Feminist Theory & "Women's Issues" Discussion Thread: All Gender Identities Are Encouraged To Participate

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Something of a companion thread to Feminist Blogs/Communities I Have Known... but less focused on blogs.

Also a space where we can have multi-gendered dialogue from the outset, so we don't have any confusion.

emil.y, Sunday, 12 February 2012 22:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm v v confused about gender and what it all means but that's p inherent in the discussion I guess?

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Well, yeah - I purposefully phrased the title in a way that allows for those whose identity is not always recognised. I was initially going to include queer theory in the thread concept, as I've recently found myself with groups where feminism and queer politics are completely intertwined, but I don't feel that I should be the person to say whether or not this is a good place to discuss that.

emil.y, Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Actually, "completely" is not true. I think that would be impossible. But they work closely together, a lot.

emil.y, Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ha ha no, I understood what you meant in naming the title that, I like the inclusivity of it. I'm mostly confused by mine own gender and ~what it means~ and always have been so I was just pointing out that confusion is inherent in the process for some ppl. (as recognised by the title)

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yes. I've never felt like "I'm really a boy" but performatively I often feel more akin to males. But then, that's based around the socially constructed sides of gender, so it's less confusion, more rejection. I didn't always understand that, mind you.

emil.y, Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

not to get all graduate seminar on this thread but: do we have a good definition of "gender" that isn't culturally essentialist? I'm sure it's out there but my reading in Feminist/Queer/etc theory is lacking. I don't necessarily have a problem with a culturally essentialist reading of gender, but i'd be interested in alternatives. For instance, where and when does the cultural proscribed notions of gender we have run up against actually being attached to, say, a penis? And how do you talk about this intersection without bogus and lame biological essentialism?

ryan, Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

I really want to look at this question, because not having a satisfying answer to it is one reason why I'm really unhappy defining groups of people as 'men' and 'women' and setting policy accordingly.

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I certainly know that most working definitions of gender are crude and essentialist and problematic. I get that. But when talking about many of the blunt force issues I have to confront, I know the people who are perpetuating this shit on me are male bodied ppl who identify as male and a huge part of the reason they were doing it to me was because they perceived me as female and had a specific set of assumptions about what that meant, so it's really hard not tp talk about this stuff without using the shorthand no matter how clumsy it is. Otherwise you end up mumbling vague shut about kierarchy (lord knows how my iPhone will render that) and no one outside a graduate program knows what you're on about.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah that's a great point. I think one of the challenges in getting people to accept something like cultural determination of gender is that their first line of defense is a reductio ad absurdum like "is my penis [or whatever] culturally constructed?!?"

it's similar to the "well I know my grandpa wasn't a monkey" defense against evolution.

I think, at bottom, there's an enormous amount of anxiety that goes into gender identity (one might even say this is the entire purpose of gender) that's gonna always leads to exactly the kind of hysteria you see in homophobia and the like. so defusing that anxiety remains, i think, a big part of the goal.

ryan, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Like Deborah Cameron said in a debate I saw, utterly demolishing that Baron-Cohen "male brain" prick with her magnificent logic "The fact that women give birth is not in any way a Societal Construct. But what it ~MEANS~ that women give birth is completely a Societal Construct"

<3 D-Camz so hard, she cuts through so much of that Mars/Venus guff so effectively.

But um yeah, anxiety around gender is so damaging.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

I can see that a lot of the time the shorthand is unavoidable, but what I'm afraid of - in myself and others - is letting the shorthand frame the debate. I see so many people embracing these powerful narratives about what it means to be male or female, that exclude people's real experiences in horrible, damaging ways. In a space like this, where we can afford to be nuanced perhaps more than elsewhere, it would be cool if we could approach it with that in mind - and WCC I'd love to hear some of that grad school stuff if you can explain it to a psych graduate with little to no study of sociology under her belt.

I'm too tired to talk properly now, but anyway let it be known that I am very much looking forward to getting into this stuff with ILX0rs and I'm *grateful* for the clusterfuck.

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Monday, 13 February 2012 00:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hey just remember I didn't go to grad school, I'm an art school dropout I picked up much of this stuff in the library and on the web and from a friend who is doing a PhD in feminist linguistics or sociolinguistics or whatever it's called. I sm not an expert.

