A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Three.


Click to go back to Part 1

Next I will discuss the one part of Godless Cranium’s reply where I felt misrepresented.

Here is the section from his reply where he quoted me saying the following.

Moreover, women are considered public objects in our society, we are allowed to freely and openly critique every physical portion of a women and are often expected to. From their body to their clothing to the way they move and present themselves, even the way they talk. One might say men get this to, but anyone who is honestly looking into the issue will admit that it occurs far more regularly to women. For example; how often do men get cat called, or whistled at? Both women and men judge women largely by their physical traits, which is largely not the case for men. As well, this is not an inequality born of nature, but of culture. There are cultures where the above examples are not the case, yet we are mostly blind to this since we were raised with this often overt sexism all around us and deem it normal and expected.

Withteeth (myself)

He then followed my quote with:

Emphasis is again mine, to show where one sex is minimized in favor of the other.

So because men don’t get cat-called or whistled at as often as women, they’re never critiqued for their physical proportions. Really? …

… Are you saying that popular culture (movies, TV, video games, cartoons, comics, websites etc) are not flooded by good looking men?

Are you saying that sex sells, no matter the gender or sex being portrayed?

In a perfect world, should men or women be valued more if they’re attractive to the opposite sex?

Of course not. But we’re sexual beings and we like to look at the opposite sex. Women do it just like men do. There are also jerks from either sex/gender.

Godless Cranium

I feel this misrepresents what I said, and misrepresents the reality.

I never said objectification of men never happens when asking if men are treated as object to be yelled at and judged purely by their looks, aka catcalling. In fact I implied it occurred to men as well, but not as often. I also didn’t make a statement about how men are not critiqued for their physical proportions, nor did I say anything about media in that section of the post, but allow me to do so now.

Now, I won’t argue your point about people in media in general being full of beautiful people, but I will argue that women and men are still not equal in that regard. Men get much more diversity of representation in the looks department then do women. You don’t need to be super attractive to succeed in media if you’re a man. There are unattractive men in media, and main character of sitcoms are often unattractive men, particularly cartoons (The Simpsons, Family Guy), but the women in these shows are generally very attractive and are often in the position of being far more attractive then the main male character. The reverse is basically never the case, have you ever seen an unattractive women in a TV show in a relationship with an very attractive man? It’s exceedingly rare.

Unattractive men are not that uncommon from the small and large screen, or even games, but unattractive women? You don’t see them in media nearly as often, and you basically never see them as fleshed out characters. And you hardly even see any women as fleshed out characters let alone unattractive women.

There are attractive people in media and, while not all people like looking at attractive people of a different sexes (let’s not be hetero-normative, the media might be, but we don’t need to be), most people like to look at other attractive humans. This is pretty obvious. Though I don’t think that we should judge women (or men, but I’d argue men don’t have this problem) primarily on whether or not we think they are attractive. This Ted talk by Megan Kamerick discusses the representation of women in the media (this one’s good for making you think):

https://www.ted.com/talks/megan_kamerick_women_should_represent_women_in_media#t-299037

And in regards to not caring about physical appearances, I honestly don’t know how the world would be different if it was the case we didn’t care about physical appearances. It could be better, or it could end up not changing anything in the end. I can’t know, but it also isn’t the world we live in, so it is irrelevant to the question of what we should do.

There are jerks everywhere, and I’m all for supporting a culture where men and women don’t have to be sexually harassed in public.

Godless Cranium

I agree with Godless in principle, but I don’t necessarily like framing the issue as both men and women are harassed (equally) in the street. It ignores that women take most of the brunt, and it also isn’t saying who’s doing the harassment. I suspect it’s largely men. I personally haven’t experienced sexual harassment of men in public, but I have experienced multiple times where women have been harassed publicly. Mostly this was when I was younger and I didn’t know I could do anything about it, but I make up for that lack as best as I’m able now.

Feel free to keep saying “I’m all for supporting a culture where men and women don’t have to be sexually harassed in public,” but don’t forget that women are harassed more than men see following links for the proof:

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/statistics-academic-studies/

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/2013/10/31/spookystats-heres-why-street-harassment-is-a-big-deal/

According to these stats, women once again are subjected to the brunt of street harassment as 65%-99% of women reporting having been harassed, and, while 25% of men in the study reported having been harassed, with a higher rate of LGBT men being harassed, there are several study and links to the full report on the Stop Street Harassment site, I’ve included two links for ease of access.

Alright so I need to be very careful and I probable haven’t been as careful as I could be. I definitely don’t mean to ignore men’s issues, and really I’m not. I point them out when I see them, and I understand they are problems. But the point is that anti-feminist sentiment tries to label feminists as man-hating and ignoring men’s right all together. This is what I’m fighting against, and the reality is that women take the brunt of the societal ills I’ve been discussing. While child custody issues, and legal issue surrounding courts giving favorable sentencing to women for no other reason by their gender, is a real issues, why do those two examples occur? I think it’s largely because society view’s women as harmless, kind, caring, and nurturing. While men are ambitious, aggressive, dangerous, and strong. Of course, this sort of sexism will cause misconceptions, and are probably in the vast majority of cases benevolent sexism.

