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Author Topic: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation  (Read 6488 times)

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Offline Slywyn

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #150 on: December 04, 2014, 04:48:00 PM »

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #151 on: December 04, 2014, 04:52:14 PM »


Freedom and equality for all mankind! Let every Human being have the same rights as the other!  ;D

Offline SouvlakiSpaceStation

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #152 on: December 07, 2014, 09:37:56 PM »
Love Chimamanda. And I love how Beyonce included some sound bites of her in this song:


(edited-- I posted the wrong video  :-[)

(I wish I could post the original music video because it's so great, but of course it's not on Youtube. :( )

I have troubled and mixed thoughts over celebrities championing feminism out of nowhere though. I'm afraid it will become de-politicized and just another capitalist marketing tool.

There's no way I'm reading the rest of this thread.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 09:41:32 PM by SouvlakiSpaceStation »

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #153 on: December 07, 2014, 11:07:16 PM »
I have troubled and mixed thoughts over celebrities championing feminism out of nowhere though. I'm afraid it will become de-politicized and just another capitalist marketing tool.

It's a tough call. On one hand I think what you suggest there might happen (in some ways I think it already has).

However on the other hand, I think feminism will achieve its goals when everyone everywhere takes it on board and it's just a part of everyday culture.

I think there's going to be some uncomfortable moments in between as we get there.

Offline Prosak

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #154 on: December 12, 2014, 08:16:51 PM »
My brother has sometime ago disscussed feminism on the boards. I wont pretend I know everything but I will try to make sense. Feminism is about combatting womens suffrage. Not equal rights. It's about focusing on womens issues, for example: achieving the right to vote, but not caring in general about how men only get drafted. A "right" or policy of law feminists chose not to fight for, due to not wanting that. A, we only want to take the good and leave the bad kind of mentality. Feminism was a good movement which gave way for modern women in the west. But is still needed for other, more third world countries. Here in the west it is sort of given a "beating a dead horse" image these days.

And can you blam peaople? Rather then any persuit vs the all to real suffrage women face all over the world. The most vocal and followed nit pick, blindly swearing there is still suffrage for women in the west. When barely any is legit. The only credible complaints such as rape, is not just a women problem. Men get raped to. Pluss, why use broad terms? All men suffer toxic masculinity. Teach men not to rape. (implying all will)

Sorry, I guess that makes me a rape apologist blinded by his white privaleg. ( a sarcastic poke at no particular person, in order to highlight offensive statements created and intended to undermine any man or women that does not agree with the echo chamber that is radical feminists.)

Sorry for any women who agrees with me, my research shows your a victim of internalised mysoginy. And your opinion is mute, for your to oppressed to recognize all of american men oppress you. (really?)

I dont believe all feminists are this idiotic, I in fact understand it's necessity. Even here in the west, where women DO have equal rights. It is still relevant. Not to change the US or europe, but to remind us to fight against real mysoginy. (a strong word turned into pillow fluff by it's overly impropper and popular use in the west.) Im not saying bigotry doesnt exist here, but it IS a minority. Women are, treated with much higher regard then most men. But this is where feminists get it wrong. The persuit of equal rights begins and ends with government, law, and policy. Not with the social treatment of others. For there will always be ass hats, and there will never be a day where everyones treated like their own special little snow flakes. As a man much wiser then me once said. "Whenever I am told, 'thats offensive' I like to tell them, I fail to see your point."

I am Aglitarian. The real word which describes equal rights. And all I have to say is, I urge feminism to shut out their radical and sexist spokes people. And listen to women whom are much wiser. And base their views with FACTS. Not, I said it and that makes it so idiocy.

Edit, my bro is Garuss vakarian by thew ay. In case any one wondered.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 08:23:10 PM by Prosak »

Offline Kythia

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #155 on: December 12, 2014, 08:32:45 PM »
Suffrage doesn't mean "suffering" or similar, as you seem to think.  It means political franchise - the right to vote in essence.  Feminism is certainly not about combating women's suffrage.

