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Author Topic: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation  (Read 6474 times)

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Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« on: November 04, 2014, 09:53:47 PM »
Okayso.

I've seen a LOT of people who have no actual understanding of what feminism is beyond "Fat, Ugly, Manhating, Dykes who want to DESTROY EVERYTHING" and it's just a ridiculous situation. So. Here's a little bit of education on Feminism.

Feminism started in the 1700s. Specifically, it was put together by Men who realized that how women were treated was terrible and how much things needed to change. They used their Political Voice to elevate the voices of women who had been silenced for God Only Knows how long. Prior to the 1700s any feminist agenda was either unrecorded or pushed aside and allowed to fall out of the history books. If you have to ask why I don't really know what to tell ya. ;)

In the 1700s, Abigail Adams, writing letters to her husband, did her best to influence both the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and famously stated "Remember the Ladies" which became a slogan of early feminists, as women were constantly erased from important events in history and avoided in fiction, disenfranchised, and still barely moving away from the impression of being chattel to be bargained off (which all applied equally to black women with the exception that it would be almost 100 years before they moved forward from chattlery, regardless of their opinions on feminism which were, also, largely erased). It was also one of the first surviving feminist statements.

Beyond a few early feminist voices, most of their activities were erased until almost the 1900s. Even the opposition to them has faded for the most part. However, Suffrage became a big issue.

After the passing of the 15th Amendment allowing men of any race to vote there was a hard push for women's suffrage. This lead to a massive outpouring of outrage against women getting the right to vote. Men often claimed it was about education or some other matter, but for the most part it remained an issue of controlling women's actions and political power for fear of a loss of male political power. The resulting arguments resonate well, today.

http://thesymzonian.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/suffragette4.jpg


Ugly, mean-spirited, unloved, etc etc etc. The same sort of negativity and ad-hominem we see in modern day discussions of feminism. Further, if you look at the "Statue" image, you'll see what quickly became known as "Black Sashes" or "Black Ribbons". The Anti-feminist. Often bullied or coerced with social pressure into speaking out against the right to vote. We see Black Sashes in modern Anti-Feminist movements as well. Almost invariably they are people who live in an environment where either sexism harms them only in ways they cannot perceive (having been raised in that environment from birth) or is seen as a "Small Enough" problem as to be irrelevant to their life. Thus all women are doing fine and sexism does not exist because of their anecdotal evidence. Often enough Black Sashes are women who have been bombarded with imagery of the "Ugly bull dyke man hating feminist" to the point that they espouse "Equality, but not Feminism"

You get the idea.

Early feminism pushed boundaries much farther than previous social justice movements. They were considered incredibly uncivil and did things that lead to wide-spread arrests for "Crimes" that had never existed (and were never implemented after the arrest). A wonderful example was protesting in front of the White House in full view of the President himself. To avoid being picked up on Noise Ordinances the Suffragettes marched and protested in silence, holding signs to have their opinions heard.

The result was sending out the Paddy Wagons to pick up as many as possible. Including Alice Paul, one of the most important early 1900s feminists.

For the most part all of this, between 1700 and 1960, is considered "First Wave" feminism. It tackled issues of political empowerment, for the most part, and work ethic later during the wave. However at the time, of course, it was just "Feminism"

Second Wave Feminism came out of the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. It involved trying to throw off binaristic gender ideals of men holding sexual and interpersonal power while women were the "Housewife" or "Daughter" with very little alternative. It also introduced the idea of Political Lesbianism, which is exactly what it sounds like. It also fomented the birth of the Radical Feminist. Radfems are a fringe element of the feminist movement, but they are the feminist that society grabbed ahold of and held up as "True" feminism as a method to discredit the movement for much of the same reasons as men attempted to keep women from being able to vote: Limiting female political, and now economic and interpersonal, power.

Both First and Second Wave Feminism have a singular conceit: They were specifically movements interested only in offering assistance to Straight, White, Cisgender, Abled, Upper and Middle Class Women. This lead to a strong racist vibe, mostly through Dog Whistle discourse, and while the anti-lesbian hatred became more muted in Second Wave Feminism it still lead to heavy anti-trans sentiments. Both hating "Gender Traitors" in Trans Men and "Gender Infiltrators" in Trans Women. This has caused the advent of the TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, though some are Exterminationist).

Third Wave Feminism is specifically a form of Intersectional Feminism. It recognizes that systemic oppression applies in different ways to different women and the only way to elevate all women to equality with men (specifically interpersonal, political, and economic equality with white middle class men) will require combating racism (and particularly anti-black racism), transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and classism.

Now if you read the above paragraph there can be little wrong with Third Wave Feminism as an idea. It pushes for the elevation of all women, regardless of class, race, gender, or sexuality. It's not looking to elevate women above men. It's not violent or degrading and it's not hateful by doctrine. So why is there so much animosity towards Feminism?

There are three parts to this problem.

