Hung up on feminism
December 7, 2012 4:06 AM   Subscribe

Recent comments by Katy Perry and others poses the question 'Why are women scared to call themselves feminists?' According to one woman it's because her generation doesn't need feminism.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (26 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: We're a little saturated with feminism threads at the moment, and focusing on some celebrity's comments and very bad blog post is not that great for a new one. -- taz



 
Because the reactionary patriarchal forces which control the public discourse have constructed a straw Andrea Dworkin and defined feminism as "our horrifying strawDworkin". Next question?
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:08 AM on December 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also seriously that last link is among the very least reflective, insightful things I've ever seen and that includes MMM Bop.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:09 AM on December 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


No, our generation doesn't need feminism. I mean, it's not like young girls are getting shot in the head just for wanting to go to school, now is it? Oh wait... that was somewhere that doesn't matter? Good point. Okay, then what I mean is it's not like I regularly see women in burkas walking around the streets of London these days. And women definitely get paid exactly the same as men for doing the same work; all the data bears that out. And I never see obviously different standards and judgements being applied to male and female appearance and behaviour. Feminism is so over.
posted by Decani at 4:12 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Decani, you just encapsulated in a single post why some are eschewing the feminism brand (as dedcribed in the first link ) ... Brilliant!
posted by forforf at 4:17 AM on December 7, 2012


PPS - Most women don't voluntarily invite me to parties.

That was a sad little comment, buried in there. I mean, it makes me sad. Sounds like she's floundering, she knows something's wrong, and she doesn't know how to fix it. I mean, I don't agree with throwing feminism out with the bathwater. But she's trying. I won't shoot a woman for trying.

I'm also sad because I'm sure this thread will have some venom directed at her, venom I think might be better directed. Maybe I'll be wrong. Hope never dies.
posted by thelastcamel at 4:17 AM on December 7, 2012


How is that "According to one woman..." link any different than posting to a Facebook rant? It's crazy contradictory and just thoroughly muddled thinking. Might as well add some additional links to fill the post out. I offer: "According to my Aunt Peggy, women sure do wear tight pants nowadays!" and "According to the guy who stands outside the Kroger all day, hello ma'am, could I have your empty bags."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:18 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's always helpful when someone demonstrates that efficiently that they have nothing to say that's worth listening to, but was it worth giving her the attention of a link? She's just some micropundit saying something stupid; it hardly seems noteworthy.
posted by Kit W at 4:22 AM on December 7, 2012


Not a great post, man.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:24 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Couldn't this be easily folded into the other feminism-related post that's already going on?
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:30 AM on December 7, 2012


"Our culture remains a massively misogynistic, nasty one...so why keep feminism around?" That's a direct quote from that last link. Wow.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:30 AM on December 7, 2012


Why we need feminism.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:36 AM on December 7, 2012


Perhaps I'm projecting, but she comes across as one of these women who thinks she's hot shit above the challenges of being a woman in today's society because she doesn't have a pink collar job. She's like a more irritating Penelope Trunk, and the last thing feminist commentary needs is another one of her.
posted by thisjax at 4:36 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


But… Katy Perry isn’t a feminist. I mean, she became massively popular on the back of a song about pretending to be lesbian in order to titillate men. Has she ever committed anything resembling a feminist act? Has she ever said anything publicly that could be construed as a feminist statement (shallow “grrl power” sentiments don’t count)? Why on earth would we want her to call herself a feminist when she isn’t one?
posted by cilantro at 4:40 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe she's a personist.
posted by scrowdid at 4:45 AM on December 7, 2012


I...don't understand this article. I know several women who have no interest in getting married, some who are or are at least in possession of a joint mortgage and are the breadwinners of the household. Nobody really cares. But then, they aren';t women who have 'shoe and botox habits' - and if they did, they'd pay for their own.

