Weekly Feminist Reader

The Advocate explores what happens when transmen choose to get pregnant. (And please, hold the stupid Junior jokes.)
Apparently anything with a female pronoun attached is subject to hate-filled, sexist rants that purport to be humor. Weird.
How rape and violence against women is downplayed in coverage of Darfur.
Rebecca Walker has a blog!
An awesome primer on Asian and APIA feminists.
Afghan feminists look to the Koran as reinforcement of their beliefs: “Forced marriage, child brides, honor killings – none of this is in the Koran,” Fatima told me, when we met in her office at Kabul’s Red Crescent Society, which she directs. “Women are treated like chattel, and in the name of Islam. This is not sanctioned in the Koran,” she said. […] “If we want to change Islam from within, we have to be totally committed to the religion. That’s the only way to succeed,” said Fatima.
Reminder: Civil unions are not “just as good as” marriage. Scott and Melissa have more.
Kavita Ramdas tells us to look beyond Clinton v. Obama and toward the status of women and people of color in the rest of the world.


A horrific outcome in the Nixmary Brown murder trial. Cara has more.
Muslimah Media Watch on the niqab as shorthand for “exotic other” in advertising.
Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt wrote a letter to the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), stating that ob/gyns who are not pro-choice should not be obligated to refer patients to abortion providers. (via ThinkProgress)
Why do even magazines that cater to black women lack dark-skinned models and celebrities?
Vanity Fair on the evolution of the female comedian.
Karnythia: “Being a feminist doesn’t make you immune to racism, or classism, or any of the other ‘isms that are so frequently discussed in feminist circles.”
Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, of The Wire fame, has written a memoir. Too bad it won’t get the same kind of attention that a certain faux-”life on the streets” memoir did.
A telling story about how we treat immigrants in this country.
A controversial pre-abortion counseling bill failed in New Hampshire.
Do male and female movie critics see things differently?
On Vogue‘s offensive “King Kong” cover.
A female judge in Texas held a dude in contempt of court for making a “simulated masturbatory gesture with his hand.”
A really fascinating piece over at Grist about how ” women are hurt by a previously unappreciated effect of the infamous “resource curse” that imperils democracy in countries with abundant fossil fuels.”
Italy’s highest court grants women permission to lie if they’re doing so to “protect their honor.” (Hard to count exactly how many ways this is screwed up.)
Slate has a appalling article about the “catastrophe” single women having children — it actually says, “the vast majority of unwed mothers are old enough to know what they’re doing” and goes on to defend the marriage-is-for-procreation viewpoint. Was this ghostwritten by the Family Research Council? (Lauren has a great response.)
Columnist/fabricator Mitch Albom makes an impassioned and truly idiotic case for charging prostitutes and johns equally.
An incredibly sad and disturbing story of a woman in Illinois who was abused and eventually killed by her roommates.
A brilliant, almost parody-like hybrid of drinking-scare and cancer-scare stories about women.
Actions and Events
Hey there male-identified feminists! Sign the men’s pledge to end gender-based violence in Kenya.
The National Women’s History Project sponsors the Women’s Art, Women’s Vision Celebration, March 28-29 in NYC.
Students for Choice at Wayne State University in Detroit are sponsoring a screening of “THE LAST ABORTION CLINIC,” on Thursday, March 27, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Bernath Auditorium in WSU’s Undergraduate Library.
Jill Andrew is seeking submissions for the anthology Phat Girls in Search of a Pretty World: Hot Lil’ Fat Chicks Speakin’ Out!, which will “explore plus size women’s private and public journeys with weight. In this original collection, we will express our diverse experiences and memories of how our weight and self/body image have shaped us as women — from childhood to adulthood.” Submissions can be short stories (fiction and nonfiction), monologues, plays, artwork, comic strips, photojournalism, etc. Contact phatgirlseditor [AT] hotmail [DOT] com. More info here.

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96 Comments

  1. Posted March 24, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Robert, did you just imply that if we’re not nice enough we might lose our rights, like to vote and to body integrity and to get divorces and to hold property in our name?

  2. SarahMC
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Gendered slurs are sexist.
    The writer uses a number of gendered slurs in this piece.
    It’s not that complicated.

  3. prairielily
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I dunno, Prarielilly, my friends and family have been having the exact same winter as this guy, and have managed to complain endlessly about the atrocious weather without once calling nature a “slut” or a “bitch”.
    Are your friends and family overdramatic columnists for Maclean’s magazine? If not, his normal asshole level is a lot higher than theirs, and they probably don’t sit around thinking about Mother Nature so they can write a controversial column. Atrocious weather + Whiny columnist = Ridiculously stupid column insulting mother nature.
    We don’t really have a high opinion of Maclean’s in general out west.

  4. Posted March 24, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    But gosh, it’s a national magazine! Surely that means it doesn’t believe that Toronto is the centre of the universe, right? (*sigh*)

  5. tinfoil hattie
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    No, in order to protect the equal rights you’ve already won
    …How can you “protect” rights that are “equal”? Why should we have to “win” rights that are “equal”? If they’re equal, there’s no battle, right?
    Please. Continue in your obtuse proclamations that your on our “side.” Why are there even 2 sides, if we’re equal?
    Now that I’ve expressed an angry opinion different from yours, are you, the all-mighty, all powerful MAN going to punish little ol’ uppity me by “taking away” my “rights”?
    And Ennui? You are simply boring. Your handle fits. Good god, you’re tiresome.

