Clouds’ Feminism 101

I thought an open post for people to discuss their view of feminism might be worth a go.

But first, as this is the blog of a historian and a journalist, let’s set feminism in context with a quick summary of recent history (UK for specific examples) and differing types of feminism.

Most of us tend to think the start of feminism began with the suffragettes campaigning for emancipation.

However, that would be to ignore the C18 writer, translator, and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792, in which she calls for women to receive education, instead of being treated as beautiful objects without a brain.

Education is, and always has been, critical for women seeking reform and equality. In the nineteenth century, reformers of both sexes continued to fight for the opportunity for women to have access to education. And not just education: suffrage, marital law and property rights started to become topical as reformists of both sexes sought to campaign against existing discriminatory legislation.

Let’s have a look at the Contagious Diseases Acts. For some reason I didn’t learn about this in my O-level history classes at school. These acts were passed in the 1860s to look after the British armed forces. Police officers (men) were given powers to arrest prostitutes, who were then checked for VD by doctors (men), and the women were locked up for three months, which was then later extended to a year. This was important because it protected the innocent men from contracting VD from prostitutes. Men were not checked. Logic there? None. These acts were repealed in 1886 after considerable public support.

But from one extreme to another. If working class prostitutes were being arrested to stop men contracting VD, what about the middle classes still fighting for educational equality?

While women were admitted to study and pass exams at university in England, they weren’t entitled to take degrees. The University of London was the first to admit women to degrees in 1878, some 30 years after taking in women students. By 1900, over 30 per cent of the 536 graduating students were women.

In contrast Oxford did not award degrees to women until 1920, and Cambridge was a very tardy 1947/8.

The first woman to gain honours in a University examination which was intended to be equivalent to that taken by men for a degree was Annie Mary Anne Henley Rogers. In 1877 she gained first class honours in Latin and Greek in the Second Examination for Honours in the recently instituted ‘Examination of Women’. In 1879 she followed this with first class honours in Ancient History.

Annie Rogers returned to Oxford to matriculate and graduate on 26 October 1920.

Oxford University Archives October 2007

But the suffragettes in the UK, and elsewhere in the world where women sought the vote on equal terms with men, are what we consider to be the really significant activity in the women’s rights movement.

In 1918, women over 30, with property, got the right to vote. At the same time the act extended the right to vote to all men over 21. Double standards or what? It took British women another ten years to achieve parity. Well behind many other countries.

And that is a brief selective summary of what has become known as first-wave feminism. Much as I hate labels, I might as well admit they are there.

So, moving on, what is second wave feminism? Well, it’s loosely described as 60s–80s. It includes a period of names such as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Mary Daly and Germaine Greer. Women like these, and many others, thought that getting the vote (not that all countries had, or even now have, equal voting rights for women) wasn’t quite equality. There was still considerable discrimination both de facto and de iure.

This is when reproductive rights come into płay. Yes, other women had advocated for birth control, think Stopes and Sanger, but our second wave feminists want total bodily autonomy for women. (Stopes and Sanger were not in favour of abortion but advocated for birth control for that reason.)

We see in the UK and the USA, the approval of the pill (free contraception in the UK for women), legal abortions, equal pay acts, sex discrimination acts, and laws to protect pregnant women at work.

Laws against domestic violence and marital rape came into force. Rape and crisis shelters were set up.

In publishing, we had Spare Rib, Ms, Virago Press, all to promote women’s rights and women writers.

And then what?

Second wave feminism fell out of fashion.

Why? Well it was white and middle class of course. And clearly, working class, poor women, lesbians and women of colour don’t experience the same oppression.

So then, we have so-called third wave feminism which focuses very much on intersectionality, ie all the things second wave feminism was criticised for not focusing on. Class and colour became more important.

Third wavers are also less rigid, feminism is whatever a feminist wants it to mean. It’s OK to wear girly clothes, make-up, and high heels. Pornography and prostitution can be a choice. Because choice is the way to destroy the gender binary established by the patriarchal society. These feminists also espouse slut walks and reclamation of language. Eg, bitch, slut, cunt, etc.

And … the so-called fourth wave, is pretty similar to three.

Three and four look to soften the messages of two. They speak for equality not women’s rights, or feminism per se, because equality for everyone is more important. The prime message here is equal rights for every minority group. No one group takes precedence. We should all fight together.

But let’s look at two big issues within feminism before I finish.

Sex

One is the status of pornography, prostitution/sex work and sadomasochism. This one splits feminists right down the middle. Some think it is OK for women to work in pornography or sex – both can often involve sexual activities – and, consent to total sexual submission within BDSM rules where women give total power to a male dominant.

The one feminist group considers such sexual activities to be detrimental to women, it perpetuates their objectification, continues to reinforce the power role of men, and the use of women by men as mere purchasable items, pornography and (female) prostitution for the pleasure of men. The other group thinks women have the right to choose and enjoy how they sexually express themselves, including making a living from it. This includes legalisation of prostitution and safe working environments. Any restriction smacks of censorship. This second group, initially known as sex-pro feminists, is now commonly referred to as sex-pos feminism.

Radfems

Finally radical feminism. In essence, radfems wish to dismantle the current patriarchal society whereby dominant males oppress everyone who doesn’t fit in with that model. (Lesbians, gays, trans men and women, queers, intersexuals.) If that’s difficult to grasp, think Marxism, which says the working classes are always oppressed by their capitalist bosses. Same principle, different groups of people. Radfems tend to see the prime tenets of feminism as bodily autonomy and economic independence (from men). They are rarely ‘sex-pos’ as they see the sex industry as degrading, humiliating and objectifying to women, that merely serves to gratify male desire.

Summary

Early feminists worked for equality in education, suffrage, property rights, marital laws.

Later feminists worked for equal pay, reproductive rights, pregnancy rights at work, overturning domestic violence, marital rape, setting up refuges, and, attacking the implicit societal bias of gender discrimination.

Late C20 feminists pushed for intersectionality including within feminism: the rights of working class and poor women, lesbians, women of colour, trans men and women, and reclamation of language and appearance, while still challenging the gender binary.