The majority of ad execs are men

I work in advertising, and unless the US is very different, I deal with as many women as men. One agency, albeit a small one, is almost entirely female staffed.
posted by mippy at 4:46 AM on December 7, 2012


Also... "...let’s get down to brass tax." Really? Really? Somebody needs a sacking.
posted by Decani at 4:46 AM on December 7, 2012


Because the reactionary patriarchal forces which control the public discourse have constructed a straw Andrea Dworkin

SSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
posted by windbox at 4:46 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why on earth would we want her to call herself a feminist when she isn’t one?

When the last can of whipped cream is empty, she'll need to sell something to the public.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:47 AM on December 7, 2012


The fact that Katy Perry, and many undergrads I have taught, feel compelled to preface things they say with "I'm not a feminist, but..." is a sign that we desperately need feminism.
posted by synecdoche at 4:48 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Decani, you just encapsulated in a single post why some are eschewing the feminism brand (as dedcribed in the first link ) ... Brilliant!
posted by forforf at 12:17 PM on December 7


Umm... you got that I was being sarcastic, right?
posted by Decani at 4:48 AM on December 7, 2012


Okay, then what I mean is it's not like I regularly see women in burkas walking around the streets of London these days.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhh. If a woman is choosing to wear it - I've known many women who voluntarily cover ther hair, which is less 'extreme' to Westerners but still - then we should criticise the wearing of burkhas no more than we should look down on the wearing of bikinis.

Cultural norms can oppress females, and there may be many really pissed off burkha wearers wandering round London (I've seen some pretty happy ones chatting on the Tube) but I don't believe that all observant Muslims are veiled into submission.
posted by mippy at 4:49 AM on December 7, 2012


I was actually waiting for the author of the last article to drop a "Hah! Fooled you! All this internalisation of patriarchy stuff I've been going on about is EXACTLY why we still need feminism!"

And then she didn't... and I was sad.
posted by knapah at 4:50 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


From her comment section: PS - Thank God we can have these debates. So much worse stuff going on in the world.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244009/The-21st-century-concentration-camp-Hideous-accounts-life-inside-Russias-womens-prisons.html


Aaaaand with that I stopped crediting her with wanting an honest and forthright discussion.
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:51 AM on December 7, 2012


mippy, it's an interestingly flexible definition of "choice" that excuses the burka. There were happy, chatty women who opposed women's suffrage, too. One has to look at the reasons why the burka exists. Those reasons are most decidedly not about giving women more freedom and more choice. They are about perverted notions of "modesty" that only apply to women.

But we probably shouldn't derail this thread into this discussion. It gets big and heated fast, I've usually found.
posted by Decani at 4:53 AM on December 7, 2012


As for the last link, I think the point the author is actually making (really poorly) is not so much that feminism isn't needed but that she doesn't see women taking advantage of the gains that have been made - which she does overstate based on her own privilege. It's more, "why bother to have feminism since y'all don't appreciate it the way I do and apparently would prefer to live in the 1950s anyway?"

The problem with that -- well, there are so many, but one -- is that, of course, the ability to choose one's course and have some greater freedom of opportunity doesn't mean we're allowed to choose only the new things we weren't formerly allowed. If some women prefer to work in the home, take primary responsibility for childrearing, etc., that doesn't make them failures of feminism.

But I think some of us older feminists at least mentally engage in a bit of that "I'm a better feminist than you are" or "you kids these days don't deserve the feminism we made for you!" stuff at times. I do now and then. I'll see someone acting like (what appears superficially to be) a total caricature of bimboism and think, "Jesus, why did Mary Wolstonecraft even fucking bother?", and I have this lingering irrational annoyance with the fact that nearly 100% of the feminists I know who get married adopt their husbands' surnames. But that's just silly petty crap that's probably just the feminist version of "get off my lawn" or "that thing you are doing is a thing I do better."
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:53 AM on December 7, 2012


Decani - agreed. I just think the narrative we hear in the West rarely tends to include actual burkha-wearing women, and I'd genuinely like to know if it's something other than a unilateral symbol of oppression.

*END OF BURKHA DISCUSSION KLAXON"
posted by mippy at 4:56 AM on December 7, 2012


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