I would like to shed some light on those women who appear to be fully functioning and fully supportive of women's rights (and general equality) and yet vehemently deny being a feminist; I used to be one of them. To these women, feminist is a woman who burned her bra in the 1970s, a woman who doesn't shave, a woman who hates men, and a woman who is fighting for things like workplace equality, which the non-feminist doesn't see as still relevant.
Once women like this begin to understand that feminism is about supporting women's right to choice, about fighting for equality for all disadvantaged groups and about trying to change the subtle culture of misogyny that permeates our lives, they will begin to identify themselves as a 'feminist'. They just need to be educated; I was, and I now I proudly shout, "I am feminist, hear me roar!"
I'm saying 'fuck feminism' because I feel that most (not all) feminists look down their noses at old-fashioned values and roles. We could also theorize about how if women weren't all taking prime jobs, maybe more men would have good enough jobs to support their wives to be able to afford to stay home with their children. Then there's the everlasting and eternal argument that women are too emotionally driven to even be in positions of power to begin with, but that's off subject. To each their own. The feminists in my life are over-bearing and judgmental, so I say fuck feminism. You are entitled to your own theories and opinions, of course, and more power to you. I just happen to be a realist and understand that 1) equality will never be achieved in a world full of so many different people and 2) if equality was ever achieved, shit would get boring. Fast.
I suggest perhaps you’ve only conversed with rude feminists then. I’ve never met a feminist who point blankly judged someone for their choices. Over all I think people look down at those roles because to this day it’s still expected of most women in the world.
Have you ever seen the movie Mona Lisa Smile? I think it makes a pretty good point.
My opinion is that if you want to be a house wife, a mother, or anything else considered the traditional female gender role then you should be able too; free from judgement and oppression.
But saying fuck equality and fuck feminism means you are denying me the right to make my own choices. I don’t want to be a house wife. I don’t want to be a mother. I don’t think it’s very fair to ask to not be judged while directly judging others.
Also; thinking those things doesn’t make you a ‘realist’. To you those ideas may seem invalid or valid but that doesn’t make them so.
In the past people believed criminalizing rape and slavery where impossible and unrealistic- But look where we are now. It took time and will still take more but it wasn’t unrealistic.
The way i understand it, it’s about equality. nothing more, nothing less. equal worth and value and respect and opportunity, as a human being. how can any decent woman, with a brain in her head and some degree of self-worth (and this is coming from someone with possibly some of the lowest self-esteem of anyone you’ll ever meet), NOT be a feminist? and for that matter,how can any decent person of any gender not be a feminist?
I’d just like to point out: Feminism has nothing to do with that… so why are you saying fuck it? Feminism is just giving women the choice to NOT be a housewife/mother if they don’t want to be. Feminism isn’t saying that you can’t. It’s just saying everyone should be able to choose for themselves.
When we talk about rape as something that happens to 1 in 6 women, it is something that happens to women. Oh no, women! You have a problem! A women’s problem! That has to do with women! What are women going to do to solve this problem?
Perhaps if we rephrased that as “one in sixty (or however many) men will commit rape in his lifetime,” the problem might start to look a little different to certain people.
”—Liza-the-second, in a comment on Guest blogger Starling: Schrodinger’s Rapist or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced, fromShapely Prose (via ilnestjamaistroptard)
privilege is simple: going for a pleasant stroll after dark, not checking the back of your car as you get in, sleeping soundly, speaking without interruption, and not remembering dreams of rape, that follow you all day, that woke you crying, and privilege is not seeing your stripped,…
In wars it has traditionally been men who fight and die. Often women would also like to be a part of war but they are not allowed for a whole variety of sexist reasons. It is however common to use women as a way to demoralize an enemy quite effectively. After all -
This saying is quite true. Just today I listened to a story about how families in Misurata are being tied up and daughters raped. Two soldiers have admitted to these crimes and told their stories. For both of the young men the rape of four girls aged 20-24 was their first sexual encounter. To make this even worse the two soldiers were ordered to do it and though that is not an excuse it shows how far people go in wars. I often feel that allowing women to fight would at least enable them to defend themselves from such atrocities.The story I heard was one from Libya but I have heard countless others. In Haiti there was a family made up of three generations of rape including one of a toddler. Rwanda, the Concentration Camps of the Holocaust (sometimes by liberating forces), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Japan’s Comfort Women, the fall of the Former Yugoslavia, the list goes on and on just about every country is guilty.After centuries of rape as a weapon only just recently has that become a crime and not just another product of war. Systematic rape is ancient sometimes it feels like a social norm. Isn’t that messed up?
