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Feminism

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

  1. Wisdom Pen

    Wisdom Pen Residential Philosopher and Wizard of Lincoln

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    Yes when you are in the lead you rarely look behind you do you?
     
  2. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    Yeah, admittedly, a lot of these sites need to use less provocative language. I think because they aim at a specific audience they use slightly clickbait-y headlines. However I maintain that it's no reason to dismiss everything they're saying and to just deride feminism as full of raving man-hating nutjobs. It seems as though the art of putting things into context and reading the message instead of the words is somewhat struggling these days...
     
  3. Britpoint

    Britpoint 私、きになります!

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    This is due in no small part to the overreaction of overly sensitive people. You're right, it's a problem, and it seems to go something like this:

    Feminist: "Hey, men are [UNFAIR CRITICISM]"
    Man: "That criticism was unfair. THEREFORE feminism as a whole is a prejudiced, man-hating ideology that is actually trying to relegate men to submissive second class citizens!"

    This would all be a lot easier if such people would attack the unfair criticism on its own, instead of trying to discredit feminism in general.

    P.S. It seems like fate that this thread popped up today as there's a Twitter hashtag 'TheTriggering' which made me angry and I strongly advise you don't look at. It's another reddit or 4chan thing I think. Yay.
     
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  4. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    Probably gender stereotyping is a better word for a mass audience. But to be fair, it's an article written in a feminist magazine for a feminist audience, who should be aware of the term or at least motivated to research it. The term is more specific, and use of the word "toxic" implies that it's a bad thing whereas "gender stereotype" could be interpreted as less-so by some..
     
  5. Wisdom Pen

    Wisdom Pen Residential Philosopher and Wizard of Lincoln

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    Though I agree that any stereotyping or assumptions should be challenged I do feel that whenever a feminist so much as opens their mouth there is a tendency to instantly and purposefully put words in their mouth such as "we should teach men not to r-word" rather than actually discussing the issue which is that it is an epidemic issue of which men are the proven larger cause (though of course not the only cause) which is very easily tied to patriarchal standards, will almost always rather then be a discussion about reducing the crime actually turn into an unrelated discussion about men and men's feelings, which though a valid issue it always takes up the space that was specifically reserved for discussing something else.
     
  6. janglehooves

    janglehooves Proud to be an earth pony!

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    Well, by all means call it "toxic gender stereotyping" if you wish. The problem is the combination of a fairly extreme adjective such as toxic with something that ties it to a particluar gender. I'm also not sure it's a great reflection on the feminist movement (or at least that particular corner of it) that when writing for a feminist audience, people feel they need to use the language of the Twitter/Tumblr nutjob echo chamber.
     
  7. Discrete Set

    Discrete Set Everything is mathematics. No exception.

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    I work in a school, and working in a school there are a few things you quickly notice: Gender determines behaviour to a large extent. Stereotypes exist because they are useful heuristics. There's a lot more horseplay from the boys. The girls can often be seen loitering at the toilets, taking advantage of the big mirror to adjust their makeup - always in groups, to catch up on the gossip.

    Thunderfoot put it well: The goal should be equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome, because there are real gender differences - people can strive to overcome them, but to deny them is in error. Hormones matter, biasing both physical capability and personality in measurable ways.
     
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  8. Wisdom Pen

    Wisdom Pen Residential Philosopher and Wizard of Lincoln

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    I am curious to understand your conception of gender differences and your general definition of gender?

    Also I agree that equality of opportunity is most definitely more important but I find most of the time when people bring that up it's more in response to people trying to achieve just that e.g. people getting annoyed at Black people getting their own scholarship programs, or it is brought up so that when people complain about minorities being in low positions it can be argued that they are focusing on the wrong things, which is wrong because there are people who want to have those high positions but are actively stopped from pursuing them.

    So yes it is important to focus on opportunity not outcome but don't be confused and think that women want to stay at home or not get into politics because even today women and many other minorities still have a lesser cut of the opportunity pie than notable others.
     
