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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Men - if you're not a feminist it's fine

18 replies

SunshineOnACrappyDay · 10/01/2014 11:35

Interesting Guardian article, addressing the usual 'whataboutery' of feminist discussions.

I like this article, but it has obviously attracted a lot of negative comments from people pretty much making her point.

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Beachcomber · 10/01/2014 12:17

Thanks for this Sunshine. She makes her point very simply and solidly. Don't think I'll read the comments!

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BuffytheReasonableFeminist · 10/01/2014 12:45

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SunshineOnACrappyDay · 10/01/2014 12:55

Buffy of course it's appalling that feminists deal with issues affecting... women. We should always be thinking of the menz.

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ArtetasSwollenAnkle · 10/01/2014 13:08

I like the cut of her jib, and her overall point is cool - if you aren't a feminist, it's fine, move on.

I have a question though. None of her flowcharts make mention of an aim I have seen on here many times - freeing women from male violence. Is this because it's a subset of one of her other boxes? I appreciate she can't list every aim of the movement, but I have read that this is a fundamental aim separate from 'equality'.

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Beachcomber · 10/01/2014 13:36

The male violence aspect is a hard one for women to bring up (especially in national newspapers!) without making themselves targets for abuse (which is a form of male violence, ironically).

I'm not familiar with the author's writings, so I don't know where she stands on the issue of male violence, but I suspect that even if it is something that she feels strongly about, she may have realized that she needed to keep her article as simple as possible in order to keep in watertight WRT to potential strawmen. And the strawmen builders have a field day when women dare mention male violence.

As I see it, the feminist position on male violence is that it is linked to male dominance.

We live in a male dominated society and this dominance is maintained through violence and the threat of violence (plus power structures, socialization, etc). For women to achieve equal status, they need to be liberated from male dominance and its bouncer; male violence. To my mind, they all go together; male violence is not a separate issue.

I think the above is straightforward and obvious. However it is a point that inevitably leads to cries of 'man hater'/extremist/nutter and wounded men saying that they would never hurt a fly and yet are being being to feel Unfairly Guilty And Terrible And Hurt by the very mention of the phenomenon of male violence.

I think the subject of male violence probably merits an entire article, in a similar vein, on its own.

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scallopsrgreat · 10/01/2014 13:41

I think you'd have to ask her Artetas where she would put male violence. But male violence a tool used to keep the advantage for men over women.

I would actually question where women's liberation is in the flowchart, but that's being picky. This is a mainstream article in a mainstream newspaper and it gets people thinking that feminism isn't just about thinking men and women are equal it is thinking about the structures in place that keep men on top e.g. male violence

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scallopsrgreat · 10/01/2014 13:42

Sorry cross-posts with Beach because I am the slowest typer known

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BuffytheReasonableFeminist · 10/01/2014 13:44

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ArtetasSwollenAnkle · 10/01/2014 13:50

Got you. Thanks.

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Beachcomber · 10/01/2014 13:54

Yes scallops, a lot of feminists prefer to talk about 'liberation' than 'equality'. I wondered too where is was on the chart but figured the author didn't want to push her luck.

I'm not that keen on the use of equality myself for various reasons, I think it is a bit wishy washy and leaves itself open to whataboutery.

It is too easy to pick up the notion of equality and criticize women for not being 'equalists' when they want to focus on women's issues. The cunning implication being that they are therefore being sexist/prejudiced for concentrating on women's rights.

'Liberation' is IMO a much more specific and watertight term, plus a more accurate description of the reality.

Surely we want everyone to be equal right? So why should women think they need special treatment/movements/consideration...

Liberation is harder to argue with - women should be liberated from male dominance, violence and power structures. This is much harder to twist - it is specific and political.

I tend to talk about feminism in terms of 'women's rights' 'equal status' (rather than equality) and 'liberation'.

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Beachcomber · 10/01/2014 13:55

Grin Buffy. Precisely.

You're welcome Artetas.

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scallopsrgreat · 10/01/2014 13:58

"Liberation is harder to argue with - women should be liberated from male dominance, violence and power structures. This is much harder to twist - it is specific and political." Yes. Well put.

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BuffytheReasonableFeminist · 10/01/2014 14:31

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LittleSweetheart · 10/01/2014 19:42

That is such a great article!! It explains exactly how frustrating it can be for feminists when day after day we are stonewalled with the whole 'men' topic.

I did the chart thing.....that was so very cool! I am proud to say I am very much a feminist!!! Grin

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Beachcomber · 10/01/2014 21:38

Yes, whataboutery is a very good and valid word.

And yes to women being stonewalled.

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rosabud · 12/01/2014 22:06

That's such a great, to the point article! Thanks for your point about liberation versus equality, too, Beachcomber. What I really value about reading posts in this section is that you all put your points so well that it allows those of us who lurk to be able to argue against whataboutery in our daily lives.

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Keepithidden · 12/01/2014 22:21

Good article. Made me think, but then I'm not sure if I can be a feminist being a bloke an that. I've read a lot of stuff that argues very well that the two are mutually exclusive. Anyway, that's by-the-by. Just wanted to say I agree about "whataboutery" and offer "othering" as another word to use on a regular basis.

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Beachcomber · 13/01/2014 16:29

You're welcome rosabud.

I still think Women's Lib is a better name for the movement than Feminism.

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