  6. Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Robert, it’s your genitalia and not your intrusion into a feminist blog to tell us what is and what isn’t sexist and important that I have a problem with. Your XY chromosomes are what have offended me so, not your cherry picking one issue out of many to use to tell us how we need to STFU because the author of the piece is such a good guy.
    You know what’s really revealing? That you take offense at having your male privilege called out and consider it offensive while defending a piece that plays on the most vile misogynist stereotypes.

  7. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    And Ennui? You are simply boring. Your handle fits. Good god, you’re tiresome.
    I could easily say the same of you.
    while defending a piece that plays on the most vile misogynist stereotypes.
    How does it play on “vile misogynist stereotypes”?
    It stereotypes…something that doesn’t exist? How do you stereotype something that’s not real?

  8. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Now that I’ve expressed an angry opinion different from yours, are you, the all-mighty, all powerful MAN going to punish little ol’ uppity me by “taking away” my “rights”?
    You’re taking something he said and running with it farther than it was meant. Slippery slopes and jumping to conclusions don’t help.
    Robert, did you just imply that if we’re not nice enough we might lose our rights, like to vote and to body integrity
    Bodily integrity, that’s one of those strange issues where feminists seem to think only women should have it.
    When I was married, and tried to get a vasectomy, I was told by no less than 10 different doctors, that should I want to get it, I’d need to bring my wife in, and *get her permission*. Yet, when she had an abortion (to cover up her affair), I wasn’t even told about it until long after we had been divorced.
    Bodily integrity indeed.

  9. Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    It stereotypes…something that doesn’t exist? How do you stereotype something that’s not real?
    We’re not here to teach you Feminist Theory 101. You want to come in to a feminist blog and tell us what’s sexist and not, you should at least bother to pick up the basics before you proclaim yourself knower-of-all.
    Oh, and stop blaming feminists for things feminism had no part in.
    Now I stop feeding the trolls.

  10. tofutti
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Mild Ennui, I feel like you’re purposely trying to miss the point.
    Yes, Mother Nature is a fictional character that is meant to represent nature. However, the author uses this FEMALE personification and applies the typical sexist slurs we usually apply to real-life FEMALES.
    SarahMC said it best:
    Gendered slurs are sexist. He uses gendered slurs in his article.

  11. Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, Ennui, I think that’s something you should talk about. I highly encourage people to talk about different ways they are mistreated by the medical establishment.
    What that has to do with feminism, I’m not entirely certain, but if we’re playing “let’s compare personal stories”, my husband’s vasectomy was three weeks ago, and no one asked him at any time if he had “my permission” to get one – even though they knew he was married. In fact, when I popped into the office to make sure they knew I was fine with it, they made it really clear that my opinion wasn’t the one at stake – his was.
    So, now that we’ve both had our little contradictory personal anecdotes, shall we move on?

  12. Blitzgal
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Mild Ennui, point out where we feminists on this board claim that men should not have the right to get a vasectomy if they want. You’re conflating two separate issues with your example there. In fact, we’ve often discussed on this very blog how doctors unfairly burden their patients with their own moral convictions, and often it’s the issue of birth control in which doctors force their patients to follow their own brand of morality. That’s not feminism, it’s the opposite.

  13. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    We’re not here to teach you Feminist Theory 101. You want to come in to a feminist blog and tell us what’s sexist and not, you should at least bother to pick up the basics before you proclaim yourself knower-of-all.
    I’m pretty sure feminist theory 101 doesn’t cover the insulting of non-existent, imaginary characters.
    Yes, Mother Nature is a fictional character that is meant to represent nature. However, the author uses this FEMALE personification and applies the typical sexist slurs we usually apply to real-life FEMALES.
    Except it’s satirical, and not being applied to any females. That’s where we disagree.
    I would think for something to imply a hatred of women, the author involved would have to actually show some hatred of women, not a satirical attack on an imaginary character.
    Well, Ennui, I think that’s something you should talk about. I highly encourage people to talk about different ways they are mistreated by the medical establishment.
    The last time I brought that up, I was promptly told that “It’s not the same”, and that needing her permission for a vasectomy was “important” because “It involves her too”. As if those same arguments couldn’t have been applied to her abortion.
    I was basically told that it’s not important for me, while being important for her.
    What that has to do with feminism, I’m not entirely certain
    It was in reference to the “right to bodily integrity” mentioned earlier.
    So, now that we’ve both had our little contradictory personal anecdotes, shall we move on?
    Different states, different rules, I’d assume.

