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Feminism

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Discussion' started by Cloudane, 23 September 2014.

  1. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    This will be a positive topic... right? I mean Lauren Faust is a feminist and we don't hate her either.. right? And UKoE are always nice and reasonable about sensitive subjects :)
    (and MLP is kind of a feminist-ish show)

    Anyway,



    Here is someone who really "gets" the whole equality thing. I've heard of people going "rawr, evil man-hating feminist" to this exact speech - surely they can't have actually listened to any of it?!

    Yes she's a celeb and I know people would say "you're only listening to her because she was in Harry Potter bla bla" but let's be honest, it's a better use of that status than you often see out there and I reckon she makes some rather good points and understands that there are two sides to the equality coin. Really good speech.
     
  2. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    That's a great speech, thanks for sharing. Kind of what I've always believed but good to hear it put into words.
     
    Cloudane likes this.
  3. Cuttleshock

    Cuttleshock Shuffle Champion

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    Feminism is so very important and I hope Emma Watson never stops fighting the good fight. Now, I could make some irate points about the topic myself but I don't want to bring up anything undue unless this thread sees some opposition...
     
  4. Urioxis

    Urioxis The dude

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    [​IMG]

    Seriously though, for all she comes off as a bit patronising (I think largely due to nervousness), it's a very good point. Personally I'd rather not even call it feminism because that still implies normative binary genderness about the whole thing. People are people and should all be treated the same and it's up to everybody to do so. Learn what your inherent biases are, overcome them and stand up for equality of all people, no matter what.

    The jaded cynic in me says it won't ever fully happen, but I'd love to be proven wrong :)
     
  5. Aethelberdia

    Aethelberdia Returning Pony

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    ...I'd have thought it'd be better off called gender equality, as feminism implies women are superior. Which goes against the whole equality thing.
     
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  6. servirare

    servirare hmmmmm

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    This seems to be a common misconception, but it doesn't. It's really been about equality the whole time.
     
  7. Nopony

    Nopony Star Wars!

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    It does not matter what it is called as long as we all know what it means. lets not start blaming the word (not saying anypony here is doing that) for why someponies get "bit upset" over feminism.
     
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  8. Aethelberdia

    Aethelberdia Returning Pony

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    I know that but it sounds less politically correct. Not that I care.
     
  9. Tak

    Tak In love with a star gazing fool

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    It has never ever meant that.
    Oxford dictionary definition: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/feminism
    I have found that it is mostly the young but also sometimes the ignorant who think its about superiority. Or just men who are threatened by the idea of a woman on equal footing.
     
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  10. Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony

    Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony The Laughing Mare

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    You're mistaking "implies" to mean "defined as" in this case. It may well be defined as the promotion of equality in the Oxford dictionary, but the word "feminism" certainly does not imply that any more than the word "masculinism" does. Furthermore, the term feminist has been badly poisoned by those women who really do use and live the term in the anti-male sense. Combine these 2 facts and you end up with the situation where you really can't use the term feminist without expecting to have to defend yourself with a "not that kind of feminist though".

    With this in mind, I class myself as an equalisist ;)
     
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  11. Tak

    Tak In love with a star gazing fool

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    I call myself a feminist and refuse to use the above statement. If someone wants to think I'm a "man hating dyke" because I call myself a feminist, then I don't have the time to deal with them; I pity them.
     
  12. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    True, it is about equality by just about definition you can find, but if people are getting the wrong idea from the word then maybe that's a point? It's certainly acquired some negative associations, whether rightly or wrongly, I think probably a lot of stereotyping is involved. Maybe if it was rephrased as "gender equality", it would invite more men to participate. I believe that equality is in everyone's interests so there's no reason why they shouldn't. This is just hypothetical here, I'm willing to hear other people's views.
     
  13. Britpoint

    Britpoint 私、きになります!

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    I find I get annoyed at all the 'debate' over the semantics. "Should you really call yourself a feminist? Shouldn't it really be equalist, humanist or egalitarian?"

    The vast majority of any discussion on this topic I see is about those terms, and almost nothing to do with actual gender issues. Feminism is what it's called, and that's probably going to remain the case until there is something even vaguely approaching gender parity in at least one country in the world, of which there are currently none. Even here in the UK, where we may think that we have some semblance of equality, culturally speaking we are not. There are few men who walk the streets at night in fear of being sexually assaulted.

    So yes, I consider myself a feminist. And I'm far more concerned with tackling the actual problems that feminism stands against than trying to change what word people use to describe me.
     
  14. Urioxis

    Urioxis The dude

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    A perfectly valid point but you can't deny that it's thoroughly unhelpful that there's one word used to describe those who rightly campaign for equality for all, and also those who think that anyone not born with a vagina is worthless and wrong (TERFs).

    Back to the topic though, I guess the best use of this thread would be to brainstorm ideas on how we can all try and do more to promote equality for peeps. I know I struggle with it because of fear of exposing myself for who I really am to most people which is precisely the kind of thing that needs to be improved. I'd like to do more to improve things, but beyond slacktivism and just trying to treat people right in my day to day life, I don't really know where to start.
     
  15. Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony

    Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony The Laughing Mare

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    And a lot of people who argue against the use of the term feminist are more interested in the equality movement being effective and respectable than they are in clinging to a poisoned and misleading term.

    At the end of the day, the arguments can go back and forth on that point, but if you really are more interested in the ideal than in arguments about the term used, you wouldn't care less about if you're called a feminist, an equal rights advocate, or any other such term. Seriously though, to say that the term does not matter is only thinking about the ideal on the individual scale. If you want to think about the ideal on a society-changing scale, the respectability of the term used matter greatly, and arguments about what to call the ideal become highly relevant. Yes, that fact may be annoying if you just want to focus on "We should just treat each others as equals", but it's the way society works and any movement that wants to have an effect on society has to account for that factor.

