) Anyway, that's just my response; I'd be very interested to hear what others think.

http://www.fallenprincesses.com

ETA: Google tells me that this photo essay dates from 2009. Apologies if others have already seen/discussed it; it was new to me!

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Last edited by Desdemona on Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Wow, the Jasmine one just screams racist.

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ashley wrote:
I have never thought "This coffee is okay, but it would be better if it were oily."


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:31 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
Wow, the Jasmine one just screams racist.
And how about Pocahontas, who's clearly living in a trailer home (read: reservation) or someplace similar?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:40 pm 
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I gasped at Jasmine and Pochahontas. How could someone think that was appropriate?!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Yeah, I only saw that one afterwards. I'm not sure which one is more offensive. The other ones make me uncomfortable, too, but it's harder to put into words with other ones. Except for the Arielle one, I think.

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ashley wrote:
I have never thought "This coffee is okay, but it would be better if it were oily."


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:47 pm 
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When I voiced the concerns I raised above to the person who posted the link, this was his response.
Quote:
Well, I think that the point is that if you buy into patriarchal, heteronormative bs, then this is the fate that awaits. It a cautionary expose.

To which I replied that I'm not convinced that the project is A. actually saying that at all, or even that B. such an assertion is always necessarily true.

And even if we were prepared to posit that as the photographer's motivation, exactly how is Red Riding Hood "fallen," because she's fat? And how is that - or Rapunzel's cancer - connected to an embrace of "heteronormative bs"? I suppose that Pocahontas' apparent fate as a lonely, disenfranchised cat lady living in poverty could be interpreted as the consequence of her "getting in bed" with the English colonial settlers, but the more I think about this project, the more troubling I find it, and the less convinced I am that there's really much "there" there in terms of any meaningful, critical statement.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:05 pm 
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I think the site is only trying to be funny. A lot of work went into making it slick and glossy for no apparent reason or point.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:25 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
VeganinBerlin wrote:
Wow, the Jasmine one just screams racist.
And how about Pocahontas, who's clearly living in a trailer home (read: reservation) or someplace similar?


All I saw were log-cabin walls- personally I saw the 'fallen' part as her just being a crazy cat lady, but there's nothing in the interior shot that, for me, suggests a trailer or a reservation more than any other type of dwelling. Of course, there are tons of things that are problematic with this photo and the photo essay in general. I just didn't see that as one of them.

ETA: And yeah, holy shiitake, that Jasmine one is atrocious.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
All I saw were log-cabin walls- personally I saw the 'fallen' part as her just being a crazy cat lady, but there's nothing in the interior shot that, for me, suggests a trailer or a reservation more than any other type of dwelling. Of course, there are tons of things that are problematic with this photo and the photo essay in general. I just didn't see that as one of them.
On closer inspection, you're right; maybe I was being hyperinterpretive because I was already weirded out. Then again, the log cabin scenario could reinforce a colonial interpretation of her "fall," if we want to imagine that's what the artist was going for.
lavawitch wrote:
I think the site is only trying to be funny. A lot of work went into making it slick and glossy for no apparent reason or point.
I don't know - I feel like there was some level of intentionality that either wasn't very well executed and/or missed whatever mark it was the photographer meant to be hitting. But whatever it was meant to be, I just see it as a mess of problematic issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:17 pm 
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the Jasmine & Red Riding Hood pictures notwithstanding, i thought the princess series was all right, albeit pretty superficial & unsophisticated. (i don't get the Princess and the Pea one, though.)

Goldstein's Barbie & Ken series is worse, imo: http://inthedollhouse.net/

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:45 pm 
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And somehow I missed this, but apparently some people are violently upset about having Jane Austen on the £10 note.
"As Caitlin Moran, the popular British newspaper columnist, told the Times, if a 'nice middle-class debate about putting Jane Austen’s picture on the opposite side of a bank note from the queen causes a storm of abuse like this, what will happen when we get to the bigger issues?'

Quite.

But there actually is a big issue here - the fact that some people feel that an appropriate response to being displeased by something - anything - to do with women taking up space in a public space is to threaten to rape one.

"More than a few people, it turned out, among them a twenty-one-year-old man, who has been arrested for threatening on Twitter with rape and worse Caroline Criado-Perez, the journalist and feminist who lead the campaign that resulted in the Bank’s decision."

THE F*CK??

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/c ... usten.html

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:24 pm 
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And yet, the British government is trying to prevent the export of a piece of jewelry that belonged to Jane Austen on the grounds that it is part of priceless cultural heritage.

Jane (because I'm on first name basis with her) would be amused, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:28 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
And yet, the British government is trying to prevent the export of a piece of jewelry that belonged to Jane Austen on the grounds that it is part of priceless cultural heritage.

Jane (because I'm on first name basis with her) would be amused, I think.
I'd like to think so, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Also: does anybody else see the intense irony of the British government whining about losing cultural heritage?

*cough* Elgin marbles (and everything Budge stole from Egypt) *cough*

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:46 pm 
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In other, only slightly related news...this would be much funnier if it weren't real.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/j ... -prejudice

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I will read all sorts of tripe and am great at suspension of disbelief, but when characters start getting the hots for serial killer ghosts, I'm out. ~ lavawitch
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