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Feminism

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

  1. Kizzy

    Kizzy *Speedcore*

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    I don't think I need to describe this screencap
     

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  2. Cuttleshock

    Cuttleshock Shuffle Champion

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    I recently came by this image (from this website) which, though I think it was made with reference to the recent Ferguson happenings, is pretty relevant to this thread as well.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. SRainboom

    SRainboom The Girl With The Most Cake

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    "My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says 'Yes, there's a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better' All of us, women and men, must do better" - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
     
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  4. blissfully✮oblivious

    blissfully✮oblivious Supreme Commander, Cat, My own rule 63, etc.

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    That's a pretty stupid and vacuous misrepresentation of the point and is a total strawman argument, tbh. Stating that all lives matter, in the Ferguson context, is inherently to say that nobody (which as far as I'm aware black people) should be subjected to, in essence, summary execution by the police. That doesn't preclude the elimination of systematic discrimination from the police force, rather it necessitates the elimination of systematic racial discrimination from the police and the wider justice system. If the result is that more has to be done to focus on discrimination against black people specifically, then so be it.
     
  5. Pigasus

    Pigasus Hogs the bed

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    I think that's exactly the point it was making
     
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  6. Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony

    Boring Ugly Pink Earth Pony The Laughing Mare

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    To me, this comic makes no sense if it's trying to prove a point about Ferguson.
    Let's look at the 3rd frame: We have a house that is saveable, and a house that is gutted by fire and cannot be saved. The character is saving the house that can be saved, and abandoning the house which is beyond saving anyway. In human terms, this is what I understand the emergency triage system to boil down to. I can't see how that particular dilemma has any relation to Ferguson whatsoever.
     
  7. Pigasus

    Pigasus Hogs the bed

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    It's saying that if one house is on fire and the other is fine, then you should focus all you efforts on putting out the burning one, not uselessly divide them between the one that's fine and the one that needs it.
     
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  8. Cuttleshock

    Cuttleshock Shuffle Champion

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    It could deliberately be invoking that, of course, but I take that it's aimed at those people who claim that it shouldn't be all about black people but that we should be striving for equality: the comic states that the issue right now entails saving black rights, not maintaining equal rights that weren't there to start with.
    That's not what the comic's meant to be portraying. The house on the right is not beyond hope and, if the character doused it with water, it could be recovered. The character, though, chooses to let it burn: they will pour water on it after they've poured some on the perfectly happy house first.

    Aaanyway... though this is an important topic, it's not directly relating to feminism so maybe we should leave it be. Sorry about any mixed messages the comic may have sent: I suspected it'd be at least a little controversial.
     
  9. Recurrent Trotting

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    magical pony revive spell :D

    the Peter New thread and a few things have got me thinking about feminism again :3

    Andrea Libman linked this article which talks about freeing yourself from toxic masculinity. [Ignoring inevitable troalling :( which is discussed in the PN thread] I could get behind the message of the article to an extent in that it attacks criticisms of expressions of male femininity but was unhappy with it as a criticism of male masculinity. After skimming that I did think that it was suggesting that all masculinity was toxic, but I think @Mane25 has it right that it's only some forms of particularly 'masculine' behaviours that are :oops:. I think perhaps the article was saying that conventional ideas about masculinity justify toxic behaviour (?) but it'd be interesting to see what people think.
     
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  10. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    As mentioned in the PN thread, I think people have been jumping to conclusions based on how "toxic masculinity" sounds and that it doesn't mean what some think it means. (Understandable, I was just a bit disappointed and annoyed about how people on Facebook expressed this with knee jerk reactions and hate towards Andrea and accusations of misandry). As far as I know, though I think context is important, it's not saying masculinity is bad or hating on men, but maybe suggesting some forms such as emotional repression and a sense that guys are "not allowed" to express themselves in certain ways or enjoy certain things can be harmful when guys are pressured into it (though social pressure, parenting etc). In Brony language, the way I understand the term is that it means "the attitudes that cause you to worry about allowing your friends and family to be aware that you quite like this girls pony stuff". The argument is that it's harmful for both genders - guys when they feel pressured into repressing their true selves, and girls because of the attitude that "girly" means "icky and dumb, eww"

    I mean.. masculinity can be great when it's willingly done! Heck I was a big fan of Top Gear. You don't get much more manly than that. If you like dragging monster trucks with your teeth or whatever, awesome! It's just the pressure side of things.

