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Author Topic: Will feminism really bring women happiness?  (Read 9199 times)

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Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #250 on: March 13, 2013, 04:44:32 PM »
I'm sorry, I'm not certain what the distinction you're drawing is?

Oh, I'm simply saying that I suspect that most authors of these comments are not feminists. Some of them seem to be pretty anti-feminist, in fact. I saw the "femi-Nazi" word used, which is not a good sign.

Overall, I've learned not to pay much attention to comments to articles published on heavy-traffic news sites.

Whoops, my bad. So, you mean this?

Yup, that's it.

Quote
She's one of a number of Shadow Cabinet members -- she doesn't govern the organization, I don't see why she should be the yardstick of Polish feminism as opposed to the hundreds of other women involved with that same organization.

Because she's quite prominent? Aside from being in KK, she's also a columnist, you can see her quite often on TV, she's involved with the very-feminist Gender Studies at University of Warsaw... She *is* important.

Quote
And I don't see why they should be judged for failing to run her off because she has one or two controversial views; those would be signs of an ideologically narrow and despotic movement, which would be a bad thing, right?

Wait. Let's say that there another political movement and one of its leaders openly expresses racist views. Wouldn't you expect the movement to get rid of him?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 04:46:25 PM by Beorning »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #251 on: March 13, 2013, 04:45:10 PM »
Wait. Sexism is evil, right? Then shouldn't a sexist leader be condemned?
Probably, since sexism is kinda cutting close to the core of feminism. But your logic is flawed - a single person is capable of espousing multiple viewpoints and doing multiple things. Their good:harm value needs to be calculated across this.

I have never said that I like gender stereotypes. Being a feminine man, I'm a victim of stereotypes myself...
Never said you did. My point was that, far from being misandrist, mainstream feminism is about fixing our screwed-up gender relations and making things better for everyone. (Well, at least everyone cis; there are some disturbing trends in interaction between feminist and trans* communities. But that's another thread.)

And let me stress that: I'm not saying that I know every feminist in the world. I'm not saying that there are no sensible feminists. The only thing I'm trying to say is that my experiences with our local brand of feminism has made me distrustful to the movement (even though I started out as a person *sympathetic* to it). Because I've noticed that, at times, feminisms drifts into absurd and man-hate.

That is not what you said. What you said is that the very word 'feminism' needs to be reclaimed from modern feminists, because modern feminists are misandrist. This merits strong objection. The position you espouse above merits mere education.

ETA: Oh yeah, and then there was your more recent argument that people like Sroda are not a minority. This is a statement of fact, not of your impressions.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 04:46:39 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #252 on: March 13, 2013, 04:52:48 PM »
Because she's quite prominent? Aside from being in KK, she's also a columnist, you can see her quite often on TV, she's involved with the very-feminist Gender Studies at University of Warsaw... She *is* important.

Again, being a good self-promoter has nothing to do with whether a group called "feminists" recognizes her as their "leader" or even one of their "leaders."

Quote
Wait. Let's say that there another political movement and one of its leaders openly expresses racist views. Wouldn't you expect the movement to get rid of him?

And how exactly would "a movement" get rid of someone? What do you have in mind?

Let's say I tasked you, as a representative of "the movement" of Polish male voters, to "get rid of" Marek Suski for calling John Godman "your little black man" in an overhead conversation in parliament, lest I deem you racist by association for your appalling lack of action. How would you do it?

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #253 on: March 13, 2013, 05:21:58 PM »
Again, being a good self-promoter has nothing to do with whether a group called "feminists" recognizes her as their "leader" or even one of their "leaders."


True, but when a movement has gained enough strength, confidence and political and cultural influence, it's fair to demand that it should be able to stop outliers and con artists far out on the side from taking over and posing as its leaders or trend setters in the media.

Quote
And how exactly would "a movement" get rid of someone? What do you have in mind?

Let's say I tasked you, as a representative of "the movement" of Polish male voters, to "get rid of" Marek Suski for calling John Godman "your little black man" in an overhead conversation in parliament, lest I deem you racist by association for your appalling lack of action. How would you do it?

