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What is Feminism?

feminism1

Here’s a thread to continue the discussion about feminism that is going on in the last thread. I can’t even comment on it anymore–there are almost 400 comments, and it doesn’t work for me.

What, in your opinion is feminism? And what is a feminist? Here are some basic definitions and a few questions to ponder.

Wikipedia:

Feminism is the belief in the right of women to have political, social, and economic equality with men. It is a discourse that involves various movements, theories, and philosophies which are concerned with the issue of gender difference, advocate equality for women, and campaign for women’s rights and interests.

Dictionary.com

1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
3. feminine character.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy:

The term ‘feminism’ has many different uses and its meanings are often contested. For example, some writers use the term ‘feminism’ to refer to a historically specific political movement in the US and Europe; other writers use it to refer to the belief that there are injustices against women, though there is no consensus on the exact list of these injustices. Although the term “feminism” has a history in English linked with women’s activism from the late 19th century to the present, it is useful to distinguish feminist ideas or beliefs from feminist political movements, for even in periods where there has been no significant political activism around women’s subordination, individuals have been concerned with and theorized about justice for women. So, for example, it makes sense to ask whether Plato was a feminist, given his view that women should be trained to rule (Republic, Book V), even though he was an exception in his historical context. (See e.g., Tuana 1994)

Questions:

1. Are you a feminist if you attack other feminists and say they aren’t ideologically pure enough?

2. Are you a feminist if you support a politician who can empirically be demonstrated to be a misogynist?

3. Are you a feminist if you claim a demonstrably misogynistic man is a feminist?

4. Are you a feminist if you attack and lie about female politicians who don’t share your particular ideology?

5. If you are a feminist, is it reasonable to attack and tear down men who support equal rights for women simply because they don’t agree with your notion of feminist ideology?

6. Can you be a feminist and still support a demonstrably misogynistic man over a demonstrably feminist woman for high political office?

Please discuss.

UPDATE: Another way of expressing what the quote at the top of this post says: “A feminist is a woman who doesn’t want to be treated like sh&t.” — quoted by Afrocity on The View from Under The Bus

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262 Responses

  1. Isn’t it interesting that there is no corresponding word to describe the masculine gender; e.g. masculist?

  2. OK, so I guess I’m stuck discussing this with myself. Here’s something I posted down below in response another commenter.

    Furthermore, it seems to me that these so-called “feminists” should stop wasting their time attacking Myiq and TC and start focusing on how the government is trying to take our rights away. I’ve never understood why every time a man tries to stand up for women’s rights, suddenly there is a swarm of women demanding perfect ideological purity from him–with several different types of ideology represented. It’s a no-win situation for all concerned.

    It’s about time some “feminists” recognized that males too are brainwashed and victimized by the system. Read some evolutional psychology, for heaven’s sake. Males are subject to a hierarchical system too. You can’t look at women’s situation separately from the class system. These women at RL are just stroking their own egos, IMHO.

  3. I will tackle # 5.

    When a man claims he supports equal rights for women, he should atleast have a understanding of feminist theory.

    Anyone can say they support equal rights for women.

    When sexist remarks and the antithesis of feminist theory is used to tout ones feminism, I do not believe one can claim he is a feminist.

  4. Chatblu,

    The orgininal use of the word “feminist” was to describe qualities of females. It wasn’t until the “first wave” that it began to change to its present meeting. You really don’t need a word to describe the belief in equal rights for men. They are the dominant group. It’s just that some men are more dominant than others–rich and powerful men encourage the squabbles among different societal groups–including men and women.

  5. A commenter down below accused me of just defending my “friend,” myiq2xu. Hardly. The views I expressed are long-time opinions of mine and I have expressed them at TC before.

  6. Taggles,

    Which feminist theory? There are a myriad of them. This thread is not about myiq2xu or his previous posts. It is a theoretical thread about what feminism is and whether it is useful to excude certain kinds of people from participating.

  7. “understanding of feminist theory”

    I have no intention of ever studying this.

  8. “I’ve never understood why every time a man tries to stand up for women’s right, suddenly there is a swarm of women demanding perfect ideological purity from him”

    Would that be Feminazism?

    I have not visited Violet Sox’s site to see all the bashing, but I do think it’s funny that they’ve all come together to attack myiq and TC. I mean, we are the enemy? Seriously?

  9. BTW, I don’t have a very deep knowledge of feminist theory, whatever that is. I’ve read a lot of feminist writers, and I took a course on “psychology of women” once. Beyond that, I haven’t studied feminist theory. Does that mean I can’t be a feminist?

  10. bb, i was not speaking of myiq. I am speaking in general.

    If feminist theory and the patriarchy is not understood then, NO the man claiming to support equal rights for women is not a feminist.

    They may give a vote, but they are not really understanding the struggle, and in fact are still perpetuating sexism.

  11. Am I less than a feminist if I question another woman’s choice to be photographed, appearing in the throes of orgasm, for the sake of selling a handbag thus inviting comments that I am not one based on the premise that the woman is displaying her ” liberation” and not feeding into the patriarchy?

    Am I less of a feminist if I suggest that demanding respect while allowing oneself to be “objectified” is less the fault of the woman who should be viewed as more of a “victim” than a collarborator?

    Am I less of a feminist if I am having difficulty separating soft porn for “art”?

    Thus the dilemma of identification. I have no idea.

  12. I think the answer to number 3 is “no”, and that’s part of our problem in attempting to re-energize the women’s movement. There are so many women who resort to “spousal abuse” thinking mode when it comes to their own rights. Too many women are willing to excuse and rationalize bad behavior, because, if they admit the bad behavior–whether by a man or by another woman–then they need to do something proactive about it if they want that behavior to change.

  13. It’s the patriarchy Pat. the way women have been objectified. It is not the women who are responsible for it.

    It has been drilled into women’s heads for centuries if not milleniums.

    The issue is the patriarchy and male dominance and participation and reactions to it.

  14. I like the definition I heard on Puma radio the other day: feminists are just women who don’t like to be treated like shit.

    That said :

    A) Feminism is a MAJORITY movement. Women are a majority in this country and on this planet, and there is a truly valid argument in wanting parity representation. Other countries insist on it in their Congress and in the gouvernement cabinet.

    To start with I have decided to drive that Majority point every time I am told that women are a minority

  15. taggles,

    I don’t fully understand the patriarchy. Can you truly claim that you do? And there truly are many different feminist theories. I certainly agree with you that sexist remarks aren’t feminist. On the other hand, if someone makes what someone perceives to be a sexist remark, does that mean they are forever banned from advocating for women’s rights or discussing what feminism is? I think dialogue is very important in developing any social or political theory.

    I will use myiq as an example, based on what someone attacked him over. I personally did not find sexist the cartoon that myiq posted long ago of a witch crashing into a tree with a label that it was his ex-wife. In the context of that particular post, I found it funny. I don’t think it’s inherently sexist to make jokes about the “war between the sexes,” any more than it is sexist for women to speak of male attitudes in a general way without constantly qualifying that they don’t mean it for *all* men.

  16. If feminist theory and the patriarchy is not understood then, NO the man claiming to support equal rights for women is not a feminist.

    Which feminist theory? The separatist theory that says women shouldn’t ever be with men?

    What if we understand the concepts but don’t agree with them, even though we believe in equality for women?

  17. YAAAY I can post .. my browser kept crashing , and I could not even read that sex fantasy thread.
    And I am hearbroken over that 😉 My imagination is seriously working overtime 🙂
    …but we are moving to FEMINISM
    I am a hard core radical , women supporting, patriachy overturning feminist, I never stopped calling myself that ; even during the backlash and while it was unpopular , because I know history and herstory moves in cycles ..
    and that means that I support equal importance , equal rights, and equal pay while celebrating differences in people .

    May I recommend a movie ?? Has anyone seen THE DUCHESS with Keira Knightley, and Ralph Fiennes ?? I thought I was going to see a nice fluffy period piece love story with pretty costumes ….

    no spoilers here,,, just see it ……. i would love to hear what the conflucians think of it ..

    btw
    GODDESS RADIO is on til 1 PM EST celebrating and supporting the WOMEN of independent music
    click this link to listen

    http://audio.cygnusradio.com:8000/cyg1_hi.m3u

    or copy paste it into your player where it says play URL

  18. BB – this is a GREAT THREAD!!!!!!!!!!!

    OK, here goes:

    Questions:

    1. Are you a feminist if you attack other feminists and say they aren’t ideologically pure enough?

    This sucks because I really feel the fundamental law of feminism is like Afrocity said on The View Under the Bus: “Feminists are women who don’t want to be treated like shit.”

    And if women treat each other like shit then it defeats the purpose.

    2. Are you a feminist if you support a politician who can empirically be demonstrated to be a misogynist?

    Well, no. That’s participating in the patriarchy. It’s defeating the purpose. How can yousupport someone that treats women like shit – and then turn around and demand NOT to be treated like shit.

    It’s like serving two masters.

    3. Are you a feminist if you claim a demonstrably misogynistic man is a feminist?

    That’s kind of like question 2, and again – I repeat, you can’t serve two masters. Either you are a Feminist or not.

    4. Are you a feminist if you attack and lie about female politicians who don’t share your particular ideology?

    This is where we fuck up always. I feel that we need to accept that there are many grades of female power, some we will not agree with.

    If we stick to the “Feminists are women who don’t want to be treated like shit” philosophy, then less of this will happen. It’s the principle of “agreeing to disagree”

    What I do know is that the more women we can put into office, no matter the party, women will obtain more equality across the social spectrum in this country.

    5. If you are a feminist, is it reasonable to attack and tear down men who support equal rights for women simply because they don’t agree with your notion of feminist ideology?

    This is a matter of communication styles. Like MYIQ, who is sarcastic to the nines and very witty. Do other feminists feel it’s his role to write about feminism? No, because he’s a man.

    Personally I know that he is a true supporter of women’s rights – otherwise he wouldn’t even be on the Confluence.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable. To carry one “brand” of feminism is counterproductive. if we just take to the base core principle of “Feminists are women who don’t like being treated like shit” then maybe we can reach out and accomplish more.

    6. Can you be a feminist and still support a demonstrably misogynistic man over a demonstrably feminist woman for high political office?

    Absolutely not. This is the classic “participating in the partriarchy.”

    Please discuss.

  19. You will see how this whole entire conversation has turned women against women.

    That is what is really sad about this.

    We can attack a woman for taking off her clothes or posing half naked or totally naked.

    There are differences of course, but the differences turn into judgements, which is what the patriarchy thrives on.

    Now, back to myiq, the problem is that he used her to show that Groper was a sexist and that those are the types of women he attracts.

    and I did find the cartoon sexist. We fill the board with sexist examples everysingle day and he posts his ex wife as the witch. there is a disconnect there.

  20. FrenchNail, my personal preference would be to refine your first statement by saying that feminists are individuals who don’t want to see women treated without respect simply because they are women.

  21. the irony of feminism is that a true feminist wants to be judged by her merit, not her gender.

  22. Taggles,

    My life was completely changed by recovering from substance abuse, so that colors my thinking on this. If someone is sick and they don’t understand that drinking and drugs are hurting the people around them and ruining their own lives, then they can be seen in a sense as victims of alcoholism or drug addiction. Once a person realizes their behavior is an addition that is hurting him or herself and others, he/she has a responsibility to work toward changing that behavior.

