Category Archives: feminism

The Purity Myth

I typed this a couple of days ago and just now realized I never actually posted it.

I just read read this a few days ago over at hessianwithteeth.

I am currently reading The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti. I’ll talk more about the actual book in another post. I found this questionnaire at the back of the book. I thought I’d fill it out and share my answers with you. I’d encourage others to do the same, because these questions really do get you thinking about gender assumptions.

Apparently I might be the only one who did, but I wrote answers to all the questions, because they do get me thinking.

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I’m sick of hearing feminists are prudes

There is this weird idea, partly promoted by anti-feminists but also widely believed by a lot of people who probably would call themselves feminists if they didn’t have inaccurate beliefs about the meaning of the word, that feminists are all prudes.

This hasn’t been my experience at all. Even the more specific and not entirely made-up belief that feminists are opposed to pornography is mostly based on a stereotype of an older generation of feminists. In fact, in my experience, “feminist” and “sex-positive” are notably correlated.

Greta Christina thoroughly demolishes the idea that criticizing inappropriate objectification of women means being prudish. She also says “Anyone who thinks that feminists hate sex hasn’t paid much attention to feminism.” Though honestly, the majority of people who criticize feminism from outside for any reason tend to not pay much attention to feminism, so that’s par for the course.

And really, what is wrong with the people who still defend the shirt and think  Matt Taylor is being personally attacked after he himself has decided he was inappropriate and apologized? It’s like Kiran Opal says: Insecure men outraged that smarter man apologizes to women.

Reclaiming labels

If you haven’t read this Cracked article about “Gamergate”, you should. (Language warning: it’s Cracked.)

TERMINOLOGY: I’ll be using the term “gater,” not “gamer,” because these assholes claiming to represent gamers is like a cannibal claiming to represent eaters. They’re the only ones who think you have to tear into other people to do it properly, instead of it being something pretty much everybody does now without it defining our lives.

I like this. We shouldn’t let labels that apply equally to us be taken over by the worst examples.

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When “First World Problems” really means “shut up”

I have long been annoyed when people try to dismiss an issue by saying what basically amounts to “it doesn’t matter as long as there are worse problems”.

I started thinking about it today when I read Julia Burke’s post on the subject.

It only gets worse when you realize that no one is actually consistent about that. In fact, truly trivial things don’t get the “not as important as starving children” response very much (and if they do is usually even more inconsistent, like people criticizing geeky hobbies but having a blind spot for their own obsession with popular sports). Mostly it seems to be focused on attempts to address what might be called medium-sized injustices.

Why we’re winning

Read this; just read this.

There’s a culture war happening right now. It’s happening in games, in film, in journalism, in television, in fiction, in fandom. It’s happening online, everywhere. And everywhere, sexists, recreational misogynists and bigots are losing.

I think it’s true. There are ways in which some kinds of bigotry, particularly sexism, seem to be getting worse, but this is only because it’s being challenged in places where it hasn’t been before. And because the fact that it happens is more widely recognized as a problem than it might have been in the past.

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The crime against Jennifer Lawrence

In case you haven’t heard, nude pictures of several women, notably Jennifer Lawrence, were stolen and leaked a few days ago.

Out of the people talking about the incident, there is (sadly unsurprising) a lot of victim-blaming, but even among those who don’t go quite that far some have called it a “scandal” and more or less implied that what happened had more to do with the people in the pictures than the ones who stole them.

Well, this wasn’t a “scandal”, it was a crime. The blame lies entirely with the criminals.  The Belle Jar has a good account of what’s been going on and what’s wrong with it. (Reddit being the worst of the worst is equally unsurprising.)

Continue reading The crime against Jennifer Lawrence