Basically anywhere that there has been conflict in a domestic setting. Men get killed women and young girls get raped, in some cases so badly that they leak feces because their tissue has been torn. To be sure young men and boys can also be victims with similar consequences. The fact of the matter is that this is used as a way to take away the will to fight a sort of preemptive strike against enemies. In old songs about pillaging there are many lines about raping the enemy’s women. This is a problem and it stems from a view that sees women as objects and not people. Rape is a crime in which perpetrators are often overlooked because our society turns the blame on the victim as if they could control the perpetrator’s actions. Just look at the Rape of Lucretia. She commits suicide because she was raped and as a lady it was the honorable thing to do since the whole thing was her fault.
Have we come no further than the Roman Empire? After so many centuries are we in the same place?
I wonder if the nudity—on otherwise non-pornographic blogs—really is feminism or female insecurity masquerading as confidence, with women unsuccessfully trying to reclaim their own sexual objectification to prove that they can move beyond it. I wonder (but I don’t judge) what this phenomenon is all about.
I was wondering if you could post this so your followers can see. In Vegas we're trying to organize a SlutWalk and we need as much support as we can get.
Those are our Facebook and Twitter links. We're in the early stages of organizing but we need all the help we can get! Please show your support by liking the Facebook page, following our Twitter, and getting involved! Spread the word that sexual violence in our society needs to be handled with more respect!
Of course! I support all the worldwide slut walks.
When Vin Diesel and the artist formerly known as The Rock finally clash in a haze of testosterone, protein supplements, and baby oil in Fast Five, it’s a predictable muscle-y pleasure. When spindly Saoirse Ronan coolly takes out a room fully of armed guards in Hanna, it carries a charge: We might have known it was coming, but no one onscreen did.
Where the going gets fuzzy is when these titles are offered up as de facto examples of films featuring strong female characters, as if the “strong” in that term referred to the ability to deadlift a certain weight and not possession of a personality. It isn’t a given that just because a film features a woman with a weapon, it’s empowering, and having a female lead doesn’t necessarily mean a film is for or about actual females. Take Sucker Punch—please. As Dargis points out, save for the designated chick flicks, “the American big screen hasn’t been very interested in women’s stories, violent or not, in recent decades.” When a lady-centric movie makes it out of the chick-flick ghetto, whether it’s the latest action installment or Bridesmaids, it’s still rare enough to provoke discussion and closer examination, whether the films can bear up under the weight of it all or not.
Jennifer Hafer, an economics researcher, analyzed the U.S. prostitution market and found that affluent, educating women are entering the prostitution market:
Contrary to assumptions that women enter the prostitution market only because they are desperate – that they need money to pay bills or buy drugs – the study indicates that many women, especially educated, affluent women, are making a rational decision to enter certain segments of the prostitution market. However, the research confirmed that women do not explicitly choose to enter the streetwalking segment of the prostitution market.
“Our model demonstrated that the prostitution market may be pulling educated women – these so-called ‘high-opportunity-cost’ women – out of the conventional labor market and the marriage market, in many cases,” said Jennifer Hafer, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Arkansas. “The findings suggest that these women are not forced into the prostitution market but rather choose to enter it for many of the same reasons that people enter the conventional job market – money, stability, autonomy and even job satisfaction.”
The idea that women may choose to be sex workers really undermines the belief that women don’t like sex and suffer from low libido. Maybe we do like sex. Maybe we have unlimited capacity for pleasure. And maybe it’s more fun to f*ck a john than a husband.
I’m not surprised by this at all- it’s pretty old news- and just common sense IMO. So many wowsers would have you believe no person with a choice would ever work in any faucet of the sex industry but they are all wrong.
It has an amazing mix of well-reasoned criticism and support for the ideals that are and should be behind SlutWalks.
