Friday, July 9, 2010

Dating While Feminist: EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT!

I will be part of a discussion on "Dating While Feminist" organized by NOMAS (the National Organization of Men Against Sexism) Boston. Here are the details:

Thursday, July 29th
6:00-9:00 PM
Lir Pub
903 Boylston St, Boston, MA (Map)
Facebook Event Page

The other guests will be Jaclyn Friedman and Shira Lipkin, and hopefully lots of interesting feminist-type people. If you're in the Boston area I strongly encourage you to stop by; it's free and it'll be awesome.

This is tremendously exciting, and frankly a bit terrifying. I feel like my age and inexperience put me much more in the "learner" than "teacher" role when it comes to sex and relationships, so it's strange to be speaking like I'm some sort of authority. (I've also had this problem with several vanilla people asking me to teach them Kink 101, which I feel unprepared to do since I'm only on Kink 102 myself.) But at least I can share my learning.

The topic of Dating While Feminist deserves its own post or several posts, ones that I'm still formulating. Part of me wants to brush it off with "feh, I call it dating," but it's really not that simple. And dating while feminist and submissive is way not simple.

"Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Holly. Lovely evening, isn't it? I need you to truly respect me and treat our interactions as a relationship of free equal human beings, recognizing that the world does not yet treat us as such. I also need you to pretend rape me sometimes."

33 comments:

  1. So you're merging identities?

    I'd attend this if I could, by the way.

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  2. Can you raise the point that a movement calling itself "feminist" is about as likely to be trusted on sexual equality as an organization calling itself "whiteist" is likely to be trusted on racial equality.

    I think it's time for "Agenderist" or "Genderism".

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  3. Holly, I think your phrasing works just fine, and as a geek, I'd probably be delighted if people were that frank and concise when discussing relationships.

    ~Aaron

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  4. Bruno - I'm not totally merging identities, in the sense that I still need to keep this all from my family and coworkers (and I'm kind of sad I can't tell them about this event, actually), but I'm willing to appear in public as myself, yeah.

    Anonymous - The problem is:

    A) Saying "I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist or an equalist" has some of the same track record and connotations as "I'm not racist, I'm just pro-white"--the phrasing isn't wrong when used literally, but it's been used too much by people who are really really not feminist.

    B) Feminism is kinda about women. Yes, both genders face obstacles in society, but the historical and present challenges for women are greater. Feminism's origins are in the women's rights movement--when my grandmother was born women couldn't even vote!--and "genderism" phrasing seems to bury that.

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  5. Hershele OstropolerJuly 9, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    It's more than a little arrogant for a dude, even a feminist-sympathetic dude, to say "the role of feminism is ..." but the role of feminism is to deal with inequalities that disadvantage women. Individual feminists are welcome to fight inequalities that disadvantage men, but the movements in aggregate have no greater obligation than to not worsen those inequalities. So I trust a movement calling itself "feminist" because I recognize that there is sexism in the world and there was certainly sexism in the world 40 years ago or whenever, and I don't think rights are zero-sum.

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  6. ^genderist anon, I think of feminism as a little like being Jewish. In this country, I haven't faced alot of persecution for either, but in many countries, or in any country fifty years ago, that wouldn't have been the case. There are still people in this country that are prejudiced against both. Being a feminist and/or a Jew doesn't affect my day-to-day life very much, but when I mention it to an acquaintance there's an unspoken "do you have a problem with that?" tacked on the end. If someone has an issue with my identity, we probably don't want to know each other. And being proud of being a woman and proud of being a Jew is kind of a tribute to my predecessors who made it possible, and a way of remembering history to avoid repeating it. Being a feminist isn't any more about being anti-man than being a Jew is about being anti-Christian.

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  7. Three things:
    1) I wish I was in Boston to go to this event, because it sounds wildly interesting

    2) "Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Holly. Lovely evening, isn't it? I need you to truly respect me and treat our interactions as a relationship of free equal human beings, recognizing that the world does not yet treat us as such. I also need you to pretend rape me sometimes."

    I know exactly how you feel, with "Oh, and also let me fuck other people," tacked on. If only things could be so simple, or at least that the percentage of people who would say "That sounds awesome, let's do it!" were higher.