The rest of your post is also wrong, but will take more sobriety than I have to explain why. 

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #156 on: December 12, 2014, 08:38:54 PM »
Hi Prosak, I've spoken with your brother a bit, it's nice to meet you.

Suffrage is a bit of a confusing term because it sounds so similar to suffering. The word suffrage actually refers however to the right to vote, women's suffrage is a good thing and not something feminism has combated again but rather fought for. I just want to clarify this because you use the term a few times in your post where I think perhaps you meant to write women's suffering.

Edit: I was typing this at the same time as Kythia. Sorry for the duplicate point.

As a man much wiser then me once said. "Whenever I am told, 'thats offensive' I like to tell them, I fail to see your point."

Earlier in your post you referred to being offended by being described as a rape apologist or blinded by white privilege. As best I can judge by the tone of your statements (which is difficult to tell with anything written), it seems that you're actually quite bothered by offensive depictions of your own male gender identity. It might help you to see the point of others, if you compare it with how you yourself feel.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #157 on: December 12, 2014, 08:54:10 PM »
Wow... so much wrong with that post...

My brother has sometime ago disscussed feminism on the boards. I wont pretend I know everything but I will try to make sense. Feminism is about combatting womens suffrage. Not equal rights. It's about focusing on womens issues, for example: achieving the right to vote, but not caring in general about how men only get drafted. A "right" or policy of law feminists chose not to fight for, due to not wanting that. A, we only want to take the good and leave the bad kind of mentality. Feminism was a good movement which gave way for modern women in the west. But is still needed for other, more third world countries. Here in the west it is sort of given a "beating a dead horse" image these days.

No. Women's Suffrage was started by Suffragetes. Yes they could be considered feminists, but that doesn't mean ALL feminists were ONLY suffragetes. That's like saying a square is a rectangle so all rectangles are squares.

Quote
And can you blam peaople? Rather then any persuit vs the all to real suffrage women face all over the world. The most vocal and followed nit pick, blindly swearing there is still suffrage for women in the west. When barely any is legit. The only credible complaints such as rape, is not just a women problem. Men get raped to. Pluss, why use broad terms? All men suffer toxic masculinity. Teach men not to rape. (implying all will)

Sorry, I guess that makes me a rape apologist blinded by his white privaleg. ( a sarcastic poke at no particular person, in order to highlight offensive statements created and intended to undermine any man or women that does not agree with the echo chamber that is radical feminists.)

Sorry for any women who agrees with me, my research shows your a victim of internalised mysoginy. And your opinion is mute, for your to oppressed to recognize all of american men oppress you. (really?)

To be honest, I can barely decipher half of this section. First off I'd venture most western feminists want women all over the world to have equal rights, I know I do. However I don't know what you think I should be doing about it to show my support for other women who have their rights limited. Am I supposed to say attend a rally against Iranian policies? Is that enough? Do I need to raise money for groups there? Or maybe I should fly there and march against the Iranian government's policies?

"The only credible complaint is rape." Really? Are you F-ing kidding me? How about the the complaint that it's harder for women to advance in major corporations. Sometimes because we're penalized for our role in procreation. How about the double standards women face sexually? I can't protest that? What about the fact that on average I'll make less than males in similar positions? WHat about the FACT that given IDENTICAL resumes, one with the name John, the other with the name Jennifer, the MALE resume was more likely to get a call back and be offered 3-5K more on average as a starting salary. Those are FACTS. How about not being harassed when I walk down the street? You ever have a guy follow you three blocks because he wants your number? You ever have a guy stand in a doorway and not let you through because he thinks he has the right to make you talk to him? Yeah, I have. More often than I would care to discuss. That's a reality for a lot of women, and that doesn't even address the catcalling and more.

