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Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,11:15   

As Louis notes, this is an important topic. As there are a number of concepts associated with feminism and given the apparent strong feelings and lengthy posts the topic can engender, I felt that it would be useful to remove the topic from the bathroom wall and give it a place where the comments don't get muddled or lost in other social discussions.

I freely admit that I'm a n00b on this subject and apparently lack even the basic vocabulary (so I've discovered in reading a few blogs) to accurately articulate some of the concepts. I'm hoping that by creating this place for discussion, folks who are not all that knowledgeable about the subject can read for clear reference and post questions. In other words, I'm hoping that this becomes a place where the signal to noise ratio on the concepts surrounding feminism can remain high.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,12:00   

Good oh. Whilst I'm all in favour of this, I have one problem: no resident expert. I'm certainly not one, I've read a few books and....well that's about it. We need, and I feel dirty for saying this, a social scientist of some relevant species!

I'm happy to try to blunder though any questions we all might have though.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,13:42   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 03 2011,18:00)
Good oh. Whilst I'm all in favour of this, I have one problem: no resident expert. I'm certainly not one, I've read a few books and....well that's about it. We need, and I feel dirty for saying this, a social scientist of some relevant species!

I'm happy to try to blunder though any questions we all might have though.

Louis

Ok, now I suspect I'm going to get burned in some way for what I'm going to say, but:

There are no more "experts" on Feminism at Pharyngula than there are here. A bunchload of opiniated commenters at best. Just like here, go figure.

And in fact, I would posit that we have a few, if not experts, at least directly concerned persons here (Kristine, Monica, most of all Khan, who if not an academical expert, has been dealing with feminism and misogyny for a long time).

I would wager that AtBC is probably one of the best places to start this discussion/workshop. Why? Well, we've all known each others (and been friends) for years and have always been able to find compromises to our views, in the form of differing, yet not so separated opinions. We've (well mostly you guys) managed to change some people's minds, we've always shown respect where it's due, and foremost, we are not aggressive assholes (most of the time).

Now, I would suggest we invite experts on the subject to actively help this discussion stay in touch with reality. Ophelia Benson would be a good choice. She has very good expertise on feminism. What about Bluharmony? Different strokes. Abbie would be great too, and so would Rebecca Watson. Paula Kirby as well, and why not Stephanie Zvan. Apologies if that makes me look like I think only women can be experts on Feminism, but that would at least limit the risk to attract "faux-feminists"...

Short of a panel of "experts" like this one, I can only see this discussion as us regulars sharing our views on the subject (which, in the end, is not that bad either).

Can I have a last smoke before the firing squad?

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,13:49   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 03 2011,13:42)
Apologies if that makes me look like I think only women can be experts on Feminism, but that would at least limit the risk to attract "faux-feminists"...

No worries. We need more chickadees around here anyways.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it. †We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,13:55   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 03 2011,12:00)
Good oh. Whilst I'm all in favour of this, I have one problem: no resident expert. I'm certainly not one, I've read a few books and....well that's about it. We need, and I feel dirty for saying this, a social scientist of some relevant species!

I'm happy to try to blunder though any questions we all might have though.

Louis

I don't believe that discussion boards are required to have resident experts. Let me consult my friend who happens to be an expert in Internet Etiquette and Dark Places research. Nope, no such requirement according to her. She admits this is likely because everyone speaking on the internet is an expert as well as good looking...

On a serious note, I'm hoping that given the number of folks who read this site, one or two will have some value, if not expert, contributions. Here's hoping.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,13:57   

Why does this subject suddenly give me a stomach-ache?

I am not convinced, as Catherine McKinnon once asserted, that there is a generic "condition of being woman" that unites all women everywhere on the planet. If someone "does not have the vocabulary," then GOOD! because it changes every decade anyway!

Remember how, in the 1990s, if a woman had a young son, he was referred to by the "sisterhood" as "The Oppressor"? How self-styled feminists ragged on each other for having male children? Nowadays, someone like me gets into a fight with Bitch, PhD. and the gaggle at Feministe because if you're a woman and you're not enthralled by children, or don't particularly like being around them (guilty, moi!;), and certainly don't think that they belong in the bar or at the X-rated film, you "are not really a feminist" and "it is just like being racist." What BS!