Slutwalk – in its slick branding – runs the risk of facilitating the dominant discourse of ‘liberated’ women as only those women wearing mini-skirts and high heels in/on their way to professional jobs. In reality, capitalism mediates the feminist façade of choice by creating an entire industry that commodifies women’s sexuality and links a woman’s self-esteem and self-worth to fashion and beauty. Slutwalk itself consistently refuses any connection to feminism and fixates solely around liberal questions of individual choice – the palatable “I can wear what I want” feminism that is intentionally devoid of an analysis of power dynamics.
By the time Slutwalk hit Vancouver on May 15, the debates had already been raging for weeks. I expected to see only a handful of women of colour, mothers and children, older women. I was surprised at the actual diversity on the streets, not captured by photographers seeking sensationalist images of bras and fish nets. There was no attempt to recruit everyone into one uniform vision of feminity, nor was there an overarching romanticization of ‘sluttiness’; sexual autonomy was being self-determined by each participant– as one placard read ‘Whether scantily dressed or fully dressed, clothing does not equal consent’. Most heartening was the significant number of teenagers, who are perhaps most pressured against affirming consent and are most impacted by self-shame and victim-blaming, and supporting their voices on the street was a critical gesture of solidarity.
FOOL PROOF SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION TIPS. I’d seen the text a while ago and decided to make it into a picture. If anyone knows original source for the quote please let me know!
I actually find this kind of offensive… It’s like they’re portraying that people who sexuality assault others would actually have a bone in their body to care. They don’t. They never will. If they did, it wouldn’t happen in the first place. I just feel like whoever made this thought it was some kind of joke. It really isn’t.
You’re probably right- current rapists and abuses don’t care and probably never will. However- what about the next generation? And the one after that? If we instill the above points into peoples heads instead of teaching girls useless tips to avoid rape (don’t wear this, don’t go here, etc etc) things might actually change.
The points where written a bit tongue in cheek- but I still think they are incredibly important.
“If there’s one thing that we see rarely — if at all — in porn, it’s laughter. What strikes me about most pornography is that it’s always so deadly serious. A nervous giggle is permissible in a few instances (such as those ghastly “casting couch” videos that are evidently ubiquitous, in which “innocent newcomers” are interviewed and then fucked for the first time on camera.) But laughter during sex, a shared joyful recognition that getting naked and sweaty and contorted is frequently hilarious? Nope. For too many, porn reinforces the obligation to perform, which creates anxiety, which creates in turn a deathly humorlessness.”—
This just made me feel better about my problem of laughing during sex… Which is never, ever at the guy I’m having sex with, but always because I’m having fun and sometimes the situation itself is somewhat amusing.
I highly doubt that anyone I’ll have sex with in the future is reading this but just, word to the wise guys: if I laugh while we’re having sex, it’s a GOOD THING. Promise.
“I’m a bit too late to the party here, but there’s actually something interested to be said about this. I’m involved with some rape crisis activism, and one of the metaphors that activists use when talking about date rape is that of drunk driving. Thirty years ago, the…
The Frailty Myth: Redefining the Physical Potential of Women and Girls by Colette Dowling.
Can women be equal to men as long as men are physically stronger? And are men, in fact, stronger? These are key questions that Colette Dowling, author of the bestselling The Cinderella Complex, raises in her provocative new book. The myth of female frailty, with its roots in nineteenth-century medicine and misogyny, has had a damaging effect on women’s health, social status, and physical safety. It is Dowling’s controversial thesis that women succumb to societal pressures to appear weak in order to seem more “feminine.”
The Frailty Myth presents new evidence that girls are weaned from the use of their bodies even before they begin school. By adolescence, their strength and aerobic powers have started to decline unless the girls are exercising vigorously—and most aren’t. By sixteen, they have already lost bone density and turned themselves into prime candidates for osteoporosis. They have also been deprived of motor stimulation that is essential for brain growth. Yet as breakthroughs among elite women athletes grow more and more astounding, it begins to appear that strength and physical skill—for all women—is only a matter of learning and training.
Men don’t have a monopoly on physical prowess; when women and men are matched in size and level of training, the strength gap closes. In some areas, women are actually equipped to outperform men, due partly to differences in body structure, and partly to the newly discovered strengthening benefits of estrogen. Drawing on extensive research in motor development, performance assessment, sports physi-ology, and endocrinology, Dowling presents an astonishing picture of the new physical woman. And she creates a powerful argument that true equality isn’t possible until women learn how to stand up for themselves—physically.
