161 Comments

Suggestions, please!

Open Suggestion Thread

Please add suggestions for questions that have not yet been addressed, hopefully with links to articles that address those questions, in the comments to this post.

Note: Comments left here are to suggest further posts rather than begin a debate. If you wish to generate a discussion, then your question might be more appropriate on the Ask A Question thread.

What sort of suggestions could you make?

Firstly, links that cover basic material for the benefit of the genuinely curious.

Secondly, links that debunk common anti-feminist myths and address common arguments from trolls.

The model for all efforts of this kind to emulate is the marvellous Index to Creationist Claims associated with USENet newsgroup talk.origins. The wonderful zuzu, who has kindly seen fit to widely promote this project, nails it:

Got a troll asking you disingenuous or stupid questions and don’t know where to tell them to go (other than hell, of course)? Drop on by the open suggestion thread and make a suggestion for a post to which you can later refer trolls (or the genuinely clueless). With a sweet smile and a suggestion to come back once they’ve covered the first-year course material.

As a general rule I’d prefer people to nominate other people’s articles rather than their own in this thread, but it’s fine to link to your own writing in other threads.

If you have an article you’d like to suggest as a link to be added to an existing FAQ post, please add it in the comments to that post. That way the comments thread becomes a user-generated “More Reading” list even if I decide against adding the link to the body of the post.

Thanks in advance for contributing to this feminist resource.

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161 comments on “Suggestions, please!

  1. OK, Unless and Until I work out how to import individual comments from Haloscan, here’s the link to the comments to the original thread over at blogger. There are 50 suggestions so far.

  2. I’ve distilled the latest suggestions from the previous version of the blog down into this comment, to jumpstart the thread here. I’ve taken out the suggestions I’ve already covered and left just these, which I’ve yet to address fully in FAQs although some of them have been tangentially mentioned. Any suggestions for good articles on any of the following Qs would be gratefully received.
    ***********

    From E. Fulton: Gendered language – “What’s the big deal about using ‘mankind’ and ‘fireman’ and stuff?” – mental framing as “other” by use of words – resulting policy decisions based on masculine standarding (permalink)

    From tekanji: – the accusation that feminists are too one-sided and don’t acknowledge the pain that men go through – Who’s responsible for facilitating discussion on men’s issues? is an article that tekanji wrote about when/how it’s appropriate to bring up men’s discussions. (permalink)

    From Betty: – something addressing “Why Feminists Won’t Let Me Call Women Sluts/Whores, Not Even That Slut, Paris Hilton.” (permalink)

    From Tigs: Can you post something on the ‘sex class’ and all its different meanings? I feel like sometimes the feminist blogosphere means different things when they talk about the sex class, and I just want to make sure I understand what the community ‘usually’ means. (permalink)

    from tekanji: Two suggestions based on this conversation:

    1. A FAQ post debunking the idea that we can and need to divorce ourselves from the “militant extremist” image, possibly coupling it with the argument that we need to present ourselves as less offensive in order to be taken seriously.

    2. A post that specifically addresses the myth that feminism is about “reversing roles” and giving women the upper hand. (permalink)

  3. Here’s a nice piece on the subject of ‘Why don’t feminists defend men’s rights’

    http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2003/09/feminists_are_sexist?skin=print

  4. …. but it’s FUNNY!

    A FAQ section about humour. Topics include

    Inclusive vs Exclusive humour

    Laughing with vs laughing at
    Why those inside a group get a bonus on the ‘laughing with’ scale, and those not part of a group are disadvantaged in that department

    … no offence meant

    How this is not a free pass to say anything you want
    Why ‘can’t you take a joke’ adds insult to injury
    Why ‘It’s just a joke’, ‘no offence meant’, and their kin all sound the same to the target

  5. Damn. I knew I forgot something.

    Additional topic to the humour faq section: How humour is often used as a means of separating groups – including certain people, and excluding others.

    How sexual humour has been used since (at least) the Victorian era (in Victorian-descended cultures, and possibly in other cultures) as a way of putting women in their place, and/or barring women from certain places.

  6. Episode 3: In which Jenn learns that she really ought to draft out these suggestions fully before she makes them.

    Also, a section on getting out of trouble gracefully when you realise your attempt at humour was inappropriate and/or has fallen flat.

    Obviously ‘it’s just a joke’ or ‘can’t you take a joke’ don’t work, so what can you do? (My ideas: apologise, admit that you intended a joke, admit that it was inappropriate, promise to keep that in mind in the future, then let it drop.)

  7. Nice links and ideas, Jenn. A lot of your humour ideas tie into aspects of generic privilege (surprise surprise) so I wonder whether there’s some really good article out there already on this stuff just waiting for us to find it.

  8. I hope there is, but if there is, I don’t know where. If I find one, I’ll put it in the comments here.

  9. I just realised I wanted to find something that explained the sexual double standard, the madonna/whore or virgin/whore dichotomy, and why ‘stud’ is a compliment but ‘slut’ an insult.

