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Belief: Feminism

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Feminism?

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Belief: Feminism

Postby The Code is Almighty on Tue May 30, 2006 10:51 pm

I like the idea, but my pettiness prevents me from agreeing with it simply because of the connotations I associate with the word. I'd much prefer humanism, or perhaps sexes-be-equalism.

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Postby Andrew L. on Tue May 30, 2006 11:30 pm

N/C, obviously.

The fact it's a dirty word makes it less, not more crap. Many self-described feminists are obnoxious self-righteous idiots, true, but that's true of any movement or political program, from environmentalism to DIY punk.

There are, sort of, three waves of feminism. And most people still associate feminism with 2nd wave stuff. Get w/ the latest shit. And fuck Andrea Dworkin up the ass with one of Kathy Acker's vibrators.
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Postby alex maiolo on Tue May 30, 2006 11:37 pm

Florence King, the reluctant feminist icon who wrote a great book called With Charity Towards None: A Fond Look at Misanthropy, said that feminism, as it is generally practiced today, is wired to fail.

She makes the point that anytime there is a feminist march, there are sub-feminists diluting the event: Feminists for Animal Rights, Feminists Against Nukes, Gay Feminists, Feminists Against Poverty, Republican Feminists, etc.
Her point is that the same thing wouldn't have happened at The Million Man March - that was about one goal.
The Gay Feminists probably have major issues with the Republican Feminists (unless they are Mary Cheney) and not all Feminists are vegetarians, obviously. In King's eyes, that just saps power from the event, which is ostensibly about women getting a fair shake, that's it, and has nothing to do with sub-agendas.

She goes on to make the observation that such inclusion; that all ideas are welcome; the "there is no wrong answer" ideology is, well, really stereotypically maternal and girly.

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Postby trilonaut on Wed May 31, 2006 2:41 am

feminism IS a quest for "sexes-be-equalism". they've sometimes take a strong stance to make up for countless millenia of oppression. it's a tough pill for us males to swallow and i have trouble swallowing it. that doesn't make it wrong, that makes it right. are there some misguided people who call themselves feminists? sure, like andrew said there are boneheads in any movement.

and that inclusion thing, that's also an issue that affects every movement. you need to be inclusive to get the numbers to make an impact, but then there's infighting. there's infighting in every movement (yes, the black civil rights movement too), though it seems like the left is plagued by it much worse than the right. it's so frustrating watching the left flounder around arguing with itself and self-deprecating while the right remorselessly conquers everything. i think it's because the analytical, compassionate leftist mindset leads to guilt and confusion whereas the right-wing "get yours" ideology is simpler.
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Postby Gramsci on Wed May 31, 2006 3:57 am

Saying feminism is crap is like saying racial equality is crap -at least to me-. Feminism mean that women can look at the world through their own experiences, and I see everything right with that. I agree with Andrew, the word "feminism" has been hijacked. like many words, by a loony fringe on the left, and by even loonier fringe on the right.
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Postby user_name on Wed May 31, 2006 5:05 am

i'm for feminism in general, like andrew pointed out, things have changed in the last decade or so. there has been a realisation, in academic circles at least, that to assume a commonality based soley on gender is ridiculous and exclusive. just because you are a man, for example, doesn't necessarily mean that i will understand and sympathise with your experience of the world. feminism is, to me, an important part of over-riding goals of equality and justice, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity etc etc. the most important thing is to effect cultural change
in a patriarchy feminism will equal ineffectualism (may be small 'victories' here and there) unless men (the agents of change in a patriarchy) support and help work towards the goals.

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Postby Ty Webb on Wed May 31, 2006 6:32 am

Andrew L. wrote:There are, sort of, three waves of feminism. And most people still associate feminism with 2nd wave stuff. Get w/ the latest shit. And fuck Andrea Dworkin up the ass with one of Kathy Acker's vibrators.


What that guy said. If women at large knew the consequences of their writings, Andrea Dworkin and Catherine McKinnon would've been strung up by their ovaries a long time ago.
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Postby Adam CR on Wed May 31, 2006 6:37 am

There was a poll recently in the UK (I'm trying to find a link) which asked whether women would be happy to describe themselves as feminists.

The majority stated that they would not happily describe themselves as feminists.

This discovery reminded me of Douglas Adams' animal invention which would introduce itself and recommend parts of it's anatomy for immediate consumption. If women don't actually want equality, then who are we to dictate that they must have it?