    It has a counterpart of toxic femininity too - being feminine is great! But to put it into pony language again, there's nothing wrong with how Rarity is (very traditional feminine), but you wouldn't want to pressure AJ or Rainbow Dash into being the same.

    Same with feminism. Because everyone's been going nuts with hammering the share buttons on actual "bring on the matriarchy, kill all men" nutjob crazy stuff to discredit feminists as a whole, they've lost sight of the actual definition which is about equality, not about just flipping the balance into making men the oppressed. Then they say "well my definition is different!" and try to argue based on that. I just can't see how that makes sense. When forming an argument one needs set, agreed definitions - otherwise we'd get people arguing things like "well I don't care what the dictionary says, my definition of cyclist based on things I've heard about them from dubious anti-cyclist blogs is 'person who hates all car drivers' and so cycling is evil and promotes hate towards car drivers and all bicycles should be banned from the roads!"

    Muslims get this too. There are billions of them. But at the moment they all get blanket associated with the relatively few (but noisy and dangerous) extremists who like to hack people's heads off and fly planes into skyscrapers. And it all becomes "ban all Muslims, Islam is evil and promotes terrorism, all moderate Muslims should publicly denounce and apologise for the extremist terrorists" etc.

    It's true that MLP itself has changed. That first episode of season 5 didn't help as it appeared on the surface to be about demonising equality. It was actually against enforced 'sameness', bringing the successful down instead of empowering the disadvantaged, brainwashing and maybe Marxism, but a lot of people took it as "yeah! Equality, that's what feminist man-hating SJWs bang on about! Booo equality! Yay for the new feminist-hating direction of MLP!" and I don't think that helped matters much. Edit: Particularly them cutie marks that looked like greyscale versions of the LGBT support logo that was doing the rounds at the time
     
    #130 Cloudane, 9 March 2016
    Last edited: 9 March 2016
  11. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    A quick search found this definition which I thought was fairly good, with examples: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Toxic_masculinity?oldid=33246

    I think also, it's not just about imposing negative traits, it could be any stereotype that could cause harm. For example, it's not unusual to expect a man to be thick-skinned or 'tough' - even though being strong and resilient aren't usually negatives- though that could be harmful if the particular person isn't naturally those things but is expected to be because of his gender. So, it's not saying a person who naturally fits masculine stereotypes is necessarily bad (depending on what the stereotypes are), but expecting every man to fit them is.
     
  12. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    Thanks, I was just about to ask if there was an actual written definition somewhere. As I did notice the slight hypocrisy of me complaining that people make arguments based on personal interpretations of words but doing the same thing with "toxic masculinity" myself...

    Ideally it could do with a definition from a neutral source, like how the dictionaries define single words, but at least it's a definition to link to when attempting to talk about it without anyone getting the wrong idea.
    The comment on the expectation of a "real man" to be violent and e.g. punch street aggressors is interesting. I've felt that, and the sense of shame from taking a more pacifist approach.

    Also interesting is the linked section on "patriarchy hurts men too". On looking at that section, even I initially thought "wow, so it dismisses any idea that feminism is good for men by claiming that it's just a silencing and derailing tactic?" but on better reading of it, it becomes apparent that it's literally just talking about instances of the argument that are used to silence/derail. It just really stresses the importance of properly reading these things and taking them in context rather than at face value, which I think is possibly the biggest issue right now.
     
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  13. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    The problem there is equality vs identity. Maths has separate symbols for equality and identity, but in English the word equality can mean both: being the same (which is identity), or having the same value (equality). It's the first definition, identity, that the episode uses - people aren't all the same and everyone has their own talents to offer the world (and weaknesses as well), that's what the episode was about. The statement "all men and women are equal" for example though is the second definition, everyone has equal value even if no two people are identical, and the episode doesn't contradict that at all.

