Feminism Doesn’t Need A Rebrand

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The idea of rebranding feminism seems rooted in the idea that feminism, as it is now, is outdated. After all women can own property, vote, and take out loans now so surely feminism has done its job? Surely the sexes are equal now?

It doesn’t take much searching before a host of issues surrounding the unequal status of women comes to the fore. Saudi women banned from driving, arranged or forced marriage, and far more sinister abuses like female genital mutilation that goes on all over the world even in the UK. With Malala Yousafzai  becoming a global symbol for the ongoing struggle of girls to gain access to the same education as their male counterparts it is hard to believe that feminism is done after driving legislative changes in a handful of countries.

We are lucky enough to live in a country where feminism has had a significant impact on our lives as women are, in most aspects, legally equal to men, but this does not extend to social equality. A woman’s body is still seen as her most valuable feature – from Theresa May’s trademark kitten heels to where Michelle Obama buys her skirts, a woman’s appearance is still focused on almost obsessively. Mary Beard (one of my personal heroes) is reviled for her grey hair and wrinkles but her lively and engaging commentary on history is barely mentioned. Why should she have to justify her presence on our television screens by her appearance rather than her status as a professor at Cambridge University?

Those who object to the sexist portrayal of women in the media are branded ‘killjoys’, yet nearly 70% of speaking parts in Hollywood films are taken by men

Laura Bates
The Everyday Sexism Project

Feminism gets branded as all about women’s equality and women’s issues but it strives to do as much for men. The pressure on men to be ‘manly men’ is just as much an issue of gender stereotyping as the virgin/whore duality that women find themselves faced with. The tales I hear of small boys bullied for liking ‘girly colours’ and lad culture stating quite categorically what is ‘gay’ and what isn’t, apart from being homophobic, is restricting the freedom of men to be supported in their choices.

This leads into the growing challenge of what gender really is. With the rising numbers of transgender people coming out younger than ever it is important that the idea of one gender being better than another is stamped out as soon as possible. Even the language we use to describe ourselves feeds into this idea. “Hey, she’s got balls” is set against “That guy is such a pussy,” and although it can all be dismissed as ‘banter’, using gendered language to assign merit or lack of it filters down into the way we think.

Feminism is as relevant today as it has ever been. The oppression of women all over the world can be fought with the unwavering support of those in more privileged circumstances and the right of children, of all genders, to grow up however they like is a core goal of modern feminism. Feminism stands for gender equality regardless of race or sexuality, and while it has been criticised in the past for its focus on white middle-class issues, those lessons have been learnt. Feminism provides a platform for men and women to stand side by side and fight for social justice and the right to be more than our randomly assigned genitalia.

More articles in 21st Century Feminist
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  3. The Telegraph Just Tried To Disguise Islamophobia With Feminism
  4. Does International Women’s Day Benefit Feminism?
  5. White Feminism : The Lack of Intersectionality Within Mainstream Feminism
  6. What I Talk About When I Talk About Men’s Feminism
  7. The ‘HeForShe’ Campaign: One Year On
  8. When Will the Media Treat Women With Respect?
  9. Vaginal Piercings to be Classified as a Form of Female Genital Mutilation
  10. Easy Ways To Take Feminist Action
  11. #50Dollarsnot50Shades: Porn From The Wrong Place
  12. Feminism Doesn’t Need A Rebrand
  13. Students Must Stand Up to Sexual Assault
  14. What does ‘Body Positivity’ really mean?
  15. Have You Seen Her? Where Are Women Going after University?
  16. Please, Don’t Mention the War
  17. I Clean, Therefore I Am
  18. 2014: The year of the feminist?
  19. Don’t ‘man up’, man your language
  20. White Feminism: Time to Ditch Our Prejudice When Faced With Our Privilege
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  28. Private: Coming Out of the Feminist Closet
  29. The Other Side of Feminism
  30. A Journey With Feminism And Depression
  31. Gender Wars – The Internet’s Front Line
  32. Coming out of the Feminist Closet
  33. Meninist…Feminist – Can’t We All Just Agree On Equality?
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  36. Delhi Gang Rapists: Victims of the Patriarchy?
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Discussion82 Comments

  1. avatar

    Feminism gets branded as all about women’s equality and women’s issues but it strives to do as much for men.”

    Name a single feminist initiative that has supported men and only men on an issue they unarguably suffer over women.

    Sasha
    avatar

    Paternity leave? Lad culture?

    Equally, doesnt it say something if there arent many things where men unarguably suffer more than women?

    Im not even a campaigner or anything – just a little disappointed by the comment and implicit disagreement with the idea that a cause might try to make things more equal for everyone.

    Elle
    avatar

    Name an issue that men suffer with over women. Name something that affects men in a way that women have and do suffer institutionally. You can choose from anywhere in the world. I don’t mean to be combative, but it seems silly, to me, to support an already dominant group that are currently supported by the majority of society.

    Anonymous
    avatar

    -Custody of a child in a divorce: A woman is by far favoured in this, and regardless of her actions or words in many cases, the man will lose his children. He could be the nicest person alive, but if the woman claims a single thing against him, it is accepted without proof.
    -False rape claims: If a woman agrees to sexual intercourse and the male agrees to it, without any form of coersion, the male will be arrested and in many cases charged without proper investigation.
    -Cases of Male rape victims: The majority of male rape claims are dismissed or under-treated due to males being considered “incapable of being raped”. Which is false.
    -Jail time for a crime of the same titling: In quite a few cases, a woman will more often than not be given more sympathy or reduced jail time simply for being a woman.

    This is just of the First world countries.
    I could mention how male children in 3rd world countries are coerced into picking up arms against others, and this is enforced throughout their life until they are killed.

    Anonymous 2
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    Worth mentioning that male genital mutilation is more widespread than female genital mutilation, and culturally acceptable, if not desirable. That’s okay though, because circumcision has no negative side effects, right?

    Sam
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    I think it would be an interesting debate/discussion to explore the parallels between female & male mutilation, and if its a topic you feel passionately about I’d recommend doing more to raise the issue.

    To my understanding though the practices are significantly different in severity.

    If the equivalent procedure to what is commonly carried out in examples of FGM then you would remove the entire head of the penis, and not just the foreskin.

    TBH, if that was happening to men I think there rightly would be a public outcry.

    Agosto Nunyez
    avatar

    It’s not about the severity, genital mutilation is always bad, but it’s about the quantity, ¿why should 100 people suffer and get ignored if their suffering is smaller than 10 people? just because it’s worse for a few women doesn’t mean that we should ignore millions of men.

    Emma
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    I think you need to realise that a lot of the root of these problems are trying to be fixed by feminism. 1. That women are seen to be the natural caregiver, and the man the fumbling breadwinner, incapable of looking after the children. These are gender roles and stereotypes feminism is trying to break down, by supporting house husbands and trying to normalise women out of the world place. 2. It is terrible when it happens, but statistically this happens a miniscule amount of times. All statistics I’ve read have said the figure is negligible. On top of this, the rape conviction rate in the UK is well under 10% so it’s unlikely they would end up in prison (although I understand that isn’t the point). But this myth that false rape convictions happen all the time is so damaging, and is entirely untrue. 3. I completely agree, it needs to be legally changed to define rape of a man in broader terms. However I go back to the root of the problem – the secrecy and shame associated with men suffering rape is due to the society we live in that tells men to be strong and tough and never show weakness. Again, it’s these strict gender roles feminism is desperately trying to erase. 4. I don’t know a lot about, but I would argue that again this is due to society seeing women as weaker and more delicate, and seemingly needing looking after. This is wrong, but again it’s another symptom of the patriarchy that feminism is trying to deconstruct!