Modern Presentation of Feminism: Even in the modern day feminism is presented as horrible, ugly, and violent. Feminists themselves are portrayed as horrible, ugly, and violent. This is especially true of political cartoons which twist images of feminists using socially unacceptable traits, such as ugliness, weight, or sexual promiscuity. Entertainment media, on the other hand, still follows the second wave Radfem as dominant and exclusive. Even the Powerpuff Girls, a cartoon meant to target young girls and provide messages of female empowerment, kindness, and equality used radical feminism presented -as- feminism the antagonist. And even her accurate and insightful examples of sexism in society were undermined by her activities and use of a positive message to cloak or misdirect (which are, themselves, negative traits attributed to women and feminists in particular). This creates an antagonistic relationship with feminism from a young age and shapes perception even in women.


http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/fem.gif

Second Wave Feminism is not dead: The last Suffragette to die in the United States lived long enough to watch Jurassic Park in the Theatres. Clara Elizabeth Chan Lee was the first Chinese-American Woman to cast a ballot. The last primary Suffragette in the UK lived long enough to survive Matrix Revolutions on DVD and could have watched X-Men 3: Last Stand in the movie theatre. Clara died on October 5th 1993. People who were born on the day she died have been legally allowed to drink for 30 days. That is how -recent- Suffrage happened. Second Wave Feminists, by contrast, are in their 50s and 60s. Guess what the median age of Congress is. Did you guess 60? You're off by 3 it's 57. First Wave Feminists are in their 70s and 80s, still alive and hanging out in Congress. So while feminism is changing to be more intersectional there are deep-seated racists and transphobes who still hold a lot of political power, not just in Congress but within the movement itself.

Starting to get the idea of why Radfems are still used by mainstream media as the "Face" of feminism? All white, too. And Cis. Though they tend to hold up Lesbians because "They don't have sex with men! That's so strange!"

The third major reason is: Black Sashes.

Look. I get it. Some lucky people live sheltered lives. They exist all over the place. Look at Congress, for example. Or Straight White Cisgender Upper Middle Class Men who think racism is dead because the Civil Rights movement happened and now we've got a black president. Some women don't face sexism. Some trans individuals live comfortable lives sheltered from the worst abuses that occur to other members of the same minority. Almost all of these people want to throw off labels because they see no use for them and don't want to be associated with the "Bad" part of a group. So Feminism is cast aside, even though they recognize that inequality exists and is bad and should be fixed.

This is where we get into the issue of Privilege. Now a lot of you may want to tune out (many of you probably already have) but I hope you'll stick with me.

Privilege is not a bad thing. It's a good thing. Having Privilege doesn't make you a bad person. And when someone tells you to Check your Privilege they're telling you to take stock and recognize what you have that others -don't-. That's how systemic oppression works. That's why I have to specify Straight White Cisgender Abled Middle Class Man. Because I'm touching on all the privileges that he has that a Gay White Cisgender Albed Middle Class Man or a Straight Black Cisgender Abled Middle Class Man doesn't. Because there are things that both of those men have better in their lives than what the other has. And the Straight and White cisgender abled middle class man has it better in all categories. But still doesn't have it as good as a straight white cisgender abled Upper Class man does.

These are Axes of oppression and privilege. And yes. Somewhere out there is a Bisexual Black Transgender Disabled Poverty Stricken Woman. There are actually many of them. It's not about who has the "Most" oppression. It's not the oppression olympics as people are fond of waving it off. It's about finding where the oppression is in a given person's life and fixing that problem.

And so women who are privileged in a variety of ways, and sheltered from the oppression they face as women through regional considerations (specific nice neighborhood/town), ignorance of their oppression, or cash (because cash is a huge benefit) undercut feminism. Specifically because feminism is not relevant to their individual life, they campaign against it helping others.

Just like Black Sashes stood at the forefront of Anti-Suffrage movements saying "I'm queen of my home. I raise my babies. That's it. I don't need to vote."

Thank you for taking the time to read all of that. Here. Have a nice music video on the topic of suffrage to unwind. Something that is under attack, even today, by hard right groups still seeking to limit the political power of women and minority men.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 06:32:14 AM by Dim Hon »

Offline Kathadon

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 11:39:06 PM »
This is informative and engaging on the history of Feminism.

Thank you for taking the time to write it.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 11:43:36 PM »
You're very welcome.  :-)

I highly encourage everyone to seek out other sources who are willing to share. Just do take into account the biases of the writers you look into, especially in the second wave of feminism.

Also avoid TERFs like the plague. They're simply dreadful people.  :'(

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 12:03:07 AM »
Thankyou, I had some limited idea of the history but this really helped put it all together into a more cohesive whole. I'm so glad to see the progress that we've made and it gives me hope that more can be achieved. The idea now of a woman not being able to vote just seems strange and hard to imagine for me. I hope sometime in the future the issues people are struggling for today seem equally incomprehensible.

The video was very fun too.

Also avoid TERFs like the plague. They're simply dreadful people.  :'(

I know a few older feminists who haven't really taken intersectionality on board. I don't like their viewpoint regarding transgendered people and cringe at some of the concepts like 'you have to bleed to be a woman'.