    3) Perhaps, based on the discussions above, there's some room for a person to be both a feminist who fights against inequality for women and a "genderist" or some such term that suggests fighting to break down gender roles in general. I think the two are often closely related, but I don't see why a new term should have to replace feminism with all it's given us. I think we can add, rather than having to take anything away.

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  8. I'm glad I read the comments on this one. I was always puzzled by the term feminist, as the construction of the term itself is obviously sexist. And some people mean in a sexist women-are-better way, and some mean it in an antisexist way, so I wondered why just the one term was still used.

    In terms of addressing historical sexism; it's very important to understand and remember. Those that don't know history are doomed to repeat it. On the other hand, if you think that I as a man must in some way make up for the way your father treated my mother, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

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  9. Mousie00 - On the other hand, if you think that I as a man must in some way make up for the way your father treated my mother, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

    No, you don't have to make up for it, but you do have to avoid perpetuating it. Because it's not gone. Things like the tremendous preponderance of men in the upper echelons of politics and business are an ongoing consequence of how our fathers treated our mothers. If you buy into that, if you go "well, I guess talent rises to the top!" when you see a Board Of Directors photo that's nothing but white male faces, then you're not just repeating history, you're continuing it.

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  10. A) Saying "I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist or an equalist" has some of the same track record and connotations as "I'm not racist, I'm just pro-white"--the phrasing isn't wrong when used literally, but it's been used too much by people who are really really not feminist.

    B) Feminism is kinda about women. Yes, both genders face obstacles in society, but the historical and present challenges for women are greater. Feminism's origins are in the women's rights movement--when my grandmother was born women couldn't even vote!--and "genderism" phrasing seems to bury that.


    And this is missing the point itself. If the movement is established to promote women instead of promote equality, then it becomes toxic once women do have any semblance of equality, because it is founded around the idea that they do not and (you may now connect with this point given your knowledge of feminists) contains no internal structure designed to 'pull the plug' once they do. It will plough on indefinitely under its initial programing, and judging by your own critique on feminist writers this should be somewhat apparent.

    Feminism IS a misleading term. If you're not content to have "genderism" and create a philosophy which promotes equality as the dependent variable, with the current downtrodden gender as the independent variable, then you are going to go the way feminism has gone; a lot of crazy yahoos calling each other sluts for wearing revealing clothing, calling porn a massive world-wide conspiracy by the Pyramid Hats and Lizardmen to degrade women and blowing a gasket whenever someone puts on makeup, and blowing the same recently repaired gasket when someone doesn't.

    This is why it is very important for not only the name to be changed from "feminism" to something that promotes both genders, but for the ideology itself to be completely re-written, so that rather it being a religion based around the idea that women are always oppressed, it becomes an ideology based around the idea that gender inequality isn't acceptable.

    If equality is the goal this would be what we saw. The fact you are saying that we should focus on women, and not focus on equality in general in such a way that this focus would shift to women if and when they are oppressed, and men if and when they are oppressed, then I am in no question that you're a feminist, but is this really the kind of attitude that will promote ACTUAL equality, or is it a subtle form of bigotry?

    I certainly think it's an unenlightened and vengeance based view, which is paradoxical coming from someone I am pretty sure has no vengeful feelings against men at all.

    To put it another way. Imagine an imp from the fifth dimension re-wrote reality so that women had been the dominant gender throughout history, and feminism existed as it exists today.

    Would it really be promoting male equality? I highly doubt it. In fact, I believe it would still be doing what it was programmed to do; claiming women are oppressed.

    But would the "genderists" be promoting male equality? You can bet your ass they would. And you can bet they'd would be and WERE fighting for gender equality in this world too.

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  11. My quote syntax was terrible in that last post. To make it clear to anyone reading my initial italics was a quote by Holly herself.

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  12. it becomes toxic once women do have any semblance of equality
    Let me know when that happens, 'kay?

    no internal structure designed to 'pull the plug' once they do. It will plough on indefinitely under its initial programing
    Really? Because it's not "programming," it's people. A lot of feminists are actually pretty keen observers of the world, not robots set to "men --, women ++".

    for the ideology itself to be completely re-written, so that rather it being a religion based around the idea that women are always oppressed, it becomes an ideology based around the idea that gender inequality isn't acceptable.
    Thanks for rewriting my ideology for me! I'm also Jewish right now, but you can probably tell me what that means and how to do it better, too.