And NO, I, nor any credible feminist I've seen claims ALL men do these things. If you don't that's awesome, big thumbs up to you. You don't need to point out you don't. We're talking about the ones who do. They may not be a majority, but they're damn sure a vocal minority at least.

And then you want to complain about broad terms? Hello pot, this is kettle calling. You're labelling all feminists with the same brush then complain bout generalizing? Yeah, good luck with that.

Your research huh? Well where is this research? Did you do a study? Is it published in a peer reviewed journal? I'm excited to hear more about this "research".

And I'd comment on the rest of that section but I can't tell what your point was or if you even had one.

Quote
I dont believe all feminists are this idiotic, I in fact understand it's necessity. Even here in the west, where women DO have equal rights. It is still relevant. Not to change the US or europe, but to remind us to fight against real mysoginy. (a strong word turned into pillow fluff by it's overly impropper and popular use in the west.) Im not saying bigotry doesnt exist here, but it IS a minority. Women are, treated with much higher regard then most men. But this is where feminists get it wrong. The persuit of equal rights begins and ends with government, law, and policy. Not with the social treatment of others. For there will always be ass hats, and there will never be a day where everyones treated like their own special little snow flakes. As a man much wiser then me once said. "Whenever I am told, 'thats offensive' I like to tell them, I fail to see your point."

Governmental, Law, and Political change often start with societal change. Change the society and government will change as well. Please go look at how changing social views on gay marriage and marijuana legalization are changing government policy in regards to those issues. The same with women's issues. The more we talk about it and change minds, the more likelihood of governmental and legal changes.

Quote
I am Aglitarian. The real word which describes equal rights. And all I have to say is, I urge feminism to shut out their radical and sexist spokes people. And listen to women whom are much wiser. And base their views with FACTS. Not, I said it and that makes it so idiocy.

Edit, my bro is Garuss vakarian by thew ay. In case any one wondered.

And I urge you to listen to the voices of the majority of feminists who want equal rights and equal treatment. We're not looking for a pedestal we're looking to be treated with the same courtesy and respect as men. You might as well urge republicans to denounce voices like Rush Limbaugh or Ted Cruz, or Democrats to denounce Nancy Pelosi or Elizabeth Warren. They may be on the farther ends of the spectrum in their views, but their views are representative of only a sample of the group, not all of it.

And by the way, most feminists are egalitarian. If you can't see that, well, I suggest you read up on modern feminism, not some of the crazier stuff from the 1960s.

Offline Prosak

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #158 on: December 12, 2014, 09:38:04 PM »
Kythia: How so? I think you find me labelling all feminists ratical. I speak only against twitter feminists. By spokespeople I reffer to the anept faces of social justice warriors.

Im sorry if you find me inept, I spoke with calm clarity. Take this if anything.

Those who see no true issue, and insist there is, are not wise but blind.

Further, i will use an example. A situation which shows the problems amoung certain feminists. As well as why people face palm. When, for example. A mans brought to a tearfull apology on tv, told he is a vile pig filled with mysogyny, undermining his staple on history as well as his proudest achievement in his scientific career. Over.... A shirt... It was not a  win for women, but a sad sad show of bullying.


And for the record, ya, I meant suffering. Sorry for my inacurate use of grammer. T_T

Cae: I beleive I meant to imply those things are "offensive." Not that they offend me. None the less my point was to show that men are often the villian. Women viewed the victim. Thats what i meant by showing those broad terms. As for my sarcastic quips, Is  to show that these kinds of statements are meant to undermine anothers views, things said to silence others. It was not about the offense. Is it offensive to me? Yes. But I was not trying to use my offense. Merely show examples of things that turn people away. Though, Ia gree with your closing words. It's just people needt o try and keep their offense to themselvs when debating, or trying to teach. If all peopleh ear is, that offends me. What are they tol earn other then, you have feelings. (well shoopda woop we all do. Lol. )

Pleasure to meet you to by the way. ^^ Garuss actually speaks highly of your nuetral and peacefull stance.

