‘Hitting the bullshit nail right on its head. Feminists don’t hate men, they hate the bullshit power structure that exists that allows men to take advantage of women rather than dealing with their emotions.’
How do I respond to the assertion that I “shouldn’t advertise what’s not for sale” with my choice of dress?
Response #1 (The High Road): “It’s insulting to imply that my sexuality is for sale, and it’s disrespectful to make comments that commodify my body.”
Response #2 (The Middle Road): “How I dress is none of your business.”
Response #3 (The Low Road): “You wish you had these tits.”
“I will not ever see the leader of the opposition seek to impose his double standard on this Parliament. Sexism should always be unacceptable. We should conduct ourselves as if it were always unacceptable.”
We’ve heard all the blatantly misogynistic statements from Tony Abbott that there are to hear. So when he seeks to call out Peter Slipper for the exact same thing, someone must take issue with his agenda of putting up this “sympathetic feminist” front. And finally, finally, Julia Gillard—bearing the brunt of many of these insults, including those about her recently deceased father—has stood up to face the challenge.
Put all politics aside. While there is undoubtedly power play at hand, the focus should instead be on the shifting landscape of gender discourse and, more importantly, the perception of gender roles in positions of authority.
Protip: just as surrounding yourself with supportive women doesn’t make you supportive of women, projecting sexism onto another member of Parliament does not rid you of it either, Tony.
If you have 15 minutes to spare, please watch this.
The video, called “You Deserve to Know the Truth: Contraception” (catchy!) was uploaded to YouTube by an organization called Come Unity in Truth on Sept. 26 and mentioned by @LifeSite as a “GREAT new teaching video on the harms of contraception.”
Well, I have a few words for it, and “great” isn’t one of them. Perhaps “misleading.” “Ridiculous.” “Offensive.” And plain old “wrong.” Here are the “facts” it gives:
- When women use the birth control pill, they are no longer desirable to men. While some studies have shown that altering women’s hormones might slightly change the laws of attraction, humans aren’t animals. We don’t solely rely on hormones when choosing mates. Yet the video’s makers present this laughable scenario: “What’s a man to do when the majority of women are contracepting, and he no longer finds them desirable?” More women than ever are using IUDs. Perhaps our poor man will meet one of them?
- Because of that, women who use contraception have to dress all naughty to get male attention. In the video’s words: “contracepting women degrade themselves through immodest dress” in order to make up for the fact that men don’t find them attractive anymore. See! Rush Limbaugh was right!
- The World Health Organization has classified contraception as a Class 1 carcinogen.
— Men Have Sex Too - Erika Christakis, for TIME’s Ideas blog.
It’s basically perfectly understood science, everyone. This guy has figured out everything to know about evolution, psychology, and human behavior…he’ll be getting his Nobel Prize in biological determinism any day now.
Well, this explains everything.
I was walking near the Port Authority Bus Terminal recently when a balding guy smoking a joint yells “Sexy Asian girl!” I give him a dirty look; he smiles.
As a 26-year-old Korean-American woman, I am wary of men whose attraction to Asian women leads to exaggerated gestures. I still remember Sam, the “Asiaphile” in my freshman dorm who majored in East Asian studies, practiced t’ai chi and presented handmade origami paper cranes to his love interests. Then there was Matt, whom I met at a wedding. When he mentioned that he was “really into Asian girls,” I wasn’t sure what he meant. I wondered if he had some perverse “Oriental” fantasy to satisfy. When I showed no interest, Matt moved on to Grace, the only other Asian girl in a reception of 150.
Asian women are everywhere. We rank No. 11 on the blog “Stuff White People Like” and star in a host of iPhone apps: “Cute Asian Girls” promised; “If you have yellow fever, this app is the cure!” “Asian Boobs,” which heralds our modest-sized racks, was a top seller for the App Store in October.
Now, we’re playing peek-a-boo in “Puff!” In this app, the user selects a photo from a scrolling selection of Japanese women, then blows into the iPhone microphone to lift the woman’s skirt and reveal her undergarments. The more vigorously the user blows and rubs the screen, the higher the skirt flies. Shyly attempting to cover herself, the woman yelps delightedly, wearing an inviting smile. “If the girls don’t react, try changing breath length,” instructions advise. “Winning a special bonus is all up to you!”
I’m infuriated at the thought of sitting next to some pervert on the subway furiously blowing and touching a woman who giggles adorably in response. But what I hate most about this app is that it feeds into an old and tired stereotype. The image of the voiceless, passive Asian woman is a common form of racism in visual media. She’s the “Puff!” woman - cutesy and obedient, she’d never kick a creep to the curb. She’s not too different from that saccharine Hello Kitty, the infantilized mail-order bride who promises to “love you long time” or the hypersexualized character in anime porn.
Passing off sexual stereotypes that reduce women as objects of so-called harmless fetishes is socially irresponsible. And it’s not harmless. By fostering a culture of behavior that denigrates one group of women, all women are denigrated. And that is unacceptable.
In 2005, a white Princeton graduate student admitted to secretly cutting locks of hair from nine Asian women. He apparently took the hair to fill women’s underwear and mittens, which he then used for personal sexual gratification. He even poured his urine and semen into the drinks of Asian women more than 50 times in the student dining hall.
In 2000, two Japanese women in Spokane, Wash., were raped by two white men and a woman who admitted to having a sexual fetish for “submissive” Asian women and targeted them because they believed the women’s submissiveness would prevent the assaults from being reported. In November of last year, police were searching for a serial rapist known for prowling the subway at Union Square for Asian women to follow home.
Contrary to their claim, tongue-in-cheek apps featuring “Cute Asian Girls” hardly “cure yellow fever.” Instead, by cashing in on insulting cliches, they only serve to spread the infection.—Iris Chung. New York Daily News, 2009.
This is the absolute worst. I’ve been told I’m too “independent” or “headstrong” for an Asian girl before by men like this. No, fuck you. There is no one way that I’m “supposed to be”. I don’t exist for your perverted pleasures.
Just had a massive discussion with a male friend that basically came down to this. I think that all of the arguments I’ve had on gender inequality have always essentially ended in the two parties arguing these two basic views:
Him: What are perceived as misogynistic values and ideas are ones that are ingrained in society. Whilst many feminists abhor perceived inequalities and biases/stereotypes imposed on females in general, they subconsciously (or consciously) ignore their own participation in perpetuating the system.
There is a complicated and multifaceted status quo between men and women that essentially stems from biology and has evolved through culture, but will remain the same at the core (and as such, culture and representations in pop culture will revolve around it forever).
Me: The issue I have here is the very fact that misogynistic values and ideas are ingrained in society. This isn’t a change that is going to be enacted overnight: it is very much a grass roots movement that aims to change the gender inequalities present in the foundations of social structures that have persisted through history. Just because something is the status quo doesn’t make it right. Take the past representation of homosexuality, for example, and then contrast it to the modern day. Was the progress worth the fight? Yes. Every moment of it.
The fact that said feminists are themselves hypocritically a part of this system doesn’t make their ideals moot—indeed, I believe that forms the very basis of feminism. As you said, these biases are ingrained in society, and as such it is extremely difficult for individuals to free themselves of these aforementioned inequalities regardless of their efforts. It’s this mentality—that nothing will ever change—that self-fulfills the prophecy that nothing will ever change. It has taken centuries for humankind to evolve to this point where feminism is very much an alive and much-debated issue… and well worth another few centuries of fighting for gender equality, if that means we can get it.