  14. Amanda Stein
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    It’s not difficult to see the sexism in the Mother Nature article.
    It does not matter that it’s refering to an imaginary personification; the language used is sexist. If he was writing about a black fictional character or personifaction and refered to them by the n-word, that would be racist. The fact that he finds the words “slut” and “bitch” insulting are the problem.
    Saying *unattractive* actresses portraying someone is an insult to that person (fictional or not) is sexist.
    I also don’t like how that reflects on men. It’s an innsult to them. If I were a guy, I’d be sick of everyone assuming I only wanted a hot-enough actress in a role.
    And if anyone needs this to be about a real woman to be sexist, Phyllis Diller, Bette Midler, and Scarlett Johansson are all real women and have every right to be offended. As do all women who feel judged by their appearance only *since someone not-attractive-enough-for-Scott-Feschuk playing a role is a problem*.
    I’m an actress and I find this offensive as an actor and as a human. And the “That’s what actors want or are used to” arguments don’t fly for me; it’s NOT what I want, and normalcy is no excuse for sexism.
    And the other potentially real woman who could be offended – the “enviro-chick”. She may well be real, and was certainly just belittled, reduced to a hippie-stereotype, and judged on her appearance. Yay for her. She must flipping giddy about that.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to not see how this could be seen as sexism is really surprising to me. Even if someone came up with a great argument as to how it’s not sexist, I can’t see him or her saying that it could easily be interpreted *even falsely* as sexist.

  15. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Saying *unattractive* actresses portraying someone is an insult to that person (fictional or not) is sexist.
    To devil’s advocate this: No one wants to be thought of as unattractive. People can say they don’t care all day long, but at the end of it, people would still like to believe they are attractive.
    As do all women who feel judged by their appearance only *since someone not-attractive-enough-for-Scott-Feschuk playing a role is a problem*.
    Besides, it’s not as though women don’t judge people on their appearance, as well.
    Especially considering all the complaints I’ve seen here about the male characters in movies being played by overweight shlubs, and not attractive men.
    And the other potentially real woman who could be offended – the “enviro-chick”. She may well be real, and was certainly just belittled, reduced to a hippie-stereotype, and judged on her appearance. Yay for her. She must flipping giddy about that.
    Or, taking into account the satirical nature of the article, the “enviro-chick” might not even exist, and just be something dreamed up to fit in the article.

  16. Amanda Stein
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    “To devil’s advocate this: No one wants to be thought of as unattractive. People can say they don’t care all day long, but at the end of it, people would still like to believe they are attractive.”
    Yes, almost all people are sensitive about their appearance. It doesn’t give anyone the right to publicly humilate people for not being attractive. It’s not a good thing to encourage – it’s something pretty much all of us deal with, and pretty much all of us need to get over.
    “Besides, it’s not as though women don’t judge people on their appearance, as well.”
    When a woman does, it’s equally as wrong. It drives me insane when a woman or a man does it. Two wrongs and all that…
    “Especially considering all the complaints I’ve seen here about the male characters in movies being played by overweight shlubs, and not attractive men.”
    Yes, that’s a problem if what a woman means is she wants a hot actor in the role. What I’ve mainly come across with this complaint (and there are very likely the “want-a-hot-actor” opinion holders) are women that are upset that the men get to be realistic looking, while the women are unrealistic-mega-stereotypical-hotties. It’s unbalanced, offensive to men and women, and it gets exhausting that male actors get to be realistic looking more often than female actors. Again, I know this isn’t always the argument, but it is mainly what I’ve heard – just women being sick of having to be a mega-hottie, even when the guys don’t have to be.
    “Or, taking into account the satirical nature of the article, the “enviro-chick” might not even exist, and just be something dreamed up to fit in the article.”
    Yes. That’s why I said potentially. She may or may not be real. I only listed it as another potential real woman he insulted – he does have three real ones he insulted by name, so if this one is false, it still references real women.

  17. Misspelled
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Except it’s satirical, and not being applied to any females. That’s where we disagree.
    I would think for something to imply a hatred of women, the author involved would have to actually show some hatred of women, not a satirical attack on an imaginary character.

    Oooh, now it’s satirical! I understand! Get it, guys? Isn’t it clever? I wonder how that went over our heads.
    It’s not satirical. At ALL. Satire subverts societal norms, especially hypocritical or unjust ones. This piece whines about the weather and mocks women. Fucking groundbreaking.
    I don’t know how you can even think that.

  18. SarahMC
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Mother Nature is a character. Not a real entity. But “she” is a female character and the author is talking about “her” as though she is real. And he’s using gendered (SEXIST) slurs against her.
    Gendered slurs are offensive to REAL WOMEN even when they’re being used against imaginary women!

  19. Posted March 24, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t bother to read the entire thread, because I’m at work, but for an interesting take on the genderization of nature, try Catherine Keller’s “Face of the Deep.” Primal chaos (that which existed before the world was created) is often characterized as female, and she isn’t always all that friendly. Keller’s book is feminist theology that deconstructs biblical mythology and early Christian theology (Augustine, mostly) surrounding the love/fear relationship with feminine Chaos and how it affects/is affected by real women.

  20. prairielily
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    So I didn’t get upset about this earlier in the thread because while I think it’s lame, it’s because Maclean’s is lame in general and this guy wanted to whine about the awful, atrocious, torturous weather while being “edgy.”
    But now I’m thinking… he wrote this piece about Mother Nature being a slut and a bitch. He did not write a piece about Old Man Winter being a huge dickhead.
    I still can’t muster up the same kind of outrage I have for other appallingly sexist articles featured here because I see it as more “justifiably whiny baby” than “unjustifiably misogynist troll,” but it is food for thought.