Some feminists don’t agree with the sex industry. Others do.

Radfems just want to change society.

Conclusion

And … how many women in how many countries still do not have suffrage, equal rights to education, bodily autonomy, or affordable health care?

This is a relatively short and objective summary. I’ve not cluttered it up with sources, or, sadly, my opinion.

Open forum, for your views on feminism.

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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171 Responses to Clouds’ Feminism 101

  1. Some of the latest hangups I’ve had with feminism have come in a couple areas of thought. First is the concept of men as “ally only.” It seems like at best it’s kind of like a separate but equal (read: segregation) for men to sit in the back of the bus. How can one promote equality in thought when one is promoting disparate treatment?

    Another problem I’ve been around is genuine misandry. I’m wondering how feminism is addressing this. Is misandry seen as a problem? Is it seen as preferable? Or is it just something that some feminists just want to tell men to man up and stop whining about it (I’ve heard that one). Or is it just part of the hazards of feminism having a big tent?

    Finally, I’m wondering how feminists feel about seeing equality as the ability to just not give a shit about gender stereotypes. For example, there’s a gender stereotype of men who are bumbling fathers, unable to do things around the house without a woman’s assistance. Some men are starting to complain about it, but generally men really don’t care about it. And men generally don’t have to conform to being an idiot around the house to be seen as an ideal man.

    What if women live in a world where they still have to see pictures of excessively airbrushed women on magazines, but they don’t have the pressure to conform to any of it? Would that be seen as equality (i.e., women having the same opportunity to ignore as men do)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Allies
      This is relatively simple. Later feminists, ie the ones who focus on inclusivity would agree with you, and welcome any voice that seeks to eradicate inequality (in any area, not just feminism). These feminists would agree that segregation alienates potential influential people, and that men are essential speakers for feminism, especially in the ideological area of changing current opinions.

      The argument against that, tends to focus on a few key areas. 1) men have no knowledge or experience of oppression as a woman, so how can they call themselves feminist? Sure allies, but feminist? 2) the classic mansplaining comes into effect next, where men start to give the benefit of their (superior) masculine wisdom about a subject of which they have no experiential knowledge (ie 1) Not only that, men starting to talk for women, on behalf of women, about something that is unique to women, flies in the face of what feminism is trying to achieve, ie equality of respect, of intellect, of intelligence. 3) Following on from 2) not all men who profess to be ‘feminist’ will necessarily accord with the different sections within feminism. Somewhat like the person who says they are vegetarian yet eat fish/shellfish. Sure they *think* they are vegetarian because they don’t eat meat. 4) Sometimes women want a safe space away from men. Many women have suffered abuse, whether mental, verbal, physical or sexual.

      Interestingly it’s not a new phenomenon. Back in the late C19, feminists in the UK considered whether men, like John Stuart Mill, should be included at their meetings.

      In the middle, we have feminists who do want men to contribute towards feminism and don’t get hung up on what they are called. What all groups probably have in common is wanting men to not just spout the rhetoric but to do something. Call out rape ‘jokes’ and derogatory sexist comments by other men. I’ll leave it at that …

      Misandry
      Firstly, misandry is often hurled as an accusation against feminism, when, it’s not men that are the target of activism. It’s the discriminatory system of patriarchy. Which affects all of us.
      Secondly, ‘Misandry’ is also a neat technique to undermine feminism and individual feminists, rather than listening to the actual messages. It’s not a lot different to insults of hairy-legged lesbians really.
      Thirdly, ‘Misandry’ has been argued to be an inaccurate description when used against feminists, as they are not targeting individual men, but the system.
      That said, there are/have been individual feminists who can wear the tag. But I’d suggest they are in a minority. Certainly from my experience of feminism. FWIW.
      Again, you will have inclusive feminists who will see it as a problem and want to address it. You will have radical feminists who will say it’s not a priority, what is a priority is addressing centuries of oppression and discrimination towards woman, and that in itself is not misandry.
      And yes, it is a large tent.

      Gender stereotypes
      Finally, one of the huge bugbears. Or the elephant in the feminist tent? Where to start? One can buy into the fact that gender is a social construct, aided and abetted by biological sex, ie nurturing caring emotional irrational women who like to be cosseted and protected, and tough macho intelligent men who do the difficult things in life as the head of home and family. Or one can take the view that people are as they come. But, that would exclude airbrushing. Why do we airbrush? To perpetuate the ideal in our society of what (ideal) women *should* look like. While ever we have those public images I doubt women – and men – will ignore them and change behaviour or opinions. Men bumbling around the house? Who sees them? It’s hardly the same comparison is it? After all, they are a member of the ruling class. In theory, yes *some* feminists would like to see gender stereotypes ignored. Others agree with it …

      Sorry for the length. I wanted to put the differing points of view in answer to your questions.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I feel split on the ally issue. On the one hand, I feel that anyone that believes and works for equality can reasonably be called a feminist. Unfortunately, white men calling themselves feminist usually end up being some of the loudest voices at the expense of others actually experiencing gender discrimination. I have seen too many of these men be exposed as highly sexist assholes that take advantage of their prominence to hurt others in the feminism community. Generally, I don’t mind when men call themselves feminist. It is usually quite refreshing…at first. It doesn’t take long before I’m getting talked over and discounted without them realizing what they’re doing. It is tiring.

      I have found genuine misandry to be pretty rare. There are certainly issues and stereotypes in our society that are misandrist. There are certainly individuals that hate men simply for being men, but it seems pretty rare. Usually, it is just women that have been hurt over and over again by the men in their lives.

      As for the whole bumbling husband thing, that falls under misandrist societal stereotypes certainly, but the more married men I get to know, I think there is something else going on. Our patriarchal society teaches men to act in certain way and expect certain things from their wives. Studies show that heterosexual couples still split house chores unevenly. Even when both work, the woman does the housework. Things are split much more evenly among homosexual couples. I believe the bumbling husband routine may have elements of truth to it because men are not taught to help and are often not expected to. Should we care about changing these stereotypes and the cultural issues that cause them? Unreservedly, yes.

