(Un)Feminist Guilty Pleasures: Reggaeton Edition

It’s back folks! This series which I kicked off a few months back with the Millionaire Matchmaker edition. As a refresher:

In this series we’re going to share a few of our own (un)feminist guilty pleasures. It’s those pop culture things that you love, even though deep down inside you know that they might conflict with your feminist values. Maybe it’s a show that makes your Women’s Studies 101 alarm go off, but you just can’t stop tuning in every week. Maybe it’s a celeb gossip blog, or an immature movie marketed to teen boys, or high-fashion magazines where all the models look half dead. Maybe you’re just human, and humans are complex occasionally hypocritical beings. Maybe you have created your own unique definition of what it means to be feminist that includes all of these guilty pleasures (and much more).
We at Feministing believe there are ways to maintain a critical eye towards these (un)feminist things while still enjoying them. It can even be fun! We think you believe this too and we are psyched to see what guilty pleasures you have to add to the mix.

So on that note, to today’s edition, which is reggaeton. Now maybe it’s because I’m Cuban, but nothing gets me dancing faster than some good old reggaeton. We’re talking Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, Aventura. I love most of it, but especially the songs with a great dance beat. Unfortunately, a lot of my favorite reggaeton tunes have horribly sexist and offensive lyrics. You name it, it’s there. Talk about brutal sex, the objectification of women, machismo at its worse. None of this is unique to reggaeton, and a lot of it comes from the roots of reggaeton, which is a fusion of Jamaican music like reggae and dancehall with Latin American music like bomba, plena, salsa, merengue as well as US hip hop and R&B. (Go here for a great explanation of what reggaeton is, and its history).
That’s why reggaeton is my (un)feminist guilty pleasure. I can’t stop listening to it, because I enjoy it too much (I even have a pandora station that I’m listening to right now!). Occasionally I just pretend that I don’t understand spanish so I can ignore the lyrics, but its tough. What do we do with art forms like music that might use these kinds of sexist troupes? Boycotting the artists does little to remedy the underlying issues of sexism and misogyny that lead to these lyrics. Luckily, there is an alternative for reggaeton lovers who can’t handle the misogyny anymore: Ivy Queen, a female reggaetonera has been gaining popularity. Now, being a woman does not guarantee that her music won’t include any of the same sexist ideas, but from what I’ve listened to, it’s a big improvement.
What music is your (un)feminist guilty pleasure?

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89 Comments

  1. Sir Fopling
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I don’t think people are really patting themselves on the back, I think that we are just acknowledging that this exists. I think that so long as there is an awareness, it’s not that big of a deal. I also think that the best way to promote feminism in our society is not by boycotting certain aspects of pop culture but by discussing these ideas calmly and rationally with other people, perhaps ABOUT these things in pop culture. Making a difference is never going to work if we cloister ourselves off from the society we are trying to change.

  2. MzBitca
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I dont find this thread as offensive as some. I have noticed that through people mentioning their guilty pleasures other suggestions about bands to listen to in that same genre but with better messages are coming out and that is nothing but good. Also, i just don’t understand why, if you don’t agree with a position and you know you’re not going to like the thread you can’t just avoid it? Feminism is an evolution and making others feel guilty may not quite but the right way to help them advance.
    I have always like avril lavigne she’s not really anti-feminist but she’s just not feminist

  3. AliCat
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Dare I say it?????? Kylie Minogue… Not her latest release but her earlier stuff with all the skimpy outfits, bum wiggling and lyrics about getting your man. I listen to it when I do housework because I hate housework and the beat keeps me going. Pathetic excuse, I know. Oh, the shame… lol

  4. Mina
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    MzBitca commented at July 22, 2008 7:31 AM: “I dont find this thread as offensive as some. I have noticed that through people mentioning their guilty pleasures other suggestions about bands to listen to in that same genre but with better messages are coming out and that is nothing but good.”
    Yeah! :)

  5. Posted July 22, 2008 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Worhol. Ha ha… get it?
    Alright, bad taste. But really, this is a patriarchy, but I’m not going to feel guilty about enjoying art. The majority of the art is going to be tainted with that, but I didn’t make it that way, so why should I feel bad? If I limited myself to appreciating art that only contained a non-patriarchal message, pretty much all of Shakespeare would be out. The Louvre would be off limits. Opera? Ha. You know how many women the menz off in those things? But they sing so beautifully about it, that I’m just left feeling that it’s an awful shame that men waste so much talent on so much self-involved wankery.
    I think it’s worth examining the ways in which men weave their horseshit into cotton, just to make sure that we aren’t being duped into thinking that the rapes/murders/beatings/domination/etc. of women is the beautiful part. That’s the ugly misogynist self-indulgent power-tripping puerile smear on what was otherwise a nice thing and not — as we are often told by gallerists — the passionate loci of the artist’s experiential expression of human truth.

