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Thread: Feminism

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Default Feminism

    I never took the word (or ideology) seriously until I was forced to upon finding out that one of my greatest heroes -- Joss Whedon -- was a proud and vocal feminist. Certainly, it's tough being a male feminist, but I'd wager tougher being a female one...

    In my mind, there are two ideological precepts that make you a feminist:

    (1) you believe equality (whatever that means) between the sexes is desirable and important, and
    (2) you believe women are currently less privileged than men.

    Feminism comes in a wide range of colours and visions, so I don't want to be too prescriptive here. As for the first point, it's rather taken for granted in general discourse nowadays that there should be equality for all people. Some will say women and men are "equal but different", which I find problematic already, but not necessarily preclusive of a feminist worldview: you can still see relevant differences between men and women (at a societal level or a physiological level) if you want, but if you believe that women are under the thumb of or commoditised by a patriarchal society, or lack access to the same opportunities as men, or are generally underprivileged compared with men, then you qualify as a feminist as far as I'm concerned.

    So I'm wondering who here would either identify as a feminist OR agree with the two precepts and NOT identify as a feminist. Why or why not? Are women underprivileged compared with men?

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    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    This is still a touchy subject and here is my take.

    Women should be respected and be equal but there are major differences in how men and women think and behave in a generalization. There are always exceptions. This means that women may be better suited to one task and a man may be better suited to another.

    I also believe that the feminist movement along with single parent (read mother, thanks moms!) have combined to make a few generations of pansy men. Not men at all, weak, emotional boys. The single mothers did the best they could. The feminists did a very bad thing.

    Extreme feminists are no better than the chauvinistic men. They bring nothing but turmoil where ever they go. These feminists need to respect men. And men need to be men and respect women.

    EDIT: And my work place. It's no place for a woman. The guys are pretty rough and if the woman wants to be treated equally then she is in for a lot of tears. You should be glad that we have the respect to not say some of the things we say to each other to you. It's not nice, but guys learn to be tough skinned and not wear emotions on their sleeve.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    Women should be respected and be equal but there are major differences in how men and women think and behave in a generalization. There are always exceptions. This means that women may be better suited to one task and a man may be better suited to another.
    You said it yourself: there are always exceptions. That means A PARTICULAR MAN may be better suited to one task than A PARTICULAR WOMAN. Generally speaking, men of African descent are the best runners in the world -- should white men be denied access to the same opportunities? Women are often denied access simply because it is assumed that a man would be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    I also believe that the feminist movement along with single parent (read mother, thanks moms!) have combined to make a few generations of pansy men. Not men at all, weak, emotional boys. The single mothers did the best they could. The feminists did a very bad thing.
    Extreme feminists are no better than the chauvinistic men. They bring nothing but turmoil where ever they go. These feminists need to respect men. And men need to be men and respect women.
    Now, this is a pretty typical claim of anti-feminists. You have to do some legwork to back it up, however. "Single mothers made this generation into pansies" is incredibly specious. First, you'd have to show that this generation is made up of pansies, which you'd have to do with more than anecdotal evidence. More likely is that this generation is much like any other, only with access to free and varied internet porn, more single parents and worse personal fitness. If you DID show that there were more pansies, you'd have to eliminate other social factors: the decline of personal fitness, more stringent anti-discrimination and sexual harrassment law enforcement, an increased focus on success-via-intelligence (a new nerdocracy) thanks to the internet, and men changing their habits BY CHOICE to impress or attract increasingly independent and discerning women. Any one of those, and others I haven't thought of, have stronger links to (alleged) increases in the numbers of "pansy men" than single mothers.

    Bear in mind also that this generation is being brought up by women who fought for things like equal pay, the right to serve in the military, and so on -- this generation has been brought up by women who knew how to fight for things.

    Furthermore, your assertion that "men need to be men" is one that is falling out of favour, and about time, too. Men come in a variety of natures: pansy, macho, buff, flamingly camp, nerdy, sporty, handy, French... why is one kind of man more a man than another? Am I less of a man than you? I've never been in a fight, and I hate sports and love music theatre, but I'm also very handy, know how to build, can hold my alcohol, can take care of myself in the wild and have always gotten superb reviews from women I've fucked. I'm also pretty well groomed, and don't grow a very good beard, and am pushing five feet seven at a generous guess. Does any of that make me more or less of a man than any other man?