    In the same way, I think that if a woman understands that women are treated equally, and if she believes in equal rights for women, and she has an inkling of the ways our society brainwashes women, she then has a responsibility not to act in ways that perpetuate the victimization of women. A women who is in a powerful position in society with an excellent post-graduate education should not perpetuate the objectivization of women’s bodies for her own gratification and advancement. That, to me includes posing for maturbatory magazines and becoming romantically involved with sexist, woman-hating men. I do not absolve that woman. She isn’t sick, she is choosing to enage in sick behavior that she knows at some level is a mistake.

  23. Incidentally, I think the myiq’s post which launched a thousand responses would have been less controversial if the headline had been different. “Is this what a feminist looks like?” for example. But I think it’s sad that for the sake of political correctness we can no longer discuss certain topics. I don’t think political correctness is feminist.

  24. Perhaps it is too simplistic on my part to suggest that the way to end the role of the patriarchy is to refuse to participate. The easiest way to stop the headache pain is to cease banging one’s head on the wall.

    Suggesting that women who agree to the role assigned by the partriarchy are almost always victims is ridiculous. There are many other motives involved. When girls as young as 12 and 13 think that it is a “cool” idea to post photos of themselves topless to pages on Facebook and Myspace then somehow we have failed in our duties to define the role of women in our society.

    These kids are buying into the notion that what they see blaring at them from pages of magazines and tv portrayals is acceptable then we are fast losing the battle.

    “Liberation” is not sinking into the lowest common denominator but an adherence to the continuation of the partriarchal system we seem to abhor. Calling them out on this behavior is a start. It is only through the efforts of women that this will change.

    But describing it as victimization only trivializes the responsibility that is inherent in our choices. It is up to us to take back the reins of what constitutes feminism and not allow it to be defined by the patriarchy.

  25. Taggles,

    The attacks on the female posters and commenters at TC have also been women against women.

  26. BB – I got my blockquotes mixed up –

  27. BB, men and women are alcoholics and it is something one can personally decide to change.

    Women are born women. We have no choice. We are women, the patriarchy exists and we are it’s victims.

  28. Taggles,

    I think it would be really helpful if you would write a post about feminist theory. I’d really like to know what particular feminist theory you support. And if you could recommend specific writers for people to read, that would be useful too.

  29. Yes BB, that is exactly the point, it is women against women.

  30. BB, interesting questions and courageous to even ask them.

    I’d add this to your list of questions, can anyone ever be a good enought feminist in the same way as can you ever be a good enough Christian, a good enough Catholic, a good enough Democrat, a good enough spouse, a good enough…?

    It just seems to me if we keep “subjectifying” any belief system with a “check the box” mentality we end up with intellectual purity that is a mile wide and three inches deep. In any human endeavor if we set up a never ending litany of so many hoops through which to jump, everyone is bound to lapse at some point.

    One other thing and I’ll go back to lurking, I can’t wait until there is a new “human” 2.0 download where anger is not the default emotion.

  31. It’s the patriarchy, not the individual women.

    that doesn’t mean to point out how the behavior may not be helpful to feminism.

    The problem enters when women focus on women as the problem and leave the patriarchy out of it.

    That is where we are screwed every single time.

  32. Now, back to myiq, the problem is that he used her to show that Groper was a sexist and that those are the types of women he attracts.

    No, that wasn’t what I used her for, and I have explained that repeatedly.

  33. taggles –It is about women finding that common consciousness

  34. Is it really women against women or is it more that women are calling out those who are eager, willing, and in full support of keeping the patriarchal philosophy intact by their very actions?

    To just sit by and idly allow these women a free pass by their behavior is not anti feminist. You cannot correct the image by merely remaining mute for the sake of the “sisterhood”. This merely firms up the notion that this is acceptable when it really is not.

    The concept of criticism in this form is not anti feminism at all. In order to fix a problem one must first identify what it is.

  35. Taggles,

    You and I disagree about alcholism then. I have seen the evidence for genetic transmission of alcoholism. I know from my own experience that I never had a choice about being an alcoholic. My genetic heritage left me missing an important enzyme that breaks down alchohol in the blood. Changing the behavior is also extremely difficult. Most estimates say that a maximum of 1/3 of the alcholics who try to recover are successful. Recovery requires more than giving up the drug. It requires a complete transformation of physical, mental, and spiritual character of the person.

    I speak from long experience. I have been sober since 1982, and I am a completely different person than I once was.

    In my opinion, both men and women are hurt by gender inequality. Both men and women have to have their consciousnesses raised. I have no problem with you characterizing whomever you want to as “not a feminist.” But it is still a matter of reasonable disagreement, even among women. If I disagree with you, am I suddenly not a feminist?

  36. Quite frankly I think the label “feminist” is divisive in and of itself because those who are under its umbrella cannot agree on what it means.

    I say toss the label and fight for equality of opportunity and choice in all aspects of society.

  37. Here we all are debating back and forth …in the meantime Teh Precious is getting away with being a Republican in Dem clothing, no one is calling him on it (except TC) …

    I agree wholeheartedly with you BB — they need to stop this and pay attention to who really is doing some harm. Those of us who have been around here for that last year KNOW who MyIQ is and what he stands for and SUPPORT him.

    I am already tired of their tempest in a teapot … jeesh this is why we always seem to move 5 steps backward for three ahead.

    I am so sick of the fem on fem violence we’ve witnessed this past year I can’t even think straight. All for that bloviating son of reagan…..arrggghhh.

  38. Pat,

    If there was never a nude picture ever to be published again, sexism and misogyny would still exist.

    Women are acting out forced roles. Yes there should be education about it, but they are not the enemy.,

  39. To just sit by and idly allow these women a free pass by their behavior is not anti feminist. You cannot correct the image by merely remaining mute for the sake of the “sisterhood”. This merely firms up the notion that this is acceptable when it really is not.

    That was exactly the point of my second controversial post.

  40. Angie, Sherri and MB have a show

  41. Taggles, you raise some really interesting points. Reading through the back-and-forth, I can’t help but be reminded of how often we used to say, during the primaries, that if a misogynistic comment were turned around, and, instead, became a r*cial comment, that the populace wouldn’t have stood for it. So I guess I see many of the same struggles in the women’s movement and the civil rights movement. For example, for those AA’s who felt that Obama wasn’t going to do anything to address their needs, but who voted for him anyway because of his skin color, were they sell-outs? I don’t have the answer, but I bring it up just to show how complex the questions really are. After all, women were considered just property at one point, too.

  42. I am not suggesting that they are the enemy, far from it. But I am equating it almost the way Boston Boomer has described. If the behavior is harmful and one knowingly continues to feed into it, then it will continue as long as it appears acceptable.

    Consider if all women agreed to that concept. The door is not open to all women who wish to display themselves in this fashion. An overweight, less attractive face would be laughed out of the picture. Ridicule would abound. And who makes the decision of what is attractive and what is not? The patriarchy overall.

    It is the duty of women to construct themselves and as long as they are willing to play by the rules of the male concepts then whatever constitutes women today will be lost in the folds of arbitrary deceit.

  43. Blaming the patriarchy for everything very conveniently lets all women off the hook. Women have brains and make their own choices, yes? The choices may not be fabulous, but they are still choices. Why should they not be held accountable for their decisions? Because the patriarchy made them do it? Not holding women accountable for their bad choices is not feminist because it presupposes that women are weak and didn’t have the strength to resist.

  44. No, BB, what I said was men who say they support equal rights, but still use sexist language and patriarchal thinking are NOT feminists.

  45. Taggles: Now, back to myiq, the problem is that he used her to show that Groper was a sexist and that those are the types of women he attracts.

    I disagree. I thought the post was about the kind of women that Groper is attracted to. But I can’t get inside myiq’s head and see what he was thinking about at the time. The headline, “Why am I not surprised?” led me to think that. I thought he was saying that Groper treats women as objects and so he got romantically involved with a woman who presented herself as an object.

  46. Exactly, bb. Which feminist theory? Just because I don’t subscribe to one person’s brand of feminism doesn’t mean I’m not a feminist. Many, if not all, women come to their personal brand of feminism through life experience. As do men. And since being raised a male in America is a completely different experience than being raised a female, a man’s concept of feminism will be different. And to many women it will feel alien, or incomplete.

    As I said on Dr. Socks’ blog, we’re going to need all the help we can get. Turning away men or conservative women, like Sarah Palin, is foolish and will only delay real progress.

  47. The problem DYB with not holding one group accountable for the oppression of another group and blaming members of the oppressed group is backward thinking.

  48. Taggles,

    Maybe I’m missing your point. Could you please give an example of the sexist language you are referring to? I haven’t been her that much lately and may have missed something.

  49. Understanding the patriarchy and how it pervasive and subversive it is. How it thrives on women blaming women, instead of men.

    How it will continue to live on and on and on until women put the focus like a laser beam on the real problem, the patriarchy.

  50. I think .. there is a difference between an adult woman who fully celebrates her body and her sexuality …and yes USES that as a part of her power .. and the exploitation of female children and women who are exploited by society and the patriarchy .
    4. Are you a feminist if you attack and lie about female politicians who don’t share your particular ideology?

    These people are sadly misled … and missing the point and require serious education regarding women in the world and feminism in general . They do not GET IT !

    I think we are sorting this out as women and feminists , and as a society and on a global basis we have not reached the definitions we need , but as we move forward and women make choices , there will be dialogue , somtimes vituperative … but I have some empathy for the vituperators , because they are advancing the dialogue , and anything that advances the dialogue is helping 🙂 We have SO VERY FAR to go …

  51. i will email you off line if that is what you would like BB. but I have to take off for a bit. so it will be later.

  52. I would like to believe that I am a thinking person but I don’t consider myself anti feminist if I don’t embrace Sarah Palin and her views. I prefer to believe that my resistance is based more on what she espouses, which goes against my beliefs, than that I am a “sell out” to feminism because I do not support her.

    I would hope that it has nothing to do with my lack of feminist creed than it does my overall impression of what she brings to the table as a politician and possible leader.

    We were branded as r*cists because we did not support Obama when it became apparent that the resistance was based on his inexperience and unqualified background.

    I am in favor of more women serving in congress but I refuse to walk blindly into the polls and cast a ballot for someone based solely on gender. If this makes me less of a feminist than I will have to live with it but I prefer my own brand of principles to guide me rather than adhering to the call of overall “sisterhood”. But that’s just me.

  53. I will leave with this. The women’s movement must be about women and equality for women, NOTHING else.

    This is all about division.

    People see it so clearly when they speak of conservative women and like minded men, but don’t think of the divisiveness when they make their judgment on women who pose nude or make liberal choices.

    It’s all one in the same!!!!!!!

  54. Sorry taggles, but your thinking can be extended to blacks hating all whites for slavery and r@acial injustices. So on and so forth. I robbed that bank, and shot a clerk in the process, because my father wasn’t around and my mom worked 5 jobs and I lived in a bad neighborhood. Nothing is ever anybody’s fault, except white men. I didn’t get enough hugs as a child! I didn’t get that toy car I wanted! Somebody picked on me in school! Boohoo, cry me a river. Yes, sometimes people do stupid things – and blaming everyone else for their individual choices is nonsense. Bloody Mary was just a victim of circumstance! Catherine The Great was just trying to stay alive! Hitler wasn’t accepted into art school! I call it persecution mania. If a person does something stupid, own it.

  55. it’s the patriarchy, they got us coming and going.