  6. Sarah Elizabeth
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Nelly Furtado’s Promiscuous Girl. I’m in love with that song. Also, Reggaeton.

  7. Posted July 22, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I Kissed A Girl by Kat Perry. Its such a bad song. “I kissed a girl and I liked it, I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.” And many other things she says like “Your my experimental game” and “Don’t mean I’m in love tonight” but I can’t help it! I like that song! she says some good things about girls being so kissable and soft and stuff and thats what got me.

  8. waxghost
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    So the only choice is to like only feminist stuff or nothing at all? That sounds awful and ridiculous to me. There are plenty of ways to like this stuff and still be outspokenly feminist about it – like pointing out to your friends who like the same things the times that women are being objectified and saying, “That really makes me feel uncomfortable” and having a conversation with them about it, like I do.
    Putting yourself in a little feminist bubble isn’t going to change the world either, and you might be surprised where you can find feminist things in otherwise unfeminist or anti-feminist places. Shouldn’t we be encouraging the good things too, rather than just ragging on (or refusing to even look at) the bad? That’s something that continually alienates me from the current strains of feminism – this idea that if we just keep reacting to what’s already there, someone will eventually get the message and some change will eventually happen.

  9. mehitabel
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I don’t listen to any music. Nor do I watch any movies or TV shows, read any books or magazines, or visit any websites. Not even this one, because sometimes trolls come here and say unfeminist things. Oh, and I don’t look at billboards or other advertisements. And I don’t talk to anyone until they’ve been screened by a neutral intermediary.
    Seriously, though–I’m a fan of old-school rap and I think the [u]Sue Barton, Student Nurse[/u] book series is awesome.

  10. everybodyever
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I understand the concern of Kira, nerdalert and others. I wonder whether it’s just as much because of the unfortunate name of the topic as it is because of the specific comments here.
    For the most part, the commenters here seem to me not only to be commenting on identifiable misogyny and sexism in the music they like but also, more importantly, to be scouring the music they like and wondering where some could exist. I think the commenters have turned the topic thread into a pretty healthy critique of their own tastes, and I think it’s ridiculous not to examine one’s own tastes and perspectives, as innocent as we might think they are. It gives us the opportunity to point out potential problems and for us to notice those mentioned by others, problems we might otherwise have overlooked.
    Because really, what’s the alternative? Would y’all rather we all only listened to Bikini Kill in the first place and never discussed potential problems in that music, either? (I think there remain plenty of feminist problems in the music of even those most outspoken feminists.) We all have different personal feminisms, obviously, and getting wind of others’ helps a lot of us grapple with our own. (For instance, some commenters mentioned that their favorite musicians were female, which to me begs the question: but does that make liking them feminist?)
    That said, I don’t think the name of the topic thread — “(Un)feminist Guilty Pleasures” — gets at that at all. Frankly, I hate it. I think it undermines the critical element that the editors and that many commenters seem to think the topic should contain.
    First of all, I’d imagine that a lot of us don’t really feel guilty liking these things: For instance, I sure don’t feel like a bad feminist for liking so many all-male 90s indie rock bands, but I do realize that such a dearth of women is a problem and that that makes my preference for such music unfeminist — not antifeminist, maybe, but certainly unfeminist. It sounds like some of the metalheads in here feel the same way. And personally, I don’t appreciate the suggestion that I should automatically feel guilty for liking something I personally consider unfeminist. Isn’t feeling critical or conflicted more productive than outright guilt, anyway?
    Second, what the fuck is with the apple? Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m only coming up with one interpretation for it, and it makes me cringe.

  11. Ian
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Family Guy. I also love metal and Killswitch Engage is a guilty pleasure. They really like to go over the top live.