Here’s a video about why violence against women is a men’s issue. This video is useful to tie thing together as we go along through these posts, and points out how both men and women are victim of violence perpetrated by men: something I’ve been glossing over, but that needs to be said. Though over all he hit all the points. Watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8

If we are really going to talk about men’s issues we need to talk about the US justice system, and how men and boys are unfairly locked away, especially those who are economically disadvantaged and who are not white. Talk about how we raise boys to put sex (with women) higher than almost anything, along with being respected and being ever stoic no matter what’s happening.

Here are some resent posts dealing with issue primarily effecting men:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/michael-brown-and-ferguson/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/us-prison-system/

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/male-rape-no-laughing-matter/

We need to tackle the problem largely by going after the roots of sexism in society. The shit we learn even as small children. And most of that work is in education, and it’s very hard to educate when there are big powers and other movement’s pushing back hard against this education. We need to teach and encourage men to speak out about all these issues, especially violence against women, which is so often normalized and ignored. I suspect a large reason the movement has been as successful as it has been is due to the fact that feminism is the just thing. Most people understand that equality is the only real just option we have available.

Withteeth

Part 2

Part 4

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12 responses to “A reply to Why I Don’t Identify as a Feminist. Part Three.

    • hessianwithteeth

      You know that’s sexism, right? You’re a man, therefore I can’t accept what you say about feminism.
      Well I’m female, and I endorse what Withteeth has said. Does that mean you should now accept his narrative because it’s supported by a female?
      Why don’t you stop trolling and try a real argument?

      Like

  • mbracedefreak

    Did you prove me right yet? Sorry, but you could have used Wikipedia. Camille Paglia is a lesbian if you don’t know. She’s all for sexual objectification. You can delete this post and you probably should. I just want Feminist to stop throwing is this issue; it depresses me about the sanity of the world.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I read her Wikipedia like she described as an “anti-feminist feminist” She’s know for being critical of feminism. I don’t know what your trying to prove, she isn’t accepted as standard feminist thought. And there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that. But taking one person radical view’s as Representative of the “chaos in feminism” Then you are just being misleading.
      Every large movement has people spiting off into wacky offshoots. I don’t know if Camille Paglia came from feminist thought at all, but now I know of her and will know not to take any quotes of her’s too seriously.

      And feminism certainty doesn’t need to apologies for her existence. Her thoughts are her own. That much is pretty clear.

      I think your fully aware she’s not at all representative of feminist thought, but because one person with crazy ideas has claimed some level of connection to feminism (she doesn’t even necessarily call herself a feminist) she some how can be used, conformation bias style, to say that all feminism is insane, or something.

      I don’t need to delete your posts (as of yet) your bad arguments help me make my points to people on the fence. However I will unapproved you should to get abusing in your comments. So I’d suggest either stop trying to get my goat, or stop commenting here. Like if you genuine think I’m wrong and would like to lead a civil discussion please go ahead, but right now your doing a very poor job of it.

      Also I don’t need to prove what you claim feminists claim you do. I’ll give evidence for what I think feminist claim, and perhaps I haven’t been as good with that as I could be, but your trying to shift the burden of proof and I’ll have none of it.

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      • mbracedefreak

        Did you read the “sexual objectification” article. You can’t see then divide in feminist thought? It just seems obvious to me. Paglia is controversial but one group considers her the model feminist. Your blindness to the divide confuses me.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          One group? Which group? and what article link to it for me.

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          • mbracedefreak

            If others were in the conversation this might interest me more. The Ariel Levy book should have been enough for you to see the differences on Feminist thought and she’s not even close to Paglia or Christina Hoff Sommers who wrote, “Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women ” If you can’t see a little — what I see as obvious (the big disagreement in Feminist thought) — we best not respond anymore because we will drive each other crazy. Paglia is will documented if you want to read her thoughts and decide for yourself, then do so. Read about the “Slut Walk” on Wikipedia and see if you see a divide. Some see an artist like Pink as a feminist others see her as sexually objectifying herself. Decide for your yourself. I think I’ve wasted enough time on one single person.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Okay I think I see your point though since I can just go and read all those books tonight I won’t comment on them, at this moment.

            Yes I am familiar with the slut walk And this quote from wikipeadia is explaining what it’s about.

            Participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance,[4] and call for an end to rape culture.[5] The rallies began after Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto Police officer, suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts”[6][7] as a precaution against unwanted sexual attention.