  56. Call me stupid, but I am unable how one can see having it both ways.

  57. I strongly agree with Pat’s comment @ 11:03. We have to stop participating in the patriarchy. And one way to get women to stop doing that is peer pressure. If you just give a free pass to any woman for any behavior because she is a “victim of patriarchy,” then nothing will ever change.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t important to analyze how the patriarchy works and to recognize that woman have complicated motives for their behavior–some of which may be influenced by patriarchal thinking and some of which may be influence by feminist thinking. Human beings are complicated and have conflicting motivations.

  58. I thought the post was about the kind of women that Groper is attracted to.

    The original story that I based my post on, linked to and obtained the pictures from did not mention Ms. Campoverde’s education at USC and Harvard.

    It only stated that she was a former underwear model, wannabe actress and reality dating show contestant, and that she was now an aide at the WH and was rumeored to be dating Favreau.

    The title of my post (“Why Am I Not Surprised”) referred to the fact that out of the few women hired by the Obama administration one of them is an underwear model.

    I was saying “I’m not surprised because that’s the kind of thing sexists do”

  59. Very relevant post, bb.

    Some other relevant questions this raises:

    What constitutes an attack? When does a political
    argument cross the line into attack? Is this bad?

    Remember, the 70’s concept: the personal is political.
    So, emotional reactions. attacks, etc. how we treat
    one another is all political, too, as well as important in
    the human realm. (women’s rights and human rights).

    I’m dropping in and out since I am also working, on my
    formerly only men’s business, and that I probably was
    dumb enough to take on out of some rebellion (show I
    could do it),

    Little story: When I first started buying real estate(early
    80’s) on my own (sans husband) I took a male friend with me.
    He knew nothing re real estate, didn’t have a pot to p*ss in at
    the time. But real estate agent would talk only to him about
    the properties’ issues, ignored me even though he knew
    I was the buyer.
    In late 90’s, when I got back into the business, I thought
    those days were long past.
    I was wrong. Building inspectors now talk only to my male
    workers, not only about technical stuff, but also about
    costs and other things they know nothing about.
    Progress. Hardly.

  60. a movement must be built with the largest coalition, but it won’t happen because everyone must be the judge.

    They can only see their own point of view and their own struggles or non struggles.

  61. The dog will continue to beg at the table as long as someone is willing to feed him the scraps.

  62. As I commented on Dr. Socks’ blog, as far as I’m concerned the outfit the woman was wearing is the American version of the burqa. I do not for a minute believe she is celebrating her body or her sexuality. She is celebrating a constrictive and false patriarchal device. This is not an attack on the young woman. I am merely pointing out the tether we’re being lead around with.

    Great post, bb, wish I could stick around longer but I have to head out for an appointment. Good day to all!

  63. Taggles,

    I have nothing against women who pose nude and I don’t think most of us here do. We may have opinions and judgements about that particular behavior, but that doesn’t mean we reject the woman’s right to do exactly what she wants to do. That is part of women’s rights–free choice. There is also a contextual analysis about sex workers that is important. Some women become sex workers because they are destitute. Some women are forced into sex slavery.

    A middle-class, educated woman with many options for work who chooses to become a sex worker has more complex motivations. It may be based on childhood experiences that taught her she was most valuable as a sex object. It may be that she simply wants money or fame and this is her way of getting it. Either way, it’s her right. But if I believe she is hurting other women by her choice, I have a right to say so. Feminism is about being *equal,* not about being an object for male gratification. But I don’t hate a woman who does that or reject her right to think of herself as “feminist.’

  64. gxm17:

    as far as I’m concerned the outfit the woman was wearing is the American version of the burqa. I do not for a minute believe she is celebrating her body or her sexuality. She is celebrating a constrictive and false patriarchal device. This is not an attack on the young woman. I am merely pointing out the tether we’re being lead around with.

    That is exactly what I meant!

  65. PatJ, I tend to agree with your thinking. I certainly didn’t embrace much of Palin’s philosophy, but I did find many things to admire in her as a person and as a politician. She was as imperfect as most politicians are, but it seemed to me that too many were attacking her on the basis of her sex and her less-than-patrician background. To me, that’s wrong.

    I admit that when I don’t know much about two candidates running for office, but one is a woman, I will probably vote for the woman just because I know that she probably had to be better than most just to be able to compete. Just voting on gender is far from ideal, but I have to say I was impressed that every female Republican Senator broke with the party on Lily Ledbetter and voted for approval. Perhaps just having more women representatives will allow us to find our commonality rather than looking just at the differences.

  66. bb> What if Ann Coulter was running for office. Would you vote for her?

  67. That is how I interpreted the post, myiq. Furthermore it was posted in the middle of the night when we tend to get a little punchy around here. I don’t think it was intended to be an overarching statement on the meaning of feminism.

  68. DYB,

    Of course I wouldn’t vote for Ann Coulter! But I’m not going to attack her *because* she is a woman. That is what happened to Hillary and Sarah P.

  69. Help. I’m in moderation. Can’t figure out why.

  70. Taggles,

    Please do e-mail me. But I think it would really help this discussion to provide some examples of the feminist theoretical viewpoint you are arguing. Then we would have something to sink our teeth into.

  71. What about people like Robin Morgan who declared Sarah Palin a dumb anti-feminist? Why did Morgan turn on Palin? Is Morgan nothing but a tool of the patriarchy? (Or is she a victim of the patriarchy because she couldn’t have come to that conclusion on her own.)

  72. I am by no means suggesting that we return to the days of Puritanism. My point is that women who agree to be objectified then stomp their feet and demand to be treated with “respect” are kidding themselves.

    It is much like kicking the crap out of the family pet then demand that he respects you in the process.

    And let’s not confuse exhibitionism with feminism. This is where world’s collide.

  73. bb> I was thinking of Pat’s post where she said she couldn’t vote for Palin because she disagrees with her on too many issues. This makes perfect sense to me. But some (I’m not saying you) would argue that we must vote as many women into office as we can, regardless of their politics. Pat doesn’t support Palin because of Palin’s politics. Her response is very different from, for example, Robin Morgan’s – who also doesn’t support Palin because of her politics, but whose behavior towards Palin is quite different.

  74. But when Ann Coulter acts like an ass and utters outrageous comments are we to just sit back in silence as this may be interpreted as anti feminist since she is female?

    I don’t think so. When people act like morons they should receive the same backlash their comments invite. If a female politician advances theories that are the direct opposite of what we believe should we just acquiesce in the face of feminism?

    We can stay away from personal comments regarding looks and dress but to silently sit by again because of “sisterhood” does us more harm than good.

  75. DYB,

    Those are two different issues. I do think we have to vote as many women of any stripe into office as we can. But Ann Coulter is just a bridge too far for me. I would certainly consider voting for a Republican woman over a Democratic man though.

  76. Questions #3 and 4 are silly and should be stricken from this debate. Their answers are obvious: anyone who claims a “demonstrably misogynistic man” is a feminist is not a feminist. In my mind it goes without saying.

    Similarly anyone who “attacks and lies” loses all credibility regarding whatever ideology, feminism or otherwise, that they’re advocating for. So the answers to both those questions are suggested in the questions themselves rendering the questions meaningless.

    Questions 1,2, 5 and 6 are more tricky. I say yes to question 1. Different people have different definitions of feminism. Some may find others’ definition weak and thereby subject them to attack. I don’t have a problem with that. In every ideology there will be strains and tensions. Feminism is no different.

    I also say yes to #2. In politics as in life, compromises have to be made. It may be possible, depending on the particular circumstances that a politician who can “empirically be demonstrated to be a misogynist” gets your support because of other items on the agenda that you want enacted that he will support, so you have to overlook his misogyny. It’s called being politically an adult and understanding that you win some and you lose some. But the fight goes on.

    Question 5: I think it is only “sometimes” reasonable to attack and almost “never” reasonable to tear down. Attacking and tearing down only begets ruin and very rarely, solutions.

    Question 6 is the same as question 2 except from how the opposition is a female, so my answer is the same as for question 2.

    I think that the future and furtherance of feminism requires us to have discussions that don’t focus only on the political arena or populare culture. We have to also refrain from personalizing what, from many, is not personal. I know that for many people it is personal. I get that. I’m sure for Lilly Ledbetter not getting paid the same as the guy next to her for 20 years was extremely personal.

    However, we must understand that anti-feminism is not about not liking you or me or any other woman. it is about protecting a system that has been in place for a millenium. A system that has worked for the powers that be and one that they will not easily let it be dismantled.

  77. speaktruth> I think your point is very valuable. Criticizing is not the same as attacking. We saw this happen during the primaries and the general election where criticizing Obama was equated to attacking him. If anyone criticizes a woman for something she did – why is this seen as an attack? Why would anyone equate women having a disagreement with “women turning on each other?” I think Robin Morgan attacked Sarah Palin. I think Pat criticized her. (Sorry Pat, I keep talking about you as if you were not in the room!)

  78. As for Robin Morgan, Erica Jong, and Gloria Steinum and others like them who attacked Palin, they are hypocrites. But these are the same people who ignored black women and working class women in the movement. That doesn’t mean they aren’t feminists, it means they are flawed human beings. All of us are.

  79. I have another question ?? How do you differentiate ..
    being objectified ….and celebrating your very feminine and powerful sexuality ?? Isn’t that a point of conflict of definitions ??

  80. bb, you posted my favorite def. of sexism – the radical notion that women are people.

    I also like:

    “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.”
    — Rebecca West, 1913

    I consider myself a feminist, however, that doesn’t mean that I’m never sexist. To me it means that I don’t want to be sexist, and that I will try to change my attitudes and actions should I determine that they are sexist. Just like r@cism. I am committed to challenging whatever r@cist attitudes I harbor.

  81. myiq at 11:33 re point of post being that one of few women
    being hired by Obama admin is an underwear mode:

    That’s the point that was missed by people attacking you.
    And it was a strong, important and feminist point.
    I had to read your whole post again to be clear on that.

    Other issues that came up later were questionable to me
    (your black and white view on feminist view on pornography).
    BTW, I don’t think there’s agreement on what
    constitutes porn.
    It was still great post, though, because it raises all these
    issues and ideas.

  82. I disagree with Palin because of her policies and positions. That is not an attack but some will see it as such. I give her credit for going out there and making her case even though her views are not mine.

    But I trust my decision in the end to be based on more than gender, ethnicity, party label. We now have an inexperienced president based on the color of his skin and some emotional backlash carried over into the process.

    Perhaps the truth is that I am not able to fully articulate my point and should just shut down my own comments which may not have been made clear.

    I will sit back and let those more educated make the case.

  83. swanspirit, on January 31st, 2009 at 11:58 am Said:

    How do you differentiate ..
    being objectified ….and celebrating your very feminine and powerful sexuality ?? Isn’t that a point of conflict of definitions ??
    ________________________________________
    YES
    *back to lurk/work*

  84. “How do you differentiate ..
    being objectified ….and celebrating your very feminine and powerful sexuality ”

    That’s a great question. Take for example Madonna: she’s built an empire by objectifying herself and celebrating (or claiming to?) her powerful sexuality. I mean, when someone says “Madonna” in the Western world we think of the singer, not the religious figure. That’s quite an accomplishment!

  85. (your black and white view on feminist view on pornography)

    Ask New Hampster what happened when he suggested that porn was no big deal, it’s just a guy thing.

  86. Oh, and Madonna, too, attacked Palin. I was there at Madison Square Garden when she called Palin a c*nt and said she wanted to kick Palin’s ass.

  87. Joanie,

    I disagree. I think Gloria Steinum *is* a feminist, even though she has made the terrible mistake of thinking BO supports women. She has done a great deal for the cause of women’s rights. But she needs to wake up and see her error. How can she do that if we absolve her for falling under influence of the patriarchy?