      I have failed to imagine a world in which a certain type of woman is shown again and again in ads and entertainment and yet the women of the world are not pressured to conform to that standard. It just doesn’t happen. There is much less pressure on men, but many still develop eating disorders and the like. If I remember correctly, the numbers of males feeling the pressure and acting on it is rising. A superficial, patriarchal society is bad for all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that, you neatly summarise the different views within feminism on all these topics. Without blame or censure. It’s a good personal, yet objective perspective.

        I wonder though, is American society different to European? Certainly I know lots of British relationships that ‘appear’ pretty equal. I have not visited a single friend or family member where the duties are not shared. This week, I have worked long hours and done little in the house. My contribution to the household today has been at best 5%. Equal distribution demands serious honesty.

        Image is all. Maybe that’s why lumbersexual was in the running for word of the year. I think we would be hard pushed to find feminists who say that patriarchy doesn’t damage everyone. Just, getting the message across isn’t easy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Arkenaten says:

    If religion and god belief was really the great thing it is always cracked up to be – by the religious – then there wouldn’t likely be atheists.

    In the same vein, why does anyone wonder why there is feminism?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. makagutu says:

    Hi friend, you already know I don’t say much on the topic of feminism.
    I would however add to the history. I think it goes much farther than where you place it. In 1405, a woman, Christine de Pizan, wrote a book the city of ladies where she advances the value of women in society and advocates for education among other things.
    In 1727, Jean Messlier, was already arguing for the right of women to get divorce.
    Writing in 1900s not specifically on women issues, R. G Ingersoll defended women’s right to leave a horrible marriage.
    As to my two cents, I want a fair society for all. That each person be treated with dignity and we shall have no discrimination based on the gender of a person

    Liked by 2 people

  4. violetwisp says:

    No opinion from the host? We’re all being invited to blindly dip our toes in the viper’s nest, where I suspect little of what is said will be considered correct. 🙂

    Like

    • Arkenaten says:

      Hello, Grumpy!

      😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tut tut. What’s happened to your new charitable non-judgemental face? No mocking or scoffing? Bit harsh to make an assumption like that.
      People comment on here from feminist perspectives that are clearly different. Others say they know little about it but want to learn. I thought it would be helpful to provide recent context and history for everyone to understand the wide spectrum of feminism, which may explain some of the disagreements in sound bites on other posts. However, if you choose not to say what you think about feminism that’s up to you.

      Love, The Viper 🐍

      Liked by 1 person

      • violetwisp says:

        Don’t get me wrong, it was a great post! I really enjoyed reading about the context, me being a dictionary-definition feminist, and only vaguely aware of these ‘waves’. I’m surprised to learn I am a constituent part of one of them. I thought you’d put your stake in the ground at the outset of the discussion but I expect it’s more interesting to watch the conversation evolve.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Arkenaten says:

          I thought you’d put your stake in the ground at the outset of the discussion but I expect it’s more interesting to watch the conversation evolve.

          Now,now, ‘Buffy’, we don’t all run around with mallets and stakes which we bang in other places.
          This a subject that people will want to get their teeth into. It’s way too early to be waving the garlic around.

          😉

          Like

        • Thanks. No stake on this one. When I’ve put my stake in its fairly obvious. No stake in my replies either. Remember, journalists learn to write objectively and about things they disagree with, well, they used to! Historians/archaeologists present facts, artefacts, records, and make conclusions. I’m just doing the first part here. No conclusions.

          So your contribution so far is that you are a dictionary definition feminist. Mmmm.

          a person who supports feminism

          Online dictionary. Let’s try another:

          advocacy of women’s rights or of the movement for the advancement and emancipation of women

          Is that what you mean?

          Like

          • violetwisp says:

            Yes, I support feminism – the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Is that not what core feminism is, in all these waves?

            Like

          • It’s not the dictionary definition that I found. You said you were a dictionary definition feminist. No mention of men 🙂

            Like

          • violetwisp says:

            Well, I’m your one: a person who supports feminism, and the next definition I gave from here:
            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism

            (I’m missing something?)

            Like

          • You said feminist, so that’s what I looked up.

            Interestingly MW won’t let you look up feminist, but rather feminism, not the individuals.

            Anyway, here’s another on-line dictionary:

            advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

            and OED online:

            a person who supports feminism

            Bit vague, so what do they say about feminism?

            The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes. It then gives a very potted history of feminism. Even more potted than mine.

            OK. So what’s the difference between these definitions and yours? (Apart from the fact MW is American) Subtle, but I’d say, in these definitions, it’s implicit that women are disadvantaged in terms of rights and need to make up lost ground. There’s no mention of equal rights for men because they’ve already got privilege and preferential rights.

            There is a difference between advocation for equal rights for all – who wouldn’t? – but acknowledging there is a significant gap that needs to be bridged, and that some action needs to be taken to do so, isn’t quite the same thing.

            Reading esme and Mak’s comments above, wouldn’t you say that describes you too?

            Like

          • violetwisp says:

            Yes, I agreed with everything the cloud said I think. And Mak’s always right, so that goes without saying. Are you coming out?

            Like

  5. First off I think you’ve laid out all the angles of different kinds of feminists well, though I didn’t realise there were so very many categories.

    For myself it is thus –
     
    Equality in all areas of life. Simply stated I know, but that’s the key. I’d like to be a ‘humanist’ and no more, but that can only be the case when the disadvantaged are seen as both male and female (and transgender/androgynous). As it stands women still live in an essentially patriarchal world. It has improved, but women are still no-where near being treated as equals, and we are equals. We are equal humans.
     
    Equality is the key, respect is woven into it.
     
    I wish for equality for all mind you, because to have no interest in equality for other gender/identity persuasions is like fighting for an end to slavery in order to become slave owners yourself. Why a feminist wouldn’t want equality for all is beyond me. Of course I understand that being a woman would make feminism stand at the forefront of one’s personal consciousness, but it should not stand alone if it is indeed a philosophy of equality, which it is .
     