I get tongue tied up in this bcuz so much of my *need* for feminism comes from not conforming to trad expectations of "woman" and wanting to widen up the definitions of "woman" when maybe I should be getting rid of gender entirely? But back when I was 20 queer theorists didn't want to talk to me (bcuz bisexuality or pansexuality didnt ~exist~ back then as far as those individuals were concerned) but feminist theorists did so that's where I ended up.

I always want to widen the idea of "woman" not narrow it but that has a tension with the desire for a safe space bcuz who defines or owns the idea of woman? It's a recognized tension, we have to work to resolve.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

Sorry to go off topic, but I'm so tempted to take this out of context: <3 D-Camz so hard. You love David Cameron! You love David Cameron!

Back on topic, yes, grad-school discussion is more than welcome from my perspective: I know bits and pieces, from A Level Sociology, lit theory, and philosophy, but I could definitely do with more thinkers to pursue and avenues to contemplate.

emil.y, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

"A Level Sociology" is one clause there, I progressed some way beyond that in the latter two disciplines, ha. (Not braggin', just sayin')

emil.y, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Deborah Cameron. Don't get over excited.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

what I like about that Deborah Cameron quote (i should look her up) is that it nicely points out that yes there is biology and whatnot but that we can't TALK or THINK about this stuff except within the parameters of MEANING...you'd dont get to crawl outside of cultural meaning using a ladder called "biology" or whatever.

ryan, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

so yes there is an "outside" or limit to culture/meaning but we only have access to it as a kind of negative capability.

ryan, Monday, 13 February 2012 00:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

gender's odd. it's clearly a cultural construct, both in a hazy, general sense that exists outside any specific individual and in the various ways we all individually (re)construct & perceive it. but that's not all it is. unlike "race", there's a substantial biological component to gender. of course, as others itt have pointed out, we can only understand what this might mean at several levels of remove, as filtered through a thicket of complex constructions from which we can't even sensibly hope to extricate our perspectives.

i'm biologically male. for better or worse, i find that my subjective experience of gendered-ness squares pretty well with what my culture seems to describe as generic masculinity. i deviate from what i take to be the "masculine norm" in all sorts of ways, some trivial, some quite dramatic, but i assume that this is true of most everyone (everyone worth knowing, anyway), and i'm pretty happy with the space i've carved out between cultural expectations and the seemingly gendered aspects of my own internal landscape.

unfashionable as it may be to say, it seems to me that biological gender drives a great deal of human behavior and that these drivings do sometimes reciprocate those "dubious" cultural constructs we've inherited. men, for example, seem in general to be more openly and aggressive than women, to the extent that male violence is a serious problem the world over. would say the same with varying degrees of confidence about things like female nurturance and consensus-building, male vs female approaches to competition and "mating behavior", masculine self-sufficiency, etc.

while biological gender is generally self-evident, gender identification can only by known when it is communicated. we know that someone identifies as female when they tell us so. we also know that that the things people say aren't always true. perhaps for this reason, i suspect that many of us would have trouble accepting the presence of an apparently straight-normative biological male in a women's bathroom or domestic violence shelter simply on the basis of her reassurance that it's ok because she "identifies as female". much as we might like to reduce all gender to pliable constructs, it can be very hard to let go of the last shreds of biological essentialism.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Monday, 13 February 2012 09:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

i am glad this thread is here.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Monday, 13 February 2012 09:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

agreed

tmi but (Z S), Monday, 13 February 2012 10:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Any time that anyone starts going on about the "substantial biological component to gender" I just want to refer them to Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine and Pink Brain Blue Brain by Lise Elliott (sp?) and just carry on repeating - outside the obvious physical documented secondary sexual characteristics (the girl/boy lego) the actual measurable differences in cognition, in brain function, in all that stuff that matters are TINY. Not only that, but even with the DOCUMENTED and measurable differences (for example, height) - the variation WITHIN each gender is often FAR GREATER than the "difference" between genders.

This isn't just one or two outlier studies suggesting this. There are HUGE bodies of work on this. Analysis. Meta-analysis. Meta analysis of meta analysis. The OUTLIER studies which suggest men's and women's brains are from different planets are the ones that get all the attention BECAUSE THEY ARE OUTLIERS. And they are often NOT replicable. Which is your guaranteed sign of being NOT SCIENCE.