    Anonymous
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    2- All statistics from where? A statistic does not make it factually accurate. I can say that 80% of men have a boner for 20 hours a day on average. That doesn’t make it a fact. When you actually look for something that you otherwise can’t find, and also look at their sources, you can see how things pan out.
    In the USA, false rape charges happen very often, and at the very least false rape /claims/ happen far more often than respectable women would like to admit, because I can understand that the title of “liar” doesn’t sit well on /anyones/ palate.
    4- You can’t call it the patriarchy when it’s the men that are being treated unfairly.

    I understand that what you think feminism is, is a way to have true equality, but in a lot of cases what happens with the louder feminists, is that they never stop to think about the things going on.

    You hear things like “All men are rapists no matter what they do with a woman”, “Just because we want equality doesn’t mean that we want the sexual jokes” and things along these lines. The problem becomes not “equality” but “female supremacy”.

    Don’t mistake me, I don’t think that you are one of these extremists, I simply want to educate you as to their existence, and because they are a loud group that easily garners support from people who don’t take the time to think about things for themselves, they ruin the entire concept of feminism or more accurately “Human-wide Equality”.

    Feminists that care about harmoniously living with men, rather than blaming every single one for simply being born male, need to address their extremist counterparts and speak out /against/ these people ruining such a good cause.

    I hope you can feel the core of my meaning, I’m not always clear when I explain myself, which is funny considering this long comment.

    I wish you well.

    Sam
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    “You hear things like “All men are rapists no matter what they do with a woman”, “Just because we want equality doesn’t mean that we want the sexual jokes” and things along these lines. The problem becomes not “equality” but “female supremacy”.”

    Where do you hear those things?

    I see a lot of comments referencing an army of man hating feminists hell bent on female supremicy, any yet I’ve never met one, or even seen an attributable quote/comment.

    I expect there may be people who feel that way, but most of the “quotes” are fictions aimed at discrediting what is a campaign for equality.

    Anonymous
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    @Sam (because it wont let me directly reply)
    If you’d look at some of the MRA protest videos, you would see just how disrespectful and beastial some of these groups of “feminists” are.

    I wouldn’t say anything about them if I didn’t /see/ it.
    But if you check youtube, and look up even just the MRA protests in toronto, you would see the degree of insanity coming from these people.

    Again, I’m fine with REAL feminists, but the female supremacists using feminism as a scape goat piss me off.

    Some US Stats...
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    WEALTH: Women hold 65% of the country’s wealth [Fortune Magazine]

    CHILD CUSTODY: Women receive custody of 92% of the children of divorce and illegitimacy, and men only 4%. [Department of Health & Human Services]

    INCOME: Men constitute 60% of workplace hours, work longer hours, work harder, and are more qualified, rarely file sexual discrimination or harassment lawsuits or take pregnancy leave[Dept. Labor]
    SUICIDE: Men’s suicide rate is 4.6 times higher than women’s [Dept. Health & Human Services — 26,710 males vs 5,700 females]

    LIFE EXPECTANCY: Men’s life expectancy is seven (7) years shorter than women’s [National Center for Health Statistics — males 72.3 yrs vs females 79 yrs] yet receive only 35% of government expenditures for health care and medical costs.

    AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: Men are discriminated against BY DESIGN through affirmative action.

    FEDERAL TAXES: Even though men pay 115% of federal income taxes women constitute 11% more of the voters.

    VOTE: Because there are 11% more female than male voters, males have little to no influence on how the male tax dollar is spent.

    WAR: Men, not women, fight and die in battle [Dept. Defense — Vietnam Casualties 47,369 men vs 74 women] while women sue the taxpayer when they have their butt pinched.

    WORKPLACE FATALITIES: Men account for more than 95% of workplace fatalities.

    MURDER: Men are murdered at a rate almost 5 times that of women [Dept. Health & Human Services — 26,710 men vs 5,700 women]

    JURY BIAS: Women are acquitted of spousal murder at a rate 9 times that of men [Bureau Justice Statistics — 1.4% of men vs 12.9% of women]

    COURT BIAS: Men are sentenced 2.8 times longer than women for spousal murder [Bureau Justice Statistics — men at 17 years vs women at 6 years]

    JUSTICE SYSTEM BIAS: Even though the amount of the average “child support payment” due from women is half the amount due from men, and even though women are twice as likely as men to default on those payments, fathers are 97% of “child support” collections prosecutions [Census Bureau]

    WELFARE: Even though men are the recipients of less than 10% of all welfare disbursements, men are required to refund welfare payments made to women.

    SECONDARY EDUCATION: Even though zero percent of American 12th grade girls were able to correctly answer basic math and physics questions, less than one quarter of America’s secondary and elementary school teachers are men.

    HIGHER EDUCATION: There are more than 200 all-female colleges for women and now not one single all-male college for men. 5.8% fewer men than women are enrolled in 4 year colleges, even though two thirds of those who score higher than 550 in SAT Math are males. In 1993 only 44.5% of college enrollment were men, and that figure has declined since then. Only 45.8% of of bachelor’s degrees were conferred to men in 1992, even though 98.2% of the top fiftieth percentile of the GRE are men, and ZERO PERCENT of American high school girls correctly answered 28 out of 67 TIMSS advanced math questions. Only 38.4% of private 4 year college students were men as of 1990, and this figure has declined since then.

    LEGAL SYSTEM BIAS: 96% of physical altercations resulting in injury to a spouse occurs AFTER the date of separation. [Read: spousal abuse laws that pretend that husbands are dangerous discriminate against husbands when we know that only a very small percent of domestic violence is associated with them]. [Chadwick and Heaton, “Statistical Handbook of the American Family”]

    DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Even though study after study shows that women are the majority of the initiators of domestic violence, and 58% of the above mentioned physical altercations are initiated by the female, Congress passed the obviously anti-male VAWA and VAWA II.which are known would make the problem far worse. [Read: despite the fact we discriminate against husbands in protective orders, women still cause more than half of domestic altercations because they know they can get away with it].

    CHILD VIOLENCE: Even though mothers commit 55% of child murders and biological fathers commit 6%, even though NIS-3 shows that Mother-only households are 3 times more fatal to children than Father-only households, children are systematically removed from the natural fathers who are their most effective protectors and men are imprisoned at rate 20 times that of women.

    FAMILY BREAKDOWN: The US Surgeon General notes that divorce is more harmful to a man’s health than smoking tobacco, yet as much as $1.3 Trillion of federal expenditures accomplish little else than undermine family stability.

    WOMEN PILOTS: Even though women pilots have an accident rate four times that of men pilots, federal laws require that airlines risk the safety of passengers and hire women pilots anyway.

    WOMEN DRIVERS: Even though the crash rate of women drivers is twice that of men drivers, and even though drinking alcohol increases the crash rate of men by only 5%, the majority of those imprisoned under DUI laws are men, and women are almost never imprisoned for their much higher number of non-alcohol-related crashes.

    INCARCERATION: Even though feminists brag that 1.4 million American brides commit adultery, and even though women file more than 90,000 false allegations of rape, every year, only 99,000 of the 1.8 million Americans behind bars are women.

    Sam
    avatar

    Just wow. We can all play the copy and paste blog game:
    http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/some-masculinist-rubbish/

    A long list to “Facts” with uncited references, and no reputable sources, is not really a strong argument.

    TBH, considering the importance of referencing in University level work, I find the lack of actual references (only names of organisations, which makes it hard to check up on) a little disappointing.

    Or perhaps I’m wrong, and we should be fighting against the martiarchy all along, with their feminist conspiracy to keep us men down with their increased voting rights and 65% share of the wealth.