    I despise that which the fatheads of this world, be they men or women have done to the word feminist. Reading back on your last post RS in the comment section you were called all manner of names, ‘whining’ and sniveling’ and the rest and it looked to be squarely aimed at you for being so centered a feminist. It is the core of you. That which you (and I), fight for is not unreasonable, it is justified, and doesn’t immediately make us nasty shrews. This is not to say that no feminists are nasty shrews, I’m sure they are, but so are non-feminist women and men of all persuasions, that is a personality trait.
     
    I wish to be able to wear frilly clothes and high heels, and still be respected. I have done just that as many times as I’ve worn flat boots and jeans, I am with Eddie Izzard on clothing. He says he doesn’t wear women’s clothes, he wears his clothes, those he chooses to, from whatever department he fancies. So do I.
     
    I consider myself a feminist and a humanist, and I have garnered many male friends who think just as I which is brilliant. If they suffer some injustice, I do not wash my hands of the matter because they do not have as bad a time as women more generally do, it is injustice and perfectly valid, I can do both i.e. support women who have been fighting for so long it would be hard to put it in centuries, and all other gender/identity persuasions and their own issues as well. I consider myself someone who works towards a world that works in peace, with respect for all, to demean and ignore everyone else will not make women’s lives better in the long run, it fits perfectly as fodder for the cannons primed at feminists though, it actually helps those who denigrate women to see such egalitarian behaviour.
     
    I imagine I shall seem an idealist, unrealistic in my hopes for the ultimate unity of humans. But in the shortest nutshell I have – I ask to be treated with respect and as an equal, whilst striving not to be a bastard to the rest of the world.

    – esme upon the Cloud

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you eutC for such a considered and thoughtful response.

      So, some of mine, from a very snuffly dose rather than a cloud, in return.

      There are far more ‘categories’ of feminism than that. I just picked out the main recent historical groupings, and some of the differences with the movement, if one can call it that.

      Many feminists agree with your perception that women are not the only ones disadvantaged in a patriarchal world. Perhaps that’s why there’s an easy alliance with male homosexuals? Don’t know on that. Also, sometimes there is friction between heterosexual feminists and lesbian feminists. I don’t know enough about that to comment and I’ve not seen it personally. The same for bi-sexual women. I’ve seen both accepted and welcomed by feminists with no distinction.

      I don’t see a negation of equality for all in feminist ideology, rather that many women see they have rather further to go in their striving for equality when the chips are already laden against them. I suppose the question would be, if women are catching up in whatever field, and men are falling behind, then do we pause societal change to address the imbalance for men while putting women on hold?

      And that’s primarily talking about western society.

      But as to whether or not feminism is a philosophy of equality: to some it is; to others, it is more about getting rid of the discrimination, oppression, control, domination, that has existed for centuries. If equality has been mooted for centuries, why has it only been in the last 100+ years that anything has been done?

      The women in the late C19 and first/mid C20 covered a lot of ground for women. Certainly I have reaped those benefits. University education, free contraception, good jobs. But that doesn’t mean other women have been so fortunate, and I am mindful of that. Much of ‘luck’ is also money-related. Feminism, and equality, are complex issues.

      Blogs are what they are and insults come and go. My main gripe from XP was on the previous post about God Bless America where he called it a dumb post. I can accept being called whining. It’s an interesting word, as it suggests a weak and struggling woman who can’t make her point. Sexist language par excellence. But I will not stand for discrimination against people who are born without the ability to speak, where dumb=stupid. There is too much of that sort of language.

      Clothes: for a separate post, as said before.

      Well, we usually attract people of a similar mindset do we not? To me, one of the big problems, again in western society, is how men are seen as the money-rich milk cow. Get a man, have kids, split up, woman gets house, maintenance, whatever. Man ends up seeing little of kids, works all hours under the sun to pay rent because he doesn’t have money to buy, and on top of that, has to pay for ex-wife and children. I have seen too much of that. But, that’s how the system works.

      Unrealistic? Yeah. Maybe that’s what British women thought in the mid C19 about aspiring for graduation, suffrage, equal property rights. We might not see it. Others might when we are long gone.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s interesting to show and tell our thoughts on the subject in a specific post *smiles*.

        “But as to whether or not feminism is a philosophy of equality: to some it is; to others, it is more about getting rid of the discrimination, oppression, control, domination, that has existed for centuries. If equality has been mooted for centuries, why has it only been in the last 100+ years that anything has been done?”

        It is exactly about getting rid of all that for me as well as equality, I don’t see them as being mutually exclusive, its perfectly feasible to support both and still be a feminist, for myself at least, which is where I reckon we disagree. And perhaps there’s only been anything done about equality in the last 100+ years because everyone was too busy looking out for themselves to give a shit about other minorities? Equality will have been an issue from year dot I’d have thought, as humans love to be elitist, and holding back others who are different, or perceived to be weaker in some form, is dyed in the wool for many of them.

        – esme upon the Cloud

        Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      esme, you have expressed some if not most of my sentiments on this issue.
      I want to be a humanist. I want equality for all. I want human rights to mean just that, human rights. On a slightly off tangent issue, we have campaigns for the physically challenged to be recognized on merit. There should come a time when this shouldn’t be a campaign issue.
      If people want to continue to claim that humans are the most intelligent of all other races, I suggest they act thus. It defies logic to treat one half of the race as being less human and make grandiose claims of our progress.
      Sometimes I think Darwin’s book- The Descent of Man- was correctly titled. It does seem to me, we descended from higher animals. But this is a conversation of another day.
      It is in my opinion unjust to call our host names just because she is raising awareness of feminist issues.
      Maybe, I too, am an idealist. I tell myself that someday, if there shall be any divisions, it shall be on merit or talent but not skin colour, gender or anything for which no one has control over.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. @RSitM

    Great introductory piece. Although it would seem you are setting yourself up for lot of explaining in the future. Perhaps a link to help people along with other basic feminist tenets?

    Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog isn’t a bad place to start.

    It took one all of one comment – What about the menz? and the fallacious concept of misandry.

    Fantastic.

    The tradition and the truism continues: the comments section of *any* article on feminism proves the desperate need for feminism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I swore I would never do a feminism 101!