    So some piece on all of that would be very useful.

  10. You’re not the first person to mention that, Jenn. I’m heading back into an FAQ headspace, I think. It seems to come and go. I’ll try and get a few completed this week.

  11. More of a suggestion for a question I would frequently like to ask, but am afraid to – what are the “waves” of feminism? How do I tell the difference between first, second, and third-wave feminism?

  12. I’ve got a brief description of the three waves in the Jargon File, Chet.

    The three waves refer to the strongest emphasis of feminist activists mostly, although there are theoretical differences as well. Tiptoe through the links from the Jargon File and you’ll probably find more than you need.

  13. Hey, sports provides many opportunities for feminist analysis. Gender equity in prizes in tennis and golf, for instance. Or women competing in men’s leagues. Just a thought.

  14. What is your position on female genital mutilation?
    Also, what is your position on laws in many countries where women get stoned for committing adultery (often the “adultery” means they were raped)?

    • One would presume, Dee Dee, that a feminist point of view on these things, considering that feminism’s aim is to get women as equals, is…

      Gee, I don’t know. What on earth would they think? That stoning for rape is RIGHT?

      It’s a bit of a pointless question, isn’t it?

  15. The practises you describe oppress women. Western feminists have been working with feminist activists within the countries where such oppressions exist to help end such practises for decades.

    If you want to dicuss this further, please take it to the Ask A Question thread.

  16. Hi tigtog,

    I come from a similar place to Jennifer Vesperman: geek communities. There are a bunch of issues that might be FAQ worthy:

    1. Why is calling women ‘sexy’ problematic?[1]
    2. Why can’t she just take my comments on her as a sexual being as they were meant, as a compliment?
    3. Isn’t it a public/moral good to say whatever the hell I want and challenge the mainstream politically correct dogma?
    4. Isn’t it better for sexual liberty if I make sexual possibilities explicit where ever possible?
    5. Aren’t you just trying to cut down on all the fun bits of our circle and make us behave like stuffy business people?

    Of course, all of these are used disingenuously a lot, so sometimes I wonder how seriously it’s worth taking them.

    [1] “We need more women in our gaming/coding/business circle, because they’re sexy!”

  17. Mary, I think your FAQs 1 and 2 often very earnestly asked. Many (most?) people are so used to viewing women’s primary purpose in life as ornamentation and titillation that they genuinely start to believe that “sexy” is the best compliment they can pay a woman.

    Tigtog has a link in the sexual-objectification section that might be useful:
    “But Don’t You Like To Be Objectified Sometimes?”

  18. I feel like there should be a page somewhere in the links below, but I can’t think of just one easy to understand subject heading to put them under:
    Debunking the Myth of Frivolity
    Speaking of Twisting Feminist Arguments

    And here’s some that look at the myth of the “hive vagina” (or that “feminists are the borg”):
    By the Numbers
    Chorus Member

    There are some more good ones for the “not the borg” argument, but I’ll have to look them up when I have more time.

  19. A certain professional wrestler I liked recently murdered his wife, then his child, the committed suicide. Certain people are talking about “roid rage,” but in light of recent other murders by men of their spouses/exes/girlfriends, I wondered out loud about the role of misogyny in murder/intimate partner abuse, and why the finger would never once be directed there in MSM and only at the crazy roid rage sensationalism. Certain people cannot get that violence against women (and children as a result) is misogyny. It is hatred of women. They claim that hatred of that ONE women does not constitute hatred of ALL women. This is making my head explode. Could you maybe do a FAQ post on misogyny in general or the correlation to relationship violence? To me, it seems so DUH, but it’s hard for me to break it down as to why.

  20. There’s a few posts around regarding the response to recent spousal homicides by men, especially the interesection of racism and misogyny in judging Jessie Davis. It’s hard to distill down to FAQ length, although I’ll add it to the list.

    Pandagon
    Feministe

    Violet Socks at the Reclusive Leftist probably has closest to an overview of the general intimate murder phenomenon, again sparked by commentary about the murder of Jessie Davis.

  21. I suggest that you provide a link to a feminist blog that permits comments that all of the other feminist blogs seem to consider unutterable heresy, if any. I say this because there is actually no place that feminists congregate online where their basic assumptions can be challenged and destroyed.

    Otherwise, I will continue to presume that feminism cannot withstand even elementary criticism.

  22. The basic assumption of feminism is that women are entitled to full social equality with men, both de jure and de facto.

    From that basic principle other ideological positions have been derived, all of which can and have been criticised by others both within and without the feminist movement. If you haven’t found such critical discussions, then you haven’t been trying.

    If you do actually want to debate the basic assumption bolded in the first sentence above, then of course you’re not going to get any takers: you don’t want an actual debate, you just want the opportunity to abuse feminists.

  23. “If you do actually want to debate the basic assumption bolded in the first sentence above, then of course you’re not going to get any takers: you don’t want an actual debate, you just want the opportunity to abuse feminists.”