    Some Sources
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    Father’s rights group want shared parenting (equal custody) to be the default if both parents want custody and neither parent is unfit. They feel that men should not be punished for being men, and that women should not be awarded custody to their kids simply for being women. Currently women are awarded primary custody almost all the time, even if the husband was the stay-at-home Dad and the woman was the breadwinner.
    Feminists fought against this (http://www.glennsacks.com/enewsletters/enews_11_28_06.htm). You can read NOW’s own statement here – http://web.archive.org/web/20070708213232/http://michnow.org/jointcustody507.htm. Also note their usage of anti-male lies, i.e. “fathers are abusive, don’t give them custody.” (http://www.now.org/nnt/03-97/father.html) That is from 1997, but still remains valid today.

    Men want protection against false rape allegations. They feel that a man’s life should not be ruined simply on the allegation of a woman who may be a vindictive liar. Currently, a woman can accuse a man of rape for no reason, and the man’s name is splashed in the paper and his life is ruined. So, they fought for laws granting men anonymity until charged with the crime of rape—not convicted, just charged.
    Feminists fought against this (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10760239), causing it to fail. Also see here, the London Feminist Network campaigning to defeat the proposal.
    “The London Feminist Network is a campaigning organisation uniting London based feminist groups and individuals in activism.”

    Men want an end to the justice system favouring women simply because they are women, and giving men harsher sentences simply because they are men.
    Feminists fought against this (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13666066), arguing that no woman should be sent to jail, even women who had murdered multiple people (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/womens-prisons-should-all-close-within-a-decade-7240659.html).

    Men want equal treatment when victims of domestic violence, and to not be arrested for the crime of “being male” under primary aggressor policies.
    Feminists fought against this (http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V74-gender-symmetry-with-gramham-Kevan-Method%208-.pdf) by trying to suppress evidence showing that half of domestic violence is done by women, by threatening the researchers with bomb threats, death threats, etc. Modern, younger feminists are doing it as well (http://i.imgur.com/aob5k.jpg).
    And sadly, they were successful in this effort of propaganda. For decades, and continuing today, violent men are (rightfully) convicted and punished by the state, while violent women are left to freely terrorize and harm their partners.
    The feminist definition of domestic violence has skewed arrest and prosecution philosophies, resulting primarily in having only male batterers criminally pursued – http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/304/kelly.pdf

    Men want female rapists to be arrested, charged, and convicted with rape. In Western countries, women are rarely punished when raping men, due to the biased legal system. In some countries, women cannot be punished when raping men, since rape is defined as a male-perpetrated crime.
    Feminists fought against this in India (http://www.firstpost.com/india/rape-law-amendment-where-are-the-cases-of-sexual-violence-against-men-384227.html), arguing that “there is a physicality [in] rape” and that it would make things “more complicated for judges.”
    Feminists fought against this in Israel (http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Womens-groups-Cancel-law-charging-women-with-rape), claiming that changing the law would result in men filing false rape claims.

    Men don’t want to be thrown in jail because they lost their jobs and temporarily cannot pay child support.
    Feminists fought against this (http://rinow.org/legislative-agenda/2011-legislative-agenda-draft-as-of-21411/), trying to lower the amount to $5000 before a man is guilty of a felony for not paying child support. If a man loses a decent-paying job, he will now be a felon, go to jail, lose his right to vote, AND be unable to find future jobs—if he cannot regain an equal-paying job within a few months.

    Men want equal economic support and help from the government. When the recession hit, male-dominated fields like construction lost millions of jobs, while female-fields like education and healthcare gained jobs. So the government proposed an economic stimulus for those fields.
    Feminists successfully fought against this (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/659dkrod.asp), arguing that it was discrimination to support men, and caused the government to give money to women who didn’t deserve it. Hundreds of professional feminists complained against the “sexism” of helping men (who had lost jobs) and not women (who had gained jobs).

    A representative of the Michigan National Organization for Women testified in opposition to the Revocation of Paternity Act (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billanalysis/house/htm/2011-HLA-5328-3.HTM), which stopped the old law which stated that if a woman was married and cheated on her husband, the resulting child is considered to be legally the husband’s and the biological father had no legal rights to fight for custody or parenting time with his biological child.

    Name
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    To name various things which ‘feminists’ have argued against is not making any point except to say that some people are against some things.
    Feminism is a huge movement consisting of so many different and unique perspectives, all with a core belief, that gender equality is necessary (and most feminists I know do denounce the people who believe in women’s superiority).
    People talk about false rape allegations like they happen most of the time. It is a tiny minority and often people hold the view that if a woman was drunk that she is just regretting it, or if she wore a short skirt she was ‘asking for it’ and that it is a false allegation.
    For every statistic you give about how much men supposedly suffer, there are tens which could be given about how women also suffer in that field.
    Men suffer more from unemployment? The gender pay gap in the UK is at 20%, with women earning less.
    Woman accuses man of raping her? Her face gets splashed in the paper and she is seen as a ‘whore’ and her own life is ruined. Fewer than 90% of rapes cases end in a conviction, partly (and this is according to a woman with a vast amount of experience dealing with these cases) attitudes still exist surrounding raped women.
    Your statistics about college students in the US? Well I think the more shocking statistic is the fact that so many top positions are held by men, DESPITE the fact that girls often (in the UK anyway) often outperform boys in education.
    Seriously, by proving that men are discriminated again, do you really think this proves that women’s rights are somehow not an issue? As somebody who sees sexism on at least a weekly basis, sees gender stereotyping, sees the gender pay gap, sees the stigmatisation of women who sleep around and their naming as ‘whores’ and yet men are ‘players’, sees the rape of women used as a weapon of war, sees the objectification of women, sees the trafficking of women (the rate of which is so much higher than that of men or children) and countless more human rights abuses almost purely aimed at women, I reject anybody’s assertion that men suffer more.
    Feminism is like any movement full of individuals, don’t make generalisations, don’t pick holes in it just because a few extremists misrepresent it, in fact, if you don’t think that men are well enough represented, then why don’t you bring up your points with actual feminists in an actual conversation so you can see for yourself, they are open minded enough to be concerned about men’s issues. As a woman, as a feminist, I am more than open minded to instances where men feel they suffer too, however, they need to actually bring up these issues in another way than just arguing against feminists. I can’t represent men, I can’t speak for them but we are, in the UK, all lucky enough to have a voice, which we can use to make some positive change, rather than sitting around complaining about one another.

    nina
    avatar

    wow really? yet another feminist space overrun by mra speak. well done! now how bout you actually come clean on the things you said? child custody, yes women get custody more often. but let’s look at the cases where men actually fight for custody. what are those stats? how do they win when they fight? and while we are talking about child support, are you noting how many low income mothers there are? that women are more likely to be poor than men, so they need that money if they are moms? are you mentioning that the u.s. has more back child support owed than most any other country? false rape allegations are as common as false accusations of robbery and arson. do you care as deeply about those accused of arson? do assume people who say they have been mugged are lying? and if we want to cite american sources,let’s talk about the fact the men of color are more likely to be in prison. are you fighting to end racism as well? are you raging about the fact most black people in death row are there for crimes committed against white people? are you talking about the fact that if you erased stats of m.o.c. from you your little tantrum you’d have a lot less to say? you are about men’s rights? great. tell me what you are doing about racism. otherwise, get ready to get called out for acting like a white feminist. because just like #solidarityisforwhitewomen, we can also say #solidarityisforwhitepeople. seriously done hearing about white people problems. could ya’ll stop fighting and actually address of more importance like white supremacy, racism, or effects of colonialism?

  2. avatar

    “This leads into the growing challenge of what gender really is. With the rising numbers of transgender people coming out younger than ever it is important that the idea of one gender being better than another is stamped out as soon as possible”

    Are you suggesting male trans transition to male because they think men are better? There are so many things that are problematic with that statement I can’t even begin.

    Also feminism continues to focus on white, middle class women – you only have to see who the most prominent feminist figures are on Twitter to see that, there are still so many issues, mainly surrounding class and race, within feminism to be addressed.

