Just finished Equality Illusion and want to weep(14 Posts)
what Dittany said.
plus, you have to break it down into individual battles & there have been quite a few feminist victories lately, big and small.
go and look on UK Feminista and cheer yourself up by looking at all the new feminist groups. Stuff is starting to happen.
I know how you feel! I haven't read that one yet but just finished Living Dolls and am reading reclaiming the F word. Since reading posts here I am suddenly seeing how bad things are everywhere. It's like I was blind to it before and now it is an epidemic. It makes me feel pretty powerless at times.
well-im not sure what you mean by the equality illusion Riven-
but if you mean that theres still a problem with equality all round-im with you.
yep-i agree with Proles-but we do still have a way to go still.
i was part of the earlier movement[in a very small way]
i set up a group in my area-it was to help women who was medically drugged up by the fuckers who wanted them to shut up.
years later-im still running around arguing.
my great interests is-prostitution and abuse-
disability-mental health[though i havent said too much about this so far]
and trans issues[no-i dont believe in the trans dream-there is much wrong]
ive noticed you getting it in the neck sometimes Riven-but youre doing ok-dont give up.
[giggling]-no youre not the only one who is
anti-prostitution and anti-porn-
im fighting with you all the way-but you have better words.
Riven-youre doing alright.
I know exactly what you mean Riven. And my mother can hardly bear to talk about it any more because she thought they would get it all sorted in the 1960s/1970s, and yet her daughter is facing many of the same issues 40 years later
But things are getting better I think. Slowly. What's awful is the constant struggle, like earlier in the year with the rape anonymity law. MASSIVE fuss on here and wider feminist arena and letter-writing and outrage, contributing to it being dropped. And in fact it's a great victory. But after all that we haven't actually advanced, just successfully resisted a step back.
Sometimes it feels like it takes all our energy just to stand still.
On the other hand, feminism is back for the first time in a long time. Here we are talking to each other - a year ago I didn't have anywhere to go for this, no-one ot point me in the right direction. JessinAvalon came on here to talk to us about Hooters and we've made national & international newspapers (although not fought it off yet). The platforms are getting into place and giving us something to work with. There's the Feminism in London conference this autumn (started last 2009), Reclaim the Night (restarted c.2004?), Million Women Rise (started c.2009). All of these organisations are experiencing a rough doubling of the numbers every year IIRC.
Might start a feminism chat thread to keep talking about things as they come up.
I'm with you. I read The Equality Illusion recently and it is thoroughly depressing. We have such a long way to go. I'm relatively new to feminism as I grew up thinking quite naively that we didn't need it anymore. How wrong was I!
Even just listening to some of the attitudes that people have been coming out with on Radio 5 about Hooters this evening have made me sit here with my head in my hands.
There was huge local opposition to the Hooters in Bristol but two men (the franchise owner and the chair of the licensing committee) let it open. So many people have spoken out against it, have lobbied Marks and Spencer, have signed the petition, have commented on here, and yet it's still opening.
One woman came on and said that Hooters is no worse than what you see on MTV as if that makes it alright!
This acceptance of casual sexism and misogyny is so depressing. It makes me want to go and live on a desert island sometimes.
And I used to be ambivalent about porn and prostitution but the more I know about these industries, the more against them I become. Plus I know how hurtful it is when a partner visits a strip club or watches porn. I couldn't articulate why I was upset at first and I thought that the problem must be me because everyone seems to be so ok with it. I realised after much soul searching and internet searching that it was ok for me to be upset by it.
The more I know, the more amazed I am that women put up with this stuff and even collude with it.
It feels that we have such a long way to go. And with the advent of Hooters, we have actually taken a step backwards.
'And I used to be ambivalent about porn and prostitution but the more I know about these industries, the more against them I become. Plus I know how hurtful it is when a partner visits a strip club or watches porn. I couldn't articulate why I was upset at first and I thought that the problem must be me because everyone seems to be so ok with it. I realised after much soul searching and internet searching that it was ok for me to be upset by it. '
I think this para in Jess's post is quite telling actually, and it applies to issues other than porn.
The mass of recent writing and discussion about feminism has laid an intellectual groundwork for practical progress.
We are all(?) a lot more confident in our views than we were a year ago; we understand more about why we feel like this and we can justify and defend our arguments increasingly effectively.
I think there is a clarity of thought in the mainstream writings about feminism that has been missing for a long time. Five years ago I would have described myself as a feminist but the new books on feminism didn't seem to have anything to do with me and I wouldn't have known how to counter, or where to go to find evidence to counter, the objections people would have raised to feminism. Now I can pick up The Equality Illusion for stats and for a refresher on the arguments, or recommend it to people who say they are interested in feminism and don't know where to start.
One moment a few months ago that I think said a lot about where feminism is at the moment was that magazine article that asked a bunch of prominent younger feminists daft questions like 'Is Jordan a feminist role model?' and they were all completely consistent in their answers; for the first time in ages we have a coherent movement.
Whilst the current situation might be depressing, it is imo a really great time to be a feminist. I've heard it suggested for about 18 months now that we're in a new wave, and I really believe it is true now. The books, the new groups, the conferences, the marches, the media coverage. This has not happened for years. Of course things aren't won overnight, and of course things are shitty, but the movement is gathering such momentum at the moment I find it inspiring.
I also found some stuff Jess said pretty telling:
"One woman came on and said that Hooters is no worse than what you see on MTV as if that makes it alright!
"This acceptance of casual sexism and misogyny is so depressing. It makes me want to go and live on a desert island sometimes."
And then this:
"And I used to be ambivalent about porn and prostitution but the more I know about these industries, the more against them I become. Plus I know how hurtful it is when a partner visits a strip club or watches porn. I couldn't articulate why I was upset at first and I thought that the problem must be me because everyone seems to be so ok with it. I realised after much soul searching and internet searching that it was ok for me to be upset by it."
You hit the nail on the head. The woman who thought it was no worse to MTV is imo quite right. This stuff is everywhere, and because of this it's not readily questioned, and that makes the battles hard.
But then as you say you used to be in similar shoes, but then you found out more.
So there is hope. Chipping away at what is 'normal', 'just the way things are' etc changes minds in the end. Its not overnight, and it can't be done by one big thing, or imo just by legislation, but by lots and lots of little things. And that's what happening.
A couple of favourite quotes that I have seen others use in this context recently:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever has." (Mead)
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." (Ghandi).
well i think that one of the most inportant things to do something about at the moment is-
the violence among boys/young men.
its really scary to see them stabbing each other up and shooting each other.
its also spreading out to the girls/young women.
it depresses me.
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