  88. Purplefinn,

    I so agree with you. We are all human, we all make mistakes and we are all affected by the consensus reality of patriarchy. That’s why I have a problem with all the ideological purity. And I really would like the “approved” ideology spelled out if we have to follow it.

  89. Yes, that is a conflict–one of so many conflicts that come up when feminism is discussed. That is why ideological purity is a silly demand. None of us even knows for sure what the “approved” ideology is.

  90. From 11:10

    If we keep “subjectifying” any belief system with a “check the box” mentality we end up with intellectual purity that is a mile wide and three inches deep. In any human endeavor if we set up a never ending litany of so many hoops through which to jump, everyone is bound to lapse at some point.

    It becomes a very long game when the goal posts are continually moved.

  91. It becomes a very long game when the goal posts are continually moved.

    It takes even longer when you can’t discuss anything because discussions are divisive.

  92. MyIq,

    I’m looking forward to “Human 2.0” where anger is not the default emotion.

  93. chatblu: isn’t that what we used to term a chauvinist?

  94. Prolix,

    So true. I believe this ideological purity and “my feminism is better than yours” attitude is one of the biggest problems that has haunted the movement.

  95. for as long as i can remember there’s been this debate on what is a real feminist?

    I remember sitting in my philosophy of feminism class as a sophomore at university in the mid 70s and being absolutely berated by my lesbian seperatist prof just because i was married–in her view, just hanging out with men, let alone marrying one was enough to disqualify me

    then later in the 80s, i had the same sort’ve argument pushed on me… i was not radical enough of a feminist to serve in NOW … and a lot of it had to do with my status as a married woman with children and little else …

    Now, I’m being told i’m clueless on feminist theory, when basically i spent all of the 70s and 80s in the trenches to change rape laws, pass the ERA, stop the assault on abortion rights and support civil rights for GLBTs. I just don’t get it … when I ran for office, i got labeled a radical feminist who marches in the streets! When I talked to purists, I’m a sell out … wtf?

  96. MYIQ: It takes even longer when you can’t discuss anything because discussions are divisive.
    _________________________________

    Case in point. My questions on the post were interpreted to have an underlying ideological meaning. For me, they were questions that have been asked here lately and on which I am not sure of the answers.

  97. Dakinikat,

    In the early ’60s, when I first woke up to feminism, all of these questions of ideological purity were irrelevant. I just wanted to be able to go to college, get a decent job, and control my own body.

  98. I had to fight to get my high school Chemistry and Physics teachers to take me seriously. And when I worked my ass off and did well in Physics, it was treated as “cute” and meaningless. My Chem. teacher was a little better.

  99. bb: I spent hours with Betty Friedan discussing all of this in the mid 80s. Got her and Kate Millet to sit down and discuss it to in bar, because I was frigging tired of all this you can’t be a feminist unless stuff … Betty had just published Second State and was getting all kinds of crap for the same reasons… it’s all too white, too middle class, too housewifey …

    and here it raises its ugly little head again …

  100. myiq at 12:07, ,,,,,,saying porn is just a guy thing.

    That’s partly my point, why only a guy thing?

    What about what turns women on? A lot of great
    literature was denounced as being porn – Joyce,
    Erica Jong, Shakespeare.
    It’s that puritanical remnant I object to.
    And again, the celebration of women’s sexuality,
    which the partiarchy, which is totally linked with all
    the churches, has prohibited, for various power, sexist
    reasons.
    What about those ancient matriarchal societies,
    based on the Goddess and sole power of women to
    create babies. At one time, men didn’t know they had
    anything with this act of creation. When they began to
    know they were needed for that was when they began
    patriarchy. Because of their physical strength.

    So religious prudishness is anti-feminist (“dirty
    female body, birth process, etc.).
    Gotta go – I don’t wanna.

  101. sorry, second stage … amazing how one little mistyped letter can change something so hugely

  102. Responding before I read the thread:

    1. Are you a feminist if you attack other feminists and say they aren’t ideologically pure enough?

    Yes, you still can be a feminist if you call in questions others. It’s called an open and honest discussion, not everyone is going to agree on everything.

    However and this is a big one. Just because you are called or labeled a feminist doesn’t mean that you are one, it doesn’t mean that your beliefs aren’t pure or ideologically correct, it means that your beliefs aren’t working for equality for woman. You can be friendly to woman’s rights but that doesn’t automatically make you a feminist.

    2. Are you a feminist if you support a politician who can empirically be demonstrated to be a misogynist?

    It depends — You can support anyone you want — and it doesn’t make you less of a Feminist. Everyone has a right to vote for who ever they believe will make the best president.

    (Let’s be honest — Bill Clinton was a womanizer, and still most likely still is. Doesn’t mean that he can’t stand up for woman’s rights. Obama although I think he has huge issues with women and I think him to be a misogynist, he has removed the gag rule, and he has signed the ledbetter bill– however he hasn’t advanced woman’s issues on his own or without political necessity — So, no, IMHO, he isn’t a feminist, although he could be said to be woman’s rights friendly. Doesn’t mean that I would vote for Obama or like Obama I can see where woman would vote for him over McCain/Palin [ please note – I don’t think Palin is a Feminist in any way shape or form] )

    3. Are you a feminist if you claim a demonstrably misogynistic man is a feminist?

    I have trouble with the whole Ms. Magazine thing. I think they are promoting women’s issues and they are a Feminist magazine, but I do think they were reaching, far reaching to call Obama a Feminist – He hasn’t proven that he has, because a Feminist would IMHO would have women’s Rights to be his #1 priority. There is a huge difference. As I said before Obama is woman’s right friendly but IMHO a Feminist can’t call a woman Sweetie, or half the other things that he did during the election.

    4. Are you a feminist if you attack and lie about female politicians who don’t share your particular ideology?

    No —

    5. If you are a feminist, is it reasonable to attack and tear down men who support equal rights for women simply because they don’t agree with your notion of feminist ideology?

    No

    6. Can you be a feminist and still support a demonstrably misogynistic man over a demonstrably feminist woman for high political office?

    I don’t have all the answers, and don’t pretend to.

    What we have to do is hold Obama to his promisses. He isn’t the god type of image that many of supporters pretended and wished for. He is a man and he makes mistakes, to some large ones.

    He isn’t a Feminist, but he is a woman’s right friendly(ish) President and he has made some stupid mistakes.

  103. “However, we must understand that anti-feminism is not about not liking you or me or any other woman. it is about protecting a system that has been in place for a millenium. A system that has worked for the powers that be and one that they will not easily let it be dismantled.”

    Joanie: that’s one powerful set of sentences

  104. Keep in mind that “racism” or “sexism” are negative concepts… and, as such, they are easier to define. Cuz it’s much easier to pinpoint what we do *not* like about a person’s behavior/ worldview… than what we do.

    Feminism, being a positive concept, is harder to deliniate. We mostly know what it is *not.* And we have a hard time saying what it is.

    Like the concept of the “good mother.” We don’t really know for sure what she looks like. But we sure know who is not her!

    All that said… here are some things that a Feminist is NOT:

    *A Feminist is NOT about tearing other women down for having a different take on the issues.

    *Feminism is not about belittling other women’s feeling because they are unlike your own.

    *Feminism is not about taking part in high-flauting ceremonial signings, while still paying your own female employees less.

    *Feminism is not groping cardboard breasts while laughing at our Secretary of State.

    If you want to know what Feminism is…. and as I said, it’s much harder to define… check out the “Real Feminism” series in my blog. I am up to case # five. And I’d appreciate your suggestions for others to highlight!

  105. Ceit,

    I love your answers!!

  106. Stray,

    I didn’t know you had a blog. I will check out your series.

  107. How do I define a Feminist?

    A person (man or woman) who’s number one political and social priority is the advancement of woman’s rights. They vote in people who have a track record in defending woman’s rights and fight the good fight. But that doesn’t mean that the politician is a Feminist.

    There is a huge difference between supporting women and being a Feminist.

    Obama has a long way — He still calls women Sweetie, he believes that women need the permission from a preacher — or lately a spiritual adviser.

  108. Thanks Bostonboomer —

  109. First — I think you guys are so great! I wish I could have replied below to Miq2xu’s hilarious posting.

    I’m pretty sure RD, Miq2xu and a few others grew up in the same times by what has been said.

    I think feminism for our gen was about work? Education and work. Maybe because “husbands” were not there?

    Seriously.

    Men were really different from their fathers in my gen.

    All of us (girls I knew) were like Cinderella waiting for the Prince charming as we started off…

    Our gen had SO MANY relationships. We all did.

    And, aren’t we all still looking for that in a way?

    I’ll use RD’s basement as an example of what might be the most romantic, sexiest gesture in the world.

    A man would have done the basement! In secret! and left a huge bunch of flowers or something he knew RD loved in there.

    She would have come home from the science job, exhausted — and gone downstairs to heft that paintbrush for the final trim job — but voila!

    Wow.

    At this point the feminist female would swoon!

    And it would be a wild love fest including sinks et al.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa!

    Oh well.

    ps: the curriculum for “feminist” studies has changed since the mid 80’s? Seriously. It is very radical coming out of colleges now. I did some research on this when i was writing in that group.

    There is a whole notion afoot of being beyond “gender” as we have known it?

    For those of us in the tail end boom, as women, we had to “fight” for equality on the job. Women who were perceived as sleeping their way up the corporate ladder were SHUNNED. Women who were tarty in dress were seen as traitors by the rest of us who wanted to be taken seriously in the workplace.

    Then, we have the classic madonna/whore myth as backdrop — a mythos in place handed down by our mothers?

    Good girls aren’t *SL*TS* right?

    We knew what that was back in high school and that still exists today as well. When RD’s daughter is a few years older she will collide with that. Girls who sleep around are branded, right away — it starts on the playground.

    Carol Gilligan has written much about all of this kind of thing from the psychological perspective.

    I think our gen had to figure things out for itself — given the times we grew up in. For instance — things like dates and proms were the most uncool thing you could have done in the 70’s in SoCal.

    Men in my friends lives in those years?

    We were all on our own at the parties. My best friend was “wild” I wasn’t. Her reputation was ruined and it is to this day — here.

    I really am trying to write a text that defines coming of age as we did — because I think few know?

    To be a girl means that men start coming at you — around age 15.
    And you have to figure out what to do. In my case that was “alone” — because my mother didn’t discuss anything like that — and my father was long gone by then. Divorce.

    Very few marriages lasted in this gen. It looks for love — and dreams of the Prince?

    At this age, the Prince has different qualities than he had at 19.

    What Arabella wrote above is really beautiful — about intimacy… I think we all hunted for that? Wanting that?

    But our gen carries a lot of wounds — tremendous and so both males and females are wary?

    In grad school we did one of the most fantastic interventions — as a group process for heteros.

    The men formed a small circle and the women made a circle around them. The question was — what did your father tell you about women? Each person spoke on that.

    Then the circle reversed and the women were surrounded by the men. The question was — what did your mother tell you about men?

    The information we processed as a group?

    Wow. We were all in tears after — but that was the nature of my school anyway — the training to be psychotherapists.

    Anyway?

    This gen had all the freedom in the world — we are so lucky in some ways —

    and so unlucky in others — but LOVE?

    We know what that feels like, however brief?

    Ah well.

    I read what Violet had to say, Miq2xu. I appreciate both of you, so. And your humor here is held in high regard!

    xxoo!

    hugs, to all — you are all very dear!

    ps: because of my own mother’s experiences with men I was told they were going to hurt me and be rotten. How many other women here heard that sort of thing?