    Megan
    avatar

    I agree, I definitely think the movement needs to prioritise inclusiveness, particularly relating to race. As a member of the feminist movement I have met many feminists and know very few (none that I know of) who wouldn’t agree that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
    However, I think the point Livia was making in regards to transgender people was that because the concept of gender is becoming increasingly flexible, set ideas about a “superior” gender (and in my opinion all set ideas about gender) need to be corrected. I don’t think she even mentioned transgender males specifically and I don’t think she was suggesting that an idea of male superiority is a factor in somebody who’s gender is different to their sex.

    R
    avatar

    Ah I see, apologies – the way it’s written I thought the link was more trans because of the idea of a superior gender.

    Duh
    avatar

    “R”
    You are talking sentences and twisting them and then becoming outraged. Learn to read. Feminism support all cultures, especially the Arab communities as that is where it is needed.
    Livia was not suggesting transgender people become male to be superior.

    izzie
    avatar

    R actually has relevant points.. This article is both white-centric and cis-centric.

    But heaven forbid, anyone tries to point out there needs to be better intersectionality aside from just sticking to the cis, white, able-bodied, Western norm *rolls eyes*

  3. avatar

    Feminism in my opinion tries to go to extremes. In my eyes, it doesn’t go to the point of women being the equals of men, but making them better. Realistically, men and women cannot possibly be equal unless we were to completely eliminate gender assignments and just allowed people to do as they please. So feminist groups in my personal opinion attempts to make men seem like dominant, controlling a**holes, and women as caring, compassionate, incapable of harming anything, angels. Also, why assign the title “feminism” if you would be fighting for the EQUAL RIGHTS. That is a clear point that feminists are fighting to better women just to be better than men. Personally, I find myself an equalist. I want all people, of all races, social classes, and genders to be equal in all ways. Feminism is bad.

    Feminist
    avatar

    The reason it’s called feminism is because the name was come up with when women had few rights. Women are still in a worse position than men in society (earnings, family, domestic violence, etc just in developed countries) so feminists want women to reach the same level in society as men. Men aren’t depicted as dominant and controlling (except by radical feminists), the patriarchy is. The patriarchy i.e. the society that results from gender inequalities is what demands men to be manly for fear of being labelled ‘gay’ by the lads, and what tells women to be quietly accepting caregivers.

    Out of interest, would you claim that the gay rights lobby, or minority ethnic groups who organise against discrimination, want to be ‘better’ than straight people, or white people?

  4. avatar

    You all just had to bring in the example of Saudi Arabia woman’s right to drive.. Which is fair enough, but where are feminists’ voices on women in the third world killed and going through brutalization from Western drones and Western imperialist powers funding misogynist/terrorist regimes. Where were your voices about the F-16’s & drones raining down in Muslim countries killing 1 million in Iraq alone? How can you stand in solidarity with their rights to gender equality when you didn’t even care about their basic rights to live? Selective justice for the win! Orientalism and white supremacy in a nutshell

    ”Feminism stands for gender equality regardless of race or sexuality, and while it has been criticised in the past for its focus on white middle-class issues, those lessons have been learnt.” No, just no, what is this cracker bullshit…This is not a post-racial society or world. A lot of people of color I know have dropped off the label ‘feminist’ and prefer to identify with womanism because of colorblind gibberish like this. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen

  5. avatar

    Also if you have the guts, why don’t you publish this, written by a person who actually grew up in Egypt

    ”My brave Egyptian sisters are constantly being sent to jail for their political activism in big numbers while you’re busy talking about Muslim/Arab/Middle Eastern women’s right to driving and bicycling and all sorts of utter stereotypical nonsense.

    In my book, I consider your tendencies to be coming out of self righteousness, shallowness, hypocrisy, and lack of basic common sense.

    My advice to you? Get informed, say something useful, and support serious critical women rights when you’re asked to or save us the energy to have to put up with you and simply keep your mouth shut.”

    https://www.facebook.com/Shimaa.writes/posts/562685180469603

  6. avatar

    Objectification is relevant to both sexes, and it’s something British society, both males and females, embrace. After all, there are no institutions which force objectification and in a free market economy, men’s and women’s lifestyle and gossip magazines wouldn’t be so successful if their content was so unpopular.

    With regards to Mary Beard, whenever I’ve read or heard commentary about her in the news, she is always labelled as ‘Cambridge Historian’ or something similar and often portrayed in a positive light. Never before have I heard her been described as ‘feminist spinster’ or anything similarly offensive. I know it’s all part of delivering your argument, but the extent to which you’ve described sexism in the media is exaggerated.

    In modern Britain, there are fewer and fewer institutions which disadvantage females and now women are legally and politically equal, equality of attitudes will percolate naturally through generations. Generation Y is certainly less sexist than Generation X and as Gen Y assumes more roles of influence in the future, society will inevitably become less sexist and this trend will continue. It’s inevitable that in the future women will assume more positions of power and be less subject to abuse and we all know this.

    In the UK, feminism is outdated and outspoken feminists are doing more harm than help for male attitudes towards women. In many other parts of the world sexism is one of the most pressing and worrying issues and in these parts of the world women are helpless. Britain’s feminists would do more good fighting with their counterparts in countries like India or Saudi Arabia rather than attempt to change free-thinking minds and fight free expression in the UK.

    izzie
    avatar

    ”Britain’s feminists would do more good fighting with their counterparts in countries like India or Saudi Arabia rather than attempt to change free-thinking minds and fight free expression in the UK.” Oh Christ, they have already introduced the aspect of ‘imperialism’ to the third-world.

    ”During the British colonial period Indian women were either presented as mysterious or as cheap sex without pay. When pitted against the European white women, there were purposefully made to feel sexually unattractive and less pure as this kept them in the lowly, inferior position need to keep colonial rule afloat – White Supremacy. This colonial legacy is still evident for example in the skin lightening creams that are widely available. Racism and sexism is still prevalent and these experiences are upsetting and deeply damaging for the development of young British Asian girls.”

    http://mediadiversityuk.com/2013/07/21/veiled-out-of-discourse-allwhitepage3/

    Also I’m a womanist, and not the stereotypical feminist, and I don’t appreciate you implying that most women in non-western world are ‘helpless’ compared to western counterparts. Orientalist, racist and unnecessary bullshittery.

  7. avatar

    Good article, and I agree with a great deal of it.

    However I think there may be a very small error in suggesting the term ‘pussy’ is gendered. It is derived from the word ‘pusillanimous’ which, literally translated, means small minded. Your point is still relevant, I only feel this is a flawed example.

  8. avatar

    this is one of the articles i’ve read for a while! i’m really glad the idea that men also suffer is being addressed because as is evident in some of the comments below, some believe that “it seems silly, to me, to support an already dominant group that are currently supported by the majority of society” which is just plain ignorant and wrong.

    gender roles exist for both men and women and both need to be broken down and redefined in a more equal light. true, this is weighted toward female inequality which is indeed a huge issue but i’m glad that men are getting consideration too! (:

    also izzie, talking about “imperialist feminism”, making the assumption the author is at fault just because she’s white, and using the word “cracker” in an entirely unwarranted way, is really upsetting to see.

    izzie
    avatar

    Haha, hilarious..Do you even know how do you people in Western societies get the ideas of feminism in the first place? Do you even know about colonialism and intersectionality? Imperialist feminism does exist and unfortunately white privileged people who use certain language such as in this article, have dominated the feminist sphere to the point of silencing many other women of color, particularly women in the global south and making women of color like me feel uncomfortable.

    And I’m done silencing myself — I will continue to speak out against people like you. I didn’t call her a cracker, I called the article some cracker BS.

