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Posts Tagged ‘feminism

sorry, I don’t stop being feminist because it’s fandom

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Long time, no see.
At Ohayocon I let a couple of emcees know exactly what I thought of them.
People shout at anime conventions, and I figured there was no reason I shouldn’t do so at an acceptable time, either – never mind that my shouting was of a political bent.
I can’t, or won’t, or don’t, check my feminism (or femaleness) at the door when I go somewhere. Even though I can compartmentalize a little (or I’d never enjoy anything), I cannot and will not simply stop caring about problematic stuff just because it’s “only fandom/entertainment/whatever.”
It’s never “just for fun.”
Usually, if a show bothers me, I try to just ignore it, unless it’s shoved in my face. If something I enjoy suddenly becomes problematic (or if it’s problematic from the beginning), I’ll think/talk about that, too – because, like I said, I can’t not enjoy anything ever because it’s not completely politically correct. There would be nothing left.
However, if I am at a convention – if my physical body is in a physical space, especially one I have paid money to inhabit – then I absolutely refuse to just ignore it. Even if it’s not a literal and immediate threat of violence against me, personally, the kind of “jokes” that I ended up shouting about were implicit threats against my personal safety – especially the first time.
One of the improv actors in the Anime Whose Line made a “joke” about violence against women, and that was the first (and probably loudest) time that I spoke up. “What other manly things can we do?” he asked, “beat women!”
And I sat up straighter, cupped my hands in front of my mouth, and told him to go fuck himself.
It was only a conference room, not a big theater like the Masquerade. I bet everyone heard me. I hope they did. I hope he went home and was terribly embarrassed that some chick called him out as the unfunny douchebag he is.
I was worried at first, but then nothing bad happened to me – the actor himself just ignored me, and I got a few approving nods.
Whether he realized it or not, and even if he didn’t ~intend~ to make me (and, you know, like half of his audience) uncomfortable, what he said was directly threatening to women’s safety – and con spaces are not known as very women-friendly spaces to begin with. (I’m sure there are more examples, those are just the first two that came to mind.)
Of course, everyone in that panel was just a douche. Another guy called on an attendee for a suggestion, then said “see, I didn’t call on you as ‘that Black guy there!'” and I was like wow, really? because come on, dude not funny. I think once upon a time, fandom was a place for white, straight, cis dudes, but the world has moved on.
After that, the actor added a disclaimer, saying that the 18+ panel later during the conference wouldn’t be “PC.”
If you can’t be “funny” without reinforcing the *ist status quo, you’re a shitty comedian and need to get a day job. Seriously, there is nothing entertaining or edgy about being a douchebag. It’s just a lazy way to get some cheap laughs; ditto this to the emcee of the Masquerade, who said “you want to hear a joke? women’s rights.”
I shouted about that, too, but I think my protest was lost in the general din – and while I was offended*, it wasn’t as threatening, because what can he, this one loser emcee, do to take my legal rights away? Of course, it contributed to a general culture of misogyny, but unlike the first emcee, would could literally go out and attack women at the con, this one couldn’t really do much other than stick his foot in his mouth and make himself look like a douche.
I also yelled at a couple of Hetalia cosplayers for letting their flags touch the ground† but I couldn’t’ve addressed every case of that I saw, and… well, tbh I care more about the feminism thing than the flag thing.
However, if there is a repeat of the Anime Boston ’10 incident, I will be speaking up – and loudly.
I won’t sit back and let the parts of fandom that I don’t like slide by. I won’t be made to feel uncomfortable in something I enjoy because I’m not a cis white straight man. Fuck that; we’ve all got a right to be here, and to feel safe here.
-M


*and no, jokes about stripping me of my legal rights as a citizen to vote, to press charges, &c. are not funny and I’m not being ~over-sensitive~. just don’t start that with me right here/now.
†just don’t carry them, people. just don’t.

a little Greco-Roman know how

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In this post, the app in question (it tracks menstrual cycles – for men in heterosexual romantic/sexual relationships) has “a female symbol …sporting devil horns.”
For those of you who failed Greco-Roman mythology and/or astrology or just plain ol’ fashion do not give a damn about either subject, let me remind you: the female symbol (♀) is the astrological sign for Venus. (The male symbol (♂) is the astrological symbol for Mars.) However, the Venus symbol with horns (☿) is no longer the Venus symbol at all, but is, instead, the symbol for Mercury, and it’s used to represent intersex individuals the way the Venus/Mars symbols represent ciswomen and cismen.
Whoops. (KNOWING STUFF: It helps!)

