Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Say When

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  • giovanni tiso, in reply to steven crawford,

    I don’t particularly think the adult on adult statistics are particularly relevant other than to say that adult men are less vulnerable to female rapists.

    That's not inconsequential, also in terms of how that power imbalance is amplified by enabling social conventions that excuse adult on adult rape to this day.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    sparkle-pony

    I can haz sparkle pony

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, 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 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Surely we're on to the reds by now!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    I’m glad you’re grateful for the debate. For me, I feel like we spend a bit too much time talking about the definitions, and not a lot of time talking about the real problems. Like, for example, teh focus on women’s appearances Emma was talking about in the original post.

    Yup, which is why I pointed out that Sally had redirected the discussion to where she wanted it to be by making - let's say "deliberately provocative remarks" and leave it at that. Idealogues do that a lot, rather than discussing actual ideas.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to steven crawford,

    Accepted, Now I’m going out to burn my bra…

    I'm hoping dyslexia doesn't mean your bar is now at risk. Men need more bars!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Actually, watching this and the Gaying Out thread, I’m reminded of a discussion on Twitter the other day about PAS being all hipsters and indie music clones and all.

    So #not.

    [ETA] I'm hoping Russell posts something on the Whichness of Why so we can really get our philosopher-geek on!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    That’s not inconsequential, also in terms of how that power imbalance is amplified by enabling social conventions that excuse adult on adult rape to this day

    OK, thats true. Its also not inconsequential to be in-denial about female perpetrated violence against children. Power imbalances are power imbalances regardless of gender. It is a feminist objective to address the abuses of these power imbalances, among other things.I identify as a feminist. Its not only that I do the dishes plus vacuum and fix my spouse’s car.

    PS: said spouse sent me an email from the other room of the house, mentioning the term Pro-feminist.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Sally, that’s a description of my own experience [of 'slut-shaming'], and my reaction to it. I don’t think you mean to say you’re unsure of it, surely?

    Is this your "direct" question Emma? I can't see any other but this seems more of a rhetorical: Surely you don't question that women are 'slut-shamed' by other women, kind of comment. But as there are other questions being asked here about my views, it would seem further clarification is in order.

    The shaming of women (their bodies, their brains, their souls) by men via the patriarchal institutions they have set up to organise, control and explain the world, is at least as old - and as harmful to a healthy equality between the sexes - as Adam and Eve. I am fairly sure about that.

    However, the 'slut-shaming' of women by women that you have railed against in this, and various other posts, seems to be quite another matter. Megan describes this 'shaming' as "pernicious" and you shout your agreement by lavishly lampooning the women who raised concerns on Boganette about, among other things, wet T-shirt competitions and porn being inherently degrading to women and damaging to young girls in the way that it puts pressure on them to get their tits out and act the fool/flirt/sex kitten. My position is that I think they have a point, and I think it's a better point than yours: I took part in a WTC and had a lot of fun.
    I did say earlier I had experienced shaming of the kind you describe whilst on the dance floor, though again it has been primarily men who have tried to shame me with their "disgust", actual word used by one who roared it in my face. Certain women have turned their heads away and avoided bumping into me in the supermarket ever more. But others have heaped praise, which is fine. But like you (I think) I'm not out there doing my wild thing to earn praise, much less to be hit on, and I don't much like the reduction of what I consider to be my self-expression and art to dirty flirting.

    But in terms of the present discussion I would draw a rather thick line between participating in a wet T-shirt competition and dancing as though no-one is watching you - a million miles from any damn pole. One is a cheap and tacky stunt that will turn some men on whether the participant intends to or not, the other is an act of freedom and self-expression that is more likely to intimidate men than turn them on.

    Emma, if you are tired of the endless argument that comes back to the same place I can assure you that those, like Greer, and little old me - to a much lesser extent, no doubt - who have devoted a good part of their lives to exposing and challenging the patriarchal shaming of Eve (E-T-C!), are so much more tired of the feminist-bashing that goes on and on and on in every sphere of life and contributes directly to the ongoing trivialisation of the F-word as man-hating dogma. It is this shaming that worries me much more than any other as it masks while it maintains the oppression and objectification of women.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to sally jones,

    Because Emma is not here, immediately, here is the direct question.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to sally jones,

    But in terms of the present discussion I would draw a rather thick line between participating in a wet T-shirt competition and dancing as though no-one is watching you – a million miles from any damn pole. One is a cheap and tacky stunt that will turn some men on whether the participant intends to or not, the other is an act of freedom and self-expression that is more likely to intimidate men than turn them on.

