Blogger is shocked that women are treated as objects

wait, no. I’m not shocked at all.

If you are naked at all, and a woman, it is only for the purpose of sex and men.

so many commenters on this Even the title of article lets us know that, silly women, don’t you know breasts are for men?

I doubt the women were “shocked” that men wanted watch them. They were making a point. Women cannot safely walk down the streets with the same rights as a man.

on woman say “We should be able to walk down the street and not have this many men taking pictures of us.”

I agree. Commenters of course say, “be realistic.” It is comepletely unrealistic to hope for equality. maybe it is, but I think that is too fatalistic. They are also accused of being “hypocritical biotches” because they are only doing it to get attention! (those slutty slut sluts).

It is not right that women may get naked for men. That his is acceptable and the only way for women to get naked. Why are we not allowed to be naked for ourselves? because it is hot? because we don’t like tan lines? because at that moment my shirt is tugging all weird like and the tag is itching me and I want to take it off?

but that’s right. either we are wrongfully distributing the property of one man, or we are now the property of all men. Yeah. I know, this isn’t shocking either. what’s it called again when men feel complete entitlement to women’s bodies? oh yeah… RAPE CULTURE

headdesk.

in which my dad is not completely fail.

my dad just got a new bass player for his band, which was a bunch of dudes. Now it is a bunch of dudes, and a woman. which is sometimes an untenable position. She is also trans*. I don’t know which ending to that word or if trans alone is her preference when she feels the need to discuss that part of her life.

anyway. I barely said hello to the band all night. I went to watch TV with my mom. I went to go get a piece of cake from the freezer (on the other side of were they were practicing), and noticed that almost everyone had left except for one guy. as I was passing by with my newly acquired cake, I hear the band mate say something out of earshot. My dad, in a moment of win, replies “she, SHE , it’s not easy for me either , but I’ll get used to it. it is important to respect peoples preferences”

It is not complete automatic acceptance, but it is good faith and respectful of the pronouns she prefers. not only that, it is standing up to someone who is not respecting the pronouns she prefers. (I would add identities not preferences is preferable, but it was such a leap forward I hate to diminish the achievement)

Of course I only categorize the evening as “not completely fail” because of an exchange after the last band member finally left.

I wanted to provide positive reinforcement so I thanked my father for correcting his band mate. and he said something like “I wasn’t sure how the band would react, but most of them feel like me, as long as it can play, then whatever”

I cringed! I might have literally done a facepalm. I informed my father that no one likes to be referred to as “it”. He explained that he wanted to say something gender neutral, to express the views of the band. I understand his intent and all, and I understand how annoying it is that there is not a generally accepted gender neutral tone (not one accepted enough so I can use it in a scholarly paper or anything like that) but, FACEPALM I say. So I informed him of zie and hir. so that was a bit fail. but not completely. My dad is respecting an individuals identity and wishes, even though they are foreign to him. so it is a step.

Ironically I was discussing various identities with my mother a few days prior (gender identities, sexual identities and polyamorous vs monogamous). I was saying that all of these were on a spectrum, and had to inform her of the Kinsey Scale to talk about the others having a continuous scale like that. (though I didn’t bring up asexuality) . My mother’s response was, “well, I’m not likely to meet any of those people, so I don’t need to know about this stuff.”

Granted she hardly ever meets anyone since she is introverted and mostly retired, so she can do what she likes. But she teaches a yoga class. you don’t know who in your class identifies as what. “those people” are everywhere!!!

It is privileged attitude that “they” exist somewhere else away from “us”. I was getting frustrated with the conversation because I was trying to “gently” explain the consequences of our various privileges. She understands the “I don’t get targeted for violence” part of privilege, but not much beyond that. It was getting really frustrating trying to explain that we need more positive lgbtqi characters in mainstream stories. she kept saying that “they” already have some gay films, so they should be happy with that. (headdesk).

So I gave up. I was about to get upset, and it would not have done any good.

This is what a feminist looks like, and it isn’t like me at all

****transcript to come later. sorry******

Something has always irked me about the shirts and buttons that read “this is what a feminist look like”. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now I think I get it.

The subtext is that what you think feminists look like is wrong. We’re not ugly and hairy!

Um…………..

(yes the ellipses needed to be extended that much.)

In advertising campaigns like the one above and other places on teh interweb, the womyn stating “this is what a feminist looks like” are mostly thin, usually white (especially if they have a greater speaking role), able-bodied, almost always make-up wearing, with legs shaved (if they are shown), or showing embarrassment at not having their legs currently shaved. The men that are claiming the label don’t have such stringent beauty requirements.

One make-up-ed womyn has pink hair! how alternative! they are throwing me a bone. How “individualistic”.

It reifies the gender normative world we live in. One man even says “I’m a feminist, though I do like to wear a lot of make-up.” LOLZ! Isn’t that hilarious! Its funny because men and feminists aren’t supposed to wear make-up! see it’s a joke, because he is a REAL man who doesn’t do that girly thing.