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    EDIT: And my work place. It's no place for a woman. The guys are pretty rough and if the woman wants to be treated equally then she is in for a lot of tears. You should be glad that we have the respect to not say some of the things we say to each other to you. It's not nice, but guys learn to be tough skinned and not wear emotions on their sleeve.
    It's funny you say that, because I know more than a few girls who could make you and your work buddies blush. The women who run in my circles tend to be thick skinned, tough, interesting, and completely good-humoured. You might be able to beat them up (men are typically stronger and bigger than women, yeah, yeah), but your friends are no more tough skinned than they are.

    No, the fact is, saying things about women behind their backs is no more -- and probably less -- respectful than saying it to their face. Respect would mean not only refraining from saying offensive, objectifying things but refraining even from considering them legitimate, appropriate thoughts in the first place. I realise that you can't help thinking things, but there's a difference between thinking something and legitimising a certain thought as justified.

    You should understand that I'm not attacking you. On the contrary -- less than five years ago I would have agreed whole heartedly with everything you have said. I'm trying to make you see that your take on the issue is made up of faulty, out-of-date assumptions.

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    I agree with the two precepts but do not identify as a feminist. To me a feminist is an activist. I am not an activist. People who believe in equality between the sexes and that women are currently less privileged than men are simply levelheaded.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    I agree with the two precepts but do not identify as a feminist. To me a feminist is an activist. I am not an activist. People who believe in equality between the sexes and that women are currently less privileged than men are simply levelheaded.
    I more than agree with the second sentence, but as for the first: do you believe the same of words like "socialist"? What about "atheist"? I'm not trying to be nitpicky, I just want to know if feminism is a special "ism" to you, and if so, why.

    EDIT: Since we don't disagree philosophically, I only ask because I'm interested in labels, and who goes by what labels, and why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    I more than agree with the second sentence, but as for the first: do you believe the same of words like "socialist"? What about "atheist"? I'm not trying to be nitpicky, I just want to know if feminism is a special "ism" to you, and if so, why.

    EDIT: Since we don't disagree philosophically, I only ask because I'm interested in labels, and who goes by what labels, and why.
    I think there's a certain connotation to feminism that implies activism. At least for me there is. It seems almost unnecessary for me to label myself a "feminist" if all I do is believe in the equality of the sexes. Everyone should be a feminist then. Do you go around proclaiming you're an anti-racist or you believe in anti-racism if all you do is believe in the equality of the races? To me that just seems silly.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    I call myself a somethingist if there is a somethingism that matches what I believe. I'm not an activist, but I am a feminist. And atheist. And... I don't know. Humanist.

    ...And everyone should be a feminist, sure. But not everyone does believe in equality of the sexes or that women get the short shrift.

    Shitface, I saw your post before you deleted it -- I didn't become a feminist because Joss was one, but finding out that one of my intellectual and artistic heroes subscribed to a certain set of beliefs made me take those beliefs a whole lot more seriously than I had before, and before long I was fully on board.

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    Senior Member ShitFace's Avatar
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    Well that is a much better way of putting it.
    Just a personal irk of mine when people blindly follow those they worship, I had to say something..but then figured what with the turn around on the forum, trying to make it a better place...didn't really add anything to the discussion so I removed it and repped instead.

    I guess I will +rep you now that it isn't what I first thought to even it out.

    edit: darn, must spread my love more.

    on topic edit: I do agree with feminist views, largely (some i don't) but I wouldn't call myself a feminist. Just cos most feminists are totally up their own arseholes and generally OTT and imo, give feminism a bad name.
    from my experience anyway.
    Last edited by ShitFace; 02-27-2012 at 10:23 AM.
    Andy says:
    prince of persia is more skill than hack and slash
    ShitFace says:
    i dont think skill is a genre of game lol
    Andy says:
    of course it is you have seen the crystal maze havnt you?
    he says what next a skill physical mental?


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    Quote Originally Posted by ShitFace View Post
    on topic edit: I do agree with feminist views, largely (some i don't) but I wouldn't call myself a feminist. Just cos most feminists are totally up their own arseholes and generally OTT and imo, give feminism a bad name.
    from my experience anyway.
    Sometimes you have to be over the top to be heard.

