We are angry that men do not do enough. We are angry at work where we are underpaid and overlooked. This anger can be neatly channelled and outsourced to make someone a fat profit. Are your hormones okay? Do you need a nice bath? Some sex tips and an internet date? What if, contrary to Sex and the City, new shoes do not fill the hole in your soul? What if you aspire to another model of womanhood than the mute but beautifully groomed Kate Middleton? What if your anguish is not illogical but actually bloody spot on?
I just gave a commencement address at a local girls’ high school and one point I made was to realize that that the job of creating gender equality was not yet done. There’s a tendency for the younger generation to think that the women’s movement made enormous progress and that we’re pretty much set, you know, we’re good. And certainly college girls don’t want to hear anything about feminism. But the facts are not so good.
”It has been shown that an educated girl will invest 90% of her future income in her family, compared to 35% for a boy. Yet 250 million adolescent girls live in poverty and are more likely than boys to be uneducated, married at a young age, and exposed to HIV/AIDS. Today, less than two cents of every international development dollar go to girls, the very people who could do the most to end poverty. As long as girls remain invisible, the world misses out on a tremendous opportunity for change.” - http://www.girleffect.org/
Here is the thing, okay? Coming into a feminist conversation with, “Have you considered that sometimes women acquire free drinks at bars?” is like walking into graduate school during Philosophy finals and saying, “Have you considered that the color blue that I see may not be the color blue that you see?”
Imagine you are the guy who just walked into that Philosophy class and laid that shit down. Imagine the class full of students who have worked very hard and committed themselves and sacrificed to be here, students who have spent several years of their lives learning about this subject. Imagine now their feelings when you go to the head of the classroom with a smirk on your face and demand the professor give you an A for effort. Imagine now that they think you are a douchebag asshole, because they do, and because you are. You are a douchebag asshole because you are obviously so self-centered, arrogant, and completely ignorant of the world around you, that you thought you could walk into a high-level course with no background and no work and say something profoundly simplistic and totally unrelated and also everybody should congratulate you for having done this thing, so brave, so provocative.
While debate continues in the US about openly gay troops, the Canadian military has been putting together a new policy on how trans soldiers should be treated, the National Post reports.
The policy says they should wear the uniform of their “target” gender but must be given privacy and respect. For example, no reason must be given when a person’s name is changed on military records.
The new policy does not allow military honours to be reassigned to new names, saying “there is no legal authority for rewriting history”.
Canada’s military first paid for gender treatment for a member in 1998 and deals with one or two trans troops every year.
Cherie MacLeod, executive director of PFLAG Canada, said the change was positive.
“This is an important step towards recognising a community that has always struggled for equal rights and basic human protection,” she told the newspaper. “When government becomes more inclusive, over time, society will follow.”
One of my many issues with Glee. There are so many things that I just can’t get past with this show.
"There’s no middle ground. The girls are either uptight and won’t give their poor, poor boyfriends any sex, or they’re too promiscuous – girls who gain a reputation as “whores,” and can get no real respect from boys or their fellow girls. Let me assert, there is nothing wrong with having sex, or not having sex. It’s the show that portrays them in these ways: it’s healthy for boys to want sex, and for girls to not give it to them."
I write. The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is something called a press junket, which is actually pretty courageous, believe me, because they ask you the same questions over and over and over and over and over and over. I’ve done as many as 48 in a day, these interviews, and they really — they don’t come up with the fresh stuff. So, there is one question that I’ve been asked almost every time I’ve been interviewed. So I thought tonight, briefly, I would share with you one question and a few of my responses. Because, when you’re asked something 500 times, you really start to think about the answer. So now, I will become a reporter. It’s going to be amazing, the transformation.
So, Joss, I, a reporter, would like to know, why do you always write these strong women characters?
I think it’s because of my mother. She really was an extraordinary, inspirational, tough, cool, sexy, funny woman and that’s the kind of woman I’ve always surrounded myself with. It’s my friends, particularly my wife, who is not only smarter and stronger than I am but, occasionally taller too. But, only sometimes, taller. And, I think it — it all goes back to my mother.
So, why do you write these strong women characters?