No feminists these days seem to recognize how corporations are using people's children to 1) teach them to pester their parents to buy crap that the kids don't need or even want, and 2) scare parents to death about exaggerated "threats."

Where is feminism today? It doesn't even exist anymore. Not as I understood it!

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:03   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 03 2011,13:49)
 
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 03 2011,13:42)
Apologies if that makes me look like I think only women can be experts on Feminism, but that would at least limit the risk to attract "faux-feminists"...

No worries. We need more chickadees around here anyways.

GOD NO!

Chickadees happen to be one of the most territorial passerine species and some of the most violent birds! Couldn't we attract some...say...turtle doves?

(/nerd off)

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:05   

The reason I'd like someone who actually knows something about feminism to participate (and I have no biases about who, not sure I know any academic feminists, plenty of feminist academics mind you) is because I know enough to know that the sociology/social science around the subject is real, valuable and worth using.

That's it, nothing more sinister than that.

Dear old Feynman once said to a fellow dinner guest:

Quote
On the contrary, it's because someone knows something about it that we can't talk about physics. It's the things that nobody knows about that we can discuss. We can talk about the weather; we can talk about social problems; we can talk about psychology; we can talk about international finance... so it's the subject that nobody knows anything about that we can all talk about!

   Statement (1965), when told that nobody else at the table he was dining at knew anything about physics and thus they could not talk about it, quoted in Handbook of Economic Growth (2005) by Philippe Aghion and Steven N. Durlauf


So we can all flap our lips joyfully about this because we have no real knowledge about it. I'm not talking now about experience, we've all got that to greater or lesser extents and in varying ways, I'm talking about not having to rehash old ground.

For example, having to explain the concept of privilege would be much easier if we had some people about to check the explanation was a good one. Just like, I'd hope, a discussion about chemistry would at least involve some reference to someone that knew something. Otherwise we'd get five valent carbons everywhere....eurgh!

My point is there are facts to be known, relevant empirical data to discuss and reinventing the wheel sounds like less fun to me than discussing this seriously does. So yes, feel free to invite someone who knows something, that was kind of my point!

Louis

P.S. Pharyngula: Erm, how is it relevant to this discussion? Please stop. You're eroding what little faith I have in humanity.

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:12   

Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 03 2011,18:57)
Why does this subject suddenly give me a stomach-ache?

I am not convinced, as Catherine McKinnon once asserted, that there is a generic "condition of being woman" that unites all women everywhere on the planet. If someone "does not have the vocabulary," then GOOD! because it changes every decade anyway!

Remember how, in the 1990s, if a woman had a young son, he was referred to by the "sisterhood" as "The Oppressor"? How self-styled feminists ragged on each other for having male children? Nowadays, someone like me gets into a fight with Bitch, PhD. and the gaggle at Feministe because if you're a woman and you're not enthralled by children, or don't particularly like being around them (guilty, moi!), and certainly don't think that they belong in the bar or at the X-rated film, you "are not really a feminist" and "it is just like being racist." What BS!

No feminists these days seem to recognize how corporations are using people's children to 1) teach them to pester their parents to buy crap that the kids don't need or even want, and 2) scare parents to death about exaggerated "threats."

Where is feminism today? It doesn't even exist anymore. Not as I understood it!

There are certainly "feminisms" from what I can tell, i.e. different schools of thought, so I would hardly want to lump them all together.

I'd share your lack of conviction regarding a "generic condition of womanhood", the idea seem preposterous to me at face value.

I don't know much about the rest, except that I'd bet there are feminists who know about/campaign against the corporate thing you mention. I DO know there are a hell of a lot of straw feminists out there who are claimed to have said the most remarkable things, and then turn out not to have. To balance that I also know that there are a lot of loons out there. Hence why I think it's probably better to pick an idea, a concept or a...a...errrm...a thing and use that as a leaping off point.

How about a definition of what "feminism" is? Own words or link to an unobjectionable reference?

Louis

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Bye.

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:12   

Quote (Robin @ Nov. 03 2011,14:03)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 03 2011,13:49)
†  
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 03 2011,13:42)
Apologies if that makes me look like I think only women can be experts on Feminism, but that would at least limit the risk to attract "faux-feminists"...

No worries. We need more chickadees around here anyways.

GOD NO!

Chickadees happen to be one of the most territorial passerine species and some of the most violent birds! Couldn't we attract some...say...turtle doves?

