Feminism general thread

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Matt
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Matt » 10 Jul 2014, 21:47

Alex Steacy wrote:
Psyclone wrote:It's funny that you say that, because as much as I'd like to be just as hard as I actually feel, I'm a total pushover who will bend over backwards to accommodate people and try to educate them and draw them in. I wish I wasn't and I wish I could stick to my principles, but there you have it.

I guess I feel that way because I'm very conscious of how many "safe spaces" are unsafe because feminists who do not fully understand feminism make them that way? I'm not sure how well I'm articulating this.



I think what you're doing re: accomodation and education is much more valuable than playing bouncer outside the feminist club.

And I'm sorry to hear about safe spaces becoming unsafe - to which I would say that the solution is still more education so that everyone knows what's up and regulate as a group, enlightening or ejecting those that don't or won't get it.


Part of the problem with that line of thinking though, is that it frequently results in a perpetual spinning of wheels.

The constant influx of people going "so what's all this 'feminism' about then! Educate me!" Is exhausting and infinite.

Within a safe spaces people should not be demanding education on the basics- it behooves people to learn shit about what on their own before trying to inject themselves into the conversation.

There need to be a bouncer to keep SHIT_WHITE_DUDES_SAY.PNG out.

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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Alex Steacy » 10 Jul 2014, 21:52

I agree, but can we not meet halfway? Some of these people might need major deprogramming.

Your average dudebro isn't going to go look up feminism without a little onramp to it.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby betsytheripper » 10 Jul 2014, 21:54

I'd like to bring this up here, in regards to Alex's comment:
I get the feeling that until people encounter the problem directly, they're less likely to believe it exists - at least on the scale that it does.


This is a series of tweets from Ananth Panagariya, of AppleGeeks and Johnny Wander, that, when I shared with the 17 year old boy I tutor, gave him a perspective he could understand and relate with. I hope it will help others as well.
I’ve always considered myself a feminist but I realized I never really “got it” (and never 100% will) until after 9/11—
I was treated like shit, and no one believed me. “Not all people are like that. You’re just being paranoid. The problem is you.”
The problem is not women. It’s absolutely not women. It’s a culture of victim-blaming, perpetrated by men without the empathy to listen.

Tweets here, here, and here.

I hope this offers perspective to people, whether it be directly or if you share it with someone. I know it's something that's broken through the relatability barrier for someone I know.
-betsy
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Matt » 10 Jul 2014, 22:00

Alex Steacy wrote:I agree, but can we not meet halfway? Some of these people might need major deprogramming.

Your average dudebro isn't going to go look up feminism without a little onramp to it.


I feel like we already are meeting halfway.

There is extensive, prolific work being done to create and distribute educational and instructive resources to individuals who don't understand feminism, or the institutional marginalization of women.

There are blogs, websites, wikis, news articles, YouTube video series (*ahem*), and discussion forums that exist for the sole purpose of providing perspectives, information, and education on feminism and feminist issues.

But though you can bring water to a horse, you can't make it drink.

And for my part, I tend to feel that if a person can't be assed to do even the barest minimum of self learning, they probably ought not to be invited to identify as feminists.

Hell, I don't like identifying as a feminist, because I'm uncomfortable with the idea of explicitly representing a movement that I acknowledge isn't *for* me.

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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Duckay » 10 Jul 2014, 22:03

I understand what you mean, Psyclone. I find myself going back over posts I make two or three times to make sure I don't come across wrong because I'm afraid of stepping on the wrong toes. I know that part of the problem is I need to rein in my anger, but part of it is also people who are unwilling to listen to anything that isn't sugarcoated lashing out (I know that makes me sound like a bitch, but that has been my honest experience). We all need to meet in the middle, right? Not just the "radfems" but the other side, too.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Matt » 10 Jul 2014, 22:09

I also feel a bit like "meeting in the middle" a being hailed as a greater good than it actually is.

The correct position between climate change denialism and anthropomorphic climate change advocacy isn't "in the middle".

One if those sides is right, and one is not.