    Emily
    avatar

    Why are you so rude and nasty all the time? Heaven forbid you try and change people’s minds whilst maintaining respect and not insulting them. You do a disservice to yourself, the people you’re trying to represent, and the womanism bullshit you’re attempting to spread. Please get some manners before you keep abusing people.

    izzie
    avatar

    ”You do a disservice to yourself, the people you’re trying to represent..” Yes, Emily, I’m sure that’s why there’s other women of color commenting with me including the ones under the fb link.

    So these people who expressed their frustrations and agreed with the frustrations under this link were rude and nasty too?

    http://wespeakfortheearth.tumblr.com/post/45922853519/feminism-has-nothing-to-do-with-race-why-are-you-making

    And the irony from someone who wrote,” womanism bullshit.” LOL. Say it to my face on facebook, why don’t you. You know who I am.

    izzie
    avatar

    Funny that, you and your friends would say that I’m ‘rude’ and ‘nasty’ – but at least I’m not the type who would insult many other people (esp. people of color)’s cultures and countries without double checking, thinking that I’ve done something for activism.. Trying to fill the ‘void’ of your lives.

    izzie
    avatar

    Ha, I’m ‘rude’ but Westernized white feminists feeling the need to constantly be Orientalist and bringing in examples of people of color countries, even when said people of color said,”stop!”, even when written in a poorly and ill-informed context — isn’t ‘rude’.

    Irony.

    Know what keep the word feminism. Obviously it’s a world for you and your friends, but not something for many people out there. Just stop having the audacity to think you could ever speak ”better” for other people’s experiences and cultures.

    DC
    avatar

    Maybe Izzie is getting annoyed at people derailing her criticism based on pre conceived notions of people from the east.

    I would be annoyed too and somewhat frustrated by this. You have to keep in mind what this article is about and derailing her for her comments is somewhat hypocritical.

  9. avatar

    Surprised to hear the editor of WS discouraging people to leave comments on FB:

    ‘Unfortunately, it’s the people in the comments here that are the reason people dismiss feminism in the first place. Turning on the author and saying it’s all her fault because she’s white and didn’t include your particular ’cause célèbre’ is truly pathetic, and they’re the women giving all feminists a bad name.’

    ‘Exactly, it’s the fact that they’re expecting the article to somehow cover every minority group on the planet, and it’s somehow ‘bullshit’ if it doesn’t. Attacking someone who (ultimately) believes the same thing as you just makes you look like an aggressive moron.’

    This is truly blood-boiling stuff. The presumption that Izzie ‘believes the same thing’ as Stacey, when from her comments she quite clearly doesn’t, simplifies feminism to such a linear level that it resoundingly demonstrates that the very editor of this publication has missed the point.

    I find the tyrannical criticism of people leaving comments, which in my opinion were interesting, thought provoking and relevant, really concerning. Why shouldn’t Izzie be allowed to bring ethnocentric considerations into the debate? Why shouldn’t she be able to attack the author? What, I should like the editor to tell us, makes her a ‘moron’ for doing so? Would you rather no-one left comments!? Would you rather only pro-article comments were made? Would you rather all who broadly call themselves feminists have identical caveats and nuances in their definition of their identity? Is your response, I suppose, going to be something like ‘there’s-nothing-wrong-with-good-healthy-debate-but-izzie-was-directly-attacking-the-author-in-a-rude-and-abrasive-way-that-belittles-the-article-and-feminism-in-general’? Grow up. Think about the message you are communicating here. Responding to Izzie’s comments by directly attacking their content literally solidifies her point. So, so pathetic.

    As for ‘attacking’ the author, I find it incredibly hard to believe that Stacey isn’t thick-skinned enough to read comments that disagree with her article, even those, believe it or not, that go so far as branding it ‘bullshit’!! Leaping to her apparent defense by bullying commenters – in this case Izzie via FB – is patronising and misguided.

    If I was Livia Stacey I’d be annoyed with it.

    p.s, dismissing the way someone defines their identity and understands the culture-structures that surrounds them as a ’cause-celebre’ is disgustingly stupid. Just think before you write

    Sam Everard
    avatar

    You know what else is pathetic? The fact that you obviously know me on Facebook, but decide to comment anonymously here. If you want to debate this, don’t hide behind a computer before you address me as ‘patronising’, ‘pathetic’ and ‘misguided’.

    1. So, it appears you’ve entirely missed my point here too. I am no way discouraging people from leaving comments. I never said Izzie shouldn’t comment, nor did I say people shouldn’t comment in general. I vehemently disagree with her comments, however.

    2. At a base level, yes, they do believe in the same thing: equality. That’s the point behind feminism, is it not? Regardless of everything else, I assume that everyone here wants people of all genders, races, beliefs and preferences to be equal. Moving on.

    3. Again, I’m not saying she can’t do any of those things. I just disagree with her rhetoric. And actually, rather than (as you accused me of being) be patronising and tell me to ‘grow up’, your sarcastic prediction has a point. What right does Izzie have to call the author ‘racist’, as she’s done on Facebook? Or, ironically, call her a ‘cracker’ after that previous accusation? Even if she is thick-skinned, why should Livia have to accept being called a racist? Call me old-fashioned, but I have a hard time taking someone seriously when they instantly dismiss someone’s views as bullshit and then expect people to listen to them instead.

    Yeah, I’m sure Livia can’t stand it that I’m supporting her views.

    p.s. She wasn’t ‘defining her identity’ in her comments. She was attacking the author for her identity as a ‘white imperialist feminist’. Doesn’t sound like she understands the culture structure at all, and instead assumes that Livia can’t be a good feminist by the assumption that she is white and middle class. Why don’t you try thinking before you write too? It’s hard to encourage cordial debate when you resort to calling me ‘disgustingly stupid’.

    izzie
    avatar

    Yeah, you’re ”right.” What right do I have as a Muslim woman of color, growing up with a non-Western background, whose experienced both educational experience in the East and West — have any right to bring up the problem of ethocentricism and dominant Western privilege in debates about feminism? Let white Western women decide — especially concerning Arab women! How dare I question Westerners!

    Unapologetically Angry and Anonymous
    avatar

    Hi Sam,

    I find your response to be obtuse. If it sounds to you like Izzie doesn’t understand the culture construct, it’s suspect it’s because you aren’t listening and I don’t find that surprising.

    Disagreeing with rhetoric is euphemism for tone policing and it bypasses genuine engagement with izzie’s substantial points about ethno-centrism. The rules and norms of “cordial” debate prevent the entirely legitimate expression of political anger from minority groups who rarely get a voice in these issues and, not only have you made yourself complicit in this practice, you’ve defended it when genuine questions have been made to you.

    I liked Izzie’s comments because they brought an informed perspective on feminism beyond the white milieu to the fore. As has been commented above, your belief this should be repressed completely proves her point about the way salient questions about feminism’s location in the colonial narrative are kicked off the agenda by privileged speakers.

    The point Izzie makes is that feminism has a historical context in colonialism. She criticises the author for locating her discourse within the traditional, dominant narrative about feminism. I don’t know about you, but I welcome a range of perspectives.

    Oh, and let it be known that the subject matter Izzie is discussing – race and identity in politics – is actually being thoroughly discussed in academia at the moment, so to think her comments are a form of bullying is genuinely stupid. She’s bringing forth a contemporary issue in politics. Obviously I was mistaken in thinking this was what WS is about.

    Betsy
    avatar

    You can’t expect people to take Izzie’s comments about ethnocentrism and inherit ‘racism’ in the West seriously when she calls white feminists “crackers”.

    Don’t bring attack people for being racist and then call them crackers.

    It’s not intelligent.

    izzie
    avatar

    If you can’t learn from anger, that’s not my problem. You think people of color as well as third world people haven’t tried to be ‘nicer’ to people of white Western privilege when it comes to issues like this? They have, and they continue to be ignored and not listened to.