(/nerd off)

I thought you said you were married?



--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it. †We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5375
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:15   

If we're inviting experts, I'd recommend Elizabeth Wood (full disclosure, she's a personal friend), but I know she's currently swamped.

She's a great voice on the Sex Positive side of feminism.

(If you're not familiar with the term or its significance, Wikipedia, From Whence All Wisdom and Knowledge is Derived is as good a place to start as any. Fair warning - Feminism is quite a tangled web.)

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:17   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 03 2011,13:42)
Now, I would suggest we invite experts on the subject to actively help this discussion stay in touch with reality. Ophelia Benson would be a good choice. She has very good expertise on feminism. What about Bluharmony? Different strokes. Abbie would be great too, and so would Rebecca Watson. Paula Kirby as well, and why not Stephanie Zvan. Apologies if that makes me look like I think only women can be experts on Feminism, but that would at least limit the risk to attract "faux-feminists"...

Hmmm...there is a certain irony in the sexist assumption of female authority on the subject. Or maybe it's only sexist if we assume that ALL women or experts.

See! This is what I'm talking about; I don't even know the parameters of this concept!

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:21   

Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 03 2011,13:57)
Where is feminism today? It doesn't even exist anymore. Not as I understood it!

I'll be frank and say that since I know so little about the subject, I'd be really fascinated to know what you understood feminism to be, Kristine. Two main reasons:

1) You had an understanding.

2) I respect the thought you put into your statements given the comments you've made on other subjects.

If nothing else, it would give me a place to start.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:26   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 03 2011,19:15)
If we're inviting experts, I'd recommend Elizabeth Wood (full disclosure, she's a personal friend), but I know she's currently swamped.

She's a great voice on the Sex Positive side of feminism.

(If you're not familiar with the term or its significance, Wikipedia, From Whence All Wisdom and Knowledge is Derived is as good a place to start as any. Fair warning - Feminism is quite a tangled web.)

Ahhhh sex positive feminism, my favourite kind!

I wonder why!

Louis

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Bye.

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:31   

Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 03 2011,14:12)
Quote (Robin @ Nov. 03 2011,14:03)
Quote (carlsonjok @ Nov. 03 2011,13:49)
† †  
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 03 2011,13:42)
Apologies if that makes me look like I think only women can be experts on Feminism, but that would at least limit the risk to attract "faux-feminists"...

No worries. We need more chickadees around here anyways.

GOD NO!

Chickadees happen to be one of the most territorial passerine species and some of the most violent birds! Couldn't we attract some...say...turtle doves?

(/nerd off)

I thought you said you were married?

I am, but that does not prevent me from a) appreciating the loveliness of other women and b) creating a nerdy mixed-metaphor.


;)

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:34   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 03 2011,14:15)
If we're inviting experts, I'd recommend Elizabeth Wood (full disclosure, she's a personal friend), but I know she's currently swamped.

She's a great voice on the Sex Positive side of feminism.

(If you're not familiar with the term or its significance, Wikipedia, From Whence All Wisdom and Knowledge is Derived is as good a place to start as any. Fair warning - Feminism is quite a tangled web.)

"Sex positive feminism", "privileged", "cis", "het"...(Sigh)...I clearly have a lot of reading to do.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:43   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 03 2011,14:12)
How about a definition of what "feminism" is? Own words or link to an unobjectionable reference?

Louis

I'll say that from what I've read, feminism to me means:

A perspective that women should be treated with the same type of regard and behavior as men in similar situations.

Don't know if that's accurate, but that's the impression I've gotten so far.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,14:49   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 03 2011,14:15)
If we're inviting experts, I'd recommend Elizabeth Wood (full disclosure, she's a personal friend), but I know she's currently swamped.

She's a great voice on the Sex Positive side of feminism.

(If you're not familiar with the term or its significance, Wikipedia, From Whence All Wisdom and Knowledge is Derived is as good a place to start as any. Fair warning - Feminism is quite a tangled web.)

Yes, great suggestion. To Obi-Wan you listen! :)

And I don't think anyone needs any special vocabulary other than the willingness to call a spade a spade. For example:

Feminism is not equal to Female Chauvinism.