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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Psyclone » 10 Jul 2014, 22:10

3,000 thank yous to Matt for articulating what I couldn't.

And yeah, Duckay. I wish I could be really in-your-face and unappologetic, but I'm so afraid of upsetting people that I compromise my own ideals for the sake of others' comfort.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Matt » 10 Jul 2014, 22:14

Psyclone wrote:3,000 thank yous to Matt for articulating what I couldn't.

And yeah, Duckay. I wish I could be really in-your-face and unappologetic, but I'm so afraid of upsetting people that I compromise my own ideals for the sake of others' comfort.


I feel like we're both approaching this discussion from a very similar place.

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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Baconus » 10 Jul 2014, 22:16

The reason LGBT rights have drastically increased in the last decade is because people saw WIll and Grace, and Ellen, and people around them who were gay. They realized "hey, these people aren't scary. They are just like us." This has led to drastic change and will ensure gay marriage is legal in American within the decade.

Feminism just doesn't have the reach. The only time 'feminism' is on the news is shots of them yelling at a university and trying to stop a speech. Or in fiction, as violent man haters. There needs to be a change in assumptions that allow the mainstream person to not fear the message.

Mainstream feminsism has been fundamentally tied to left wing ideas of group rights, of collective understanding. The provlem is our society (that being Western Europe and North America, Australia, etc..) is predicated on individual rights. People see people as people, not as groups. That must be considered by feminism in deisgning a message. It can't just be "we will bring it all down". There has to be acknowledgment of existing structures
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Alex Steacy » 10 Jul 2014, 22:19

Matt wrote:
Psyclone wrote:3,000 thank yous to Matt for articulating what I couldn't.

And yeah, Duckay. I wish I could be really in-your-face and unappologetic, but I'm so afraid of upsetting people that I compromise my own ideals for the sake of others' comfort.


I feel like we're both approaching this discussion from a very similar place.

-m


I suppose there are some people whose faces you need to be up in and others that can be approached more invitingly.

I'm just frequently of the mind that the aggressive approach sometimes just triggers peoples' automatic defenses and doesn't actually get anyone anywhere.

Screaming at the opposition feels good and fills everyone on your side with righteous vigor, and maybe that's enough - but I can't help but worry that you just make your enemies dig in harder.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Matt » 10 Jul 2014, 22:23

Alex Steacy wrote:I suppose there are some people whose faces you need to be up in and others that can be approached more invitingly.

I'm just frequently of the mind that the aggressive approach sometimes just triggers peoples' automatic defenses and doesn't actually get anyone anywhere.

Screaming at the opposition feels good and fills everyone on your side with righteous vigor, and maybe that's enough - but I can't help but worry that you just make them dig in harder.


Yeah, but people also need to be motivated to learn - studies also show that presenting people with evidence that their closely held beliefs are incorrect even if you don't do it in an antagonistic way, and particularly when those beliefs are ideological in nature or core to their perception of identity, that evidence will actually also cause them to double down on their beliefs, and disregard the evidence.

as a result, people looking for a debate are often not doing so in good faith, and are just looking to affirm themselves - and as a result I don't feel super bad about having a good old circlejerk over what a fedorable neckbeard they have.

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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Jurjee » 10 Jul 2014, 22:37

Matt wrote: ...what a fedorable neckbeard they have.


Sides hurt so much. :mrgreen:
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Duckay » 10 Jul 2014, 22:38

Just to be clear, I am not advocating taking a hard, aggressive line immediately. I am advocating taking a more or less unapologetic line because "I'm sorry, you're fine really" doesn't do much more to help than "you're an asshole". I also don't want to turn this into a "but you hurt us first" thing, but I don't think it does anyone any good to presume that non-feminists are necessarily going to be better OR worse people than feminists, and criticising a feminist who gets heated in a discussion where the other party is also getting heated is missing the point. Does that make sense?
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Deedles » 10 Jul 2014, 22:42