  12. SP
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    As a long-time lurker, I felt the urge to register and add my 2¢.
    Keep in mind, if someone who was just learning about feminism was to look at these lists, she or he might find something she or he listens to and may start to listen to the lyrics more closely, and may start to recognize the unfeminist and anti-feminist messages therein. This is a definite plus, is it not?
    Also, until we move to a matriarchal island unaffected by the rest of the world, we’re participating in the patriarchy no matter how hard we fight against it. That doesn’t make us funfeminists or bad feminists or not feminists at all. It just means that there’s a reality that we can’t really contend with on all levels. Each of us is only one person. And making someone feel bad about themselves or their idea of feminism is really just hurting the cause.
    I disagree with Charity regarding the following:
    “Sorry, but no. Being a feminist does not necessarily preclude liking or listening to certain music (and vice versa), but let’s please not give the impression that you can bend the definition of feminist to include whatever you want it to. It does have parameters – and no, I’m not talking about Lil Wayne or the Pussycat Dolls, but it’s a slippery slope to use the phrase ‘unique version of what it means to be feminist’.”
    Whatever you may feel about the definition of feminist, there is a fluidity. And it happens in steps. Some people really dislike misogyny and patriarchy but still wear makeup or still do all the cooking in their house because that’s the way they have always been. People can only change so much at once, and it’s a different rate for everyone. I think it’s unfair and counter-productive to dismiss people who may be at their particular comfort zone for change at the moment. That’s only going to keep them from going further. We need to accept people at all stages of feminism because if we turn them away for being “not feminist enough,” they may never come back.
    I say this as someone early in the stages of feminism who gets enough flak from the non-feminists in my life. It’s hard to challenge the patriarchy, and I need all the help I can get (I would imagine that applies for lots of people). Of course, I think we should educate people at every opportunity, but by disallowing them to create their own comfort level in steps, by discouraging their personal definitions, you may squash someone’s real process of becoming a better feminist (which is what I hope we all want: to become better feminists…).

  13. Adrienne
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I love the beat in A Milli by Lil Wayne. I feel really sad when he says:
    “I’m a venereal disease like a menstrual bleed”
    Also Charity noted:
    I’ve resisted a lot of unfeminist music, though. Misogynist lyrics gets a song booted from my playlist. Won’t touch a lot of rap or hip-hop for exactly that reason.
    Which doesn’t leave alot of room for folks who are culturally attached to rap/hip-hop.
    Super interesting topic that’s on my mind all the time, thanks Miriam!

  14. KBZ
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m a big hard-rock listener … and, I will admit to liking Nickelback. Some of their music is downright scary (“Follow You Home”), some is just generally sexist (“Figured You Out”), some is unobjectionable “Rockstar”. Almost all of it is catchy.
    I also watch 24. Not particularly feminist or progressive … but pretty addictive.

  15. Halo
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I listen to a ton of post-punk, industrial, goth rock (old school), gary numan… nothing really sexist going on there. For the most part the music I dig makes jabs at society on the whole, mocks mainstream religion, explores lust in a way that isn’t anti-woman- among other things. It’s not too terribly difficult to find great music when you step back from the mainstream.
    And I do like some metal, but I gravitate toward bands/people like Otep (and Apocalyptica when they aren’t covering Metallica).
    When I hear something in a song that makes me cringe, I usually stop listening to the tune. If it’s just bad enough to make me roll my eyes at it, it stays (like some of Duran Duran’s goofy stuff).
    So, yeah, no rap for me- it makes me angry. :)

  16. followingthru
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking one of my guiltiest pleasures is the album Oolooloo by the Pietasters. And the fact I love the movie Superbad.
    I also grew fond of Al Swearengen on Deadwood.

  17. Gallowmere
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Another female metal head here. I’ve definitely struggled with some of the bands I like having really misogynistic lyrics. However, the majority of bands I listen to have lyrics that while violent, about death, etc, aren’t particularly misogynist.
    And props again to whoever mentioned Nightwish and Epica. But for those of us who are looking for female-fronted bands with a much harsher and trashier sound, I’d recommend Sinergy, (unbelievably good), and Agonist. The former is my metal dream team, and the latter is not quite as technically good, but their singer is awesome, and the lyrics are about feminism, the evils of conservative politics, the flaws in the health care industry, etc. Think of it as hippy metal, lol.