Apple: Im kind of sick, so im sorry for the short rebuttle. And honestly I made my self look dumb. Well, here goes an attempt at rectifying that.

Listen, im not trying to undermine feminism. I merely tried, to no avail, to explain that feminism,but not all feminists, about the rights of women. Not men. There for is a movement that only adresses women. This is ok. I just have a disslike for the ditestable words of a few, whom are highly regarded. While other, more fair acivists are scolded, for their lack of extremity. FactualFeminist is a feminist I follow and often agree with. An educated women with a solid background. Whom supports her claims with facts. Listen, Aglitarians are those who advocate rights for men and women of any race or sexuality. Feminists advocate rights for women. The missconception is that feminist is the word for equal rights. Im not saying feminists as a whole are not for equal rights but am merely pointing out the ignorance of broadening a word for all equal rights when a suitable term exists. Im basically nit picking defenition. In the end it is justa l abel, but my ocd demands propper labelling. Lol. ^_^; I hope that made sense?

Bare with me when I say, Feminism is currently not taken seriously for one reason. As my mom told me " Pick your battles." What does this mean? Feminism is currently a buzz word associated with hating men, becouse. Rather then carefully picking battles. They try to change, or call offense to too much at one time. When someone doese this they overwhelm, and ears shut down as a result.

Please, believe me. I listen. I will name off Ayaa Hirsi Ali. As a sensible, well worded feminist. None the less I thank you for being civil when you had every right to feel offended by me.

Edit: by the way though, Im no talking 1960's. Im talking, Gamer gate, Not Your Shield, protesting at events for mens rights, twitter feminists. Modern day crazies that make blogposts saying men should have thier nuts chopped off, and reproduction be left to sperm banks. (Not making it up, people really say these kinds of things. I wish, wish, wish I was joking.) Im not bassing opinion on the past, merely our mind boggling present.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 10:48:39 PM by Prosak »

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #159 on: December 12, 2014, 11:14:39 PM »
Further, i will use an example. A situation which shows the problems amoung certain feminists. As well as why people face palm. When, for example. A mans brought to a tearfull apology on tv, told he is a vile pig filled with mysogyny, undermining his staple on history as well as his proudest achievement in his scientific career. Over.... A shirt... It was not a  win for women, but a sad sad show of bullying.

Please don't start this topic again. We have Eight pages of it already on another thread. Probably best if you put any conversation on that issue over in the appropriate thread to avoid derailing.

Quote
None the less my point was to show that men are often the villian. Women viewed the victim.

That can often be the case, and I personally think that a villain-victim dichotomy is too simplistic to be useful. If the various things that harmed women were as simple as a single voluntary act then it wouldn't be the insidious problem that it is.

Quote
As for my sarcastic quips, Is to show that these kinds of statements are meant to undermine anothers views, things said to silence others.

I certainly agree that there are times where these are used in just such a way, however they do refer to real phenomena as well. The problem with using these terms in a dialogue is that both sides have to already understand the meaning and cultural phenomena referenced. On their own, these words and phrases are fairly useless at conveying anything and when they're just used in that way it can sometimes be a tool of silencing and intimidation.

However consider as well whether your own usage could potentially be viewed in such a way as well.

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If all peopleh ear is, that offends me. What are they tol earn other then, you have feelings. (well shoopda woop we all do. Lol. )

Well I think in most contexts that should be enough. I don't want to offend anyone or hurt their feelings. However in an actual discussion on the topic, while sharing emotional experiences can be useful and valid we also do need to look at more detailed explanations.

Quote
Pleasure to meet you to by the way. ^^ Garuss actually speaks highly of your nuetral and peacefull stance.

Thankyou. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm neutral, I actually have strong opinions on the topic. I just think that when things get too hostile people can stop listening and thinking, I hope that by discussing things in a calmer way I might be able to get people to reconsider long held views, and in order to be fair I try to listen and understand other peoples' points as well and consider whether I might be mistaken.