            It’s a protest against the victem shaming additued that if a women wear something at all provocative that “she was asking for it”

            Though ultimatly you haven’t given a good reason why this divide is so major. Different subsection of feminism think we should fight against different issues, by normalizing the female form (this however is different from sexulizing and objectifying it, which is something I think you conflating).

            Sure some feminest don’t think that walking around in laungire is the best way of tackling the issue. And some argue that it’s an excellent was of making people aware. Not all feminist need to do it, but basically all of the feminists do want to get tackle;e rape culture and sestemic opression. The methods differ, and some times some feminists disagree and think that another group is doing harm. However The primarily goals are still the same.

            I see what amount to methodological arguments, nothing core to feminism is really up in the air. Obviously you disagree, and your so unwilling to offer more substantial evidence then. Well if you read these books you’ll see the obvious problems. However you don’t even seem to be able to identify what those (that?) problem even is.

            I honestly think you just don’t understand that big movement all that these methodological falling out. Even if they still agree about the basics. The only way I can see there being a real problem is if feminism is confused about the basic concepts. That isn’t the case.

            I sorry you feel you wasted your time on me. Certainly if you have said that I’ve been wasting my time on you.

            This is only a waste of time when you’ve decided it was (I for example feel like I haven’t wasted my time). By critically examine each other we can better understand our own arrangements. Even if we don’t change your minds (and do not dare speak for me on what issues I willing or not willing to change my mind about) Given we have remained civil thorough this discussion I feel I’ve learned some things. If you haven’t then it’s likely because you haven’t tried.

            Withteeth

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          • mbracedefreak

            I apologize, but your response was the oddest I have every gotten. Usually it is a middle age woman without knowledge of the newer ideologies. I don’t care which ideology you prefer, but the fact a younger woman didn’t seem to see the differences. You have to see the difference to choose for yourself. I wanted hear thoughts about the different groups but you don’t see the difference. And that frustrated me. Keep read about the slut walk. Decide for yourself. I apologize, once again.

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  • mbracedefreak

    I know you wanted replies to wait but this is a section I have strongest opinion on. Many women do there utmost to look the part of sex object and they call themselves Feminists. I’m not sure Third Wave Feminists have any problem with objectification. the Second Wave Feminists were divided into pro- sex and anti-sex groups.. These groups have opposite opinions on sex matters but both identify themselves as a just Feminists. If the opposing voices would identify themselves with separate then they may seem rational. Sorry for the jab, but most Feminists don’t even research the issues. They rarely care about the male perspective. Bible thumpers and Darwin agree about the purpose of the penis — we need it to procreate which means we needed to see woman as a sex object to achieve an erection (before Viagra) to make those things called babies which are needed to sustain our species.. Sorry for the sarcasm but this is kind of obvious. Yes men will go too far, but you have many women which call themselves Feminists with outrageous boob jobs. Some work as prostitutes and pornstars. Are men the problem or the chaotic state of Feminism?

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I only suggested waiting to post replies after I finish posting all 5 parts, comments and question are always welcome (so long as they are keeping with civil discourse)
      Agreed that third wave feminist a different from second wave feminists, although the third wave distinction isn’t terrible useful. Grouping like that are useful in history book, and intro women studies courses, but the movement was never so cohesive as to be group conformably under such titles. They work as short hand, but fail under closer inspection.
      As to you question if third wave feminist have issues with objectification I’m very comfortable speaking for the movement when I say yes, Feminist of all stripe take issue with Objectification.
      Objectification: is a notion central to feminist theory. It can be roughly defined as the seeing and/or treating a person, usually a woman, as an object.
      To pull some thought from Kant the idea of we should treat people not as means to ends, but as ends in themselves. The idea that people are not tools, not stepping stones to a larger goal. That for the moral people we must treat people as actors on their own stage as much as think think of others as secondary characters in their own story.
      Understanding why objectification is bad falls to similar categories as the above with kant. When your objectifying someone your basically thinking of them as a tool for pleasure or some other means you want to achieve, but are ignoring what sorts of end they might be striving for, ignoring that the objectified person has wants, desires, and feelings. That the crux of objectification the forgetting and ignoring that a person has trait beyond those which match your own desires. Which leads to using the objectified people as tools, as objects. With little or no regard for them beyond how you might treat a hammer.
      Many feminist are sex-positive and think that women should have the right to portray their sexuality in any way they wish. (within the reasonable bound of consent and harm, though that’s an discussion in and of itself). This doesn’t mean however hat third wave feminist think that women should be treated as objects, as tools, lacking autonomy. That’s a very narrow and unfair viewing of feminist thought.