I don't think that they're dreadful people though. To hold to their values and beliefs when everyone was telling them that they were wrong would have been incredibly tough in the face of the opposition they fought against. I think it's meant internalizing some values to the degree that they're difficult to shake even now that time has moved on and we have a better understanding of these concepts. They helped change the world, but it's a tragedy that in doing so they haven't been able to achieve the benefits in free-thinking and openness that their struggles have opened to so many other men and women.

It's sad, and I don't like the pain that it can cause for transgendered people, but I don't think they're dreadful.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 12:29:43 AM »
Couple of notes:

I acknowledge that I'm probably biased against TERFs because I get reams of hate mail from them. Violent threats, questioning of my gender, biological essentialism, etc.

Now there are Trans-Critical feminists. And they I can talk to and deal with on a reasonable basis, even educate. But trans-exclusionary radical feminists often espouse illegal and often violent actions. Not limited to outing trans women to violent hate groups, employers, friends, acquaintances, and family or even going so far as to release people's private medical information publicly.

Second: Transgendered is not the term. Transgender is. Think of it like the states of matter rather than an event in the past. A liquid isn't a liquided gas, for example. Transgender individuals or transgender people works fine, but it's a state of being rather than something you do or have done. I don't, currently, transgender. I haven't transgendered. And I don't look forward to transgendering. I am transgender.

The common verb tied to transgender individuals is Transition, which can be put into the past tense as transitioned or a present activity as transitioning.

Hope that helps!

Offline consortium11

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 12:33:22 AM »
As with pretty much all (I'd say the answer is all but I'm giving myself some wiggle room) political/social/whatever you want to call it movements/ideas/groups/whatever you want to call them feminism is a big term that encompasses a wide range of groups. Steampunkette's done a a great job above of setting out many of the various different approaches and views within feminism. The difference between the various "waves" is an important one to note as is the fact that "radfems"/TERFs who often get the attention are a small, small, small minority. If one delves into the feminist blog'o'sphere you'll frequently see feminists themselves leading the charge against such figures (notably the TERFS)... but it rarely goes beyond that online domain to make wider news.

Why do such people get the attention while the efforts against them don't?

1) Because it makes good, clickbait ready (in this modern age) copy to write about man hating, radical feminists who have chosen to become "lesbian" (and I use the quotes as I'm not even sure it can be classed as lesbianism) as a political statement and detest the idea of a woman who's settled down, got married and had children. It gets comment sections flowing, the twitter-verse ablaze etc etc.

2) As Steampunkette says, most of these radfems/TERFs came out of the second wave and so they're now frequently old and established enough to have a louder microphone than their numbers really demand. To give a simple example, I give you Julie Burchill and an article that neatly encapsulates virtually everything that's wrong with that brand of feminism (warning, extremely transphobic language). Just to give it some context Burchill is (or at least was) one of the highest profile feminists in the UK regularly writing for the Guardian/Observer (the most prominent progressive paper). Yet in that article (originally written for the Observer) she not only goes on a transphobic rant which deservedly got most of the attention and criticism she also throws in a casual aside about feasting on lobster and champagne as a young writer... not exactly "salt of the earth" style of living.

That in many ways sums up prominent second wave feminists in today's day and age; white, wealthy and stuck with a worldview that concentrates entirely on men vs white, relatively wealthy women. They look at feminism as being solely about men vs women without taking other factors... be they monetary, gender, disability or race-based into account. And they tend to be pretty strongly transphobic.

That's why the third wave is important. It understood that matters of gender can't be divorced from other matters entirely. If feminism is about making life better for women (and I'll comment a bit more on that later but it's a good starting point) then does it really matter if the life of a disabled, poor, black, homosxua woman is as terrible as the life of a disabled, poor, black, homosexual man... sure it's equal but it's still terrible. If feminism is about improving the lives of women then it doesn't matter if the issues aren't strictly gender based... they're still issues.

With that said though, I think there are some issues with Third Wave feminism that do hark back somewhat to the issues with the Second Wave. In truth saying issues with Third Wave feminism is somewhat unfair because it's more to do with issues of the amount of media coverage certain things get, but they also get considerable support from other feminists. I'll call the issue "trivial feminism", although again that's somewhat unfair... the issues may not be trivial in-and-of themselves but in light of other things they seemingly become so and/or only impact on a tiny number of women.