  21. deleahrium
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else feeling a little triggered that the angry rant against mother nature, in addition to how angry it already is, ends with threat of violence? “there’s nothing in there that says we can’t punch you in the face”
    on that note, to Robert McClelland (“Scott Feschuk is a liberal satirist and one of the good guys so lighten up”) I can’t be the only one here who’s damned tired of being told to “lighten up.” You think he’s funny, fine, but liberal doesn’t equal harmless. The same words and ideas are being perpetuated as acceptable in these uses, and Feschuk is using them in really negative ways.
    So after I typed the above I went back and caught up with the rest of the comments…I’d just like to say I’m not really sure “slippery slope” means what you think it means…

  22. deleahrium
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    PS – in the story about Dorothy Dixon, the roommates “are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated and heinous battery, intentional homicide of an unborn child, and unlawful restraint”…
    On the point of the homicide of the unborn child, does anyone know how/why the crime was classified this way? I assume it has to do with state laws, since the whole “unborn child homicide” thing can be troublesome in discussions of abortion and I’ve heard in other situations (ok, ok, fine, it was an episode of Law & Order) of medical examiners having to prove a breath was taken for it to be considered a baby (and thus a homicide) rather than a fetus (not a separate homicide).
    So, anyone know anything about this? I’m admittedly ignorant about the state laws on this but I’m curious.

  23. Posted March 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    “Robert, did you just imply that if we’re not nice enough we might lose our rights,”
    I never thought of it that way, but I guess in part I am saying that.
    Face it, there is no natural reason for men to support feminism even if it is the right thing to do. And whether you like it or not, feminism does need the support of men. So stop treating those of us who do support you like we should be riding at the back of the feminist bus.

  24. Vodalus
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Face it, there is no natural reason for men to support feminism even if it is the right thing to do. And whether you like it or not, feminism does need the support of men. So stop treating those of us who do support you like we should be riding at the back of the feminist bus.
    Male. Fucking. Privilege.
    Guess what, Robert? Your Liberal License has just been revoked. We’re going to have to ask you to leave now. Only actual good guys get to play in the feminist club.
    No seriously. You need to reconsider your claims to being “one of the good guys” because having a penis does not mean that you are entitled to anything. You might have access to every freedom and right that you can imagine, but you are entitled to none of it. The attitude that feminists need to just bow down and take it while we “focus on the important issues” is just as bigoted as racism. And I’m sure you’re not a racist, right? Because that would get your card revoked too, wouldn’t it? Guess what. Sexism is just as bad as racism.
    On the other hand, I’d like to hear what “important issues” might have provoked this particular screed. Perhaps domestic abuse? Protecting people from violence sounds pretty important to me. Oh! Promiscuity! Maybe if we explain how being slutty is like snowing a lot, there will be fewer teen pregnancies and less strain on social services. I know, the goal of this satire was to attack mainstream movies for glorifying violence by employing so many talented, funny women in the past. (These women encouraged violence by defying patriarchal norms of beauty and behavior, thus causing male audience members to feel uncomfortable and compelled to prove their hypermasculinity through violence.)

  25. kissmypineapple
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    That was such a blatant attempt to further rile everyone here, I actually snorted. You’re funny Bob.

  26. Mina
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    “Ok- where I’ve got to so far is – I only transitioned because I felt unable to live as a man any longer. The thought of going back to that grey prison now is intolerable. If he feels anything like that, how he could semi transition back is as incomprehensible to me”
    I hear ya. For what little it’s worth, I got the impression from the MetaFilter comments that sometimes it’s less a matter of transitioning in one direction or another than just wanting to do something regardless of whether it’s in the “male” box or the “female” box. I can kinda relate myself – I don’t want to get pregnant and that doesn’t feel like semi-transitioning malewards.
    “To devil’s advocate this: No one wants to be thought of as unattractive. People can say they don’t care all day long, but at the end of it, people would still like to believe they are attractive.”
    …and given all the workplaces in which “dress for success” means something, those of us who don’t live off the land would like to believe we are employable.
    “Yes, almost all people are sensitive about their appearance. It doesn’t give anyone the right to publicly humilate people for not being attractive.”
    Exactly!
    “‘Especially considering all the complaints I’ve seen here about the male characters in movies being played by overweight shlubs, and not attractive men.’
    “Yes, that’s a problem if what a woman means is she wants a hot actor in the role. What I’ve mainly come across with this complaint (and there are very likely the ‘want-a-hot-actor’ opinion holders) are women that are upset that the men get to be realistic looking, while the women are unrealistic-mega-stereotypical-hotties.’
    Yeah, it’s “too few not-so-hot actresses,” not “too many not-so-hot actors.”
    “The attitude that feminists need to just bow down and take it while we ‘focus on the important issues’ is just as bigoted as racism.”
    Indeed.
    “On the other hand, I’d like to hear what ‘important issues’ might have provoked this particular screed.”
    I got the impression that some people will accuse us of wasting our time by focusing on an issue and tell us to focus on something else *no matter which issue we focus on*. As if you can’t talk about something unless you talk about everything…