    I didn’t call your precious white feminist friend a cracker, I called her article some cracker BS.

    And obviously you need a re-education on racial privilege. Being called a ‘cracker’ is not the same as the racist microaggressions and racist slurs that people of color endured which resulted in migrantophobia and racist imperialist violence.

    R
    avatar

    Let’s not be ridiculous – being called a cracker hardly undermines her argument, racism against white people isn’t the same as against a PoC – there are centuries of racism against PoC that make racism harmful to them because society enforces that PoC = bad, white is the societal norm which is accepted and society tells us to aspire to – any white person can laugh cracker off easily because it doesn’t have any weight in our society unlike racist slurs

    izzie
    avatar

    Also see selective justice again..I pointed out my Saudi friend does NOT appreciate this article, instead of being ready to acknowledge that, instead of acknowledging how much racism and colonialism had oppressed people of color FOR CENTURIES, you all are upset over a simple,”cracker bullshit” phrase.

    Unapologetically Angry and Annoyed
    avatar

    As a white feminist who benefitted last weekend from attending an event at the University of London student union, on Bloomsbury campus, originally set up with finances garnered at the close of the Slave Trade, when owners were compensated massively, and slaves weren’t – it’s all in this week’s edition of the London Student – I’m glad when Izzie points these things out.

    izzie
    avatar

    Yes majority of middle-class, white feminists have a lot of societal and media privilege — but they misuse the privilege to talk about ”oh let’s save people in third world without knowing that our colonialism was the problem in the first place” and to talk about veils and driving and repetitive cycles of Orientalist, racist nonsense — and they fall silent on real issues like racism, neocolonialism, capitalism effecting people of color, esp. non-western and third world people of color. They need to take several more seats.

    DC
    avatar

    Oh no she called some people “crackers”, ever had a fricking academic debate before? At times this can be judgement call? Why is tht such a big deal? After reading how western feminists attempt to control things in their hypocritical manner i feel that they are acting somewhat crackers, it does not invalidate her points, this person has an MSC in politics and is a strong PHD candidate who is also published. Grow some thicker skin

    izzie
    avatar

    Sam, I was pointing out her language and rhetoric and how imperialist feminism does exist. And you saying I don’t understand the cultural structure is laughable. I have been exposed to Western and white privilege as I am of non-Western background, I have seen the number of times in real life and online about how Western white feminists tend to silence as well as oppress voices of non-western women as well as third world women, by writing such language that promotes covert racism and implies feminism doesn’t have a ‘race’ problem anymore. There is a reason why many people of color I know prefer the term ‘womanism’ to ‘feminism.’ Just because YOU as a Westerner think the article is not explicitly racist and makes you feel ‘comfortable’, it does not mean that it is not racist. Cultural influences are subtle, since maybe you’re the ‘expert’ on cultural structures and covert racism contributes to the survival of hierarchies of racism and white supremacy in this world.

    Oh and also, my friend who is of Saudi background does not appreciate this article and she wrote a comment under the wessex scene facebook link. I don’t suppose, you think her voice matters as much as your white feminist friends?

    Shaun Harvey
    avatar

    Hi Izzie. While you clearly have important points to make I think it might be wise for you to consider whether sentences like the one at the end of your post here actually do your arguments a disservice, by making it easier for people to caricature you and disregard your voice.

    izzie
    avatar

    Don’t tone police me. Enough is enough. You people need to learn from anger, once and for all. Whilst feminists in the west are obsessing about saudi arabia women’s right to drive, more than thousands of people of the same faith as me are going through racism and imperialism that’s not helped by such liberal feminist discourses, just because they happen to be non-westerners and not match the stereotypical western characteristics.

    Shaun Harvey
    avatar

    I have no problem with your tone. I would like to get to the kernel of your argument but your writings prevent that.

    izzie
    avatar

    Don’t tone police me whilst women in the global south suffer because of people encouraging this liberal feminism empty rhetoric. Women who suffer just because white people choose to save brown women of the so-called ”backward” cultures. History speaks for itself too.

    ”In a letter to Ms. Magazine, RAWA challenged FMF (liberal feminist organization)’s representation of Afghan women and accused it of being a hegemonic, corporate feminist group that failed to acknowledge the 25 years of work done by RAWA in Afghanistan and also to account for its support
    of groups like the Northern Alliance that had actively oppressed women while in power. And, in substantial part, these images and this representation were co-opted for
    political use. Indeed, just as RAWA’s representations were easily put to work to mobilize women in the United States, FMF’s advocacy and rhetoric did similar double duty by providing the Bush administration a ready source of material to justify intervention in Afghanistan. RAWA’s accusation that FMF was a collaborator with the administration was not altogether unjust: one of FMF’s achievements in its campaign
    was its involvement in shaping U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan and its acquiescence to the support for the Northern Alliance by the administration. Although, the support of a misogynistic political group and the involvement in foreign policy by a partner organization angered RAWA, it is clear that RAWA’s chief resentment was the cooptation of its work and its authority to represent Afghan women.”

    -Choudhury, C. (2008, June). Empowerment or Estrangement? Liberal Feminism’s Vision of the’Progress’ of Muslim Women. In University of Baltimore Law Forum, Forthcoming (pp. 08-10).

    “There is nothing more offensive to the women of the Muslim world who see through the shallow hypocrisy of liberal western feminists claiming to defend freedom and liberty on one hand, while justifying and facilitating warmongering ideology which sees the destructive power structures of war and occupation invading their lives on the other. So long as the ideological war against Muslim patriarchy by liberal western feminists continues to tout the doctrine of the War on Terror, their hands will be covered in as much blood as their counterparts fighting in the battlefield.”
    -Ayesha Kazmi on “The function of the Muslim woman victim in western feminism and the war on terror”

    izzie
    avatar

    I’m waiting for the white Western feminists to acknowledge what my Saudi friend said under the wessex scene facebook link to this article. Since you felt the need to mention Saudi women in this article.

    Unless of course they think only white Western voices matter. Unless of course you want to pretend her voice isn’t there, next to your white feminist voices.

    izzie
    avatar

    I was clear in what I wrote. Learn to put aside your ego and learn from anger.

    Oliver
    avatar

    Firstly, I simply disagree that posting under anonymity is pathetic. Why do you have the option to post anonymously on your website, if you’re so adamantly against it morally? Anonymity is a cornerstone of democracy. I’d like to hear the precise reasons as to why posting under a pseudonym is reprehensible.

    To your p.s: I think Izzie’s above comment shows that her construction of self and identity is very much rooted in these issues, so I disagree there. I maintain that it is Western-centric and misguided to attach ’cause-celebre’ to what she is saying, something that essentially dismisses it as foreign and controversial.

    ‘It’s hard to encourage cordial debate when you resort to calling me disgustingly stupid’. Firstly, I didn’t call you disgustingly stupid I said that that particular turn of phrase was disgustingly stupid. Secondly, this rebuttal is rooted in a moral vocabulary that is totally void – you yourself referred to one of your readers and commenters as an ‘aggressive moron’. Utterly hypocritical to accuse me of discouraging ‘cordial debate’.

    To your third point: (I’m working backwards for sake of ease). I suppose this is where we disagree, then. I think Izzie is totally within her rights to call the article racist. You pose the question ‘what right does she have to call the author racist?’. What right do you have to call Nick Griffin racist, if you chose to do that? What right do you have to comment on an article on ladbible.com saying that you find the author to be sexist, if that were to happen? Both these things, I would speculate, are feasible for a man of your education. I don’t understand, then, where you are invoking these moral messages from.