      Now to quote you “Sorry for the jab, but most Feminists don’t even research the issues. They rarely care about the male perspective.”
      Now I’m sure like anyone group of humans some are more or less familiarly with, and capable of doing proper research. I’m a Biologist by education and I do have some back ground in gender studies. However, ” most Feminists don’t even research the issues.” Which issues? How do you come to that conclusion? I can’t even reply to a accusation like that since it is so broad it is basically meaningless.
      Back up claims like that or they are nothing more than rhetoric, and rhetoric doesn’t do a good job changing minds of people who don’t already agree with you. If you do I will be willing to discuss it, but just so we are clear I’m not receptive to MRA talking points should you go in that direction. Primary sources are best, otherwise it generally only amounts to hear say.
      Also feminist don’t ignore the male perspective, men are a very real part of the equation and modern feminists are looking to bring in and have male voices as part of the movement. I am one of them to whatever extent.
      You could, however, accurately say that feminism does not put emphasis on the male perspective. That’s entirely accurate, and should be the case. Men get the emphasis in everyday life. Particularly white men. White cis-gendered men are, within our culture, the “norm” the default position. Free from real scrustiny and discussion largely to do with the fact we basically never describe white men as anything other than men. This fellow is more articulate about it then me however. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8 which is a video I linked to into the third part of the reply. And the views held by this fellow are very common in the movement, although they are not often as well articulated.
      “Bible thumpers and Darwin agree about the purpose of the penis.”
      Um, not really. And a piece of advice you should be very careful attributing a scientist social views to their scientific work. Particularly evolutionary biologists. Darwin for example was strongly oppsed to using natural selection as a model for running our societies. IT might be how we came about but it certainly isn’t the reason why large communities remain functioning over time.
      No women do not need to be “sex objects” to arose men, a women understood and loved is just as, if not more so, able to arose a man than is a woman treated as a sex object. What going on here as I see it is a very important difference in framing leading to very different conclusions. What you seem to be saying is women ARE sex objects, and HAVE to be sex objects for humans to even exist.
      What I’m saying is people can be attracted to one another (again lets avoid being hetero-normative and cis-biased in our language as much as possible), and yes a component can be our physical attraction, however we need not, and should not end things purely as that physical attraction. Even if you’re not attracted to anything else about that person you don’t need to treat them like an object ever. It might be easier to, but you can still treat them as an autonomous human being. Not just some tool mean to bring about your pleasure.
      Humans should not be thought of as objects, sex objects or otherwise. This doesn’t preclude just women, as that way led’s many of histories evils, such as slavery, systematic oppression (like women, and many minorities still experience today), and the dehumanization of people, which is much the same phenomenon leads to war and genocide. Or tendencies toward tribalism do us not favors, but we can do our best to expand what we think of as out group, or tribe to include everyone. Since humans really are just humans, nothing more and nothing less.
      “Yes men will go too far, but you have many women which call themselves Feminists with outrageous boob jobs. Some work as prostitutes and porn stars. Are men the problem or the chaotic state of Feminism?”
      Well this is a loaded question, so not worthy of responding directly too.
      Not all feminists need to agree, and I don’t see how women getting boob jobs, and feminist working as prostitutes and porn stars. All of these are in my mind perfectly moral and sensible thing to do in certain circumstances. and if the feminist was to get a boob job, Man, woman, or not part of the gender binary, feel free. If someone want to be a prostitute or a porn star, again they should be allowed to. Prostitution is one of the oldest human professions, and hasn’t and isn’t always illegal, and realistically it shouldn’t be illegal (there are very good reason for legalizing it). Nothing about being a feminist means you can’t do these things. It just mean your views of what feminism are mistaken.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mbracedefreak

        I suspect you don’t have much sexual experience Please try to discuss this with a third wave Feminist. I can tell you a simple male perspective, but you will not understand. Another female may have better luck. If the “godless cranium” person is a guy, ask him if he can achieve an erection without sexually objectifying this male or female partner without Viagra or some other help.
        If female breasts were not considered sex objects then topless protests by Femen or the implied nudity used by PETA would not have any affect. If you want to fight wit PETA about their tactics, feel free.
        Feminists may not need to agree, but you need foundation points. The sex issues are too big a divide. Many former feminist see Feminism as broken
        Areil Levy wrote “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture,” and may agree with your sexual views but she makes it clear that is a Feminist war. Not facing the obvious is not going to help the causes you most care about. We are a blip in history and social norms for men and women do not change with ease, if they change at all.
        The bipolar voices of feminism drive me a bit batty. I try not to hurt your feelings, but humor is the only thing that keeps me sane and it is with great difficulty that I hold back on my sarcasm. Male dolphins do unspeakable things to baby seals. If you had more testosterone you would have more interest in sex. Humans males can control themselves, but make no mistake we are animals. You have as many male ancestors as I do and only chance made you female rather than male (unless you are a Petri dish baby). What would you be like if chance made you male? Would you care much for this issue? I don’t care much for fight because my temper can rise fast and that is never good. I said my point of view, you can see if others prefer your view and many will, but many will see mine.

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