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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:05 am 
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I grew up in a non-white, working class family and I don't view myself as a feminist. I went to college but neither of my parents did. I didn't have any feminist friends in college but many came from similar backgrounds as myself. I grew up with a lot of strong women in my family and community as role models though. I view myself as a strong, independent women.

I agree that if you want other women to care, you have to give them a reason to do so. I personally feel mostly privileged at this point in my life. So many other women have disadvantages other than being a woman though. Their race and their socioeconomic status are bigger factors than their status as women.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:50 am 
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My sister is challenging my feminism again. "Well, you shouldn't be so easy, should you?" was the response I got when I told her that a guy I know had treated me like shiitake.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:52 am 
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Ugh! Sorry S-J!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:58 am 
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I know, right? It's other things too like calling other women whores and sluts or calling someone a bisque when she doesn't even know them. It is horrible!


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:22 am 
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uhhhh no, enjoying sex does not mean you deserve to be treated like crepe. Your sister is wack, Sarah-Jane!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:37 am 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
uhhhh no, enjoying sex does not mean you deserve to be treated like crepe. Your sister is wack, Sarah-Jane!


Yup. I don't know what has crawled up her asparagus and I am ashamed to say it but I just don't like her at the minute.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:50 am 
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Listening to my co-workers rail on our local roller derby team because they have tattoos, are tough, the uniform is short shorts. Apparently they are all sluts, it's hard to call them "ladies", they are trashy and gross. Don't you know? Unless you conform to exactly what the societal standard of being a woman is, you're a trashy, gross and slutty person who shouldn't be called a lady.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:37 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
jordanpattern wrote:
Amen, Sister Panda.

To amend what I said above, I should have said, "we need to give working-class women a reason to engage with/in feminism, not just keep throwing books at them, no matter how "accessible" they may be. If we want feminism to be about ending oppression of women, then we need to get serious about getting more women into the act in ways that are appealing and practical for them. If the entire dialogue is dominated by those who write the books, we're cutting out a lot of women's voices, and missing an opportunity to engage a lot of women in the conversation. Books are great. Theory is great. Neither one of those things is even close to enough.


My point is though is that its hard to find feminism appealing if you're not learning something you relate to. I never cared about feminism as a movement when all I would hear is stuff like glass ceiling and CEOs and things like that, it was more when I got into socialist lit that I found something.

I don't think white middle class women should be writing more books about class or racial struggle, but they should be using their privilege to promote literature and other works that do address those issues by those who live it. I remember reading something by bell hooks where she also mentioned that before education was done in collectives, not universities, and that we should return to that. Some education is very much needed; I've seen working class white women who are otherwise great women talk over women of colour, while talking about racism, btw, and getting defensive when we tried talking about white privilege and why they shouldn't do that. Its also why the article should have mentioned race, because it is racial minorities who are disproportionately affected by the sticky floor and poverty. Instead we're stuck talking about class and race as if they are two separate issues that are mutually exclusive, and nobody wants to listen to anybody else.


I agree for the most part. What I was getting at with my earlier comment was that more books, no matter who's writing them, isn't enough to get working-class and other further marginalized women involved in feminism. We need to be getting the message out on more channels. I love the collective education idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:45 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:

I agree for the most part. What I was getting at with my earlier comment was that more books, no matter who's writing them, isn't enough to get working-class and other further marginalized women involved in feminism. We need to be getting the message out on more channels. I love the collective education idea.

I think there is a tendency on the left to academize identity politics to the point of near meaninglessness because it is a) a whole hell of a lot easier than actually doing the work and b) confers a hell of a lot of status.

We gave class a cursory nod of inclusion in my women's studies classes (the majority of us, of course, being middle class and not really wanting to interrogate that fact) but I did not truly understand the way that poverty is gendered and the ways that class warfare conspires with patriarchal and other oppressive forces until I started working with women who face the choice of staying in a situation where they are getting the shiitake beat out of them or leaving to survive on $610 a month in one of the most expensive regions of the world. It's a hell of a lot easier to talk theory than to do the work. And there's a lot more money and glamour in the ivory tower than doing anti-violence work.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:07 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
I feel like I know so many beautiful women and they come in all shapes and sizes. Honestly, I don't even think I know anyone who isn't beautiful.

This is something I've been thinking about now and again for months now. Maybe this would be better in a different or its own thread, but... I think of beauty as a fairly narrowly-defined thing (although of course that definition can be a very personal thing, and also I'm not talking simply about media-sanctioned beauty). I can comfortably say that I am not beautiful. Like, I'm just objectively not. I'm no more beautiful than I am 6'4" tall. I don't say that as a negative thing. I have some great attributes, but beauty is not one of them. Do you think that's a negative/harmful sort of take on it? Why should it be, unless I assign beauty a particularly high value?

I hope this doesn't sound critical and won't offend anyone. I don't mean to say people individually have an inflated view of themselves, or anything like that. It's as much semantics as anything else, probably.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:59 am 
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The dairy industry. I just posted this on my FB as a reminder (to myself as much as anyone else) that the production, purchase, and consumption of dairy products are aggressively anti-feminist acts.

http://eatingplantsdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/the-chilling-reality-of-cheese-adirondack-farms/

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Drossie wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
I feel like I know so many beautiful women and they come in all shapes and sizes. Honestly, I don't even think I know anyone who isn't beautiful.

This is something I've been thinking about now and again for months now. Maybe this would be better in a different or its own thread, but... I think of beauty as a fairly narrowly-defined thing (although of course that definition can be a very personal thing, and also I'm not talking simply about media-sanctioned beauty). I can comfortably say that I am not beautiful. Like, I'm just objectively not. I'm no more beautiful than I am 6'4" tall. I don't say that as a negative thing. I have some great attributes, but beauty is not one of them. Do you think that's a negative/harmful sort of take on it? Why should it be, unless I assign beauty a particularly high value?

I hope this doesn't sound critical and won't offend anyone. I don't mean to say people individually have an inflated view of themselves, or anything like that. It's as much semantics as anything else, probably.


I'm not offended, but simply curious to understand your perspective better. What is your objective definition of "beautiful"? What makes someone "beautiful" and someone else "not"?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:42 pm 
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Yes, I'm not offended either Drossie, but would love to know more.

I like beauty. It makes me happy. I like finding it everywhere, so I enjoy the gorgeous little details that make people special, and I consider that beauty. I'd think that the world would be a sadder place with less beauty in it.

I will say that the place I struggle to find beauty most is in myself. With everything and everyone else it comes really easy, but hopefully I can get there one day with myself as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:12 am 
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Drossie wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
I feel like I know so many beautiful women and they come in all shapes and sizes. Honestly, I don't even think I know anyone who isn't beautiful.

This is something I've been thinking about now and again for months now. Maybe this would be better in a different or its own thread, but... I think of beauty as a fairly narrowly-defined thing (although of course that definition can be a very personal thing, and also I'm not talking simply about media-sanctioned beauty). I can comfortably say that I am not beautiful. Like, I'm just objectively not. I'm no more beautiful than I am 6'4" tall. I don't say that as a negative thing. I have some great attributes, but beauty is not one of them. Do you think that's a negative/harmful sort of take on it? Why should it be, unless I assign beauty a particularly high value?

I hope this doesn't sound critical and won't offend anyone. I don't mean to say people individually have an inflated view of themselves, or anything like that. It's as much semantics as anything else, probably.


The world would probably be a better place if we didn't focus on people's appearance so much. Like you, I think beauty (at least in the sense of physically meeting some cultural standard) is pretty unimportant.

On the other hand, I really don't think beauty is a "narrowly defined thing," unless we buy into our culture's version of it.

Disclaimer: I have read and loved parts of The Beauty Myth.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:09 pm 
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Reddit.
Godfuckingdammit, reddit.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:01 pm 
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What did reddit do???

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:56 pm 
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sunnybear wrote:
What did reddit do???


Are you on Reddit? There's a bunch of minor subreddits I enjoy a lot, but last night there was a front page post of 9000+ comments filled to the brim with victim blaming, rape apologists, and non apologetic rapists. Sickening. Not sure I want to link it.
The teeny tiny silver lining is that it caused a minor exodus towards generally mocked feminist subreddits...


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:44 am 
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aelle wrote:

Are you on Reddit? There's a bunch of minor subreddits I enjoy a lot, but last night there was a front page post of 9000+ comments filled to the brim with victim blaming, rape apologists, and non apologetic rapists. Sickening. Not sure I want to link it.
The teeny tiny silver lining is that it caused a minor exodus towards generally mocked feminist subreddits...


I know there's nothing bad about the concept of Reddit per se, but it's turned into one of those grimy places on the internet that can ruin your day. When I find out that someone I know frequents Reddit, I lose a little bit of respect for them for this reason. It seems like these sorts of threads are becoming more and more rife on there, and I sort of feel like if they come across them and don't bat an eyelid - or worse, think they have a point - they are simply no longer the person I thought I knew.

I know this sounds melodramatic, but I've got to know quite a few people online who have seemed nice, until their horrible views about women and rape and stuff are revealed. And on top of that, I know that even men who speak out against things like that are ridiculed (let alone women), so I think it can be incredibly easy for an otherwise decent guy to just go along with that kind of shiitake.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:02 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I like beauty. It makes me happy. I like finding it everywhere, so I enjoy the gorgeous little details that make people special, and I consider that beauty. I'd think that the world would be a sadder place with less beauty in it.

This definitely could boil down to semantics. Agreed, the world is full of beauty; I just don't see much of it in humans. That isn't to say I don't find plenty of people good-looking, handsome, pretty, attractive, nice-looking etc; my feeling is that most people hover somewhere around the average (impossibly), and everything else comes down to "making the most of what you've got". I enjoy all the quirks of human appearances, but I think my quirks are exactly what make me definitively not beautiful (but not ugly, either).

For what it's worth, I don't know that I'm just swallowing a culturally-sanctioned ideal of beauty; there are plenty of famously attractive people who don't appear truly beautiful to me. I think (but could be kidding myself, of course) that I'm talking more about symmetry, golden-ratio type stuff, but with a bias according to personal taste. And I know I have a too-critical eye, whether it be about my own lumps and bumps, or my eye being drawn to the chip in a vase.

All that being my gut instinct, I wonder why so much of the self-esteem and body-love talk (generally, not here) is about "we are all beautiful" rather than simply "we are all valuable etc.". If you want to assign beauty to everyone, aren't you in a way perpetuating the high value its assigned culturally, by saying it's so desirable that everyone wants a piece of it? (I do agree that everyone has something nice about them) What's wrong with, "Okay, you're beautiful... Hey, I can burp the theme to Brady Bunch"?


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:24 am 
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My boyfriend's family. Oh god, my boyfriend's family. There hasn't been any one really offensive thing, just lots of little things - comments about roller derby being for butch lesbians, and the university women's collective being "stark raving mad", and offhand jokes about sandwiches...

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:24 am 
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Kinda torn over whether to call myself a feminist. I'm still against the oppression of women obv, I'm just gutted about my experiences having finally briefly joined a feminist group only to find myself unwelcome due to my gender identity. Though they were very keen on having a pro-trans image, when I challenged their wording it was made clear that they weren't interested in actively getting trans people involved. There were some similar issues with race and class; the way feminist issues were discussed was very isolated and limiting. Maybe this isn't what feminism is "meant" to be about, but it seems like an uphill struggle to define feminism on my own terms.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Crusty Rat wrote:
Kinda torn over whether to call myself a feminist. I'm still against the oppression of women obv, I'm just gutted about my experiences having finally briefly joined a feminist group only to find myself unwelcome due to my gender identity. Though they were very keen on having a pro-trans image, when I challenged their wording it was made clear that they weren't interested in actively getting trans people involved. There were some similar issues with race and class; the way feminist issues were discussed was very isolated and limiting. Maybe this isn't what feminism is "meant" to be about, but it seems like an uphill struggle to define feminism on my own terms.

That's sad. I'm sorry that happened.

I call myself a feminist despite some of my misgivings about what's going on in the movement. I feel like I identify strongly with feminism, even if some of the people who call themselves feminists aren't really doing it right. For me it's about what the movement is supposed to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:48 pm 
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I call myself a feminist because it is what I am. I don't have to like or get along with all feminists. Other people have different strategies for smashing the patriarchy. Keep on keepin' on.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:31 pm 
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Crusty Rat wrote:
Kinda torn over whether to call myself a feminist. I'm still against the oppression of women obv, I'm just gutted about my experiences having finally briefly joined a feminist group only to find myself unwelcome due to my gender identity. Though they were very keen on having a pro-trans image, when I challenged their wording it was made clear that they weren't interested in actively getting trans people involved. There were some similar issues with race and class; the way feminist issues were discussed was very isolated and limiting. Maybe this isn't what feminism is "meant" to be about, but it seems like an uphill struggle to define feminism on my own terms.


I'm so sorry. The most infuriating thing is whatever political activist/identity group you get involved with, you're probably going to encounter this shiitake. I've seen it in animal rights groups (The PPK is definitely the nicest sanest group I've encountered), environmental groups, leftist groups, LGBTQ groups, and you'd think in a feminist group, nowadays at least where we all know the term intersectionality, you'd be safe from gender essentialism, but no.

I'd totally start a feminist group with you and everyone else who encounters that kind of shiitake.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:13 am 
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My mother. I love her, love her, love her.
But... she is very isolated, due to a number of factors. She wrote a series of essays at a time in her life when she was less isolated. She would now like them published. She wanted them published with an eye to the struggles of women, but and she was clear on this "not a radical feminist eye". Okay. I told her that it would still be good to have someone who is a little more aware of what the movement is now to read them over and make some notes for her. She flipped out. Not going to happen.
Until.... a man told her it should happen. And she is going to let him do it. Which is problematic, because he has written a number of things that I have read that gloss over the feminist issues with a sweeping hand. Even when they specifically apply.
I offered to read them and she said that I am too radical and would edit it that way. What?

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