    What feminist views to you not agree with? Just curious.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShitFace View Post
    Well that is a much better way of putting it.
    Just a personal irk of mine when people blindly follow those they worship, I had to say something...
    If you're a big fan of someone because of their work -- and hence their ideas and their brain -- then why wouldn't you take their beliefs seriously? I'm not saying that if he came out in favour of cannibalism or voting republican I'd go and believe in those things, but I'd be ready to give them a little more serious thought than previously.

    He's a role model for me, and a damn good one. I may never have been exposed to feminist ideas and forced to really engage with them if not for him. I don't see the problem in placing value on the ideas and beliefs of those you admire, as long as critical thinking is not compromised.

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    Senior Member ShitFace's Avatar
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    gwahir: keyword in my sentence was blindly. ie, following them because its them. doesn't sound to me like that's what you're doing. as you said, there's nothing wrong at all taking views and opinions from those you admire, as long as you agree with them yourself.

    kt: i can't think of any off the top of my head tbh, i'm trying to keep this short as i'm at work.
    when i said that i was generally thinking of the ott feminist demands that everyone just knows are silly.
    i can't think of any right now though...you know what i mean though right?

    edit2: male page 3.
    ridiculous

    edit3: on second thought thats not all that ridiculous.
    Last edited by ShitFace; 02-27-2012 at 10:41 AM.
    Andy says:
    prince of persia is more skill than hack and slash
    ShitFace says:
    i dont think skill is a genre of game lol
    Andy says:
    of course it is you have seen the crystal maze havnt you?
    he says what next a skill physical mental?


    Blind people don't see black, they see the same thing you see out of your elbow - VengfulScars

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShitFace View Post
    kt: i can't think of any off the top of my head tbh, i'm trying to keep this short as i'm at work.
    when i said that i was generally thinking of the ott feminist demands that everyone just knows are silly.
    i can't think of any right now though...you know what i mean though right?
    There are extremists in every group. There are some women who believe that women are superior to men. I don't think those women qualify as being feminists or at least certainly shouldn't be used to judge the movement. I'm not sure what feminist demands you are referring to that are over the top and silly. You should come back to this when you're at home with more time.

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    Senior Member ShitFace's Avatar
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    I suppose I do just mean the extremists.
    edit: also just cos i'm at home doesn't mean i have more time...you know this

    your personal habits do not relieve you of thinking before speaking here
    Last edited by coqauvin; 02-27-2012 at 11:38 AM.
    Andy says:
    prince of persia is more skill than hack and slash
    ShitFace says:
    i dont think skill is a genre of game lol
    Andy says:
    of course it is you have seen the crystal maze havnt you?
    he says what next a skill physical mental?


    Blind people don't see black, they see the same thing you see out of your elbow - VengfulScars

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    I class myself as a feminist, I have feminist views and most of my friends are female (though not all of them are feminists, by any stretch). I firmly believe women are equal to men and (this is what I think makes me a feminist) I also believe we should, as a society, work towards true gender equality (instead of just blindly stating it's a good thing). I believe the same of sexual rights and race rights too.

    I do, however, agree that militant feminists give a bad impression of feminism as a whole. Groups that complain that words like "manhole" should be replaced by "personhole", for example, come across as petty. I can illustrate this with an recent example from my own life.

    A week or so ago I posted a link on facebook to a news story about a newly discovered species of very tiny lizards. My sister instantly commented with "WOWZA! She's gorgeous." and "HOW did they find her?" which begged me to ask "how do you know it's a female?" and her reply was "Under patriarchy people are led to always use the pronoun "he" I say "she" If I had said he, you wouldn't be asking...". I disagreed, pointing out that I have studied feminism and am a feminist which she should know, we have talked about it in the past and, also, reactionary tactics like that do more harm than good. They promote the out-dated "man-hating, bra-burning" connotations of feminism and when you make create issues out of nowhere you're minimising the bigger issues that need to be tackled.

    She shouted me down with things like "it doesn't matter if you've studied feminism, it's not the same as being a woman actually living under a patriarchy (would be kind of a valid point if she wasn't casually ignoring the part where I mentioned I AM a feminist myself). The very idea you would try and teach your older sister about feminism is laughable at best!" and so forth.