Now, I'm not going to follow the "why are you concentrating on this when something worse is happening?" argument. It's weak and false... no-one says the police should stop investigating robberies because there are unsolved murders to give a simple example. But the triumph of intersectionality was recognising how issues of class/wealth (although the two are different), race, sexuality, disability etc impact on women and thus must be given attention. Yet all too often we instead see the "headline" feminist issues being "Ban Bossy" (which is actually a somewhat important idea ruined by a terrible slogan and focus) or "No More Page 3" or "women on banknotes" or tropes vs women in video games or increasing the number of female board members at companies or well, pretty much anything on Jezebel. Even when intersectionality does make an appearance again it tends to delve into the "trivial" things... what insensitive comment did what celebrity make for example. Again, I'm not saying these issues should be completely ignored or not campaigned for... but why so much attention and support for them as compared to say, increasing the standard of living of those in poverty or campaigning against genital mutilation (although that one does at least get some support)? This touches on the wider privilege argument but in my view the two/three biggest privileges one can have are to be able in body/mind and to have wealth... if privilege is about having advantages in life then I'd strongly suggest that someone without physical or mental disabilities and considerable wealth has a bigger advantage in life then someone who suffers from physical or mental disabilities (or at least the more impactful types) and is incredibly poor regardless of pretty much any other factor. If we follow intersectionality then it's therefore those things that should get the most attention and support... far too frequently it isn't. Far too often modern Third Wave feminism comes across as upper-middle class, fairly wealthy, ablebodied-and-minded women complaining about issues that either impact on relatively few women or that are somewhat trivial. It's privileged women forgetting that they are privileged and thinking that the most serious issues for all women are the ones that impact on them.

And that brings us to privilege.

Ah, privilege.

Privilege is simple. There are certain things in life... having a certain amount of wealth, being of a certain race, sex, sexuality or religion, not having disabilities are all common examples... that in essence make life easier. That doesn't mean life will be easy, just easier. I understand why people react badly to the idea; it sometimes comes across as saying that they do have an easy life because they're a white, heterosexual male from a middle class background for example when that may not be the case... but the truth is that life is most likely easier for a white, heterosexual cis-male from a "nice" middle class background then it is for a black, gay, trans-woman from a dysfunctional poverty stricken background even if everything else is the same. "Privilege" also is specific rather than universal... a man may have more privilege than a women in matters related to gender but that doesn't mean he likewise has more in other areas... a gay man likely has less than a straight woman when it comes to sexuality for example. You don't "tot up" a privilege score by combining all factors and use that in every situation... you look at the ones relevant to the situation at hand.

But I think there are real issues with the way "check your privilege!" is used.

"Check your privilege!" is a trite phrase that, to me, is essentially saying that one shouldn't rely on anecdote or universalize your experiences. So a man saying "I don't see what's the issue with comments on looks... I'd love a woman to say they thought I was damn sexy" is taking his own (privileged) viewpoint/anecdote and universalizing it for his argument. Because he isn't bothered by it it isn't an issue... but as a result of his privilege he's unlikely to have been subjected to such remarks from unwanted third parties throughout his life or have people who were meant to be taking him seriously professionally say it etc etc. He should step back, acknowledge his privilege and reconsider his view.

I do note that this should work both ways... just as someone with a lot of privilege in a given area should be careful not to universalise their views so should someone with very little; someone who has suffered extreme racial abuse throughout their life should not assume their experiences and reaction are universal any more than someone who hasn't suffered any should assume theirs are.

So far so good for me. And it's worth adding that someone can go off, check their privilege and come back with exactly the same position. As long as they're using evidence and not merely universalizing their own experiences/anecdotes then their privilege no longer matters... it's the strength of the argument they use.

And that's why I dislike "check your privilege!". Far too often I see it used not as a call to reconsider your argument/comment and think whether your position in and experience of life made you make that argument/comment without looking at other views, opinions and feelings but instead as a way to shut down discussion or a club to beat people with. A man makes a comment on a gender issue... check your privilege! You're a man and thus your argument is wrong. A white person makes a comment on race... check your privilege! You're white and thus your argument is wrong! What, you're still talking? Privilege! A white person saying that they don't see an issue with stop and search by the police can legitimately be asked to check their privilege... historically the police overuse such powers on certain  minorities and thus their race shields the commentator from the downsides of such laws... but if the white person comes back, having considered their position and keeps the same one addng that the police disproportionately stop and search certain minorities because statistically certain minorities commit a disproportionately high number of crimes then telling them to check their privilege means nothing... they have and now have evidence rather than universalized anecdote; they may well be wrong but it's the argument that needs to be confronted, not who gave it.

One final comment on modern feminism. It's caught in a pretty difficult debate with itself on the concept of sexuality or, more accurately, sexualisation and sex. When Miley Cyrus does her twerking, tongue sticking out thing is that a young woman taking control of her sexuality and reveling in it or is it someone being exploited? Is a pornstar who earns a considerable amount of money having sex on camera (normally more than their male co-stars) an example of feminism in action or a sad example of how women are reduced to a piece of meat? Is a woman appearing on the previously mentioned Page 3 an example of how women can voluntarily enjoy looking "sexy" and be rewarded for it or being demeaned? Are women who engage in BDSM play on the submissive side simply reveling in the fact they are now free to ask for this or are they perpetuating the idea of the weak woman being dominated by a man? The debate between "sex positive" and "sex negative" feminists is still ongoing and there's no end in sight.

Back to feminism specifically.

And back to arguably the biggest question of all.

The nature of it.