Regardless of the above, it's a clear N/C?
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Postby Gramsci on Wed May 31, 2006 6:50 am

Adam CR wrote:T...If women don't actually want equality, then who are we to dictate that they must have it?

Regardless of the above, it's a clear N/C?


Sometimes we have to force people to be free...
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Postby Adam CR on Wed May 31, 2006 7:05 am

Gramsci wrote:
Adam CR wrote:T...If women don't actually want equality, then who are we to dictate that they must have it?

Regardless of the above, it's a clear N/C?


Sometimes we have to force people to be free...


It wasn't a genuine question so much as a statement of exasperation.

Most people's reactions to the poll seemed to be that when (young) women think 'feminist' they thing hairy bull-dyke, but this fact shows (young) women in an even worse light IMO.
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Postby ivan on Wed May 31, 2006 10:37 am

andrew l suggested
And fuck Andrea Dworkin up the ass with one of Kathy Acker's vibrators


i have a lot of respect for andea dworkin, she is widely misquoted and her opinions misrepresented, and was occasionally crazy, but on the whole she was not crap, just misunderstood by people who didn't read beyond the sensationalist soundbites

feminism - not even slightly crap, (well maybe the fact that certain tubthumping "feminist" bands get extra credit for their political beliefs even though their music is lacking i.e. le tigre)
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Postby Ty Webb on Wed May 31, 2006 11:22 am

ivan wrote:andrew l suggested
And fuck Andrea Dworkin up the ass with one of Kathy Acker's vibrators


i have a lot of respect for andea dworkin, she is widely misquoted and her opinions misrepresented, and was occasionally crazy, but on the whole she was not crap, just misunderstood by people who didn't read beyond the sensationalist soundbites


"Romance is rape embellished with meaningful looks"

"Male sexuality, drunk on its intrinsic contempt for all life, but especially women's lives..."

"Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman"

"Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women"


You can claim "out of context" if you want, but I'd love to hear the context that justifies "intrinsic contempt for all life".

She hated men and she preached hatred for men. The man she wound up marrying preached self-loathing with the same vehemence. Dworkin was a dangerous loon.
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Postby Lemuel Gulliver on Wed May 31, 2006 11:34 am

Ty Webb wrote:She hated men and she preached hatred for men. The man she wound up marrying preached self-loathing with the same vehemence. Dworkin was a dangerous loon.


She married Alan Alda?

It seems to me that the problem with feminism as it usually comes across to me--on a college campus from well-meaning but naive undergrad girls and over-zealous grad school young women--is that anything that isn't on board with their conception of feminism is misogyny. They make it an ideology rather than a philosophy.

There is nothing wrong with coming to the conclusion that there are natural differences between the sexes, and that those differences are OK. QED.
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Postby Ty Webb on Wed May 31, 2006 11:42 am

Lemuel Gulliver wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:She hated men and she preached hatred for men. The man she wound up marrying preached self-loathing with the same vehemence. Dworkin was a dangerous loon.


She married Alan Alda?



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*ba-dum ching*

Well played.

And I completely agree with your point about the zealotry of the academic brand of feminism, which does tend to be stuck in the "second wave", McDworkin vein.

I've even been personally affected. My college girlfriend was game for damn near anything, including titillating mutual appreciation of nudie mags and porn. Then a Catherine McKinnon book appeared in the house thanks to a Women's Studies course and I could barely get laid for a semester.

BOO!

But one good thing came of it. I started reading Dworkin and McKinnon to know my enemy and discovered just how loathsome they were for myself.
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Postby ivan on Wed May 31, 2006 11:57 am

Ty Webb wrote

She hated men and she preached hatred for men. The man she wound up marrying preached self-loathing with the same vehemence. Dworkin was a dangerous loon.


Dworkin was molested as a child, burnt with cigarettes and beaten by her first husband, forced into prostitution in the netherlands, date raped later in life and generally received the worst possible treatment in life at the hands of men. Such experiences may seem uniquely extreme, they are not, we just don't hear about them because the victims of these crimes are a marginalised group to begin.

The quotes you have selected illustrate exactly what i am talking about, a dismissal of a writer on the basis of selected phrases. Dworkin did much more than merely talk about men, she examined the mindset of right wing women, she published work rape as a warcrime, as well as work on the jewish identity and the nature of pornography and protitution.

As a man I find myself challenged by her views, I feel some of them are over-simplified and selective, but as strong statements in favour of improving the position of women in society I see a lot of value in her work.
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...