I definitely think that makes sense, I've always had a more careful approach when speaking of these things (though I can become rather stern if I feel it's called for) I've just... not felt like I have the RIGHT to draw a hard line based having been hurt, because I haven't, really. It's my gender, yes, but to me it's other females, which isn't to say that I don't think it's a problem, I very much feel like it is, I just feel like... Because I don't personally feel like I've ever been demeaned for my gender I feel like I can't truly understand the females who have felt demeaned, humiliated or shamed by the actions of men. So I speak about it more carefully.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Ptangmatik » 10 Jul 2014, 22:51

I'm kind of a div, so I don't really have anything pertinent of my own to contribute,

but I can recommend checking out Nadia Kamil and Bridget Christie's comedy, for some insightful laughs (Particularly Nadia Kamil's feminist striptease(which is so brilliant, it got featured on the Nerdist) and Bridget Christie's "Mind the Gap" series)

Edited for link.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Fenrir » 10 Jul 2014, 22:55

Unfortunately I don't have the time to sit down and properly read through this thread this morning but I did want to throw my hat into the ring quickly.

Speaking as a gay guy I feel I'm a feminist almost on principle. Though obviously I can't even begin to fully comprehend the level of shit women have to go through / generally put up with, I feel like I can empathize enough to understand just why it's such an important issue. Plus I think seeing the kind of relationship my parents have (they are sadly VERY much products of their generations - they're both in their 60s) has helped contribute to my feelings on the subject a great deal.

Like auberginequeen though, I don't go around advertising it. Not out of any feeling of shame or fear but because of the kind of stigma is generally attached to feminism and not wanting to appear to be hypocritical.

I also agree with what folks seem to be saying about the more aggressive approach to promoting talk about feminism. Aggression will only ever be met with aggression and so, for lack of a better way of putting it, cheapens the cause somewhat. What also doesn't help is the media representation of feminism and peoples generally closed minded attitude to the subject.

Because if they ignore it there's totally nothing wrong, right?
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby J_S_Bach » 10 Jul 2014, 23:18

I agree with Alex's approach. I believe we should talk to people we don't agree with a sense of equality. Too often people get rightfully angry and begin speaking down to those they disagree with. I know when people speak down to me my defences immediately raise and then the conversion could be simulated with someone yelling at a wall. I'm a firm believer that education can change a lot of the issues we, as a society and culture have with dealing with these problems.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Duckay » 10 Jul 2014, 23:39

Have I been talking down to anyone? If so, I'm sorry, I wasn't intending to.

I'm just coming at it from the perspective of thinking that yes, everyone should be treating each other with respect in a discussion. I don't want to limit that just to self-identified feminists; as Matt says, other people need to be willing to learn/open to the discussion as well.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby J_S_Bach » 11 Jul 2014, 00:02

Duckay, no I [edit: wasn't] directing my comment at you but trying to make a more general statement. I agree with Alex that I prefer his method of inviting people into conversation in a more friendly manner. But perhaps that is because I socialize with like minded people so it's an easier thing for me to do.

*I was going back through this and noticed that I made a terrible, terrible typo. I am so sorry for that.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby JustAName » 11 Jul 2014, 00:27

Baconus wrote:The reason LGBT rights have drastically increased in the last decade is because people saw Will and Grace, and Ellen, and people around them who were gay. They realized "hey, these people aren't scary. They are just like us." This has led to drastic change and will ensure gay marriage is legal in American within the decade.


Okay, but let's take a look at that, hm? It maybe softened up the image of gay people for some, but it's the image of the friendly white middle-class gay person that people seem to like the most. A massive amount of LGBT youth are still homeless, and nobody wants to do anything about it because they're not the "safe" gays, they're the often justifiably angry or scared LGBTQ people of color. So while we durdle around with marriage equality, my friends are having breakdowns on a regular basis because they're more likely to be murdered than not.

This is unusually aggressive for me, but I'm just scared of saying, "Let's make our image friendly and welcoming to the outside world," because while that can work, it can also allow the most privileged to co-opt the whole thing. That's what third-wave feminism is trying to prevent.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Elomin Sha » 11 Jul 2014, 01:01

Equal everything for everyone.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Merrymaker_Mortalis » 11 Jul 2014, 01:12

I call myself a feminist.

