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 Post subject: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 pm 
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It's strange. My high-powered corporate independent sister challenges all feminist statements I make. She holds down a nice job in marketing, has her own apartment, and is highly opinionated. But she constantly brings up how there's "something to say about men's and women's traditional roles". It's hard for me to try to convince her that "roles" are generally driven by what society dictates, and are not necessarily natural. But she'll misuse some kind of psychological jargon and retort with "Oh, you're just too black-and-white".

It's hard to talk to someone in your own generation that just doesn't get what feminism means.

Who in your life just doesn't get it?


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:45 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
But she constantly brings up how there's "something to say about men's and women's traditional roles". It's hard for me to try to convince her that "roles" are generally driven by what society dictates, and are not necessarily natural.

Is she saying traditional or natural roles? Because in your post it looks like she said traditional, which is cultural, and you took it to mean natural.

Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and the GOP women challenge my feminism in my life. They are like Phyllis Schlafly - beneficiaries of feminism, without seeming to acknowledge or realize it, and they make their reputations by misunderstanding what feminism is all about and tearing it down.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:50 pm 
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She generally focuses on the traditional in the sense that, for example:

"Things are just so bad these days with families, and if someone just stayed home with the kids instead of focusing on their careers so much than little girls wouldn't be so sexualized and men wouldn't be so effeminate".

And by "someone" she means the woman.

She also tells me I "emasculate" my boyfriend by attempting to split bills 50-50 with him. I'm super surprised hearing this come out a mouth of a woman who grew up in the same household as me.


Last edited by graffiti on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:55 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
It's strange. My high-powered corporate independent sister challenges all feminist statements I make. She holds down a nice job in marketing, has her own apartment, and is highly opinionated. But she constantly brings up how there's "something to say about men's and women's traditional roles". It's hard for me to try to convince her that "roles" are generally driven by what society dictates, and are not necessarily natural. But she'll misuse some kind of psychological jargon and retort with "Oh, you're just too black-and-white".

It's hard to talk to someone in your own generation that just doesn't get what feminism means.

Who in your life just doesn't get it?


Aaaaaaargh.

A long time friend of mine defriended me the other night on facebook because we got into it about an article on bisque Magazine's website about gender presentation in World of Warcraft. The article was pretty light hearted, but he took a massive amount of offense to it (He lives in WoW, no seriously, he'd flake on us for 8 hour raids) and went on about how brainwashed I am and how stupid feminism is, how empowering the female form is so we need to show it off apparently, and I just sat there like, wow. What year is it? So I guess we're not friends at all anymore now. And I swear to god I was as civil and calm as i could be until maybe the 75th comment he left, then I just deleted it and he defriended.

I told my sister about it because she was friends with him too, and she was horrified, but she said "And you and I have very different ideas about feminism! But I totally agree he was out of line." but I was too afraid to ask why she thinks my feminism is so much different from hers?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:01 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
She generally focuses on the traditional in the sense that, for example:

"Things are just so bad these days with families, and if someone just stayed home with the kids instead of focusing on their careers so much than little girls wouldn't be so sexualized and men wouldn't be so effeminate".

And by "someone" she means the woman.

She also tells me I "emasculate" my boyfriend by attempting to split bills 50-50 with him. I'm super surprised hearing this come out a mouth of a woman who grew up in the same household as me.


That must be incredibly frustrating, and there's so many things wrong with it, I need to collect my thoughts before I can articulate.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:02 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
She also tells me I "emasculate" my boyfriend by attempting to split bills 50-50 with him. I'm super surprised hearing this come out a mouth of a woman who grew up in the same household as me.


Well if you were at home focusing on not sexualizing your children instead of in the workplace, he would have to.

Doesn't it seem weird that someone who has very fixed (I assume) binary gender roles for children objects to sexualizing children, where sexualizing is defined as "attributing a gender role" to something? Maybe you should tell her to stop sexualizing you?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:50 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
It's hard to talk to someone in your own generation that just doesn't get what feminism means.
Who in your life just doesn't get it?