  18. poetry lover
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I think Kira’s feminist critique of this post is sound, but I am not sure where we should go with it. I used to identify as a radical feminist, and I tried to seek out out feminist/female-positive art as much as possible. (I also made a point of attacking those who didn’t share my commitment to constructive art.) But eventually, after 5+ years, I began to resent the feminist in my head who was constantly dictating over the millions of other people in my mind who wanted to explore other ways of seeing. Now, I no longer call myself a feminist, and I don’t have these terrible moral hang-ups. It’s been freeing for me. I still care passionately about a range of traditionally feminist political issues (e.g. reproductive freedom, gay marriage, anti-rape activism), but I have concluded that – for me, at least – it is healthier for me not to live by a strict feminist moral code. The only downside, of course, is that now I am the one getting attacked by feminists! What goes around comes around, I guess. :)

  19. nerdalert
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    *sigh*
    Why does everyone jump to the conclusion that when I criticize the topic of a thread, that I’m suggesting that we censor or take away any piece of art that’s not completely feminist?
    That’s silly and very impossible and a very bad thing.
    Also, by bringing up a critique of a public blog, I’m not saying I’m a “better” feminist than anyone else. I’m not the one working hard and taking my time to run this blog. But, I know for a fact that the women who run the site appreciate feedback from other young feminists, which I am.
    What am I saying, is that this space is supposed to be for feminist issues. You can go anywhere on the wide spectrum of the internet and discuss (Un)feminist things with ease. I come to feminist websites so I can discuss things through a feminist lens and not be ridiculed or threatened to be raped for voicing my opinion, etc.

  20. marilove
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    nerdalert? This IS a feminist issue/discussion, though. Discussing (Un)feminist things is indeed discussing feminism.
    If the subject of this particular post isn’t your cup of tea, then just scroll by.

  21. Entomologista
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Geek culture. Science fiction is improving much faster than other aspects of geek culture. But a lot of it is still male-dominated.

  22. identity
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I really like what SP said about this, I don’t think I can add much.
    Identifying things you encounter as (un/anti)feminist is one of the first, basic steps you can make towards applying feminism in your own life. Recognizing these elements of your life as contradictory to your belief system as a feminist, as opposed to rationalizing or pretending you don’t really like whatever it is, can be a positive step towards taking them out of your life or focusing your energy on trying to change them.

  23. Charity
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Adrienne, I wanted to correct you…you attributed a quote from a comment below my comment to me, and they were not my words (below):
    “Also Charity noted:
    I’ve resisted a lot of unfeminist music, though. Misogynist lyrics gets a song booted from my playlist. Won’t touch a lot of rap or hip-hop for exactly that reason.
    Which doesn’t leave alot of room for folks who are culturally attached to rap/hip-hop.”
    I also want to clarify that I do listen to rap and hip-hop, and (like nerdalert and kira) am not holding myself *above* in some way…I think discussions of this nature are good and are feminist, and I don’t think any of the choices people have discussed are ANTIfeminist. I do take issue with the way the original post was worded, about people having versions of feminism that allow them to include whatever. I agree there are many feminisms and feminism is fluid, but at some point it does become meaningless if anything and everything were to be considered “feminist” or “part of my feminism.” Something not-particularly-feminist and my feminism can coexist and not mutually exclude one another, but I can’t just rationalize anything as a “feminist” choice because well, I’m a feminist all the rest of the time, and I want to feel better about liking something. That’s all I was trying to say.

  24. Cedar
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    So. . . what’s up with the apple graphic for this entry? There’s only one explanation I can think of (Adam and Eve), and I don’t like it. Is there something I’m missing?