    She basically argued that you can't be a feminist unless you're a woman. If that really is the case women have already lost. Fortunately, that isn't the case at all and gender issues are slowly (very slowly) starting to be resolved. It's just somewhat unfortunate that there are militant and extremist feminists out there holding back 'the cause'.
    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    simonj can be a real dick sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonj View Post
    A week or so ago I posted a link on facebook to a news story about a newly discovered species of very tiny lizards. My sister instantly commented with "WOWZA! She's gorgeous." and "HOW did they find her?" which begged me to ask "how do you know it's a female?" and her reply was "Under patriarchy people are led to always use the pronoun "he" I say "she" If I had said he, you wouldn't be asking...". I disagreed, pointing out that I have studied feminism and am a feminist which she should know, we have talked about it in the past and, also, reactionary tactics like that do more harm than good. They promote the out-dated "man-hating, bra-burning" connotations of feminism and when you make create issues out of nowhere you're minimising the bigger issues that need to be tackled.
    Imagine how different life would be if English had a gender neutral singular pronoun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    Imagine how different life would be if English had a gender neutral singular pronoun.
    "They" is a more than acceptable singular pronoun in most cases.
    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    simonj can be a real dick sometimes.
    Quote Originally Posted by gina View Post
    I CAN'T LABI-STRETCH SIMONJ

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    Leading Seaman sailor jack's Avatar
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    I think the most important thing to remember with feminism, as well as any label really, is that it is not a fixed set of ideas. That is why many institutions teach modules entitles "Feminisms".

    There is a plurality of opinions which overlap, contradict and take issue with each other.

    For example: if we take the "Pornography Debates", someone like Andrea Dworkin uses monolithic, fixed Feminism to argue that pornography is the rape of all women. She is apparently oblivious to the fact that Angela Carter is pro-pornography, but argues for a "moral" pornography. The monolithic Feminism is debunked by the mere existence of another point of view. But both seek the protection of women from a patriarchal power structure which would seek to control them.

    Some argue that the controlling patriarchy is all but gone. Some argue that it is more controlling than ever.

    I am a Feminist, in that I argue that women have equal status (in my mind). Equal consideration is not the same thing as equal treatment.

    In Leila Hessini's essay "Wearing the Hijab in Contemporary Morocco", there are interviews with women who say the same thing. It is not that women are oppressed in Muslim society, they just occupy a different space. That is their culture.

    We may take issue with this culture, but I think that it is a fallacy to say that Muslim women are oppressed (in this circumstance).

    I think the West has something to learn from this. Women and men have different skills, but there will always be women with skills more commonly found in men and vice versa. It is equal consideration that will liberate all parties, not equal treatment that will only hinder progress.
    YO HO YO HO

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    Quote Originally Posted by sailor jack View Post
    I think the most important thing to remember with feminism, as well as any label really, is that it is not a fixed set of ideas. That is why many institutions teach modules entitles "Feminisms".

    There is a plurality of opinions which overlap, contradict and take issue with each other.

    For example: if we take the "Pornography Debates", someone like Andrea Dworkin uses monolithic, fixed Feminism to argue that pornography is the rape of all women. She is apparently oblivious to the fact that Angela Carter is pro-pornography, but argues for a "moral" pornography. The monolithic Feminism is debunked by the mere existence of another point of view. But both seek the protection of women from a patriarchal power structure which would seek to control them.

    Some argue that the controlling patriarchy is all but gone. Some argue that it is more controlling than ever.

    I am a Feminist, in that I argue that women have equal status (in my mind). Equal consideration is not the same thing as equal treatment.

    In Leila Hessini's essay "Wearing the Hijab in Contemporary Morocco", there are interviews with women who say the same thing. It is not that women are oppressed in Muslim society, they just occupy a different space. That is their culture.

    We may take issue with this culture, but I think that it is a fallacy to say that Muslim women are oppressed (in this circumstance).

    I think the West has something to learn from this. Women and men have different skills, but there will always be women with skills more commonly found in men and vice versa. It is equal consideration that will liberate all parties, not equal treatment that will only hinder progress.
    Can you explain the difference between equal consideration and equal treatment? I'm not sure if I disagree with you or if I don't understand what you are meaning.

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    Equal consideration refers to a moral consideration; so in this case, women are to be included within the moral sphere in the same way that men are. For example: if a man and a woman were drowning and I could only save one, their gender would not be the defining characteristic in deciding who to save.

    Equal treatment however, is different. For example, it does not follow that a feminist arguing for the woman's right to freely choose to have an abortion should then say that men should have the right to have an abortion too, just because men and women should be equal. Men and women are not the same and so it is necessary for them to sometimes receive differing treatment.