    (The fact that the episode used the mathematical symbol for equality to mean identity probably didn't help (but not technically wrong because identity is a subset of equality))
     
  14. Recurrent Trotting

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    Thanks for the replies :3 totally get where you're coming from on feminism and debating @Cloudane :( I do see something positive in the troalling and defensiveness though (crazy thought that sounds :p ) if people are disquieted by the ideas and make silly posts that can be part of their struggle to understand. Getting people to do that without coming to a topic with preconceptions can be tricky though as.. um I seem to have done here :oops:

    Ok having looked at the definition I think there's broadly two things going on with this idea, one of which I'm happy with and one not so much. The first idea is being nasty to men that don't conform to a 'real man' ideal - that is toxic because it's harming non-conforming men unjustifiably (along with non-conforming women). The second idea is that the 'real man' idea is itself toxic for various reasons (perhaps because it inevitably leads to such coercion). To ponify the second idea ( :D ) and switch it to toxic femininity it would be saying that there's a 'real-girl' image that is passive and meek - ponies like Fluttershy who conform to it should recognise the toxicity in the idea for what it is and change their behaviour.

    Having re-read the article it does largely stick to the first idea :p so it's probably just that I was reading it with that misunderstanding about toxicity in mind. Anyhoof here's what I think the contrast is in the article and the geekfeminism definition:

    Here it is the baseless criticism of a choice not to conform that is attacked.

    Here the attack broadens to include masculine stereotypes themselves.
     
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  15. Wisdom Pen

    Wisdom Pen Residential Philosopher and Wizard of Lincoln

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    Here's all that matters in this whole debate:

    1. Do you believe that gender equality is a positive thing that people should try to achieve? If yes great because there isn't that much of it, if no then why not?
    2. What are you doing to both maintain and generate gender equality through out the world? (and no arguing that because "its in a different country it doesn't matter" is not a valid response)
    3. Which are you doing more, arguing about definitions or actually debating the core topics that are in need of discussion?
    Because what made me begin to identify as a feminist wasn't someone telling me it's definition or having an internet argument about whether or not "reverse sexism" exists it was reading and listening to topics and discussion about the ideas and issues surrounding gender equality and then my personal engagement to investigate gender equality within my own life.

    It's ideas that will save humanity not a bloody dictionary.

    p.s. if you must know I identify as a feminist because thats what the dictionary says I am and if you start disagreeing with the dictionary then literally any word can mean literally anything which is senseless.
     
  16. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    I think one of the issues is the more feminists criticise men the more it drives men to hyper masculinity in protest.
    Plus we have the whole men "objectify" woman and that's bad but when woman "objectify" men its ok.
     
  17. Recurrent Trotting

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    People do get het up if they think feminist criticisms are unfair, as they should. But feminist criticisms can get distorted or misrepresented. Eg about objectification - male sexuality is celebrated alongside female sexuality in my idea of feminism (it's fine for either gender to have the hots for each other), and only where there is an attack of female/male sexuality that doesn't conform to sexist masculine/feminine stereotypes is there a problem. Also I've always thought of feminism as not just one set of ideas (not just my ideas *sniff* :p ), but a process of self-reflection and adjustment concerning the idea of gender.

    Totally down with that sentiment!
    ...as long as 1 means that all forms of femininity and masculinity are accepted to be equal only to the extent that they aren't self-abnegating :p .
     
    #137 Recurrent Trotting, 9 March 2016
    Last edited: 9 March 2016
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  18. Wisdom Pen

    Wisdom Pen Residential Philosopher and Wizard of Lincoln

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    I define equality in all forms to be giving all people the opportunity and freedom to achieve the same goals and outcomes no matter what their backgrounds, appearance or personality (to an extent because of course there are some personality traits that by definition are counter to said objectives) in short I believe that all people should have the freedom to be whomever they wish to be as long as that freedom does not reduce the freedom of others.

    The thing is I believe most people would agree with these objectives but at the same time are very against the idea of giving up the unfair advantages that they have been granted that are reducing the freedoms of others and have errant beliefs about how much a select group actually has freedom believing that they who have been giving millions to start their own business are equal to those who have had to start from nothing.
     
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  19. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    I agree, but I think it can be difficult for people with an unfair advantage to realise they have it, with the best intentions people tend to assume that others have the same freedoms they do, without any other point of reference.
     
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  20. janglehooves

    janglehooves Proud to be an earth pony!

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    I've tried to post some more detailed thoughts in the PN thread but I maintain that it is not just a misunderstanding of the term that is the problem. What you have detailed above is pure gender stereotyping, of the sort that Lauren Faust quite rightly blew out of the water with FiM. So why not call it gender stereotyping? To use ambiguous terminology that links it to a particular gender is in itself stereotyping and just puts peoples backs up rather than winning their support for a worthy cause.
     
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