    How many never got the start of the mythical family with the perfect mom and loving dad?

    We could ask men the same thing?

    What kind of role models did our gen have? In their parents?

    Work was about “supporting” oneself financially in case the man abandoned you, no?

  110. Was Anias Nin a feminist ??? speaking of sexual fantasies ………

  111. Thanks, BB – this is great and started one of the best discussions. I’m strongly in favor however of parity = true equality; rather than equity = negotiable.

    We currently have equity, which means everything is negotiable – if I’m doing the same work I want the same pay!

    ERA now!!!

  112. Goddess Radio answered so many of these questions for me . i support women artists NO MATTER their viewpoint as long as they had skills and the music was good…. or I just like it 🙂
    funny thing .. just for your information .. one of the ongoing difficulties I have had with women artists and bands that send me music, for airplay … is that “the band ” drowns out the female lead vox .. so when artists send me music for my consideration….. I cannot tell you how many times I have sent it back with the critique , can you up the FEMALE VOX????

  113. dakinikat, i was a member of NOW in 1968. i remember feminism as the belief that women have a fundamental right to choices…the same choices that men have. the right to choose to work inside or outside the home, the right to choose when and if to get married or have children, the right to choose any career they wish to attain.

    i still believe that.

  114. jerseyjill,

    I agree with you. And that is why it was so distressing this year to see the feminist leaders of the ’60s and ’70s disapproving of so many other women’s choices. This year if you didn’t support Obama, you were demonized. Supporting Obama became more important than supporting other women or even one’s own self interest for these women.

  115. I came out of the radical leftist movements of the ’60s, and I’m seeing some of the same divisions among feminists that plagued leftists then. There’s a huge gap between the theorizers and the doers. There’s nothing wrong with theorizing, mind you. But my concept of both socialism and feminism posits them as verbs–things you do, not things you talk incessantly or publish papers about.

    My maternal grandparents were feminists because they grew up in a traditionally matriarchal Native American culture, and my mother and aunts were feminists from the cradle because they learned women’s power from their parents. Not one of them could have cited you a word of feminist theory, or would have bothered reading about it. They simply spent their lives refusing to be “second” or “not as,” and they brought up their daughters not to accept being “second” or “lesser.”

    That’s feminism as action. I can’t recall any of those women even using the word “patriarchy.” The closest they came to theory was “You are as good as anyone else. You can do anything you want. Now get out there and do it.” They would have abhorred Ann Coulter, but they would have called her an idiot, possibly a traitor to other women, but never “Mann Coulter,” implying that she was transgendered or somehow not a “real” woman. And they certainly wouldn’t have posited her as someone’s victim.

    Which brings me back around to my point. I don’t think it’s necessary to espouse or even to be aware of feminist theory to be a feminist. If you believe women should never be limited in any way by being women, you’re a feminist. And if you go out there and act on that belief, you’re a feminist.

    So to answer the questions:

    1. Of course you can be a feminist if you attack other feminists on their ideology. You just won’t be a very effective or useful one.

    2. No way in hell.

    3. Possible; feminists can make mistakes, just like anyone else can. Unlikely, though, if the delusion persists.

    4. If you attack the woman as a woman, no. Case in point: I can abhor Sarah Palin’s wolf-slaughter and drilling policies and call her out on them as cruel and mistaken. I can do it, though, without calling her a c*nt, a bimbo, a MILF, a whore, hanging her in effigy or claiming that her youngest child is her daughter’s. (I was online the night that particular lie came oozing to the surface. I watched as it was invented and perpetuated on DU and DK by people who knew they were lying. The Democratic Party’s treatment of Hillary drove me out of the party; their treatment of Sarah Palin insures I’ll never go back.)

    5. No, but see above. I’m not much on the theory in any case.

    6. Another clear case of no way in hell.

  116. swanspirit — on Nin — I really think any female writer or artist can be classified as a feminist.

    So, yes — Nin was. Plus — look at that era — she was living on a barge in Paris?

    A very wild time in history —- ?

    She knew the top writers over there at the time — another male dominated field…….

    But?

    Woolf is my idol. Kate Chopin too.

    Sometimes all you get is your writing voice?

    But, it can do mucho….

    LOL!

  117. I don’t have time to read this whole thread but will pop in with bits I read at the top:

    1) equate ex-wife with witch: I didn’t see the cartoon but generally there is a long long history of women being equated with witches negatively. That comparison is rooted in many aspects of women’s history (healers, our history of being tortured and murdered as witches when not “fitting the norm”, and more). Furthermore, witches – as depicted today – are visual caricatures of aging women: chins larger, nose larger, warts, bent over, cackly voice (remember Hillary’s “cackle”) so via witches, aging women are distorted, disrespected, turned into objects of ridicule and are seen as “bad” (understatement).

    So yes, generally equating women with witches is REALLY sexist.

    2) Feminists are women who don’t want to be treated like shit: Sells us short, sets an incredibly low standard, includes no vision…

    Feminists are much more than that!

    3) Criticism of TC, etc.: Critical thinking is essential to NON-GROUP THINK. I hope feminist criticism will be welcomed rather than viewed as being “disloyal” or “unproductive”.

  118. okasha skatsi@2:01p
    I agree with what you say.
    Some females have to learn at a young age to depend upon themselves.
    That does not mean that you can not have good relationships with men.
    I just means that if need be the woman can and does get along on her own.
    They learn to be all they can be and that is not a bad thing.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  119. “”equate ex-wife with witch”

    Well, I think context is everything and it was a Halloween post. And a joke.

  120. Katiebird:

    “”equate ex-wife with witch”

    Well, I think context is everything and it was a Halloween post. And a joke.

    Is this the place a joke like that goes over well?

  121. Well, I thought it was funny. But, then I’ve been divorced.

  122. Furthermore, it seems to me that these so-called “feminists” should stop wasting their time attacking Myiq and TC and start focusing on how the government is trying to take our rights away. I’ve never understood why every time a man tries to stand up for women’s rights, suddenly there is a swarm of women demanding perfect ideological purity from him–with several different types of ideology represented. It’s a no-win situation for all concerned.

    (((applause))) Well put, BB. I posted something similar over at Klownhaus the other day, in fact…just as it’s not impossible for blacks or Latinos to be racists, IMO, it’s not impossible for women to be sexists.

    Here’s my conundrum. I’m out here working my a$$ off to try to help get a liberal woman, any woman, elected to office, with a number of my like-minded compatriots. Those who should be helping us are not, from a state Democratic committee comprised nearly entirely of good old boys, an infrastructure designed to keep out women, young people and folks of color, etc; a state coalition of labor unions that doesn’t do jack squat on equal pay, has no female leaders etc.

    I could list some more examples, but the reason I am no longer a Democrat is not only what happened to Hillary but a former TN Senate leader named Rosalind Kurita – whose election was overturned this fall on some technicality because she dared to go against the white male establishment.

    Now. I’m just not sure I’ve got the energy to read all these arguments in the abstract, and about how everything should be in an ideal world – when they’re demonstrably horrible in the here and now. My state has a whopping 14% women in our state Legislature and the one elected woman in Congress is a rabid Republican. We’ve never had a female governor or Senator; we’ve only had five women elected to Congress, ever, and only two or so within the last 40 years.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of the people going after IQ have not ever worked on a campaign in their lives, and do a lot of sitting around reading theory.

    I mean, if that works for them, great. But one reason I personally have always been drawn to TC is the practicalist approach to things – we’re opposed to Obama, say, for this and this and this reason. If we get lost in the ideological trees, I’m just not sure how we’re ever going to get anything done, because – believe me – those who have no identifiable ideology other than cheating and manipulation will come in and make everything over in their image.

    Just some $.02. Interesting reading, as always.

  123. (spam spam spam wonderful spam tasty spam)
    (in moderation)

  124. Not to hijack this thread but since the downstairs thread is closed… I am disappointed that I missed such a good discussion (Friday is my TV night) but I just want to thank Angie for the kind words. Thank you!

  125. Eleanor Rodham A

    I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of the people going after IQ have not ever worked on a campaign in their lives, and do a lot of sitting around reading theory.

    ?? Why do I have the strange feeling that “women’s studies” (theory) is so looked down on here? Every woman lives her life as a woman, with all the experiences that entails. No woman just sits around reading theory”.

  126. bq,

    As I said, it went over fine with me. But then I have a sense of humor and do my best not to take myself too seriously. Sometimes I fail, but I try. If I had to choose between humor and ideological purity, I’m afraid I’d choose humor.

    Why do you think women’s studies are looked down on here? What is your basis for making such a judgement. I’ve been here nearly every day since January 2007, and I’ve rarely seen you comment. So if you have a “feeling” about this place, it doesn’t seem to be based on your participation in this blog.

  127. I think that sometimes we do not listen to each other… for example, I see wonderful things about Sarah Palin that I admire. She has managed to make a career, have a family (all of us has made mistakes), and be someone that commands respect.

    She has not gotten any respect for what she had done as far as I can see, but is judged solely on the fact that she is pro-life and decided to keep her disabled baby instead of aborting it…

    Sorry guys, feminism has to do with respectful disagreement … not calling someone a name because they do a few things that you may disagree with.

  128. beethovenqueen,

    I know you’ve been here now and then for a couple of months. I’m not interested enough in your views to read your short history of comments though.

    Sooooo — judging by the tone of your posts today, “Is this the sort of place” and “looked down on here” ….

    I’d say you’ve got the tone of a concern troll down pat. So pat, that if you continue on this path, you’ll be joining your soul mates in SPAM Hell.

    xxoo
    Katiebird

  129. Furthermore, bq, this blog is not a place where people are required to march in lockstep. We all have very different opinions on many issues. What drew us together is that we supported Hillary Clinton and opposed Barack Obama in the primaries. We are not per se a “feminist” blog although we support equal rights for women. We are a blog that challenges the consensus view of reality as much as possible.

  130. (agreeing with BostonBoomer)

  131. boomer
    Katiebird

    I think beethoven at 3:18 was taking issue with a comment made by Eleanor, which was pretty damned condescending (!)

  132. okasha skatsi,

    Thank you so much for your insightful comment!

  133. Catarina,

    Eleanor R. is a commenter here. If she was condescending, then complaints about that should be addressed to her and what she said. I don’t think a reading of something one commenter says justifies making a blanket generalization about the blog as a whole. That was my only point.

  134. bb
    the comment was addressed to eleanor.

    and it was eleanor generalizing.

    we are just sitting around on our abstract arses here
    while she is actually working on campaigns!

    i guess we ALL just suck.

  135. Catarina, I came into it when beethoven slammed MyIQ for his Halloween joke. And me for thinking it was funny. And the site for putting up with the 2 of us.

    I said straight out that I wasn’t interested in beethoven’s other comments.

  136. im sorry, boomer-all work and no play here!
    time to take a break and go for a walk.

  137. I think Eleanor was referring to people who were going after IQ and TC as the enemy.

  138. There actually are people who mostly read and write about theory and don’t get involved in poltiical action. The people who do study and theorize are very important and valuable, IMO. As I said earlier, I took a course on the psychology of women in which I read some theory and history of the women’s movement. I also took a graduate course that addressed the history of several types of discrimination and included some feminist theory. However I’m not in the field, myself. I would love to know more, and that is why I suggested that Taggles write a post and recommend reading material.

    Here are a few books I have in my Amazon cart, but I have no time to read them at the moment.

