Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • 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 • 3535 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 • 3535 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 • 3535 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 • 3535 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 • 3535 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 • 3535 posts Report Reply

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

    sparkle-pony

    I can haz sparkle pony

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3535 posts Report Reply

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

    Bart, I was asking a serious question.

    That wasn't me and no I'm not going to engage on this one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3535 posts Report Reply

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

    Joss Whedon

    Please ... and more shopping

    It's important to balance the serious with the trivial ... and yes I'm being serious

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3535 posts Report Reply

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

    O RLY?

    Yeah RLY. Some feminist positions have been demonstrably imbalanced over the years. Sometimes they were posited simply to demonstrate how imbalanced the existing state is, but sometimes as a reaction. Sometimes because of a genuine belief that an imbalanced but pro women state would be better for all. I don't really even have a problem with feminists doing that because I can see so clearly how far we have to go to get close to a balance.

    But I can't adopt such a position for myself. I'll push as hard as anyone to get to the balance point and I'll work equally hard to try and see where that point really is, because that ain't easy either. But I don't feel that makes me a feminist.

    Where I work the sexism is so obvious that it's depressing. The whole scientific field is horribly sexist. It's amazing that we stand for it, we try really hard to change it but the best we can do is point out to our HR department that ya know giving the pay rises only to men might look a bit dodgy in the annual report. And that isn't even the worst of the sexism, that's just the easily testable portion. Women who succeed in science are mostly forced to become clones of the worst sexists and work harder at the damn science than any man. They are scorned if they wear anything other than the uniform of the female scientist, you know, sensible shoes and ugly glasses. I've been in scientific meetings where ideas were only worthwhile when they were repeated by a man. I HATE all that shit. It destroys incredibly talented valuable people. I drove myself into depression fighting against sexist pricks here, admittedly not just fighting over the sexism, but it was a part. But I still don't call myself a feminist.

    sorry little emotional over some of this

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3535 posts Report Reply

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