By calling the bluff with her in public debate, I'd say. By demonstrating to the public, pointing her out, if she is badly misrepresenting the wave she claims to be on top of:  "No, YOU and us are not feminists. You are not one of us, you're simply a fake, a hypocrite and a good self-promoter.". By forcing the outlier to actually defend her positions instead of just rubbing a lot of suave punchlines. Of course, whether it can be done in an effective way depends on how open newspapers and public media would be to a debate that's not just about who has the loudest talking points but really tries to dig through some real problems and maybe even some points of feminist theory, trying to ferret out what deserves to be taken seriously as feminism. I don't know if Polish tv or newspapers would be ready to give that kind of space - and time, because this kind of debate takes some time to play out, it's not over in just two or three days. I know I've often been disappointed by the media here in Sweden - they could give that kind of space, not so many years ago they would have done, and feminism has been quite influential here: I mean feminism in a good and solid sense, the kidn that actually stays off guilt-tripping or revanchism. But lately it seem to have become all but a demand in the media here that people who want to discuss feminist issues have to act like drama queens and pimp their arguments with heavily emotive talk and personal blamegaming.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 05:53:27 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #254 on: March 13, 2013, 05:38:34 PM »

When I went to U of T anyone that had fairly "interesting" postions would usually be protested against when they gave a guest lecture or participated in, say, a panel on an issue.

Politicians apparently respond to phonecalls and letters because they're pretty concerned about staying around. That one seems crazy to me but it seems to be true.

And if you don't like someone typically you trynot to give them money. That Orson Scott Card guy made himself known as Mr. Anti-Gay Marriage and last time he was going to write comics form DC the fans were so clear that they didn't want him around DC dropped him because they didn't want to lose sales.

Any sure way if you want to push someone put out in the fringe if they're not part of an organization? No but it happens all the time. That's why celebrities and actors never say much of substance when interview time comes up.

But again, it's all a bit of a crapshoot.

Offline Formless

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #255 on: March 13, 2013, 05:40:41 PM »
@ Oniya : Well basically this is how you spot the bright minds among the herd.

Or atleast this is how I do anyway  ::)

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #256 on: March 13, 2013, 05:48:28 PM »
True, but when a movement has gained enough power and political and cultural influence, it's fair to demand that it should be able to stop outliers and con artists far out on the side from taking over and posing as its leaders or trend setters in the media.

Quite fair, except I don't see much evidence that Magdalena Sroda has posed as anything but herself or claimed to be the feminist movement's leader or trend-setter. And as to whether they'd want to stop her:

Quote
"By calling the bluff with her in public debate, I'd say. By demonstrating to the public, pointing her out, if she is badly misrepresenting the wave she claims to be on top of:  "No, YOU and us are not feminists. You are not one of us, you're simply a fake, a hypocrite and a good self-promoter.".

This also is fair. However, other feminists have in fact not hesitated to debate with her in public about a number of issues. Debate is a way of engaging someone; it's only a way of getting rid of them if their views actually don't hold up in debate. Which makes me wonder if Beorning is representing her views accurately. (Not that I think he's being intentionally deceptive or anything; I just think he may be wrong.)

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #257 on: March 13, 2013, 05:49:34 PM »
But again, it's all a bit of a crapshoot.

Totally agree.

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #258 on: March 13, 2013, 06:55:23 PM »
Totally agree.

Are we actually disagreeing about anything at this point? Cause if not we could always pick another person whose stuff isn't in Polish to hold up as our "Feminism has gone to far," figure. Or a couple of us could try taking the position of the other side.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #259 on: March 13, 2013, 07:14:15 PM »
Will no-one oppose the misandry of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #260 on: March 13, 2013, 07:24:59 PM »
Will no-one oppose the misandry of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

There are at least three dozen male characters. I think we're safe there.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #261 on: March 13, 2013, 07:34:41 PM »
There are at least three dozen male characters. I think we're safe there.

Ha, I was completely joking... but forgetting Rule 36: there's nothing so ridiculous that you can't find someone on the Internet who's argued it.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 10:18:59 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #262 on: March 13, 2013, 07:59:22 PM »
My favourite bit:

Quote
But what about young boys who are not shows that they can be anything they want?

Damn straight.  Where are the positive role models for males?  I'm glad somebody had the guts to say it. 

I'm also glad that apparently its possible to write a tumblr after donating your brain to medical science. 

Offline MHaji

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #263 on: March 13, 2013, 09:50:58 PM »
Well, if "personal impressions" about feminism trump the bigger picture, here's an impression that's about as personal as it gets:

My mother was one of the earlier generations of women doctors in the US. She and every other woman who wen to med school in her time had to fight to be taken seriously, but she managed to build a career and lasting friendships, write and publish some books, and save a lot of lives. At the time of her retirement, she explicitly said she'd had no regrets, even as medicine was getting impersonal.

This job did not prevent her from getting married and becoming a mother of two, respected by both her family and her friends. It allowed her to pursue her vocation and do a lot of good.

Example 2: A mentor of mine is a biology professor who fights for better representation of women and minorities in science. Her accomplishments were made possible by the work of feminists.

There you go, two women. Will feminism ever bring women happiness?

It has! Especially when combined with the efforts of the women in question and the support of non-assholes everywhere. They've still faced discrimination and all kinds of bullshit, but at least they had the chance to be happy.