    Nobody’s Story: The Vanishing Acts of Women Writers in the Marketplace, 1670-1920 (New Historicism) (v. 31) – Catherine Gallagher; Hardcover

    The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy, Resistance, and Democracy’s Future – Carol Gilligan; Hardcover

    The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America – Susan Faludi; Paperback

    Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History (Vintage) – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich; Paperback

    If only I had more time!!

  139. Thanks to you for this post, bb. I think we’re pretty much on the same page.

  140. And if people ARE going to start calling each other out they should watch their tone and address the ideas. Don’t make personal attacks on commenters.

    (this has been an exhausting week for a moderator and I’m more than ready to delete comments)

  141. Catarina,

    Don’t be sorry!! No need. I hope you enjoy your walk.

  142. Katiebird,

    Don’t worry about this post. I’m checking it regularly and I can moderate.

  143. Okasha skatsi I loved your post.

    bb- I just got here and am trying to catch up, but i agree with your point that we are all human. Even if one of us did post something deemed non-feminist by others so what, I think we can roll with it.

    Last night there was a silly sex post and one person said that they didn’t want to participate because they were afraid that what they said would be used against them by our new ‘friends’. I thought that was so sad, because I think that is what these people want to do. TC is a great meeting place and we just like to hang out with interesting people. I think it would be boring if only ‘perfect’ people were allowed.

    I have no idea what the ‘definition’ of feminism is, but two thoughts pop into my head. 1. A take on the Supreme Court definition of obscenity “I know it when I see it. ” and 2. A part of Catholic Mass when we pray for the dead. In the prayer we acknowledge that a person’s faith is “known but to God”.

    I think that we should stop deciding who is or is not a Feminist and start acting like Feminists. Love to all

  144. Really great points, Honora. I’m so glad I posted this. This has been a great discussion.

  145. so I guess women who understand feminist theory are the problem and less feminist. I do not have specific theory or any specific feminist that I believe holds all truths, but the basic understanding is to not do the patriarchs job for them in judging women they way sexist and misogynists do.

    My point is that there is a history of womens subjugation and to understand it is to understand the patriarchy and it’s divisiveness. It helps fight it at every corner.

    Men who claim to support equal rights should have an understanding of history and the system in which women try to live. Myiq has said he does not believe in feminist theory. I could really care less. He obviously has his own interpretation of what feminism is. I disagree with it.

    To post a picture of a woman posing half naked or naked to prove what a bunch sexist and misogynistic males in power in the WH are, is sexist.

    The post was basically saying this, “look at the type of women they hire in that sexist WH”? It is a negative connotation put upon the woman. It is a judgment on her. As much as one denies it and claims it the opposite does not negate the original intention of the post.

    How can people not see this.

    The answer to this is not making the woman out to be a problem, but to make the males who dominate society and who sexualize women and turn around and call them call them sluts held accountable.

    Why did she do it in the first place(what in our society expects this of women)?? Once she does, why is she judged for it ??

    Answer the first question first and then the second, it might lead one to understand the patriarchy.

    I want as many women in the tent as possible. Fighting the patriarchy, not one another. To hold an entity that has power over women in check is a different story, but individual women should be seen in the roles our patriarchic society has forced them into. And they have thousands of them for us just so we can keep fighting one another on who is right and who is wrong. Who is moral, who is not. It has to stop.

  146. This has been interesting to read. I had thought I was a feminist because I believed in equal pay for women/men, equal rights for women, reproductive rights for women and all the other things that bring equality.

    However, all I see is “it’s the Patriarchy” being flung about. I get the oh-so-subtle hint that since I have male genitalia, I cannot possibly be a feminist even though I don’t use my dangly parts with women. It seems that my dick and balls override all just because I have them.

    I think the saddest and most true comment here was that apparently women do not seem to agree even amongst themselves what constitutes a feminist.

    So, all the above being said, I’ll sit these threads out and lurk but not comment. I believe anything I would say would be colored by my gender.

    Oh and never mind that I’m a gay male and have had my own examples of harassment and bigotry to deal with.

  147. Well I just had a comment that disappeared (into Spammy’s domain?)

    If anyone can fish it out fine. If not, no biggie.

  148. BB: can you see if my post hit Spammy?

  149. Later folks.

  150. Taggles: “so I guess women who understand feminist theory are the problem and less feminist.”

    Not to me. I just don’t know much about recent feminist theory. I just sent you an e-mail with a list of books I’ve been wanting to read though.

  151. Taggles,

    I don’t feel it is necessarily a judgement on that particular woman. It may be a judgement on her behavior. I don’t think that her posing for that picture is wrong. It’s her choice and her right. But I don’t feel that I have the right to judge someone as “not a feminist” if I happen to disagree with them about that. A feminist is [somone who advocates] the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. If someone supports that doctrine, why should I sit in judgement of the quality of their “feminism?”

    The fact is, she chose to put herself out there as a object for masturbatory fantasy. There simply is no other purpose to Maxim magazine. They don’t even pay much for models. By doing that, she hurts women in general, IMHO. She contributes to her own and other women’s objectification. I hold her responsible for that and for being accepting of Obama’s and Favreau’s misogyny.

    You give her a pass. Because we disagree, I don’t think there is something faulty about your feminism. We just disagree. And I would like to know more about why you feel the way you do.

  152. Fredster,

    We’ve been having a discussion and I think most people here agree with you and I’m guessing close to 100% of us recognize that gay men are horribly discriminated against. Personally I am very grateful to have you at The Confluence!

    {{{{{Fredster}}}}}

  153. Well, BB if one feels a person is being sexist how are they to believe that person fits the definition of feminism, or any definition of feminism.

    The difference between you and I, is I don’t give the patriarchy a pass by blaming the woman. You can’t say you don’t judge her and then go into mastubatory magazines and favreaus misogyny. Men are responsible for the objectification of women.

    Do you realize how many women are married to sexists and misogynists, almost all.

  154. Violet Socks (re)posted this at RL last September:

    Yes, you are

    feminism n (1895) 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests — feminist n or adj — feministic adj

    Above, the dictionary definition of feminism — the entire dictionary definition of feminism. It is quite straightforward and concise. If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

    Yes, you are.

    ——————————–

    Read (or re-read) it the whole post at the link. IMHO, it satisfies the “what is a feminist?” requirements.

    bb – this has been a fascinating discussion. kudos to you and all commenters.

  155. Taggles,

    Why don’t you think this woman should have to take responsibility for her actions that hurt other women? You are telling me I have to take responsbility by absolving her of all requirement to think. Why is she a “victim” and I’m a false feminist because I want her to act more like a feminist?

    I just don’t understand your reasoning. I am a woman. Do I get a pass on anything? I was brought up in an era when women couldn’t do much except become nurses or schoolteachers or secretaries–when we were treated as inherently inferior. How did I manage to figure out that I deserved better? Would I be more deserving of your compassion if I hadn’t realized it?

    I’m not sure you have been reading my comments all the way through. I wish you would.

  156. SherryNC,

    Yet Violet Socks is currently hosting a thread in which people are repeatedly claiming that is not true.

  157. I think you are falling into a trap.

    She is not a victim, she can do what she wants!

    She is a member of the patriarchal society just as you and I are.

    It is easy to fall into their traps.

  158. I have repeatedly stated that she can do whatever she wants. What is your point? Have you read ANY of the comments in which I repeatedly state that?

    You are saying that I am not a good feminist because I want other women to act like feminists–especially women in positions of power.

  159. You are expecting her to think in the way the patriarchy thinks. You are thinking like the patriarchy.

    Like, she should know she will be belittled, that she will never have a chance in business and gov’t. , she is hurting all women.

    That is what is wrong.

  160. I am not “thinking like the patriarchy,” and I resent your characterization of my thinking.

  161. Furthermore, I never said she would be belittled or have no chance in busines or government. ????!!! She is working in the White House! That is obviously untrue.

  162. Men who claim to support equal rights should have an understanding of history and the system in which women try to live. Myiq has said he does not believe in feminist theory. I could really care less. He obviously has his own interpretation of what feminism is. I disagree with it.

    I majored in history in college. My faculty advisor was a feminist who taught women’s history who had successfully persuaded the entire history department to include the relevent study of women’s history into ever history class.

    I didn’t say I don’t believe in feminist theory, you’re putting words in my mouth, just like people have been doing all week. But in this case you’re partially correct.

    I don’t believe in some feminist theories, but since they conflict with each other no one can believe in all of them.

    My definition of feminism is the one used by Violet Socks.

    I want as many women in the tent as possible.

    Why only women? Why are women who support and enable the patriarchy welcome, but men who support feminism are not? (unless they meet certain qualifications and then they are granted conditional status)

  163. It’s about time some “feminists” recognized that males too are brainwashed and victimized by the system. Read some evolutional psychology, for heaven’s sake. Males are subject to a hierarchical system too. You can’t look at women’s situation separately from the class system.

    I couldn’t agree with you more BB. As the mother of a 20year old male, I have always been worried about his conditioning not only by the Patriarchy, but also by the casual sex thrown out there right, left and center to sell anything.

  164. Why only women? Why are women who support and enable the patriarchy welcome, but men who support feminism are not? (unless they meet certain qualifications and then they are granted conditional status)

    That’s what I want to know. And why am I a bad feminist while the woman being discussed is–what? All I know is I’m not supposed to criticize her. I didn’t criticize her personally. I don’t know her. I have been arguing for days that the issues is Obama and Favreau, not this young woman.

  165. BB, I do not think you are a sexist. but women fall into the trap of judging other women all the time. When you say:

    “The fact is, she chose to put herself out there as a object for masturbatory fantasy. There simply is no other purpose to Maxim magazine. They don’t even pay much for models. By doing that, she hurts women in general, IMHO. She contributes to her own and other women’s objectification. I hold her responsible for that and for being accepting of Obama’s and Favreau’s misogyny. ”

    In totality of everything I have written, I think you and some here are falling into the traps the patriarchy has set up for us. That is all I am trying to point out

  166. bb — “Yet Violet Socks is currently hosting a thread in which people are repeatedly claiming that is not true.”

    I have not yet read all of the comments in that thread, but have not seen Violet agreeing with those who seem to think the “yes, you are” post isn’t true. She IS allowing a free-wheeling discussion/debate, which is typical of her. Some of her regular commenters are more..umm..militant than others. For myself, I absorb what I can internalize and take the rest under advisement.

  167. Patriarchy is a cultural construct-once you realise that it does not depend on biological gender, then you can fight it.
    Women should not isolate themselves from like minded males, nor should they necessarily tolerate the sell outs in their midst (the auntie modos). Just my 2 cents.

  168. because women do not have the power within the patriarchy that men have.

    It is a completely different dynamic.

  169. Taggles,

    I understand your point. But you are making assumptions about me. I began reading books about feminism in 1963. I worked hard to change my thinking. I accept that we are all influenced by the patriarchal system we live it. But men are also affected, and some men and some women are more aware of the effects of the system than others. I think that I am am very aware of the system. I just disagree with you that women should not be required to accept the adult responsibilities that go along with equality. If we don’t demand anything from young women in terms of waking up and recognizing the patriarchal system, then we will never make progress.

    As for men, I think it is important to understand that, yes, men (as a generalized group) are the makers of the patriarchal system, but that does not mean that individual men should necessarily be held responsible–any more than I should be held responsible for slavery because I’m white.

  170. Sherry,

    I haven’t read it all either, but myiq says Violet hasn’t done that, and I believe him.

