“He For She” and the Next Step in Feminism

By Anto Rondon

“He For She” is a UN Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality, founded by UN Women with the key support of Emma Watson, Wolf Blitzer, and Simon Pegg. At Hoochie, we believe this movement, which has as its main goal underlying the important role of men in the Feminist movement, is crucial for Feminism in the 21st century, and is evidently the next step in the Feminist journey. It is clear for us that for Feminism–the conviction that men and women should be treated as equals because they are–to work, men need to take part in the movement. Not only for their wives, their daughters, their sisters, but because it is the right thing to do. 


Photo from: https://shoreditchsisterswi.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/heforshe.gif

The Feminist man, who is indispensable for Feminism to prevail, is often undermined as nonexistent or fake. As much as Feminism is about elevating females so they reach males’ levels of opportunity and privilege, it is also about educating males to understand that this elevation is right and natural. This is why all children have to be taught that for a woman to stand up for herself or to be an equal is okay, that there is no such a thing as an inferior gender. It is not enough for a woman to know her worth, if those around her (not only the other women, but the men) do not allow her to act on that worth. Teaching our children about gender equality is teaching our children about humanity. Not only can women achieve all that men can achieve, but men can also do things that are often exclusively thought of as womanly things. 

The “He For She” campaign addresses all of this, and allows us to get involved in the gender equality issues that matter to us: education, work, violence, politics, health, and identity. “Our mission is Gender Equality. Our stories make it matter. Our actions make it real”, reads the He For She webpage, advocating for the right fight for Gender Equality: the fight that involves both the female and the male gender. 

For more on this: Emma Watson at the HeForShe Campaign 2014 – Official UN Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkjW9PZBRfk 


Twit pic @VanityFair

Silver Linings Playbook: Lessons Learned from the 2016 Presidential Election

By Chloe Hite

Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are the champions that Americans neither wanted nor asked for, but their campaigns have been just what we need as a nation. While Clinton’s run was expected in the wake of her 2008 loss and subsequent service as Secretary of State to President Barack Obama, her 2016 campaign has been a game changer when one considers how it has been run in comparison and in response to the campaign of Donald Trump. Amazingly, her policy platform has been able to stand both independently of Mr. Trump’s, and in direct response to his assertions and proposed policy.

tieige-donald-trump-hillary-clinton_photo-1-640x427Photo: The Associated Press

Despite the official nominations of both Clinton and Trump, general dissatisfaction remains amongst the majority of the public, and most feel that neither candidate represents the true first choice for either party. In public perception, Clinton is too predictable and not innovative enough, and Trump is woefully ill equipped to appeal to a varied majority of voters. This election, however, has done a sort of service for the American public. The many points on which Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump disagree, and the way in which they do so, say something greater than the sum of their parts about what matters to Americans in 2016. Their statements have mobilized and normalized discussions, whether productive or successful, on issues rarely touched upon in popular public forums.

Mr. Trump’s remarks about minorities, specifically Muslims and Latinos, have highlighted and finally teased out into national discussion questions regarding racial discrimination, xenophobia, and systematic racism. He has incited a riot of anti-immigrant, anti-trade, nationalistic sentiment, pulling the curtain back on a disgruntled demographic of white, predominantly working and upper class males. Seemingly more provocative were Mr. Trump’s comments about women throughout the duration of his campaign. The most recent controversy was catalyzed by the leak of the much-scrutinized 2005 video footage of the candidate and Billy Bush discussing the casual sexual assault of women before an interview with Access Hollywood. The video prompted cavalier reactions from Trump and his supporters, his rejection by several members of the Republican Party, and a staunch attack on the part of Secretary Clinton.

These responses serve as a benchmark for the status of women in the American psyche, and bring the equality of the sexes and gender norms and expectations into the national forum. They confirm that the egalitarian goals of the feminist movement have yet to be achieved and indoctrinated into mainstream American society, despite an increase in female leadership, employment, and representation over the past 20 years. It also demonstrates how we have failed as a society to include most men in the feminist movement, a key step towards the achievement of true equality for all. In this way, the frustrating, hair-pulling election process that seems to have left most Americans feeling empty and decidedly undemocratic has done us a great service.

The service rendered by this campaign is not that of electing a leader in which we will all have complete confidence, but in the naming and preliminary discussion of many keys issues faced by a growing majority of American citizens today. With any luck, this act of naming will encourage further discussion on racial tensions, wealth inequality, xenophobia, policing, and gender dynamics, among others. The results of such discussions will hopefully result in improving relations and quality of life for every American citizen. In this way, an election many thought was a lost cause may leave the American public with a view of a thick silver lining in the gray January sky come Inauguration day.

Terms You Should Know #5: Heteronormativity

By Nicole Rizzo

 Here’s a brief definition of heteronormativity from Cathy J. Cohen’s insightful article “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?”

“By ‘heteronormativity’ I mean both those localized practices and those centralized institutions which legitimize and privilege heterosexuality and heterosexual relationships as fundamental and ‘natural’ within society” (Cohen, 440).

Why this term is relevant:

Any sort of “prescriptive ideal paradigm” has the potential to be exclusive. In the case of heteronormativity, the institutional and local practices that Cohen describes enact a type of violence against the “other” who does not conform to this hegemonic ideology. Assuming that heterosexuality is somehow the natural or essential mode of sexuality ultimately engages with Judith Butler’s critique of the “copy/origin argument” (See Butler, Judith. “Imitation and Gender Insubordination.” The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, edited by Henry Abelove et al., Routledge, 1993, pp. 307-20). If heterosexuality is “fundamental and ‘natural’” (Cohen 440), then non-normative forms of sexuality seemingly become “copies” of an ideal paradigm. This is a dangerous notion that replicates a series of violent and exclusionary acts against various groups of people.

This is not to say that heterosexuality is inherently bad, but rather the act of upholding one form of sexuality as the morally correct, ideal, or “natural” mode becomes incredibly problematic and does not capture the wide range of sexuality. As a dominant ideology, heteronormativity also promotes the “heterosexual nuclear family” as the ideal model for society. As a result, this restrictive notion devalues other family structures that are equally valid and supportive.

Here’s an example of heteronormative thinking:

Photo Courtesy: http://www.hamburgersnheroin.com/what-is-heronormativity/

The author of this post would like to acknowledge that the implications of heteronormativity are vastly complex and have not been covered entirely in this short blog post, which is not to say that they do not exist, since they clearly do.

Cohen, Cathy J. “Punks, Bulldaggers and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential Queer Politics?” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 3, no. 4, 1997, pp. 437-65.