But there are extreme opinions which don't help things.
You have these people who aggressively "Defend Male's Rights". They feel like they aren't represented. They don't like the idea of "women doing theirthings".
You have women who think "women>men".

The extreme DMRs think anyone who calls themselves a feminist are evil. They call allfeminists hypocrites. blah de blah.

The extreme NFs discolours the term feminism for everyone. They don't think people who aren't women should have an opinion. True, we none women don't know what it's like to be a woman. But you're not helping yourselves or the discussion if you tell us to "go away".

I am a feminist.
I believe in equality for all.
I believe people shouldn't be arse holes to each other.

Why the hell do people have to make these things so complicated?
---
With regards to careers and gender politics. In my opinion, gender equality is not about achieving a 50% representation in every career. It's about giving equal opportunities to everyone. The only factor when recruiting someone should be their ability and that's it.

The point of equality is that a woman can choose for herself what she wants to do with her life. Maybe she wants to be a bus driver or maybe she wants to be a stay-at-home mum. Both are fine. The stay-at-home-mum is not holding back feminism. She's doing what she wants to do.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby Ree » 11 Jul 2014, 01:13

Things like "meet in the middle" and "try a softer approach" are really insidious, because they demand that feminism (or anti-racism, or whatever) operate on patriarchy's (or white society's, or whatever's) terms. "Oppose structural inequality, but in a way that conforms to that structure." "Dismantle patriarchy, but in a way that doesn't scare straight, cis men."
It's telling women (or black people, or whatever) that is their responsibility to be accepted, not men's (or white people's, or whatever's) responsibility to accept them.

As for "those crazy extremist feminists," they really don't exist. Like, feminist separatism isn't a real thing anymore. Even when it was an actual (if still pretty fringe) movement, it wasn't "women are better than men," it was "men's (potentially unwitting or unwilling) complicity in patriarchy prevents them from meaningfully opposing it." Don't get me wrong, there are some really awful things going on in modern feminism - trans-exclusive "feminism" is a very real (and very dangerous) movement.

By the way: if you consider yourself an egalitarian (and you should), you're a feminist. Either own the word or stop pretending you believe in equality more than you do keeping your head down.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby CrazyMax46 » 11 Jul 2014, 03:10

I have no strong opinions really one way or the other except I think that once every five pages to sort of lighten the mood in the event of intense situations I think we should post pictures of cats. Because everybody likes cats.
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Re: Feminism general thread

Postby J_S_Bach » 11 Jul 2014, 03:29

Ree wrote:Things like "meet in the middle" and "try a softer approach" are really insidious, because they demand that feminism (or anti-racism, or whatever) operate on patriarchy's (or white society's, or whatever's) terms. "Oppose structural inequality, but in a way that conforms to that structure." "Dismantle patriarchy, but in a way that doesn't scare straight, cis men."
It's telling women (or black people, or whatever) that is their responsibility to be accepted, not men's (or white people's, or whatever's) responsibility to accept them.

As for "those crazy extremist feminists," they really don't exist. Like, feminist separatism isn't a real thing anymore. Even when it was an actual (if still pretty fringe) movement, it wasn't "women are better than men," it was "men's (potentially unwitting or unwilling) complicity in patriarchy prevents them from meaningfully opposing it." Don't get me wrong, there are some really awful things going on in modern feminism - trans-exclusive "feminism" is a very real (and very dangerous) movement.

By the way: if you consider yourself an egalitarian (and you should), you're a feminist. Either own the word or stop pretending you believe in equality more than you do keeping your head down.


I don't see taking a softer approach as playing by patriarchy's rules. In my experience people do not respond well with being hit with ideals over the head. There's a difference between a soft approach and being complacent. My method is to not suffer jokes or off hand remarks and when they're made and voice why I oppose them.

In my definition Egalitarianism is not feminism, they do share similar goals. But I offer this as a counter statement: if you believe that egalitarianism is the same as feminism you should call yourself an egalitarianist as it is older than feminism.

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