  27. GopherII
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    (The Advocate) transmen:
    I thought that was incredibly fucked to have to be so blatantly rejected and treated like scum simply because you are a transperson. I dont initially support transexualism because I feel its sexist to have issue with ones own gender. I have read many transpeoples autobiographys and havnt had much light shed on why it is that gender roles and stereotypes seem to be the inspiration for changing ones gender. I dont know how a person can “feel” like the other gender, and I suspect it is based more on gender conformation than neutral identity. However, no one should be mistreated and made to feel like a freak.
    (this is a freakin joke)
    “Face it, there is no natural reason for men to support feminism even if it is the right thing to do. And whether you like it or not, feminism does need the support of men.”
    Wow. WTF? Fuck OFF, ROBERT! We dont want your “support.” Get a fucking clue. Womens rights are the direct result of WOMYN – not men. Anyone feel like hes forcing himself onto our beliefs in spite of not wanting him here? Essentially, hes raping our cause. Typical “male” support. Piss off.

  28. GopherII
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Robert, we arent going to lower our standards of what is expected from a feminist just to allow men into our cause. Weve succeeded only by keeping a select standard and enforcing uncompromisable criteria for those who align themselves with the Movement. If we were to compromise our standards to allow those that dont care (“Face it, there is no natural reason for men to support feminism even if it is the right thing to do”) to be in our cause, it would compromise our objectives and expectations to be accomplished from the tenets of feminism.You are not here to “rescue” feminism, and “set us right” because you have a dick. We have gone along just fine (and in fact wouldnt have if men were allowed in) succeeeding for ourselves in attaining rights for women. If we were to allow those that dont feel they should perform to the highest expectation for the cause then that would erradicate the cause of feminism and break us down. So, no, unless you can hang with everyone, leave.

  29. Posted March 24, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been involved in several fights for rights such as anti-racism campaigns and the fight to legalize same sex marriage. During those campaigns I’ve often disagreed with and criticized the strategies employed. Not once was I told to ‘fuck off whitey’ or ‘fuck off hetero’. But when it comes to the feminist movement any criticism generates exactly that type of response.
    This type of behaviour is reprehensible coming from a movement that purports to fight for rights and equality. All it demonstrates is that feminism has become less about those things and more about feeding egos.
    Which is why feminism is getting its ass kicked by the slowcons. They understand what you don’t; that you don’t win over support for your cause with incessant nagging over minor irritants and that you don’t turn on your allies because they have the audacity to disagree with your pronouncements from on high.

  30. GopherII
    Posted March 24, 2008 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Robert,
    attending your …’the worlds tiniest little ol’ fiddle’…concert was lame. Anyways comments/commentors like this:
    “Face it, there is no natural reason for men to support feminism even if it is the right thing to do. And whether you like it or not, feminism does need the support of men”
    leave. We cant and wont afford – unlike the other movements (apparently) to compromise our standards so that one males privilege in this society and his diluded sense of self that privileg in society generates for his gender can be insulated and pandered too, rather than abolished. Thats why were feminists – we dont pander to male BS. BTW, not all movements are all alike. Homosexual rights, and anti-racism campaigns are all different with different objectives. I’m sure that if you gave the same rant to an anti-racist group which would sound something like:
    “Face it, there is no natural reason for white people to support civil rights even if it is the right thing to do. And whether you like it or not, anti-racism does need the support of white people”
    you would be booted out of their group too. Go on and try it.
    Serioulsy, we dont need you – watch!!

  31. waxghost
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    It continually amazes me how many men don’t understand the irony of their “critiques” of feminism and the feminists’ reaction to it. How many brain cells does it take to realize that a group that is fighting against others being taken seriously more than them is not going to be very interested in patronizing pronouncements from members of that very group?
    For that matter, it amazes me that they always seem to think they are the only ones who know and can point out any flaws in feminism, and that they always seem to think that the only way to fix that flaw is to do exactly what they say.

  32. tofutti
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Not once was I told to ‘fuck off whitey’ or ‘fuck off hetero’. But when it comes to the feminist movement any criticism generates exactly that type of response.
    Well, did you tell the anti-racist activists that there was no reason for white people to naturally support their cause? Did you tell gay marriage activists that if they don’t start acting nice, they might get their rights taken away? Becuase I’m pretty sure if you told them that(which is basically what you’ve said about feminism), then I’m sure you’d get the same type of response.
    If a heterosexual person told me that there was no reason for them to be supporting my GLBT causes and that I should start acting nicer so I can gain support from them, I think my response would be “fuck off hetero”… or maybe something like it.

  33. offonatangent
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Completely off-topic, but a good site for next week, perhaps: http://www.goods4girls.org/

  34. sabo10
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    J7Sue: Without trying to tell you what you think, I think I feel pretty similar to you, although in the interest of full disclosure, I’m coming at the situation from the opposite direction. :)
    Basically, I really have to separate what I think and feel about the transman piece. My first thoughts are ‘ick, ick, NO’ and directly applying my own situation to his. Bad move. I still think that pregnancy maybe (maybe!) isn’t as gender-neutral as he seems to say, but whatever. His body isn’t up to me, so good luck to him and his wife.
    (The only thing I would add is that I’ve seen this in a number of places and I wish I didn’t see people who were trying to work out their feelings regarding it labelled as ‘transphobic’. I think ‘challenging’ is a good way to describe it indeed.)

