Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Say When

539 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 14 15 16 17 18 22 Newer→ Last

  • Danielle, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    It wasn't *severe*, dude. I just like to have my pointless Gen-X pop-cultural footnotes correctly spelled.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I think that word means something different to you than to me. I'm not trying to hide anything.

    Seems so, it doesn't mean secrets to me. It's just the state Plato's Socrates dragged his victims into, rather like confusion, a loss of confidence in one's own definitions, and uncertainty about a way forward. It was not pointed at you, I'm suggesting it's feeling going round. I think deconstruction can often lead to it, that's usually how Platonic dialogs begin. Plato seemed to think it was a beginning point of wisdom when you felt like you didn't know anything.

    I'm not so sure, it seems like an extremely vulnerable moment. That doesn't seem like a good time to be making big choices.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    Oh so you're a Gen-X pop-culture feminist ...

    <In the voice of Edmund when he sees the scythe>

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I think enough has probably been said here about labels, but I just had one thing to add: seems to me there's no label that can take the place of a proper conversation about anyone's views. If I say I'm a feminist, I don't expect that label to magically inform you of all my views on gender and power, it's only a place to start talking about those things. Yes, I believe in equal rights and opportunities for everyone regardless of gender...but exactly what I mean by that, and the particular issues I'm passionate about, you'll have to talk to me to find out. No one with any sense expects all feminists to agree, or even necessarily have much in common except the basic aim of gender equality. But diversity among feminists and feminisms doesn't make those terms meaningless.

    And crikey, if we want to change the world, we have to work together. When I see a post like that recent one of Maia's on The Hand Mirror, it makes me feel sad and hopeless. When feminists viciously attack other feminists over trivialities, patriarchy wins.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Lilith __,

    When feminists viciously attack other feminists over trivialities, patriarchy wins.

    Is patriarchy the polar opposite of feminism?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2777 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Lilith __,

    It's very funny, Lilith, because I read that most recent post, and I thought "This shit is still going on 30 years later?". Because when I was part of the Unifems, that was kind of how the dialogues went, alot of the time. Which is why I left.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to steven crawford,

    Is patriarchy the polar opposite of feminism?

    I suspect the topology is more complicated and may involve string theory...

    I'm clearly getting to hot to think seriously.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to steven crawford,

    Patriarchy is the system of males being privileged over females: it's what feminism aims to overthrow. Analogously, socialism aims to overthrow class privilege. The wikipedia page on patriarchy explains in more detail.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones,

    It is about knowing that a woman is the equal of a man in art, at work, and under the law, whether you say it out loud or not — but for God's sake start saying it out loud already. You are a feminist

    Thanks for this link, Megan M. I'd take issue with the 'knowing' is enough to be considered a feminist and say speaking and acting - recommended at the end - is a big part of 'being a feminist'.

    Feminism is a political movement where 'political' includes every damn emancipation and equality-engendering action in every conceivable place from the bed to the battlefield to the boardroom to the playground - couldn't think of a P word - and everything in between. Political implies a challenge to the status quo. It's hard to challenge just by 'knowing.'

    And the other tricky thing about being a feminist is that inaction (words are action, of course) kind of implies consent with the way things are and that kind of disqualifies you from being able to claim to your friends - when it suits you - that you are a feminist. That said, the statement 'I am feminist' is an action and a good place to start - providing you mean it. Of course, given the pejorative connotations of the term 'feminist' I doubt we'll be bothered by too many false declarations.

    For those who really(as opposed to conveniently) think a penis disqualifies them from said speaking and acting and identifying as a feminist, I feel the best thing to do would be to direct you to The Subjection of Women , the 1840 feminist treatise by arguably the most important feminist of the first wave, John Stuart Mill. If you prefer something more current I'd recommend Jock Phillips' A Man's Country?(1996), an excellent - and unique - feminist reflection on the history of the Pakeha male. Sadly not much feminism written by chaps before, between or since.