    I'm pretty sure that feminism, with the exception of a relatively small number of crazy people, is already what you described.

    To put it another way. Imagine an imp from the fifth dimension re-wrote reality so that women had been the dominant gender throughout history, and feminism existed as it exists today.
    Well, you know what? There was no imp, and women weren't the dominant gender. We were in fact the gender tremendously excluded from public life and positions of authority and in some ways we still are. I'm not going to worry what happened in some Imp-world when I live in an actual world where there have been 38 women in the US Senate... ever. So I'm just not inclined to go "oh, you poor babies, what if there were 39 and your dicks fell off?" just yet.

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  13. Hershele OstropolerJuly 10, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Imagine an imp from the fifth dimension re-wrote reality so that women had been the dominant gender throughout history, and feminism existed as it exists today.
    Then I would think feminism was a terrible idea. But that hasn't happened, so I don't. "Imagine if everything were wonderful, would we still need people fighting non-wonderful things? Of course not, so we don't need it in the real world either!"

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  14. All italics are quoted by Holly


    Really? Because it's not "programming," it's people. A lot of feminists are actually pretty keen observers of the world, not robots set to "men --, women ++".


    Yes it is programming. All feminists are unified by the single idea that women require liberation. Women, specifically. Not that oppressed genders require liberation, but that women require liberation.
    Whilst this is somewhat true, and was totally true in the past, it is much closer to being completely untrue than it is to being the case.


    it becomes toxic once women do have any semblance of equality

    Easy ......now! You live in America; you have ALL the legal rights of a male. Every single one of them. There is no legal challenge to you accomplishing anything you want. There is human sexism, but you know the only real cure for that? Wealth, education and social welfare.

    You're not in the middle east. To say women have not even a semblance of equality is absolutely meaningless. Total legal equality, and I would be interested on any evidence you had that you were somehow disadvantaged, or that women at large were, because the only real evidence has been the 'pay gap', which is itself partially bullshit.


    Thanks for rewriting my ideology for me! I'm also Jewish right now, but you can probably tell me what that means and how to do it better, too.


    I believe your ideology needs re-writing. I have stated my reason; it is as utterly sexist to promote "female" ideals as it is to promote "white" power or "male" agendas.

    Equality is about the fundamental belief that ALL human beings have precisely the same rights as each other. I am not going to be argued via guilt that I shouldn't re-write "your" ideology when I believe your ideology to be an agent of bigotry and ignorance.

    Your ideology is not one of gender equality, it is a religion that gets progressively more toxic as the world becomes less in tune with its dogma.

    I disagree with your ideology, and I WANT to re-write it. You can throw sarcastic hissy fits all you want, but a person talking about promoting women makes me as angry as a person talking about promoting whites, because they are utterly against gender equality.

    And seeing as you're desperate to bring up the irrelevant fact you're Jewish in some hopes I'm going to back off you for reasons other than you rationally justifying your positions, I'll put Judaism down too; there's no god, Jews die and get eaten by worms like everyone else.

    Total gender and religious equality.

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  15. I, FOR ONE, WELCOME OUR FEMINIST OVERLORDSJuly 10, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Dude, STFU with your mansplaining and accept the coming matriarchy. How is it you're able to type? Don't you have a dick that needs clutching? With both hands? Because the feminists are just that scawy.

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  16. I think we're suffering from a definition problem here. (For example, I'm currently defining you as a pain in the ass.) What do you think "feminism" actually means?

    Because I--and I'm only a feminist here--say that feminism is about reaching gender equality, and that in the current real world, that is achieved more by advancing women than by advancing men.

    You live in America; you have ALL the legal rights of a male. Every single one of them. There is no legal challenge to you accomplishing anything you want.
    It's true, there is no law currently written that says that men should be considered better suited for leadership positions and women should be considered better suited for sexual entertainment and menial chores. It just seems to work out that way.

