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    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Today in Feminism (and its Enemies)

    Feminism

    I found this on Bitch|Lab and felt I had no choice but to re-link it here, if only so I could personally find it more easily next time I need it. It's truly awesome.

    Call Me Madame:

    MONSIEUR, madame ou mademoiselle? This is the first question on all official forms in France, but it has been denounced by leading feminists in the country as a flagrant example of sex discrimination.

    They are calling on the French Government to remove the title Mademoiselle (Miss) from administrative documents because it forces women to divulge their marital status where men have only to reveal their gender.


    Better yet, how about no one has to reveal their gender either!?

    Annalee Newitz on "Slashdot Dicks":

    Back in the 1990s, somebody told me that infamous antiporn feminist Catharine MacKinnon used to joke that she wished sexism were biological, because biology is easier to change than culture. I remember this unverified quote half a dozen years later because I thought it was such a great response to the claim that men are dicks to women as a result of neurological hardwiring — a claim you still hear all the time.

    But is it dickish biology or dickish culture that creates a problem like Slashdot?

    Among geeks, Slashdot has played the role of a New York Times–style news source for almost a decade — it's the blog of record for techies, reporting and making "news for nerds." Everyone reads it, even if they sort of hate it or think it's stupid. So many people visit Slashdot that when its editors link to something, occasionally the servers hosting the referenced site go down or at least slow to a crawl — this is known as the "Slashdot effect." So, of course, any tech or science writer whose stuff goes on the Web (including yours truly) is at least a little bit invested in the idea of getting Slashdotted once in a while. It's sort of like being included in the Readings section of Harper's Magazine — you automatically get a wider audience, and also the implicit approval of a venerable media institution.

    Except if you're a woman. A few months ago, an article of mine was Slashdotted. But instead of resulting in a lively debate about technology and social justice, it instead produced a popular thread in the "comments" area about whether I was too fat to be considered attractive. At that point, I vowed to stop reading Slashdot. What the fuck? Why should I give a shit about those morons? I would read other geek culture blogs like BoingBoing, where the male editors are feminists and Xeni Jardin knows why it sucks that some creeps care more about her ass than the political op-ed she just wrote for the Los Angeles Times.

    But, like I said, Slashdot is like the New York Times. No matter how infuriating and stupid its editorial policies, the site still breaks interesting news that everybody talks about.


    Feminism: What Is He Afraid Of?:

    I refer to the Dr Azly Rahman's letter Embrace 'kampong-ism' not 'feminism'.

    Allow me to echo a fellow reader's mail: ‘Who is this guy?’. Well, whoever he is, he has the audacity to call people, excuse me, women who dare to air their opinions as 'theoretically shallow' and what we write about an 'embarrassment' as we cannot mount philosophical propositions. And then he goes one step further by proposing to us to go back to kampungs and lead the kampung life.

    You know, if anybody is confused and emotional here, it can only be you, sir. You seem to view the rising awareness and the struggle for balance by women as a threat. You seem to live in some far away place where life is ideal and man and woman live in a win-win situation where men are the traditional breadwinners, 'feminism' an alien notion, etc. And you reiterate your argument that this Malaysian feminism is an upper-class concept which is out of touch with the kampung folks, for example.

    Dr Azly, for your information, I have set foot and worked in some of the poorest districts in both West and East Malaysia. And for your information too, the kampung girls, as you call them, are not only aware of what Malaysian women face but they, too, are vocal in their own way. Maybe it's because they live through it everyday?


    The Happy Hypocrite:

    Everyone knows Caitlin Flanagan isn't a stay-at-home mother, she's an accomplished writer who plays a stay-at-home mom in magazines and on TV. Right? Part of why I've never gotten upset about Flanagan's pro-hearth and home shtick is that I've seen it as just that, shtick. I'd read enough to know she had a full-time nanny when her twin sons were infants and she was trying to be a novelist; then she wrote about modern womanhood and family life for the Atlantic Monthly after they hit preschool; now, with her boys in grade school, she's got a great gig at the New Yorker. So how is she not a career woman who's also a mom?

    Then I picked up Flanagan's new book, "To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife," and I lost my equanimity. It's mostly a lightly reworked compilation of her New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly essays from the last few years, but dressed up with a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger introduction blaming feminism for causing women "heartache," and a truly below-the-belt conclusion, on how surviving breast cancer confirmed Flanagan's conviction that traditional marriage and motherhood is best. I put the book aside for almost two months because even though I'm tough, I'm not tough enough to kick someone with cancer, and Flanagan deserves a kick for the dishonest and divisive gloss these new essays give the book, and her whole career. But I guess I learned something new about myself in this process: Apparently I am tough enough to kick someone with cancer, but only after feeling bad about it for a while.


    Enemies

    Canadian Feminist Groups are Federally Funded: $23 Million Annual Budget:

    Feminist organizations with a mandate for women’s equality are still receiving millions in federal funding annually, according to a report by the Western Standard in today’s National Post.

    Status of Women Canada was established in 1973, after the Royal Commission for the Status of Women recommended that feminist women’s groups receive funding to help women achieve equality. The organization receives $23 million annually in federal funds.

    Today, with equality for women well entrenched in Canadian society, feminist groups are concentrating on side issues such as child-care and low-cost housing. ...

    “They’re acting as agents of change to promote their radical feminist agenda,” Landolt said. “Their theory is that women are oppressed by the patriarchy.”


    Tim Graham on Katie Couric:

    One moment sticks out in remembering Couric's approach to journalism. Reporters rarely admit their political leanings, but on the network morning shows, the female anchors are bold enough to identify themselves as part of the feminist movement. The words "feminist" and "we" can be interchanged, as they were in a June 2, 1994, Today interview when Katie Couric asked author of Who Stole Feminism, Christina Hoff Sommers, "what should we be using other than this angry rhetoric" in the feminist movement?

    The Hazards of Duke: Predatory Feminism:

    When the story broke about the Men’s lacrosse team at Duke raping a black stripper, it reminded me of the many legendary false child abuse cases of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    The story did not ring true to begin with. Rapists sneak around and do things as anonymously as possible. They plan their mark and then police spend a lot of time and resources to figure out who did it. Gang-raping women in busy college party bathrooms while hollering racial epithets is not something that happens even at “Animal House”.

    2 Comments:

    Blogger belledame222 said...

    Oh my God. David R. Usher!! "Predatory feminism," yes indeedy. Predatory WOMEN; note that he next issues a warning on how to spot the stealth feminist on a date.

    (Hall and Oates play distantly in the background. "wo-oo here she comes...")

    With a puss like that, I'm sure he's fending them off with a giant phallic lacrosse stick.

    oh dear, was that "reverse sexist" of me? awfully sorry.

    It's not his fault how he looks. (Well, except for the permanent frown lines,a little, maybe. and the hair. and the glasses. and the expression). I'm sure he has a lovely personality.

    oh, wait.

    um.

    His mother loves him?

    12:03 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    i don't know about poor Moms - I'll give her the benefit of the doubt!

    6:47 PM  

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