    Well, I suppose that would be the rub, tigtog – and of course, the devil, as they say, “is in the details.” What you and other feminists seem to be advocating is not equality as between differently oriented and situated groups, but gender or sex symmetry, viz, the notion that equal is only equal when and if everything that men are in the habit of doing women are also in the habit of doing in the same proportion, or if a male-identified occupation, in proportions equal or greater. It is my belief that the rhetorical rabbit of “equality” gets slipped into the hat quite regularly to be produced on demand. Simply repeating “women are equal” (where equal means symmetrical) does not make it so, and, just as importantly, does not compel others to agree or be adjudged irredeemably evil and unworthy of discourse.

    I first began along this line of questioning – really asking for a comprehensive Apologia from a feminist representing the feminist worldview which begins with some self-evident principle, ethical tradition, etc. from which the broad “rights” claims arise, and which does not permit of similar claims in favor of, for example, an unborn fetus/baby/nascent demon. I have as yet been left wanting. I fail to see why simply asking for this most basic thing, which all feminists ought to be able to recite at will, is “abuse,” putting aside the issue of whether or not I accept the notion itself. Such a deflection tracks more closely to the behavior of the religious dogmatist than the clear-headed and dispassionate thinker of feminist self-perception.

    After all, does not so much of feminism require the same of others, and most often dismiss their answers as founded in some religious tradition, cultural tradition, or Natural Law theory closely associated with religion, and therefore able to be dismissed without debate or comment?

  24. What you and other feminists seem to be advocating is not equality as between differently oriented and situated groups, but gender or sex symmetry, viz, the notion that equal is only equal when and if everything that men are in the habit of doing women are also in the habit of doing in the same proportion, or if a male-identified occupation, in proportions equal or greater.

    Considering the capabilities of both men and women across a wide variety of tasks/interests, I see no reason that even traditionally genderised crafts/trades/professions shouldn’t be constituted at least 40/60 by the non-traditional gender (at all levels of the hierarchy in those crafts/trades/professions). Once we actually reach that level then we can examine further aspects of hypothetical total gender parity, eh?

    some self-evident principle, ethical tradition, etc. from which the broad “rights” claims arise, and which does not permit of similar claims in favor of, for example, an unborn fetus/baby/nascent demon.

    No person has the right to demand the use of another person’s body.

  25. [Moderator note: I've copied Alec's comment over to the thread "What do Feminists want?" because this debate is off-topic for this thread]

  26. i know you said to not self-promote, but i wrote this one post and i’d really, really like to see the topic in general covered more… i have checked other posts and i haven’t seen this anywhere, or seen a thread i could put this into seamlessly…

    i made an FAQ of the Mary Koss rape survey, because a lot of trolls hear the ’1 in 8′ statistic and go ‘NOOOOO!!! THAT’S WRONG!!!11111′ and they have no way to back that up. but they don’t listen to you and they refuse to go to a library and request the article and claim that YOU can’t back it up. so i made a breakdown of the article so that the concepts are more clear. it covers the methodology and the percentages and other things.

    here’s the post: The Mary Koss Survey — I Read It So You Don’t Have To!

  27. Thanks for soliciting suggestions. What a great resource you’re building!

    I don’t see tags for “lesbian” or “sexual orientation”. It’d be nice to have some FAQs about lesbianism and how it relates to feminism.

    There are the straw questions, “Don’t all feminists hate men?” or “Aren’t all feminists lesbians?” But there are also questions like, “Why is the word “dyke” used by some men to insult women? Why does that insult work?”

  28. Lorelei, that’s a great summary/FAQ of the survey. It’s worth adding to comments in the What’s wrong with suggesting women take precautions to prevent being raped? FAQ as a tangent to the current thread, particularly as it is tangentially relevant to SarahMC’s comment replying to Chuck pointing out that rape is rarely stranger rape: most of these women students knew their attackers after all.

    AstroDyke, what a great idea. I have a very brief mention of lesbian feminism in the Feminisms FAQ, and will have to create a ‘Sexual Orientation’ tag under the broad Sexuality/Health category. Not having a specific FAQ is a definite lack. Got any favourite posts on the issues to recommend?

  29. Got any favourite posts on the issues to recommend?

    I will stoke my thinking-engine.

  30. How about a heading along the lines of “But everyone knows feminism is dead”? I swear I’ve read the FID catch phrase three or four times just in the past week, but a post with some estimates of the sheer number of websites, organizations, events, authors and blogs should whack it on the head pretty effectively.

  31. What Orlando says. I often hear something along the lines of ‘But feminism’s all over: we’re all equal now and the work’s been done’. I’ve heard this quite a bit from my younger students or just from people not necessarily hostile to feminism, just not aware of ongoing struggles. Would be nice to direct them to a post about why it’s not ‘all over’.

    Thank you tigtog and tekanji, for this wonderful resource.

  32. Some of that sort of material is covered in the “Does Feminism Matter?” FAQ, but it’s not laid out in a way that specifically addressess the FID catchphrase.

