The exercise in narcissism

At The Federalist Society, Mollie Hemingway lets us know how much she hates #YesAllWomen. It’s the Federalist Society, so you know what to expect.

Elliot Rodger did what he did.

Social media responded by accepting the murderer’s hate-filled screed as a legitimate point of discourse and the starting point for a massive act of hashtag activism: #YesAllWomen. Traditional media followed suit: the narrative was found. Eleventy billion tweets describing how all women were victims of men spread throughout the U.S. and Europe and the media breathlessly covered the exercise in narcissism. They all agreed it was “powerful.”

[Read more...]

The angry fanboys

What’s it like being a woman in comics? What’s it like being a woman in comics who writes an article criticizing a comic book cover for among other things featuring a teenage girl with breasts as big as her head? What’s it like being a woman in comics who responds to aggressive (shall we say) reactions to her criticism of a comic book cover?

About what you’d expect.

I was called a whiny bitch, a feminazi, a feminist bitch, a bitter cunt, and then the rape threats started rolling in.

You see, I’m also doing a survey about sexual harassment in comics. (If you’d like to take this survey, you can find it here.) And so as soon as the angry fanboys started looking me up after the CBR article, they discovered this survey and started answering my questions and using the open box at the end to write in all sorts of awfulness. [Read more...]

These women need a good slap round the face

I hadn’t heard about this guy Stewart Green, a parliamentary assistant to a Tory MP, who jotted a few notes about feminists on Facebook a couple of weeks ago.

What’d he say? That he wished the Tories had more of them, and more women as well?

Not quite.

Green told his Facebook friends he was “sick to the back tooth” of “wretched women MPs who seem to be constantly going on about there not being enough women in frontline politics”.

He added: “This country has been a gradual decline southwards towards the dogs ever since we started cow-towing to the cretinous pseudo-equality demand of these whinging [sic] imbeciles.” [Read more...]

The intersection between rationalists and feminists

Jason discusses Ron Lindsay’s apology and, while accepting it, suggests ways to expand it.

“My talk repeated tropes that are used against feminists and feminism in many of the same ways that creationists attack atheism and evolution. Accusations of dogmatic atheism, suggestions that Piltdown Man disproves evolution, and accusations of attempting to control the scientific discourse by not ‘teaching the controversy’, all would have been as ill-received at an atheists’ convention as were my assertions about dogmatic feminism and silencing of men was received by the feminists in attendance. Knowing that the conference we’d put together would specifically attract the intersection between rationalists and feminists, raising the spectre of the more irrational complaints against this crowd was every bit as ill-received as it should have been.”

I think that part about attracting the intersection between rationalists and feminists is absolutely key. I’ve been wanting to tell Ron the same thing ever since the talk. I think now the lines are open again, and I think he’ll listen. [Read more...]

Even schoolgirls

Jinan Younis, for instance, who started a feminist society at her school.

I am 17 years old and I am a feminist. I believe in genderequality, and am under no illusion about how far we are from achieving it. Identifying as a feminist has become particularly important to me since a school trip I took to Cambridge last year.

A group of men in a car started wolf-whistling and shouting sexual remarks at my friends and me. I asked the men if they thought it was appropriate for them to be abusing a group of 17-year-old girls. The response was furious. The men started swearing at me, called me a bitch and threw a cup coffee over me. [Read more...]

Reasoned arguments against the basic tenets

I’m re-reading Professing Feminism, by Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge. It’s become a new talking point and favorite with the anti-feminism crowd, which makes me laugh a little. I first read it years ago, in the ’90s. It was part of the foundation for my involvement with the original Butterflies and Wheels. I’m friends with Daphne Patai.

It’s not an attack on feminism. It’s about women’s studies programs, not feminism as such. The two are not identical, to put it mildly. There is (ironically) a lot of anti-intellectualism in women’s studies programs, and that’s what the book is about.

One sentence raised a question I often think about, and suggested a new (to me) way of framing it.