I'm not just "deferring to a authority" here. I am saying, there is shitloads of evidence on this one if you even scratch the surface of doing research on it. There is, like, "Climate change is a real thing" levels of evidence on this one. And I'm just saying, in advance, that if anyone is going to continue to insist that gender is a ~biological~ thing, I'm going to treat them like a climate change denier, and just not engage with nonsense.

Gender is a construct. Just because something is a construct does not mean it is not *meaningful* or that it does not have real world consequences. (Money is also a construct, but try doing without that one in western society.) But construct means "we made up the rules" and it also means "other societies or other possible societies can put the rules in different places and in different orders." (Try walking into a shop in England and buying something with an American dollar. Money is a construct that means different things in different places.)

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 12:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

that seems very otm. people who talk about aspects of humanity that are "outside of culture" shd probably point to some examples of humans that exist outside of culture. good luck with that.

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Monday, 13 February 2012 13:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

I had to get off line to compose the next bit so this is a continuation of the previous bit, rather than a response to you, NV, but here goes:

i find that my subjective experience of gendered-ness squares pretty well with what my culture seems to describe as generic masculinity. i deviate from what i take to be the "masculine norm" in all sorts of ways, some trivial, some quite dramatic, but i assume that this is true of most everyone

This is the problematic bit with the whole "biological" conception of gender. It's not biological at all, it's what your culture says is "masculine."

And if you, as a Western (I think you're North American?) man who conforms fairly well to your culture's expectations of masculinity were suddenly dropped into, e.g. Ancient Sparta, you would be thought of as an effeminate wimp or e.g. 18th Century French Court you would be thought of as a rude uncultured boer (bore? boar?) who needed to sort out a more masculine wig immediately.

For *me* (specific, personal) the problem is not whether someone identifies with their visible biological gender (though I recognise for many, many people this is a completely valid problem and source of oppression) it's how arbitrary the divisions into "masculine" and "feminine" are - how *brutally* they are policed - and policed in the service or protection of *whom*?

But those are conversations you can't really have without the entry of that nebulous concept of kierarchy (which spell check tells me isn't even a word.)

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 13:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

idk i'm kindof with that and not with it.

i know trans guys who have talked about the really visceral physico-psychological feelings of taking testosterone for the first time. and pretty much anyone who has ever been a teenager probably knows that hormones tend to do things to you. and yeah there are varying degrees of testosterone and oestrogen. and the binary of gender is culturally substantiated.

i mean i don't want to be misunderstood, this is not to say that we can understand some set of biological imperatives, primordial urges. i think its closer to what monique wittig meant when somebody asked her if she had a vagina and she said "no." i mean maybe i should explain that monique wittig was a lesbian and concluded that as she was a lesbian, she was not a woman because woman is something that is constructed within heterosexist gender relations. she's not insane, she wasn't denying that physiologically her body corresponds to a female body, but that the the body itself is something that is constructed by language and culture. still though, the matrix of signification is not one that is closed at the level of "culture" but that bodies are *part* of culture. folds of sensations, particular materialities, pleasures, warmth, movements, hormones. its not that these things are anterior to culture but it isn't the other way around either.

judith, Monday, 13 February 2012 13:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah sorry i certainly wasn't trying to privilege culture-and-nothing-else, just reflecting that the links are inextricable and not reducible to "this but not that" arguments

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Monday, 13 February 2012 13:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

<I>"The problem with the word 'vagina' is that vaginas seem to be just straight-out bad luck. Only a masochist would want one, because only awful things happen to them. Vaginas get torn. Vaginas get ‘examined’. Evidence is found in them. Serial killers leave things in them, to taunt Morse . . . No one wants one of those."</I>

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 13 February 2012 13:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Though obviously my inability to click the "Convert Simple HTML to BBcode" button is due to Evolutionary Psychology.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah but that whole "men are just biologically different because: hormones!" ignores the fact that women also have a set of those exact chemicals sloshing around our bodies (except doctors call them androgens we have them) and not to mention the fact that it's even sometimes sold as a pseudo health concern by the kind of behavior police-y magazines all "OMG do you have an interest in maps and systems thinking? You might suffer from too much testosterone giving you ~male brain~ oh noes panic!" (This was an actual article I read in the launderette.)