    This treatment however, should be based on the premise that they have equal consideration, which leads to this different treatment (based on needs and ability, rather than an arbitrary characteristic) being fair and judged by the same moral principles applied to others (in this case men).

    To state that two groups of people are inherently equal, does not necessarily result in the same treatment because they might require different things.
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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonj View Post
    A week or so ago I posted a link on facebook to a news story about a newly discovered species of very tiny lizards. My sister instantly commented with "WOWZA! She's gorgeous." and "HOW did they find her?" which begged me to ask "how do you know it's a female?" and her reply was "Under patriarchy people are led to always use the pronoun "he" I say "she" If I had said he, you wouldn't be asking...". I disagreed...
    She's probably right, though. If she had said "he's gorgeous", you probably wouldn't have asked. Really.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    For interest: seen on George Takei's Facebook page

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH8Ju...ature=youtu.be

    (I thought it embedded automatically; if anyone knows the embed tags let me know)

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    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    Furthermore, your assertion that "men need to be men" is one that is falling out of favour, and about time, too. Men come in a variety of natures: pansy, macho, buff, flamingly camp, nerdy, sporty, handy, French... why is one kind of man more a man than another? Am I less of a man than you? I've never been in a fight, and I hate sports and love music theatre, but I'm also very handy, know how to build, can hold my alcohol, can take care of myself in the wild and have always gotten superb reviews from women I've fucked. I'm also pretty well groomed, and don't grow a very good beard, and am pushing five feet seven at a generous guess. Does any of that make me more or less of a man than any other man?
    Sort of, but not really. I mean that is how women influencing men are changing them. For the worse. Men should be rough around the edges. You can have feelings if you want. I don't but... (This isn't really true, men have them but no idea how to express them.)

    And as far as what you do as an activity doesn't really make you more or less of a man. I can crochet and have knitted a little. Am I a girl? I can also fish, hunt, clean what I kill, sew a button, wash dishes, cook, plat leather and many other things. Some mostly done by women and some mostly done by men.

    Here is an example of a boy and a man.

    A woman is balancing the checkbook register when....

    Honey, I forgot to write down that entertainment system that you bought last week. I payed all the bills but the check for the power bill came back. It was 160 dollars and now we owe them 50 more and the bank another 25.

    Lashing out the boy yells and berates the woman making her feel worse than she already did. "NOW I'M GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE IT OUT OF OUR SAVINGS! YOU'RE SO FUCKING STUPID!"

    Understanding the man tells her "Okay, I can make a transfer from our savings this evening to cover that." She already knew she made a mistake, the boy didn't have to point it out. The endings are not the same however. Both get the 235 to the checking account but one leaves the woman bitter and insecure and the other leaves the woman having more respect for her man.

    Point being have some respect for her. And women should strive to be something a man can respect. The differences between a man and a woman are awesome and I hate that people are trying to close that gap. And that gap.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    Sort of, but not really. I mean that is how women influencing men are changing them. For the worse. Men should be rough around the edges.
    They should be? Why? And who are you to decide what men should be? Why can't men be whatever men want to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    You can have feelings if you want. I don't but... (This isn't really true, men have them but no idea how to express them.)
    ...Isn't that a bad thing? Isn't more emotional intelligence, and a greater ability to deal with emotions in a productive way a good thing?

    I have to say your difference between boy and man is just a difference between child and adult.

    Furthermore, and more worryingly, the first response, with the yelling and name-calling, is a pretty typical man-ish response. I mean, resorting straight away to anger and aggression is testosterone city, isn't it? Obviously not all men do this, I rush to point out, but the second response -- the understanding one -- suggests a deeper emotional intelligence, and a willingness to compromise, that are NOT typical masculine traits. I would say that that kind of emotional intelligence is GROWING. Men aren't turning into sissies. They're turning into better functioning people. (Some of them.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic View Post
    And women should strive to be something a man can respect. The differences between a man and a woman are awesome and I hate that people are trying to close that gap. And that gap.
    The differences between men and women are limited to the placement of their genitals. Name one other difference that applies globally to men and women, go ahead.

    As for women striving to be something a man can respect? I mean, that is an absolutely foul sentiment. Why should a woman be beholden to the desires of a man?! They are their own people -- women do not exist for the benefit or to win the respect of men! Besides, as I've already covered, "men" are all very different -- there is no one thing that gets you the respect of "men".

    Your views on the subject are tragically outdated, closed-minded and uneducated.