It doesn’t only leave me out, but it is the epitome of liberalism. It is saying:

Yes we are feminists, but look we’re still pretty! We don’t go TOO far. We’re not like those crazy hairy legged butch girls that don’t take the time to pretty themselves up. Those people are the radicals and can be safely ignored while faux-feminist men can pretend to agree with us because we are still fuckable, and are even really great in bed.

and the men who are “feminist” don’t have to have their masculinity challenged. They are still REAL men!

Does anyone else get that sense? I may be exaggerating for effect, but I think that is what bothers me. I don’t want to discourage womyn who are currently performing femininity from being feminists. But at the same time I think that focusing on the “look” of such people (and trying to show that that “look” falls within accepted cultural norms) is counter productive. Shouldn’t we be focusing on their views of female oppression and their personhood instead of how feminists “look”?

I understand wanting to reach out to people who are afraid of the “f-word”. But diluting the movement can have the the same effect as it being co-opted. Eventually you might even get a person who is anti-choice and makes women pay for their own rape kits calling herself a feminist.

Wait. that already happened? Oh.

because rape and tasers are hilarious.

This was linked to on facebook by a liberal dood friend of mine, and “liked” by a few womyn. The friend part is not sarcastic. Just shows that even people like my friends, who really do care about social justice and equality, don’t quite get what I mean by rape culture. Nor do I think they want to. Takes re-evaluating their lives too much.

Anyway, the end of this video, the obnoxious main character is anally raped with a taser. WTF? This is comedy. Because rape is funny if it happens to men.

But it is even more than that. it is raping someone with a lethal weapon. Normalizing violence. Normalizing police brutality.

And people tell me I’m the man hater? Look around. did you laugh at this video? do you think it is funny when a male prison rape scene is alluded to or depicted in a comedy? who laughs at this? I’m guessing some of the people who think I’m a “man-hating bitch” do. I’m guessing some faux-feminist men, who think that showing men weak is what feminists want to see, will laugh. (I actually had a male “feminist” friend of mine say a guy got what he deserved when a woman didn’t tell him she had and STD when he didn’t want to use a condom. ummmmmm wha…?)

Back when I wrote the post on why media depictions of sexual violence against men is a feminist issue, I did not have the benefit of having read Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl. While I don’t quite agree with every thing she says, I do like how she defines traditional sexism as against femininity instead of against women. This type of sexism can be manifest towards males and females. I think this is a case of that.

why do YOU have sex?

I accidentally came across this article. I skimmed as much as I could so I wasn’t ranting about something I hadn’t read. Now my head hurts. (though it does acknowledge cultural constraints on women’s sexuality)

My biggest problem with the article is that I don’t understand why we need such a study. Or rather, I DO understand why we need such a study and I think ugh.

I know why I have sex. so I’m guessing this article isn’t for me. Who cares why women have sex? oh. MEN. (and maybe lesbians but I’m pretty sure society still thinks that they only exist for men to fantasize about.)

Plus the whole article goes on and on about how women have sex to get back at people, or they are trading favors, or “simply to “keep the peace” at home.” (Um rape culture anyone? 84% of women report this. If saying no was easy and respected this wouldn’t be an issue…)

The article has a tone that implies that this behavior is female in nature. Men’s sex drives are mentioned briefly a couple times, but usually to uphold that men have sex for pleasure or because they are in love, (both in the top 20 reasons men have sex). See it’s those complicated women that make sex complicated!!

Actually, it is not the study itself I cringe at but how the analysis is used. if we looked at how sociologically we are programmed we might find that these results are consistent and indicative of a problem. but the patriarchal lens looking at this study could never make those connections: “More than half of women under 60 still suffer from low sex drive.” Low sex drive in women is a problem for whom? Who is suffering from it really? if I don’t crave chocolate one day am I suffering from lack of interest in chocolate? I mean eating chocolate does bring me pleasure when I do it. so isn’t this the same problem? no. why? because chocolate is just a preference.  And who decides what a “normal” sex drive is?  “Low” is BAD!  why???? If women aren’t interested in having sex whenever a male is, this is seen as problem. Why isn’t that just a preference?

And they only have what people report. People do things all the time without thinking them through, then piece together why. Also there are societal constraints on how we are expected to answer these questions. and women are not supposed to feel pleasure. We are supposed to lie back and think of our country. would that color how people report their reasons for sex? I think so. Its that whole ontological reality thing. we don’t have access to it.

When you have a relationship with someone, no matter how brief, is what 64% of the people do important? no. It is what you and your partner think and communicate. It is how you feel, about how you’re partner feels. Because no specific person will match up with the “general” person on everything, so you must still listen and react and be honest.

Or maybe I’m just being reactionary because this study shows I am in fact a freak of nature because I believe sex should be grounded in consent and pleasure. Plus I think that my body should never have to be used as a bargaining chip because I want to be seen as a whole person, even though I acknowledge that I don’t yet live in that world.

Power differences and heterosexual relationships

I am generally heterosexual. I’ve been attracted to a few women but never dated any due to logistical reasons. (eg. they were already dating someone or I was already dating someone or both or they just weren’t interested…or they were on the other side of the planet….)

anywho.. I am yet again in a heterosexual relationship. Go me. or something. But it has temporarily become a long distance relationship and I like him more than he likes me. At least, I’m pretty sure this is the case. At least I’m more resolute about how much I like him.

