"We never say that all men deserve to feel beautiful. We never say that each man is beautiful in his own way. We don’t have huge campaigns aimed at young boys trying to convince them that they’re attractive, probably because we very rarely correlate a man’s worth with his appearance. The problem is that a woman’s value in this world is still very much attached to her appearance, and telling her that she should or deserves to feel beautiful does more to promote that than negate it. Telling women that they “deserve” to feel pretty plays right in to the idea that prettiness should be important to them. And having books and movies aimed at young women where every female protagonist turns out to be beautiful (whereas many of the antagonists are described in much less flattering terms) reinforces the message that beauty has some kind of morality attached to it, and that all heroines are somehow pretty."
— You Don’t Have To Be Pretty – On YA Fiction And Beauty As A Priority | The Belle Jar (via brutereason)
"For as long as there’s been a mainstream feminist movement, there have been corporations eager to capitalize on women’s desire for empowerment. And simply saying men and women should be treated equally isn’t the slightest bit risky in an era when the economy demands that nearly all women work outside the home and the biggest pop stars in America embrace the term feminist. But empowerment conferences are less a product of this friendly brand of modern feminism than they are the result of changing media business models and the rise of superficial corporate do-gooderism. Consumers are so wary of traditional advertising that one of the only ways for brands to make an end-run around skepticism is to claim, “Hey, we’re doing some good here.” As Unilever has learned with all the free press its “body-positive” Dove ads have gotten, women’s empowerment is a great theme for conscientious advertising — Bitch Magazine co-founder Andi Zeisler calls it “empowertising.” You-go-girl ads appeal to a broad demographic, but unlike championing, say, stricter environmental regulation, they put the onus for change on women themselves, not corporations or society."
— What Good Is a ‘Powerful Women’ Conference? - NYmag.com (via annfriedman)
"I’m pretty sure you have witnessed it, but you may not have recognized it as street harassment. We have been socialized to believe that interactions between men and women are about men being predators and women being prey. We’re so used to seeing these dynamics where a man is approaching a woman, and is being somewhat insistent about it, and we see women kind of smiling. Women have been socialized to believe the same thing, that you’re supposed to be nice to a guy who’s doing this, and even if you don’t like it, you’re supposed to appear that you do."
— 'Even If You Don't Like It, You're Supposed to Appear That You Do' - The Atlantic (via socio-logic)
After reading about gender-bias and conversation dominance in the classroom, I asked for a peer to observe a physics class I was teaching and keep track of the discussion time I was giving to various students along with their race and gender. In this exercise, I knew I was being observed and I was trying to be extra careful to equally represent all students―but I STILL gave a disproportionate amount of discussion time to the white male students in my classroom (controlling for the overall distribution of genders and races in the class). I was shocked. It felt like I was giving a disproportionate amount of time to my white female and non-white students.
Even when I was explicitly trying, I still failed to have the discussion participants fairly represent the population of the students in my classroom.
This is a well-studied phenomena and it’s called listener bias. We are socialized to think women talk more than they actually do. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are ‘hogging the floor’ even when men are dominating.
Stop interrupting me: gender, conversation dominance and listener bias, by Jessica Kirkpatrick from Women In Astronomy
Implicit bias is a thing, just like privilege. Calling it out isn’t meant to shame anyone, but to alert us to step it up and improve ourselves so everyone can have a voice. Be conscious of what you and others are saying, and know when not to speak.
(Source: itsawomansworld2, via hciwrc)
"The Angry Black Woman is a racist trope used to deny black women their humanity. Black women aren’t allowed to be complicated — they’re just angry. Black women aren’t allowed to be upset or vulnerable — they’re just angry. Black women are not allowed justifiable reactions to the myriad of bullshit — racist, sexist and otherwise — that they face. Oh, you know those black ladies are just so angry all the time."
— The New York Times, Shonda Rhimes & How to Get Away With Being Racist (via americanbornterror)
"A woman who says “No thanks, I’ll sleep on the floor”; a woman who freezes up and tenses at your touch; a woman who says “I really don’t want to” and “We really shouldn’t” and “We can’t” and “Please at least wear a condom” is not saying yes to you, and if you would like to pretend that that is unclear, you are a liar, you are being disingenuous, you are lying and you know it."
— Mallory Ortberg, "What counts?" (via dolorimeter)
"As a society, we’re not serious about ending violence against women. We pay great lip service to the idea, but we aren’t willing to interrogate the ways in which we have accepted gendered violence in our everyday lives.
We teach boys this general message about how they’re supposed to “respect women” while writing off all behavior that is blatantly disrespectful (and dangerous) toward women as “boys being boys.” It starts young, when every hair pull, pinch, slap, push, and shove boys exact on girls is written off because “boys will be boys” and that’s how they flirt. No, that’s how they hit girls. Any message to the contrary only further perpetuates the idea that all of this is OK.
Then they get older and any time they get into a physical altercation with a girl, we spend more time asking about how they were “provoked” than what they should have done instead of putting their hands on a girl.