Postby gio on Wed May 31, 2006 11:59 am

Lemuel Gulliver wrote:There is nothing wrong with coming to the conclusion that there are natural differences between the sexes, and that those differences are OK. QED.


Some of the Dworkin excerpts I've found making cases for utopian androgyny and sex=rape are absolutely absurd. I should give her the benefit of reading the original, though, before my critique has any value.

She might serve the historical purpose of being on the avant-garde of feminism, to pull it away from complacency... like, for movements to maintain power, perhaps it helps to have someone on the extreme, spouting vehemence and feeling forever disgusted with the state of things.

But that's also sorrowful and depressing... like, she was unable to illustrate her 'utopia' in her own attitude, so ended up preaching negativity, which is completely sapped of beauty. If this motivation in fact stemmed from a childhood molestation experience, it's a sad affair, though you certainly can't falut her for lacking passion in her endeavors, albeit with some questionable goals and some seriously flawed logic. But at the expense of being extreme, maybe she ends up with a messy mix of truth and falsehood.

On the other hand, I like the looks of this Kathy Acker.
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Postby Lemuel Gulliver on Wed May 31, 2006 12:01 pm

Ty Webb wrote:But one good thing came of it. I started reading Dworkin and McKinnon to know my enemy and discovered just how loathsome they were for myself.


For reading this, you've proven yourself a more patient man than myself.

It always astounds me in the ways--the many ways--that it raises its head and in fashionable ways no less. E.g., Vaginal monologues. I'm all on board with a one's right not to get raped, abused, etc. Not because they're women, but because they're humans. But it seems to me that by basing the source of this right and the source of a woman's virtue on [in?] their vaginas, they basically reduce womanhood to merely having a vagina. So much for the full-flowering of the human soul. [Not to mention you'd have to wonder how many frat boys they're unintentionally getting horny by drawing vaginas all over campus with their sidewalk chalk. I wouldn't be a damned bit surprised to find out that date rapes spike around that time of year.]

Most people reading this will think I'm a dick. Ah, well.
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Postby gio on Wed May 31, 2006 12:07 pm

Lemuel Gulliver wrote:
Most people reading this will think I'm a dick. Ah, well.


Well, they certainly won't think you're a vagina.

Everybody knows the word "phallic." Hardly anyone knows the word "yannic" (hell, I don't even know how to spell it. That's probably wrong.)

Phallic symbolism is ubiquitous in our society. I think one goal of the vagina-centrism is to try to offset that.

Like the skyscraper in chicago. It's the only one that looks like a vagina.

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Re: ...

Postby Lemuel Gulliver on Wed May 31, 2006 12:20 pm

gio wrote:She might serve the historical purpose of being on the avant-garde of feminism, to pull it away from complacency...


Your use of this turn of phrase touched on something that I've been batting around a lot lately. I've always wondered who was really avant-garde these days: The feminists, lefties, etc., of which there are many flavors and a widespread acceptance especially among the young. If you were to operate among this crowd, again, say on a college campus, you'd get a large degree of acceptance. If you were to think among the righties which is also largely varied among themselves but look largely alike to outsiders, then would that young group of hipsters be as open-minded as they'd claim? If I politely decline to sign some woman's group's petition for school money to fund something or other, I risk being shouted down as a woman-hater. This happened once. [I love women!] If I were to write something in defense of Bush, this premier rock forum would likely shout me down--as much as one can shout down via computer.

As for Dworkin's childhood experiences being the root and source of her man-hating: It seems to me that the responsible thing would be to separate her offenders' actions as acts of the offenders themselves, not of human males in general. Wouldn't this be the same as not blaming all blacks for getting carjacked but for the black dude that actually carjacked you? By lumping all men into the category of brute animal, she implicitly endorses the fundamental distinction between men and women that women's lib tried to get around in the first place. That is, she's got more in common with biggots and chauvenists than someone like Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
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Postby Ty Webb on Wed May 31, 2006 12:22 pm

ivan, I never said Dworkin had nothing of any value to say. Write as many words as she did and there's bound to be SOMETHING worth hearing in there. I'm aware she wrote vociferously about anti-Semitism and the complicity of right-wing women in their own subjugation.

And I still contend that statements like ones I quoted do, in fact, largely discredit her as an extremist. The fact that her life was a violent, victimized one is sad. It's also sad that her radical, borderline pathological views obscured her few worthwhile offerings.

Her posthumous public reformation is a load of bullshit just like Nixon's was. I reiterate, she was a dangerous loon.
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