Offline SouvlakiSpaceStation

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #160 on: December 13, 2014, 12:27:31 AM »
omg

Offline Vorian

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #161 on: December 13, 2014, 07:43:43 AM »
That can often be the case, and I personally think that a villain-victim dichotomy is too simplistic to be useful. If the various things that harmed women were as simple as a single voluntary act then it wouldn't be the insidious problem that it is.

That, and - Personally, I feel that that narrative only serves to promote and reinforce some serious double standards in terms of what's viewed as abuse or sexual assault/harassment between men and women. Better recognition of these problems all around is going to be necessary if we're ever going to actually solve anything. It's kinda insulting to both men and women, really.

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Offline Valthazar

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #163 on: December 13, 2014, 03:31:14 PM »
The persuit of equal rights begins and ends with government, law, and policy.

This is a valid observation.  Much of the aims of today's brand of feminism lay within increasing the scope of government legislation.  Today's feminist movement often caters to the views of women with a more expansive view of government, and marginalizes the views of women favoring more limited forms of government. 

One can debate whether or not feminism's goals can only be achieved through increasing the scope of government laws.  Personally, I do not think this needs to be the case - since at its core, feminism is a movement of ideology, rather than policy.  For better or for worse, by not engaging conservative leaning women in the dialogue, feminism has firmly entrenched itself as a liberal leaning movement (which I would assert is why it is so politically contentious).

This is also why today's brand of feminism cannot so easily be thought of as a movement "simply for equality" since at its core, it isolates large swathes of women.

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #164 on: December 13, 2014, 08:20:38 PM »
One can debate whether or not feminism's goals can only be achieved through increasing the scope of government laws.  Personally, I do not think this needs to be the case - since at its core, feminism is a movement of ideology, rather than policy.

Yeah. I'm a big government kind of guy myself (so long as its rational, efficient and doesn't try to legislate morality) and I still don't think that increasing laws are the best way of achieving the goals of feminism. Don't get me wrong, we need to fix problems in the law that are disadvantageous to women and sometimes that will involve creating laws (although I think it will also involve deleting about an equal number), but I don't think it should be the answer to everything.

To truly achieve the goals of feminism I think we need to change the culture that exists in the day-to-day environment much more than specifically the halls of power. It's all well and good if domestic violence doesn't occur in areas with heavy police patrols, but we need to find a fix that will help people when the police aren't around. Otherwise we're at risk of disadvantaging the poor and remote.

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For better or for worse, by not engaging conservative leaning women in the dialogue, feminism has firmly entrenched itself as a liberal leaning movement (which I would assert is why it is so politically contentious).

Sorry, I can't agree with this at all. No one ever got anywhere in achieving social change by saying "but I wasn't invited to share my opinion."

If conservative women want to get involved in feminism they have to quite simply get involved in feminism and fight for their voice to be heard just like everyone else. If someone gives you a stage and a podium without you fighting for it, then it's not a stage or podium that's ever going to achieve social change.

Offline Kythia

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #165 on: December 13, 2014, 08:29:28 PM »
Sorry, I can't agree with this at all. No one ever got anywhere in achieving social change by saying "but I wasn't invited to share my opinion."

If conservative women want to get involved in feminism they have to quite simply get involved in feminism and fight for their voice to be heard just like everyone else. If someone gives you a stage and a podium without you fighting for it, then it's not a stage or podium that's ever going to achieve social change.

This.  I've started and deleted a few posts here struggling to articulate what was wrong with that sentence and you've hit the nail on the head, Caehlim.  There is no barrier to involvement (or, at least, no additional barrier) and addressing a disenfranchisement does require the disenfranchised to want that to change.  If - as you claim and frankly I would disagree with - conservative women are being "left out" of feminism then there is an onus (not 100% of it, granted, but equally not 0%) to actually do something about it that isn't whining.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #166 on: December 14, 2014, 03:20:16 AM »
I agree with you that much of the solution lies in established conservative women becoming more involved with feminism.  However, as it exists now, we can certainly agree that feminism is not the apolitical, purely academic entity we want it to be.  Rather, as it exists today, academic feminism (as it is taught in university classrooms) is a cloaked liberal-leaning ideology that takes for granted a growth of government as a means for achieving its goals. 

