Posts Tagged With: women

Yassss!

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“Why the need for an “I hate other girls” proclamation? Is there some underlying desperation for male approval, some need to prove that you’re so different from all the other girls out there, when all that boils down to is that you’re one of those chicks who just wants dudes to like her? And you do it by insulting and generalizing about other women. And here’s the thing, once you do it, you start to make it OK for everyone to do it. So saying, “Girls are bitches” or, “Girls are shallow and catty” just opens up the door for guys to say those things. It’s one of the ways that society at large helps to keep women down: by turning us against one another, even subtly. And I know that girls who hate other girls are the first ones to say, “Oh, I’m not like that. I’m like a guy! I like guy things, and guys are easier to be friends with.” So you probably shouldn’t be surprised that all those women that you’re being a jerk about aren’t banging down your door to be your friend. Because by saying all of that, you’re being shallow and catty. You’re reducing women to stereotypes while somehow frantically begging everyone not to apply that stereotype to you.”
Persephone Magazine: “Self-Fulfilling Prophesies: The ‘I Hate Other Girls’ Trap”

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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Would You Lay Off?

In case you hadn’t heard, Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy.

This is what some guys on Twitter had to say about it:

If you don’t understand why she, or any other person with breasts for that matter, decided to go ahead and have the procedure done, then see the below comic:

Angelina made a careful medical decision to protect herself from the risk of breast cancer. Instead of praising Angelina on her bravery or commending her on being so open about it in such a toxic, judgmental society, there’s thousands of people making comments about her breasts themselves. Some joking, some serious, some speculating that her partner will leave her because she’s somehow less of a woman without her natural breasts, some just plain offensive: sexist, misogynistic and holyfuckingwhoa chauvinistic.

Seriously… what is wrong with people?

This woman is trying to prevent a fatal illness that she knows she has the gene for, and has had a family member die from. By having her breasts removed, her chances of getting breast cancer went from 87 % to under 5%. Why does her worth tie into whether or not she has breasts? Isn’t she worth anything as a woman and a person? It’s time for society to grow the fuck up. This woman, and others like her, is fearless.

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“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer. It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

– Angelina Jolie

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The Bechdel Test

Would you be surprised if I told you that, according to the Bechdel Test website, only 5 of IMDB’s Top 250 passed all three Bechdel criteria in 2010? Are we really asking too much of the film industry to include two women, who talk to each other, about something besides a man? Surely this is the bare minimum of female representation we should expect from films. Women populate more than half of the world and yet we are still so often consigned to being the ‘love interest’ whose lives center wholly around the male protagonist even to the point where the majority of mainstream films in our cinemas seem to find it impossible, in their entire run-time, to imagine a world in which a woman conducts a conversation that is not about a man.

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The “Sex Sells” Myth

“I will lose my mind if I hear the “sex sells” fallacy one more time. Sex does not sell. If sex sold, we would see penises where we see boobs. Naked men would be on everything that naked women are on.” – Source

But that’s not the case, is it?

If sex really sold, we would see the same amount of objectification of men and women in every aspect of our lives but that’s not really the case. I’m not denying that the portrayal of men in media isn’t problematic because it certainly is. Body dissatisfaction, depression and eating disorders are on the rise for men, as much as it is for women.  But if you take a close look at how men are being portrayed, they’re mostly in positions that exude power, authority and confidence. In the case of women however, we’re either turned into objects themselves, along with whatever object the ad is selling or we’re depicted in vulnerable, submissive positions. Female objectification and male objectification are very different things, solely because men, in the larger scheme of things, are not so systemically and narrowly reduced to their physical/sexual attributes.

A women’s studies class at the University of Saskatchewan decided to flip the switch and produced a video of images that reverse and play against traditional advertising tropes. But here’s the thing – when you attempt to replace female bodies with male bodies you don’t really objectify men in the same way. This is because our culture’s gaze is so inherently male and so the male body isn’t able to be manipulated, sexualized and victimized in the same way female bodies are. Indeed, the tropes of female body-as-prop are so well-worn, such a part of our cultural landscape, that simply changing up the bodies in the images isn’t enough to actually threaten the male form. In fact,  they’re funny. Because that’s how we culturally interpret a man in a “woman’s role.” It’s comedy.