  25. ElleStar
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m also going to step in here and defend having these guilty pleasure posts. While the original posts may not contain as much in-depth analysis as some commenters might want, every time we’ve had posts, the comments are all truly enlightening.
    Here’s why I like these “guilty pleasure” posts:
    I am a woman. I am a feminist woman. If someone says something misogynist or unfeminist, I tend to balk and argue until my point is made. However, if there is a particular medium where something misogynist or unfeminist is said and I don’t balk or argue, I want to know why. What is it about that particular medium that makes me want to deny either the content of that medium or my personal morals as a feminist?
    This analysis is important. If I could hear misogynist music and like it, but hate the lyrics if they were just recited out loud, I have to wonder what it is about that music I really like. If it’s the beat, then I’ll look to other music with the same beat without the misogynist lyrics. If it’s the singer, I’ll look for albums and songs that don’t feature misogyny. If what I like is an aspect of the music that cannot be separated from the misogyny, I’ll have to either reevaluate my feminist morals or I’ll have to reevaluate if I really like that particular music.
    It’s NOT about airing feminist dirty laundry or the “I’m a feminist, but…” argument. It’s about being human and enjoying different types of entertainment. Our personalities, culture, and individual experience help shape our tastes in entertainment. Feminism is only one part of the many, many influences (intersectionality, anyone?) on our particular tastes. Understanding how to critically examine our own tastes will help us use our money and our voices to help shape the entertainment we like into something that represents our own feminist understanding, experiences, and morality.
    This discussion is important and necessary for women to understand that they’re not hypocrites for liking unfeminist entertainment because that entertainment also speaks to so many more different parts of women’s personalities and tastes. It’s also important to see if women who like particular unfeminist entertainment can help excise the misogynist content that is probably not a huge part of that particular entertainment, anyway. This discussion helps us identify our likes, identify misogynist entertainment, and plan to find a way to keep the entertainment without the misogyny.

  26. adminassistant
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I also think it’s important to note that as women we already get “taught” a lot about ourselves by media and entertainment, and when we choose not to define ourselves in those terms, we’re belittled and condescended to. So I take a lot of umbrage in being told what a feminist should and shouldn’t do, like and shouldn’t like. As a grown woman, I think I know the difference between what contributes to a complacency about misogynistic culture and taking snarky pleasure in entertainment that doesn’t exactly meet my standards.
    And I also hope never to read the words “fun feminists” to describe those with intersectional standards, much in the same why I would assume that most would prefer not to ever read “feminazi” to describe a woman with particular feminist parameters.

  27. Luna
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Bit of a touchy issue I see. I started off with a bit of a grin with this, because I thought of my own occasional chuckle at that ridiculously misogynistic Two and a Half Men, starring none other than Charlie Sheen. But I do see the point of those not appreciating this. I think the difference is where the money is at. I don’t make them any money by watching. I get the channel regardless, and I’m not a Nielson family. But if I spend money on misogynist music, I am absolutely supporting it. And that *should* piss off people in here.

  28. Theaz
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I think the fact that we as feminists have a relationship to pop culture which is complicated and difficult is absolutely a feminist issue.
    Save a few, most of us were not raised explicitly feminist. We had upbringings which had feminist elements, maybe, or maybe not, but most of us were raised in pop culture, with pop culture, surrounded by peers in pop culture. We developed a critical eye and ear for it, but it shaped us nevertheless.
    So we retain a fondness for it, but also know that it is horrifyingly unfeminist, most of the time. Negotiating the balance between living a life you consider ethical and feminist, and the tastes and preclusions my background gives me is a feminist issue for me. How do I deal with the fact that I like a lot of pop culture AND would like to call myself feminist?
    Not to mention the fact that I had better figure out my relationship to pop culture if I ever hope to teach or communicate to anyone around me about reading it critically. If I refuse to speak your language, I am never going to be able to share anything with you. I can’t get much accomplished by insisting on staying on the outside.
    The other thing that seems important about this topic is that it becomes up to feminist-minded women to police themselves and restrict their choices. Patriarchy means we are already denied things and have to work harder to get the same. It means we face danger and censure, so forcing myself to disown all the things that I was socialized with or enjoy seems like a way to guarantee burnout. One of the best lessons my first feminist mentor ever taught me was to pick your battles, and remember that caring for yourself and maintaining your energy IS a feminist gesture. Refusing to fight every battle patriarchy places in front of me because I didn’t cause the problem IS a feminist gesture. I do not have to argue with every jerk in every board room, and I can’t. Either I listen and am unfeminist, or I isolate myself and miss out on mindless relaxation in the name of feminism. I lose or I lose.
    I realize that it’s sort of a thorny issue because in other ways it’s absolutely unavoidable that living a feminist life means I will refuse to participate in some things, or to make certain choices. I suppose it’s a question of moderation or sustainability – a lot of things I do in the name of feminism are going to put me at risk for discomfort or violence. I will speak out when I am harassed, or fight back, I will not play nice. But requiring that sort of discipline or discomfort all the time seems untenable. Figuring out an acceptable level of self-care considering my personal history as a child of pop culture, the fact that many of my friends are not as feminist as me is a feminist issue for me.