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    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    Another difference besides genitals? Wow that's going to be really ha.. Oh emotionally. Physically, emotionally and psychologically different.

    And do not attack me in this thread. I know you're a moderator but calling someone closed minded and uneducated is a personal attack. I can believe whatever I want to no matter if you like it or not. And just because you believe one way does not mean you're right any more than me believing something makes me right.

    Also you're education on the subject only means you have believed what someone has written and you've ignored the nature you can see right in front of your eyes.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    I didn't call YOU closed minded, I called your views closed minded. I've been an active participant in AI for nearly seven years -- I know the boundaries of civil discourse, and they haven't been crossed.

    What I see in front of my eyes is enormous diversity of emotions, views, personalities, mentalities, psychologies, personal hygiene, eating habits, hobbies, body types and skills in the women I know. They are not all the same. They are not even all alike, except in that they all have vaginas. Most of them:

    -have long hair
    -smell nice
    -are sexually interested in males
    -like tea
    -like reading

    ...And that's about the whole list of things that most of them share. And that's not most women, that's most of the women I know.

    Physically, the only surefire difference is that men have penises and women have vaginas. There are statistical differences (most men are bigger and stronger than most women), but that's no more relevant than statistical differences between races or ethnicities, and if you go around saying "the differences between white and black people are awesome and black people should strive to be something whites can respect", you will be rightfully ridiculed. "Emotionally and psychologically", the statistical differences between men and women can almost always be easily shown to be SOCIETAL: in other words, men and women are often emotionally different because society treats them differently, and the people in charge (men) expect and demand certain things of both genders (especially women).

    What I'm saying is, show me a difference between men and women. You still haven't, you just keep repeating that there ARE differences.

    I know a lot of different men: men you'd consider "pansy", gym-obsessed men who show girls at clubs their biceps to get laid, men who prefer tea to coffee, extravagantly flamboyant gay (and straight) men, men who go out to bars and get hammered and start fights, angsty artistic men who write poetry, and men who like a little bit of everything.

    I also know a lot of different women: women who like casual sex often, women who are more conservative in their sexual habits, big bulldyke women, women who have fought in wars in the military, women who dress up like 1920s pinup girls, women who paint pretty pictures, women who work in construction alongside men, women who wear heels to everything and don't want to break their nails, radical feminists who decry the hijab as religious oppression, religious Muslim men who feel that the hijab actually liberates them, women who have the emotional intelligence of a moon rock, and women who are expert problem-solvers and diplomats. And those are all women I KNOW PERSONALLY. Some of whom are lucky enough, or perhaps strong enough, to break the bonds of what society expects of them.

    There are many more different kinds out there, too. And none is better or more of a woman than any other, just like you're no more a man than me. Who are you to say men and women are fundamentally different? If you'd read any science or actual study on the subject, you might have seen that "the nature you can see in front of your eyes" is not necessarily how the world actually is.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    By the way, "women all have vaginas" is itself a contentious statement, when you consider trans people who feel they were born the wrong gender. That's the subject for another thread, however, so to avoid muddying things up, I'm considering "women" to be "anyone born with a female body".

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    Here's another thought, which should be a general rule, about this topic and others. It's going to sound condescending, but there's nothing I can do about that.

    Study and research are valuable things. So is science. If you haven't read up on a subject, you shouldn't expect your opinion to be better than someone else's who has studied it and given it deep thought for years. I'm not saying my opinion is going to be better than yours -- I'm saying it takes an arrogance to say "sure, you've read about this for ages and I haven't ever studied the subject, but you're just missing what's totally obvious!" By saying that, you are wantonly denigrating a lot of very smart people's hard work and study and writings. Wouldn't they have seen it themselves if it were as simply obvious as "the nature you can see in front of your eyes"? And anyway, what makes you so confident that your offhand opinion is stronger than the measured, thought-out opinions of those who have studied the content deeply for a long time?

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    to be fair, there's a lot more going on physiologically in women than the placement of their genitalia, compared to men. I mean we get a sizable chunk of testosterone from one ball or another, but we don't routinely shed blood out of our crotches (or deal with the hormonal imbalance that comes from this, much less the whole blood loss thing), and pregnancy affects people not only on a hormonal level but on a personal level as well. This is a global thing - every woman anywhere who was ever given birth shares that experience with every other woman that's ever given birth. Men do not have a unifying experience like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    yeah obviously we'd all suck our alternate universe dicks there was never any question about that
    Quote Originally Posted by Atmosfear
    I don't know if Obama did anything to make that happen, but I do know that he didn't do anything to stop me from blaming him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    Physically, the only surefire difference is that men have penises and women have vaginas.
    Well actually there have been studies that have shown or suggested different neurological differences between men and women. For example males tend to outperform women in spatial ability tests (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2651884/) while the section of the brain that is responsible for language is larger in women (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9041858) which could suggest that generally women are superior to men in language-based subjects.

