Feminist Fare Friday: The Justice Edition

Equaility vs Justice There is a theme and perhaps a lesson in today's selection of posts from the femisphere. For some reason, this concept depicted above has always made sense to me when it comes to child-rearing. It has been especially driven home this week in regards to feminism and racism and the concept of true social justice versus the constant 'equality for all' rhetoric. So, go grab your afternoon latte and have a read.

~~~~~~~~~

By now you've probably seen the video of Emma Watson's compelling UN speech launching the new #HeforShe campaign. It's pretty good. A young woman, using her voice, her fame, and her privilege, to bring light to the oppression of women all over the world, to bring feminism into more of the mainstream conversation. This is all good. There was something missing though... I did share the video on my social media sites and applaud Ms. Watson's efforts, but it wasn't until I read this article from Mia McKenzie of Black Girl Dangerous that I was finally able to put my finger on what that missing piece was.  Emma invites men of the world to "to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice…", and Mia points out why this is a flawed way of looking at the issues of equality.

The underlying message here is that women deserve equity and equality because of our relationships to men. Continuing to re-enforce the idea that men should respect women and fight for women’s equality because mother/sister/daughter/whatever perpetuates the idea that women don’t already deserve those things based solely on our status as human beings. It encourages men to think of women always and only in relation to themselves, as if our pseudo-humanity is only an after-thought of men’s real humanity. The truth is that women are whole, complete people, regardless of our status in the lives of men. This is what men should hear, over and over again. This is what everyone should hear, every day.

~~~~~

As a white, cis-gendered, middle-class feminist woman, I have quite a few innate privileges in my world. And I am not going to lie, when I get told that I am doing feminism wrong, when I hear that I am just another white feminist spouting off from her position of privilege, I sometimes get defensive. My instinct is to scream my ally-ship to the four corners of the world, and say the dreaded words, #notallwhitefeminists!

But I don't.

Because of people like Brittney Cooper and her ability to take a complex topic like the future of feminism, break it down, and make me almost spit out my morning tea while reading her words. Words that somewhat mirror what I have said before about changing the game/playing field, but in a much more succinct and eloquent way. There is a reason her Twitter handle is @ProfessorCrunk, this woman is a capital E educator and I am the white girl geek sitting in the front row, mouth shut, ears wide open!

White women’s feminisms still center around equality [...] Black women’s feminisms demand justice. There is a difference.  One kind of feminism focuses on the policies that will help women integrate fully into the existing American system. The other recognizes the fundamental flaws in the system and seeks its complete and total transformation.

~~~~~

Ever feel like you have the same conversation with people, over and over and over again? OK, I have a 5 and a 7-year old, so this happens daily in my life, and it is less of a conversation, and more of me reminding them of the basics like socks and teeth brushing and please don't put [insert disgusting thing here] in your mouth or on your sister/brother. In all seriousness though, how would you feel if every day you had to be the one to explain to people the basics of human decency? Anne Thériault of The Belle Jar and Lily Tsui of Scantilly Clad, two Canadian feminists (yes, Toronto Star, they do exist!), have come together to bring you a compelling post looking at the parallels between the oftentimes explanatory conversations about feminism and racism.

AT: I am tired of talking about feminism to men.

LT: I am tired of talking about racism to white feminists.

~~~~~

That is some pretty heavy material for today, so I will leave you with your thoughts. Or you can share them with me in the comments too.

Have a great weekend!

N~

 

the list

I've been quiet here lately. But not in my head. In my head it is loud and full. The words and thoughts are bouncing back and forth and I am getting to the point where I can write/type them again.

In the mean time, please watch this. Because Jay Smooth is my Youtube boyfriend and because he speaks TRUTH in ways that I just can't get enough of. (You could just go subscribe to his channel too and see more of what I am talking about).

But seriously folks. Watch, Share, Repeat.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/MlNUIIyDA_w[/youtube]

Be back soon...

n~

 

For future reference.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I do a weekly round-up of what I like to call "Feminsit Fare" on Fridays. I post interesting and thought provoking articles I have read, videos I have seen, and information I think you will like or that will further our conversations about feminism and motherhood and life. Today, I am collecting posts together in this space for another reason. These pieces are about feminism, misogyny, terrorism, murder, derailing important conversations, and hashtag activism. I have been sharing most of these posts on my Facebook pages and if you haven't figured it out already, they are pieces that have been written or recorded in response to the murderous attack planned and executed by Elliot Rodger in the Isla Vista community in Santa Barbara, California.