  29. Rock Star
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes, we all like something that’s not perfectly feminist. Why do we have to have a post about it on a feminist blog? You don`t have to pat yourself on the back for it.
    So we’re just supposed to pretend we don’t do it and not discuss it?

  30. Mina
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Adrienne commented at July 22, 2008 12:01 PM: “I love the beat in A Milli by Lil Wayne. I feel really sad when he says:
    “‘I’m a venereal disease like a menstrual bleed’”
    Why is he calling menstruation like a venereal disease? Did he start getting periods after having unprotected sex with a woman? o_O

  31. claudzilla
    Posted July 22, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Tarantino movies.
    They are so wrong in so many ways but the absurdity of these films are what draws me to them!

  32. Lala
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Okay so I’ve been a lurker for a while here and this is my first post. I registered just to post on this discussion cuz it resonates with me. If someone were to ask me if I were a ‘feminist’ I would most likely give a cautious ‘no’ for a number of reasons. Partly because I’m young and latina and when I see these so-called feminists icons I have a hard time relating. Partly because I do enjoy things culturally like GTA or raggaeton and hip hop that have elements I or others may have an issue with. So it was good to see people who are not so rigid to be in the world with me.

  33. Posted July 23, 2008 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Punk. And I’m not at all guilty about it.
    While a lot of the bands are pretty cool and politically-minded, it’s usually concerts and other things outside the actual music that make me cringe a little. Fans have a tendency to be a bit dickish and will frequently try and grope you in a mosh pit (usually the teenage boys), or on the flip side, guys who try and be “gentlemanly” and help out any girl in a crowd or not mosh her as hard (usually the slightly older guys). Also the fact that if a band does sell women’s size t-shirts, they are often one size or only come in S,M,L (that run really small anyway). And you do get the occasional “show me yer tits” asshole.
    But there are groups like Anti-Flag (*swoon*) who sing about very important things, like problems with mass media (“This is the End”) and even feminism (“Feminism is for Everyone (With a Beating Heart and a Thinking Brain”). Though their women’s shirts seem to only come in S,M,L too. Boo.

  34. poetry lover
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Lala,
    Thanks for your openness. It’s nice to see I am not the only one out there who has begun to approach the “feminist” label with some trepidation. (I’m white, but I do understand your concerns about some of the white-centered icons.) One of the things that troubles me is that feminists often assume the only reason women dread the “feminist” label is because they have seen it trashed so frequently in the media. Indeed, I think that was a central point of Jessica Valenti’s book. And while that may explain some women’s relunctance to identify as a feminist, I think feminists themselves have a lot to answer for in explaining this phenomenon as well. Extreme forms of political correctness – and the idea that it is okay to publicly humiliate people who disagree with you – has unfortunately become tremendously pervasive among feminists, particularly in academia. I wish Feministing.com would have a discussion about that point some time: how should feminists approach people who disagree with them? Is “calling people out” for their sexism (which is sometimes just feminists’ label for their alternate perspective) actually an effective political tool?

  35. Lala
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Poetry Lover I totally get what you’re saying. My hesitancy with the “F” label has little to do with those who bash it and everything to do with attaching my name to the words and actions of some of these women that I find myself in strong disagreement with. They say and do stuff in the name of ‘feminism’ and I’m like that’s not done in my name…Sometimes you hear someone talk about feminism and it totally meshes with that I feel…and then you see some of them on tv or read an op ed and I’m like wtf???

  36. meegs
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Ludwig van Beethoven!!! Had a terrible attitude towards women, even for his time. Pretty much one of history’s biggest misogynist pricks. And oh did he write beautiful music…

  37. Newbomb Turk
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm | Permalink
  38. alaynab
    Posted August 7, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh Miriam…country music! I love it – and yet – it’s absurdly un-feminist so much of the time. Women are always “girls” or dependent on their men. We are sometimes strong, but only ever in the context of a relationship or a man. But still I listen…

  39. kaylin
    Posted August 11, 2008 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    amen, hermanita! I love reggaeton, unfortunately. I am absolutely obsessed with Calle 13
    …”Quiero tener un par de hijos aunque seamos primos”
    ??? sigh.

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