    Your second point I also have to disagree with. You’ve said ‘regardless of everything else’, but why as editor are you encouraging the disregarding of ‘everything else’? You’ve written ‘I assume that everyone here wants people of all genders, races, beliefs and preferences to be equal’, but don’t assume! Why are you assuming that? Again, it debases feminism as a very two-dimensional school of thought. You cannot simply dismiss alternate interpretations, and the way in which different people construct different identities by a different perception of gendered power structures, because in your opinion feminism is all the same ‘at a base level’. The point is it’s not. Izzie’s comment proves that. And your response to Izzie’s comments proves her point that people in the West have a perception of feminism that is ONLY understood through Western frames of reference. You, and others, have totally closed the door on her understanding of feminism and response to this article. So I’d rather not ‘move on’, having established that feminism worldwide is the same ‘at its core’.

    I have a great respect for WS, my purpose of posting these comments is because I could not believe how izzie’s POV was being treated on here and FB.

    And if Livia Stacey is reading this, I’d like to make it clear that I think it is a very good article.

    izzie
    avatar

    When I wrote,”I am so sick of white privileged Westerners” I am referring to people like Sam and other white feminists [male and female] who don’t get it.

    izzie
    avatar

    I am so sick of white privileged Westerners like you acting like you ‘own’ the definition of feminist movement, just like the women who are white privileged, western-centric middle class liberal feminists.

    I am a non-Westerner, and I have the right to define women’s rights on my own terms away from the racist, Orientalist cycles that mainstream liberal feminist activism in the UK perpetuate.

    bell Hooks (assuming you’ve heard of her)’s quote is so relevant in today’s world:

    “Many white women have said to me, ‘We wanted black women and non-white women to join the movement,’ totally unaware of their perception that they somehow ‘own’ the movement, that they are the ‘hosts’ inviting us as ‘guests.’”
    – bell hooks, “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center”

    izzie
    avatar

    Also Sam how dare you and others accuse me that I’m blaming the author ‘just because she’s white’ – I pointed out how the rhetoric in this article matched the covert racist aspects of mainstream white feminism . Nice leap you make there. Why didn’t you direct comments to me instead of on your facebook?

    izzie
    avatar

    Also, tell the people who wrote these comments,” Unfortunately, it’s the people in the comments here that are the reason people dismiss feminism in the first place. Turning on the author and saying it’s all her fault because she’s white and didn’t include your particular ’cause célèbre’ is truly pathetic, and they’re the women giving all feminists a bad name.’

    ‘Exactly, it’s the fact that they’re expecting the article to somehow cover every minority group on the planet, and it’s somehow ‘bullshit’ if it doesn’t. Attacking someone who (ultimately) believes the same thing as you just makes you look like an aggressive moron.’”” – that I say, thanks for reinforcing the notion once again that feminism is white-owned, should mainly concern white people and that ”minorities” shouldn’t have a voice in their eyes to criticize racist aspects of white feminism!

    They should drop the label feminism and just call it as it is – white feminism. And funny how Sam got mad at you for being anonymous, yet he couldn’t direct those comments directly to me until you mentioned it.

  10. avatar

    Funny that people don’t acknowledge my points and instead make me out to be the bully. Her language clearly showed a colorblind mentality..To be honest it’s typical of modern-day Western feminism at middle-class level today. ”Yeah gender equality is important, regardless of race or sexuality…” ‘Regardless of race’? You learnt about feminism via women of color.

    http://wespeakfortheearth.tumblr.com/post/45922853519/feminism-has-nothing-to-do-with-race-why-are-you-making

  11. avatar

    And also it’s because of the ‘selective justice’ that typical white imperialist feminists do, like in the article. Mention about Saudi Arabia woman’s right to drive, but doesn’t care how imperialist feminism had a role to play in Western imperialism that suppressed the voices of the global south. Even global southern feminists can’t stand hypocritical Western liberal feminists http://www.rawa.org/znet.htm

  12. avatar

    All this argument about men vs womens rights, whether women or men have it worse off, whether men are oppressing women etc etc. To be honest both sexes experience sexism and I think I’m more concerned about human rights as a whole, regardless of which gender the person concerned is.

  13. avatar

    Let me get this straight

    So it’s ‘horrible’ for me to even mention cracker, but white Western feminists can continuously pose the white Western savior complex when it comes to Arab women, always bringing the issue of the ”Othered” Arab women in feminist discussions? I seeee

  14. avatar
    john jacob jingleheimer schmidt

    Decent article, unfortunately, in my head anyway, there is one fairly major problem that feminism faces before it can get some shit done, and that is the fact that there are two faces of feminism. There’s your face which is a level headed type person, who wants equality and you are probably represent the majority of what feminism is about. Then there are the others, these loud mouthed, with a fervor about them that makes them want to rampage about telling people that if they have a penis, they are the single worst person on the world, and this, unfortunately has become the face of feminism. To men like myself anyway.

    I should also point out that I don’t really like the idea of feminism, not because there are loud mouthed idiots telling men that they suck, but because I feel splitting up things like Race, Gender and the many other problems we face with equality, into different issues and I feel that weakens each fight. Instead I have always tried to argue equality as if it were a singular movement.

    However that’s just one crazy cat’s little head mystery.

    Also I liked the part about Lad’s, as an avid hater of Lad Culture, not just because of how they treat other people (both men and women), but because they seem to be causing a regression of how men should act in front of the public to the point they might as well be cavemen, attempting to bash women over the head with a big enough stick, they can knock them out and take them home.

    God dam Lad’s ruining everyone’s fun….

    Agosto Nunyez
    avatar

    Exactly ¿but how do you think we M.R.A.’s feel when people will associate us with our sexist minority? which is why I’d rather see both movements become 1 and first ban the sexists from their ranks, 1-gender named movements lets sexists find safe-haven in calling themselves that, if it was called Equalism neither gyno-chauvinists or male chauvininsts could make any ground.

  15. avatar

    And on the subject of this article mentioning Malala.. An article highlighting the pitfalls of liberal feminism (yeah it’s about American liberal feminism, but it does mirror the typical UK liberal feminism);

    http://maarnayeri.tumblr.com/post/65875287121/another-pervasive-issue-i-find-with-mainstream

    ”Malala’s case, sadly- though to no fault of her own or other women and girls who’ve been victimized by the Taliban is one that’s incredibly easily digestible, not only to neoliberal imperialists who now have a popular face they can attach their justifications of warmongering enabling to, but also liberal feminists who can dissect and compartmentalize Malala’s narrative into a consumable and self congratulatory we-are-saving-these-helpless-brown-women-from-their-brutal-male-counterparts tale.”

  16. avatar

    What my problem is with CONTEMPORARY feminism is the fight for ‘equality’, equality for well-paid jobs that is; bankers, lawyers, doctors ect. Why don’t you start fighting for equality in ALL jobs. Well-paid and low-paid, glamorous and not-so-glamorous. POWER TO THE BINWOMEN AND WOMEN BRICKLAYERS.

    What you don’t want those jobs? Then you don’t fucking want equality.

  17. avatar

    So, are you all going to acknowledge the criticisms I put or are all you too busy congratulating each other on ”aww nevermind the haters” ”we know equality” bullshittery, while you continue to silence and oppress people of color like me?

  18. avatar

    I think feminism needs rebranding in first world countries. I completely agree that feminism is needed in countries like Saudi Arabia, where women can’t drive and are forced to wear the veil, among other things. However, countries like England do not need feminism; they need gender equality.

    Although, according to the article, these are synonymous, there is a major difference between the two: connotation. Feminism, historically and even currently in third world countries, is about the climb of women to the lofty heights that are equal rights to men. First world countries don’t need that; women are on an approximately equivalent to men. There is no need for climbing; what we need is to level the field on both sides. I’m not saying that there isn’t any unfairness against women, I just think there is about as much as there is against men (ish), and getting rid of the unfairness on both sides shouldn’t be called something that was once and still describes the rise of women to equal rights.

