Discussing feminist issues on other forums - does it get you down?

(107 Posts)
kim147 Sun 17-Feb-13 09:22:36

Been discussing the Reeva Steenkamp case on another forum and it's led to discussion of the sex based industries such as lap dancing. It really gets me down trying to put forward arguments and then being accused of being out of touch, "what about the men" and it's all about female empowerment - without the wider effect on women being considered.

Sometimes it feels like you're going nowhere. It can be really hard when you're discussing this stuff and it seems like you're on your own against the masses.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 17-Feb-13 10:00:39

Kim, on other forums, in RL, even raising vaguely related feminist issues fullstop. It's all depressing.

Last night I was at a party where people were discussing the OP case. The hostess (who is an absolutely lovely person) said "It's such a waste of talent". I said "Whose? His or hers?". To which she replied "His...the world is full of models".

I tried to point out that RS had been a law graduate and a human rights campaigner (not that it should make any difference to her worth) but it fell on deaf ears, then the whole conversation moved on, leaving me feeling slightly depressed.

What makes it worse is that she is really nice person and this is a pretty normal POV. I feel so out of sync sometimes with the world, cos no one seems to be able to connect the dots and see the bigger picture.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 17-Feb-13 10:05:54

Yes it does, so I tend not to bother.

That is so awful Lessthanaballpark. It's so bloody depressing when people we think of as nice, decent people, have mainstream woman-hating views that they aren't even aware are woman-hating and would be shocked at them being characterised as such.

That's why it's really important to talk to other feminists, to get out there to MWR etc., to get some emotional and intellectual sustenance to help you through normal life...

BubblesOfBliss Sun 17-Feb-13 10:32:18

I am with you on that one OP & all. Very few people are aware of the harsh and cruel dynamics that underpin everything they rely on as being solid and true. Most people are totally defensive if you encourage them to peep at the vile mechanics beneath.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 17-Feb-13 10:35:27

Thanks Fastidia. You are right, it's when the nice people that you respect come out with these views that it really gets you.

On the plus side, a few years ago something like that would have sent me into a right funk (as would the Sun front cover page on Friday) but now at least I think "ah, the peeps on the FWR board will know what I mean" which is a comfort! thanks

I just wish I knew some "out" feminists in RL though - my aunt is one, but we only ever meet at family functions, and it's not really the place to have deep meaningfuls! I keep meaning to join the local group but it's a matter of babysitting. Still, one day ....

BubblesOfBliss Sun 17-Feb-13 11:17:28

I keep meaning to join the local group but it's a matter of babysitting

For me, taking that step to meeting feminists in RL was the beginning of a whole new chapter. Perhaps there's a 'feminist mums' group where you could bring your kids? Not to pressure you though- in your own time...

But my life looks completely different and much for the better since I took that step. I had no idea where it would lead in the beginning - I was just pissed off and wanted to meet other feminists. Looking at life up until then - it just seems like I was living in a dark, dank cave, straining to see the positives.... and now I take for granted that I breathe fresh air!

tribpot Sun 17-Feb-13 11:28:58

"His...the world is full of models".

My god - who talks that way about the death of another human being?!

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 17-Feb-13 12:08:00

Actually yes tribpot.

There is something quite brutal and shocking about that attitude isn't there?

Maybe she's not such a nice person after all.

AnyFucker Sun 17-Feb-13 12:57:26

That is a psychopathic POV, IMO

AnyFucker Sun 17-Feb-13 12:58:04

But yeah, the underlying narrative is that women are disposable and men are the important ones.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 17-Feb-13 12:59:07

Yes it's slightly numbing.

Am still trying to get my head round it tbh.

It's the sort of thing that happens and you take 24 hours or so to process it when it happens.

Because you just don't instantly recognise what a shocking lack of empathy it displays. What a shocking lack of humanity, really.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 17-Feb-13 13:17:20

I rarely get into discussions any more, I just try to stand up for feminist principles.

I am currently at university, and it seems to be de rigeur amongst the youngsters to call each other "bitch" at every available opportunity. So I do a lot of "please do not refer to me as a bitch" which they have thankfully stopped doing.

That comment about their being plenty of models is grim. Absolutely awful.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 17-Feb-13 14:26:45

"But yeah, the underlying narrative is that women are disposable and men are the important ones. "

Yes, or that the areas that girls are encouraged to excel in, are not considered to be as valuable as the things that boys are encouraged to excel in. So we encourage girls to focus on their beauty as a way to get ahead but then look down on them for doing so, because we see beauty as ultimately trivial. It's a no win situation.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 17-Feb-13 14:32:29

And not even just about women tbh.

You could say it about anyone doing any menial challenging job.

It's basically "the little people don't matter" underlying the attitude isn't it?

Like it wouldn't have mattered if he'd shot a male friend either, because the male friend wasn't spesh like Oscar.

It's misanthropic as well as misogynist.

ashesgirl Sun 17-Feb-13 21:03:16

God, yes I feel this way. I need to come back here at times to recharge grin

I do think I am becoming a lot more resilient about it though generally. Just because people can't or won't see sexism doesn't mean it's not there.

kim147 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:08:15

I've been posting on a forum which should in theory have a population of well educated women on it, as well as its fair share of men. I'm kind of disappointed there's not been more discussion especially of the Sun's decision to publish the photos of Reeva and it's gone onto wider issues of the media and the sex industry which has descended into "no harm done and empowerment".

But it's the "usual" suspects posting - I wonder how many are "lurking" and hopefully thinking about the issues without posting.

AmandaPayne Sun 17-Feb-13 21:18:07

I find it hard too. I have recently moved to a new area and I haven't yet met anyone I can identify with as a feminist. I've googled for local groups, but no joy. The only groups are students and I am at a very different stage in life. TBH, I don't discuss feminism anywhere but here at the moment.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 17-Feb-13 21:25:31

Blimey, so many people in the closet and afraid to speak out.

I think we need to develop a secret handshake or some similar sign so we can recognise each other! grin

MechanicalTheatre Sun 17-Feb-13 21:28:08

I wouldn't say I'm in the closet or afraid to speak out. I just can't be arsed having another discussion where I have to explain the most basic sentiments to people who, having a brain in their head, should have worked it out for themselves.

It's just too painful and causes me actual psychic pain.

ashesgirl Sun 17-Feb-13 21:31:03

It is true that it's a big step to 'out' yourself as a feminist :-)

AmandaPayne Sun 17-Feb-13 21:57:25

I would love a secret handshake. At the moment I just chat to people and sooner or later most say something so fecking daft that I know they are not feminist types and we'd best stick to safer topics. I do spend a lot of time hanging around at toddler groups currently though, where people say things like "ooh, boys are just so physical aren't they. Girls just don't have the same physicality" (as my daughter attempts to hit a tree with a stick).

MechanicalTheatre Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:50

Amanda, let our shaggy ankles be our handshake!

Lessthanaballpark Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:00

I know me too Amanda! . It's such a waste of time probing and ascertaining and then they come out with some passively misogynistic shit and its all such a huge disappointment.

AmandaPayne Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:57

No, no. I can't go around scrutinising ankles. Plus <whisper> I do shave them sometimes. I want a full on gangland handshake. The Wire made a big impression on me...

MechanicalTheatre Sun 17-Feb-13 22:20:24

Oh yes, I have smooth ankles too, I am a disappointment to myself.

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