      If you’re interested go look it up, and … people don’t. So, figured it would be easier to write things myself. I think people have more interest when they *know* a blogger rather than just reading random sites. I could link to loads. I think IBTP is a bit advanced and abandoned anyway, so I wouldn’t use that. Your link is good. There are loads of great sites out there. I guess it’s poco a poco. I’ll add it again in a later post for the lazybones who never click on comment links.

      Yeah. Interesting.

      To be fair, Ark’s succinct comment said the same. Even though I spend half my time calling him sexist!

      You’re right though. I need to write a 102 and a 103 …

      Liked by 1 person

      • @RSitM

        “I swore I would never do a feminism 101! “

        The lure of educating the masses is strong. 🙂

        “I think people have more interest when they *know* a blogger rather than just reading random sites.”

        Agreed.

        ” I think IBTP is a bit advanced and abandoned anyway, so I wouldn’t use that.”

        I have really enjoyed reading IBTP. The blame is strong there, enough so that it was always my policy to lurk. Learned a great deal from her and her wise commentariat. I’m sad Twisty hasn’t posted in such a long time. It seems she is experiencing the problem many radicals do in dealing with institutional problems of society, namely burn-out. 😦

        Writing from a feminist perspective is challenging enough, but it is the constant return to explaining base axioms and riposting the same tired tropes is what wears one down, at least in my experience.

        Hence, at least on my blog, the bevy co-authors and a schedule that includes some light, but hopefully high interest material for my readers, buys me some time while my lobe recharges. :>

        “You’re right though. I need to write a 102 and a 103 …”

        If you need any help, I’d contribute a topic or two. But, as noted in early threads, I tend to be a bit shrill and strident while advocating for my point of view. :>

        Like

        • Me educate the masses? Never. I just write about my beliefs for fun 🙂 More seriously, my PR background never leaves me. I struggled with Twisty’s blog. Pretentious, cliquey, and just, ugh. But, I enjoyed the forum and hated the implode. It left a huge gap. And well, you probably know the rest.

          Isn’t explaining anything the same? I used a vegetarian analogy to Sirius, but, vegetarians have been saying the same things for years on boring years. Sign of age I reckon. Oh no! I have to explain this! Again? Feminism. Capitalism. Socialism. Etc.

          If you want, I’d very much appreciate it. I’m not a vid fan, I’m more words, but otherwise if you want to write something, that would be great. My rules are simple. Your text, your copyright, I’m just the host. Do I need to add no sexist, discriminatory, language? 😉

          Let me know. Canadian male perspective maybe? Whatever. A what about the menz post springs to mind, but your choice. No editing blah blah. Thanks Arb.

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  7. As I am quite the learning amateur on feminism, especially its subtle underlying existence in social, familial, and occupational sectors, I am very grateful for posts like this teaching its basic tenets, contrasts, as well as its internal variances which can cause confusion for someone like me. This post offers me more clarity and awareness and once again clues me in on how much further I have to go.

    Thank you Clouds/Roughseas. 🙂

    Like

  8. I’ll take your word for it. Guapo.

    LOL…ah, see… there’s language, and then there’s appropriate public language. Personally I know the context behind you using that word with me. In Gilbraltar and Spain, would “guapo” be appropriate in the market square to a total stranger or man you’ve just met 10-mins prior? I have a hunch that your guapo-meaning there is different than here in Texas and the Southwest United States. For instance, in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, the women compliment/flirt with similar words comfortably and frequently; in Texas, not quite the same.

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    • Yes. It would. As would guapa. But it’s also common here (Gib) to call people ‘darling’. It’s not even flirting, just easy language. Could be construed as sexist mind 😉

      Like

      • Could be construed as sexist mind.

        Hmm, that’s probably worth exploring further because this world and all humans on it are more strange, unpredictable, and varied as the number of stars in the cosmos and grains of sand in all seas and oceans. We want to be uniquely different while simultaneously being equal — a paradox and dance I don’t always perform well. 😛

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        • Well, as you may be aware from previous blog post/comments elsewhere, it’s a difficult one to balance. Unwarranted comments about appearance aren’t welcomed by some/many, especially from people with whom one isn’t particularly socially intimate. There can be more flexibility when you (think) you know people better, but even so, it can be a minefield. So, by calling you guapo I could be referring to your overall person not specifically your physical attributes. I’ve called someone’s dog guapo and the bloke preened himself until he realised I meant the dog.
          For me the trick is about not making overt personal comments, but we all open our mouths without thinking. Every time my Spanish neighbour has her hair cut I usually say she looks muy guapa. Then we have a discussion about how it’s cooler for summer. Not that I’m cutting mine for summer. Context, as ever rules, combined with local custom. So, for example your deep southern manners and speech seem overly formal to this Northern European. But getting it even halfway right on the tinties is never easy.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Context, as ever rules, combined with local custom. So, for example your deep southern manners and speech seem overly formal to this Northern European. But getting it even halfway right on the tinties is never easy.

            That is so very true. Though I may yet be an adequate ally for feminists, and I’m not in the least an enemy, I have experienced the painful result of being the victim of sexism and prejudice — I wrote about it in my post: Love Gas – Part Two here http://wp.me/p1uLmp-1pS — which can be the back-fire of hyper-elitism by feminists. Is that proper feminism, going too far to separate yourself from humanity as a whole? I don’t think so. I think a wide level of patience and tactful language from feminists are prudent for amateurs like me. 🙂

            Like

          • Now I remember reading that before, but I’ll have to re read. So give me time to do that and put roast potatoes in. Then I’ll come back.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Are you talking about your lesbian friend defining limits on your mostly platonic relationship with her because of the norms of the LGBT society? And as a minority group, suggesting that feminists are also withdrawing into themselves? If so, I can see that, vaguely. But I don’t think addressing the inequalities of 50% of the world’s population is exactly comparable with what sounds like a mix of sexual jealousy, and, yes prejudice. But, remember, as a white male heterosexual, that you also have the privilege thing. Whereas LGBT don’t. ‘Friendships’ and their continuity in the light of new relationships, as you highlight, are a whole different ball game.