Equality itself can either mean equality under existing laws, equality achieved via laws additional to the existing ones, or even a cultural equality that transcends legal status alone.  Throughout much of the 19th century, feminism strove for equality under existing laws - largely seeking reforms of the existing framework.  At the time, it was the more radical feminists who protested class structures in society (most notably, the idea of a patriarchal class above women).  These 'radical' feminists, as do many of today's feminists, believed that the law itself creates groups of people who were either advantaged or disadvantaged, suggesting that the system of laws themselves needs to be overhauled for women's rights to be secured. 

One can argue that today's brand of feminism centers on socialist feminism which argues that women can only be equal after "private property and the economic relationships it encouraged—that is, capitalism—were eliminated," or equalized amongst men and women.  As a result, socialist feminists seek to impose equality via new legislation (on issues surrounding wages, marriage, caregiver status, etc).  To the contrary, to individualist feminists, "justice" is not an end-goal which reflects an ideal socioeconomic arrangement in society, but rather, a means which permits the "free and peaceful choices of individuals in the legal sense of the word."  In other words, any voluntary choice is "just" - so long as each man, woman, institution, or business has the choice to carry out their wishes. 

According to individualist feminists, an organization or institution that has a strong bias against women and one that actively recruited women could exist side by side - so long as each was privately funded and no one was forced to participate in either.  Individualist feminists would also view the biased organization as inherently immoral, but they would use, "education, protest, picketing, boycott, moral persuasion—the whole slate of persuasive strategies" rather than attempting to use the 'force of law' to restrict the college's peaceful decision to not associate with women.  On a theoretical level, this is antithetical to the econo-socialist model of feminism taught in academia, which subconsciously or consciously, focuses unilaterally on the 'state' legally imposing their view of a just society.

Part of the reason for feminism's contention today is not due to disagreement on the end goals.  Rather, the "government heavy" brand of feminism sold in mainstream culture and academic institutions isolates those with differing understandings of justice and equality.  For as much can be said about the need for more conservative women being involved with feminism, much more can be said about the failure of professors (who are supposed to convey ideas in an apolitical manner) to convey ideologically different stances.  I would also argue that many feminists who are passionate about social change via legislation would not openly embrace individualist feminists.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 03:26:27 AM by Valthazar »

Offline Kythia

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #167 on: December 14, 2014, 06:29:52 AM »
Quote
I agree with you that much of the solution lies in established conservative women becoming more involved with feminism.  However, as it exists now, we can certainly agree that feminism is not the apolitical, purely academic entity we want it to be.

Well, depending on precisely what you mean there, and there are a few ways that could be read, I certainly don't want feminism to be an apolitical, purely academic entity and I remain unconvinced anyone does.  I want it to be a living breathing movement that exists in the real world: If I had to chose between Women's Studies departments ceasing to exist and street level campaigners ceasing to exist I'd choose the former without a pause for breath.  The academic aspects should, must, be nothing more than an outgrowth of the worldly.  Not to say one can't inform the other, just to say that if there ever ends up being a conflict then the lived experience must triumph.

As to the rest: Hmmm...I'm not sure to what extent I'd grant any of that.  Sure, there are different strands - the two you mention aren't even a complete list.  As I've mentioned elsewhere, I personally consider that to be a good thing though, of course, not everyone does.  And I'd probably grant that feminism as a whole sits left of centre in practice.  Where I think we disagree is, as I touched upon in the first paragraph, your belief that feminism comes "downwards" from academia vs. mine that it comes "upwards" from everyday life.  It is, of course, possible to be a feminist, and a "good" one, without engaging with academia but not possible to be a feminist academic without engaging with how it works - the analogy would be with, say, physics.  Physicists don't create physics, physics creates physicists.  If there is a feeling of disillusionment/disenfranchisement then the way to address that isn't through professors, professors are little more than journalists reporting on the facts.  The way to change that is through engaging with the areas they report on and analyse.