I realize this is an awkward topic/post, but I think its also important. So I’ll put the rest under a ‘readmore’ break, for those of you who want to avoid it. :)
"Society has purported this idea that when a woman “loses her virginity” (aka “breaks” the hymen), its going to be painful, there’s nothing you can do about it, and you just have to grit your teeth and bear it.
I argue this ideaology comes from a patriarchal and misogynistic society, that doesn’t want to put forth the effort to make it painless”
I’ve thought recently that pop music has really been embracing man-repellingstyle. Chains, spikes, blades, and comically abstruse runway fashion everywhere (think Lady Gaga’s Alexander McQueen hooves).
Beyoncé’s metal talons and post-apocalyptic lady army in the “Run The World (Girls)” video particularly struck me. The video exemplifies that style that has defined the past couple of years: the bloodthirsty, avant-garde warrior princess.
Perhaps everyone’s just trying to one-up Lady Gaga. Perhaps it’s a nod to the recession and the theory that women’s clothing gets less sexy as the Dow decreases. Or maybe it’s just whatever wave of feminism we’re in now; women are feeling freer to express their inner crazy.
Do you think pop stars are just following fashion trends, or is it emblematic of a shift in how women see themselves?
Joss Whedon: Because you’re still asking me that question.
I’ve been thinking, what makes a strong female character? What is it about certain women in certain stories that makes the women who watch and read them feel fantastic about themselves? What is it that makes us smile to ourselves and think “Yes, I want to be like her” or “I wish she was my sister/my friend/my mother”, or even sometimes “She’s just like me”? What gives a female character that spark that sets her apart and makes her live?
I wonder this because I’ve recently become fascinated with HBO’s Game of Thrones, and while I’ve yet to read the series I’ve heard tell from fans of the books that the characterization is pretty book-accurate. When the show first aired, there was a controversial review in the NY Times that stated that women wouldn’t (and couldn’t or shouldn’t) be interested in such a story that was obviously little more than “boy-fiction” with some raunchy sex scenes thrown in to interest the female viewing demographic. While I’m intrigued and somewhat amused by the reverse assumption that sex was added to interest women rather than the men it’s traditionally accused of pandering to, the notion that a complex story with more politics, gore, violence, swords, and brutality than gowns, balls and Mr. Darcys would be automatically uninteresting to women is, quite frankly, insulting.
Not long after, a friend of mine announced on her Facebook that she was disgusted by Game of Thrones and found it anti-woman due to the sex scenes, the relationship between Daenerys and Drogo, that women seem to be constantly talking about marriage, and the fact that the world is a patriarchy. According to her, a fantasy author is supposed to present a world that is better than our own, not worse or the same. Apparently George R. Martin was supposed to create a world based on feminist ideology because such a world would be inherently better than ours?
I disagree with this whole premise, and vehemently. This premise suggests that it is the world that defines the strength of the female characters, and not their individual actions and selves. That in itself is almost as blatantly anti-woman as Indiana and John Boehner. A female character, like all characters, exists within the world of the story but her being is not defined by it. The fact that Westeros is a very patriarchal world does not in any way inhibit Martin from creating some of the most memorable and remarkably tough women I’ve encountered in fictional worlds. In fact, I would argue that when an author attempts to make a world that is “pro-feminism” it falls very short of the mark and actually slaps itself in the face.
For an example, see Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, a series so long-winded and ponderous that it chugs on despite the death of its creator three years ago. In Randland (the fandom name for the world of Wheel of Time) only women can access the major source of magic without risking insanity. This seems like a pretty pro-woman world at first glance, but the actual women themselves are shallow, one-dimensional beings who wear low-cut dresses as their only means of “rebelling” and “showing their strength”, are constantly sniffing in derision at all male behavior, and sniping amongst themselves about how much better things are when women are in charge. I could only handle slogging through 6 of the books (each easily the length of Goblet of Fire, if not longer and with more waffle than a Belgian waffle in a waffle cone) and by the time I’d had enough there was only one woman who had that spark of life: Birgitte, the reincarnated war-hero. All the others, the “feisty” girl next door, the princess, the hot barbarian lover, the good witch, the bad witches….can’t you just tell by the fact that I can refer to them as if they were chess pieces? And all these women exist in the story to serve the interests of, take a guess, the young male protagonist. Not one had a set of goals that didn’t involve the male protagonist.