  35. Mina
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    “My first thoughts are ‘ick, ick, NO’ and directly applying my own situation to his.”
    My first reaction was “this reminds me of that Ranma 1/2 fanfic in which Ranma and Ukyou got married and wanted a baby but Ukyou had the inverse of Ranma’s condition and miscarried when she turned male and meanwhile Ranma was able to stay female so they decided…”

  36. Anna
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Well, Robert, you’ve convinced me. Why yes, Alan Rickman is hot.

  37. Posted March 25, 2008 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    PS: Ennui? I didn’t mean you should talk about your issues with the medical establishment here. There are certainly other places where you can do it, including your own space.
    But please, do continue to tell us your thoughts on yaoi.

  38. dedf
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    “For that matter, it amazes me that they always seem to think they are the only ones who know and can point out any flaws in feminism, and that they always seem to think that the only way to fix that flaw is to do exactly what they say.”
    It’s because they are trolling for a reaction from people…

  39. NekkidNancy
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Oh, and why not? I don’t want to see this site fall into the trap of “It’s only sexist of men do it”.
    Sexism is sexism, the end.
    We are so not gonna agree on this ever. Sexism is not ‘sexism, the end’. You sound like my white friends who insist they’re oppressed by black teens who listen to loud ‘black’ music or call them crackers when they walk down the street.
    Bodily integrity, that’s one of those strange issues where feminists seem to think only women should have it.
    Not that my opinion of you means squat, but I’ve seen you around this site before and thought you seemed all right. Opinionated and going against the grain, sure, but that’s not a bad thing even if I did often think you were wrong. I never thought you were one of those angry, bitter men who if I met in real life, I would wonder if he secretly disliked and mistrusted me for being a woman. That has definitely changed.
    This comment has revealed you for what you are. You’re just a mad, bitter dude who doesn’t like feminists and makes asinine generalizations about them.
    When I was married, and tried to get a vasectomy, I was told by no less than 10 different doctors, that should I want to get it, I’d need to bring my wife in, and *get her permission*. Yet, when she had an abortion (to cover up her affair), I wasn’t even told about it until long after we had been divorced.

    It doesn’t make sense to compare abortion and male sterilization in the way you are when female sterilization exists. You suggest that you have fewer bodily rights than women because of the struggles you faced trying to get sterilized when in fact women also face huge struggles in trying to get sterilized. A 21 year old I know who has four children has been trying to get her tubes tied for three years now and has yet to find a doctor willing to do it. It’s ridiculous.
    Both men and women are screwed over on this front. Fully grown adults are being told they cannot have elective surgery because they may regret it later and sue because EVERYONE wants kids, doncha know.
    It was extremely wrong that your doctors insisted you bring your wife in with you and get her permission. However, there is not law that says you must notify her of what you do with your body. If your doctor shared your medical information with your wife without your consent, that doctor would most likely lose his license to practice medicine forever (not to mention face a lawsuit from you).
    So, why should your wife have had to notify you about her abortion? It was not your body, not even your spawn. Married people do not own each other. As shitty as it was that those doctors pushed you to make your wife come in, there is no fucking law that says you must inform her. Hell, there isn’t even a law that says you have to tell the truth to a woman about whether or not you’re wearing a condom or have a vasectomy. Women who want to be sterilized are facing the same struggles you are (and I’d go as far as to say they face even stiffer ones…It’s extraordinarily difficult to get a doctor to even says, “Yes, I’ll sterilize you under these conditions…” if you’re a woman without children or under a certain age or both.
    In the end, your comparison, as I said before, does not make sense. You act as though abortion is to women as a vasectomy is to men. That is not the case. A tubal ligation is to women as a vasectomy is to men.
    I do wonder what you’re even doing on this website. I’m not saying, ‘With us or against us’, but you seem to be very much annoyed with feminism altogether. Are you to prove to yourself that are all feminists are crazy man-haters just like you thought, even though those people at feministing seemed pretty sane? Are you here to show us the light? Why are you here? I personally don’t agree with MRAs, but that’s why I don’t hang out on their websites and post with them about how great feminism is.

  40. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    We are so not gonna agree on this ever. Sexism is not ‘sexism, the end’.
    Sexism, to degrade, or dislike a person based on sex alone, or to hold stereotypes of traditional gender roles.
    If a woman believes men are only good for their money, it’s sexist. If a man believes women are only good for sex, it’s sexist.
    Tell me the difference in that.
    This comment has revealed you for what you are. You’re just a mad, bitter dude who doesn’t like feminists and makes asinine generalizations about them.
    I could easily say such assumptions “reveal you for what you are, a mad, bitter dudette who doesn’t like people who disagree with her, and makes asinine generalizations about them.”
    However, there is not law that says you must notify her of what you do with your body.
    If I had gotten it without telling her, she could have divorced me, or had the marriage annulled. I checked into it here.
    So, why should your wife have had to notify you about her abortion? It was not your body, not even your spawn.
    It’s not the abortion I cared about, it was the affair. Which, contrary to what people here apparently believe, she was [b]not[/b] allowed to be having.
    Married people do not own each other.
    No, they don’t own each other. However, they do have what I consider to be a reasonable expectation of the other person to remain faithful. It’s rather one of the large requirements of a monogamous relationship, I’d figure.
    I could easily take your statement of “Married people do not own each other.” and run with it to claim you believe that “Men don’t own women, women have a right to cheat as much as they want!”, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you don’t think that way.
    In the end, your comparison, as I said before, does not make sense.
    The comparison is that I was not allowed to do something concerning only my body, unless I had her input, however, she could do something concerning only her body without input.