Want to know what I am bothered by? The fact that women are outperforming men in colleges and universities (particularly in the African-American community), and the fact that, as the workplace becomes more feminized and men lose their earning power, women seem to be more frustrated with, and thus become more willing to dump, men. Where else was that happening until relatively recently? Afghanistan. Believe it or not, women were being educated in that country and running around in miniskirts, while the men eschewed education and acquired weapons - and you see what happened after the Soviets invaded.

I don't think feminism ever was popular for the girly-girl set, and yet they make the loudest noises about "oppression." Well, I cannot imagine anything more oppressive than divorce and fighting for custody, then being a single mom in this society, and being attacked by other moms about you-aren't-breastfeeding, or is-your-kid's-food-organic, to-yoga-or-not-to-yoga, etc. I worked with so many single mothers before that became more or less the norm, as it seems to be now - low-income, African-American women on their own, and they were the heirs to exhaustion. But now corporations have figured out a way to turn parental anxieties into Kindergarten Pilates Workshops! And now, young people are occupying Wall Street because everyone is flipping poor!

I now see things more in terms of social class than in terms of race or gender equality. As a first-generation college graduate, I had and have nothing in common with the white female privileged, entitled trust fund brats who made my various workplaces into backstabbing living hells.

Robin, don't worry about the vocabulary. Whatever the subject is, chances are, George Carlin also talked about it and said it more plainly! :D

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,16:03   

Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 03 2011,12:49)
Feminism is not equal to Female Chauvinism.

The problem is that female chauvinists won't give up the 'feminist' title without a fight. I like the terminology of Christina Hoff Sommers, who distinguishes between 'equity feminism' and 'gender feminism'. Her taxonomy seems to have caught on.

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number. †-- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that donít belong there and thoughts into my mind that donít belong there. -- KF

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4360
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,17:09   

Feminists - Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em! :)

/Flame off




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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Kristine



Posts: 3037
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,19:53   

I just want to love all those neglected men out there...

...while being absolutely faithful to every one of them.

Is that asking too much? :D </Unbearablelightnessofbeing>

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Wolfhound



Posts: 468
Joined: June 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2011,20:34   

I'm afraid that I'm not qualified, beyond being the proud owner of the proper plumbing, to speak on this subject.  I am one of those women who actually enjoys well-intentioned chivalry (opening doors, pulling out chairs, offering an arm, etc.) from members of the opposite sex.  I have NEVER been made to feel that this behavior from men is because they consider me to be "weak" or "inferior", primarily because I'm taller than the average guy and physically and mentally strong for EITHER sex.  I think it's sweet, not insulting, and I appreciate the gestures.

I have also never experienced on-the-job discrimination.  I was paid the same or more (yes, we compared wages) as my male counterparts and have always been encouraged to pursue positions of greater pay and authority by the higher ups.  My former career path (the shipping business) was pretty well male dominated and my current (child welfare social work) is female dominant, just so you know.

I HAVE been on the receiving end in the private sector (car dealers and car mechanics, in particular, assuming I'm an idiot because I'm a woman) and this mostly just amuses me because I can call their bluff and know that are just macho assholes trying to take advantage of somebody they presume to be weak.

I know that there are problems.  I know that MANY women have not been as lucky as I have.  But I don't get my knickers in a twist (HA!) when somebody uses "bitch" or "cunt" or some guy hits on me.  It just rolls off my back like water off a duck.  Does my lack of outrage make me a gender traitor?  Apparently some would say so.  Shrug.

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I've found my personality to be an effective form of birth control.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,06:08   

Well one thread that seems to be emerging is "feminism as an othering force". In other words people are treated by some self proclaimed feminists as "other" if they don't comply with some stated/unstated set of standards (a One True Feminism if you will).

That, I think is the first hurdle to overcome. Robin mentioned a minimal definition of feminism above, here's another from the Wiki.

Quote
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men's liberation is therefore a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles. Feminists are "person[s] whose beliefs and behavior[s] are based on feminism."


I think it's vital to acknowledge that there are a huge number of ways to be a feminist and one doesn't have to follow every literal word of every feminist that has ever lived or spoken.

So to use three examples taken from Kristine, Lou and Wolfhound, I don't think that having a sex-positive/porn-friendly approach to feminism means you are not a feminist. I don't think that not liking kids or focussing more on the (equally important IMO) class issues people face means you are not a feminist. I don't think that appreciating basic, well intentioned courtesy/chivalry or not getting bent out of shape about pleasant come ons makes one not a feminist. I think all roads lead to Rome as long as we agree that Rome (equality) is our destination.