And how things get interpreted like - I dunno, maybe I have an endocrine malfunction I should get checked out bcuz I totally get very male-coded aggro if I'm driving a car I get v aggressive about defending my territory (one of many reasons I don't drive) but when men do that, they have "testosterone" as their excuse but If I'm being all competitive in that pissing contest sense and male-coded, do I just do it bcuz I missed that particular bit of training in how to be ladylike? Or can I blame my ~androgens~?

I don't buy the "it's hormones" excuse entirely

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

I type so much less coherently when I'm on an iPhone. Don't know if the little screen makes me male brain or iv it's just the lack of ability to see the whole post to sense check it. That was almost incoherent. Sorry.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

that can apply to "personality" across the board tho. western society is increasingly big on medicalising personality in general - "are you like this? maybe the chemicals in your body need readjustment". there are maybe models for personality that rely less on societal norms - we can think about people's personal goals or happiness, ask whether their behaviours are self-limiting or destructive in some way - but a lot of hormonal/brain chemistry/genetic arguments have become standardised ways of looking at humanity and life experience. it's an excuse, as you say, and takes on virulent forms when used against women - lol PMT etc - but personality in general is increasingly policed, i guess, in ways that previously the power structures only sought to police behaviours.

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Monday, 13 February 2012 14:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

and yeah there are double standards, sometimes we are at the mercy of our internal chemistry and sometimes it makes us who we are

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Monday, 13 February 2012 14:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

...runs the argument

dayove cool (Noodle Vague), Monday, 13 February 2012 14:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yes, all that, too.

What I'm trying to say is, it varies within gender as well as between them. Some women are aggressive and competitive. Some men are warm and nurturing. (Most humans have some mixture of the two.) You can say "it's testosterone" or you can say "it's cultural conditioning" but the important thing is that it varies and that variance is OK.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Hey Emily - Thank you. :)

wolf kabob (ENBB), Monday, 13 February 2012 14:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

gonna check in later because this will likely be a thread to learn from, just please do me a favour and explain/link any jargon ( "culturally essentialist" up there threw me, though to be fair it also took me three attempts at processing "climate change denier" before I realised it wasn't talking about sheerer stockings.)

thomasintrouble, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Anyone who takes potshots at the surreal typing lysdexia caused by my iPhone is gonna get a crack on the head for asking. Just saying, like. My spelling is gonna be all over the shop.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yes I am aware of the hilarity involved in an amateur Li ghost (that was linguist, iPhone - but I'm gonna leave that to show what this thing does to me) who cannot spell but chomski my Sapir-wharf hypothesARSE if u wanna rib me about it. ;-)

^^^^^ha ha this is all a clumsy joke but if you ever can't google something or want a clarification pls say "srs question" and I'll try to de-jargon-ify

It's not so much learning new jargon as learning a new language requires a new way of thinking coz replacing words w/o replacing the thought processes is not progress. It's trying to unlearn so many of the kierarchy's ideas which is often the hard part.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

Right, why is why "can't google" isn't necessarily the problem - a lot of this is going to be "but what do you mean by that word / in this context?"

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

the funniest iphone autocorrect i've seen is changing "sexting" to "destiny" :/

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Monday, 13 February 2012 14:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah but there's a difference between "who is Dale Spender" and "what do you mean by kierarchy in this context" - happy to discuss the latter. Not so much the former.

I dunno, "cultural essentialist" seemed to be the opposite/corollary of "biological essentialist" and didn't really need clarification? But I guess maybe we should touch on how there are two (opposing?) schools of thought saying gender difference is the result of nature or nurture. Obv almost all arguments of this kind are at their heart an and/both proposition not an either/or.

But the biggest difference is that the Cultural crew believe that this stuff is nurture - and therefore can be changed and the Biological crew think this is impossible (and maybe even "against nature") to try to strive for gender equality

(see if you can guess which side I'm on, huh?)