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #168 on: December 14, 2014, 07:49:25 AM »
Well, depending on precisely what you mean there, and there are a few ways that could be read, I certainly don't want feminism to be an apolitical, purely academic entity and I remain unconvinced anyone does.  I want it to be a living breathing movement that exists in the real world: If I had to chose between Women's Studies departments ceasing to exist and street level campaigners ceasing to exist I'd choose the former without a pause for breath.  The academic aspects should, must, be nothing more than an outgrowth of the worldly.  Not to say one can't inform the other, just to say that if there ever ends up being a conflict then the lived experience must triumph.

I am not sure what benefit comes from intentionally politicizing the inherent nature of feminist theory and feminist research literature.  While as you say, different groups of individuals may choose to incorporate their interpretations of these ideologies into political campaigns (such as campaigning for laws and legislation striving for equality), the inherent feminist theory underlying these views are apolitical. 

Whether or not one chooses to engage with academia, one can only justify their feminist views if their statements have been corroborated in peer-reviewed research journals.  Topics such as rape culture, porn culture, and the patriarchy have been well-documented in the literature, and thus, women who talk about this outside of academia also have merit.  However, a lay person cannot simply develop a feminist theory and start perpetuating this as fact.  For better or for worse, the theoretical basis for what constitutes “feminism” is the domain of Ph.D.s.  Political activists may choose to draw from this wealth of apoliticized, empirical literature to develop political campaigns for justice.  I think most of the rational individuals criticizing contemporary feminism find fault with these politicized interpretations of the literature, rather than the theoretical basis of the women’s studies literature itself.

I compare this to teaching in many ways.  Anyone can be an excellent teacher, and anyone can develop strategies to effectively convey information to students.  However, in order to gain credibility for one’s teaching style, they need to corroborate their teaching style with research-based teaching techniques in the research literature.  If they develop an innovative approach or technique that no one else is using (or at least, has not been published), they need to write/publish a research article demonstrating its effectiveness, because otherwise, they lack credibility.

My primary assertion is that feminism, as it is currently being taught in academia to 18-22 year olds, is no longer teaching the core tenants of the movement, but is rather perpetuating one (or a group of) politically-motivated applications of feminist theory favoring government-centric remedies.  If anything, I think this is done subconsciously – perhaps in trying to engage with students on a “more basic” level that they can relate to.

For example, discussions about the gender wage discrepancies are frequently presented to young women as a simplistic choice between “passing laws to prevent the gender wage gap” and “letting discrimination perpetuate.”  Rarely ever are budding feminists exposed to the myriad of interpretations of justice and equality (as has been documented in the literature by feminists of all ends of the political spectrum), and permitted to debate the different ways this may manifest in political campaigns.  As it stands now, college-age students are in a precarious situation where they seemingly need to choose between being opposed to women's issues (in the simplistic manner in which it is portrayed) or favoring government-centric solutions.

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #169 on: December 14, 2014, 07:54:39 AM »
No, you're putting the cart before the horse there.  What you seem to be arguing is that no movement or ideology can exist without a formalised academic structure giving it rigour.  This is incorrect, and can easily be shown to be - which do you think came first: feminism as an everyday movement or an academic understanding of feminism?

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #170 on: December 14, 2014, 08:03:34 AM »
which do you think came first: feminism as an everyday movement or an academic understanding of feminism?

Feminism as an everyday movement.  That is similar to the question of - which came first: teaching children, or the profession of education? 