I mean, I guess the thread question could mean something else, something incredibly inane and disingenuous. But I've answered the question as it was literally posed.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 04:47:10 AM by MHaji »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #264 on: March 13, 2013, 10:34:39 PM »
True, but when a movement has gained enough strength, confidence and political and cultural influence, it's fair to demand that it should be able to stop outliers and con artists far out on the side from taking over and posing as its leaders or trend setters in the media.

There is a fair difference between 'should' and 'can' - in fact, I would argue that the inability to really oust outliers and con artists are why people like John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and Michelle Bachmann are still in office and on the news. (God, someone please get them off the news, I'm so sick of hearing about them.)

Offline Beorning

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #265 on: March 14, 2013, 01:58:47 AM »
Again, being a good self-promoter has nothing to do with whether a group called "feminists" recognizes her as their "leader" or even one of their "leaders."

Fair enough. That said, my observation is that at least *some* feminist circles like her (judging by the fact her name seems always to come up during "Polish Woman of the Year" votings at Gazeta Wyborcza, for once).

Quote
And how exactly would "a movement" get rid of someone? What do you have in mind?

Let's say I tasked you, as a representative of "the movement" of Polish male voters, to "get rid of" Marek Suski for calling John Godman "your little black man" in an overhead conversation in parliament, lest I deem you racist by association for your appalling lack of action. How would you do it?

You mean John Godson. BTW. I'm surprised this you've heard about this situation over in Canada!

Anyway... Suski is an MP and a party member. It would be *very easy* to get rid of him - all it would take is that his party should renounce his membership. It has happened before, with Robert Węgrzyn - this one comment of his got him kicked out of his party.

When it comes for Środa, I'd simply want for one prominent to stand up and say: "Dear Professor, what you're saying is not fun at all". Meanwhile, I don't see it...

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #266 on: March 14, 2013, 05:09:20 PM »
Fair enough. That said, my observation is that at least *some* feminist circles like her (judging by the fact her name seems always to come up during "Polish Woman of the Year" votings at Gazeta Wyborcza, for once).

It's also possible that she has achievements to her credit that outweigh the occasional obnoxious comment. Which brings me to:

Quote
You mean John Godson. BTW. I'm surprised this you've heard about this situation over in Canada!

I ran across Godson (we regret the error) quite by accident, really, some time ago when doing a search for something totally unrelated. I remember seeing the picture of a Nigerian guy and the bio of a Polish parliamentarian and thinking it must be a prank, which is why it stuck  :P -- so I'm delighted to have been able to use this random factoid for something!  ;D

Quote
Anyway... Suski is an MP and a party member. It would be *very easy* to get rid of him - all it would take is that his party should renounce his membership.


Yes, but nobody's done that, have they? Or initiated a move to that effect? Does that mean those who have failed to do so are endorsing racism, or maybe that weighed against his other qualities, the comment -- obnoxious and clueless and offensive as it is -- actually isn't a big enough deal to throw him out (which appears to be Godson's take*)?

 [* EDIT: To be clear, though I think his "intercultural literacy" explanation is over-generous, I basically agree with him; there's racist comments and then there's racist comments, and one cannot be drumming people out of public life over peccadilloes. Someone who cracks black jokes in public is a dick, but they're not the same as someone who thinks Muslims should be rounded up and put in camps.]

I mean, I've looked for examples of Sroda saying terrible things, and I keep running across examples of other people saying much more objectionable things.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 05:16:24 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Bandita

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #267 on: March 14, 2013, 06:27:30 PM »
I donít think that statement is as true as you think it is.  Culture has a great deal more to do with how women are treated than religion.  One only has to look at Muslim women and the gradient on how they are treated across the world to see how much variation than can be with just one religion.  Much of how a woman is treated depends on the patriarchy of that society and not simply the strength of the Muslim religion in that area.  Altering religion is not the key to pushing forward with the rights of women, changing culture and minds is at the center.

Yes, but to separate culture from religion is like separating a broken yolk from the white.  It can't be done.  Your example of the Muslim religion is a great example of this.  In the early 11th century, Islamic teachers and scholars had reached a high point in leaning and philosophy.  They didn't regard Christians as their enemies, they regarded them as proto-Muslims.  It's an oversimplification but it's for the most part true.  And then the Crusades happened.  The Christians vied for holy lands, mainly Jerusalem.  Now, the culture of Christianity was just plain greedy, and didn't want to stop there, but the beginning of it was all religion, started by the pope himself. 

