"I am tired of token women being strong in a man’s world by taking on male attributes: strutting around in black leather, spike heels and wraparound shades, killing people; or riding a horse, swearing a lot, carrying a big sword, and killing people; or piloting a ship through hyperspace, drinking whatever pours, slapping boys on the back, and killing people. I am equally tired of women-only worlds where all the characters are wise, kind, beautiful, stern seven-foot-tall vegetarian amazons who could never dream of killing anyone. I am tired of reading about aliens who are really women, or women who are really aliens.
Women are not aliens. Take away men, and we do not automatically lose our fire and intelligence and sex drive; we do not form hierarchical, static, insectlike societies that are dreadfully inefficient. We do not turn into a homogenous Thought Police culture where meat-eating is banned and men are burned in effigy every full moon. Women are not inherently passive or dominant, maternal, or vicious. We are all different. We are people.
A women-only world, it seems to me, would shine with the entire spectrum of human behavior: there would be capitalists and collectivists, hermits and clan members, sailors and cooks, idealists and tyrants; they would be generous and mean, smart and stupid, strong and weak; they would approach life bravely, fearfully and thoughtlessly. Some might still engage in fights, wars, and territorial squabbles; individuals and cultures would still display insanity and greed and indifference. And they would change and grow, just like anyone else. Because women are anyone else. We are more than half of humanity. We are not imitation people, or chameleons taking on protective male coloration, longing for the day when men go away and we can return to being our true, insectlike, static, vacuous selves. We are here, now. We are just like you."
— Nicola Griffith, talking about writing Ammonite (via limousine-eyelash)
(Source: dont-deconstruct, via flamingculture)
"Within patriarchal culture, the girl who does not feel loved in her family of origin is given another chance to prove her worth when she is encouraged to seek love from males. Schoolgirl crushes, mad obsessions, compulsive longings for male attention and approval indicate that she is rightly pursuing her gendered destiny, on the road to becoming the female who can be nothing without a man. Whether she is heterosexual or homosexual, the extent to which she yearns for patriarchal approval will determine whether she is worthy to be loved. This is the emotional uncertainty that haunts the lives of all females in patriarchal culture. From the start, then, females are confused about the nature of love. Socialized in the false assumption that we will find love in the place where femaleness is deemed unworthy and consistently devalued, we learn early to pretend that love matters more than anything, when in actuality we know that what matters most, even in the wake of feminist movement, is patriarchal approval"
— Communion by bell hooks (via maga-capturandomariposas)
"The stereotype of the ugly, unfuckable feminist exists for a reason – because it’s still the last, best line of defence against any woman who is a little too loud, a little too political. Just tell her that if she goes on as she is, nobody will love her. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always believed that part of the point of feminist politics – part of the point of any sort of radical politics – is that some principles are more important than being universally adored, particularly by the sort of men who would prefer women to smile quietly and grow our hair out."
— If you’re a feminist you’ll be called a man-hater. You don’t need rebranding (via sailorfemme)
(Source: nathanjurgenson, via thepersonalispolitic)
A 14 year-old boy was recently raped at knife-point by a 20 year-old woman. When the story broke, it was primarily men who claimed he should have enjoyed it. It was feminists who validated his pain and spoke in support of him.
This is why we need feminism.
— (via charlesneedsfeminism)
[P]atriarchy pushes us to put aside our good judgment—particularly when that good judgement is urging us to believe bad things about talented, white men.
I believe, as Roxane Gay does, that people are skeptical of abuse victims because “the truth and pervasiveness of sexual violence around the world is overwhelming. Why would anyone want to face such truth?” I also believe that deep down people know once we start to believe victims en masse—once we take their pain and experience seriously—that everything will have to change. Recognizing the truth about sexual assault and abuse will mean giving up too many sports and movies and songs and artists. It will mean rethinking institutions and families and power dynamics and the way we interact with each other every day. It will be a lot.
And we are lazy.
It’s easier to ignore what we know to be true, and focus on what we wish was. But the more we hold on to the things that make us comfortable and unthinking, the more people will be hurt—and the more growing room we’ll create for monsters.
— Choosing Comfort Over Truth: What It Means to Defend Woody Allen, my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)
"Quite honestly, my objection to rape jokes is not even because I particularly find the jokes personally triggering anymore; I generally just find them pathetic and inexplicable. And while I’m bothered by the fact that the jokes normalize and effectively minimize the severity of rape and thus perpetuate the rape culture, I’m more bothered by the thought of a woman who’s recently been raped, who’s just experienced what may be the worst thing that will ever happen to her, and goes to the site of her favorite webcomic, or turns on the telly, or goes to the cinema, or a comedy club, to have a much-needed laugh—only to see that horrible, life-changing thing used as the butt of a joke. I don’t understand—and I don’t believe I ever will—why anyone wants to be the person who sends that shiver down her spine, who makes her eyes burn hot with tears at an unwanted memory while everyone else laughs and laughs."
This is the most spot on description of how I feel about rape jokes I’ve seen.
(Source: tenderbearhugs, via zeeblebum)
"The trouble is that, for women, being “nice” often translates into putting up with things we should never put up with. How many times has some creep sat uncomfortably close to me on the bus and stared me down, yet I’m too afraid to just get up and move, lest I offend him?
We smile when we’re harassed on the street or hit on by jerks. We laugh at sexist jokes. We learn that when we have strong opinions, we’ll be called bitches and that if we get angry, we’ll be called hysterical. When we say what we want, we’re called pushy or aggressive.