Because of my father. My father and my stepfather had a lot to do with it, because they prized whit and resolve in the women they were with above all things. And they were among the rare men who understood that recognizing somebody else’s power does not diminish your own. When I created Buffy, I wanted to create a female icon, but I also wanted to be very careful to surround her with men who not only had no problem with the idea of a female leader, but, were in fact, engaged and even attracted to the idea. That came from my father and stepfather — the men who created this man, who created those men, if you can follow that.
So, why do you create these strong, how you say, the women — I’m in Europe now, so, it’s very, it’s international — these — I don’t know where though — these strong women characters?
Well, because these stories give people strength, and I’ve heard it from a number of people, and I’ve felt it myself, and its not just women, its men, and I think there is something particular about a female protagonist that allows a man to identify with her that opens up something, that he might — an aspect of himself — that he might be unable to express — hopes and desires — he might be uncomfortable expressing through a male identification figure. So it really crosses across both and I think it helps people, you know, in — in that way.
So, why do you create these strong women characters?
Cause they’re hot.
But, these strong women characters…
Why are you even asking me this?! This is like interview number 50 in a row. How is it possible that this is even a question? Honestly, seriously, why are you — why did you write that down? Why do you — Why aren’t you asking a hundred other guys why they don’t write strong women characters? I believe that what I am doing should not be remarked upon, let alone honored and there are other people doing it. But, seriously, this question is ridiculous and you just gotta stop.
So, why do you write these strong women characters?
Because equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity, we need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and women who’s confronted with it. We need equality, kinda now.
So, why do you write these strong female characters?
She’s part of a group of people who call themselves “complementarians,” which is not an alien race from The X Files, but rather a philosophy of gender roles as gleaned from Biblical text. Complementarians believe that women and men have strict, Biblically defined gender roles that are non-negotiable and natural and that women were designed to submit to their husbands, that the only path to true holiness is to let him make all of the decisions. A New York Times Magazine profile describers Priscilla Shirer thus,
(Shirer) is an evangelical Bible teacher who makes her living by guiding thousands of women through the study of Scripture in her books, videos and weekend conferences - in which she stresses that in a biblical home and church, the man is the head and the woman must submit. She steers women away from the “feminist activists” who tell women to “do your own thing, make your own decisions and never let a man slow you down,” as she puts it. “Satan will do everything in his power to get us to take the lead in our homes,” she wrote in her book “A Jewel in His Crown: Rediscovering Your Value as a Woman of Excellence.” “He wants to make us resent our husband’s position of authority so that we will begin to usurp it… . Women need to pray for God to renew a spirit of submission in their hearts.”
As comedian Dara O’Briain once said, “For god’s sake, Genesis was just a load of fairy stories to get the kids to go to bed on a donkey ride to Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Stop taking it ~literally~. It’s only the bible. It’s not ~gospel~.”
More on the Yale “rape chanting”. The Yale Daily News has concluded that those who objected to the chant are just hysterical and over-reacting. The fact that women in 2010 still have to defend their reactions to oppression and misogyny is horrible and preposterous. There are lots of good links in the linked piece which are worth following.
Following the incident in which Yale’s Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity pledges marched around first-year dorms chanting “no means yes, yes means anal,” the Yale Daily News decided the appropriate response to this was an editorial in the vein of: geez, what do you feminists want anyway?
Beginning with the winner of a title, “The right kind of feminism,” the YDN Editorial Board proceeds to attack the initial “overreaction” and “histrionics” of the Women’s Center, which was “almost as absurd” as the “idiotic and offensive” chant. Oh, us hysterical women, getting our panties in a twist over a little tomfoolery, making our absurd denunciations of rape culture. The editorial (which was followed by a weak “clarification” that was far from an apology) went on with its tsk-tsking: “Feminists at Yale should remember that, on a campus as progressive as ours, most of their battles are already won: All of us agree on gender equality.”
Being told yet again that our feelings are invalid. AWESOME.
Gender equality! Like consistently making jokes at the expense of one gender and further making the very real threat of violence a fucking punchline! All of us agree.
can’t believe rory gilmore went to yale
FUCK YOU YALE
How unbelievably offensive. Yale should be ashamed.
What a piece of shit school.
How one person can look another person in the eye and say that “the battle is already won” with no hint of irony or sarcasm whatsover is completely beyond my comprehension. People are idiots. No means no.