    To think of it another way, take doublespeak from 1984: Words have power, and can affect how people think.
     
  16. Britpoint

    Britpoint 私、きになります!

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    I disagree - the term only 'matters' because that's all that gets talked about. Like it's the only point of interest in the discussion. Can we all just agree that lots of people feel differently on the subject, and we're never in a million years going to get everyone to agree on one term? Let's just use them all interchangeably and not make a big deal about it.

    And you're right in that I don't really care what I'm called; I use the term feminist because that's the term, but feel free to call me what you like.

    Well... within reason :)

    Moving on, as a game developer I give a lot of thought to stuff like gender representation in the media. It's quite the hot topic in those circles at the moment. One thing I always see when people call for more women to be represented in games, for example, is the idea that "creators should be able to create what they like, and not be required to shoehorn women in to fulfill a quota".

    I agree with that in principle, but I also think said creators should probably look back at that work and ask themselves: why does my free creativity always result in so many straight white dudes? I'm as guilty of that as anybody - I default to that position because that's what I am and it happens whether I'm writing characters for a game or a story. So I've started making a conscious effort to change that up and you know what? I think my writing has benefited from that. Maybe I'm stifling my creativity to fulfill a 'quota', but I think by doing so I tackle and remove some of my own inherent prejudices.

    In other words there is no such thing as an effortless change. We all must be willing to accept our prejudices and consciously tackle them. Only then will genuine equal treatment be able to follow.
     
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  17. Dax

    Dax The Great and Powerful Daxie

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    ^^ THIS!
     
  18. Urioxis

    Urioxis The dude

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    This is exactly what I mean when I talk about trying to work on our implicit biases. You don't have to be a sexist to do sexist things, be a racist to do racist things etc. No one is perfect but a constant effort to do the right thing is what's important.
     
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  19. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    It's like "Brony". Why should we stop using it just because a few people have decided to associate the word with the ones who send death threats over changes made to a character? Surely rather than making these things dirty words and spending more and more energy being careful about which term we use for things, we can just be BETTER examples of these labels/definitions.

    That said,

    I agree with this.

    Yes there's a lot more to it, and treating each other as equals certainly goes beyond gender - this is just one part of it, and just what I thought was a really good speech on that part of it.

    In certain places I'd probably have been careful to avoid the term (despite the fact that she uses it) and use the term "gender equality" instead, so that people will at least click on it and listen to what she has to say rather than just taking it as a swear word. However, I figured that here, there will be some debate but people are going to at least take notice of what she's saying and that she's looking to dispel some of the negative connotations of the word/movement - she was quite thorough in explaining that she just wants fairness and equality and to help clean up the term's reputation... and even took our side with regard to men feeling too embarrassed to express themselves in ways that aren't "manly" (sounds familiar!)

    In fairness I think there is genuine listening and reasonableness going on, and real concern for the wellbeing of the issues at hand, but just wanted to mention that. I don't think it necessarily needs to be treated as a dirty word, and it's very clear that in the video I posted she's absolutely not about putting women above men.

    Much like the religion thread, I think we do far better on this site than others where the thread would've ended up boiling over and locked within 5 minutes, if it was allowed at all ;) I'm glad we can talk about these things maturely. But we also seem to have a habit of (politely) arguing about the "meta" subjects rather than the issue itself.

    Would it help to move on to the subject at hand if we got the thread re-titled to "Gender equality, feminism or whatever you believe it should be called"? :)

    I'm really interested in what we can do to help. It's one of those issues that is very easy to talk about and share text-on-a-picture sentiments on Facebook and say "more should be done to improve the situation" and yet actually quite difficult to think of ways to help on a practical level. I'm not even sure it's something that needs money thrown at it, but I wonder if there's more we can do than just being voices, so I like the idea of using the thread more as like a brainstorming session.

    And yeah I don't think we need "the token {female / gay / black} person" in entertainment per se, but more to acknowledge our diversity on a deeper, more instinctive level where it happens naturally. Though there have been good examples of the "token" method (Star Trek being a classic) but I like to think we can evolve the diversity concept to be a natural thing that happens without thinking, just as it does in the real world. At this point I'd certainly rather see "the new captain is called Jane Doeway" over "Star Trek boldly gets a female captain!!"

    MLP is interesting in that it's mostly female and a matriarchal society, yet I'm not seeing many claims that it's "overly feminist" and tipping the balance too far. And it's not. Sometimes a heavily male cast is relevant, sometimes a heavily female cast is relevant, and neither needs to be a taboo, they just could do with existing in preferably an equal amount.
     
    #19 Cloudane, 24 September 2014
    Last edited: 24 September 2014
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  20. Urioxis

    Urioxis The dude

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    There are also plenty of equally good examples of the right way. Girls with Slingshots and Something Positive are brilliant examples of this. There are lesbians and an asexual character and gay people and so on, but no trans people for example, despite calls from readers to add them because to do so would be shoehorning them in where they wouldn't work. The characters that are there all have a valid reason for being there and for being who they are and there's nothing token about any of it. I'm sure there are plenty of other similarly good examples, but can anyone think of any from mainstream media? I hear good things about the trans actress in "Orange is the new black" but I've not seen it and it's the only one that springs to mind.

    Finding and celebrating "good" media like this seems like it might be one good thing to do, just as one idea...
     
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