Part of learning “ladylike” behavior is about learning to smile politely when someone is being crude. Femininity has long been attached to passivity and to being docile. Men fight, women giggle and fume silently."
— Women And Girls Don’t Need To Be Told To Be Nicer (via idioticteen)
(Source: brutereason, via rapeculturerealities)
"All white women in this nation know that their status is different from that of black women/women of color. They know this from the time they are little girls watching television and seeing only their images. They know that the only reason nonwhites are absent/invisible is because they are not white. All white women in this nation know that whiteness is a privileged category. The fact that white females may choose to repress or deny this knowledge does not mean they are #ignorant: it means that they are in denial."
— bell hooks
Does your boyfriend or brother spend a lot of money on skin and hair care products? Does your dad spend much time at the hairdresser or beautician?
In your city’s daily paper do most of the political news items feature women? Are most of the stories in the business section written by and about women? Is there a special ‘Men’s Section’ filled with celebrity gossip, fashion and beauty tips?
When you watch a big sporting event on TV, are the athletes usually women? When you watch female sporting teams are there hot guys in tiny outfits cheering for them on the sidelines?
Do girls you know talk openly about getting off while watching porn? Do they boast about their sexual conquests?
When you’re at the food court, do your female friends happily gobble down a large burger and fries combo while your male friends pick at a salad and sip diet coke?
Do the majority of the fathers you know spend most of their time at home washing, cleaning, cooking and taking care of their kids? Do you often hear mothers refer to looking after their own kids as ‘babysitting’? Have you heard women talk about earning brownie points for cleaning their own house and washing their own clothes? Are you sick of men going on about how hard it is to balance work and parenthood?
Are your male friends afraid to walk on their own at night? Do they avoid drinking too much in case they get raped? Do they dress to protect themselves from attack and always carry their keys poking through their knuckles? When they complain about all this do your female friends shrug and tell them that’s just how the world is?
If the answer to all of these questions was yes, wouldn’t that mean something was wrong? Is that still true if the genders are reversed? Does it matter?
— Opening from Emily Maguire’s ‘Your Skirt’s Too Short: Sex, Power, Choice’ (via disabledbyculture)
(Source: gothipslikecinderella, via disabledbyculture)
"There may be more pressure on breast cancer patients to be positive simply because there’s more pressure on women in general to be smiley and helpful and perky and cheerful at all times."
— Barbara Ehrenreich, Pink Ribbons, Inc. (Documentary, 2011)
(Source: sociophilia, via bematthe)
"Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine. (I love that wonderful rhetorical device, “a male friend of mine.” It’s often used by female journalists when they want to say something particularly bitchy but don’t want to be held responsible for it themselves. It also lets people know that you do have male friends, that you aren’t one of those fire-breathing mythical monsters, The Radical Feminists, who walk around with little pairs of scissors and kick men in the shins if they open doors for you. “A male friend of mine” also gives—let us admit it—a certain weight to the opinions expressed.) So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said."
Margaret Atwood, Second Words: Selected Critical Prose (1983), pg. 413.
You’ve probably heard the punchline before, but here’s the full context for the quote. (via muffinw)
Taking a stand against patriarchy is much easier if you’re well-educated, have a stable income, and live in a community where you could theoretically find an educated, employed man to marry. For poor, uneducated women, especially those who have kids, the question of whether to get married looks a lot different: It’s the choice between raising children on one or two incomes, between having someone to help with household chores and child-rearing alone while working multiple jobs.
And that’s the big difference: For a poor woman, deciding whether to get married or not will be a big part of shaping her economic future. For a wealthier woman, deciding whether to get married is a choice about independence, lifestyle, and, at times, “fighting the patriarchy.” There’s a cognitive dissonance in Ehrenreich’s straight-up dismissal of the economic benefits of marriage, because the statistics tell an awkward truth: Financially, married women tend to fare much better than unmarried women.
— Wealthy Women Can Afford to Reject Marriage, but Poor Women Can’t by Emma Green, The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/wealthy-women-can-afford-to-reject-marriage-but-poor-women-cant/283097/)
(Source: teethingontigers, via flamingculture)
"In the Times article, the phrase “sexual assault” is used, as is the phrase “the girl had been forced to have sex with several men.” The word “rape” is only used twice and not really in connection with the victim. That is not the careful use of language. Language, in this instance, and far more often than makes sense, is used to buffer our sensibilities from the brutality of rape, from the extraordinary nature of such a crime. Feminist scholars have long called for a rereading of rape. Higgins and Silver note that “the act of rereading rape involves more than listening to silences; it requires restoring rape to the literal, to the body: restoring, that is, the violence—the physical, sexual violation.” I would suggest we need to find new ways, whether in fiction or creative nonfiction or journalism, for not only rereading rape but rewriting rape as well, ways of rewriting that restore the actual violence to these crimes and that make it impossible for men to be excused for committing atrocities and that make it impossible for articles like McKinley’s to be written, to be published, to be considered acceptable.
An eleven-year-old girl was raped by eighteen men. The suspects ranged in age from middle-schoolers to a 27-year-old. There are pictures and videos. Her life will never be the same. The New York Times, however, would like you to worry about those boys, who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. That is not simply the careless language of violence. It is the criminal language of violence."
THE CARELESS LANGUAGE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
BY ROXANE GAY
(Source: piscula, via zeeblebum)