What needs to be investigated is whether students are at all receptive to reasoned arguments against the basic tenets of their own framework or, to the contrary, have learned to deploy various criticism-deflecting strategies in an effort to keep their acquired ideas inviolate. [p 176] [Read more...]

No god to hate women

Thelma Louise at Canadian Atheist discusses Dan Fincke’s attempt to discuss feminism and atheism with Vacula yesterday. I caught most of it; it was pretty interesting. Vacula still completely misunderstood the phrase “consistent with,” which seems odd – it’s not technical jargon, it’s an everyday phrase that is widely used. He still insisted that Amanda Marcotte’s claim that atheism is consistent with feminism is “a bunch of claptrap.” Of course it’s not. There is no contradiction in being both an atheist and a feminist. Dan patiently explained this, like the experienced teacher he is.

At 8:57 Valcula reads more from Marcott, “ if followed to its logical conclusion, atheism means abandoning the belief that women exist to serve men.” Then my favorite part of this debate, Vacula continues with, “I don’t get that.” So the one piece of literature that Vacula brought to this debate to reference, on his main point of argument about consistency in atheism, he. . . doesn’t get. Fincke put up with a lot from Vacula but managed to stand his ground and restate or modify his questions in order to try and pin Vacula down into giving a response. [Read more...]

Imagine it was Mitt Romney

Via Dana who found it via Kylie, a Facebook note by Harriet Page. I know, not everyone is on Facebook. But that’s where it is!

She introduced it with

This week I wrote a response to the several occasions on which I had been challenged on my feminism by men and women who felt that I was misguided, wrong, aggressive or unhelpful in my responses to what I viewed as sexist behaviour.

Been there. Many times. I can remember heavy sighs back in the early 70s when I pointed out some (to me obvious, indeed blatant) bit of everyday sexism. And of course have been there again just lately, with people who consider themselves feminists nevertheless going into Full Outrage mode because I had the gall to criticize something sexist that Michael Shermer said.

(Really. Imagine it wasn’t Michael Shermer who said it. Imagine it was Mitt Romney. Imagine Mitt Romney was on a talk show and the conversation turned to the scarcity of women in politics. Imagine Mitt Romney said: “It’s who wants to stand up and talk about it, go on shows about it, go to conferences and speak about it, who’s intellectually active about it; you know, it’s more of a guy thing.” Imagine I did a blog post saying that was a sexist stereotype, and a particularly damaging one at that. Would there have been the same kind of outrage from the same people? [Read more...]

Sarah Palin what now?

Oh this is fun – I was poking around with Google, searching for this and that, and turned up this 2010 post at Jezebel on “Sarah Palin Feminism.” Say what? Yes, apparently Sarah Palin was calling for a new, conservative feminism (starring Sarah Palin, presumably?), and Kate Harding came up with five ways to look at it.

All this would hardly merit more than a quick Inigo Montoya impression, if not for the fact that people won’t quit trying to make the idea of Sarah Palin Feminism happen. And if the fringe right has taught us anything over the last few years, it’s that the more the media takes your horseshit seriously, the more people start to forget that you’re completely disingenuous and/or out of your friggin’ mind. [Read more...]

We are told we are respected, and yet

Feminism is resurging, says Ellie Mae O’Hagan at Comment is Free. It’s resurging because there is still so god damn much sexist shit going on. In that sense it would be nice if feminism could drop dead because it’s no longer needed.

O’Hagan recently read The Feminine Mystique for the first time.

To my mind, the most amazing and miserable aspect of The Feminine Mystique is how relevant it still is. Women of my generation are still being sold lies to keep us obedient. We are told that we are valued, until we accuse a revered man of rape. We are told we are equal, and yet we still do most of the low-paid and unpaid work. We are told we are respected, and yet we are harassed in the street, objectified and ridiculed in the media, and haunted by words like nag, harridan and hysteric in our personal relationships.

And not just those. Also bitch, cunt, twat, pussy, slut, whore, ho… [Read more...]