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

if anyone is going to continue to insist that gender is a ~biological~ thing, I'm going to treat them like a climate change denier, and just not engage with nonsense.

biological gender IS a thing, and anyone who continues to insist that it isn't is simply wrong, full stop. in an overall sense, we can measure the differences between men and women any number of ways, not just in terms of the gross architecture of the body, but also in terms of more subtle things like its chemistry and DNA. we don't fully understand what all of this means, of course, and individuals vary greatly, but this doesn't mean that we can't scientifically "perceive" biological gender. we can.

of course and like i very clearly said before, we can only perceive and understand the significance of biological gender at a remove, as filtered through the understandings of gender that we've inherited. that's what makes this subject interesting. we know that we are driven both by biology and by the cultural constructs that compose our understanding, and there's no way to clearly distinguish between the two.

to repeat another thing i said earlier, we can see the workings of gender in male violence as a phenomenon. male violence exists and is a problem in every culture in the world, and this has always been true throughout human history so far as we know. you suggested that if i were dropped into ancient sparta, i would be perceived as a wimp. of course i would. in case you missed it, that was the entire point of the paragraph you were responding to: that gender is, to a substantial extent, a cultural construct. but it's worth noting that ancient sparta was no less dominated by male violence than our world is today. this does not conclusively "prove" that male violence is a product of male biology, of course, but it does incline me to suspect that biology plays a role.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Monday, 13 February 2012 17:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

You're not *even* wrong.

You seem to inhabit this weird fantasy world where male power is not prized and rewarded at every turn, and female power is not demonised and punished at every turn. Where male violence is not *fetishised* and portrayed as noble and good and female violence is not denied in order to keep some wonderful "pure" vision of "femininity" as opposed to "masculinity."

This fantasy world where violent women from Boudiccea to Margaret Thatcher can just be handwaved away.

A fantasy world where structural inequality does not codify "male" supremacy over "female" at every step because the rules were written to keep it that way. These ideas are not reinforced with cultural narrative over and again until ppl believe they are true bcuz other views just don't get presented, or are actively derided by those w the most to lose?

And then you want to turn around and talk about this highly contrived and exaggerated version of "masculinity" as being somehow inevitable, even biological?

And I just call: bullshit.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 18:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

I've been looking for the past half hour to see if I can find any studies that strongly demonstrate even the simple premise that testosterone leads to increased aggression. Can't find anything. And conversely, if you google 'violent women' you get lots of hits about violence against women, a review of a book about Hollywood fetishisation of female violence, and a Daily Mail article about teenage girl gangs.

If the starting assumption for discourse is that men are perpetrators and women are victims, which it seems to be, it excludes from serious consideration the violence women do against men, the violence women do against each other, and the (sexual) violence men inflict on other men. I'll keep looking for biological underpinnings to the assumption, there may well be something, but I'm inclined to think it'll turn out to be by far the lesser factor.

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Monday, 13 February 2012 18:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean let's get this straight. I'm not denying that there's such a * thing* as male violence, or that male violence especially as used as a method of control against women (hello Chris Brown and domestic violence awareness) is not hugely problematic.

What I'm denying is this idea that violence is something automatically and essentially coded into masculinity from biological sex up - rather than something which is learned, reinforced and rewarded at every step of a man's life.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 18:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think you're responding to an imaginary person in your head, cuz it sure as hell isn't me.

of course male power is prized and rewarded at every turn. or course female power is demonized and punished i don't wave any counter examples away. but the history of human violence, not just in western culture but in every culture ever known, is predominantly the history of male violence. to my mind, in conjunction with what little we do know about male and female biology, this makes it reasonable (not certain, just reasonable) to suppose that male biology plays a role in male violence.

would say the same of many other ostensibly gendered characteristics and behaviors, that biology probably does play some role. again though, it's impossible to clearly distinguish between the urgings of biology and cultural conditioning. but the fact that we can't know exactly what role biology plays does not mean that biology plays no role. in order to understand such things clearly, we have to accept huge amount of uncertainty. i.e., if you align yourself with either "crew", Cultural or Biological, you're missing the larger picture.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Monday, 13 February 2012 18:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

What I'm denying is this idea that violence is something automatically and essentially coded into masculinity from biological sex up - rather than something which is learned, reinforced and rewarded at every step of a man's life.

i suspect that both factors play a role, nature & nurture.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Monday, 13 February 2012 18:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

Zora there's evidence that testosterone is released by men who are victors *after* the aggression is over but little evidence that testosterone causes violence or aggression. It's complicated, as all hormonal things involving humans tend to be.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 18:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

If the starting assumption for discourse is that men are perpetrators and women are victims, which it seems to be, it excludes from serious consideration...

