sexism

arvan's picture

This is a comment on some things in Indian politics and US politics.

I’m not from India nor did I ever vacation there.  I don’t take yoga and I don’t own the Kama Sutra (why bother, when I can download it for free, anyway?)  So, I’m not an expert and I’m probably more wrong than right.  No cookies for pointing that out.  That said, here goes anyway.

Recently - Arundhati Roy agreed to write an introductory essay to “Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical edition by B.R. Ambedkar" which she titled, "The Doctor and the Saint: An introduction”.  Hindu nationalists like the BJP love to get their outrage underpants all bunched up whenever Roy does anything other than keep her mouth shut, basically.  Roy’s introduction to Ambedkar’s work may cause Hindu nationalists like the BJP to be outraged that she dare to say anything that is anti-Hindu (which is basically anything that is not unquestioningly pro-Hindu/BJP). The BJP is for all intents and purposes, India’s GOP.  So, their outrage comes as no surprise for her association with a speech that Ambedkar wrote to challenge progressive Hindus on their own desire to reap the benefits of caste are antithetical to their stated organizational goals and perpetuating the targeted oppression of lower castes.  

Ms. Roy is fairly leftist, challenging empire, corporate-military capitalism, caste and so - she’s an easy and constant target for people born into wealth and status and whose bank accounts seem to do very well when the ultra-nationalist BJP gets their way.  

lilith land's picture

Can We Out the Clitoris? Finally?

Well, I am going to start off the new year with a bitch ab

Koman Ditches Planned Parenthood, Abandons Poor Women

 

Note: Koman has apologized and taken back their recent threat. But the fight is not over, and I have a follow up piece brewing. Until then, enjoy!

For those of you that do not know me, I think Planned Parenthood is awesome. But a lot of people out there do not share that opinion. They think that since a tiny portion of what Planned Parenthood does is related to helping women that need legal abortions, that PP should be burned to the ground and the fire victims left unmourned. I think those assholes should go to whatever hell they believe in, and let the rest of us live our lives as we see fit.

Recently, these wicked forces have been pressuring the Susan G. Koman for the Cure FoundationNPR breaks some of it down here. The Washington Post has some news here. Now, many have valid issues with the Koman Foundation, and  we are not going to debate those here and now. But overall, what they are doing is a Good Thing (TM). Until now. Now they are leaving poor and rural and black and brown women to fend for themselves else they face the PR Monster of the Forced Birth advocates. (No, I will not call them "pro life" because they only care about control of the uterus, not promoting life.)

arvan's picture

the (snow)faces change but the (appropriated) song remains the same, and the crowd goes wild.

I was tripping over the many tumblr conversations about Hugo Schwyzer lately.  A good number of people articulated some solid points about him, as well as the many who stated their outrage and distrust of him.  Some folks take his writing as separate from his life and others will not grant this as valid.  From what I see, he's done some pretty shitty things.  Each one of those points is worth discussing, yet something else was gnawing at me in all of this and that's what I want to discuss now.

How did a cis-het white man get to be a voice for feminism?

I was asking myself why is Hugo Schwyzer, a cis-het-white-male, even a topic in conversations about feminism?  Why are we discussing his languaging of feminist concepts?  Put otherwise, how did we get a privileged face in front of conversations about the abuse of privilege, mouthing the words of the oppressed with people accepting, repeating, defending and challenging him on his merits to speak for those denied equality by the privileged class of which he is a member?  

The short answer is that it depends on the audience as to whether he is or is not.  So, who then is willing to accept the face of Hugo Schwyzer as a mouthpiece for feminist ideals?  Who indeed?  Privileged, white people - that's who.  

EvilSlutClique's picture

Summer's Eve Update: Fail to the V

Last week we posted about an offensive ad for Summer's Eve that featured Cleopatra.  It turns out that the ad was just one part of Summer's Eve's new "Hail to the V" campaign, which features a whole series of ads that are sexist, racist, and just generally horrible.