    There may be no law saying that 488 of the Fortune 500 companies have male CEOs, but... it happened anyway. We have problems besides law.

    There is human sexism, but you know the only real cure for that? Wealth, education and social welfare.
    These sound pretty good to me. I'm pretty sure that feminism is in favor of these things.

    it is as utterly sexist to promote "female" ideals as it is to promote "white" power or "male" agendas.
    This is like saying that civil rights movements should focus equally on straight and gay rights, or equally on white and black rights. It sounds nice but doesn't line up with the fact that not every group--even if they are currently considered nominally equal--is running from the same starting line.

    And seeing as you're desperate to bring up the irrelevant fact you're Jewish in some hopes I'm going to back off you for reasons other than you rationally justifying your positions,
    No, I brought it up because you seem to like telling other people what their belief systems are and how you could improve them all.

    Jews die and get eaten by worms like everyone else.
    Actually current rabbinic opinion also holds that Jews are not immortal. See, we don't disagree that much, you just have wacky ideas about what I believe!

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  17. This is like saying that civil rights movements should focus equally on straight and gay rights, or equally on white and black rights. It sounds nice but doesn't line up with the fact that not every group--even if they are currently considered nominally equal--is running from the same starting line.

    This is precisely what I am not saying. And it is why I am writing a blog post.

    I am not saying that the gay rights movement should focus equally on gay and straight rights. I am saying that the ideology should be "sexual rights", and that its internal ideology should naturally shift it towards whichever sexuality is being oppressed.

    This means that the ideology would hold straight and gay rights as requiring the exact same level of defense, however which group received the focus of their actions would be a dependent variable, with the current societal climate being the independent variable.

    *This* is equality. Promoting not gays, promoting not straights, but promoting sexuality.

    If white people were oppressed, "white power" would be no less horrific. Black people were oppressed, but "black power" was never any worse than "white power".

    Women were oppressed, but this does not mean that "feminism" is any better than "androism". It's the logical error of accepting a sexist ideology in response to sexism, which is not an enlightened position at all.

    I'm afraid that if you're a Jew who doesn't believe in the afterlife (why am I disinclined to think you believe we "don't exist forever" when we die? Anything else is immortality kiddo), then you're not representative of Jews.

    I didn't misrepresent Judaism. There is no god and Jews die in the dirt and get eaten by worms. In fact, you haven't even denied either of these, you've confirmed one. I am not misrepresenting judaism.

    However atheism, the lack of believe in Judaism (+ any religious claim), clearly cannot involve a belief in eating poop or any belief at all. So you are misrepresenting atheism.

    Similarly you are misrepresenting feminism. You often say "feminism" when you mean "feminists". I would think you'd be quite glad for there to be some logical distinction between what you do, which is clearly pro-equality (although you don't help the cause when you promote 'feminism') and the other 'feminists' who promote wild sexism that you criticize.

    Clearly there is a different. If men were oppressed (it will never happen) you'd support male equality and they wouldn't. Is it so bizarre to suggest that you might not believe in the need for female oppression, and that you have simply made the group that requires liberating dependent on societal expectations? I think we'd both agree that you have which does not make you a feminist. It makes you the type of person I wish hadn't been a sarcastic little cunt to me, because you're a decent human being.

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  18. Okay, fine. Clearly this is just a word problem. So I'm not a feminist. I'm an oogyboogykajoogyist.

    I believe that oobyboogykajoogyism entails support for gender equality and the belief that in the current real world this is best achieved by the advancement of women.

    We good now?

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  19. The thing you're not getting, though, is that almost all feminism is oogyboogykajoogyism, and the thing you seem to perceive as "feminism" is advanced only by about twelve crazy people on the Internet plus Valerie Solanas. Just stop worrying about the "fem" and look at what the movement is actually doing--it has a lot more to do with advancing women's economic and social status and protecting women's health and combating domestic violence than with putting men down in any way.

    Also please don't call me a cunt, you fucking moronic shitgobbler.

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  20. The thing you're not getting, though, is that almost all feminism is oogyboogykajoogyism, and the thing you seem to perceive as "feminism" is advanced only by about twelve crazy people on the Internet plus Valerie Solanas. Just stop worrying about the "fem" and look at what the movement is actually doing--it has a lot more to do with advancing women's economic and social status and protecting women's health and combating domestic violence than with putting men down in any way.