Written by Fangirl

July 26, 2010 at 1:45 pm

the F word (no, the other F word)

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I fucking hate when anti-feminists blame feminists for shit that is actually the fault of the patriarchy/kyriarchy. Like, seriously, it is not feminism’s fault that girls are sexualized. Feminism said “hey, you know, women should be able to have sex if they want to and not have sex if they don’t! it’ll be awesome,” and the patriarchy said “hey, all women need to be sexually available for all men, even if they don’t want it!” and feminism said “wait, that’s not what we said at all because you totally missed out on the consent part!” and the patriarchy says “yeah, but if you have consensual sex outside of my pre-approved, God-given framework of heterosexual marriage, you were asking for it,” and feminism says “no, that’s not okay! women are autonomous human beings and we have the right to sleep with whoever we want to sleep with and to not be forced into sexual situations we don’t want!” and anti-feminism says “you made your bed, now sleep in it” and this feminist says “die in a shark on fire, anti-feminism” and then anti-feminism usually tells me off for having a potty mouth and not being submissive enough (though it has yet to clarify for me who, exactly, I should be submissive to as the unwed daughter of a widow – and yes, I have asked).
(Likewise, should an anti-feminist happen to be reading this, call me a feminazi and I will gladly kick you in the teeth. Do not accuse me of being a Nazi and do not insinuate my views are anything akin to Nazism. Learn something about a) what I’m actually saying and b) actual Nazis.)
Don’t you hate being reprimanded for something you didn’t do?

Written by Fangirl

July 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

women in public cause problems

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You know that whole “women are distractions” theme I’ve been harping on lately? Well, the new Allstate commercial is the most blatant example I’ve seen. There’s a guy who is supposed to be the embodiment of reasons you need car insurance; in another one, he’s a guy driving an expensive car that your current insurance won’t fully cover, so he’s going to sue you. In this one, he’s “a hot babe jogging on the side of the road” which causes “you” (in this part, a youngish (late teens/early twenties) man) to crash his car into a tree or a sign or something.
So what do we get from this commercial? Two things: first, women exist to be looked at (“woman as image, man as bearer of the look”*) and second, women are distractions.


*Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema

Written by Fangirl

July 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm

feminism: the solution, not the problem

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Women (and men, but I mostly see this from women) who make it sound like feminists are stealing femininity, or devaluing it. Newsflash, that would be the Patriarchy. Some radfems, like Twisty advocate for renouncing femininity, but in case you missed it, radfems are a minority (a vocal minority that’s right about a lot of things, but saying someone like Twisty is representative of all feminism is like… I don’t even know what, but it’s inaccurate and unfair).
Even the radfems like Twisty aren’t the ones who originally made femininity of lesser value than masculinity. People like Twisty advocate for trashing it because it is, under the current system (i.e., the Patriarchy), devalued and therefore being “feminine” devalues us by association. (I’m not saying I agree with this, I haven’t made up my mind on femininity yet, but roll with it.) They’re saying femininity is hurting us because the Patriarchy is using it to hurt us. (Maybe there’s a way to trash the Patriarchy and keep the fun trappings of femininity, like hair dye and cute shoes, and maybe there’s not. Maybe post-Patriarchy, hair dye and cute shoes won’t seem fun any more because we’ll have stuff that’s way cooler. I don’t know.)
You know who made it so women have to act more “masculine” to be accepted in the workplace or w/e? Wait, wait! Maybe you know this one: the Patriarchy, because it values masculinity over femininity (although unlike men, women have to keep up a precarious balancing act of masculine and feminine traits, which I think is one of the reasons women have to be “pretty” to be successful in fields completely unrelated to their looks). If femininity was valued equally, we could all wear Lolita to work if we wanted to. (See, this is kinda related to my paper.) All of us, and that includes men! because, if masculinity and femininity were equal, men wearing skirts would be as acceptable and normal as women wearing pants. (Okay, we’re not counting reactionary weirdos like LAF in that last statement. They’re beyond help.)
So please stop blaming feminism for the Patriarchy’s fuck-ups.
… and before you jump to defend it, remember: the Patriarchy hates you. Yes, you. Personally!
(It definitely hates you if you’re female. It probably also hates you if you’re male, unless you meet a list of criteria as long as your arm. Even if it doesn’t hate you, you still suffer.*)
Feminism is trying to destroy that system of oppression, so stop getting in the way. It’s scary, because none of us have ever lived in a Patriarchy-free world and because we rely on our oppressor to protect us (oh, the irony!), but feminism isn’t out to get you (unless you’re a douchebag, in which maybe we are… me, I am, but I can’t speak for all feminists (funny how that works, us ladies having opinions!)).

eta: Anna, in her unending geniusness, has come up with… the solution! (to my failed metaphor, not the Patriarchy… yet) saying Twisty represents all feminists is like saying PETA represents all vegetarians.


*list of “ways the Patriarchy hurts men, too” available on request! (even if it didn’t, it’s still bad and it would still have to go, but you know)

Written by Fangirl

July 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

“I’m not a feminist, but…”

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“I’m not a feminist, but [insert complaint about the patriarchy here].”
Am I the only one who is filled with rage at this? It’s collusion of the highest order. “Oh, I’m not one of those people working against you, but since I’m working for you, could you reward me as one of you own?”
Hint: they won’t. The patriarchy does not love you. It sees you as a disposable object, one of many interchangeable, identityless bodies. The patriarchy thinks you are flawed and defective and dirty. It tells you to be quiet and then blames you for not being loud enough. It tells you to be demure and then blames you for not fighting hard enough.
If you’re white enough, rich enough, skinny enough, straight enough – in short, if you’re privileged enough – you can get by. They might take you seriously if your skirt isn’t deemed “too short,” if you weren’t “too drunk,” if you didn’t know him. You probably won’t go without eating.
Perhaps, if you’re compliant – if you’re pretty and nurturing and don’t complain – you can eat the crumbs of their pie, if they’re feeling generous. What the hell? Why don’t you give up begging for their table scraps and help us make our own damn pie? I know you’re afraid of going hungry – we all are – but we’ve got the ingredients, between us all. It might not taste the same, but we’ve had the same pie for two thousand years or more. Don’t you think it’s starting to go a little stale?