    Yep, should probably work something up. If you know any good links rebutting the FID card, please add them in comments for that FAQ.

  33. How about a bit on the invalid quality of “reverse sexism.”

    Perhaps as defined in the Livejournal Feminist community guidlines:
    http://community.livejournal.com/feminist/profile

  34. rowmyboat, thanks for the link to the LJ Feminist community profile/code of conduct. Lots of good chewy stuff there, and the points about reverse sexism are well taken.

  35. I just want to apologise to everyone who left great suggestions over the past few months that I haven’t followed up on. My brain doesn’t do winter well, I’m afraid. Now that spring is here I should have more thinking energy.

  36. [...] Comments tigtog on Suggestions, please!tigtog on Why was I sent to this blog?…tigtog on Feminism Friday: Young Feminis…Anne Onne on [...]

  37. rowmyboat: I’m in the process of writing a “What is ‘sexism’?” FAQ entry which will address, in part, why “reverse sexism” doesn’t work. After which I do plan to do a separate entry on “reverse sexism”, although how I phrase it will depend on the language that I use in my “What is ‘sexism’?” post. Being internally consistent is important, after all :)

  38. [...] and Social Hostility Posted on October 8, 2007 by tigtog This thread is a response to a comment from Astrodyke in the Suggestions thread: I don’t see tags for “lesbian” or “sexual orientation”. It’d be nice to have some FAQs [...]

  39. rowmyboat: Okay, I added some information addressing the “reverse sexism” claim in the FAQ: Aren’t feminists just sexists towards men? FAQ entry. I might later give it its own page, but my brain is crying for a break so that’s going to be put on hold.

  40. There’s now a Feminism Friday post addressing the uses of humour, as requested back in May by Jennifer Vesperman, to silence complaints about sexist practises. [link]

    Sorry to take so long to address it. It will be linked to in the appropriate FAQs to which it is relevant as a clarifying concept.

  41. I can’t find the comment here, but a while back someone asked for the FAQ entry on the “gender gap” to be extended with some more details and references. This has now been done, [link]

  42. can we please god have a post for people who are alread feminists about how you can’t sit around and be a feminist but also be transphobic?

    or something?

    i’m tired of having to explain and see this explained over and overrrr again. D:

  43. It’s certainly a hot-button issue, Lorelei, but I’ve only seen a bit about this around the blogtraps – it’s not something I’ve personally had experience with. Have you got any good links to some discussion, both from the trans-inclusive and from the women-born-women sides?

  44. why would we need links from the women-born-women side? no other topic here, as far as i know, has links from the ‘opposing’ side.

  45. regardless, i don’t have a lot, but here’s two really good posts from Questioning Transphobia. of course, she has 983984728934 really great posts, but i have these on hand:

    http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2007/11/03/that-is-not-even-wrong/

    http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/what-is-woman-what-is-man/

  46. Lorelei, I have linked to both anti-porn and sex-industry-positive sites for Sex Wars stuff, so when it the topic regards divisions within feminism you are wrong – there are links to both/all sides as far as I can find them.

  47. oh okay sorry i hadn’t recalled those at the time. that is true.

    sorry i was being snappy. i was just upset at the time from all the transphobic stuff i’d been reading at the time. :\

  48. No worries, Lorelei. We all get upset now and then!

    Thanks for the links.

  49. There’s someone on Feministing asking about what a rape apologist is (not that he really seems to be asking in good faith). I couldn’t find something here that addressed that. i think it would make a good FAQ. If anyone else has any other links to suggest, that would be great!

  50. The simple answer is that a rape apology is any argument that boils down to the myth that rapists can be provoked into raping by what the victim does or does not do.

    Such apologies feed off the old myth that rapists have no control over the sexual temptation they experience in response to the victim, therefore the victim could have avoided awakening the irresistible rape temptation by behaving differently. It’s classic victim-blaming.

    Most people who make such arguments are not consciously intending to defend rapists. They are simply repeating arguments they have heard before and haven’t fully examined.

    There are some excellent posts about rape myths and victim blaming around. I have linked to a few in this FAQ:
    FAQ: What’s wrong with suggesting that women take precautions to prevent being raped?.

    I think the idea of a separate FAQ particularly on the term “rape apologist’ and further examining the idea of ‘rape culture’ could be a valuable addition though. I’ll add it to the list!

  51. Good idea and an important addition.

  52. Hi, someone made a somewhat shocking comment on my blog recently, and I’m not sure quite how to respond to their assertion; I’m a “feminism newbie” so I thought maybe one of you with more knowledge could help?

    This is the comment:

    I have been living in Canada for quite long period of time, and I have noticed how women are very well treated and I’m glad that they are. Except in Canada we celebrate each year a sad event. In 1989, 14 young female students were shot dead by a young man because simply they were … women. This shocking story made many Canadians rethink the relationship between men and women. Many years later, the Canadian society is still suffering from high rates of male suicide, and many experts link this phenomenon to the effects of an agressive feminist movement in the society. Honestly between the model that leaves some room for the guys to say “hello” to girls in the streets in their own way, and a model that begets the canadian sad story, I vote for the former.