    Also please don't call me a cunt, you fucking moronic shitgobbler.


    If I didn't think you were a bit of a cunt I wouldn't have had the energy to reply.

    I never made a claim about how many feminists with GBKJGs (I'd like to see some evidence it's 'most'), I was clearly explicitly describing feminism itself, which is as I described it, and it is a very widely held belief.

    Most Christians are very benign about it, but that's primarily because they haven't read the Bible and taken what it says onboard. Similarly, feminism among the general population has become an almost unexamined thing, people calling themselves "feminist" when that they mean is "genderist", but frankly this is not good enough when the theory itself has massive academic sway and is intensely sexist.

    That's the irony of it all. Feminism is sexist. And it's not sexist against men. Feminism actually reserves its wrath for women.

    I am also not sure how you conclude that I don't 'get' that you are not referring to actual feminism but a different doctrine with, misleadingly, an identical and counter-intuitive name, as it seems to me that this is precisely the point I started on and drew out of you.

    And we are now in agreement. You've gone with what I said; it's not "feminism", it's "oogyboogykajoogyism". It equivalent to the "racial equality movement" going under the name "We Hate Niggers, inc".

    What happens is that your own view, which is not feminism becomes included in feminism, and whilst you're there promoting equal rights the rest of them (and I would be damned if it was a 'vast minority'. Not only are at least half the feminists I talk to not of your ilk, but there's never been a time in human history when most people did the smart thing), Twisty fucking Faster is operating under the same name for the exact opposite cause.

    This is what you don't understand. If you accept that there are two groups calling themselves "feminists", and they have exactly opposite goals, then does this not precisely confirm what I've been saying all along; clearly you need to stop calling yourself a feminist.

    You are not a feminist. Not only is the name misleading, but a group of people who embody female-sexism, precisely what the name implies, are operating under the same trademark.

    You're not part of "We hate Niggers inc" Holly. You love niggers Holly. We all do.

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  21. Holly, I've been lurking without commenting for ages but I just felt the impulse to tell you that I think your posts and comments are awesome. I really enjoy reading your blog.

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  22. What you seem to be doing here is defining people's beliefs for them--in a way deliberately contrary to how they define their own beliefs--then telling them that the beliefs you just made up are wrong.

    If the beliefs of good feminists "aren't really feminists", well, maybe you're being deliberately obtuse with your definition of feminism.

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  23. What you seem to be doing here is defining people's beliefs for them--in a way deliberately contrary to how they define their own beliefs--then telling them that the beliefs you just made up are wrong.

    If the beliefs of good feminists "aren't really feminists", well, maybe you're being deliberately obtuse with your definition of feminism.


    (ex anonymous here)

    I am not defining your belief for them. I have stuck very strictly to what "feminism" holds to be true. And I believe the entire point is that I acknowledge your deviation from it, and I believe that this deviation is so significant that it detracts from you to act under an umbrella term that includes people who do the complete opposite of you.

    And feminism is, quite simply, campaigning for more female rights. That's where it stops. That's where it becomes sexist. This is what makes it an ideology that can be useful in one scenario and toxic in another.

    I am not debating it anymore. I made a post about it on my blog (it is not a direct address to you but a general overview).

    Anything that promoted "female" equality but contains no internal structure for supporting "male" equality is bullshit, and this IS feminism. This is the fundamental tenant of feminism.

    I've fully taken on and acknowledged what you've said, and you've even gone so far as to invent a new name for it yourself and tell me to discount the 'femi' part.

    Yes. Exactly. Is this not exactly what I've been saying all along? Disregard the femi part, but you had to tell me to do that and refer to yourself as an "oogyboogykajoogyism".

    This is my point. It became a logical necessity for you to do this to differentiate yourself from the actual doctrine of feminism. I can't fathom why you're still talking, this seems to be exactly what I asked you to do.

    It became necessary for you to introduce a new name to differentiate yourself from certain feminist beliefs.