Then they become adults and the police and lawyers and judges downplay the seriousness of their offenses. And they get to say “that’s not the person I am” or “I take full responsibility” and voila, they’re completely absolved.
Where the fuck is the respect?"
Why teaching “respect” won’t end violence against women
It should be pretty obvious why this fails, right? If the reason you shouldn’t hurt people is because you should “respect” them, then the moment someone loses your respect, they become vulnerable to violence from you. Some losses of respect are legitimate (i.e. the person did something very bad and now you don’t respect them), some are not (i.e. the person violated gender norms and now you don’t respect them), but regardless of what they did, they don’t deserve violence.
And some people are never considered “respectable” at all, because we don’t consciously include them when we say things like “respect women”.
"why is it always the woman who has to see past the beast in the man? why does she always have to clean his wounds, even after he has damaged her beyond repair? why is it always the man who is worthy of forgiveness for being a monster?
I want to see the beast in the beauty.
the half smile, half snarl. the unapologetic anger. I would like to see the man forgive the monster. to see her, blood and all, and love her anyway."
— beauty and the beast | Caitlyn S. (via alonesomes)
"When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things that you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior: illogical, weak, vain, empty."
Stevie Nicks (via larmoyante)
"In this cult of female martyrdom, where caring for our own well being is always last on our to-do list, it is easy to feel selfish when we do care for ourselves. But being kind to yourself, banishing negative body-talk, taking necessary time away from work, feeding your body with food that makes it happy, taking a morning for spiritual growth, doing one activity you enjoy just because you enjoy it—these things are not selfish! For so long, women have been socialized around the idea of “guilty pleasures”. Female pleasure–whether it is related to sex, food, or even an activity–must be categorized into “good” and “bad” categories. We are taught to feel “guilty” for “indulging,” but often these indulgences are normal, healthy expressions of desire. Common guilty pleasures include: food seen as “bad,” like cake, French fries, or chocolate; reading an erotic romance novel; skipping the gym to watch Netflix in bed; taking a bubble bath to decompress rather than tackling your mountain of homework. These guilty pleasures are fairly normal activities. For women, things that we enjoy doing are labeled “indulgence,” and we chastise ourselves for being “bad” if we do them. Indulgence sounds dirty, but most of our “guilty pleasure indulgences” are simply acts self-care. Self-care is not bad. Self-care is not selfish. Our lives do not have to follow the script of obedience."
— Brenna McCaffrey, On The Radical Act Of Self-Care, Feminspire.com (via feminspire)
"You know what else it costs to write about and talk about consent? I’m going to be super real with y’all. It has cost me the vast majority of my relationships with men. Not all at once, but eventually, over time, one by one. It was one sexist joke too many, it was one boundary-crossing-creep-defender over the line. It was the constant microaggressions or the combination of being privileged and defensive about it and unable or unwilling to do any better. Most grew weary of arguing about feminist issues, or about the fact that I wouldn’t let them just win those arguments, even though they usually had no idea what they were talking about. They couldn’t deal with the fact that I won’t allow anyone to say disparaging shit to and about me and mine. Or they won’t or can’t do better after I explain how to do better many many times and finally I have to peace out on them for my own safety. I have at present a tiny handful of guy friends. One I get into arguments with nearly every time we talk. I fear that relationship may go the way of most of my past relationships with subtly sexist men—away, that is to say. Which is really too fucking bad. Because the truth is, I don’t hate men—I hate male privilege. I really like men, shit, I love them actually, some of them. I miss having men friends, but not enough to let the mild misogyny slide. I have got to take care of me and mine. That’s where we clash, because I refuse to just smooth things over, to just let things go. They’re accustomed to deference and I’ve taught myself to drop that habit as best I can."
— Guest Post: On the costs of talking about consent - Consent Culture (via ceeainthereforthat)
Privacy is a privilege. It is rarely enjoyed by women or transgender men and women, queer people or people of color. When you are an Other, you are always in danger of having your body or some other intimate part of yourself exposed in one way or another. A stranger reaches out and touches a pregnant woman’s belly. A man walking down the street offers an opinion on a woman’s appearance or implores her to smile. A group of teenagers driving by as a person of color walks on a sidewalk shout racial slurs, interrupting their quiet.
For most people, privacy is little more than an illusion, one we create so we can feel less vulnerable as we move through the world, so we can believe some parts of ourselves are sacred and free from uninvited scrutiny. The further away you are from living as a white, heterosexual, middle-class man, the less privacy you enjoy – the more likely your illusions of privacy will be shattered when you least expect it.
— The Great Naked Celebrity Photo Leak of 2014 is just the beginning | Roxane Gay | theguardian.com (via becauseiamawoman)
"This dominant narrative surrounding the inevitability of female objectification and victimhood is so powerful that it not only defines our concepts of reality but it even sets the parameters for how we think about entirely fictional worlds, even those taking place in the realms of fantasy and science fiction. It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game worlds would feel too “unrealistic” or “not historically accurate”. What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend or break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection. We are perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons and items in a massive invisible backpack. But somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable."
— Tropes vs Women in Video Games, Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 (via jdisapunk)
(Source: femfreq, via zeeblebum)