    What you fail to understand, Sally, is that we don’t care about “turning men on”. We’re about encouraging women to make choices for themselves and that make them feel good. If that involves a wet tshirt competition, so be it. Women’s lives don’t have to revolve around men, and their reactions.

    Emma, if you are tired of the endless argument that comes back to the same place I can assure you that those, like Greer, and little old me – to a much lesser extent, no doubt – who have devoted a good part of their lives to exposing and challenging the patriarchal shaming of Eve (E-T-C!), are so much more tired of the feminist-bashing that goes on and on and on in every sphere of life and contributes directly to the ongoing trivialisation of the F-word as man-hating dogma.

    Right. And yet you are completely unhappy to dismiss other self identified feminists as “lifestyle” and imply that we are uneducated and unthinking. Cool.

    [ETA: Completely HAPPY, I mean.]]

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    And that my very well meaning advocacy for autism is not the same as an autistic person’s own advocacy.

    Agreed – but I’d note that “not the same” is not necessarily “worse”.
    The purpose of (social) advocacy is to bring about change in attitudes and opportunities. When the group advocated for is a minority, working towards that goal requires that advocates be able to communicate effectively with the general public and with policymakers – which means being able to frame issues of genuine concern to the minority group persuasively in the audience’s own terms. (Even if, simultaneously, those terms are also to be challenged.)
    Hence the most effective advocacy should ideally comprise both insiders and outsiders working as a team.
    Issues of legitimacy are likely to arise if advocates are not actually members of the group represented; but all that is really necessary (regardless of the advocate’s membership status) is that the advocates demonstrably fairly and accurately represent that group’s wishes.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1885 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    My position is that I think they have a point, and I think it's a better point than yours: I took part in a WTC and had a lot of fun.

    Where did I say that? Oh, that's right, I didn't. What I was commenting on was people attributing motivations to women who'd entered wet t-shirt competitions and talking about that experience - one they hadn't had - without showing any interest in the views of those women who had. Which is, by the way, exactly what you've just done. Without asking me, you know I enjoyed it, and that it was a cheap and tacky stunt.

    All I am actually asking is that you accept that a) my personal experience is that the vast majority of negative reaction to my appearance and behaviour has come from women, and that b) I have reached my personal philosophy as a result of experience and thought.

    Oh, and also? That you respond to this:

    And before we get into any further difficulties over semantics, I'm going to ask some more questions, not as snark, but for clarification. Your comment seems to suggest that "educated useful" feminism is exclusive of "lifestyle feminism" and that "lifestyle feminism" is, you feel, an adequate label for my beliefs. Is this the case?

    Was the offence deliberate or accidental?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to linger,

    Agreed – but I’d note that “not the same” is not necessarily “worse”.

    Can we agree that speaking for people is problematic? Wouldn't it be better if people with disabilities were able, enabled, allowed to speak for themselves? And for me the same goes for feminism. I'm not discriminated on the basis of gender. I can make an honest effort to understand what it's like, or what it's like to have my sexuality scrutinised, etc. but it will never replace the actual experience of it. And without the experience of it, I question my capacity to imagine an alternative to it (since I believe it's not just a matter of, say, "abolishing sexism" - it goes beyond that). In fact to the extent that I have an understanding of any of this it is because I have been schooled by a variety of women over the years, through books and internet forums but mostly in person. A whole heap of stuff was not obvious to me, and some of it still isn't I'm sure. Hell, am I a wholly lovely, progressive, equality-conscious male? No. There's still a lot of shit there, you can't just wish it or reason it away.

    Which is not to say that every woman experiences every form of gender discrimination, either, or that there aren't many that cross the gender barrier. But I'd rather it was them who got to speak about and against the oppression that women still suffer (sometimes from other women). It seems... safer that way, if nothing else.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I’m sorry to be so late to this discussion, but paid employment has put paid to my blogging / commenting time. So I was finally getting to this after the whole after school / evening routine to make exactly the point that Giovanni made just a few minutes ago w.r.t. men being feminists. In short, they can be feminists, but it’s bloody hard.

    By analogy, I find it hard to be a fat acceptance advocate. I understand the arguments, I can imagine what it might be like to have a body that is socially unacceptable, I can notice that it’s hard for women and men who have large bodies to find clothes that fit. But I’ve never experienced it from the inside, because I am (or have been) skinny all my life, because that’s the genetic pattern in my family. I can be an advocate for acceptance of bodies of any size, but I really, really, don’t understand it from the inside. It’s just not my experience. And that means that I don’t have the experience to draw on.