  9. Mane25

    Mane25 Honorary Pony

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    I think it's fine to say that boys 'tend' to be like this and girls 'tend' to be like that, as long as you acknowledge that it doesn't apply to everyone. As you say, equality of opportunity is what we should be aiming for. But how much of that is boys or girls conforming to their socially constructed gender roles? I think a lot, and that's bad because of being forced to act a certain way or not act a certain way, and I think that's especially true for boys (although I may be biased there because of my gender, it's certainly something I experienced).
     
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  10. servirare

    servirare hmmmmm

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    I'm not going to pretend there aren't average differences between men and women. To do so, I think, would be silly, however...

    How much of those are due to societal pressure and influence and how much are due to innate population averages?

    Oh boy. This manages to be very wrong while being partially technically correct. Stereotypes span the range from blatant bigotry, to observations of induced behavioural differences to observations of actual innate differences. Some stereotypes are useful heuristics, others are just outright false. And acting on those so-called useful heuristics can be extremely problematic.

    A useful heuristic provides at most a prior. If you have no further information about a person then it's useful. Once you know more about them, then the stereotype provides no further information. If you then keep acting on the "useful heuristic" at this point (and basically everyone does to some extent), then you are ignoring the actual properties of the person and the "useful heuristic" becomes "constriaing the person to meet the stereotype".




    That's nice as a glib point, but it massively oversimplifies things. The trouble is, no one really knows what the extent of innate gender differences are relative to induced ones. In cases where there's no obvious reason for why there should be such extreme differences, considering why the outcomes are so very different is a very useful thing to do.

    Why is tying it to a particular gender bad? It *is* tied to a particular gender. This is not to say there isn't toxic gender stereotyping for both genders, but those are quite different and there's no reason to treat them in the same. For a start people are usually subjected to exactly one of them not both.

    I can talk about toxic masculinity happily and with some degree of accuracy hopefully. I've engaged it in the past (when I didn't know better) and I've been on the receiving end of it. I've been subjected to expectations of silly things I "ought" to do or not do because I'm a man and those things are based purely on inconsistent, pointless and frankly bizarre definitions of what a man should be and what is masculine. I mean sure I could talk about "toxic gender stereotyping as applied to men", but that's a lot more cumbersome than "toxic masculinity".

    Also, "toxic masculinity" no more means that all masculinity is toxic than "toxic mushroom" means that all mushrooms are toxic.
     
    #150 servirare, 11 March 2016
    Last edited: 11 March 2016
  11. Recurrent Trotting

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    I think there's a few different things going on with what you say here. I agree there should be equality of opportunity but not because there are gender differences and we should overcome them - because what's so good about equality :p There should be equality of opportunity because all persons deserve freedom. There should be equality of outcome because people also deserve a life of sufficient quality. In terms of basic outcomes, like living and staying healthy, to an extent we do have equality of outcome, given that our lives/livelihoods are all protected by the law and there is even a welfare system.

    Anyhoof feminism is about understanding (and generally rejecting) conventional justifications for differences in opportunity/outcome based on gender. In terms of outcome the crucial question is what is the outcome and why is it valuable to people in the first place. When it comes to life/health it is very hard to see why those outcomes should differ by gender. When it comes to forms of social expression it's easy to see why they should be different. When it comes to stuff like maternity leave there can be powerful arguments for differential treatment and powerful counterarguments. Feminism doesn't just have to be locked into this rather legal/political mindset though - it can also be about understanding femininity in its own terms (and often celebrating it). In this it tends to stick two fingers up to prior conventional celebrations of feminity (which were admittedly associated with political sexism)... but I think that that is a mistake personally.

    Anyway that's my two bits :3 thanks for the post though. I like the fact this is feminism and it's on the internet and everything's still sweet and pony :p
     
    #151 Recurrent Trotting, 11 March 2016
    Last edited: 11 March 2016
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  12. Discrete Set

    Discrete Set Everything is mathematics. No exception.