Let’s contrast this to what I’ve seen so far in Game of Thrones. So far I have not seen a single moment of sniffing, hair-tugging, rebellious low bodice-wearing, or self-aware commenting on the inefficiency of men. What I have seen is an entire cast of well-rounded female characters with their own motivations, personalities, and—most importantly—their own character arcs! Even the character that takes the most traditional route to a feminist idea by being the princess figure who hates being lady-like, Arya Stark, does so in an understated way that is an expression of her personality and not something slapped on for feminism’s sake. One of my favorite moments came in Episode Three when her father tries to reassure her by telling her that one day she will marry a lord and be the lady of the keep…and she returns to the practice she was given by her sword master and says just “That’s not me”. Arya’s behaviors and interests are clearly against the social grain of the world, and yet her father indulges and supports them when according to the expectations of his society, he should squash them.
Even those women who conform more to their world’s expectations (namely Cersei, Daenerys, Sansa, and Cat) are written to be people and not just game pieces to serve the plot interests of a main, male figure. I can’t even figure out who the main character is supposed to be, there are so many detailed perspectives! Everyone has individual motivations.
Cersei is one of the vilest, most terrible people I’ve seen anywhere. And yet the conversation she held with her husband in the most recent episode was touching and honest and showed a complexity of personality that isn’t often explored in the character of a villain-queen. I do not trust that woman…she seems genuinely grieved over losing her first child, yet she was desperate for Bran to be pushed out that window. We’ve yet to see her show remorse, and I’m left wondering just how conniving she is. She’s a terrifying, complex, and fascinating antagonist.
Sansa draws a lot of complaints due to her interest in conforming to traditionally lady-like pastimes like embroidery and her seemingly single-minded focus on marriage. She is, however, a thirteen year old girl (eleven in the novel; the show ages most of the children by two years or so). Ladies, think back to when you were thirteen or eleven…all those awkward and horrible middle school years when you were trying to figure out what sort of person you were. Sucked, didn’t it? I was (thankfully) raised with the idea that being myself was more important than popularity and I still have angsty entries in my 7th grade journal about boys and friends and not having “cool” clothes and how I felt like no one liked me. This is where Sansa is in her development as a character and a person. Maybe she’ll remain silly and a bit air-headed throughout, but there are women in the world who are like that, why shouldn’t they exist in fantasy realms?—Or maybe she’ll grow a bit of her mother’s backbone.
I can’t put it any other way: Catelyn Stark is a bad-ass. Yes, she is married. Yes, she wears dresses and runs the household. (But if you’ve read my dissection of Snow White, you know how I feel about the domestic sphere being devalued) No, she can’t fight and she keeps men with her for protection, but they defer to her completely. A lesser-written woman would have wailed and wept and wimpered during a scene like the attempted assasination of her son. Even though she was clearly afraid and clearly overpowered, she fought like hell and then pursued the case herself. There was a scene in a tavern where she addresses a room full of soldiers and reminds them of their allegiance to her. Viewing that scene as a director, there is no doubt that she owns that room with her very presence. She is smart and she is sure of herself. Her relationship with her husband is one of complete equals. It is not a perfect one, and some female viewers might point fingers at Ned’s infidelity and cry “See? It’s anti-woman because he cheated on her and she’s still there!” I would be inclined to agree if she was portrayed as being perfectly fine and accepting of his affair, but she clearly is not. She deals with it because it is a reality of her life, but she does not have to enjoy it and she makes that known.
Daenerys is the freaking lightning rod of angry feminist bitching about this series, but her arc has been the most dramatic and satisfying to watch. She begins as a passive, abused, timid young woman who lets her (really fucking creepy) brother push her about for his own purposes. She is married off unwillingly to a man of a completely different culture and language and has one of the worst first sexual experiences I could imagine, which has caused declarations of “Marriage does not equal consent!” to ring across the interweb. Her character has been accused of being written for male gratification only and of sending a “learn to love your rapist” message. But what is really going on with her as a character? Well, she may look like a Mary-Sue, but she sure as hell don’t act like one!