    Mutatis mutandis for living with a disability, or being someone who has a non-standard issue sexuality, or having to deal with racism. Or for men being feminist.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    In unrelated news, Mark Hotchin is apparently to be thought of as brave for agreeing to be interrogated lovingly by a walrus.

    Close Up has one of those don't miss moments on Thursday as Mark Hotchin fronts up in the studio for a live and unedited interview.

    ...

    And as Mark Sainsbury says, whatever you think of Hotchin he has shown some grit by appearing live on the show.

    Couldn't find anywhere else to put this news, as we don't seem to have a scheming corporate scumbag thread at present.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Can I wave a definite asexual flag again?
    We tend to get totally ignored.
    Even here.
    (There is considerable relevance to this thread.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Islander,

    We tend to get totally ignored.
    Even here.

    But not here, I noticed.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Islander,

    I was thinking that my reference to non-standard sexualities was inclusive of asexuality, but thinking about it again, I realise that it wasn't. I'm sorry.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    paid employment has put paid to my blogging / commenting time.

    +1.

    And without the experience of it, I question my capacity to imagine an alternative to it

    That might be under-rating our human capacity for empathy - though I do support structural and political caution about speaking on behalf and assuming we know it all.

    That's an ongoing challenge in disability politics where the resources we need for change are mainly not in the hands of disabled people, and where mandates are too often claimed in the name of charity, love or dependence, without deeper reflection or even acknowledgement. Conversely, opportunities to help are sometimes spurned out of excessive caution or inability to negotiate a role as supportive ally.Tricky balance.

    The most sustainable way seems working together but it does require generosity, genuine commitment, and recognising where the playing field is tilted.

    Worth noting that all parties bring strengths (which include legitimacy and mana). Men do not have all the power in gender relations either. That has practical expressions that I'm sure we've all noticed in our lives. Academically, my knowledge is out of date and I have no citations to hand but two examples spring to mind.

    I recall a figure of 80% of all male-female intimate relationships being ended by women (which certainly fits what I've observed amongst my own friends).

    And some UK research in the late 80s found a high degree of conscious and socially-valued control of the kitchen and other domestic productive arenas by women in some working class communities (which initially confounded the academic feminist researchers).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Can we agree that speaking for people is problematic? Wouldn’t it be better if people with disabilities were […] enabled, allowed to speak for themselves?

    Sure – speaking for is extremely problematic … if that is all that is happening. (I agree with the remainder of your comments too, and Deborah’s response.)

    I was merely suggesting that it can be helpful, if it happens in combination with speaking with (i.e., dialogue between insiders and outsiders) and speaking from (i.e. personal accounts by insiders).

    [I was taking the importance of the last of these for granted. Yes, it is better to make it explicit.]

    [ETA: meanwhile, Sacha has summed up what I intended!]

    I think I was also suggesting that, conversely, merely being a member of a group doesn’t automatically mean you can speak for the group (though of course it does mean you can, and should, speak for yourself).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1885 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    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

    Admire your passion about it, Bart. Onya

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I've learned a little in this discussion. Thanks.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    Megans:

    Wegan

    If you can't hear a sneer in there, you are a better man than I.

    I can hear a sneer, but I'm still not sure I know what "lifestyle feminists" is supposed to mean.

    I'm glad you're grateful for the debate. For me, I feel like we spend a bit too much time talking about the definitions, and not a lot of time talking about the real problems.

    It seems like talking about the definitions IS one of the real problems, so ironically it is worth talking about. But yes, this is not a new debate.

    Like, for example, teh focus on women's appearances Emma was talking about in the original post.

    Nor is that, really. It's not even new for Emma to talk about it here. But I take your point, it does derail things a bit, a more thorough look at third wave perspectives is good, without having to spend pages justifying even talking about it.

    Clayton

    Yes; the former relies on a level of self-consciousness in debate that itself can sometimes inhibit debate, especially on matters where it's appropriate and even desirable to have guns blazing, as it were.

    A perennial problem in polite debating organizations. It's like boxing with your sparring partner - neither of you will really go for a KO.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    A perennial problem in polite debating organizations. It’s like boxing with your sparring partner – neither of you will really go for a KO.

    See, that's why we have Craig.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

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