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    This is a good example. There was certainly a lot of discrimination against them in the past. There arguably still is today, though to a much lesser extent - but even the past can leave a statistical artefact. Standing, wealth and education are hereditary - wealthy parents can pay for their children to get more and better education and so be more successful themselves, and a parent with high social standing can always pull a few strings to get their child a good job. That means that even if every trace of discrimination were removed, it would still take several generations for the correlation to vanish. Meanwhile, well-intentioned people see this apparent inequality and attempt to address it with things like blacks-only scholarship programs and other forms of positive discrimination - and this creates resentment, as the formerly oppressed are now seen as enjoying a special favored status. Equality of opportunity means that, as far as is practical, everyone has the same chance to succeed - how much they do so depends upon their own desires and abilities, nothing else. That's not possible in practice, but it's an ideal to aim for. Replacing one form of bias with another does not help this.

    The target end state should be one in which race isn't an issue because no-one cares about it any more, and having dark skin is about as exciting a distinguishing feature as having green eyes. Likewise gender, aside from a few fields like sports and medicine where the biological differences need consideration.
     
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  13. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    This is getting too deep for me, but I'm definitely yoinking that one for if it comes up again :)

    As for natural traits, I remember being taught that a lot of it harkens back to the cave dwelling days when due to practicalities (the female being the child bearer) the females would take on the nurturing roles and the males would go out and bash things over the head and whatnot. But I don't know how much of this still really lingers on from instinct and how much is carried over from generation to generation through the ongoing re-enforcement of gender roles. Will have to concede that I don't really know a great deal of what I'm talking about.

    And then there's entirely manufactured stuff like "thou shalt not be a boy and like the colour pink"
     
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  14. servirare

    servirare hmmmmm

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    Indeed! I'll add an observation too from the other day. It's commonly accepted, it appears, that girls like babies. And I certainly observed some young relatives essentially competing over who got to do stuff with the baby like push the pushchair. Thing is though on careful observation, any "good" act was very frequently followed by a look round at a (female) adult. That gave the impression that there was some very strong feedback where they get positive attention for liking babies.

    If there's massive positive reinforcement for doing something then it's hard to know how much of it is really innate. But a lot of people see little girls appearing to like babies and little boys not so much and assume it's just a gender difference. What there is beyond doubt (in my mind) is a strong difference in how adults treat boys and girls in this regard.
     
  15. Recurrent Trotting

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    So much this :D my neice is exactly the same. Personalities do get shaped by the social environment. That's why I find young gender-dysphoria so fascinating, since there's a compulsion towards an identity which at a young age is heavily about receiving a particular sort of recognition, and yet the identity is at odds with the one parent's conception of it. Unfortunately parents intuitively do think that social confirmation shapes their child and that has led to some horrendous attempts by parents to break the gender dysphoria in the belief that somewhere along the line they must have dropped the ball and started smiling at their little boy when he played with dolls or w/e. I think that while the social environment must shape personalities, much of the shaping ('language'?) is hard-coded to be strongly compelled towards particular results within that environment. As we grow older we gain more of an ability to consciously engage with this language, to play with it and distort it in fun ways :p which is why I am now on a site filled with pink when as a kid my main past time with toys was pushing cars into each other and dolls/ponies were very much not for me.
     
  16. Britpoint

    Britpoint 私、きになります!

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    A good twitter to follow is @LetToysBeToys - it's a UK based campaign to stop marketing toys in particular (but also clothes, books etc) to particular genders. They've had a lot of success already; I can't remember if it was Argos, Toys R Us or both, but at least one of them updated their catalog to remove gender labels on toys, and also to show both genders playing with toys that they previously associated with one.

    For example you can now see girls dressed up in doctor's uniforms, and boys playing with toy ovens.

    It's pretty nice to see improvements like that happening - although also frustrating when they retweet examples of companies still doing the opposite.
     
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  17. Discrete Set

    Discrete Set Everything is mathematics. No exception.

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    I've seen the backlash to that campaign - certain American social-conservative websites have posted columns explaining that letting boys play with dolls will lead to the downfall of civilisation. I find them quite entertaining.
     

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