Even people in some of my WGS classes (granted these were low-level) seemed to have pop-culture informed ideas about what they think feminism is--completely oblivious to the fact that there are feminisms, or non-Western/non-second wave versions of challenging masculinists (and not men as a group).

So pretty much everyone in my life doesn't "get it"--and I don't really know how to remedy this since it takes an elaborate explanation to demonstrate social structures or systems of privilege.

At any rate, it is as bell hooks said in Talking Back, people have very "shallow" conceptions of feminism.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:25 pm 
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graffitipassion wrote:
She also tells me I "emasculate" my boyfriend by attempting to split bills 50-50 with him.

i once emasculated a guy by offering my jacket when he was cold.



ahem. does your sister watch The Millionaire Matchmaker, by any chance?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:25 am 
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My mom doesn't get it and apparently doesn't want to. Any time she sees a man with a long hair, she'll complain about how he "looks like a girl." (Why can't men have long hair and look like men? What's wrong with looking like a girl?!)

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:04 am 
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There was a girl in my sixth form whose aspirations in life amounted to nothing short of becoming a Stepford wife. Well, if it's her decision it's fair enough I guess, but she also suggested that everyone else should do the same, citing things like 'women trying to be like men has led to an increase in female binge drinking'. It made me cringe...


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:16 am 
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My 81yr old friend. I love the bones of her but she is dreadful at times! Every man is hard done by and every woman is a demanding princess. I don't know where it comes from because her ex-husband was horrendously disloyal to her when she was carrying their son. She has been a single mum since then. She used to tell me I was lucky my husband stayed with me, with me being ill. She wouldn't dream of saying that to a man who was ill, it would be his wife's duty to look after him. It is one of the few things in life that makes me want to throw a tantrum, seriously, it grates on me so bad!


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:41 am 
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other feminists, specifically man hating/trans hating separatists.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:27 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and the GOP women challenge my feminism in my life. They are like Phyllis Schlafly - beneficiaries of feminism, without seeming to acknowledge or realize it, and they make their reputations by misunderstanding what feminism is all about and tearing it down.

This. It maddens me to see women who have enjoyed the opportunities that previous generations fought to gain, use that very power in an attempt to limit the horizons of future generations.

It's also disturbing to see so many young women eschew any identification with feminism, based on culturally-reinforced, patriarchal stereotypes of "man-hating, bra-burning women's libbers," and that feminism=anti-masculinism and/or anti-"feminineism." (It's as if they've accidentally stumbled upon a marathon of All in the Family on TV Land!) Isn't it strange that, nearly half a century after the "second wave" of feminism, the word still stirs up such powerful reactions? I don't shave because I don't choose to, I wear lipstick because I do choose to, and I can change those things at any time I like. Madison Avenue doesn't determine the meaning of feminism any more than the Tea Party or Ms magazine. Would anyone ever have a conversation about whether a man has a right to decide on his own personal grooming habits? Or find it noteworthy that he "takes pride" in his gender? And haven't philosophers from Simone de Beauvoir to Judith Butler demonstrated that, to an enormous degree, ideas about gender as the definitive signifier of identity are culturally constructed?

To my mind, "feminism" should be shorthand for the understanding that PEOPLE are equal in terms of humanity, intelligence, rights, responsibilities, and all that other good stuff, and the willingness to stand up and protest when any of those things are threatened. My male partner is a feminist, as are my three male children. You don't have to be a woman to be a feminist, any more than simply BEING a woman with strong opinions makes you one. (Back to Sarah Palin et al - women who believe strongly that the right to a safe, legal abortion should be made illegal are *not* feminists, since they advocate for policies that restrict the right of other people who identify as women to make choices about their own health and well-being.) Since these issues continue to take up a great deal of space - particularly in light of the alarming rhetoric being bandied about in re: reproductive rights - it looks like the term will remain with us, at least until we are all ACTUALLY treated equally.