    This was in response to a post I wrote against catcalling in Morocco. http://mandingueira.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/lessons-from-morocco-part-2-cultural-relativity-and-other-issues/

    The immediate problems I saw in the comment were:
    -feminism begets male suicide
    -implying equality is HARMFUL and gives “reason” to shut down feminist movement
    -don’t understand what the Canadian shooting has to do with his argument, unless it’s just another example of feminism driving “repressed” men to extremes
    -implying catcalling is “just the way it is” and “better than any alternative” (since the alternative he gives is mass shooting/male suicide)

    One of my problems is I don’t know anything about suicide statistics, so I don’t feel I can claim that’s wrong with no sources/evidence at hand. Same with the “experts linking”, although I do wonder how exactly those studies were done.

    Thank you for helping, and I also apologize if I left this in the wrong section of the blog! (It was a little confusing to navigate around, and this seemed the most appropriate place I could find.)

  53. Also, I have a suggestion for a question that seems to come up a lot, that I haven’t managed to find answered here yet:

    Addressing the idea that “men can’t help it”. This is also related to the comment above, as the person seems to be arguing that “men can’t help it/control themselves”, and are thus repressed when they can’t holler at women in the street and this repression leads to explosive conclusions like suicide or rape. This also applies to the idea that women who wear revealing clothes are “asking for it” (since they should know “men are engineered from testosterone and thus can’t help it”), etc. If you could create an FAQ post debunking this myth, that would be extremely helpful and appreciated!

    Thanks again!

  54. [off current topic... just trash this if trans women's issues are not welcome here...]

    This site makes trans women invisible, and consequently others us, as does most of feminism today.(Yes, folks, it’s a demonstrable fact…)

    So, what message are you sending when you talk about women and men, with no mention at all of trans issues, and give uncomplicated presentations of trans misogynistic events?

    I am a woman, trans , and a believer in many feminist ideals…. and I do not feel ok posting here.

    Are trans issues really too complicated for a 101 discussion? I think just mentioning our existence would go a long way.

  55. Alyssa, I would welcome some 101 discussion of trans issues, I just don’t know that much myself. I’m sure that this largely reflects my own experience as someone who came to feminism at the tail of the second wave, and who’s just coming to terms with the intersectionality emphasis of the third wave.

    In my own reading I just don’t see trans issues coming up as Frequently Asked Questions. I’m sure that’s to do with the blogs that I do read and don’t read, and also I’ve been reluctant to post on something I know so little about for fear of getting it badly wrong, so what’s ending up happening is that I haven’t mentioned trans issues at all – my own uncertainties, not a deliberate decision to exclude. (And oh boy, I certainly do realise the cisgender privilege inherent in all the above.)

    Posts regarding trans issues and experiences from Holly at Feministe have been an eyeopener for me, certainly. What would you recommend as some Frequently Asked Questions that should be addressed about trans issues, and what are the best sites to read more about the issues and experiences of transfolk?

  56. I just noticed on my feed-reader that the F-word published a Trans-101 guide a few days ago.

  57. It reads more like a dictionary puke than a real 101…

    The good news is that the definitions are very good…I like the “ungendering” entry very much. This is a too common objectification approach taken by cis women towards trans women. Fetishization is another.

    I am working on a 101 directed at feminists… if yer still interested, can you send me an email to send it to? do you have my address from this website?

    Thanks

    In the meantime, enjoy this:
    http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/

    The name is a takeoff on a “feminist” site that preaches trans hate.

  58. Is there a piece here about WHY woman-only spaces, in real life and on the ‘net, are so important? I am in a really frustrating, drawn-out argument, and haven’t been able to articulate this.

    Please forgive me if there is one, because I’m digging, and not finding it.

  59. Amanda, I don’t have anything on that. Heart has lots of material centred around the concept at the Women’s Space blog, but I’m not sure whether she’s laid out anything along the FAQ line.

  60. Amanda, the explanation in this article isn’t bad:

    http://radgeek.com/gt/2000/09/30/what_you/

    It’s written for pro-feminist men, so see the section on ‘Respect women’s-only space’.

    Hope this is helpful :)

  61. That is really, really great and helpful! Thank you so much! That will help me gather my thoughts. Much, much obliged.

  62. Which is better – “feminist men” or “pro-feminist men”

  63. No definite answer, Anastasiya. Some people care a lot about the issue and others just don’t. There’s a lot of reading about men and feminism in the FAQ: Can men be feminists?.

  64. There’s a strawfeminist argument I haven’t seen covered. I’ve seen blog comments suggesting that a) feminists have a vision of ideal manhood, that b) it involves men being sensitive, non-agressive, not interested in sports, but highly interested in fashion; pretty much a rejection of anything associated with traditional masculinity, and that c) that idea is entirely too gay and therefore feminism sucks.