    However these finding shouldn't be used to exclude one gender or the other from performing certain tasks. There will always be some women who are better than some men at spatial reasoning just as there will always be some men who are better than some women at language-based subjects. People should be judged individually of their skills and assets but it's still important to realize (and celebrate) that women and men aren't exactly like each other neurologically.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    Well actually there have been studies that have shown or suggested different neurological differences between men and women. For example males tend to outperform women in spatial ability tests (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2651884/) while the section of the brain that is responsible for language is larger in women (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9041858) which could suggest that generally women are superior to men in language-based subjects.

    However these finding shouldn't be used to exclude one gender or the other from performing certain tasks. There will always be some women who are better than some men at spatial reasoning just as there will always be some men who are better than some women at language-based subjects. People should be judged individually of their skills and assets but it's still important to realize (and celebrate) that women and men aren't exactly like each other neurologically.
    Well, right, but I said "surefire". As in, when it comes down to the differences between any given random man and any random women, all you can be sure of is whether their nethers go inwards or out.

    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    to be fair, there's a lot more going on physiologically in women than the placement of their genitalia, compared to men. I mean we get a sizable chunk of testosterone from one ball or another, but we don't routinely shed blood out of our crotches (or deal with the hormonal imbalance that comes from this, much less the whole blood loss thing), and pregnancy affects people not only on a hormonal level but on a personal level as well. This is a global thing - every woman anywhere who was ever given birth shares that experience with every other woman that's ever given birth. Men do not have a unifying experience like this.
    This is... hmm. Murky. Yes, biologically, we are prone to different chemical balances, but like I said to Atomic, whites and blacks have some physical differences too, which are not at all relevant when talking about racial equality. As for the unifying experience of childbirth -- well. Men have being kicked in the balls or something? I mean, I'm just not sure what you're getting at. Yes, they share that experience, but so what? Everyone who's had emergency surgery shares THAT experience. Every father that's ever conceived a child shares THAT experience. Every woman who's been raped shares THAT experience. All those things provoke strong reactions, but that is not to say that there is any homogeneity about those hormonal/physical/personal responses; different people will have different reactions.

    Forgive me if I've just missed the point, but I don't really see the relevance of the shared experience of pregnancy.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    This is addressed to Atomic:

    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    Whenever a person develops a talent in one area or another, they affect their brain structure. It may, in fact, be the case that the difference in average brain development are caused by greater participation in gender-stereotyped activities by men and women, as opposed to reflecting some intrinsic, built-in difference between the two genders.

    For instance, a study of London cab drivers found that they had larger areas of the brain associated with spatial reasoning abilities compared to a control group. Furthermore, there was a correlation between years spent being a cab driver and the size of this area of the brain. This strongly suggested that using these spatial reasoning skills actually encouraged restructuring of the brain.

    Other studies have found similar results that suggest using certain skills repeatedly actually changes the structure of the brain, even in adults.
    The relevance of this information, in terms of feminism, is this: differences you have perceived between men and women, no matter how intrinsic or in-built you think they are, are heavily influenced by society. Many women act "like women", and therefore have those women-specific traits/personalities/qualities you speak of, only because they are expected to.

    One of my most deeply held philosophies is that people must be free, in a just society, to choose their own path. That means being free from coercion as well as having the same possibilities and options open to you as others. We are a long way from this -- and not just in feminist terms but also in racial equality, and other disadvantaged minorities. Women are not free to choose their own paths yet, not completely. Feminism is about moving towards that.

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    True, men are not entirely free to choose their own paths. But they are rarely disadvantaged because they are men, and if they are, it's almost always because of what other men wish of them.

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    Also I like to point out the disadvantages men have rarely (if ever) affect them in a financial or power (political, religious, corporate, etc) sort of way. Somehow men having difficulty breaking into the childcare industry seems less crucial in the overall picture than women having difficulty breaking into Fortune 500 company management.

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