    Feminism is a bit like the tango, it takes two - male and female, cock and twat. Defining feminist politics as a 'women's issue', is just one more way of trivialising and marginalising the issues to leave the chaps - and a few token women - to get on with the real business of politics, law, economics, war, sport, even entertainment FFS! How many TV programmes have a female host? Bugger all. How many have not only a male host but a panel of male commentators, judges, jokers, whatever, with a token female or two (if you're lucky)? Most of them.

    If this kind of blatant discrimination doesn't piss you off and give you a clue as to the extent of the sexism involved in the Tamihere-type claim that 'feminism has gone too far', then, well, let's just say, you're not much of a feminist.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to sally jones,

    The Subjection of Women , the 1840 feminist treatise by arguably the most important feminist of the first wave, John Stuart Mill.

    I think I did actually write an essay on that. Not sure it was 20 pages. It was certainly enlightening, although at 18 it might be questionable how much of it sunk in. Some, at least.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to sally jones,

    The Subjection of Women , the 1840 feminist treatise by arguably the most important feminist of the first wave, John Stuart Mill.

    Actually, it was 1861, published 1869, according to wikipedia. And if you want to look at first-wave feminist treatises, it's hard to go past Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman from 1792.

    And Sojourner Truth's Ain't I A Woman? speech from 1851.

    ETA: I'm not saying JSM, and a number of other men, haven't made valuable contributions to feminist theory, politics, and debate, but I wouldn't give them more importance than the women who have done so. Not wanting men to speak for women has been a key issue addressed by feminism!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    inaction (words are action, of course) kind of implies consent with the way things are and that kind of disqualifies you from being able to claim to your friends – when it suits you – that you are a feminist

    I usually do my friends the courtesy of believing them when they say they're feminists, rather than beadily keeping a tally of their appropriately feminist actions.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Lilith __,

    And if you want to look at first-wave feminist treatises, it's hard to go past Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman from 1792.

    What, no love for my homie Christine de Pizan (1365-1430)?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Lilith __,

    My mother has spent a lot of time reading about, or reading Christine de Pisan (1363 – c. 1430). If you want a full bingo card, Wikipedia has this helpful list.

    What, no love for my homie Christine de Pizan (1365-1430)?

    ETA: [Removed unseemly outburst] Yes, lots of love in our household.
    I mean snap.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to recordari,

    I mean snap.

    Word. I suspect people crowding to cite old Christine isn't exactly a very common occurrence.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    And what about Mary Astell?

    If all men are born free, how is it that all Women are born slaves? as they must be if the being subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary Will of Men, be the perfect Condition of Slavery? and if the Essence of Freedom consists, as our Masters say it does, in having a standing Rule to live by?

    Written in 1700.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I've had her as a Friday Feminist in the past, and I keep on meaning to get around to writing a post about her. An amazing woman.

    ETA: 'her' being Christine de Pizan.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1328 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Deborah,

    I've had her as a Friday Feminist in the past

    I remember that.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to recordari,

    It sank in for me, but it could well have been because it was a man writing it for men. Probably the first essay I've read where I actually felt ashamed of myself, recognizing some key things he said far more than I recognized them in works by women on the subject.

    Classic example of talking on behalf, though, he acknowledged that he was very much influenced by his wife, Harriet Taylor Mill, whose published writings are very few, but clearly had a huge impact on John. It took my own partner at the time to point out there was at least a bookshelf of published stuff written by women on the subject well before him, when I claimed he was really forward thinking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Word.

    ...to the mother.

    I suspect people crowding to cite old Christine aren’t exactly a very common occurrence.

    This is certainly a first for me.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    “First-wave” feminisim usually refers to late 18th-century (Enlightenment era) through to the early 20th century (when women were gaining suffrage and other political rights in most of the Western World). That cetainly doesn’t mean there weren’t feminist writers or theorists in earlier times; I’m glad to learn about Christine de Pisan.

    Oh and wikipedia has a nice clear definition of second-wave vs. first-wave:

    First-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during the 19th and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. It focused on de jure (officially mandated) inequalities, primarily on gaining women’s suffrage (the right to vote).