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Last edited by Desdemona on Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:36 am 
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My "liberal" former boss said I emasculated my husband by having a pink cover on my phone, since he sometimes holds it. I didn't want to tell her that my husband emasculates himself by carrying around a dog that looks like this:
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Popcorn by kindbydesign, on Flickr

Also, people who decide to not to get married and have children are harming their kids because of the way society will view their kids. I don't even know if that's challenging feminism or is just outright maddening.

Also, men are "supposed" to have body hair, but not long hair. Men with long hair look like girls.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:49 am 
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everyone i work with.
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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:04 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
To my mind, "feminism" should be shorthand for the understanding that PEOPLE are equal in terms of humanity, intelligence, rights, responsibilities, and all that other good stuff, and the willingness to stand up and protest when any of those things are threatened. My male partner is a feminist, as are my three male children. You don't have to be a woman to be a feminist, any more than simply BEING a woman with strong opinions makes you one. (Back to Sarah Palin et al - women who believe strongly that the right to a safe, legal abortion should be made illegal are *not* feminists, since they advocate for policies that restrict the right of other people who identify as women to make choices about their own health and well-being.) Since these issues continue to take up a great deal of space - particularly in light of the alarming rhetoric being bandied about in re: reproductive rights - it looks like the term will remain with us, at least until we are all ACTUALLY treated equally.


Yes, a pro-life feminist who cut funding for women's health care programs, closed shelters for teen mothers, and made rape victims pay for their own rape kits really seem like the ultimate in oxymoronic.

I liked this WaPo piece:
Quote:
Now, there's no grand arbiter of the label, and the tremendous range of thought in the movement means there isn't a singular platform one can look to as a reference point. And the sad reality is that there are plenty of self-identified liberal feminists who exhibit not-so-egalitarian ideals, such as racism or homophobia. So is it possible to exclude women such as Palin from feminism if we don't have a conclusive definition?

Absolutely. If anyone -- even someone who actively fights against women's rights -- can call herself a feminist, the word and the movement lose all meaning. And while part of the power of feminism is its intellectual diversity, certain things are inarguable. Feminism is a social justice movement with values and goals that benefit women. It's a structural analysis of a world that oppresses women, an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.

...

What [Palin] calls "the emerging conservative feminist identity" isn't the product of a political movement or a fight for social justice. It isn't a structural analysis of patriarchal norms, power dynamics or systemic inequities. It's an empty rallying call to women who are disdainful of or apathetic to women's rights, who want to make abortion and emergency contraception illegal, who would cut funding to the Violence Against Women Act and who fight same-sex marriage rights. As Kate Harding wrote on Jezebel.com: "What comes next? 'Phyllis Schlafly feminism?' 'Patriarchal feminism?' 'He-Man Woman Hater Feminism?' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02263.html

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:28 am 
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i'm right with you, desdemona. i just get really discouraged when i'm around separatists that are so narrow minded that they exclude people of other genders from being part of a valuable philosophy. i quit going to MWMF because of the "womyn born womyn" policy and that made me sad. for me that was a special place that i liked visiting because i learned heaps about myself, but they exclude trans people, which is wrong. gender bending women that had been attending the festival for years were questioned about the authenticity of their being and it no longer became a safe space.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:48 am 
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from http://tomatonation.com/culture-and-cri ... s-you-are/
Quote:
The definition of feminism does not tell you how to vote or what to think. You can vote Republican or Libertarian or Socialist or "I like that guy's hair." You can bag voting entirely. You can believe whatever you like about child-care subsidies, drafting women, fiscal accountability, Anita Hill, environmental law, property taxes, Ann Coulter, interventionist politics, soft money, gay marriage, tort reform, decriminalization of marijuana, gun control, affirmative action, and why that pothole at the end of the street still isn't fixed. You can exist wherever on the choice continuum you feel comfortable. You can feel ambivalent about Hillary Clinton. You can like the ERA in theory, but dread getting drafted in practice. The definition does not stipulate any of that. The definition does not stipulate anything at all, except itself. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.