In reality, the male gaze isn’t purely “male” – it’s something that women have interpolated and now own, too. We are just as critical and questioning of female bodies – if not more! – than men are. And upsetting the female-as-object paradigm in media images is only part of the answer. It’s equally critical that we show female bodies in stronger, more powerful archetypes, too.

And to end this post with a little chuckle, I give you this:

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“I have a daughter who’s 10 and we walked past a billboard the other day advertising a TV programme. There was a row of men in suits and a woman in a thong. My daughter said, “Why is it like that? It’s to sell it, isn’t it?” She knows that already. I said, “Yes, it’s a shame a young woman would want to be portrayed in that way,” and she said, “But it’s her choice, isn’t it? Nobody made her do that.” So how do you explain the Gramscian concept of hegemony to a 10 year old? If the culture is so all pervasive that you can’t think outside of it, how are you making genuine choices?”

– Monica Ali

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Oh snap

There are just some things I will never not re-blog. This is one of them. Take note kids.

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Curious

Fact: I like to talk a lot about social justice issues – mainly ones that involve gender but not limited to just this area. And for that, I suppose there are people who might roll their eyes and wish I would shut up and give it a rest already, but I’ll have you know that I’m not constantly complaining all the time. In fact, through a trial and error process, I have learned to choose my moments, decipher the type of crowd I’m in and gauge how receptive they will be to my thoughts and opinions and hope to god that when I do, I won’t be branded a party pooper or a feminazi. I have yet to master the skill of speaking up regardless of what the crowd will think of me though. My blog on the other hand is different altogether, because this is the one outlet I can use to truly express my myself, not without judgement of course, but without having to potentially “bore and burden” people around me with the topics I write about on here.

Having said that, it’s curious to me that people would wonder why it is that I choose to write/talk mostly about the struggles of women. Is it not weirder still that I wouldn’t? And isn’t it even more weird that people would tire of hearing me voice myself than tire of the system that has caused me to raise my voice? It’s interesting to me how people fail to make that association. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a damn whiner if I honestly didn’t have anything to complain about but unfortunately that’s not the case. Consider this: who among us has ever wanted to speak about such things? As Andrea Gibson would say, “What little girl dreams of growing up to write ‘rape poems?’ About violence? About the muffled voices of women worldwide?” To not speak about it is more questionable to me, and really, isn’t that what we should be rolling our eyes at?

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Hardy Har Har

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A Lesson In Respect

Hello fellow humans! Here are 8 steps you can take to respect a transgender person today.

Also – by doing so, you will be certified awesome by George Takei himself. For realsies!

Aaaand here they are:

Respect their gender identity. Think of them as the gender they refer to themselves as and refer to them with their chosen name and gender pronoun (regardless of their physical appearance) from now on. (Unless they are not out, or tell you otherwise. Ask to be sure if or when there are times it is not okay.)

Watch your past tense. When talking of the past try not to use phrases like “when you were a previous gender” or “born a man/woman,” because many transgender people feel they have always been the gender they have come out to you as, but had to hide it for whatever reasons- or at least be aware of when you do it. Ask the transgender person how they would like to be referred to in the past tense. One solution is to avoid referencing gender when talking about the past by using other frames of reference, for instance “Last year”, “When you were a child”, “When you were in high school”, etc. If you must reference the gender transition when talking about the past, say “before you came out as current gender“, or “Before you began transitioning” (if applicable).

Use language appropriate to the person’s gender. Ask what pronouns the transgender person prefers to have used in reference to them and respect that choice. For example, someone who identifies as a woman may prefer feminine words and pronouns like she, her, actress, waitress, etc. A person who identifies as a man may prefer masculine terms like he, his, etc. Other transgender people have begun using gender neutral pronouns such as ze, zir, sie, hir, singular they, etc., but this is a personal preference. Use the name they ask you to use.

Respect the transgender person’s need for privacy. Do not out them without express permission. Telling people you are transgender is a very difficult decision, not made lightly. “Outing” them without their permission is a betrayal of trust and could possibly cost you your relationship with them. It may also put them at risk, depending on the situation, of losing a lot – or even being harmed. They will tell those they want to, if or when they are ready. This advice is appropriate for those who are living full-time or those who have not transitioned yet. For those living full-time in their proper gender role, very many will not want anyone who did not know them from before they transitioned to know them as any other than their current, i.e. proper, gender.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.[6] Some, but certainly not all transgender people will answer questions related their identity / gender. Don’t expect the transgender person to be your sole educator, however. It is your responsibility to inform yourself. Also, if a trans person doesn’t feel comfortable answering your question, don’t try and “force it out of them.” Lastly, questions about genitalia, surgeries, and former names should usually only be asked if you need to know in order to provide medical care, are engaging in a sexual relationship with the transgender person, or need the former name for legal documentation.