    The term first-wave was coined retroactively in the 1970s. The women’s movement then, focusing as much on fighting de facto (unofficial) inequalities as de jure ones, acknowledged its predecessors by calling itself second-wave feminism.

    ETA: of course the whole "wave" business can get a bit messy when you look at what these writers actually said. There's actually plenty of stuff written about the politics of personal relations in the so called "first wave". So it's not necessarily a very helpful label.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones,

    Part II: I'm just gonna continue ranting on here in general response to the debate up to the point of my comment posted at 4ish. Don't mean to ignore any in between - or before - but there are too many to respond directly to all of them.

    I think the debate so far has kind of got sidetracked by a largely semantic question over the usefulness of the label feminist without much discussion of feminist politics. I notice few have responded directly to my comments but I take much of what has been said since Wham is a response to my first contention that those people who raise concerns about the sexual objectification of the female form through wet t-shit competitions, Baywatch, pornography - ETC - are furthering the feminist cause, even if they prefer to be identified as Martians, and those who hold these people up for ridicule rather than considered analysis, eg., "here's a real doozie" (Emma) are doing the cause - as defined above - a significant disservice, whether they call themselves feminists or not.

    'Lifestyle feminist' is Greer's term poached here to describe people who call themselves feminists (when it suits?) but seem to focus their anger and 'politics' against, well, feminists, all the while advocating women's and girls' right to show plenty cleavage at the pub, lots of leg at high school, wet tits in t-shirts - for the purposes of a competition! and expecting no-one to be concerned.

    Emma if it wasn't you who who said you entered a WTC and had lots of fun, my apologies. Megan? I haven't got the energy to go that far back in the thread. But I didn't assume fun was had, the person said they had fun. Which is fine, it's just - I'm sorry - not feminist, not by my way of thinking.

    While concerns raised can be clumsy and interfering and offensive, I think the intention of the concern - to bring about awareness that hopefully leads to change in the prevailing models for female behaviour and appearance that are either heavily sexual or primly square (the Madonna/whore dichotomy) - should not be lost in our rush to condemn these concerns as presumptuous impositions on a women's right to autonomy in all things.
    Autonomy and 'choice' unencumbered by any duties or substantive rights against discrimination is the neo-liberal thing, feminism is about freedom from oppression and that implies a fight against some kind of resistance and the power to wage that fight. Presently in NZ women have the right to wear as little as they want. Perhaps not entirely at school but the public school uniforms involve a LOT less material than the private school uniforms. The state doesn't tell girls, much less women, to cover up much - does it? In the west that particular fight - against religious prudery - is more or less won. The bigger battles lie elsewhere and are very far from won.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to recordari,

    It sank in for me, but it could well have been because it was a man writing it for men.

    At the time I do recall it gaining traction, but to claim I remember the substantive parts after 24 years without re-reading it, which I haven’t, would be overstating it just a little.

    Perhaps interestingly, or not, it was at about this time I was reading Simone de Beauvoir. That seemed to make a more lasting impression, but again I think a re-read is probably in order.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to BenWilson,

    when I claimed he was really forward thinking

    I remember feeling quite depressed reading the work of 19th century feminist theorists, just beacuse they seemed to be saying much the same things, and fighting much the same battles, as we have been in the last few decades.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to sally jones,

    'Lifestyle feminist' is Greer's term poached here to describe people who call themselves feminists (when it suits?) but seem to focus their anger and 'politics' against, well, feminists, all the while advocating women's and girls' right to show plenty cleavage at the pub, lots of leg at high school, wet tits in t-shirts - for the purposes of a competition! and expecting no-one to be concerned.

    Out of interes: who should be concerned? And why?

    While concerns raised can be clumsy and interfering and offensive, I think the intention of the concern - to bring about awareness that hopefully leads to change in the prevailing models for female behaviour and appearance that are either heavily sexual or primly square (the Madonna/whore dichotomy) - should not be lost in our rush to condemn these concerns as presumptuous impositions on a women's right to autonomy in all things.

    I'm having some difficulty not reaching the conclusion that you actually blame the women and girls in question for the madonna/whore complex.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7404 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 14 15 16 17 18 22 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.