Read this article! It’s referring to an interview with Malala Yousafzai and Jon Stewart. Malala is a famous Pakistani woman who advocates for women’s rights, specifically rights to education. In the past, she was subject to assassination by the Taliban – it’s an amazing story. Check out her response to being threatened by them:
Many open-minded and freedom-loving young adults do not like the term feminism because they believe it perpetuates gender categories. Is the world not ready to move on?, they ask. Being ‘nice’ to women is ‘common sense’!
That is not the case – here we discuss why.
In a thoughtful post titled Feminism: A Male Anarchist’s Perspective, Pendleton Vandiver highlights how the attitude toward women has indeed changed for the better – not because humanity has slowly come to its senses; not because some vague sense of justice has cured bigotry – but only because of the ongoing struggle of feminism that has pushed through the past two centuries and still burns passionately today.
To deny this struggle is to perpetuate a myth similar to that of the happy slave. Yet this is precisely what we do when we speak of feminism as somehow perpetuating a gender divide, or hindering our progress away from identity politics. Feminism did not create the conflict between genders: patriarchal society did. It is important not to forget that the aforementioned idea that women are fully human is not common sense but absolutely, emphatically, a feminist notion.
He goes on to discuss why many ‘freedom-for-all’ advocates, especially anarchists, have criticized feminism for being:
- Essentialist (“believing that a woman is somehow truly, deep in her core, identifiable as a woman; being a woman is not simply the result of different attributes and behaviors.“)
- A philosophy that asserts female superiority to men.
- A perpetuation of gender categories.
Vandiver walks us through the arguments against these views. Here is a good snapshot:
Feminism can perhaps be best defined as the attempt to get beyond the state of affairs where people are oppressed because of gender. Thus, it is not possible to go beyond gender without feminism; the charge that feminism itself perpetuates gender categories is patently absurd.
The post is well worth a read. Check it out here.
So, what do you think – is the struggle perpetuating the problem?
We were throwing this rager at my friend’s house last week. There was this hot chick there dancing super slutty. As the night went on she got worse and worse and guys were giving her shots left and right. Later on I decided to try my luck and take her up to a bed room. At this point she was shit faced and I only had a couple of beers. We got to the room, shut the door, and she threw herself onto the bed. This was my chance. She sprawled out over the covers, mumbling words I couldn’t understand. I knew she wouldn’t remember any of this the next morning, so with a half grin on my face I did what any guy would do…I sat her up to make sure she puked, gave her some water, and tucked that bitch in and said good night. Sexual assault is not cool.
Finally! A meme we can get behind. Thanks, BU Confessor #2904, even if you did steal this from Reddit somewhere.
“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties.
Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.
If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”“
A recent Jezebel article showcases the fabulous Natalie Portman advocating for a pluralistic understanding of feminism in Hollywood. I’d go even further to say that movies and stories about cis-men, trans* folks, and all non-binary characters can be feminist works, so long as they maintain a particular respect and overarching consciousness. Feminism for all!
“I want every version of a woman and a man to be possible. I want women and men to be able to be full-time parents or full-time working people or any combination of the two. I want both to be able to do whatever they want sexually without being called names. I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad — human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.”
No other song has caused as much controversy recently as Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines (ft. T.I and Pharrell). The song is hugely popular, despite the fact that it glorifies the dangerous notion that a woman’s consent is only a fuzzy guideline which a man can choose to abide by when he feels like it.
Then there is the music video, with the three fully dressed male singers surrounded by nearly naked female models who proceed to parade around them, acting as an accessory for the men. As if this isn’t enough, the second, unrated version features completely topless models in nude thongs. And finally, most recently were the 2013 VMA’s, where Miley Cyrus’s performance made headlines across the country.
Selection of Lyrics:
….OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you…..
…You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted….
…I hate them lines
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me…
(Further lyrics posted elsewhere)
In an interview with GQ magazine Thicke says when referring to writing the song with Pharrell, “We started acting like we were two old men on a porch hollering at girls like, “Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!”” The anecdote is told with a laugh, something women who have dealt with sexual harassment from find far from humorous.
When questioned about the videos portrayal of women in the same GQ article, Thicke proceeds to give what he thinks is a defense of his video, but instead proves his own lack of understanding of this social issue.
“We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, “We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this.”
So being “happily married” absolves these three men of the responsibility to respect the women around them and not take into account the larger social issues, specifically street harassment and rape culture, that are brought to attention with videos like these?
Thicke continued: “People say, “Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?” I’m like, “Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.”
…. really? Thicke goes on to add to this preposterous argument:
“So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, “Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.” After the video got banned on YouTube, my wife tweeted, “Violence is ugly. Nudity is beautiful…”
So if that is the case, then why is it that the men are fully clothed? Where is this video showing the beauty in nudity or the female body? Instead of accentuating the positive attributes of a woman in a respectful and artistic way, the creators of this video have made the women purely accessories, objects to the men who can to stand around and have their egos boosted at the expense of the women.
Instead of calling out on the bullshit that is this attitude many in our society have by making fun of these men, Thicke, Pharrell and T.I instead succeeded in encouraging this culture. Perhaps this is something these married fathers can think about when their wives and daughters face street harassment and the pervasive fear of rape.
THE MUSIC VIDEO:
There are two versions of the music video, one being the “clean” version, and one being the unrated version. And thus I link you to two other interpretations of the music video:
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines [Feminist Parody] “Defined Lines”
See comments on this youtube video for further reasons as to why this video needs to exist.
Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” Sexy Boys Parody by Mod Carousel
“It’s our opinion that most attempts to show female objectification in the media by swapping the genders serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and do everyone a disservice. We made this video specifically to show a spectrum of sexuality as well as present both women and men in a positive light, one where objectifying men is more than alright and where women can be strong and sexy without negative repercussions.” – Mod Carousel
MILEY CYRUS AND THE CONTROVERSIAL VMA’S:
Right after the VMA’s, Miley’s scandalous performance, which involved barely there clothing and a foam finger,was the main topic of discussion. But within all this buzz, the fact that Robin Thicke performed as well was hardly mentioned. Before watching the video, I was under the impression that Cyrus had performed the song alone.
Rising to fame as a Disney star, it makes sense that the now twenty year old actress gets harsh criticism with her sexually provocative choices, but why isn’t the media talking about the thirty-six year old man who wrote the song to begin with? Is our society so comfortable with grown men objectifying women that we no longer address the issue?
I’m not excusing Cyrus’s performance or saying that it was appropriate, but why is she the only one being attacked by the media? When did we stop holding grown men accountable for their actions?
So when people ask why this video is still being discussed by the media, or say they just “don’t get why this song is such an issue”, they should take a moment to educate themselves about how constantly our culture disregards dangerous issues and the effect it has on the mindset of future generations.
“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”
– G.D Anderson
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