    This is what I'm saying I don't know why we're still posting. This is as perfect a clarification of my entire argument as we could get. I am saying that instead of waiting for the confusion to get so intense you have to do it, do it to start with.

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  24. Ashur - The joke with "oogyboogykajoogyism" is that I just described feminism, but without using a word that you seem to be completely hung up about.

    Anyway, the advancement of women doesn't come at the expense of men. It's not like anyone is arguing there should be more violence against men or that men should be paid less.

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  25. I don't know if it's true, but I've heard the argument that wage parity is being slowly achieved because in a sense men *are* being paid less - that women's wages are, on the average, mostly keeping up with inflation but men's aren't. Though if true, it's less of a anti-male thing than it is an anti-non-rich-people thing.

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  26. Not Me - There's a difference between being less poorly paid and being better paid, and women are still definitely on the "less poorly" side. As long as our absolute pay is lower, relative gains for women are not losses for men.

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  27. Feminism is at its strongest as an issues-based advocacy movement. It is at its weakest when it moves beyond these issues to form a narrative of oppression, the so-called "patriarchy".

    This is the reason the Twisty girls are so ridiculous. Their narrative of universal oppression allows them to both justify inequities that favor women and disregard reasonable dissent and diversity of opinion as brainwashing by the patriarchy. It lends itself towards the development of a small clique of shrill, like-minded ideologues. Unfortunately, the digital age has proved that such ilk are the most visible members of any movement.

    Holding all feminists accountable for the doctrines of their peers makes as much sense as calling hypocrites those Christians who use contraception. It is, however, a very handy way to delegitimize otherwise difficult opposing opinions.

    Our man Ashur seems to have the reflectivity of felt. He should be more willing to ask questions about his own opinions. For example:

    "Anything that promoted "female" equality but contains no internal structure for supporting "male" equality is bullshit, and this IS feminism. This is the fundamental tenant of feminism."

    Ashur gives no evidence that such things are bullshit. He claims that feminism by definition cannot support male equality. It is entirely possible to create a feminist ideology that advocates female empowerment and equality but seeks to do so without creating or encouraging male inequality. I think Holly believes something approximating this. To continue arguing otherwise is to unfairly make a straw man out of her position.

    From one man to another: come back when you can make arguments with the competence of a first-year philosophy student. Until then, your continued unfounded attacks and childish name-calling reflects poorly on yourself and your fellow men.

    In short, Ashur, go home and grow up.

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  28. Hey Holly, thanks for promoting the event! It should be a good time.

    One of the core beliefs of NOMAS is that people define feminist (partially) for themselves - it doesn't mean the exact same thing to everyone at all times, and that's a STRENGTH of it.

    Also, if we had the NSFW space for it, I would ask if I could use your last paragraph as the description for the event, seriously.

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  29. This is great news! You're an incredibly sharp feminist thinker & have a real way with words, it'd be great for you to have a more public role off the internet by doing events like this.

    I think that sometimes, being less experienced can be kind of an advantage when you're in a teaching role. You have a much clearer and more vivid recollection of what it was like not to know what you were doing/not to understand your topic, and thus you're more in touch with what your hearers need to know first, and what their major stumbling blocks are likely to be. Whereas if you've been an expert for years, it can be hard to figure out what parts of your knowledge will transmit readily for beginners. Not sure if this is relevant for your speaking gig, but it could be relevant to giving "Kink 101" -- you really do remember what it's like to get started, and that's what a curious beginner needs to know.

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  30. I'm seriously considering taking a bus to Boston for the day. Will you be signing Cosmos?!

    By the way:

    "And dating while feminist and submissive is way not simple."

    Personally, I'd rather be dating while feminist and submissive than dating while feminist and dominant largely because I have a penis. Having to say "I also need you to pretend rape me sometimes" may not be great for you, but having to say "I also need to pretend rape you sometimes" is so awful for me that I'd never even want to try it. Even when I'm with a partner who I know enjoys that kind of play, I wait for them to explicitly request it and even then try to at least talk a little about the power dynamics involved. This is particularly bad in the case of female partners that enjoy rape play but don't particularly think often about what that means in a broader context of feminism. I'm very glad that doesn't happen often given my usual romantic interests!