i don't think you need a starting assumption. i think it's better to look at the available information and work up from there.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Monday, 13 February 2012 18:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

Contenderizer you keep repeating the same things over and over as if you haven't read what I've posted (and certainly none of the books I've referenced) so you are also having a conversation with someone who is not me.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Monday, 13 February 2012 18:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

from @prisonculture:

We don’t know how to live outside of oppression because it is like the weather, ever-present and so we replicate it, all the time. But we want liberation and so we must work towards it. And that work involves criticism, analysis, and grounded practice. As people who have and will continue to build projects and organizations, we understand that discussion/analysis and grassroots organizing are co-constitutive. Also, there isn’t a neat separation between the online world and a separate place called the “real world.” In the 21st century, these places are one in the same. As such the concept of “twitter feminism” strikes us as dismissive and probably a misnomer.

http://www.usprisonculture.com/blog/2014/01/30/interlopers-on-social-media-feminism-women-of-color-and-oppression/

i have the new brutal HOOS if you want it (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:05 (2 months ago) Permalink

That is so so so good, thank you.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:18 (2 months ago) Permalink

I think it's quite within the realm of possibility that, if what we want is some form of "radical democracy" and if we have abandoned emancipatory narratives, then that democracy might look something like what is beginning to emerge within (and you could even say is being modeled by) communities like you see in contemporary feminist discourse. a radically complex profusion of voices, perspectives, and criticism in which the members are constantly held accountable for who/what is excluded in the "unities" they form to take action.

ryan, Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:27 (2 months ago) Permalink

I just want to EAT that Prison Culture essay and have it inside me forever in loving incorporation.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Thursday, 30 January 2014 17:35 (2 months ago) Permalink

as a mathematician i love when leftist academics drop isomorphism :D

flopson, Thursday, 30 January 2014 21:24 (2 months ago) Permalink

omg just busted out a mobius strip too <3<3

flopson, Thursday, 30 January 2014 21:26 (2 months ago) Permalink

I'm kinda curious how you do the heavy lifting of all this work on the Internet, which has a history of making everything terrible(I'm in the midst of reading the Nation piece). I mean, this seems like such a matter as needing folks to sit down and talk it out in person in real-time to reach consensus or compromise or some form of agreement. Is there a way to do that in an asynchronous form of dialogue on this group of networks that we've only had for a couple decades now and are still working out the kinks of productive online behavior and make sure that (most?) everybody feels heard?

In other words, is it currently possible to achieve some social goal without messageboard-style culture fucking it up?

Who is DANKEY KANG? (kingfish), Friday, 31 January 2014 01:48 (2 months ago) Permalink

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/31/the_fight_over_the_v_word/

Mordy , Friday, 31 January 2014 23:03 (2 months ago) Permalink

Feminist Theory & "Women's Issues" Discussion Thread: All Gender Identities Are Encouraged To Participate [Started by emil.y in February 2012, last updated 59 seconds ago by Mordy ] 106 new answers
fitness chicks [Started by cutty in September 2007, last updated 3 minutes ago by soref] 9 new answers

141 Jute Gyte - Discontinuities 142 drake - nothing was the same (imago), Friday, 31 January 2014 23:04 (2 months ago) Permalink

^dead end job

Aimless, Sunday, 2 February 2014 04:06 (2 months ago) Permalink

cool

mookieproof, Sunday, 2 February 2014 04:08 (2 months ago) Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/magazine/does-a-more-equal-marriage-mean-less-sex.html

Feel like this sort of belongs in this thread and sort of doesn't. The article seems very subtly but significantly wrongly thought out imo.

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Friday, 7 February 2014 17:31 (2 months ago) Permalink

idk if the wrongness is even that subtle

max, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:50 (2 months ago) Permalink

Basically boils down to another person with no background in the subject whatsoever divining the "hidden biological drives" that motivate us using one study plus "common sense."

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:24 (2 months ago) Permalink

I have point-by-point objections to a lot of it but I feel like there's an over-arching critique that I'm not putting my finger on rn.

One thing that I think is important to talk about is that we often don't know what equal relationships look like in various respects, and there are practically no models for them in our shared media/culture/whatever. Comparisons like "less" and "more" are, like...relative to WHAT?? What if the point of comparison for those qualities is profoundly flawed and in the process of being discarded, then why use it as a point of reference?

