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Criticism of Feminism

 
 
failures art
 
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Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 06:54 pm
@sozobe,
Soz, I've understood the use of your definition just fine. When you posted a PP list from Google of associated words, by using your definition in support of "nurturing is feminine," you've also made "weak is feminine" and "flirtatious is feminine." As I've stated, I think this is a poor standard. My reasoning is that a definition that relies on "attributed qualities" brings with it a prejudice. In a discussion on gender equality, using a word like this when describing something like nurturing, brings with it that prejudice.

I am offended at the idea that "nurturing is feminine." You mutated that into me "bristling" at the idea of me doing something feminine. That's pretty far off, and I feel, a bit more personal than a discussion needs to be.

RE: Sozlet and Mr Mom, I said specifically that Sozlet would NOT NEED to be educated on the context of such a joke. What I'm saying is that the only reason such a joke ever worked was because people held onto gender stereotypes, the only way to explain to her why people thought it was funny at the time would be to explain the cultural context of the film and people at the time.

RE: Male Nurses
sozobe wrote:
RIGHT! Social pressure! Social norms. Gender roles. Which are now becoming more porous.

What I'm saying is that part of that social pressure is perpetuated by your use of feminine because it relies on previous prejudices. They become more porous when we challenge them. In my opinion, the goal should not be for boys to be able to girl things, and girls to do boy things, but for boys and girls to be able to pursue any interest and discard a useless gender binary of girl and boy things.

sozobe wrote:
There are more male nurses, there are more men walking around with babies in Snuglis. Both are good developments.

Certainly.

sozobe wrote:
Both have a lot to do with feminism.

Or individualism. I doubt many men carrying babies and working as nurses are setting out to demonstrate their feminine characteristics. I imagine more likely they are simply setting out to do what feels most fulfilling to them or following what they are talented at.

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failures art
 
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Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 07:09 pm
I'm frustrated here too. I'm trying my best to communicate, not simply saying that the other person "just doesn't get it." I think those conversations are wasted intellectual labor.

Let's move on.

I asked about a few things that I feel are more important than this sidebar. I'm more interested in a question such as: Is TedxWomen a step forward or backward for gender equality?

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failures art
 
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Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 07:13 pm
Just noticed the tag "penis chopping." I don't know if this was a tag graffiti, or if it was an actual reference to the story posted earlier in the thread.

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sozobe
 
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Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 07:18 pm
@failures art,
While continuing to miss the mark, this has enough to work with that I'll go for it.

First, while I don't know why it took this long, you're now restating several of my points.

The joke worked 30 years ago, in a time when gender roles (and stereotypes) were different.

The joke does not work now.

Right.

Why?

Because we are not so constrained by gender roles anymore, and men can be more nurturing and women can be more powerful and that's not seen as being such a strange thing anymore. That is good.

Why have things changed in the last 30 years?

In large part because of feminism, and the work that was done to buck social pressure regarding gender roles. (Which, again, did exist 30 years ago, and while things have gotten better, they continue to exist.)

This is part of why I think feminism is a good thing.

I'm not too caught up in what it's called. The thing that is currently called feminism is a thing that has helped bring about these social changes. Because these social changes are not complete, I think the thing that is currently called feminism is still relevant and necessary.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 07:30 pm
@sozobe,
I'm the one thumbing soz's posts up since they say what I think better than I would as I've little patience here. I can't understand quibbling about the word. And yes, I read the posts. I know MLK didn't say 'blackism' but he must have said the word racism at some point, no?
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failures art
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 07:35 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
While continuing to miss the mark
Seriously, stop. This is unnecessarily condescending.

I'm not living in the past, and the joke doesn't work because it shouldn't work. It's built on a stupid idea. I've posted that several times, not just recently.

I've not said feminism hasn't taken us far. I've said that I believe it can only take us so far towards gender equality. My reasons for such I've reiterated enough that if my reasons are important for your understanding of why I feel this way, you'll simply reread what I've said.

Feminism as a philosophy (not simply a word/term) speaks to the issues from the vantage point of women. As such, I am skeptical that it will adequately address all gender issues.

I think the TED example is an case where it could be said that it's a step forward for women, but a step back for gender equality. TED wasn't a discriminatory group, but by creating a special venue they offer women more opportunities than men. Does this type of gender discrimination get a pass because it is pro-female? I think making feminism the flagship of gender equality is misplaced sentiment. It's not just a word. We don't need a TedxMen and a TEDxWomen.

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msolga
 
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Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 01:43 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
sozobe wrote:
Quote:
Egalitarianism is fine, I like it better than humanism, it still has the same problem of generality, though. Egalitarianism covers racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, etc., etc. Feminism is about gender equality specifically.