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          • I absolutely LOVE human diversity! The more the better! The deeper and wider the experiences! You know that. What I struggle with Clouds/Roughseas, is WHY are my feelings, hopes, significance in relationships (no matter what the gender dynamics may or may not be!) including platonic LESS than those of another minority or majority!? I no more had any choice in my gender and sexual orientation than the next person! Why is my pain or disappointment less meaningful just because I’m a white hetero male!? To me that appears to be a contradiction…near hypocricy? :/

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          • I am so not getting into all that in the space of a comment reply. Plus I don’t have the LGBT perspective. I can only manage the fem one. And not right now. Not in the face of futbol competition :D⚽️

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          • Well, thank you for at least acknowledging my feelings about The Beautiful Game of futebol.

            Nevertheless, despite not receiving an ounce of a little basic HUMAN empathy for being a white hetero male — which I fully realize in the end I’m told by other groups, doesn’t matter — I still very much appreciate your Feminism 101 post! It will indeed help me become a better ally for it. 🙂 ❤

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          • Aw sweetheart, biological sex isn’t important, it’s who you are inside that counts 😉 for which you get tons of empathy. Even if your choice of sport leaves something to be desired.

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          • You’re soothing again; no longer required Darling. Over it, as you wished. ❤ 😉

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          • That’s the last time I soothe your precious manly ego then. You should have made the most of it.

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          • That wasn’t the spirit of my comment(s). I was merely attempting two things:
            A) my sincere gratitude for your simple easy to understand post on Feminism, and…
            B) offering a sometimes needed wider lens of humanity; complex imperfect human feelings, thoughts, actions, and experience no matter the gender, no matter the sexual-orientation, no matter the valid individual backgrounds.

            I’m already fully aware how lacking your art of empathy is Clouds/Roughseas and still warmly accept it and embrace it. You are a wonderful human being. 😉

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  9. EllaDee says:

    This is gold… is there any way you can use the comments elsewhere, I wonder. For mine, I appreciate that there is history behind feminism, the efforts that were made and what they have accomplished. And that there is more to be accomplished. And it can only be done by keeping feminism and equality for all in minds, and ongoing assessment and improvements to our awareness. As I’ve mentioned it’s ego and learned behaviors that influence our beliefs and actions.

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    • Thanks ED. I can probably do a summary post at some point pulling together some points from my posts and the resulting discussions. I’ll see how things go after a few more posts on feminist related topics. With this I really wanted people to have the opportunity for a free discussion. Ego, learned behaviour, but also, we need to be aware that we don’t know everything and haven’t trapped ourselves in a cul-de-sac or a vacuum.

      Like

  10. @Professor Taboo

    “Nevertheless, despite not receiving an ounce of a little basic HUMAN empathy for being a white hetero male — which I fully realize in the end I’m told by other groups, doesn’t matter — I still very much appreciate your Feminism 101 post!”

    I am curious, how oppressed do you feel given that you belong to the dominant class in the world that generally has their needs catered to, their desires replicated, and hold the venerated positions in most societies.

    For centuries, the axis of society has turned around your tastes, your needs, and your desires. The other classes in society have had to take a back seat to white hetero dudes, since basically, forever.

    When the axis of society dares to wobble (or is given a firm yank, by oh say feminists) a touch and thus is not centred directly on your needs and desires – is this discrimination? Or is it a small redress toward forming a society that values the want/needs of all people within it and not just the white dudes?

    I speak only to the generalities of the situation, and not your specific case. However, the whinging of white males is not unlike the whinging of christians in the US who bleat long and hard about their status as the persecuted majority.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. @Professor Taboo

    “B) offering a sometimes needed wider lens of humanity; complex imperfect human feelings, thoughts, actions, and experience no matter the gender, no matter the sexual-orientation, no matter the valid individual backgrounds.”

    You know all that structural shite that perpetuates the inequality and injustice in society, let’s just ignore that. What is *really* needed is a wider lens, that is obviously the problem.

    The mansplaination is strong with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “I speak only to the generalities of the situation, and not your specific case.”

    Hello Arbourist. Thank you for pointing out the contrast between Feminism/Sexism generalities, and my personal specific experiences with certain women. The two are ONLY the same by the fact that they were/are women interacting with a white hetero man. Although related to “gender issues” here, they should be kept in their proper contexts. Also, I think my last A-B) comment response to Clouds might apply to your question(s) here to me.

    “I am curious, how oppressed do you feel given that you belong to the dominant class in the world that generally has their needs catered to, their desires replicated, and hold the venerated positions in most societies.”

    To be perfectly honest Arbourist, I feel “oppressed” here and now; maybe exhausted is the more correct term. And all I was originally intending to say/comment was my thank you from someone who is a learning Amateur on this social-occupational issue — AND hopefully ally!!! — but my dear friend Clouds/Roughseas knows how to lure me inward due to my lack of timidness toward dilemmas or controversy. 😉

    Regarding the rest of your generalities, I can’t really change the fact that my white parents — particularly the sperm my father gave my mother — were part of the deciding gender process and my biological, neurological-hormonal, and anterior hypothalamus structure/development… decided I would be heterosexual. With those facts made, since my naivety early in life regarding social problems like intersexed births, sexism, feminism, etc, I am now later in life a staunch Feethinking Humanist unchained by any antiquated social systems, especially religious ones! Therefore, I want to do what I can for a better world. This includes more extensive human equalities for all. I was merely trying to point out to Clouds/Roughseas later in our comment exchanges how difficult she (and sometimes other Feminists) make that for me. It smacks of exactly what it is she/they are trying to change, in my opinionated feelings. I am part of the human family. I want to be my small part of the solution(s), not alienated.

    Hope that helps in your better understanding of me on this issue. 🙂

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    • Professor. This is a post about feminism to ensure that people who generously visit and comment, all understand at least, some of the basic precepts. And you make it all about you . Like you, others have said they have learned something, and also profess humanism. So you are not alone there. As for equalities for all? The whole point is, that we are not starting from a level playing field. I am sure you understand that metaphor. It is very steeply banked so the female team is fighting uphill to score goals. Or even one goal. Let alone win.

      If you don’t wish to contribute in future, but prefer to read and maybe learn something, that’s fine too.