Don’t assume you know what the person’s experience is. There are many different ways in which differences in gender identity are expressed. The idea of being “trapped in a man/woman’s body”, the belief that trans women are hyperfeminine/trans men are hypermasculine, and the belief that all trans people will seek hormones and surgery are all stereotypes that apply to some people and not to others. Be guided by what the person tells you about their own situation, and listen without preconceived notions. Do not impose theories you may have learned, or assume that the experience of other trans people you may know or have heard of is the same as that of the person in front of you. Don’t assume that they are transitioning because of past trauma in their lives, or that they are changing genders as a way to escape from their bodies.

Begin to recognize the difference between gender identity and sexuality. Do not assume that their gender correlates with their sexuality – it doesn’t. There are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and asexual transgender people. If the person comes out to you about their sexual orientation, use the terms they use.

Treat them the same. While they may appreciate your extra attention to them, they don’t particularly appreciate you making a big deal of them. After you are well-informed, make sure you’re not going overboard. Transgender people have essentially the same personalities as they did before coming out. Treat them as you would anybody else.

Source

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Guns: A Band-Aid Solution

The aftermath of the recent rape  in India was created quite a stir. It’s been a heavy week for us, what with a 17-year-old girl who had been gang raped committing suicide because police were dragging their feet in bringing her justice. Then, on Friday, a 23-year-old woman who had been gang raped and brutally beaten died from her injuries, which included head trauma and having nearly all of her intestines removed due to being raped with an iron rod.

So it’s not entirely surprising to see read an article about Indian women applying for gun licenses.

But is that really the answer?

Whether it’s India or the U.S, it seems that there is a push to acquire guns or put guns in more hands for “protection” instead of directly addressing the root causes of the tragedies that made us want these guns in the first place. Shouldn’t we instead be dismantling rape culture?

I understand the need to feel safe. But owning a gun does not eradicate the culture that puts the blame on women who get raped, instead of pointing the finger at the rapists.A gun doesn’t change victim blaming. It doesn’t change victim shaming. It doesn’t change a culture that says “boys will be boys.”  It doesn’t change a culture that says “only sluts get raped.”

A gun is a Band-Aid, it’s not a solution. It might be a good Band-Aid. But it’s still just a Band-Aid.

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Don’t Be That Guy

Men… 

  • We need you to be allies in this battle against sexual assault.
  • We need your voices to challenge negative attitudes that say: ‘sexual assault is a women’s issue. It doesn’t affect me’.
  • We need you to reject with us, messages that say: ‘she deserved it’ or ‘she was asking for it’. No one ever asks for or deserves to be sexually assaulted.

See The Website

 

“Typically, sexual assault awareness campaigns target potential victims by urging women to restrict their behavior. Research is telling us that targeting the behavior of victims is not only ineffective, but also contributes to and increases self-blame in survivors. Instead, the SAVE campaigns targets potential offenders – ultimately the ones who hold the power and responsibility to end sexual assault.. By addressing sexual assault without victim-blaming, we intend to mark Edmonton on the map as a model for other cities.”

This approach may not be effective with men who intend to rape. But I doubt that’s the point. Rather than addressing a hardcore, repeated behaviour, these ads seem to try to shake the “nice guy” who “takes advantage” of a female peer out of his delusion that what he did was OK. And perhaps to encourage victims to report what is really a crime and a violation committed against them, for which they need not feel guilt.

Edmonton Police report that more than half of the assaults their Sexual Assault Section investigated in in 2011 involved alcohol. The scenarios we see here are all too familiar to young people who spend a lot of their time drunk and wild. It’s the classic myth of aroused and impaired men being “out of control” when they find themselves in a potentially sexual situation.

Designed to reach youth when they are at most risk of entering these situations, the ads will be posted in men’s washrooms in bars and clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, as well as in LRT stations and campus and entertainment newspapers.

SAVE spokesperson Karen Smith says she believes the campaign will work, adding “the posters are certainly creating conversation around the issue of consent.”

It’s certainly a conversation we need to be having.

(Source)

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