My point is that Muslim culture degraded after that point, taught to hate outsiders, a xenophobia bred by Christian invaders.  You can't blame either religion or culture, you have to change both at the same time, and if one aspect of that cannot change, usually the religious part, then you cannot get results. As far as I see it, it is incredibly difficult to get equal rights if you adhere to an archaic religion.  That's why Unitarians are so awesome.  They evolved, they took the parts they wanted and pretty much ignore the rest, the hurtful parts, same for the Quakers.  But you won't see Catholics evolve, because in order for that to happen it becomes a no-longer Catholic dogma.  You have to name it something else.   You have to name it Unitarian Universalism.  And you have to alter it.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #268 on: March 14, 2013, 06:44:51 PM »
Now, the culture of Christianity was just plain greedy, and didn't want to stop there, but the beginning of it was all religion, started by the pope himself.

(EDIT: It's amazing how much of a sucker I am for a good historical debate...)

Arguably the beginning of it all was geopolitics cloaked in religion. The real story at the heart of the Crusades is an extended attempt by land-hungry Frankish second-son freebooters to steal territory from the Greek world (the Byzantine Empire), or at least to which the Byzantines had once laid claim. The religious cladding gave the conflict its flavour, but it could have happened just as easily without it.

That the Crusades were responsible for a lot of subsequent Arab xenophobia (not Muslim xenophobia, the Arab world and Muslim world are not interchangeable) is true. On the other hand the idea that either Muslims or Catholics adhere to an unchanging dogma is kinda... funny. Catholic dogma isn't without significance, of course, but it's far out of step by now with what believers actually do. Arab xenophobia was itself a drift away from Muslim dogma, which specifically proscribes xenophobia. In general, religions can bend away from the original intent of their founding documents to pretty vast extents. (No disrespect to the Unitarians, who are doing a fine thing.)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 06:49:24 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Online Oniya

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #269 on: March 14, 2013, 07:01:45 PM »
(EDIT: It's amazing how much of a sucker I am for a good historical debate...)

Arguably the beginning of it all was geopolitics cloaked in religion. The real story at the heart of the Crusades is an extended attempt by land-hungry Frankish second-son freebooters to steal territory from the Greek world (the Byzantine Empire), or at least to which the Byzantines had once laid claim. The religious cladding gave the conflict its flavour, but it could have happened just as easily without it.

It was also started by a Byzantine ruler writing to the Pope in the hopes of getting a little help dealing with a small border conflict (I seem to remember it was with Egypt, but I can't look that up for an hour or so.)  That's when the Pope decided that they (the Franks) were going to 'rescue' Jerusalem from 'the infidels', which had actually been peacefully multidenominational up to that point.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #270 on: March 14, 2013, 08:10:03 PM »
It was also started by a Byzantine ruler writing to the Pope in the hopes of getting a little help dealing with a small border conflict (I seem to remember it was with Egypt, but I can't look that up for an hour or so.)  That's when the Pope decided that they (the Franks) were going to 'rescue' Jerusalem from 'the infidels', which had actually been peacefully multidenominational up to that point.

Yeah, the Turks, I think. What's interesting is why the Pope decided on that...

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #271 on: March 14, 2013, 08:17:07 PM »
Yeah, the Turks, I think. What's interesting is why the Pope decided on that...

Right.  And that's why it's Istanbul, not Constantinople.  ;D

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #272 on: March 14, 2013, 10:18:36 PM »
Hmmm.  Why did Constantinople get the works?

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #273 on: March 14, 2013, 11:52:01 PM »
That's nobody's business but the Turks.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Will feminism really bring women happiness?
« Reply #274 on: March 14, 2013, 11:52:39 PM »
Hmmm.  Why did Constantinople get the works?
I thought Constantinople was wrecked by the crusaders. I mean, the fourth crusade (1204) was all about politics and led to the single worst sacking the city ever experienced during the byzantine age (a thousand years, right up to 1453).

Even the first crusade made people in Constantinople hold their noses when the Frankish and German warriors made a stopover in their city. The emperor juist wanted them forwarded east as fast as possible.

Quote from: Wikipedia
The knights included his old Norman enemy Bohemond, who had invaded Byzantine territory on numerous occasions with his father, Robert Guiscard, and may have even attempted to organize an attack on Constantinople while encamped outside the city.

The crusaders may have expected Alexios to become their leader, but he had no interest in joining them, and was mainly concerned with transporting them into Asia Minor as quickly as possible.[65] In return for food and supplies, Alexios requested the leaders to swear fealty to him and promise to return to the Byzantine Empire any land recovered from the Turks. Godfrey was the first to take the oath, and almost all the other leaders followed him, although they did so only after warfare had almost broken out in the city between the citizens and the crusaders, who were eager to pillage for supplies. Raymond alone avoided swearing the oath, instead pledging that he would simply cause no harm to the Empire. Before ensuring that the various armies were shuttled across the Bosporus, Alexios advised the leaders on how best to deal with the Seljuq armies that they would soon encounter