    Now, I’m aware of this idea being pushed in the media – it certainly comes up on commercials and sitcoms often enough. But I’ve tried to find a more “primary source” for it, and perhaps even its connection to feminism, and have come up empty handed. Can anyone suggest a good article dealing with this?

  65. I’m an engineer and pretty much always the only woman (or occasionally, one of two women) in any workplace setting. I also frequent communities that revolve around technical subjects both online and off.

    Now whenever I, or another woman, or even another man starts talking about encouraging other women to join in technical subjects, people seem to get very hostile.

    Some of them will say that women don’t have the brains for it, but then claim that they aren’t being sexist because they love admire women’s natural abilities to nurture and manage social settings so that everyone is happy. I have science to throw at those people, so I can deal with them.

    However, many will take the attitude that women aren’t /choosing/ to participate in technical subjects and therefore we should leave that alone. Women don’t want it, so why don’t we leave that alone? What’s the problem?

    I myself used to be a woman who identified myself as “feminine” and things like computers were simply incompatible with my identity. I was damn miserable then, even suicidal, and I can’t express how amazing it was when I discovered I could throw off that restriction and actually live a life for myself.

    It’s also really annoying that they are creating a hostile environment for women, but at the very same time as arguing that there is nothing but a lack of personal interest that is keeping women from entering the environment.

    So I can see all sorts of things wrong with this attitude, but I just don’t have the articulation and brilliant way with words that tigotog has. I would really love to see you addressing this topic, tigtog.

  66. Actually, I just thought about this for a minute more and realized something (sorry for the double post). The attitude that I just complained about above seems to be one of the biggest reasons for the rejection of feminism. I think it’s one of the main reasons that the mainstream belief is that feminism is obsolete. Women are now /legally/ allowed to do everything men are, and therefore any difference between men’s positions in life and women’s positions in life must be because women chose for it to be that way. And feminists are just trying to control women and tell them what to do against their will.

    Now I really, really would like you to address it.

    P.S. I just saw a similar display of this problem on a forum. A woman said that she had asked the manager of a store to change a sign that said “Boy’s toys” to just “Toys.” The forum filled up full of abuse that she was being a “politically correct dictator” and insistence that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that sign because little girls themselves are the ones who choose not to play with trucks and action figures.

    People seem to think that when a feminist objects to things like this it is solely because they are personally offended. The social conditioning that feminists wish to remove is not taken into consideration.

  67. lala, this is a great topic. I might put it up for an open discussion.

  68. Hey, I may be spamming, but I second that. It’s a great topic.

  69. Heh. Anyone tries the: ” little girls choose not to play with trucks and action figures” line on me, better answer to my Matchbox cars, cowboys and indians (sic) figures and ActionMen (plural)… I hated “girls’ toys” with a firey passion. And no, boys, I’m not a lesbian.

  70. OK, I’d better bump this discussion to the front page!

    UPDATE: OK, done.

  71. At Echidne’s site, there’s a thread in which men talk about the “hysteria” over sex crimes, especially the rape of children by strangers. I understand men don’t like a “culture of fear,” in which women view them as potential rapists or in which they fear their civil liberties will be curtailed. I also understand that girls and women are much more likely to be assaulted by someone they know. At the same time, I think it’s problematic for men to tell women that they shouldn’t worry so much about sexual assault. Any ideas? http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/search?q=phila+innocent

  72. Oh, that’s rather a huge one, Suzie. I’ll have to reflect on that.

  73. I’d like to see a FAQ on the idea of “irrationality” as it’s used to dismiss women’s concerns. I just sent a male co-worker here after he told me that men tend to be more rational than women.

    I second Orlando’s request for a post on “But everyone knows feminism is dead”.

    One small thought on the intro pages: they’re directed toward commentators on feminist blogs, but since I don’t have a blog, I’m usually sending links to co-workers and social acquaintances. I’m not sure how many other people use your blog this way; if it’s a lot, it might be worth changing the intro to reflect that.

    Thank you for maintaining this blog; it has been a huge help to me in dealing with people. Please keep up the good work!

  74. I was just searching my favourite feminist resource for a quick cluestick for a commenter on another site and couldn’t find much on the topic of “date rape” or sexual assault within established relationships. There’s tiny snippets off other posts, but no one-stop debunking of all the old “Grey area” bullshit.

    One of my personal favourites on the subject is Tanya’s post at Just Something I Do, but I’m sure there’s dozens. I also like the Antioch policy she links to in that post (link here). If we could scrape together a collection of these kinds of posts, it could be useful in the future. :)

  75. I would like to see an FAQ about the term ‘misogyny’. Whenever you use the word misogyny or say that someone’s behaviour/attitudes are misogynistic, they will automatically reply with “No, you’re wrong, I don’t hate women!” Most of the dictionary definitions, which people refer to, define misogyny as overt, open, and literal hatred towards women as a gender/sex, rather than the subtle, socially constructed, but extremely harmful attitudes against women.