This makes me feel very silly. (and not in the funny hat sort of way.) I only saw him last week and I’m already worried that he feels pestered by my IMs and phone calls. I don’t want to scare him away after all.

It just feels so stereotypical. The woman who wants commitment slyly trying not to frighten away the male. I mean Ewwwwwwwww. Normally I’m on the other side of this exchange playing the part of the frightened commitment-phobe. So its not like I’ve spent my time trying to “trap” a man. but even though 90% of the time I don’t fulfill stereotypes I know that people only remember the 10% you do.

and it makes me feel icky all over. is it unfeminist to follow your heart? popular feminism says no. but maybe it can be. in a post patriarchal world there would be no stereotype to fulfill or not so it would not matter. But I don’t live there.

so I sit dwelling in insecurity (which is not completely unfounded) and wonder “should I call?”

it’s so pathetic. bah. how can I react with integrity towards my political beliefs but still get everything I want?

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 12:31 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

what will you do for a gender free tomorrow?

I’ve always been a huge proponent of gender deconstruction. But I don’t know if that is really the right phrase. People talk about hetero-normative culture, I believe it is only part of a larger problem of gender-normative culture.

What is “straight” but a gendered expectation on who we should want to fuck or raise a family with? The patriarchy thrives on the gender binary system. It sees Masculine and Maleness as good and anything outside that as, well, not good. We can not live freely as womyn if we are living in the confines of “femininity”. But we cannot change what it means to be a “woman” without affect what it means to be a man. If we take away the strict definition of “man” the patriarchy has no legs to stand on.

Men also cannot live freely withing the confines of “Masculinty”. But while womyn have risked their lives, careers and families for the ability to wear a pantsuit, most men do not stand and fight for their right to wear pink frocks. That would be fighting for something that is doesn’t fit into the male= good paradigm. So the few men who do fight for equality in gender relations are cast out and punished (including physical assault) by the dominant system as a warning to those who would question the status quo.

And the Pantsuit is no salvation. It is women taking on a masculine costume to gain the power that masculinity brings. It does not change the “male=good” definition. This is not an unreasonable plan since no true revolution has come yet.

Gender-normativity is so built into our culture that we don’t have the words to adequately describe the world without dividing it into “girl things” and “boy things”. And English isn’t even the worst at it. In most romance languages every noun has a gender. But even though English isn’t the “worst” it is still completely deficient.

We need a singular pronoun that is gender neutral, because “it” isn’t cutting the mustard, and “they” gets really confusing and difficult to decipher for some people who insist it is plural.

Gendered expectations control lives, oppressing our true autonomy. I say no race, no economic conditons, and no government has the right to take my autonomy. (They do. All the time. But I’m talking about my dream of the post patriarchal world here) So why should I let gendered expectation control me? there aren’t always options, (esp for children.) Many Schools in NZ have uniforms that require skirts for girls and shorts or trousers for boys. from day one we are told we either belong in the cult of pink or blue.

I know it seems I am not offering solutions. I don’t think that a world free from gender-normative expectations will happen overnight. So here’s what I’ll do:

1. I will speak out against destructive gender-normative impositions as I see them in everyday life.
2. I will encourage and support those in my community who act outside of gender normative expectations to live the life they choose.
3. I will respect and support those who live in fear of coming out as not wanting to live within gender normative expectations (this includes not outing anyone).
4. I will proudly not fit into rigid gender roles when I don’t feel they define who I am.

Join me. What will you do to support a gender free tomorrow?

omg! Sexism was in my life this week!

Just like every week. 

anyway, the great american show “Wipeout” has made it to NZ.  eeuuugh.

Its where people go on an obstacle course and they edit it to show footage of people falling down and hurting themselves.  Now.  there were some kick ass people, but showing them isn’t humiliating and fun, or something.  among the kick ass contestants were some women.  but guess what they showed?  not that. 

The voice over said “and now (so and so) is here representing the women”  and of course the girl was rubbish and disgusted by the mud she was walking through and she gave up half way through the course. 

because even when women do well at things like that they show the footage of the woman fullfiling negative stereotypes.  you suck american media.  but you knew that already.

and this morning I had to deal with people being dicks about the language  choices they make.  I was discussing tatoos with a 20 year old australian girl.  about what a commitment they are and how I’d want it in a place to show off, but be able to hid, and that I would be able to look at.  in the course of the conversation she mentions how she’s seen such awful tatoos like some big ones on girls shoulders make them look like “dykes.”

I mentioned she might not have meant that word.  That it was innapropriate and offensive.  and she replied “but that was just this image in my head like kinda trashy, you know?” 

so “dykes” = “trashy” 

Head, I’d like to introduce you to Desk. but she did seem embarased about getting called out on it, so maybe she’ll think better in the future.  i hope so. 

I’m hoping to move into a feminist vegan place soon.  mmmm vegan kitchen.