And the term "gender traitor", sorry but I HATE it. It strikes me as a means to censor debate, stifle opposition and generally end discussion. I'm not a fan even in the most extreme of circumstances, for example Phyllis Schafly with her "pull the ladder up after me" attitude. I think the term "clueless, bigoted hypocrite" does nicely for her! On the subject of terminology, would it also be okay to reserve terms like "misogyny" for, you know, actual misogyny, and not common-or-garden sexism? I don't mind using the word when it fits, but its overuse is diluting its potency. I understand the sensitivity and need to hammer the opposition with a hobnailed boot, but there's enough to hammer them on frankly.

Anyway, is the definition of feminism above sufficiently non-controversial to include everyone? Does everyone agree that that is the working definition we will use for the purposes of discussion? That way we can all talk about the same thing and not have one person talking about Andrea Dworkin's concept of feminism and another talking about Tristan Taormino's.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,07:00   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 04 2011,12:08)
Well one thread that seems to be emerging is "feminism as an othering force". In other words people are treated by some self proclaimed feminists as "other" if they don't comply with some stated/unstated set of standards (a One True Feminism if you will).

That, I think is the first hurdle to overcome. Robin mentioned a minimal definition of feminism above, here's another from the Wiki.

 
Quote
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men's liberation is therefore a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles. Feminists are "person[s] whose beliefs and behavior[s] are based on feminism."


I think it's vital to acknowledge that there are a huge number of ways to be a feminist and one doesn't have to follow every literal word of every feminist that has ever lived or spoken.

So to use three examples taken from Kristine, Lou and Wolfhound, I don't think that having a sex-positive/porn-friendly approach to feminism means you are not a feminist. I don't think that not liking kids or focussing more on the (equally important IMO) class issues people face means you are not a feminist. I don't think that appreciating basic, well intentioned courtesy/chivalry or not getting bent out of shape about pleasant come ons makes one not a feminist. I think all roads lead to Rome as long as we agree that Rome (equality) is our destination.

And the term "gender traitor", sorry but I HATE it. It strikes me as a means to censor debate, stifle opposition and generally end discussion. I'm not a fan even in the most extreme of circumstances, for example Phyllis Schafly with her "pull the ladder up after me" attitude. I think the term "clueless, bigoted hypocrite" does nicely for her! On the subject of terminology, would it also be okay to reserve terms like "misogyny" for, you know, actual misogyny, and not common-or-garden sexism? I don't mind using the word when it fits, but its overuse is diluting its potency. I understand the sensitivity and need to hammer the opposition with a hobnailed boot, but there's enough to hammer them on frankly.

Anyway, is the definition of feminism above sufficiently non-controversial to include everyone? Does everyone agree that that is the working definition we will use for the purposes of discussion? That way we can all talk about the same thing and not have one person talking about Andrea Dworkin's concept of feminism and another talking about Tristan Taormino's.

Louis

I agree wholefuly with all this. Good basis for a great discussion!

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,07:26   

Small aside, regarding Louis' "don't look at the form, look at the substance" (paraphrasing). I am right now commenting on Stephanie Zvan's latest post at FTB. They wonder wether to "out" Franc Hoggle and release his real name publicly following his blog posts and comments. I think they shouldn't, and have expressed my views in clear and detailled ways.

But all the commenters are focussing on are personal feuds between diferent commentors/bloggers. Thus may lie some of the problems we've encountered at some point in EGate. I would most enjoy if this thread didn't go down that path.

But who am I to judge, in the end...

Just sayin'

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,08:32   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 04 2011,06:08)
That, I think is the first hurdle to overcome. Robin mentioned a minimal definition of feminism above, here's another from the Wiki.

†  
Quote
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men's liberation is therefore a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles. Feminists are "person[s] whose beliefs and behavior[s] are based on feminism."


I think it's vital to acknowledge that there are a huge number of ways to be a feminist and one doesn't have to follow every literal word of every feminist that has ever lived or spoken.

As usual, I like what you wrote, Louis, and agree for the most part. I'm going to climb up on a soapbox for a moment though and complain about one thing in this concept that I disagree with:

Equality

I disagree with the use of this term. I know that the implication of the term as used by most folks in the context of feminism is impartiality. Personally I'd prefer to use that term. For me the issue is that (and I think both Kristine's and Wolfie's, to say nothing of Louis', comments illustrate this) people are not equal and in general we do not see ourselves as equal. Is it any wonder that few people treat each of us equally?