  41. NekkidNancy
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    If a woman believes men are only good for their money, it’s sexist. If a man believes women are only good for sex, it’s sexist.
    Tell me the difference in that.
    The difference is that men have been top dog for generations. Women have been oppressed. They are both sexism, but you can hardly say they’re the same thing with the same impact. If you’re still having trouble understanding, think back to how I likened it to a race issue in my last post.
    I could easily say such assumptions “reveal you for what you are, a mad, bitter dudette who doesn’t like people who disagree with her, and makes asinine generalizations about them.”
    Well, yes, you could say that. I don’t believe I’ve said anything that makes me sound like a particularly angry or bitter individual though and I’ve already mentioned that while I often disagreed with what you said, I thought you were an all right poster. I’m not entirely sure what your point is. You can say what I said right back at me, nyah-nyah-na-booboo?
    If I had gotten it without telling her, she could have divorced me, or had the marriage annulled. I checked into it here.
    Well, YEAH, if she found out. When you lie to your spouse they might wanna divorce you. Our actions often have consequences. If a wife has an abortion behind her husband’s back and then he finds out, for example, a consequence may be that he divorces her.
    Your wife could have also divorced you because she thought you had bad morning breath or stole all the covers at night. I know she did things you could have divorced her for and wouldn’t be surprised if you could have had the marriage annulled as well.
    It’s not the abortion I cared about, it was the affair. Which, contrary to what people here apparently believe, she was [b]not[/b] allowed to be having.
    She wasn’t allowed to have an affair? Where do you live? Is infidelity a crime there? Obviously cheating on someone is very wrong, but I’m not sure allowance has anything to do with it.
    I understand that you would have liked to know about the affair. However, there is no law that says married people cannot lie to one another. As a bisexual woman involved with another bisexual woman, it is not outside the realm of possibility that I could be in your situation with my own partner (if she slept with a man and became pregnant and aborted the child behind my back to hide it). Even so, it wouldn’t be my freaking business what she did with her body. I would not want to take away every woman’s right to privacy (just as men have that right) only so my life could be easier.
    No, they don’t own each other. However, they do have what I consider to be a reasonable expectation of the other person to remain faithful. It’s rather one of the large requirements of a monogamous relationship, I’d figure.
    Sure they do. Even so, they still don’t own each other. A man is not allowed to control his wife and know when she has medical procedures done to her body, the same with a woman and her husband. Marriage does not take away a person’s basic rights.
    I could easily take your statement of “Married people do not own each other.” and run with it to claim you believe that “Men don’t own women, women have a right to cheat as much as they want!”, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you don’t think that way.
    Yes, you could say that, but you’d look pretty stupid.
    Women and men ARE allowed to cheat as much as they want. There is no law that says you must be faithful to your partner. Cheating is horrible, but people are under no legal obligation to be honest with their significant other. Why you think your own personal failed relationship is a legal issue escapes me. You had no right to know about your wife’s abortion which would have informed you of her affair. That sucks, but it’s your tough cookies. If you had had a vasectomy, your doctor could not discuss what was done with your wife or even tell her if you were a patient. Shoot, if you had tested positive for an STI your doctor could not inform your wife either. That would also suck, but is no reason to take away everyone’s privacy.
    The comparison is that I was not allowed to do something concerning only my body, unless I had her input, however, she could do something concerning only her body without input.
    Er, no, you could have done it without her input. There is no law that says you need your wife’s consent to get a vasectomy. The clinic, doctor, hospital, whoever else might have a policy on the issue, but there is no law. Some facilities may ask you if your wife agrees with you getting a vasectomy and can refuse you service based on your answer, but if you don’t tell them she doesn’t agree, they have no way of knowing. The facility cannot talk to your wife to verify because that would break HIPAA (which is a federal).
    Does it suck that it’s difficult to get a vasectomy? Yes. Just like it’s difficult to get a tubal. It’s not right. However, you wife had no right to know you got a vasectomy and would have had no way of knowing unless you told her. She would have also had no way of stopping you even though you were married. She had no input.
    I’m still not seeing the unfairness here.

