Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Up Front: Say When, 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 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm feeling eirôneia has entered this thread.

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

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to Danielle,

    presumptuous

    Moi????

    Yeah of course it is. Hence the doubt I have about it. But my problem still stands, when you say you're a feminist you mean something different from when Deborah says she is a feminist and when Jacqui says ...

    Now if you each take the time to tell me what you mean by that word and I take the time to listen then it's all good. And really I'm happy to take that time. But if all I had was your name and the word feminist then the image I have of you would be wrong. If I took just your definition then my image of Deborah would be wrong.

    If you are going to have a label and have it mean something to other people then it kind of needs to be consistent ... doesn't it? Or does it not matter a damn if my image is wrong when you use that label?

    You are of course right that you can use whatever word you want to describe yourself and I have no real problem with using that word to describe you if that's what you want me to do (providing I don't believe it to be offensive). But it still makes my head hurt because effectively I'm just using a word that I can't know the meaning of ... for you.

    BTW I'm trying really hard not to be offensive about any of this and if the discussion does offend in some way, I'm happy to stop. It would be easier to have the discussion with hand waving and wine.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to Danielle,

    Ok so it's probably fair that you have a problem with me then. Because by saying "it seems to me" I don't mean feminist isn't a label that works FOR me but rather that I think (with the proviso that I can and will be wrong at times) that the label no longer works properly. To the extent that I'm reluctant to use it when describing another at all, and not happy to fit the label to myself.

    Deborah says it works for her, so theoretically I could describe her as a feminist, if I knew her beyond these posts. But would my description of her as a feminist be the same as hers? Would we be meaning the same thing? Would using the word to describe you mean the same thing as using the word to describe Deborah or Emma or Megan, regardless of who was using the word?

    That's why it seems to me to be broken. But I could be wrong ...

    to dispel ideas like that feminism is a struggle by women for equality, when we know its not just that

    And oddly this is the definition that I am most comfortable with :). Even though I know it is more than that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to Danielle,

    Yeah, I… kind of have a wee bit of a problem with being told that.

    It seems to me...

    that was the whole quote Danielle :P.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Labels can be affirming and also say true things about who you are.

    Because this is true I'll spend a moment expanding on why I get frustrated with labels.

    The point at which it becomes an issue for me is when the label gets too big. Russell already said "but which feminism?". And that instantly says to me there is a problem. It's like US politics, 300 million people and 2 political positions (right wing and extreme right wing). That's not helpful to anyone. Instead of representing everyone you end up representing no-one.

    If feminist represents 20 or 50 or a 100 different flavours then it isn't a helpful label. I've said I don't consider myself a feminist but I've also made it clear that I hate treating women as lessor beings. By Megan's definition I am a feminist. So am I right or is Megan? And the answer is we are both right because the label can mean two different things depending on who is listening and who is speaking.

    We have this problem in science where words that have a very specific meaning in one field get appropriated by another field and misused, or worse get appropriated by the general public. On the one hand it's simply evolution of the language but on the other hand we end up having to make a new word to again mean the very specific thing we first described.

    Feminist used to mean something very specific and I would have been happy to be described as one back then, but I was like 8 and much more interested in space flight. But now it is a term with many diverse meanings, despite Megan's link. I'm no longer happy to be described as a feminist, it's too big a grouping.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Labels can be affirming and also say true things about who you are.

    Agreed. And to be fair I use labels any time I try and describe myself.

    But it seems to me from the discussions I have seen that feminist is a label that no longer functions.

    As soon as the word is used the discussion turns from the actual subject at hand to discussion of the label. If one were cynical you could simply use the word to deflect the discussion.

    Emma's discussion of her freedom to wear what she wants without be abused no longer exists. That strongly suggests the label is not helpful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to BenWilson,

    Give me a word for “males who believe in some selection of feminist principles”

    Do you really need to be labelled Ben? What’s wrong with having ideas and opinions and experiences and thoughts without having a label?

    Hi I’m Bart, if you want to know and understand what I think and why, I’m sorry but there is no easy peasy label to use that will allow you to skip the hard work of actually trying to understand me. Or not because frankly most folks can’t be arsed. Which is fine really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to steven crawford,

    no worries - sorting out quotes can get messy - this feels a lot like an interesting dinner party - mmm more chardonnay

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Say When, in reply to Emma Hart,

    sparkle-pony

    I can haz sparkle pony

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3108 posts Report Reply

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