Written by Fangirl

March 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

nobody’s “helpmeet”

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a black and white photo of a white woman and her daughter in 1950s era aprons and holding baking equiptment; the wife, smiling, is looking at her daughter (who is also smiling) and saying "That's right, sweetheart; dreams and goals are Satan's way from distracting you from making dinner."

D’you know what word fills me with rage?
Helpmeet.
Every time I read it, I just want to stomp around like fucking Godzilla.
It just… ew. The connotations are disgusting: submit to him, damn it, because he’s the man and you’re the woman, he’s smart and you’re stupid he’s right and you’re wrong.

A few men are born with more than their share of dominance and, on the surface, a deficit in gentleness. (source)

… but that’s okay, because he will “exalt” (and presumably stop abusing*) her if she just sits down and shuts the fuck up (and if he’s not exalting you, it’s your own damn fault, fucking uppity whining harpy bitch).

If you are married to a king, honor and reverence is something you must give him on a daily basis if you want him to be a benevolent, honest, strong, and fulfilled man of God.

Yeah: do as your told and he’ll be nicer to you.
This is the sort of apologist bullshit I expect from, well, abusers; it takes on a whole different level of disturbing and upsetting when the victims are going on about how this is totes okay because God says so. (They probably have some bullshit caveat about how “this isn’t really abuse” (the same way beating your children with PVC piping is also just good upbringing “training,” or how a good man of God would never harm his spouse (bullshit, I say, and here’s one example)). They might say that’s not the ~intent but people love abusing their power; that old truism “absolute power corrupts absolutely”? they call them truisms for a reason. I mean, c’mon people: if your husband’s word is law and you’re not supposed to challenge his authority, telling him to stop abusing you is breaking the law… and this, my friends, is what we call a Catch-22.)
If you’re not a wife yet, being your husband’s helpmeet, you should stay at home and help your dad, since you’re his property until you get married, anyway. No, really. There’s tons of bullshit about glorifying your [male relative]’s achievements and doing a lot of legwork but taking no credit and just being glad your [male relative] gets all of this cool stuff done, or something, and the most important part is that you never once complain about doing arduous and menial labor for no thanks, let alone pay. This all comes down to stroking male egos (many of the articles are about how a woman should never chastise or correct her husband, even when his behavior is out of line or he’s just plain old fashioned incorrect) and ensuring that their fantasy of what women are or should be (unpaid laborers who do so without ever striking and demanding better workplace conditions and thirty days of paid leave each year). It’s win-win if you’re a man: you have a penis, so you’re always right and the whole family belongs to you and exists for your pleasure. If your wife says otherwise, just remind her that if she doesn’t follow your directions explicitly, immediately and cheerfully, she is rebelling and will go straight to hell for daring to disagree with you. That’ll shut her up. (It does, too; these men exploit religious beliefs and deeply held fears of damnation to their own, ultimately self-serving, ends and they never have to examine what that means because that’s just how God made it, and us uppity, hairy feminist bitches need to shut up and get back to the kitchen, already.)
No, let me tell you how it is: women are people, too.
We all have the right to pursue our own dreams. I do not exist merely to serve some man’s every wish and whim, to suffer abuse for failing to be “cheerful” about performing arduous but menial tasks for no thanks, let alone recognition. Subjugation is, by nature, never joyful; it breeds resentment and discontent. Collaboration and compromise that takes the needs of both partners into account is the only way to a truly joyful relationship.
… but I forgot, didn’t I? These people aren’t talking about respectful, loving relationships between people, they’re talking about the relationship between a man and his property, because women aren’t really people in their minds, just nameless, faceless mothers and wives at best, and nameless, faceless “incubators” at worst.
This whole patriarchal religious movement is just a way to ensure that male fantasies about the role of women continue to be fulfilled, at the expense of actual women.

I know I’m taking potshots at easy targets, here, but I run emotional and intellectual laps every day. It’s a great workout for my brain and I’m a better person for it, but sometimes I get tired. Sure, all this makes me see red, but I can say, with 100% certainty, that I am right and they are wrong, because I am human and female and I know that I am human and that my desire to be treated like one is not sinful rebellion, it’s righteous outrage. This isn’t even moral high ground; right now, I’m on the moral Mount Everest and they’re at the bottom of the deepest, darkest ocean crevasse of morality. This feeling of being right, with no nuances or disclaimers, is not one I am afforded often, and I’m going to take it for now while I relax. I’ll get back to the grindstone tomorrow.


*a “deficit of gentleness”? c’mon.

Written by Fangirl

March 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm