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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:38 am 
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I watched a movie this weekend where one woman advised another woman to wear spanx to her date to avoid getting raped. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be an absurd suggestion as the movie was a comedy, but it was hard to laugh at, knowing "anti-rape" underwear is actually a thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Also, anti-rape underwear doesn't make rape (or rape jokes) funny.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:36 am 
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Last night I was waiting for a table at a restaurant with my friend and somehow the conversation turned to her saying "I know you're really into body positivity but..." and then she went off on how some people are just too fat, and "they can't fit in a normal chair," and "they" spread pseudo-science to make other people feel okay with not losing weight and "making themselves better." She was talking the whole time under the guise of wanting people to be healthier. I did argue with her about it and eventually mentioned that my brother (she's also friends with him) has literally broken chairs from sitting in them, but he's pretty healthy and that is just his body type. She said, "Yeah, but he looks normal like that, it fits him." I know body positivity and fatphobia and things are not a strictly feminist issue, but a lot of the examples she was talking about were women.

So yeah. Pretty pissed about that. She is a feminist and really smart so I'm frustrated. Also, later that night she was talking about something else pretty serious and one of our dude-friends interrupted her at least five or six times to make a funny comment about his beer. He interrupted our other dude-friend zero times.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:58 am 
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I've been going swimming in the mornings, which I love. But I hate that I can't ignore the man in the hot tub who watches me so intensely. I hate that I choose a different swimsuit than the one I like because I very much dislike being stared at. I hate that I actually care about it. When I go swimming with my coworker, he positions himself in the whirl pool which is closer to the water slide because we ride it occasionally. It's fun!

It's gotten to the point where I don't feel comfortable going swimming alone, and he is ALWAYS there. I hate that I'm assuming he's a creep, because he stares and stares and stares, but I can't ignore the fact that I'm always being stared at. If I go into the hot tub, where he stays, he stares at me even though he's just a couple of feet away. I've tried smiling and saying hi, intent on convincing myself that he doesn't mean to make me feel so uncomfortable, but he ignores my speech but still keeps staring. I've created such a situation in my head, I think, and he enjoys that. Once I went in the sauna and he followed me in. I had to leave. I just feel really shitty about the whole thing because I keep trying to convince myself this is all innocent and coincidental. But ugh, I already feel awkward enough in a bathing suit. I really really really would not like to be stared at.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:14 am 
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vijita wrote:
I've been going swimming in the mornings, which I love. But I hate that I can't ignore the man in the hot tub who watches me so intensely. I hate that I choose a different swimsuit than the one I like because I very much dislike being stared at. I hate that I actually care about it. When I go swimming with my coworker, he positions himself in the whirl pool which is closer to the water slide because we ride it occasionally. It's fun!

It's gotten to the point where I don't feel comfortable going swimming alone, and he is ALWAYS there. I hate that I'm assuming he's a creep, because he stares and stares and stares, but I can't ignore the fact that I'm always being stared at. If I go into the hot tub, where he stays, he stares at me even though he's just a couple of feet away. I've tried smiling and saying hi, intent on convincing myself that he doesn't mean to make me feel so uncomfortable, but he ignores my speech but still keeps staring. I've created such a situation in my head, I think, and he enjoys that. Once I went in the sauna and he followed me in. I had to leave. I just feel really shitty about the whole thing because I keep trying to convince myself this is all innocent and coincidental. But ugh, I already feel awkward enough in a bathing suit. I really really really would not like to be stared at.

V, I don't think that you're just "assuming" that he's a creep--he has quite willingly shown you that he is one. Would you feel comfortable telling him to fork off? Maybe when your friend is there? I find douches like that like the power they have in making you uncomfortable but tend to shrink if confronted. Or pointing him out to the lifeguard? That's part of their job. (Of course only do this if it feels safe! And there is nothing wrong at all with going at a different time or doing whatever else you need to do to feel comfortable.)

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:49 am 
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Yeah vijita, I don't think you are off base here either. I agree with j-dub; it seems a lot of times the "thrill" for these types of crassholes is the power they feel they wield. If confronting him is not something you're comfortable with, I'd definitely point him out to someone affiliated with the pool. You deserve to be able to enjoy your swim without feeling threatened or uneasy.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Has anyone ever worked at a pool and had to deal with this type of situation? I've always wondered how it's dealt with. I mean, I really don't want this guy to be kicked out of the pool or anything if I'm possibly just being paranoid. I'm not concerned for my safety, but I'm really worried that it could be a misunderstanding on my part. Intuitively I KNOW that he is leering at me, and I wish I could just be like "excuse me, please stop doing that, thank you!". I would feel so weird about a lifeguard approaching him. It's a tough one. I feel so uncomfortable and yet shouldn't I just be able to ignore it?


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:52 pm 
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Vijita, I think you took care of the "you are paranoid" possibility by trying to talk to the guy. Go with your gut on this one! Women are so conditioned to feel apologetic or that we are being overly cautious or paranoid when most cases it is probably our good instincts trying to tell us something. Consider that if we were all really paranoid, wouldn't we be feeling like this with many men? Not just a few?

As a last ditch, you could, if you felt safe, tell the guy that he makes you uncomfortable. It doesn't really sound like this would work. I would talk to a life guard or other appropriate person there. At least, they could monitor the situation.

I'm so sorry you have been feeling uncomfortable at the pool.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:01 pm 
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vijita wrote:
Has anyone ever worked at a pool and had to deal with this type of situation? I've always wondered how it's dealt with. I mean, I really don't want this guy to be kicked out of the pool or anything if I'm possibly just being paranoid. I'm not concerned for my safety, but I'm really worried that it could be a misunderstanding on my part. Intuitively I KNOW that he is leering at me, and I wish I could just be like "excuse me, please stop doing that, thank you!". I would feel so weird about a lifeguard approaching him. It's a tough one. I feel so uncomfortable and yet shouldn't I just be able to ignore it?

Why should you be able to ignore it? He is going out of his way to make sure he is not ignorable.

You deserve to feel comfortable there and he is directly and (I have to assume) purposefully impinging upon that.

If it's a misunderstanding he'll be talked to by the lifeguard, be incredibly apologetic and never do it again. Bonus: he will have realized that he was being unintentionally creepy. If it's not a misunderstanding, he will be talked to by the lifeguard and either change his behaviour for fear of consequences or not change his behaviour and face consequences BECAUSE HE IS BREAKING THE SOCIAL CONTRACT. This is all on him.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Also, how many other women / people is he doing this to? Maybe others have complained.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:37 pm 
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Again, jdub says it well. he either learns how to behave appropriately in public, and if not, hopefully he is kicked out. You should not have to feel bad if he pays the price for bring a creep (and potentially worse than just being a perv). You should not have to feel uneasy nor feel like this is your problem, that its your fault for not just being able to ignore it. You are in the right to stick up for yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Vijita, I've been thinking of you all day, because I hate the idea of you not feeling safe at a pool. I think that often men staring at women to make them feel uncomfortable is a way of flexing male privilege - and it feeds them energy. I can't think of why else people would do something that isn't going to get them a date or a connection with someone, but is really just making someone uncomfortable at best and menacing at worst. I think you did your best to give him the benefit of the doubt by trying to initiate a conversation. If your partner went to the pool with you, the guy wouldn't stare at you, because the whole idea is to make the space not feel safe for an unaccompanied woman.

I think complaining to the lifeguard is a good step - you've done all you can, its time to get someone else involved. I hope you get to enjoy your pool time, in the swimsuit of your choosing, again very soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:16 pm 
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I would report the guy. Is this a gym you (or your company) pay to be a member of or something? If so I would emphasize that you want to stay a member but can't if you are going to be followed around by a creepster the whole time. Usually if one person goes out of their way to report something, 10 other people (at least) are experiencing the same thing and debating whether to speak up. Chances are you aren't the only person feeling uncomfortable.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:06 am 
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the kind words because I told a coworker/friend about it today and she thinks I sound kind of unreasonable. I actually had an icky thing happen to me as a kid where I was touched inappropriately by a stranger in a sauna so this situation runs a bit deeper than merely feeling uncomfortable. That wasn't something I wanted to dredge up but I did kind of need to hear from someone that it isn't ridiculous for me to expect someone to stop making me so uncomfortable even if there isn't any creepy intent. I still don't know if I'll do anything beyond experimenting with different times to go swimming. I have a feeling this dude might think it's his public "right" to look wherever he wants at an open swim, so if someone is really going to say something and be heard, it would probably have to be me. And ugh, I just really don't want to talk to him again. I'm worried then it will turn into a game. It's all seriously challenging my feminism because he's easily got all the power over me and there's very little I can do other than attempting to ignore him. I'll see how next time goes and if I feel comfortable talking to a lifeguard. The guards are all 18-year-old kids though and I don't want to put them in a weird position. I wish I could convince myself that dude just has no manners, but it seems more malicious the more I experience it.

I remember when I was a kid my mum told me to glare at strangers if they stared at me or got too close. How sad that my mum pretty much told me that I was going to a victim and therefore needed to be mistrustful of everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:08 am 
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That sucks, vijita. You should be able to feel safe at the pool without having to adjust your schedule or what you're wearing. :(

There's a great expression that the Dutch use when someone is staring: "Heb ik iets van je aan, of zo?" which means "Am I wearing something of yours or something?" It's great because it acknowledges that the starer is being forking rude and the onus is on them to explain why they're forking staring. That said, the Dutch are not afraid of confrontation.

You need to do whatever you need to do to feel safe, but it peas me off that anyone is even putting you in this position.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:44 am 
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lepelaar wrote:

There's a great expression that the Dutch use when someone is staring: "Heb ik iets van je aan, of zo?" which means "Am I wearing something of yours or something?"


I love that.

Vijita, that all sucks. It's always hard when your upbringing or past experiences make it hard to trust your own judgment or feelings about a situation. How would it be if you approached a friendly (female?) lifeguard and just said something like, "hey, I don't know what the best way is to deal with this, but there's this old guy who's been leering at me for the last several weeks, and it's making me pretty uncomfortable. Is there anything you can do?" That way, it's not like a huge feminist-guns-blazing confrontation, but more like the start of a discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Whether he's leering or "just" staring, he's a rude creep. It's not nice to stare at people—regardless of what sexual or non-sexual thoughts are in your head—and most children have learned that. I'm not surprised you don't like being stared at. No one likes being scrutinized. So regardless of your history, regardless of his intent, regardless of your potential "paranoia," he's wrong and you're right.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:20 pm 
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ugh. yes, vijita. if you feel creeped out, it's for a reason, so trust your instincts.

Today, walking to the bus stop, a guy came up to me and said "hey can i ask you a question?" so i said sure and he said "do you have a boyfriend?" and i told him i'm married and he said "ok, well, i just want you to know i like your hair."
and another guy, on the same block, said "hey gorgeous, need a cab?" i know the second guy was just trying to get my attention, but ew. ugh. both these guys and lots of other guys need to keep their comments to themselves. I really wanted to say to the boyfriend guy "you don't know anything about me. why would you want to know if i have a boyfriend? do you think we'd have fun together? have meaningful discussions? if you just want to have sex with me why do you care if i have a boyfriend? also, my hair is greasy and i kind of looked and felt like crepe today, so i felt extra gross and weird knowing people were looking at me. PEOPLE!

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:25 pm 
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If it were me, I'd probably say something like "This guy is leering at young girls and women in the pool, he is making us feel unsafe, by the staring and I particularly felt unsafe when he followed me into the sauna. I have seen him staring at us, and I think he is touching himself, which is just gross." If it becomes a hygiene thing and something that affects younger kids and more than just you, then you're a lot more likely to get traction....

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:30 pm 
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I'm not sure whether this belongs in this thread, the positivity thread, or another one entirely, but:

I just stumbled across this site of awesome videos about gender stereotypes in video games a feminist researcher is making. Watched the 'Ms. Male Character' video last night, and I thought it was an excellent well-researched overview of the lack of character development for female video game characters. Off to go watch the lego ones next..

http://www.feministfrequency.com

I guess the thing that challenges my feminism is seeing so much pop culture I grew up with as a kid laid bare as universes where women are afterthoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:48 am 
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annak wrote:
I'm not sure whether this belongs in this thread, the positivity thread, or another one entirely, but:

I just stumbled across this site of awesome videos about gender stereotypes in video games a feminist researcher is making. Watched the 'Ms. Male Character' video last night, and I thought it was an excellent well-researched overview of the lack of character development for female video game characters. Off to go watch the lego ones next..

http://www.feministfrequency.com

I guess the thing that challenges my feminism is seeing so much pop culture I grew up with as a kid laid bare as universes where women are afterthoughts.


That's Anita Sarkeesian's website. What challenges my feminism is the shiitake load of misogynistic and racist backlash she received in response to her kickstarter campaign last year. It was horrendous and unrelenting.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:27 am 
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Someone I know is doing a female empowerment seminar.

Image

I hate that the image accompanying the list of "what it is to be female" because it seems to say - you have have this wide diversity of characteristics, but not a diversity of body types. I thought it was an ad for a strip club at first...

And what the heck does it mean to be "embodied" - aren't we all embodied?

ETA: oops sorry for the large picture.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:42 am 
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annak wrote:
I'm not sure whether this belongs in this thread, the positivity thread, or another one entirely, but:

I just stumbled across this site of awesome videos about gender stereotypes in video games a feminist researcher is making. Watched the 'Ms. Male Character' video last night, and I thought it was an excellent well-researched overview of the lack of character development for female video game characters. Off to go watch the lego ones next..

http://www.feministfrequency.com

I guess the thing that challenges my feminism is seeing so much pop culture I grew up with as a kid laid bare as universes where women are afterthoughts.


Oh, the Ms. Male Character video is really good. It has always bothered me in video games but also video games are most developed by men as well as come from companies that are male dominated so women are often an afterthought. I think Bioware (now owned by EA) always did a fairly good job with women as they spent money on voiceovers for women and possibly different love interests based on women but like the video mentions, the marketing always shows the male character.

I always thought it was funny when I listened to an interview by Angelina Jolie about playing Laura Croft and how off-putting the size of her breasts needed to be for the movies. They told her they were trying to mimic the game but why couldn't they just let that go?

My husband used to also play an online game where the men had regular armor and what not while the women could not be designed with small breasts (I tried, the smallest option was still pretty big) and their armor was minimal at best, more like lingerie.

So yeah video games are sexist, it is annoying. Bioware is probably the best game play I've had as a woman but I keep hoping.

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:12 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Someone I know is doing a female empowerment seminar.

Image

I hate that the image accompanying the list of "what it is to be female" because it seems to say - you have have this wide diversity of characteristics, but not a diversity of body types. I thought it was an ad for a strip club at first...

And what the heck does it mean to be "embodied" - aren't we all embodied?

ETA: oops sorry for the large picture.
What about "expressed"? Like milk? Or are we supposed to be shipped somewhere overnight?

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 Post subject: Re: Who challenges your feminism in your life?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:59 am 
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Maybe it was because I was just in the pet forum, but yeah, Desdemona, my knee jerk reaction to "expressed" was as in "she needs her anal glands expressed."

Tofulish, there are so many things that are offensive with that flyer or whatever its supposed to be, I can't even. The obvious is what the hell is up with the stripper outfit? If someone wants a visual of what a woman is and settled on me right now, they'd be sorely disappointed. Bedhead, under armour running pants functioning as sitting around pants, and a Black Sabbath tshirt, I am woman. Roar, or whatever.

And now ignoring the obvious sexy, bisque-y, etc, why the hell do women have to be regal and angry? And isn't compromising something that adults just have to sometimes do to function in a civilized society? These descriptors truly confound me.

What was your response when this person presented this to you?


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