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    • @Professor Taboo

      “I am now later in life a staunch Feethinking Humanist unchained by any antiquated social systems, especially religious ones!”

      You seem genuine in your declarations, thus I offer my congratulations on freeing your perceptions from some of the corrosive aspects of society.

      “This includes more extensive human equalities for all. I was merely trying to point out to Clouds/Roughseas later in our comment exchanges how difficult she (and sometimes other Feminists) make that for me.”

      There a couple of issues that might be of relevance to the thoughts you are expressing. I think touching lightly on a few might be informative with regards to further proactive behavior.

      1. Society is inherently unjust.
      2. Any sort of equality conceived with said society must also necessarily be unjust.
      C: Equality without justice is bunk.

      Many people who argue for equality or humanism tend to overlook the present and historical evidence that points to the fact that, structurally speaking, our societies are ordered in a such a way that one class of people are favoured over the other classes.

      And in thus, in making this axiomatic error, wrongly believe that by advocating for more equality, they are somehow changing society for the better. While in fact, what they are doing is reinforcing the status-quo and the fundamental injustice/inequality that comes with said status-quo.

      Radical Feminism, or radical anything really, means to take problems and solutions down to the root of the matter and solve them from where they spring. In the case of feminism, it is tackling the patriarchal paradigm in its various forms and forcing those institutions in society that perpetuate said norms to change and thus removing patriarchal normative values from that area of society. Property laws, the suffrage, freedom from marital rape are examples of changing the fabric of society toward a more even and just distribution of power and status in society.

      Some feminists tend to be wary of men who proclaim they are equalists or humanists because often in practice those dudes are for the equality and freedom of men in their pursuits, while woman’s valid concerns are dismissed or ignored. This is a feature of right-wing dudes and left-wing dudes in their grand quest for equality. Both sides are consistent in there continued support (tacit or otherwise) of the oppression of women.

      “I was merely trying to point out to Clouds/Roughseas later in our comment exchanges how difficult”

      Fascinatingly enough, women have this exact problem, except that it occurs all the time and on just about any topic. You see, men seem to think that they, being in possession of all the important knowledge of mankind and thus being a man, have the authority to share with women their important insights into issues regarding women (or anything really) in general. Men tend not to listen to women, drown them out, and generally ignore female contributions to discussions.

      The secret antidote to this is quite simple. Stop moving those two fleshy appendages below one’s nose and listen carefully to what women are saying. Easy. Easy as beans on toast.

      Otherwise, one might be guilty of trying to talk over and thus, mansplain to a woman.

      That is probably enough, because no one likes walls o’ text. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. @ Clouds/Roughseas and The Arby… my warm fuzzies for you both. 😈 😉

    As I am quite the learning amateur on feminism, especially its subtle underlying existence in social, familial, and occupational sectors, I am very grateful for posts like this teaching its basic tenets, contrasts, as well as its internal variances which can cause confusion for someone like me. This post offers me more clarity and awareness and once again clues me in on how much further I have to go…if I cover myself in body lubricant and let slip your snarky comments! lol 😛

    Meanwhile, I have started reading Feminism Is For Everybody: Passionate Politics by Bell Hooks (aka Gloria Jean Watkins) and almost reached the end of chapter one. Are there any additional books the two of you would recommend that lean to the inclusive like Hook’s book, rather than the exclusive and divisive slants?

    Thank you Clouds/Roughseas and The Arby. 🙂

    P.S. I will not be able to reply anymore today due to a previous Xmas-party commitment tonight — ironically with BOTH men and women happily interacting and laughing — that will go late. I’ll try to return tomorrow or Monday.

    Like

    • Thanks for the fuzzies, darling.
      I’ll leave the reading recommendations to The Arb who is better read than me.
      Although, I did mention Wollstonecraft and Mak referred to de Pizan, which I understand he will be reading shortly. I always think a little history helps, and I would have thought as a teacher of history, you might too, after all, in Burke’s words, ‘Those who don’t know history … etc’
      hooks’ (pls note, her name is lower case like k d lang) book about love sounds an interesting one. Thought you might have gone for that.
      Feminism is not about creating barriers between men and women Professor. It is about removing the existing inequalities. It doesn’t stop people interacting and laughing. Hope party went/goes well. I’m sure it would.

      Like

      • Adding Wollstonecraft and Mak (and de Pizan?) to the To Read list. Thank you.

        “Feminism is not about creating barriers between men and women Professor. It is about removing the existing inequalities.”

        I completely agree about barriers. Unfortunately, I’ve found this to be the case with some Feminist here in these parts of the U.S., particularly toward white caucasin hetero males, as well as over the internet.

        Regarding the removal of existing inequalities, I agree once again. Wouldn’t it be so nice if in circumstances of possible/probable sexist prejudices, we could temporarily remove sight and sound, hence removing the biases until it was too late like in the cases of hiring practices? Personal example, I am convinced that after a few specific face-to-face job interviews for Special Ed teaching, my “age” was a hiring deterrent, yet I flew through the previous evaluation processes, in some cases asked to come in the same day. :/

        Prejudices and unfair biases have basic similarities, probably identical in some cases, across the various human inequalities and sometimes erecting rigid definitions of the prejudices and biases (air of exclusivity) inherently can setup more inequality or perpetuate the inequality. That is what I was warning about. My comments and participation in this discussion only had to do “with me” because of my personal experiences (of which I can speak thoroughly about, especially my feelings) relevant to a wider lens of sexism; i.e. it isn’t against just one gender group in every single case. Therefore Clouds/Roughseas, I forgive you for twisting my participation & comments into something (me) they were never intended to be.

        Now, off to learn more about becoming a Feminist ally. 🙂

        Like

        • Mak is a blogging pal. But he tells me is reading de Pizan now, so I’m sure he’ll write about it on his blog. His blog is worth a read anyway about philosophy, atheism, humanism, and nice photos of Kenya from his cycle rides 🚵😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry, forgot the rest … How many times do I have to repeat feminism is not about men, it is about society?
            Hmm, this isn’t your dungeon, but yes, sight and sound is a very good point. Age discrimination eh? Sucks doesn’t it. Been there, suffered that 😦
            The issue about turning it round to be about you is that, we aren’t talking generally, or about you, we are talking about women’s inequality, and if you can’t contribute meaningfully to that, the idea is to STFU. Basically.
            However, you will be very welcome as an ally. 🙂

            Like

          • As I’ve told my my many classroom students over the years…”Ask questions. Ask a LOT of questions. No question is stupid! State your current understandings too. Bounce ideas off the group!” How else will you know more, understand more beyond simple memorization!?”