She entered the series terrified and sheltered and lacking any confidence in herself whatsoever. Her brother clearly does not value women and so she was clearly raised to believe she had no worth beyond that of a political marriage token. His goals were her goals in every way. Once married off to the Khal, however, her world begins to expand and she begins to learn about herself and gains some real confidence. When she asks her handmaid to teach her “how to make the Khal happy”, is she really wanting just to please him or is she learning something else far more complex and valuable, seeking her own experience? For a woman raised to believe that she was something lesser to be used, discovering that she is in fact a sexual equal to her partner is revolutionary. Don’t forget, just 50 years ago doctors and psychologists believed wholeheartedly that there was no such thing as female orgasm, and a woman enjoying sex was considered trashy, unclean, and unGodly and feminism griped about that with good reason. Yet now, when we are shown a young woman learning to enjoy her sexuality and embracing it as part of herself (and yes, the power that does come along with that. We can’t deny that it’s there) we complain that it’s just for male gratification? Besides, though it may begin here, Daenerys’ character arc doesn’t simply end with her sexual discoveries. She does more than that. She starts growing as a person and growing in confidence. She sees the Dothraki look to her for orders and defer to her words and she embraces her new role. We actually see her beat down her brother and bark out one of the best lines so far:
I am a Khalessi of the Dothraki. I am wife of the great Kahl and I carry his son inside me. The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands!
Whoa! Compare that with her actions in the first episode! Damn! She went from allowing her brother to strip her naked and appraise her for sale to threatening to cut his hands off! She has declared her power over him completely.
All of these women have that spark that makes them solid and real female characters. When I finally read the series I’ll be able to say for sure, but their portrayal so far in the show speaks of being based on some complex and well-written people. Feminism these days is too quick to attribute things to being male gaze, pandering to men, or being for the enjoyment of men. Yes, Game of Thrones is written by a man, and there are sometimes issues involved in cross-gender writing. As a writer myself, I’m very much aware of how difficult it is to pretend to be something I’m not. But is it so hard to believe that a man could possibly write women well and complexly? Some of the greatest and strongest and most inspirational female characters in my life have been written by men:
Galadriel, Eowyn, Arwen, Luthien, Haleth (and many others): all amazing, strong, and self-aware women, written by Tolkien whose female characters are consistently more powerful and more noble than his male characters (men always marry up in Tolkien, never the other way around).
Lucy Pevensie, Jill Pole, Polly Plummer: C.S. Lewis gets accused of anti-women crap as well by people who can’t seem to view the story complexly and instead react to the surface of it with an angry reflex (do NOT get into it with me about Susan. I WILL destroy you with logic.)
Charlotte Doyle: probably the first really inspirational female character for me. True Confessions was literally life changing. Her journey and development are incredible, even reading it 12 years later.
Veronica Mars: she is smart, tough, vulnerable, and flawed in very real ways
Rose Tyle, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, and Amy Pond: as far as I’m aware, all the Doctor’s companions have been conceived of and written by men, and all are capable, intelligent characters
EVERY woman EVER written by Joss Whedon EVER
Of course, the difference between most of these characters and the women in Game of Thrones is *gasp!* women in Westeros have sex! And not just that, they both enjoy it and use it…and for some reason that I have a hard time fathoming this offends feminists. Why is it considered anti-feminist for a woman to enjoy sex and enjoy the fact that her partner enjoys it? Why is it just exploitation and male gratification for a female character to use sex as a means to an end? It’s okay for a female character to have physical or mental prowess, but the moment she has sexual prowess and pride as well she is shamed by female readers and viewers as becoming somehow servile and the author is accused of being gratuitous or cheap…WHY?
Why does feminism reduce the complexity of female characters by attributing their actions to being nothing more than another expression of patriarchy or exploitation for male enjoyment? Why do we not give female characters the courtesy of examining them in the context of their worlds and not as mere extentions of them?
It’s sad that we still have to identify people as feminists, it should be the other way around. Good people see women as tantamount to men and want society to see that too, it’s that simple. Those who fight against women’s rights, the ones who make it difficult for them to find equality, should have to don some sort of title, not us. Think about it, we don’t identify everyone who isn’t a racist as a “non-racist,” we just label the assholes who are as “racists.”