    I feel that misogyny is a little different from sexism, but I’m having trouble articulating what the exact difference is. Is it simply one of degree or is it a difference in kind?

    I haven’t been able to find much on the use of the word misogyny in feminist discourse, though I admit that I didn’t search the internet for more than an hour or so. I did find this post that talked about Hillary Clinton’s use of the word misogyny.

    It seems like feminists have one understanding of the word and they use it and other feminists understand what they mean. However, the way in which feminists use the word seems to be different from how non-feminists use and perceive the word. As such, I’ve more than a few times encountered the above scenario where men say they aren’t doing anything misogynistic because they love women.

  76. I came here to suggest something on the notion of feminism as zero-sum*, but the discussion QuietStorm wants came up at a family event recently

    *It can look that way from a certain perspective: there is no way for women to rise to the position of men without men and women being level, clearly; the trick is realizing this isn’t a loss for men.

  77. Nice to see you again, Hershele. You’ve reminded me that it’s been a while since I caught up on the many good suggestions in this thread. I’ll have to make that a priority for November.

  78. I think you should post something about how women continue to be self-destructive and hate themselves for being girls, about how in many ways we are our own worst enemies.

    I am speaking about this as a bgirl (female breakdancer). Nothing has made me more aware of feminist issues than being a girl in male-dominated, physical, street-based art form.

    How can we develop the strength to stop hating ourselves for being “less” than men?

  79. sorry for the double post…just clarifying….

    I know I have just as much potential as any guy but I need to develop the mindset. In bboy/bgirl culture there is a thing called “pity props” where bgirls are given respect for doing less than guys “because they are girls”.
    There are also bgirls who try to get by on their looks instead of their skills. I am a bgirl who wants to be seen as equal to a guy, and taken for who I am and what skill level I am, not because I am a girl.
    Well I hope this helps you understand the issues I am struggling with.

  80. What do you say when erswhile “good guys” proclaim that feminism is finished? He’s nice and all, but what do I
    say?

  81. Hey, there’s an interesting discussion going on in Feministing, and people are just not understanding the idea of tokenism, either in gender or in race issues.

    I did an internet search and there is a lacking wikipedia article and not much else. I think your wit could definitely add something to the understanding of tokenism. Thanks!

  82. observer, my inclination would be polite, persistent questioning. Like a telemarketer, respond to his arguments in a calm, rational, but tenacious manner. Fisk him, and that’s not a euphemism for a four-letter word.

  83. Yeah, that’s smart. I didn’t. I tried to very “nicely” say, “but try to put yourself in another person’s shoes”.

    The thing is all of his politics lead him to being liberal, but because he’s a dude he just can’t get over the feminism thing. He’s gay, so I think he feels prejudiced by it along the “but I don’t beat women” vein.

    It’s exhausting thinking feminism. It would be easier just to not do it, to let him have his little “but what about the menz” rants. But I just can’t. I can’t even go back to his blog now, I’m frightened what I might read and have to call him on. And I’m not very good at any of it, so I probably don’t make a good argument.

  84. I put a suggestion up over on the ‘Ask a question’ thread. However, it’s more suited to this thread. (I only posted it to ‘Ask a question’ because it was in response to another commenter there.)

    The suggestion was to invite readers to provide anecdotal memories (or other information) on how things used to be for women – e.g. during the 50s, 60s, 70s etc – before many of the main feminist gains were achieved.

  85. I live in California and Prop 8 just passed. This got me involved in discussions with gays and gay supporters and got me to thinking about something that has always been in the back of my mind. Why is it that women are usually the greatest defenders of gays, when it seems to me that gays are probably the ultimate in male superiority. Gays really don’t need women at all except of course for child bearing, and they can do their thing in a cup and hire someone to bear their child if they so choose. The ancient Greeks were very open about their preference for male lovers and women were kept pretty much away from men and only good for menial tasks that men were too important to do and to bear their children. Why do feminists support gays so much? I just don’t get it.

  86. I wanted an FAQ link to reply to someone who was claiming that misogynistic jokes weren’t “hate”, but I notice that the entries in the FAQ list that relate to humor don’t have links.

    Is there an FAQ entry for stuff like “it’s just a joke”?

    Or the related “feminists have no sense of humor”?

  87. Something on the oppression Olympics is much needed.

  88. I’d love a FAQ something along the lines of ‘Help! My girlfriend’s a feminist! What does this mean for our relationship?’

  89. Could you write more about womanism and why women of color don’t always feel included in feminism?

  90. Will you please write a post about the power of language and why casual use of words that are misogynistic (or even the word “misogyny”) is bad and damaging? Thank you!

  91. There’s a couple of related ones:

    “Someone just said I’ve done something sexist. I don’t think I have. What should I do?”

    “I’ve just done something sexist, it was pointed out to me, I agree, how do I apologise? What do I do about the huge Internet pile-on I’m now squashed under?”