Children were taught first, before the academic understanding of education as a profession was developed.  But in this day and age, unless a teaching method or educational approach has been documented in peer-reviewed literature, its credibility is suspect in the classroom.

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #171 on: December 14, 2014, 08:23:14 AM »
Potentially so, I have no idea to what extent evidence informs teaching practice in this country, let alone the US.  But its a false analogy because there are objective, stateable aims to education.  You want kids to learn stuff, retain it, understand it, etc.  There is, as you've said yourself, no such teleology in feminism.  In order for Professor McExample's research to lead my practice it would first be necessary to show that Prof. McExample wants the same things to happen as I do which is by no means guaranteed.  Even if the entire faculty of every single university in the world wanted something different to what I want, that wouldn't in any way invalidate what I want or necessarily make it not feminist. 

By your logic it is actually impossible for conservative women to become involved (if we grant your assertion that they aren't and want to be) as there is no theoretical underpinning enabling them to be.  Without something to study and analyse there can't be academic explanations of it, and if you're claiming that an academic understanding of something is necessary then you're closing the door to any change to the status quo. 

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #172 on: December 14, 2014, 08:55:00 AM »
In the liberal arts (which women and gender studies frequently falls under), professors conduct literature reviews in their area of specialization, and then put forth research hypotheses for further study to contribute scholarly material.  In the liberal arts, 'research hypotheses' frequently represent new perspectives, viewpoints, and philosophies that synthesize existing material, and put forth new ideologies and narratives.  These are the same ideologies and viewpoints that inform what material is taught to the next-generation of feminists sitting in the classroom.  We can agree to disagree on whether peer-reviewed literature represents 'fact' with regard to women's studies.

I had stated that the theoretical framework of feminist theory (at its core) is largely apolitical - with expansive understandings of what constitutes equality and justice.  In other words, the sheer amount of feminist research that exists can appeal to men and women across the political spectrum (including conservative women):

Rarely ever are budding feminists exposed to the myriad of interpretations of justice and equality (as has been documented in the literature by feminists of all ends of the political spectrum), and permitted to debate the different ways this may manifest in political campaigns.
Individualist feminists would also view the biased organization as inherently immoral, but they would use, "education, protest, picketing, boycott, moral persuasion—the whole slate of persuasive strategies" rather than attempting to use the 'force of law' to restrict the college's peaceful decision to not associate with women.

My central argument is that much of the research that takes place by existing Ph.D.s, who are informing the next-generation of feminists, largely focus their research on topics pertaining to the role of the state (government) in fostering justice.  On the other hand, a more balanced research and teaching perspective would also teach and educate students from the myriad other feminist theories reflecting differing understandings of justice and equality (separate from the socio-economic one) - as highlighted in my earlier posts.

Offline Caehlim

Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #173 on: December 14, 2014, 09:04:12 AM »
Valthazar, sorry I don't think I'm going to be able to respond to your points for a little while. I've got a headache and it's not helping me construct cogent political discussion at the moment. Just wanted to mention something since it's partly in response to my comments and I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you after the effort you're putting into your posts. I'll jump back into the discussion later when my brain is working.

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Re: An overview of Feminism and it's terrible representation
« Reply #174 on: December 14, 2014, 09:06:14 AM »
But you're totally overlooking and neglecting the traffic in the other direction.

Quote
the research that takes place by existing Ph.D.s, who are informing the next-generation of feminists

focuses on only one aspect.  The research taking place by existing PhDs is also being informed by the current generation of feminists.  I would argue considerably more so.  I personally have never read a single PhD thesis by a Women's Studies student.  I can't even name one.  I don't know anyone who can.  And I'm a PhD student myself, I'm hardly anti-academia. I can name countless people on the ground whose activities are being analysed and critiqued by those students, though. 

Your argument relies on theory travelling in one direction only - academia to the world - when you admit yourself that that isn't what has historically happened.  As soon as you put in the other direction your argument becomes a lot weaker.