And msolga makes good points about what greater specificity means in terms of actually getting things done. And we all seem to agree that more needs to be done.


Thomas wrote:
Quote:
I believe this is empirically untenable. For just one counter-example, Martin Luther King got a lot of things done for Blacks without creating a separate ideology of "blackism". Indeed, he made a point of not doing that. That's why he gave his I-have-been-to-the-mountaintop speech, his last before he got shot, in support of striking garbage workers, not of some Blacks-only organization. It reflects badly on American-history books that America's collective consciousness downplays King's egalitarian agenda. But this agenda reflects very positively on Martin Luther King---especially in terms of getting things done.

Certainly Martin Luther King was a very influential leader in the civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s, however, as you'd most likely be aware, he was not the only leader, nor by any means the only influence on the movement.
While MLK did not advocate "blackism", other African American leaders certainly did, notably Malcolm X, who advocated "black power", as opposed to Kings's integration focus.

Quote:
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies.[1] It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States.[2] The movement was prominent in the late 1960s and early 1970s, emphasizing racial pride and the creation of black political and cultural institutions to nurture and promote black collective interests[3] and advance black values. "Black Power" expresses a range of political goals, from defense against racial oppression, to the establishment of social institutions and a self-sufficient economy.

Black Power:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Power

I would argue that both leaders (plus all the others) contributed to "raising the consciousness" (using a very 1960s/70s term) of African Americans in their struggle for rights. I can see why MLK would hold more appeal to you as a leader more than a Malcolm X, due to his peaceful integration focus, but I think there's no denying the powerful influence of the "black liberation/power" advocates, too, whether you agree with their "message or not.

So I disagree with your assessment that a separate movement for specific concerns/grievances (Feminism, or Black Liberation, Gay Rights, etc) is "empirically untenable". To me it depends entirely on the circumstances that the advocates of a particular cause find themselves in.
I think it's fair to say that the suffragettes who fought for the right for women to vote early in the twentieth century did not have "egalitarian" support. They had no option but to go it alone & fight immense establishment opposition to achieve their perfectly reasonable goal.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/87/Feminist_Suffrage_Parade_in_New_York_City%2C_1912.jpeg/300px-Feminist_Suffrage_Parade_in_New_York_City%2C_1912.jpeg

And I think it's also fair to say that "women's concerns" were not exactly high on any egalitarian agenda during the second wave (1960s/70s) of the feminist movement. And that issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, sexual harassment and sexual violence, etc would not have been addressed if women had not campaigned so successfully for them.

I do understand the appeal of the notion that some sort of enlightened egalitarian force will somehow automatically address concerns or grievances identified by any particular group, whether they be gays or feminists or whatever, but historically that is not how change has come about. It has been activism that has brought the legitimate concerns of such groups, most often identified & initiated by the groups themselves, into public focus & into the political arena.
Thomas
 
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Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 06:57 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
While MLK did not advocate "blackism", other African American leaders certainly did, notably Malcolm X, who advocated "black power", as opposed to Kings's integration focus.

And to what result? Did Malcom X get more done than Martin Luther King did? Remember, Sozobe's point was that specialized ideologies like Black Power and feminism are better at getting things done. If she is right, specialized Black-Power people like Malcom X shouldn't just have gotten something done for Blacks. They should have gotten more done than general egalitarians like Martin Luther King. I don't see that when I look at the empirical record. You?

MsOlga wrote:
So I disagree with your assessment that a separate movement for specific concerns/grievances (Feminism, or Black Liberation, Gay Rights, etc) is "empirically untenable".

It's a good thing, then, that this wasn't my assessment. Please re-read my post, and the point of Sozobe's to which I responded in it.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:19 pm
@Thomas,
I did reread those quotes.

It really depends on how you define “getting things done”.
I don’t believe that either MLK’s “dream” or the demands of “black power” advocates were fully realized (obviously) . (nor have all the objectives of the feminist movement have been fully realized, for that matter. )

My argument was that both MLK & Malcolm X (& others) contributed to the “raising of consciousness” about the injustices that African Americans had been living with .... that both played their part in bringing the injustices to into the public arena, inspiring those who had endured those injustices to act to end them. That it was not MLK’s leadership alone which contributed to injustices being addressed & acted on. I was not arguing the merits of one approach over the other. I was saying they co-existed & both were influential.

In terms of “getting things done”: from my own observations & also experience, very little is likely to occur to address perceived injustices until those suffering the injustices themselves become organized to make their concerns known in the first place. And have the commitment to pursue their objectives, sometimes for years if necessary.
Whether it be gays suffering discrimination/s, women who were/are being paid less for their work than men, or racial inequality, to name just a few examples.
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