And I am saving them all here, because here is the hard truth...

We will need to refer to them again in the future. 

Violence against women is a systematic problem in our world and until and unless a MUCH larger majority of us are willing to DRASTICALLY change that system, this violence will continue. I hate to write this, but there are other Elliot Rodgers out there, just like Elliot Rodger was another George Sodini and George Sodini was another Marc Lepine. Young men growing up in a world of toxic masculinity believing that they are entitled to their prize - a hot woman to have sex with. And denied this prize, they resort to violence to "prove themselves" to the world or to exhort a kind of retribution for being slighted.

Today in a separate Twitter conversation with another young man on the topic of breastfeeding in public, I was called a "relentless feminist". I am 100% sure he meant it as an insult. I did not take it as one.

Because I AM relentless in this. I will never stop trying to change this system. I will never be quiet in the face of oppression and misogyny and violence against women and women's rights. I will amplify the voices of my peers, female and male, who are speaking larger truths that we all need to really listen to and I will keep a chronicle of them all here...

For future reference.

----------

Jessica Valenti writing for The Guardian about how yes, misogyny does indeed kill.

If we need to talk about this tragic shooting in terms of illness, though, let's start with talking about our cultural sickness – a sickness that refuses to see misogyny as anything other than inevitable

Jenni Chui writing at Mommy Nani Booboo about the #YESALLWOMEN hashtag.

Though Elliot Rodgers is an extreme case, the entitlement he expresses mirrors a large societal ill, and has spurred women by the hundreds of thousands to speak up about how it affects them and yes, all women.

Chuck Wendig writing at terribleminds that while it is of course, not all men, it still if far too many.

Show them by cleaning the dogshit out of your ears and listening to their stories — and recognize that while no, it’s not “all men,” it’s still “way too many men.” Consider actually reading the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter not to look for places to interject and defend your fellow men, but as a place to gain insight and understanding into the experiences women have. 

Harris O'Malley writing at Paging Dr. Nerdlove about the price of toxic masculinity.

This is what happens when we grow up in a culture that teaches men that hypermasculinity is what defines them. It tells them that they’re only as good as the sex that they’re having or the ass that they’re kicking. It teaches them that being rejected isn’t a sign of a lack of compatibility or a need to improve but a referendum on their value as a man. That they’re being robbed of what they’re owed.

Laci Green's video about this culture of angry, entitled men is quite powerful and worth a watch.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPFcspwbrq8&feature=share&list=PLTXiNEUzXWKTfNYKThSk-kmJdf7AJRP5K[/youtube]

Phil Plate writing at Slate discussing how and why derailing this potentially system-changing conversation occurs and how unhelpful it is.

Instead of being defensive and distracting from the topic at hand, try staying quiet for a while and actually listening to what the thousands upon thousands of women discussing this are saying.

Lindsay Beyerstein writing at Duly Noted about why Elliot Rodger is in fact a terrorist fighting a War on Women.

By any meaningful standard, Rodger planned and executed a terrorist attack. He orchestrated the violence for maximum symbolic impact and took steps to disseminate his message through the mass media.

(updated on May 29, 2014)

Jeopardy Champion Arthur Chu writing at The Daily Beast discussing the "script" that most nerdy boys grow up with.

...the overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to “earn,” to “win.” That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.

Madeleine Davies at Jezebel writing about being not an angry feminist, but a furious one.

And I'm still angry, still furious. I'm furious that growing up, I wasn't allowed to do the same things that my brother did because it wasn't safe for me. I'm furious that my parents ingrained in me from a very young age that I should never wear heels because I should always be ready to run at a moment's notice. I'm furious that walking alone at night feels more like an act of rebellion than a simple act of transit.

(updated, June 1, 2014)

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville writing about "the geek guys Elliot Rodgers think pieces" and how they are still getting it wrong.

And one of the things I'm seeing over and over in these pieces, despite their ostensibly being about how acknowledging women's humanity and agency is important, is a distinct failure to acknowledge women as anything but the sex class. That is, there is very little discussion about how straight men should and do have other reasons for interacting with women than trying to have sex with them.

----------

I know more will be written about this in the days to come and I will continue to add to this list. If you have read something that you think needs to be here please post the link in the comments.

Relentlessly,

natasha~