Fleet - the company that owns the Summer's Eve brand - has launched a new campaign to promote their Summer's Eve feminine hygiene products. Attempting to portray their products as empowering to women, the “Hail to the V" campaign includes a series of video advertisements with Black, Latina and Caucasian talking hands, representing vaginas, that speak in a very stereotypical manner. The Richards Group, the agency behind these ads, has dismissed the criticism that the ads are racist, stating that their “in house multi-cultural experts” approved the campaign.

There is also a video ad that features knights jousting and martial artists fighting, backed by a voiceover that claims “over the ages and throughout the world, men have fought for it, battled for it and even died for it”. The accompanying series of print ads claim that famous women in history would have used Summer's Eve products had they been available back then. An ad featuring Cleopatra refers to her vagina as her “most precious resource” while an ad featuring Helen of Troy suggests that the fall of Troy was due to “more than her face”.

Their "Hail to the V" is really "FAIL to the V". The entire campaign is overwhelmingly sexist and insulting to both genders, as it reduces women to a single body part – “the center of civilization” as one ad calls it – and implies that all men’s actions are based solely on their desire for it. It also perpetuates stereotypes about black and Latina women. Summer's Eve ads claim to be about empowerment, but they're really about selling women the idea that we need their (unnecessary and often unhealthy) products in order to "feel fresh".

We've started a change.org petition asking C.B. Fleet to pull this entire offensive campaign.  Please sign and join us in telling Summer's Eve to correct this Fail to the V.

Change.org: Tell Summer’s Eve to End its Sexist & Racist Ad Campaign “Hail to the V"

arvan's picture

The SuperBowl is over and the non-rapist is going to Disneyland

So, the SuperBowl came and went.  They guy who did not rape two women was chosen as the MVP.  I got a text message from a friend at about 5pm yesterday asking me "Packers or Steelers?" and I replied with "a bullet to my head...my team's arch rivals or a two-time rapist.  ugh."

Given that situation, I did what any rabid fan would do - I took my family to an Italian restaurant and ate carpaccio, gnocchi & gelato until the wheelbarrel was summoned.  While I sipped my beverage and gorged myself on EVOO and fresh baked bread, my spouse asked me about the game and for whom I might be cheering.  She was needling me deliberately, since she knows full well and good that the wounds from my team's exit from the playoffs were still fresh and painful.  She was shocked when I told her about how I could never support a rapist, much less a two time rapist and therefore wished that my team's rival be the victor.  She, a card carrying member of the the-only-real-sport-is-futbol club, had no idea of the assaults by Ben Rapelisberger.  I explained it to her in great detail while her eyes glazed over and she sipped her wine, pretending not to hear a word I said nor even care. 

Sometime after I finished my oratory, I overheard someone at the next table say the word "rapist" and I immediately wondered if I could eat my dinner with her.  In this cozy little trattoria, the bartender had posted a television in front of the bottom-shelf creme-de-menthe for those of us that needed some advertising, hokum and jingoism with our antipasto.  As I excused myself from the table under the pretense of verifying the correct time in Pago Pago via collect call, I made my way to the hoi polloi amassed around the television set.  The game was the spectacle I expected and dreaded, but my sole request for satisfaction was indeed there - the rapist was losing. 

LaPrincipessa's picture

What to do when one finds a triggering, and sexist, blog

We've all seen the terrible blogs, those that bash women, sexualize them, make them seem like objects, and promote rape culture. We all know, and most who are not part of the feminist blogosphere usually can tell right away, that these type of blogs are bad.

But when I ran across this blog, with that terribly triggering image suggesting eating is pathetic, how is one who's not trained to spot such damaging content to recognize their being fooled, tricked, manipulated into hating their own bodies?

In the blog's "about" section, it mentions this blog is for "thinspiration".. meaning it's a pro-ana, or pro-anorexia /eating disorder website that works to support those with eating disorders by posting pictures of skinny models- someone's motivation to be skinny.