    “Shouldn’t we be really careful about allegations of sexism? They create these huge pile-ons and people can harm their enemies just by pointing the feminists at them and saying ‘sexist, go get him!’”

    The first two are more genuine and there’s lots of links in particular for the first one about not going bananas when your privilege is pointed out and using criticisms for a good long look in the mirror. Some of the stuff about http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Resources_for_men is relevant here.

    But I don’t know of anything good yet for “but the POWER of accusing people of sexism, it DESTROYS LIVES” and the related “oh the accusation of sexism is a convenient mask for your real LIFE DESTROYING agenda isn’t it?” This mostly comes out of http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/EMACS_virgins_joke in which discussion of sexism was read by a lot of people as a front for the real agenda of silencing critics of the Mono programming framework.

  92. Did anyone see Conan O’Brian last night, joking about a prison inmate’s interview/rape of Bernie Madoff. The jokes were actually more about rape, than about the idea of Madoff getting “punished” in prison for his fraud that ruined countless lives. I found the segment so damaging and obscene in it’s humor about rape that I will never watch Conan again. And I’m sure it’s a trigger for survivors of sexual assault. I literally could not believe that this was made, no less aired on TV

    Was Madoff easy to talk to?
    “He was tight lipped at first”
    “he was a little hard to pin down, but eventually I got him to open up”

    The segment is from the Tonight Show, 7/30/09, found at 11:00 to 12:00 on the linked broadcast below. I think it could be really helpful to have people write to the show in complaint.

    /the-tonight-show-with-conan-obrien-thu-jul-30-2009

    • I think it could be really helpful to have people write to the show in complaint.

      Why?

      Idiot late-show hosts like Conan, Letterman, Leno & Kimmel frequently make distasteful comments about women (Letterman’s jab at Sarah Palin’s daughter comes to mind) and they pretty much shrug off any complaints they receive.

      Also, keep in mind that they are pandering to a particular demographic that actually finds this type of thing “funny”. This same demographic is their base audience. IOW, they don’t care what the “bitches” think, especially if it concerns distasteful humor directed at another member of their own gender.

  93. I’d like to read more about what feminists envision as the (good) future. I’ve read plenty of posts about reading that this or that is misogynistic or otherwise wrong/offensive.

    I realize that feminism has lots of different schools of thought–Is there such a thing as feminist porn? Can a feminist be a stay at home mom? At various points in time, feminists have argued passionately yes and no to both questions.

    So, realizing that feminism is a non-monolithic ideology–what are we aiming for?

    I’d like to read posts about the world we are aiming for. Describe this future world for what it is, and not what it isn’t.

  94. I’d love to have something about Street Harassment, for why it’s not a compliment when some dude whistles at me from his car, or catcalls me, or whatever.

  95. I know you folks are super busy, but please consider this question if you have the time to spare. I have run into several people who are completely ignorant of how sexual harassment in the workplace fits into a system of oppression, and they seem to be disgusted and outraged that it’s considered “such a big deal.” I can’t find anything addressing this topic on your website, and the 2007 post titled “Sexual Harassment” is nothing but dead links.

    I just don’t know what to say to guys who think that sexual harassment is a silly thing to get worked up about, that it’s “just flirting,” and that men are sooo oppressed because women can sue them or make them lose their job just because they “feel uncomfortable.”

    The assumption that making disciplinary action against workplace harassment is so common and so easy drives me insane as well, as it most definitely does not match my experience. But even more important to me is the question of why sexual harassment in the workplace is something that matters. How does one explain workplace harassment to someone who thinks it’s no biggie and just “political correctness gone mad”?

  96. Hello, have you thought about the transition from a female-dominated kitchen to a male-dominated kitchen?

    Here at The Bitch Stopped Cooking, we are always looking to spread the word about culinary liberation. We also have some tips to keep the men cooking for you. Check out our website and maybe you’ll be interested in writing about culinary liberation!

  97. Recently, I got a chance to interview a women’s studies author, Sarah McMillen about her book, Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement. You can check it out here: http://blog.oup.com/2009/12/questions-mcmillen/

    In the interview, Professor McMillen talks about difficulties early women’s rights activists faced in the mid 1800s and how these challenges have not changed very much through the years.

    I figure your readers might be interested in learning more about “first wave” feminism.

  98. Can you add “slut-shaming” and/or “mother/whore dichotomy” to Clarifying Concepts? A classmate of mine posted something I found mildly offensive and I’m having trouble elucidating why it strikes me as sexist, and would really like something to point him to when he inevitably asks what I’m being so critical of. (We’re reading The Economics of Attention and he’s arguing that the author favors attention itself over substance–using whores and mothers as a metaphor for this, complete with the tropes of “whore=deceptive”, “mother=wholesome.”)

  99. I know it seems like a no-brainer, but it’s still a very prevalent myth: “Do Feminists Hate Men?” I couldn’t find it on here but would love to see a FAQ post debunking it. I did find this blog post addressing it: http://menstrualpoetry.com/debunking-feminist-myth

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