    In fact, still having the name feminism is, following the logic of a part of your article, detrimental. Just like calling courage “balls” and weakness in men “being a pussy”, calling the fight for gender equality “feminism” is making it sound a lot like only the women’s side is important. That leads to people saying things like “feminism is just cock-bashing” and the like. It might also help to distinguish the feminists like you who (I assume) want gender equality, to the genuine, very existing and rather loud extremist cock-bashing kind that can’t climb anymore and resorts to trying to lower men’s rights, and undoubtedly hurts your image (i recommend the facebook page “boner busters” for a good example of the cock-bashing).

    izzie
    avatar

    I will repeat what I said before..

    ””Yes majority of middle-class, white feminists have a lot of societal and media privilege — but they misuse the privilege to talk about ”oh let’s save people in third world without knowing that our colonialism was the problem in the first place” and to talk about veils and driving and repetitive cycles of Orientalist, racist nonsense — and they fall silent on real issues like racism, neocolonialism, capitalism effecting people of color, esp. non-western and third world people of color. They need to take several more seats.””

    Frenchy
    avatar

    So said middle class, white feminists should just shut up? I agree with you that equal rights between men and women is far from being the only problem in third world countries, and that colonialism, despite having brought technology and several infrastructures, also brought a lot of destruction; capitalism was brought in with a major bias towards the west, worsening the colonies’ economies. I also agree that there is a general racism against people of colour, especially muslims, from western civilisation, due to a loud minority performing terrorrist attacks. In fact, even the terrorist attacks can be seen as the west’s fault, since we provided weapons and power to the leaders. That being said, veils and lack of education for girls and women is a very real problem, and addressing it is, at the very least, a start (the driving is, honestly, far less urgent; it was just an example used in the comments).

    I sadly cannot remember where I take this from, but I remember reading about how women influence development; the conclusion was that educating women is extremely important. With education, women can get better jobs and thus earn more money to help the family, they will have more knowledge about health, thus creating a healthier next generation, and thanks to knowledge about contraception, unplanned pregnancy and diseases like AIDS will spread much less. As for the veil, religious view should not deny a human of the right to be recognised. Humans generally recognise each other by their face; taking that view away from women makes them unrecognisable, and thus unimportant. Imagine not mattering, your existance as a specific person being erased, and being left with a shadow. This may be slightly metaphorical, but the effect is real.

    Just because feminism focus on just one aspect doesn’t mean it should be shot down for not focusing on all the other ones too

    izzati
    avatar

    ”So said middle class, white feminists should just shut up?” You people and your giant leaps.

    There’s a difference between ”middle class, white feminists should understand how much they are over dominating conversations on human rights and feminism, to the point of excluding and silencing relevant platform for people of color/ people in the global south” and ”middle class, white feminists can’t say anything ever.” I even specifically mentioned how about they touch on issues like global capitalism and colonialism etc.

    ”Just because feminism focus on just one aspect doesn’t mean it should be shot down for not focusing on all the other ones too” I never said it has to focus on every single thing, I am pointing out the constant trends of racism, ‘selective justice’ and Orientalism present in mainstream white feminist activism.

    ”As for the veil, religious view should not deny a human of the right to be recognised. Humans generally recognise each other by their face; taking that view away from women makes them unrecognisable, and thus unimportant. Imagine not mattering, your existance as a specific person being erased, and being left with a shadow.” There are plenty of educated, veiled women who chose to wear the veil as a resistance to xenophobic stereotypes and to show that they are not subscribed to the status quo of the beauty myth.

    izzati
    avatar

    Speaking of veils, I see the point of criticizing as well as opposing patriarchal violence, whether it be a feature of East or West, however be aware that the fixation on the veil is also part of colonialist legacies –as liberal Westernized feminism has a historical context in colonialism, and suppresses the voices of women of color. These are mentioned by scholars like Marnia Lazreg, Leila Ahmed and Abu-Lughod, and many others.

    Marnia Lazreg (1994) commented about how colonial appropriation of women’s voices was reinforced when in Algeria, there was unveiling forced by French women as evidence of indigenous support for the French occupation.. And we can see how France is right now, the headscarf ban is not exactly far from how certain things are rooted in history.

  19. avatar

    I support the voices of women in Saudi Arabia, but this doesn’t mean I have support the ‘selective justice’ mentality of so-called ‘progressive’ Western people like yourselves.

    Patronising platitudes from westerners about how lifting the ban in Saudi or educating Malala is trying to help and save us, is exactly this. Its is patronising sanctimonious horse manure. All the feminists stand and are counted for these almost irrelevances but are nowhere to be seen when these same Saudi women and their husbands languish in prison after brutal rape, torture for speaking out against the Saudi government. And equally nowhere to be seen when Abeer Janabi wasbrutally raped, and 100’s of Malala’s are droned to death. Save your ‘human rights’. We don’t need saving by you. Have a seat.
    -Sultana Parvin

  20. avatar

    I gotta like how commentators here and on facebook are talking as if I just randomly insult people who are white just for being white when the reality is, I was pointing out ongoing trends of imperialism, racism, neocolonialism that go on in self-identified ”modern” mainstream activism – one of it being white liberal feminism.

    And also the need for people like the ones here who don’t get it — to feel and act as if they ”own” feminism and human rights, to feel entitled to criticize non-western cultures but act as if any criticism against racism is ”aggressive”.

  21. avatar

    Minority of men rape women. – “I feel terrified of walking home alone because I might be raped. You men should all take responsibility for the few of you that do this.”

    Minority of feminists invade a safe space and shut down a peaceful men’s rights speech in Toronto y illegally pulling fire alarms and hurling abuse at attendees – “Oh they don’t represent real feminism. REAL feminism is about [insert personal interpretation of vague, broken ideology here].

  22. avatar

    “Many white people can’t fathom how profoundly white supremacy functions in the lives of people of color because how they are raised to see it is dramatically different.Consider living in a society where a colonial culture of which you are not a beneficiary is the standard for judging values and behavior. Or that such a society’s dominant culture defines reality as white, and convincing said people that it is their reality, the culture of white supremacy, is portrayed as universal, applying to all humankind. Think of education, labor, sport, entertainment, law, economics, politics, war and a host of things you, if you are white, take for granted but know, with some certainty, that treatment will favor you.

    Consider being part of a movement that claims to have everyone’s interests and true liberation as its prize. Now consider how that movement would make you feel as it adopted comparisons between two sets of experiences — comparing sexism to racism, alienation of whites and bigotry against people of color, or the rights of animals and the right of people to live free of racism, for example — that emphasized similarities and blotted out their unique aspects. Think of how you’d feel as that movement claimed to speak for all people, but in reality, spoke only for some; if that movement said it was “the anti-war movement,” but involved, had its meetings, was based in or reached out primarily to those beneficiaries of the colonial culture. Think of how that movement might bother you by justifying its exclusivity by implying non-colonial cultures could not relate to the dominant movement’s work, that it was degenerate (sexist/patriarchal, multilingual, etc.) or that they didn’t share the dominant’s values.

    Then think of how one must fight back against the years of misleading stories and lies, only to hear from people who you thought were your comrades but can do nothing but talk about how they understand, or that they feel for you.”
    — Ernesto Aguilar

  23. avatar

    ¿Why not Equalism? seriously ¿don’t you think that men have gender-bound issues? personally I’d rather not see a seperate feminist and M.R.M. exist side-by-side but a unified movement, seriously, feminists complain about misogynistic M.R.A.’s and M.R.A.’s complain about misandric feminists, if they’d unite they could ban sexists from both sides and could open up the discussion to also help young boys who are disadvantaged by female-only institutions.

    Men suffer from gender roles too, I wish I could be a stay-at-home dad, but for me Feminism hasn’t changed the mentality for any woman I know to be the working wife while I could stay at home, never in my life did I meet a woman who would accept that notion.

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