First, I'm sure we've all heard the "feminism is wrong, we should be egalitarians" argument. It's fairly weak as it only ever seems to apply to feminism. As far as I'm aware no-one criticizes lung cancer charities for not dealing with breast cancer or aid for Africa charities for not giving aid to Asia. But it does touch on one point, which is the difficulty of getting a nice definition of feminism and what it really means.

Isn't it simple? I did say above that feminism is about making life better for women and that seems to make sense. But it also runs slap bang into the idea of "man haters". If feminism is just about making life better for women then it doesn't matter what the consequences for men are. Screw 'em. Give women all the rights, make men suffer etc etc. For a movement largely built around the injustice women suffered in comparison to men it would be extremely strange to turn it into a "revenge" movement about repeating such injustice but the other way. Would life for women improve if for every bit of money a man earned, half of it was taken away, put into a fund and then distributed to all women? Most likely. Is that the sort of feminism all but the most fringe groups want or would support? I highly doubt it.

So change it round then... make the goal of feminism to make women equal to men. But that runs into it's own problems. Gender pay gap? Lower male wages... problem solved. Slut shaming? Insult men who sleep around just as much as you insult women etc etc. That would be a completely legitimate way to "solve" such issues and bring equality. And if the goal is equality then you also have to consider the ways that men are statistically worse off than women... more likely to commit suicide, more likely to be assaulted, statistically likely to die earlier. You have to solve those issues by either making things worse for women or directly making things better for men... and a feminism based around making life worse for women or concentrating on improving mens' lives seems a very strange brand of feminism.

Worse, it also runs into an issue mentioned near the start of this piece. Make the lives of women equal to the lives of men... but if the life of a mentally and physically disabled, homosexual, poor Muslim is still pretty bad (note; if) then is it really a cause for celebration that men and women with those characteristics struggle through it on equal footing? It's focusing entirely on one area of privilege and ignoring all the others.

As it stands neither "making life better for women" or "making women equal to men" are a goal in and of themselves that seem acceptable. Trying to combine them works in principle but trying to put together exact wording doesn't seem to help much "improving women's lives till they're equal to men" is a decent start but has its own problems. The concept is somewhat easy to understand but to put that in words, especially short, snappy words which would be the perfect answer to "what is feminism?" Not so easy.

Which is where intersectionality is important again.

If life is better for everyone then life will be better for women as well. If life is better for LGBT people it will be better for LGBT women. If life is better for people of all races, it will be better for women of all races. If life is better for people of limited wealth it will be better for women of limited wealth. If life is better for people regardless of gender then it will be better for women. Feminism and feminists will obviously focus on the female aspect of that... the clue's in the name... but the positive of intersectionality is that they don't have to focus on that alone. Feminism is about making life better for women... but to better the life of women involves bettering the life of everyone.

To give a simple example, many people (rightfully) complain that domestic abuse is sometimes painted as an entirely gendered issue with men as the abusers and women the victims. That's not true... the evidence suggests that while more women are abused (and their abuse tends to be of a worse kind) men are also the victims. Likewise people complain about how services and shelters for victims of domestic abuse are often aimed at and restricted to ciswomen... there have been some awful individual stories about trans-women and men being left alone and helpless. But...

1) We're seeing more and more feminists take the view that they're campaigning against domestic abuse not just domestic abuse against women and thus the opening of more gender-neutral shelters and support (and occasionally ones specific to men).

2) The issue of domestic abuse against men is getting more and more attention and support then ever. It may be indirect, it may have come about by people trying to say "Gotcha! Men are abused too!" to feminists in arguments and debates but the result is that a problem that had long been swept under the carpet has finally been given some attention. That's a good thing.

There are still debates and issues to be hand within feminism... the sex positive/negative thing mentioned above for one and the role of men within it for another; can a man be a feminist or merely an ally? Can a man take a leading role in a feminist movement? Is it right for a man to explain/correct a woman on feminism (even if he's seemingly right) or is that classic "mansplaining". Is the sort of "OMG!" gossipy, somewhat snarky trend in modern online feminism a real replacement (or improvement) on the more academic, "boots on the ground" type of feminism of yesteryear? We could look at why the sort of issues mentioned in the section on "trivial" feminism get more attention than other areas.

But feminism for me is about making life better for women. But life can only get better for women when it's better for everyone. Feminism is in essence a branch of positive egalitarianism; it doesn't want people to have an equally sucky life, it wants them to have an equally good one.

Offline consortium11

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 12:51:21 AM »
I don't think that they're dreadful people though.

I have a less positive view.

To give some quotes (source here). I'll note I'm starting with the mild (and I use that term very loosely) ones and building up...

In spoilers for extremely transphobic hate speech; it's about as bad as one can imagine
Quote
SCAMs (Surgically and Chemically Altered Males) are nothing more than MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) in dresses.