  171. She is a member of the patriarchal society just as you and I are.

    Men are members of that society too. When we act the way the patriarchy tells us to act, you condemn it. But when women do it, you excuse it.

    It is easy to fall into their traps.

    Whose traps? You talk as if there is a concious conspiracy to subjugate and oppress women. Is that what you really think?

  172. Is there no freedom of speech here? Why is my comment in moderation??

  173. Men have the power within it, Myiq. Women do not.

    Yes, the traps of the patriarchy myiq.

  174. Yeah Taggles, and women really have no power when others SILENCE THEM by not posting their comments!

  175. Men have the power within it, Myiq. Women do not.

    ORLY?

    What power do I have that you, Riverdaughter or Ali Campoverde don’t have?

  176. myiq, you do not think that men have more power in this society than women?

  177. beethovenqueen,

    Sooooo — judging by the tone of your posts today, “Is this the sort of place” and “looked down on here” ….

    I’d say you’ve got the tone of a concern troll down pat. So pat, that if you continue on this path, you’ll be joining your soul mates in SPAM Hell.
    xxoo
    Katiebird
    ———————-
    Beethovenqueen is a long time Puma… has made numerous pro-Puma videos, and created numerous pro-Puma graphics (unlikely to be credited by the so-called ‘creative class”.. so some may be difficult to locate online. BQ also travelled internationally in order to join the Puma protest in Denver in August. Not everyone who disagrees with comments, or calls out or questions hypocrisies is a troll.

  178. beethovenqueen: this is bb’s thread, she’s probably afk … she’ll pull your comment out of moderation I’m sure …

    there’s certain words that just trigger it automatically …

  179. “Do you realize how many women are married to sexists and misogynists, almost all.”

    I just wanted to highlight this statement from 4:13. We can all draw our own conclusions.

  180. moderation
    what a joke.

  181. dakinikat, hi. For the most part my response was quotes. And I do not wrote offensive words in blogs EVER.

  182. dances: you’re in mod because of the TR0LL word…

    i’m sure she’ll let you both out, i’d do it but i can’t ….

  183. myiq, you do not think that men have more power in this society than women?

    Now you’re changing it. You said women have no power.

    Men, as a group, have more power than women. But not all men have power, nor are all women powerless.

    What power do I have that you do not?

  184. we have some odd words that trigger moderation because of the abuse of them by some really nasty people we have here, and some times wordpress will dump you there for no apparent reason to us … you’d be surprised

  185. CENSORSHIP.

    *test*test*

  186. taggles-myiq, you do not think that men have more power in this society than women?

    I think you need to qualify your statements a little more, instead of making sweeping generalisations.

    Certain men have more power in this society than most women.
    Certain men have more power in this society than most men.

    Who are those certain men and why do they have more power?

  187. beethovenqueen> Moderation is automatic and is done by WordPress. Certain words trigger it. The moderators don’t see anybody’s post before it’s posted. They might delete it after it’s posted, but it won’t be in moderation; it will simply disappear. If it’s in moderation it’s because WordPress put it there.

  188. Wow. what a lot of d*mnation! Little did I know…

    Katiebird, this was my sentence:

    So yes, generally equating women with witches is REALLY sexist.

    It was a response to the discussion at the top re the witch cartoon. Taggles thought it was sexist. My comment was not slamming MyIQ. I even stated that I hadn’t seen the cartoon. It just pointed out some reasons why equating women with witches is sexist and offensive. I did miss a comma. The sentence should have read:

    “So yes, generally, equating women with witches is REALLY sexist.”

    So..that was so horrible that it deserved this insult and threat from you?:

    I’d say you’ve got the tone of a concern troll down pat. So pat, that if you continue on this path, you’ll be joining your soul mates in SPAM Hell.

    Bostonboomer: Why do you think women’s studies are looked down on here? and We are not per se a “feminist” blog although we support equal rights for women

    This thread is about FEMINISM. Re the women’s studies: I’ve seen a few negative references to women’s studies recently on this blog, and I was asking a question.

    Catarina: Should you return, thank you.

  189. The words C0lin P0well ends up in moderation, too.

  190. Maybe this will work. PART 1:

    Wow. what a lot of damnation! Little did I know…

    Katiebird, this was my sentence:

    So yes, generally equating women with witches is REALLY sexist.

    It was a response to the discussion at the top re the witch cartoon. Taggles thought it was sexist. My comment was not slamming MyIQ. I even stated that I hadn’t seen the cartoon. It just pointed out some reasons why equating women with witches is sexist and offensive. I did miss a comma. The sentence should have read:

    “So yes, generally, equating women with witches is REALLY sexist.”

    So..that was so horrible that it deserved this insult and threat from you?:

    I’d say you’ve got the tone of a concern troll down pat. So pat, that if you continue on this path, you’ll be joining your soul mates in SPAM Hell.

  191. My current boss is a woman. Her boss is a woman, too. And that boss’s boss is also a woman. Somebody obviously didn’t get the memo that I’m supposed to rule over all three of them.

  192. DYB & dakinikat, the fact that my comment didn’t post has nothing to do with WordPress. I just posted the whole thing at Pumapac.

    Colin P deserves to be banned. I don’t!

  193. Okay, beethovenqueen, it’s a conspiracy against you.

  194. myiq, women do not have the same power real power in this society as men do.

    i am not going to get into a game of semantics with you.

    once you drop the dick from between your legs you might begin to understand. and I think some men can understand, but you have proven you cannot.

  195. I think I got everyone out of moderation except for duplicates. If something is missing, let me know and I’ll free it. I wanted this to be an open discussion.

  196. beethoven queen,

    I don’t know why your comments didn’t post. I’m sorry I didn’t get the out right away. I was working and talking on the phone at the same time, and it slowed me down a little bit.

  197. beethovenqueen,

    Censorship is what happens when the *government* limits your freedom of expression. This is a blog that puts some limits on commenters–mostly to be polite and not attack regular posters and commenters. However in this case, no one tried to censor you. I just had a phone call and some work that was distracting me for a short period of time.

  198. Why are some people so darn unpleasant? Once they begin losing an argument they start on the gratuitous sexual insults.

  199. never mind BB please cancel my comment-not worth it.

  200. i had no problem with my women’s history prof … she was great, but I think I told you about my experience with philosophy of feminism … my prof there was a lesbian seperatist and considered me an enemy as a married woman … all we read in that class was what passed her muster. Kate Millet is a friend of mine, as was Betty Friedan, Sonja Johnson, and quite a few more that comprise would comprise a list of readings in any set of feminist readings … i was quite active in the 70s and 80s. Over the last week, I’ve been accused of being a know nothing on some blogs and ignorant of feminist thought on others, so I’d really like to stay out of the spanish inquisition implied in those seeking some kind of purity …and it’s getting kinda old, i have to say

    so bash away …

  201. Laurie, unpleasant woman I am, yeah. I really ought to watch my mouth after I sit on this board and read sexist comments and overly sexually explicit threads and comments from one person here.

    someone who claims to be a feminist and writes this sexist bs like this in response to me:

    “Whose traps? You talk as if there is a concious conspiracy to subjugate and oppress women. Is that what you really think?”

    myiq has completely failed in his quest to become a feminist. He does not want to understand the real issues with the power structures within this country because poor little old he doesn’t feel like he is part of the problem, he thinks he is the victim.

  202. beethovenqueen,

    To respond to your comment. In my opinion it would be better if you saw the post and cartoon in question and understood their context before deciding they were sexist. I agree with you that equating women and witches is sexist. That isn’t what happened though. Some people may have been outraged by that post.

    I was there at the time and I was not outraged. I think it was probably because the post was in response to something that had gone on in a previous thread and was clearly meant to be satire. That is how I recall it.

    On the women’s studies issue, The Confluence so far hasn’t been a place where deep ideological issues of feminism are the top priority. We came into existence to support Hillary Clinton and oppose Barack Obama. We are a political blog that has a lot of women contributors and posters. We have male posters and even Republican posters, and we try to be somewhat open to differing opinions. Because you see a commenter making a certain point, you can’t assume that represents the views of the blog as an entity.

    I thought I made those points previously–don’t know if you read my comment though.

  203. Laurie,

    No one is losing the argument. We are having an interesting discussion–at least I think so.

  204. I do not consider myself a purist dakinikat. i do not know if you are directing your post to me, but I will explain my pov one more time.

    I am sick of the division and double standard on women that is perpetuated in this society.

    The power structure thrives on it and myiq’s original post and comments to me in this post only continue the perpetration of that division.

  205. I have to say that the witch and ex wife post offended me, and I believe i told myiq that at the time, and it shortly disappeared … is feminism really a you are you aren’t thing? is there some check list you have to get by before they grant you the degree or did I miss something? And if you screw up ever so often, do they throw you out of the club?

    what happened to consciousness raising? is that just plain out of style? i thought we had to do a lot of that to get to the point where we understood our context in a patriarchal society … you can’t say you have to experience all the click moments simultaneously or you’re not a real feminist …i just don’t buy that…

  206. bb:

    Censorship is also when some ppl are permitted to write words (such as tr0ll) and others are stymied for doing so. Thanks for letting my comment with the naughty word though.

  207. through.

  208. Such an interesting discussion. It’s probably futile to join in at this point, but —

    As to feminism — it seems to me that the most significant thing a feminist can do is point out and bring to consciousness that we live in patriarchy — which means we live in a culture which privileges and values men and men’s work while devaluing and oppressing women and women’s work. Our western brand of patriarchy is transcendent and monolithic — which means we accord our highest cultural value to males who are leaders, who concentrate power in themselves, and who use their power to own/control others. The male “possession” of a woman in a relationship where she gives up her power to him in exchange for protection is the model for our culture’s social contract. Feminism insofar that it challenges this model threatens all patriarchal social structure. But does feminism challenge this model or does it want “to join” it?

    We can’t just “get out” of patriarchy — just as a fish can’t just leave the sea, but we can point out that our culture is patriarchal and unjust — and work to change it. But it seems to me that feminism wants to accept the patriarchal value system — and not only accept it, but join it.

    One of the things that has puzzled me the most about feminists is how hard they (we) have fought to become a part of patriarchy rather than attempting to overthrow it. Feminists seem to buy into the patriarchal value system that devalues women’s work — with the result that women who are mothers and who stay at home even part time with their children are put on the defensive. Feminists have joined the patriarchy in devaluing women’s work.

    Feminists seem to believe that au fond we are all disembodied transcendent genderless minds and we should be judged on our minds only. But our minds are in bodies and women’s bodies are different from men’s bodies — and women’s reproductive experiences are vastly different from men’s. But because patriarchy has used this difference against us, feminists want to deny that there is a difference — the difference only “kicks in” if a woman is stupid enough to have a baby. So, if a woman has been this stupid, she should have to suffer the consequences. But most women will “choose” to have children, which puts “patriarchal” feminism at odds with the exigencies and realities of most women’s lives — which means that many ordinary women struggling to keep afloat economically while trying to be good mothers do not feel that they get much support from the feminist movement.

    I can’t believe the amount of energy which has gone into criticizing the young woman who posed in her underwear. Probably a lapse in judgment, but who cares? If you want to get really worked up, go look at Samantha Power posing seductively in her slip, I think. Just google Samantha Power and select images. It is the first one.

  209. myiq, women do not have the same power real power in this society as men do.

    You say women should not be held accountable because they have no power. You say men should be held accountable because they have power.

    Then you changed it to more power vs. less power.

    But if the issue that determines culpability is power, men who have no power should not be held accountable, and women who have power should.