If one were to run across this blog and he/she is recovering, suffering, or has suffered from an eating disorder, the trigger from this image in particular and the overall content and language of that blog is immediate. Bad feelings of low self esteem come rushing back and the urge to revert to old habits reemerge.

There is no trigger warning or disclaimer before one enters this site, therefor, anyone perusing the net can stumble upon this tumblr blog (no pun intended) and be persuaded to think :

a) this picture, the depiction of that woman and the entire blog are normal.

b) "skinny" is better than "fat"

c) the picture of this model is untouched and un-photoshopped (which is undoubtedly is )

d) perpetuating the myth of skinny equals beauty is normal and glamorous

All of these issues are those which many advocates against negative portrayals of women in the media write/blog/work against. In this, it is sad that this young woman that presumably runs this blog is so careless in her attempt at achieving her ideal , and a reflection of society at large, of beauty.

To me, this is an opportunity to report the blog to someone or a group that can help. It isn't so much as willfully hateful, rather, the blog is sexist and harmful in a more ignorant and unintentional way. The young women certainly deserves her right to say and type what she wants, yet she seems as if she doesn't really know the damage her blog can do.

So, in this case, report to tumblr, request a disclaimer and hope that real guidance and help is offered to this young woman and anyone else who runs a blog such as the one I've linked.

(Posted at Women Undefined)

arvan's picture

Pat Condell: Human Rights Travesty

Pat's on fire again.  This time he goes after the UN and how it allows flagrant brutalizers of women to have a say in their policies toward the betterment of women.

Kali's picture

apologies for breathing

little hands, dusty and wrinkled ask me to stay in my place as my father rages on. i don't move, i'm not supposed to, i just curl in amma's lap as he walks around in drunken stupor, rattling the doors and other things that get in his way: the only unbroken chair in the house, the shards of the table from last time, sometimes it's me. he's always smashing the bottle against the table and once on amma's back. these aren't memories i remember on occasion, that tumble out only after i've  made an unspoken breach with some person, or when i need to expose my soul to a new lover. these memories breathe within my blood each day.

today i'm an academician and an activist, some people have even heard of me. three years ago i was a speaker at a conference on 'disembodiment of agency in gender relations'. my paper focused on the disembodiment of upper-caste male in relation to dissemination of agency against the antithetical construction of dalit feminine (a)sexuality. i finish discussing the paper and the first question i am asked is that 'as we live in a post-caste india, why are these vilified descriptions of caste politics necessary?' by a card-carrying feminist. why is caste relevant to me, you say.

up untill seventh grade, i went to the government school in my village because amma wanted me to. then they put me in the ninth grade because i was bright, but i had to go to the next village and i did because amma wanted me to. she said that for people like us, all we could rely on was education, and that dr. ambedkar is never wrong. the first three days i made friends, two brahmin girls. their skin is different than mine; it's cleaner and sometimes it shines. one told me that she liked my smile, the teacher saw that and asked me to stand up and tell the whole class what my caste was and where i came from. i told all of them i was from the neighbouring village and i was a dalit. the class starts shrieking with laughter, my two friends looked at me in disgust. did you know how words can attack you sideways, how they stop before you and stomp themselves in your core?

arvan's picture

oh noez, the divorce monster!

Do you ever think back to shit you said and realize what a jackass you are/were?  It happens to me all the time.

When I was 9, I had a conversation with my childhood best friend about the evils of divorce and how a woman can take everything a man works for.  We talked about how unfair that is to men and we promised to a) never marry and b) never join the army.  I kept neither promise.

Where the hell does a boy of 9 get such thoughts?  That sexist message came from the adults around me - along with a great many other messages.

In the fishbowl of our childhood world: school, playing outside and family time - we took in the news, values and questions of the world around us and struggled to form our own minds.  As kids, we traveled in and out of these vastly differing conversations of the adults around us.  Our world was a maze of sidewalks, alleys, classrooms, kitchens, yards, church basements and family gatherings.  My friend and I roamed the self-carved paths and tunnels of our daily navigation like ants in a colony.

The world was changing.

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