Quote
The libfems who are being so indoctrinated by patriarchal trans ideologies need to wake up and stop believing the lies. Libfems, especially, please stop internalizing the big patriarchal lie that says that men can somehow “become” women, a lie that was created by the male-supremacist medical establishment to begin with. Libfems, please stop supporting trans attacks against us. Stop believing they are “women;” they’re MEN. Show us that you don’t want to be handmaidens of patriarchy, coz that’s sad…

Quote
I feel like all one would need to do to counteract the funfem support of transwomen is ask them if they’d like to fuck a transwomen. Hypocritical eye-darting may just ensue.

Quote
Oh, dontcha know? Anybody can be a woman if they feel like one…even if they have a big, hairy cock hangin’ between their legs.

Quote
I get really angry at these men who assert they are womon…I just wanna tell them to fuck off and find a gender of their own and leave OURs alone- bastards all of them…


Quote
The male-born are biologically incomplete mutants, useless and obsolete; walking viruses on two legs and a cancer, spreading disease, death and destruction wherever they go. They are the walking-dead and the antithesis to life. Gyn-energy sucking vampires who have to plug into women and feed on them in order to survive. No different than a parasite who sucks the life and energy out of its host.

Quote
There are no words to describe them. There are tiny parasitic wasps who paralyze small animals (spiders, caterpillars, etc.) and lay their eggs on them, so the animal is alive while being slowing eaten by the growing baby. But the wasps aren’t deliberately cruel. These men remind me of a deliberately female-hating version of that. They’ve prove what I’ve been saying for decades — they are more female-hating than even many het men. The character in Silence of the Lambs who skinned women to wear really seems more accurate all the time.

Quote
They expect we’ll be shocked to see statistics about them being killed, and don’t realize, some of us wish they would ALL be dead.

That's a small example of one set of quotes from one list of them. There are more.

I struggle to see how anyone who is happy to hold and voice those views can be seen as anything other than dreadful. They may be lovely in lots of other ways (although considering some of those quotes and the bile it would take to not only think but also express them I'm not entirely sure) but, to indulge in some hyperbole, Ed Gein loved and cared for his mother... he was also a despicable man. Again, that's hyperbolic but I think the point is somewhat clear.

Offline Kathadon

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 01:02:24 AM »
I would go so far as to mention SWERFs to be another branch of Feminism to be avoided.

Sex worker exclusionary Feminists. Nothing like the hypocrisy of a group denying an other group's agency like SWERFs  do to those women in pornagraphy and the legal sex trades.

I completely agree that Feminism gets a bad wrap by the general public. Even going so far as to have this fact mentioned recently by Emma Watson on the floor of the U.N. Unfortunately there is no core Feminist ideology as the movement is still fluid in many academic circles and no Feminist I.D. card handed out to to show which branch is the "real" Feminism. That is how we get sex negative and sex positive feminists after all.

There is also the problematic power structures in many feminist groups that is also a cause for concern for women of color. Although I believe some groups are taking steps to enact changes to diversify themselves and should be commended for it.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 01:03:35 AM by Kathadon »

Offline Shjade

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 01:12:24 AM »
I have little to add on this topic overall, just one thought:

All these acronyms sure do seem like a swell way to dehumanize people.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 01:29:51 AM »
Pretty good post on the topic, Consortium. I disagree with the "Trivial Feminism" idea, though and here is why:

We live in a society where people are bombarded by media. Constant inundation of comedy, political theory, action, adventure, drama, and more. Where ideas are communicated far more strongly than they are by a teacher who talks about a given topic for a half an hour once a year. And a given person is going to be exposed to hundreds of tiny microaggressions in a given day. Microaggressions that shape the way we view the world because we're surrounded by the same viewpoint coming from a hundred different sources, whether as credible as a primary source (teacher) or not, gives the impression that the primary source of information is wrong in relation to greater society.

Before I transitioned I had no idea that sexism was as pervasive as it is. But over the course of a year I went from completely oblivious to it to being surrounded and bombarded with it from every source. I don't think I can express how much that opened my eyes.

And yeah. Sex Worker Exclusionary Rad Fems are also terrible. I'm perfectly cool with examining the harmful structures in porn and sex work, specifically the hazards of the job and the way sex workers are treated, but that's about as far as I go into it, and always with an eye to supporting and protecting the sex worker herself from abuse.

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 01:36:29 AM »
I acknowledge that I'm probably biased against TERFs because I get reams of hate mail from them. Violent threats, questioning of my gender, biological essentialism, etc.

Yeah, that can definitely have an effect on how you see people.

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Now there are Trans-Critical feminists. And they I can talk to and deal with on a reasonable basis, even educate.

That was more what I was thinking.

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But trans-exclusionary radical feminists often espouse illegal and often violent actions. Not limited to outing trans women to violent hate groups, employers, friends, acquaintances, and family or even going so far as to release people's private medical information publicly.

That's horrific.

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Second: Transgendered is not the term. Transgender is.

Ah thankyou, I will try to remember that.

All these acronyms sure do seem like a swell way to dehumanize people.