    Ali Campoverde works in the White House, I am an unpaid blogger. How does she have less power than me?

    Rich people have power, poor people do not. Do we excuse the behavior of poor people?

  210. I agree dakinikat, but one should atleast try, not deny.

  211. If anyone is interested, I put up a new post.

    I have to run to the pharmacy for Grandma Puma…so I’ll be back in a few.

  212. Dances with Pumas,

    This is my thread, and I asked Katiebird to let me moderate it. She has respected my request as far as I know. I released your comment and beethoven queen’s comments from moderation as quickly as I could. I am only human.

  213. taggles: a lot of stuff he says offends me too … i’m not expecting him to be fully evolved at anything … i aim my expectations at me, that’s all . and I tell him he’s off base when he’s off base. Disagreement doesn’t have to be disagreeable and terse to make a point, and I’m not inferring that you’ve been either … but i don’t see the point of calling down a person … why not just call down the action?

  214. You are not getting it myiq.

    Men want women to be sexualized then turn around and say they are sluts and ruining society. If we don’t give em anything we’re frigid cold bitches.

    I blame men, not women for that.

    That’s the point.

  215. I think one of my comments went to spammy

  216. Dakinikat, he is continually talking about sex, like that’s the real power issue between men and women.

    I think he may have a real issue with it.

  217. That is how I feel Dakinikat. I also think of how myiq’s hard work at TC literally helped me through the terrible period around the election when I was so discouraged I didn’t even have the energy to post. Myiq was always here lifting people spirits and making us laugh. I don’t have to agree with everything anyone says to welcome them into a cause. I like to be inclusive, and I recognize that I am far from perfect, so why should I require anyone else to be perfect?

  218. bb is one of my posts in spammy?

  219. beethoven queen,

    I don’t know what you want from me. I don’t know why WordPress lets some of us say “troll.” I’m guessing it’s because I am an administrator that I can get away with it. Even so, I sometimes end up in moderation and have to let myself out. I have even gotten RD’s comments out of moderation. And regular commenters here frequently end up in moderation and we have to let them out. That is the price we pay for using trigger words to keep the real trolls out. We are very successful at that and our regular commenters appreciate it.

  220. You’re out now taggles. SM has a new post up for anyone who wants a change of subject.

  221. Taggles,

    You are right, but myiq didn’t call the woman a slut. Others did and he simply responded to that.

  222. You are not getting it myiq.

    Oh I get it. I get that you can’t answer the question honestly without wrecking the premise of your argument.

    So you attack me instead.

  223. Beethoven Queen made one of my favorite PUMA videos:
    (remember the one with paws all over it?

    http://tinyurl.com/cvmnzq

  224. Exactly Dakinikat. Consciousness raising is the thing with me. And how do you do that if you require ideological purity? Frankly, I will never be ideologically pure in any sense, because I’m a born rebel and nonconformist.

    I was once in a consciouness raising group. Can you believe that?

  225. myiq you have proven you do not want to understand the patriarchy and you continually write posts about your dick and sex. that is the truth, that is not an attack. and it shapes an opinion.

  226. I loved that video! Thank you for that Beethoven Queen (if you are still here).

  227. loved that video too … i posted in on sky dancing woman

  228. Is this taggles-taggles or is it someone else?

  229. ElleR,

    You can believe this or not. The post that started all of this did not criticize the young woman for posing in her underwear. It was a post critical of Obama and Jon Favreau and their attitudes toward women.

    Furthermore, I think myiq should get credit for starting a very productive dialogue–even though it may have been painful for him.

  230. It is taggles-taggles. She is angry and expressing her beliefs. No one has to agree with her.

  231. it is me, taggles.

  232. LOL!

  233. geez thank bb! LOL

  234. No one has to agree with me either, LOL!!!

  235. i am not angry though, only expressing the truth as I see it, or otherwise an opinion.

  236. you continually write posts about your dick and sex.

    When did I write a post about my dick? If you’re referring to the post about “Botoxed Balls” I wrote that at the suggestion of one of the woman posters here.

    While I have hosted open threads that discuss sex, it was at the request of others and they did most of the talking.

    BTW – Is sex bad?

  237. taggles: If myiq offends you so much why are you spending so much time and effort on this? I’ve always thought you sounded smart and sensible until this topic came up. I think you need to think about what battles you choose to fight.

    To me it just screams, “please, I choose to be a victim of myiq, he must now be shunned by the entire blogosphere and then hopefully die a painful death while covered with a nasty rash!”

    I have very personal experience with victimhood of this type taggles. Let me just say it looks no better on you than it does on me.

    Sigh…Uffda, back to lurking.

    BB: You’ve done a helluva job with this, must be your nodak roots. Thank you.

  238. Sorry taggles. I shouldn’t have characterized your inner state of mind.

  239. G-Cat I think you may be confusing me with someone else. i do not have a victimization complex. I live in reality.

  240. G-cat,

    I don’t think taggles feels like a victim, but she can speak for herself. I think she is taking an opportunity to express that she has been offended by certain remarks. Some of us tend to enjoy bawdy humor–RD included. We also appreciate myiq’s effort for this blog and don’t like to see him attacked all over the blogosphere. I have no idea if he is a sexist or not, but I think not. I think he is man who is making a good faith effort and I welcome his contributions.

  241. myiq: BTW – Is sex bad?

    —————————————-

    Now I’m a prude right Myiq?? You’re right I was wrong you ARE a feminist!

  242. bb: yes, but she was offered up as proof, and a pic of her in the mag was the ultimate proof of that … she was made into a prop for the argument and I think that’s where it all began… doing that post wouldn’t have even entered my mind at the time, let alone posting the pic…

    i only dove into the argument in that I think women can enable the patriarchy when it benefits them and fully knowing what they are doing … i got slammed for that … evidently there is a lot of disagreement with that statement of mine and I’m still trying to think that out.

  243. beethovenqueen, on January 31st, 2009 at 3:18 pm Said:

    Eleanor Rodham A
    I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of the people going after IQ have not ever worked on a campaign in their lives, and do a lot of sitting around reading theory.

    ?? Why do I have the strange feeling that “women’s studies” (theory) is so looked down on here? Every woman lives her life as a woman, with all the experiences that entails. No woman just sits around reading theory”.

    Sure, there’s room for theory. But last I checked, this was a political blog, and I don’t think those of us who are approaching things from a here-and-now standpoint of how we improve things for women right now, today, should be disparaged.

    Furthermore, as someone else said upthread, I was speaking specifically of those attacking IQ, and not making generalities about those who read theory in general.

    catarina, on January 31st, 2009 at 3:28 pm Said:
    boomer
    Katiebird
    I think beethoven at 3:18 was taking issue with a comment made by Eleanor, which was pretty damned condescending (!)

    Interesting which parts of my comments you chose to focus on – not the ones in which I discussed what the daily reality is like for me and hundreds of thousands of other women living in the U.S.

    I certainly have no business telling people whether they should get involved in the day to day affairs in their communities. Maybe reading theory is what people want to do and what they’re drawn to and good at. But again, my rather pressing concern is stopping people, mostly men, from outlawing abortion, cutting aid for family planning, and throwing hundreds of thousands of women into the street without health care – all of which either have happened or are going to happen in my state in the immediate past or future.

    Pardon me if I’m somehow not genuflecting enough toward the folks who not only are not helping but who are actively criticizing folks who are approaching things from the standpoint of thinking about the immediate consequences for other women when those who strip for money are lionized.

    The post was basically saying this, “look at the type of women they hire in that sexist WH”? It is a negative connotation put upon the woman. It is a judgment on her. As much as one denies it and claims it the opposite does
    not negate the original intention of the post.

    How can people not see this.

    Because what we’re seeing is this behavior validated by people who have a lot of power, and we’re worried that soon, every woman could be expected to take her clothes off if she expects to be hired in a high-profile political position.

    What does that mean for older, or overweight, or unattractive women? Ideally, nobody would be judged for those things, but what are your plans to see that nobody is, going forward, and exactly how do you plan to implement those plans?

    Interesting reading, all. I have pressing plans tonight and can’t follow up, but I’ll be around tomorrow.

  244. If you’re referring to the post about “Botoxed Balls” I wrote that at the suggestion of one of the woman posters here.

    I think I might have been the guilty party. I take full responsbility and still think that post was hilarious.

  245. Dakinikat,

    I’ll go look up your comment. I wasn’t here when the post was active. I only read it later.

  246. I’m going to have to close the comments on this thread pretty soon, because I have some work to do. If anyone has more to say, you have 15 more minutes. I’m setting my timer.

  247. Sorry taggles didn’t mean to be rude to you. I like both you and myiq.

  248. No, I’m not confused at all, and I’m so glad I don’t live in your world. I prefer to fight my own feminist battles, when and if needed, on my own, one on one. You are looking for a consensus on myiq in an effort to get him thrown off this blog and and I call that BS. That’s all this fight is about to you at this point in time.

  249. i have enough to do just keeping my own self straight without thinking i have any real impact on others. i got a long way to go before parinirvana, that’s for certain

  250. ((((((laurie)))))) i didn’t take it as rude, i got your point. thank you.

  251. bb: np, i have a gig tonight and i’m still doing a literature review for a journal article … close away …

    🙂

  252. g-cat,

    I am obviously not looking for any concensus. I am quite obviously in the vocal minority. which i guess it what makes me a true maverick. and no I don’t think myiq should be thrown off the board, but I do wish he would open his mind to the power of the patriarchy.

  253. Now I’m a prude right Myiq?? You’re right I was wrong you ARE a feminist!

    Make up your mind. You said:

    you continually write posts about your dick and sex

    Your statement implies that writing about sex is bad.

    So I asked “Is sex bad?” I didn’t call you a prude. I didn’t call you anything. I don’t keep bringing up your gender or your genitals either.

  254. I really appreciate your joining in, Dakinikat. Little did I know when I posted this at around 10:30AM, that the discussion would still be going on at 6PM.

  255. yw, and can you go clean up rd’s thread? there’s a stinkum there that needs to picked up …

  256. Dear Boston Boomer,

    This is a great discussion–if we don’t know what feminism fundamentally is we can never unite when it comes to issues. I didn’t have time to read all the comments, so I’m sure others have mentioned this, but I think we’ve lost the focus of feminism somewhere between ‘rights’ and ‘outcomes’. Women should have equal rights and opportunities for education, jobs, pay, health care, etc. The outcomes will differ (as they do among men also) according to talents, foresight, drive, effort, and luck.

    If we focus on everyone having the same outcomes we will never succeed. If we focus on creating equal rights and opportunities, some will seize them and flourish while others will squander them–that’s just life (regardless of gender). I hope to see the feminist movement focus on rights and opportunities because we can all easily agree on those–otherwise we will just spin our wheels endlessly.

  257. why do you have to ask me.

    I think you write to many sexually explicit comments. which then makes YOU ask me if sex is bad.

    What would give you that idea?

    No I think you writing to much of that is bad.

  258. BB, thank you for hosting this discussion. I found it enlightening and that’s truly valuable. Thank you.

  259. I can’t speak for others about defining “feminism” — many friends I have that consider themselves feminists all differ in their views. But I just posted an article about how media uses anti-feminine tactics to sell – and mainly to women.

  260. Comments are closing. Thank you everyone!

  261. thanks bb.

  262. […] What is Feminism? Posted on February 1, 2009 by freemenow Cross post by Bettyjean Kling from: The Confluence https://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/what-is-feminism/ […]

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