            No Clouds/Roughseas, I will not STFU. You will have to ban me from your blog and posts if you want one-sided opinions or discussions on this subject. If the comments and discussions are strictly for women only, one gender only… then state that up front. Then I’ll happily stay away and silent. Then you want have any annoying ignorant students reading your posts.

            Like

          • Let’s turn this around. If you were discussing discrimination with someone black or Hispanic/Mexican would you still be whining about yourself? Or would you accept they are a discriminated group on face value?

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          • (yawns)

            “As I am quite the learning amateur on feminism, especially its subtle underlying existence in social, familial, and occupational sectors, I am very grateful for posts like this teaching its basic tenets, contrasts, as well as its internal variances which can cause confusion for someone like me. This post offers me more clarity and awareness and once again clues me in on how much further I have to go.

            Thank you Clouds/Roughseas. :)”

            Like

          • Thank you for not answering the question. And for replying with such dripping condescension. The Arb got it right.

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          • You are quite welcome. 😀

            I just think it is best that I be tutored and guided by other Feminists… like Bell Hooks. I do not see any need to agitate (intentionally or not) the two of you. Sometimes it is better to remove the combustible oxygen all together than continually fanning it. 🙂

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          • Perhaps you should read her book on love. Don’t forget bell hooks is lower case, you really don’t pay attention, do you pupil? She wrote about redefining love after failed relationships that she ascribed to patriarchal conditioning. But sure. Dismiss me and The Arb. Much better to learn from people in books who don’t challenge your erudite manly wisdom.

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          • (gives thumbs up) 😀

            No, I don’t totally dismiss you — The Arby I don’t know at all, not like you — but I have indeed learned a new wider and refined definition of phlegmatic that you shared with me. NOW I truly understand the breath of your definition. Thank you. 🙂

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          • You could do a lot worse than learn from The Arb. I respect his POV, and shock! horror! he’s a man. Well, AFAIK. Phlegmatic and blunt succinctness are not the same. Although they may appear so to unattuned Texan ears/eyes. 🍷

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          • “You could do a lot worse than learn from The Arb.”

            You’re just going to have to trust in the goodness of humanity Clouds, randomness, and this Freethinking Humanist… not Texan. In fact, as I’ve told you many times, ultimately I am only from planet Earth, of which I’ve spent decent time in 4 of the 6 livable continents, and there is still much to learn and experience!

            Now, perhaps it is well beyond time and purpose to end this rambling… don’t you think? 🙂

            Like

          • Ain’t that a coincidence? I’ve lived in four too. A friend lived in Anatarctica so I dispute that is ‘unlivable’.
            But, of course you can have the last patronising word if you so choose 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you kindly, but I’ll give you that hallowed honor. 😉

            Like

          • @Professor Taboo

            “As I’ve told my my many classroom students over the years…”

            You really don’t see it, do you? Because you’d stop if you realized what you are doing.

            RSitM said this:

            “The issue about turning it round to be about you is that, we aren’t talking generally, or about you, we are talking about women’s inequality, and if you can’t contribute meaningfully to that, the idea is to STFU.”

            This is a request to keep the topic centered around the issue of women, the inequality they face and the response to it – Feminism.

            Then you responded with this (Prof T):

            “No Clouds/Roughseas, I will not STFU. You will have to ban me from your blog and posts if you want one-sided opinions or discussions on this subject.”

            In the very name of FREE SPEECH, ACADEMIC FREEDOM, and ALL THAT IS HOLY (insert male dominated feature of society here) you will listen and respect my opinion or my feelings (see fragile male ego) will be hurt because I’ve been told to simmer-down and listen.

            You see? This is a manifestation of what male-entitlement is and you’re used to it. It is taken, by default, that your words are important and that your thoughts, whatever they may be, take presidence in the situation, regardless of content or context.

            It is how things work in (patriarchal)society. It works for me too, whether I agree with it or not.

            Thus I guard against it, to the best of my ability because I can imagine how frustrating it must be to be on the other-side of the fence to be constantly talked over, having my wishes ignored and generally assumed not to be competent by default.

            This isn’t an attack, but an observation on what I see going down. It is ubiquitous on every open feminist thread on the internet. The take away here is that for interactions to be less full of friction here you have to realize that your objective opinion isn’t as valid as a woman’s on certain topics because you have not been socialized and groomed into the oppressed class of society. There is experience you simply cannot know (for more on this please see Thomas Nagal’s “what is it like to be a bat”.).

            So when women ask you to listen, it is because you are talking over them or centering the conversation around you and your experiences, which in feminist threads, are not always relevant to the issues at hand.

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          • I’ll wait. I have some comments, but I’d like to give the Professor chance to respond first.

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          • Yes, so I’ll simply repeat again…

            “As I am quite the learning amateur on feminism, especially its subtle underlying existence in social, familial, and occupational sectors, I am very grateful for posts like this teaching its basic tenets, contrasts, as well as its internal variances which can cause confusion for someone like me. This post offers me more clarity and awareness and once again clues me in on how much further I have to go.

            Thank you Clouds/Roughseas. :)”

            I now humbly exit this discussion & post permanently and wish you and RsitM the best in welcoming allies. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • With allies like you, who needs enemies darling? 🙂 ❤️

            Like

          • LOL…or any human at all. 😛

            Like

    • @Professor Taboo

      “P.S. I will not be able to reply anymore today due to a previous Xmas-party commitment tonight — ironically with BOTH men and women happily interacting and laughing — that will go late. “

      Do you intend to bring a drop cloth and some bevvies on Monday as well? Beating conceptions about feminism made of straw is messy, thirsty work.

      :/

      Liked by 1 person

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