That can certainly be true and is something I think we should all try to be careful of. Sometimes it's just more convenient for typing, for example when I say GLBTQA-friendly I'm not trying to dehumanize gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer or asexual people. But sometimes it's more than that, certainly something I think we should be conscious of in our use of language. Well spotted.

I struggle to see how anyone who is happy to hold and voice those views can be seen as anything other than dreadful. They may be lovely in lots of other ways (although considering some of those quotes and the bile it would take to not only think but also express them I'm not entirely sure) but, to indulge in some hyperbole, Ed Gein loved and cared for his mother... he was also a despicable man. Again, that's hyperbolic but I think the point is somewhat clear.

I've just never really been able to hate people. I'm not trying to get up on a high horse here and I'm not saying that it's the best way of viewing things, or that people doing otherwise is wrong, it's just where I tend to naturally drift to myself. That's just part of my own bias looking at these situations.

Ed Gein for example had quite a difficult life and was the victim of childhood bullying and what many would consider in modern days to be an abusive family environment. The compulsions that drove him to commit murder were part of the course of his life's events, I can't despise him for it even if I support his incarceration for the protection of others and acknowledge that his actions caused horrible suffering for his victims and those affected by his crimes.

Offline Lady Laura

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 02:40:05 AM »
Feminism is an absolute failure it is now tied to the left of politics and many of the things that happen to women which also effect the men who care for them are ignored by feminists who are more interested in pursuing trivial policies.

Look at the Rotterham case in England as an example, the feminists were silent.

No time or respect for feminism at all.

And yes it is poorly represented - by the feminists themselves.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 02:41:16 AM by Lady Laura »

Offline Kathadon

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2014, 03:03:28 AM »
Feminism is an absolute failure it is now tied to the left of politics and many of the things that happen to women which also effect the men who care for them are ignored by feminists who are more interested in pursuing trivial policies.

Look at the Rotterham case in England as an example, the feminists were silent.

No time or respect for feminism at all.

And yes it is poorly represented - by the feminists themselves.

I would not call the Rotterham case a failure of Feminism, but of the authorities for fear of being labeled with Islamophobia. Generalising those authorities as entirely left leaning themselves is simplistic and disingenuous.

That said it is a very glaring example of modern society's simplistic believe the victim ideology when it is a fact that nothing is black and white. It is not racist to investigate crimes allegedly committed by a minority. A perceived victim is not infallible and the potential victim in this case was not the muslim minority, but the young women. A case of institutionalised political correctness gone tragically too far.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2014, 03:15:40 AM »
Anti-Feminists trot out the Rotherham case pretty often. And it remains a bogus red herring slung about to undermine social justice movements.

If your argument is that Rotherham proves all feminism is dead, useless, and terrible then I have no respect for it. Too much has been accomplished to say one failure (Specifically the single biggest trigger of Third Wave feminism in the UK thanks to the silencing performed by Second Wavers) negates the value.

If you (generic you) hate feminists and or feminism then I highly recommend adding me to your ignore list to avoid the temptation to make uncivil posts.

Offline Lady Laura

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 05:27:18 AM »
I would not call the Rotterham case a failure of Feminism, but of the authorities for fear of being labeled with Islamophobia. Generalising those authorities as entirely left leaning themselves is simplistic and disingenuous.

That said it is a very glaring example of modern society's simplistic believe the victim ideology when it is a fact that nothing is black and white. It is not racist to investigate crimes allegedly committed by a minority. A perceived victim is not infallible and the potential victim in this case was not the muslim minority, but the young women. A case of institutionalised political correctness gone tragically too far.

Rotterham is but one of many cases, there is a rape epidemic across Western Europe and most of the rapists are Muslims, they don't act because as I said Feminism has hitched it's tethers to the Left and the Left couldn't give a stuff if White women and girls are raped, the Left care about the downfall of the West and they seem to love Islam.

I would call Rotterham Institutionalized Racism against White Anglo Saxon's, not just PC and something we are seeing more and more of.

Not sure how off topic I am getting so will reign it, the title of the thread caught my eye and I just laughed as it is Feminists who give Feminism a bad name and it would have been PC Feminist Drones who failed to act on the complaints and information that were handed to them for fear of upsetting their PC masters.

Anti-Feminists trot out the Rotherham case pretty often. And it remains a bogus red herring slung about to undermine social justice movements.

If your argument is that Rotherham proves all feminism is dead, useless, and terrible then I have no respect for it. Too much has been accomplished to say one failure (Specifically the single biggest trigger of Third Wave feminism in the UK thanks to the silencing performed by Second Wavers) negates the value.

If you (generic you) hate feminists and or feminism then I highly recommend adding me to your ignore list to avoid the temptation to make uncivil posts.

Oh don't worry Steam, I ignore your posts anyway, you make less and less sense all the time and do nothing but apologize for the failures of PC and drone and on and on about your idea of Social Justice yet obviously couldn't care less about 1,400 British girls who were abused not to mention the rape and sexual assaults of many of other women.

Typical Left Wing hypocrisy.

Your term "Red Herring" alone means you are in denial, so just ignore anyone who makes sense and you will remain happy I am sure.