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:36 (2 months ago) Permalink

how about keeping yr nose out of other people's business for starters? that's my main objection.

we slowly invented brains (La Lechera), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:38 (2 months ago) Permalink

not personal you there, just in general

we slowly invented brains (La Lechera), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:39 (2 months ago) Permalink

I've heard so many saddening and problematic things from older women both irl and tangentially in documentaries and stuff, for ex that it was important to them in their marriages to never "refuse" their husbands sex no matter how they felt, or the woman in the orgasm documentary who thought there was something PHYSIOLOGICALLY WRONG WITH HER bc she didn't have exactly a certain arousal reaction that erased personal variation. They just X-ed themselves out in preference to their partners (btw a big FFFFFF UUUUUU to Caitlin Flanagan on this one). If those women had, in their generation, discovered that this priority wasn't meaningful to them, and stopped submitting to what was at the very least unrewarding and possibly non-consensual sex in their marriages, then statistically they'd be having "less" sex, sure, but WHO GIVES A SHIT when the point of comparison is marital rape? Just, no.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:41 (2 months ago) Permalink

Yeah that dinner party sounds positively dyspeptic.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:42 (2 months ago) Permalink

She also uses "assortative" mating to mean exactly the OPPOSITE of what it means (which I only know because of its recent usage by another pseudo-scientific NYT asshat, David Brooks)

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:51 (2 months ago) Permalink

In addition to Laurel's excellent points, I just feel like stuff like this is designed to play on gender anxiety and to either goad "egalitarian" people into questioning their views or to pander to people who already think "equal" marriage goes against "the natural order" or something. There's this underlying tone of "How's that equality stuff workin out for ya?!"

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Friday, 7 February 2014 19:55 (2 months ago) Permalink

“We use X number of positions and various forms of oral and manual stimulation, and we’re happy as clams”
“We use X number of positions and various forms of oral and manual stimulation, and we’re happy as clams”
“We use X number of positions and various forms of oral and manual stimulation, and we’re happy as clams”
“We use X number of positions and various forms of oral and manual stimulation, and we’re happy as clams”
“We use X number of positions and various forms of oral and manual stimulation, and we’re happy as clams”
“We use X number of positions and various forms of oral and manual stimulation, and we’re happy as clams”
“We use X number of positions and various forms of oral and manual stimulation, and we’re happy as clams”

marcos, Friday, 7 February 2014 19:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

i'm sorry i couldn't resist

marcos, Friday, 7 February 2014 19:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

Lori gottlieb wrote that "settle for a man you don't love" article a while back. She's one of those Caitlin Flanagan backlash types.

horseshoe, Friday, 7 February 2014 21:02 (2 months ago) Permalink

that's why I'm not reading this

horseshoe, Friday, 7 February 2014 21:03 (2 months ago) Permalink

though I do wonder if it's all those women she advised to settle who are unhappy with their sex lives. Obviously that's because of feminism

horseshoe, Friday, 7 February 2014 21:04 (2 months ago) Permalink

And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried don't agree with me, either you’re in denial or you’re lying.

I'm glad to see we're making defensible arguments today! This is going to end GREAT for everyone.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Friday, 7 February 2014 21:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Friday, 7 February 2014 21:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

she is an expert at universalizing her insecurities

horseshoe, Friday, 7 February 2014 21:12 (2 months ago) Permalink

Otm

we slowly invented brains (La Lechera), Friday, 7 February 2014 21:36 (2 months ago) Permalink

"Granted, some might view a study like this with skepticism."

ya don't say

rhyme heals all goons (m bison), Saturday, 8 February 2014 03:02 (2 months ago) Permalink

feel like this is an upmarket version of marital friendzone studies

rhyme heals all goons (m bison), Saturday, 8 February 2014 03:04 (2 months ago) Permalink

the funny thing is that the reasons she gives for "skepticism" of the study are bad ones that show a lack of understanding of, like, how studies work, while meanwhile there are better reasons

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Saturday, 8 February 2014 03:07 (2 months ago) Permalink

will just leave this here, idk why
http://www.reddit.com/r/TheBluePill/comments/1x6p5j/women_are_not_aliensa_message_from_a_woman_to/
Women are not aliens--they are robots. interesting stuff in there like " Our current programming includes a complex function that serves to find the best mates possible. In order to find the best genes, our program looks for attractiveness, financial success, and independence, among other traits. When these traits are found, the TraditionalFem 2.0 program starts running. This program emulates the submissive female that existed pre-1900, before the mass-malfunction of women." he,he

Sébastien, Saturday, 8 February 2014 18:32 (2 months ago) Permalink

"Financial success"? Amazing what genes can do when they put their little minds to it! Apparently, they correctly predicted the invention of money.