  42. Mild Ennui
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The difference is that men have been top dog for generations. Women have been oppressed. They are both sexism, but you can hardly say they’re the same thing with the same impact.
    Two wrongs don’t make a right, and one group having suffered more sexism than the other, does not justify that group using sexism to further their goals. Feminism is like treaty negotiations, or peace talks, not attack/counterattack.
    I’m not entirely sure what your point is. You can say what I said right back at me, nyah-nyah-na-booboo?
    Yeah, pretty much. That, and just because someone slaps a hastily thought up label on you, doesn’t make it an accurate one.
    Your wife could have also divorced you because she thought you had bad morning breath or stole all the covers at night. I know she did things you could have divorced her for and wouldn’t be surprised if you could have had the marriage annulled as well.
    I meant specifically that the law would be on her side, for purposes of “marriage through fraud”, or whatever, wherein she could claim that she was promised children from the marriage, and was denied them by virtue of the vasectomy, ergo, the marriage would be null and void.
    She wasn’t allowed to have an affair? Where do you live? Is infidelity a crime there? Obviously cheating on someone is very wrong, but I’m not sure allowance has anything to do with it.
    No, she wasn’t allowed. When you swear fidelity and monogamy to another person, you lose the right to casual sex. Which is why adultery is a divorceable offense.
    Even so, it wouldn’t be my freaking business what she did with her body. I would not want to take away every woman’s right to privacy (just as men have that right) only so my life could be easier.
    Are…no. You can’t possibly be justifying cheating through “right to privacy”. I’m certain I’m misunderstanding you. There’s no way you could support that belief.
    Why you think your own personal failed relationship is a legal issue escapes me.
    I never said it was. Marriage in and of itself is a legal issue though.
    You had no right to know about your wife’s abortion which would have informed you of her affair.
    Then why did she apparently have a right to know about a vasectomy?
    but if you don’t tell them she doesn’t agree, they have no way of knowing. The facility cannot talk to your wife to verify because that would break HIPAA
    Excepting that they would not perform said procedure without her signature. Period. Every last one I went to gave the same story. Her signature, and consent, were required.
    However, you wife had no right to know you got a vasectomy
    The claim was that “because we were married” and “because she may want children”, “she has a right to know, and therefore has to give consent that she agrees to this”.
    So, considering no doctor would provide this service without her signature and permission, yeah, she did have input.

  43. Posted March 25, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I meant specifically that the law would be on her side, for purposes of “marriage through fraud”, or whatever, wherein she could claim that she was promised children from the marriage, and was denied them by virtue of the vasectomy, ergo, the marriage would be null and void.
    Annnd… so?
    The opposite is also true. If she knew she couldn’t have children, but failed to tell you, and you later found out, you’d have the same legal ground to stand on.
    If you’re going to get married, I should think that you damned well ought to be making sure that you know how each other feel about having children.
    No, she wasn’t allowed. When you swear fidelity and monogamy to another person, you lose the right to casual sex. Which is why adultery is a divorceable offense.
    I think you’re using two slightly different definitions of “allowed.” She absolutely was allowed in the sense that there are no laws prohibiting the action. There are consequences. One of which is that, if you, her husband, found out and were unhappy, you could divorce her. But she still has personal autonomy, and she could still choose to risk that and cheat. Given that there are couples who have open relationships, and that there are people who do not divorce cheating spouses, it’s very much clear that one has the right and ability to cheat if one so chooses. That doesn’t make it right or good to do so. It only means that one has the ability and the legal right to do so.
    Are…no. You can’t possibly be justifying cheating through “right to privacy”. I’m certain I’m misunderstanding you. There’s no way you could support that belief.
    You’re reading it backwards. A person has a right to privacy, even if that right ends up hiding the fact that one is cheating. The cheating is the right to personal autonomy. If I get married and take a vow to be faithful to my wife, the law doesn’t prohibit me from cheating- it just grants her certain rights if I do.
    Then why did she apparently have a right to know about a vasectomy?
    I think that it’s quite clear that nobody here thinks she did have a right to know. That your doctors were being shitheads doesn’t mean that there’s some legal grounds for her to know. And if you decided to take the fight higher and demand that your doctors honor your privacy, I don’t think anyone here would have objected.
    Excepting that they would not perform said procedure without her signature. Period. Every last one I went to gave the same story. Her signature, and consent, were required.
    And that’s wrong. They shouldn’t have done that.

  44. Wildberry
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what your point is with the whole vasectomy thing, Mild Ennui. From what I can tell it has little to do with feminism, unless there’s a double standard where a wife can get a hysterectomy without spousal consent but a husband can’t. And, from my understanding, there is no such double standard, am I right?
    And, I’m sorry, but it’s gone on so long that I’ve lost sight of the argument. It seems that everyone here is agreeing with you, you shouldn’t have to have your wife’s permission to get a vasectomy. Where is the argument?

  45. NekkidNancy
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    RoymacIII: Thank you! You said everything I would have said and probably said it much better.
    WildBerry: The fact is, Mild is acting as if there is some kind of law on the books that states a man needs spousal permission to get a vasectomy. There isn’t. Those were the personal policies of the doctors he saw (and we do all agree that those policies were very wrong). Women also have a tremendous amount of difficulty recieving tubal ligations so there is no double-standard regarding this. As I have said it my other posts, comparing male sterilization to abortion really isn’t logical.

  46. jeffersaurusrex
    Posted March 27, 2008 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    “An awesome primer on Asian and APIA feminists.”
    Aw, yay. I have Valverde as my professor next quarter.

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