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  31. Holly, thanks for talking about this. I got most of my impression of feminism at a college that had only recently changed from being an all-female college and still had a 7:1 female:male ratio. The value of equal treatment for women was an unnamed default attitude, all self-identified feminists I met pushed the idea that women were better than men and deserved better treatment.

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  32. Hershele OstropolerJuly 11, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    All feminists are unified by the single idea that women require liberation. Women, specifically. Not that oppressed genders require liberation, but that women require liberation.
    That's very stupid. Women are the oppressed gender. There are few areas where men are oppressed, and vanishingly few where men are oppressed by women. A hypothetical movement that shifts its focus according to whatever gender happens to be oppressed at the moment is going to do exactly the same things feminism does right now.

    Although that's apparently not feminism, but a different ideology with the same name.

    And feminism is, quite simply, campaigning for more female rights. That's where it stops. That's where it becomes sexist. This is what makes it an ideology that can be useful in one scenario and toxic in another.
    It is doing that. Because that's still necessary. Holly noted that 2.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are male. If you don't see that as evidence of sexism against women somewhere, you believe men are 41 times as capable as women, in which case you're part of the problem. There're other examples. So I don't think we're at the point where campaigning on behalf of women is toxic.

    And when we do reach that point, I suspect feminism will wither. As more and more women feel equal, a movement based on achhieving equality will be less and less relevant. Alternately, feminists will look for whatever little pockets of inequality are still there and strive to eradicate them--I personally am no fonder of sartorial essentialism than of the wage gap, but I acknowledge one is more important; when there's time to really focus on sartorial essentialism, people will.

    I got most of my impression of feminism at a college that had only recently changed from being an all-female college and still had a 7:1 female:male ratio. The value of equal treatment for women was an unnamed default attitude, all self-identified feminists I met pushed the idea that women were better than men and deserved better treatment.
    I wonder if that's Ashur's problem, he's, like, 16 and thus remembers the Second-Wave era even less than I do. He looks around and sees legal equality and women his age having what looks to him like social equality (because the social inequalities are subtle and relatively private compared to even 10 years ago) and doesn't understand what feminists--evn Twisty, I understand some of what sets her off even if I'm not on all fours with her approach--are unhappy about.

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  33. Hershele OstropolerJuly 11, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    All feminists are unified by the single idea that women require liberation. Women, specifically. Not that oppressed genders require liberation, but that women require liberation.
    That's very stupid. Women are the oppressed gender. There are few areas where men are oppressed, and vanishingly few where men are oppressed by women. A hypothetical movement that shifts its focus according to whatever gender happens to be oppressed at the moment is going to do exactly the same things feminism does right now.

    Although that's apparently not feminism, but a different ideology with the same name.

    And feminism is, quite simply, campaigning for more female rights. That's where it stops. That's where it becomes sexist. This is what makes it an ideology that can be useful in one scenario and toxic in another.
    It is doing that. Because that's still necessary. Holly noted that 2.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are male. If you don't see that as evidence of sexism against women somewhere, you believe men are 41 times as capable as women, in which case you're part of the problem. There're other examples. So I don't think we're at the point where campaigning on behalf of women is toxic.

    And when we do reach that point, I suspect feminism will wither. As more and more women feel equal, a movement based on achhieving equality will be less and less relevant. Alternately, feminists will look for whatever little pockets of inequality are still there and strive to eradicate them--I personally am no fonder of sartorial essentialism than of the wage gap, but I acknowledge one is more important; when there's time to really focus on sartorial essentialism, people will.

    I got most of my impression of feminism at a college that had only recently changed from being an all-female college and still had a 7:1 female:male ratio. The value of equal treatment for women was an unnamed default attitude, all self-identified feminists I met pushed the idea that women were better than men and deserved better treatment.
    I wonder if that's Ashur's problem, he's, like, 16 and thus remembers the Second-Wave era even less than I do. He looks around and sees legal equality and women his age having what looks to him like social equality (because the social inequalities are subtle and relatively private compared to even 10 years ago) and doesn't understand what feminists--evn Twisty, I understand some of what sets her off even if I'm not on all fours with her approach--are unhappy about.

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