As organisms we have a highly detailed ability to analyze the world around us and a very quickly divide things into categories of "like" and "not like". I really feel it's unreasonable to then complain when we do this automatically when categorizing men and women. The part (for me at least) where I think feminism kicks in is the assessment people then make about how these two categories of people should be treated in given situations.

And personally, I think it's appropriate to treat the two categories of people differently depending on the situation because the two categories are not equal. Of course, even within the two categories there are a number of inequalities - some men are shorter (like me) than others; some women have blue eyes vs brown.

The problem, as I see it, is that for whatever reason many people (and I think mostly men in this case, but I don't know) have attached assumed attributes to each category and then interact with those two categories based on those attributes when in reality those attributes are either skewed, misunderstood, or outright don't actually exist for the majority of members. I'm sure that most of the inappropriate behavior has been leveled towards women, but I don't really think that what the women actually wanted in those cases was to be treated equally with the men. Rather, I bet most of them would have preferred to be treated as individuals who may or may not have fit certain preconceived attributes, thus preferring that the behavior be made without considering those attributes at all.

--------------
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. †Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,08:37   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 04 2011,12:26)
Small aside, regarding Louis' "don't look at the form, look at the substance" (paraphrasing). I am right now commenting on Stephanie Zvan's latest post at FTB. They wonder wether to "out" Franc Hoggle and release his real name publicly following his blog posts and comments. I think they shouldn't, and have expressed my views in clear and detailled ways.

But all the commenters are focussing on are personal feuds between diferent commentors/bloggers. Thus may lie some of the problems we've encountered at some point in EGate. I would most enjoy if this thread didn't go down that path.

But who am I to judge, in the end...

Just sayin'

1) I'd really rather peoples' focus on this thread wasn't the eternal dramatics of other blogs/interwebs places. I can't insist on that of course, but thread creation for soap opera discussions isn't banned here as far as I'm aware.

2) Not a fan of outing in general, as discussed previously.

I will say this though, if someone has a genuine and specific reason to believe that a person poses a serious threat to another person or people in general, then yes, I think outing is ONE method that can be used.

I think it is the tool of last resort though. If you know that person's identity then you have the means to contact them, if you can contact them personally you can tell them to knock whatever it is off. If they persist you can tell them to knock it off emphatically and mention that you view what they are doing as harassment (if it is). If they still persist then there are still more steps before outing. Outing is a bit of a nuclear option for a first resort.

Whether or not Hoggle deserves it? I don't know enough to say. I've deliberately paid as little attention as possible to the pathetic drama.

I'll mention one thing though, I am getting fucking tired of the soap operas though. I might become.....sarcastic. ;-)

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,09:00   

Quote
I'll mention one thing though, I am getting fucking tired of the soap operas though. I might become.....sarcastic. ;-)


No! Don't! Don't you fucking dare!!!

This was just an aside to try and target what the problem is in this talk. And now that I come to realize it, yes, it's very stupid of me to say "don't bring outside feuds in this discussion, as I just did".

Almost Pythonesque...

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,09:42   

Quote (Robin @ Nov. 04 2011,13:32)
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 04 2011,06:08)
That, I think is the first hurdle to overcome. Robin mentioned a minimal definition of feminism above, here's another from the Wiki.

† †
Quote
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights. Feminism is mainly focused on women's issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men's liberation is therefore a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles. Feminists are "person[s] whose beliefs and behavior[s] are based on feminism."


I think it's vital to acknowledge that there are a huge number of ways to be a feminist and one doesn't have to follow every literal word of every feminist that has ever lived or spoken.

As usual, I like what you wrote, Louis, and agree for the most part. I'm going to climb up on a soapbox for a moment though and complain about one thing in this concept that I disagree with:

Equality

I disagree with the use of this term. I know that the implication of the term as used by most folks in the context of feminism is impartiality. Personally I'd prefer to use that term. For me the issue is that (and I think both Kristine's and Wolfie's, to say nothing of Louis', comments illustrate this) people are not equal and in general we do not see ourselves as equal. Is it any wonder that few people treat each of us equally?