Aimless, Saturday, 8 February 2014 18:40 (2 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

This was a nice thing to see on BBC 4 the other day (UK only).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03ycql8/oh-do-shut-up-dear-mary-beard-on-the-public-voice-of-women

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Tuesday, 18 March 2014 19:09 (1 month ago) Permalink

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n06/mary-beard/the-public-voice-of-women
(been meaning to read)

kinder, Tuesday, 18 March 2014 19:11 (1 month ago) Permalink

Hey all I'm sorry if this is inappropriate but I figured it's as good a place as any. If you're FB friends with me or read the abortion threads you've already seen this but I know some of you aren't and my not so I'm posting this again because it's really fucking important to me and to the women this might help benefit.

This weekend every donation to my fundraiser will be matched 1:1 by an anonymous donor to a to a new fund in West Texas, the West Fund. This means your money goes twice as far and to a place that really needs it considering that Texas passed a law that made 1/3 of their abortion clinics close in the past 6 months and that thousands of rural TX women now have no legal access to abortion. Anything you can donate counts even $5 (which this weekend is $10). The matching thing is only now through tomorrow so this would be an excellent time to give if you can.

http://bowlathon.nnaf.org/nnafbowl/participantpage.asp?uid=7819&fundid=1864#.UycCQG7E07U.facebook

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Saturday, 22 March 2014 17:53 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

i went to this kimberlé crenshaw lecture last week. she's such a good speaker and that ambulance metaphor really stuck with me.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=2360

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 April 2014 13:48 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

on the other hand you have the utter horror of the no more page 3 advert that came out today :(

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 April 2014 13:48 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

My laptop really doesn't like to play videos (or indeed audio streams that aren't divided up into 4 minutes sections it can easily buffer). :-(

Would it be cheeky to ask what the "ambulance metaphor" was, or is it totally context dependent?

BLEEEEEEE Monday (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 1 April 2014 16:24 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

oops sorry didn't see your answer til just now. it was pretty straightforward - if intersectionality is analogous to being located at a junction and intersectional oppression is being hit by cars coming from two directions, then the ambulances (eg anti-racist groups or feminist groups) tend only to come from one of those directions and fail to diagnose you properly/consider it the other ambulance's problem

anyway, interview with crenshaw: http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2014/04/kimberl-crenshaw-intersectionality-i-wanted-come-everyday-metaphor-anyone-could

lex pretend, Wednesday, 2 April 2014 11:32 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Oh, OK, that metaphor makes sense.

It's Bim's interview! Haven't had the chance to read it yet, but this will undoubtedly be excellent.

Branwell Bell, Wednesday, 2 April 2014 12:41 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

today in women's news

“Life didn’t work out that way,” she said. “I didn’t have a child. I probably treat my dogs more like children than someone with children would.”

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20140415/NEWS01/304140039/More-single-unmarried-women-choosing-small-pooches-over-motherhood-survey-finds?nclick_check=1

Mayor Manuel (La Lechera), Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:02 (2 days ago) Permalink

i found this because one of these proud dog-owning women posted it to a fb group about dachshunds in ohio that i joined for some unknown reason (i guess for lols?)
she boasted very seriously that she and her husband were super proud of their two dogs and then tagged all of these words and phrases that appeared to be about pride in being child-free
it was kinda weird and i didn't know where to put it so i put it here

Mayor Manuel (La Lechera), Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:06 (2 days ago) Permalink

Stephen Jay Gould's essay on neotony, as illustrated by the evolution of how Disney characters are drawn, sheds an interesting side light on the phenomenon of small dogs being treated like infants. I forget which of his many books of essays that one appeared in, but it was one of his most memorable ones.

Aimless, Thursday, 17 April 2014 16:59 (2 days ago) Permalink


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