Your wish is granted, you are on my ignore list as I cannot talk to someone who wants to see what I love and what is a part of me die.

Oddly enough I wasn't responding to you in my first post on this thread anyway.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 05:30:58 AM by Lady Laura »

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2014, 05:40:44 AM »
Glad I could help Caelhim, by the way.

And if you'd like a shorter way to say GBLTQAIP+ I find MOGAI works very well.

It stands for "Marginalized Orientations, Genders, And Intersex" and is moving around social justice circles very positively. Much more positively than GSM (Gender and Sexual Minorities) which while initially popular came under heavy scrutiny when it was revealed the term came from an incredibly bigoted scientist who used GSM as a dog whistle to shit on MOGAI individuals.

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2014, 05:42:53 AM »
Feminism has hitched it's tethers to the Left

Feminism is an abstract noun, it can't hitch its tethers anywhere, it's a group composed of those who join it.

If you feel that feminism is lacking in right wing representation and you have those values yourself, why not join the group and thereby diversify its range of political opinion. Women's causes can only be strengthened by having people of all political affiliations coming out in support of them.

The American right wing has had strong involvement in feminism and suffrage from the beginning. The Republican National Committee organized the National Woman's Republican Association back in 1888. No one owns feminism.

Offline Lady Laura

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2014, 05:49:23 AM »
Feminism is an abstract noun, it can't hitch its tethers anywhere, it's a group composed of those who join it.

If you feel that feminism is lacking in right wing representation and you have those values yourself, why not join the group and thereby diversify its range of political opinion. Women's causes can only be strengthened by having people of all political affiliations coming out in support of them.

The American right wing has had strong involvement in feminism and suffrage from the beginning. The Republican National Committee organized the National Woman's Republican Association back in 1888. No one owns feminism.

It was a figure of speech I thought someone on a writing site would have understood that.

Feminism is dead anyway they just don't realize it yet and yes it is owned by the Left wing and they can have it. It's an embarrassment to intelligent women everywhere.

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2014, 05:52:49 AM »
It stands for "Marginalized Orientations, Genders, And Intersex" and is moving around social justice circles very positively.

It's a nice phrase, I'll add it to my linguistic toolbox. Although honestly I've come to kind of like the alphabet soup approach of GLBTQAIP etc. By its very nature it shows just how diverse human sex, sex expression, sexuality and gender can be. The fact that it's a group that can't be easily simplified, even in an abbreviation... I like that. That covers what diversity is all about to me in a delightfully meta way.

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GSM (Gender and Sexual Minorities) which while initially popular came under heavy scrutiny when it was revealed the term came from an incredibly bigoted scientist who used GSM as a dog whistle to shit on MOGAI individuals.

Even without that history, I don't like that term as much. It sounds like a diagnosis. Far too clinical for my liking (although I suppose it could be fine for academic and scientific texts).

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2014, 06:05:21 AM »
It was a figure of speech I thought someone on a writing site would have understood that.

Just because I enjoy writing, doesn't mean I can glean the context of everything written by everyone always. I'm a hobbyist writer of erotic fiction, it's hardly the highlight of my resume, even if it is a damn fun hobby.

And honestly, that comment strikes me as a little bit rude. If you think I've missed something, I'd appreciate you explaining it, rather than calling my abilities as a writer and worthiness to be on the site into question. Sorry if you didn't mean it that way, but that's how it looks.

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Feminism is dead anyway they just don't realize it yet and yes it is owned by the Left wing and they can have it.

If people start abandoning women's issues because of division between unrelated political principles then yeah, it probably is dead. Wouldn't you rather do something about it? If the right doesn't get involved, why be surprised that the issue only has left wing representation?

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2014, 06:13:42 AM »
I can definitely understand and appreciate that viewpoint! It's why I love the Vlog Brothers video "Human Sexuality is Complicated" And while I would rather not go too far afield in this thread maybe I'll make up a separate thread to explain in greater detail what they explain in a very brief video.

Offline Blythe

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2014, 08:12:18 AM »
Nothing much to add (and am mostly posting to get this in my "unread replies" list) except that I very much enjoyed the opening post, and I got to learn a new term, 'political lesbianism.' Thanks for an insightful and informative topic, Steampunkette.  :-)

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2014, 08:21:12 AM »
Happy to do it! Giving people a more full understanding of Social Justice Movements helps, I find. Especially when they get the fuller picture of the actions that lead to the movement's formation or change. It can also help people to look at things critically and see how they connect. So that's cool, too!

Online Dim Hon

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2014, 08:23:40 AM »
Staff note; Please disregard Lady Laura's posts. Staff has discovered this person is a duplicate account of a previously banned member and have acted accordingly. Thank you.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 08:35:27 AM by Dim Hon »

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: An overview of Feminism and its terrible representation
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2014, 08:30:09 AM »
I also want to apologize for using the conjunctive it's instead of the possessive its in the title of this thread.

I know it bugs the crap out of some people and it is a mistake I make quite often.