As organisms we have a highly detailed ability to analyze the world around us and a very quickly divide things into categories of "like" and "not like". I really feel it's unreasonable to then complain when we do this automatically when categorizing men and women. The part (for me at least) where I think feminism kicks in is the assessment people then make about how these two categories of people should be treated in given situations.

And personally, I think it's appropriate to treat the two categories of people differently depending on the situation because the two categories are not equal. Of course, even within the two categories there are a number of inequalities - some men are shorter (like me) than others; some women have blue eyes vs brown.

The problem, as I see it, is that for whatever reason many people (and I think mostly men in this case, but I don't know) have attached assumed attributes to each category and then interact with those two categories based on those attributes when in reality those attributes are either skewed, misunderstood, or outright don't actually exist for the majority of members. I'm sure that most of the inappropriate behavior has been leveled towards women, but I don't really think that what the women actually wanted in those cases was to be treated equally with the men. Rather, I bet most of them would have preferred to be treated as individuals who may or may not have fit certain preconceived attributes, thus preferring that the behavior be made without considering those attributes at all.

Robin,

No one with a functioning nervous system has ever said that, on average, women have every specific trait identically equal to that of men or vice versa. I confidently predict I would find having a baby quite challenging.* What people are saying is that, as you mention, women and men should be by and large treated equally. I.e. women are of equal worth as men, should be granted equal access to opportunity as men etc. And of course, vice versa.

The definition used in Wiki that I quoted above makes it very clear in the first sentence what sort of equality feminism is aimed at. It's not aimed at rewriting biology.

The word "equality" doesn't imply just equality of type, and impartiality has its connotations too. For example, impartiality implies objectivity. Feminism is not necessarily impartial, in fact in certain circumstances it can and should be deliberately partial, i.e favouring women to redress a specific inequality. Neither can feminism, as a subset of social science, be utterly objective. There is, for example, going to be a degree of subjective experience applied in deciding which school of feminism one adheres to. It's not as simple and clear cut as we might like. There are ideological waters to navigate here. I think this semantic quibble is at best simply wrong, and done away with by the first sentence of the quoted definition.

Answer me this, since the claim that men and women are possessed of equal traits (i.e. equality of type) is such an obviously untrue claim, men can't have babies for example, why even attribute it to feminism?

And I suppose this is one of the questions that really interests me in any discussion about feminism: why these objections?

I don't mean to pick on you personally Robin, or anyone here for that matter, but I am genuinely interested in the objections to feminism that have arisen in just one page of this thread.

Why am I interested, well before Carlson has hysterics and accuses me of wanting to call everyone misogynists, I'll tell you: Because they were/are exactly the same objections I had. They were/are MY knee jerk objections. So I'm not being sanctimonious, I'm being selfish! Biiig difference! Hee hee.

Why do we...well okay to be strict I'm not sure anyone but me has/had them...why did/do I have these very simplistic, actually quite hostile objections to a straw feminism that is contradicted by a quick read of what is actually there?

If I'm coming across as mean, I apologise for that is not my intention. I'm genuinely curious as to why this subject causes suspiciously simplistic objections from intelligent people. Me included. I think it's possibly an important hurdle to discussion on the topic. Perhaps if we can understand this we'll understand other things. I guess I just don't know. Indulge me this navel gaze.

I'm not saying this is the case here for anyone, even me perhaps, but I'll make an analogy. Look at Forastero on the other thread. He chucks out technical sounding claims but it is abundantly clear his objections are not technical or intellectual, they are ideological or personal. The form those objections take is dressed in pseudo-intellectual garb to pass superficial scrutiny. Semantic or philosophical quibbles can be innocent and valuable, but they aren't always. Complaints about exclusion can be true, but they aren't always. Painting with a broad brush can represent reality, but it doesn't always. All together with a few other things....well that rings alarm bells. That's rarely an innocent combination. It instantly makes me think of my post signature. If and when I catch myself doing these things I try to think about how I am fooling myself. So given that the objections I've had are identical to the objections raised here by yourself and others, how, if this is the case, am I/have I been fooling myself and why?

Is it clear what I'm trying to do with this?

Louis

* Where's the foetus going to gestate? In a box?

--------------
Bye.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2011,10:08   

I can only morn that the poor quality of tard at UD has left you all with too much time on your hands.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
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