That was posted here (or maybe on the old boards.) According to that, Palin can legitimately call herself a feminist. So can I.

According to the quoted Washington Post Article:
Quote:
Feminism is a social justice movement with values and goals that benefit women. It's a structural analysis of a world that oppresses women, an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.


Which is it?


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:56 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
What [Palin] calls "the emerging conservative feminist identity" isn't the product of a political movement or a fight for social justice. It isn't a structural analysis of patriarchal norms, power dynamics or systemic inequities. It's an empty rallying call to women who are disdainful of or apathetic to women's rights, who want to make abortion and emergency contraception illegal, who would cut funding to the Violence Against Women Act and who fight same-sex marriage rights. As Kate Harding wrote on Jezebel.com: "What comes next? 'Phyllis Schlafly feminism?' 'Patriarchal feminism?' 'He-Man Woman Hater Feminism?' "
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02263.html

Indeed. Great link; thanks for posting!

jewbacca wrote:
i'm right with you, desdemona. i just get really discouraged when i'm around separatists that are so narrow minded that they exclude people of other genders from being part of a valuable philosophy. i quit going to MWMF because of the "womyn born womyn" policy and that made me sad. for me that was a special place that i liked visiting because i learned heaps about myself, but they exclude trans people, which is wrong. gender bending women that had been attending the festival for years were questioned about the authenticity of their being and it no longer became a safe space.
That is just terrible; I don't blame you for not wanting to participate in that. The New Yorker ran an interesting piece about separatist movement in the '70s awhile back. (Oh, look; I even found the link - yay, Google!):

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/02/090302fa_fact_levy

Personally, I can't comprehend how the marginalization of any group could ever be conducive to achieving equality for every group. (Besides which, "living in an alternate, penisless reality" sounds like a pretty narrow-minded, self-limiting existence; I'm proud to say that I don't choose my friends based on their genitalia.) I honestly think that it's time to make the whole world sit down and listen to The Sneetches read aloud until people forking get it.

The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:17 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:24 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
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Stealing! (And this just reminds me that Tofetus is going to be the awesomest kid made of tofu ever!)

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:27 am 
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graffitipassion wrote:
She generally focuses on the traditional in the sense that, for example:

"Things are just so bad these days with families, and if someone just stayed home with the kids instead of focusing on their careers so much than little girls wouldn't be so sexualized and men wouldn't be so effeminate".

And by "someone" she means the woman.



Has anyone gently pointed out to her the irony of that statement coming from a woman who is a corporate executive?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:28 am 
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beforewisdom wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
She generally focuses on the traditional in the sense that, for example:

"Things are just so bad these days with families, and if someone just stayed home with the kids instead of focusing on their careers so much than little girls wouldn't be so sexualized and men wouldn't be so effeminate".

And by "someone" she means the woman.



Has anyone gently pointed out to her the irony of that statement coming from a woman who is a corporate executive?


She must mean those other women.

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but when characters start getting the hots for serial killer ghosts, I'm out. ~ lavawitch
"SMLOUNCE!" ~ smurfterrobang?!
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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:30 am 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
graffitipassion wrote:
She also tells me I "emasculate" my boyfriend by attempting to split bills 50-50 with him.

i once emasculated a guy by offering my jacket when he was cold.


I tend to think of myself as more traditionally masculine than a lot of vegan guys and that wouldn't have bothered me. If a guy feels emasculated by that offer, he probably already cut his own set off before the offer was made.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:31 am 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
My mom doesn't get it and apparently doesn't want to. Any time she sees a man with a long hair, she'll complain about how he "looks like a girl." (Why can't men have long hair and look like men? What's wrong with looking like a girl?!)


There are such a variety of men's haircuts these days. I think we were long past the generation of assuming something about someone from the length of their hair.

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