Yes I apologize for that miscommunication when I said to look at my initial posts; I had actually forgotten about that one post so pungently reeking of sarcasm/exaggeration. I meant for you to look at my earlier posts when the serious discussion actually started. My initial posts were definitely exaggeration, and they really don't outline my notions on feminism accurately.To explain.......
You asked me to look at your initial posts, to specify what you meant by feminism. So, I took you literally, and did just exactly that. (yes, facetiously so). And, yes, I understood the exagerration in it, you blatantly called it, "over the top...."
I suppose it's fair for you to interpret my notions on feminism as a less exaggerated form of what you call "man-hating, pmsing, butch-like, braburning, not leg shaving", as I do have that perception of it. It's not my only perception, however. Why is it so hard for you to understand that I can interpret different areas of feminism in a different way? You and Orangey have adamantly argued against the notion that feminism is just one ideology (and I agree with you and understand that), so shouldn't we able to critique the different realms of it in different ways?And, yes, it was pure sarcasm in my last post, and that's why I called that gross exaggeration of feminism, by you, TeslaSkewsFeminism. It's because, in a few posts back, I likened your view to a less exaggerated form of "man-hating, pmsing, butch-like, braburning, not leg shaving = feminism" (can't be bothered to look for where I said that, and quote, but I did use that comparison as a more extreme form of how your view the feminism that you bash, which is just bashing feminism as a whole because it's a misunderstanding of what it is...explained later, please read on). Hence, me taking a quote of yours that resembled that kind of exaggeration.
That's fine. It's hard to keep things straight in an environment like this one. Now that you've (seemingly) made a contradiction (that of course you've cleared up and eliminated, thanks), it'd be cool if you could understand me when I try to clear up my "contradictions" and give me the benefit of the doubt when you think you see a contradiction by asking me to clarify what I mean, rather then engaging in some (rather desperate) attempt to make me look like a fool. I think it's pretty clear that both of us operate within the same realm of logic, whether or not our views align, and contradictions in my belief system are just as abhorrent to me as contradictions in your belief system probably are to you.No, not a contradiction, but a reading error on my part.
The double negative threw me off, and I didn't catch that: "not"/"not"....whatever: agreed/not agreed. I still don't know the answer.
Your opinion is duly noted, and I now engage in following the rest of your response as corollaries to and elaborations on your view:Just follow the rest of the response to know my position. There's no contradiction there. It's apparent by the rest of my response where I point out the "disparity in equality". If I had not agreed (agreed? double negatives??) with your stance, I wouldn't have been talking about the disparity nor the explanation I gave following "not agreed". Official answer: Women are not equal with men when it comes to social status, and it is because society [some aspect of it] deems certain groups of these women inferior to men.
Heh, no I wasn't trying to trick you there. I can be verbose some times, and this verbosity can cause confusion. I'm not really into tricking people when it comes to serious discussions. Making somebody look like an idiot doesn't really do that much to validate ones own pov. A position in an argument should be good regardless of how idiotic the opposing position appears (not that your position is idiotic...I'm just elaborating on why I wouldn't be trying to trick you).(were you trying to purposely trick me there?)
Yes, this is my position. I do not believe that the ideals backing American society and those who operate under the typical ideals of American society are oppressive to women. If American society is oppressive to a female in a minority group, then I don't believe it's because she's female; I believe it's because she is a part of some disrespected minority group. I believe the social stigma that females are inferior to males is no longer a part of fundamental American thought.To clarify, your position is that women are not overtly oppressed because of gender, but that the 'bad feminists' believe it to be so. If this is your position, then I disagree with this part: women not being overtly opressed. I believe that they are overtly oppressed when it comes to certain segments of the N.American female population (minority groups, esp.).
However, I realize that America is a "melting pot" (oh how I love cliche terms) of other cultures as well, cultures that are not so assimilated with American society, and if you are talking about certain subcultures in America being oppressive to women within said subcultures, then sure, those women don't have it so well when it comes to how their subculture treats them (I've already referenced my belief in the fact that other societies treat women differently than American society treats them). A blatant example of this would be hispanic women not having as much knowledge of and access to birth control because birth control is taboo in many Latin cultures, and this is a pretty clear problem for hispanic women and should obviously be tackled.
I only laid out the terms "bad" and "good" because of the discussion I was having with Orangey. Obviously I don't think this is a very elaborate distinction accepted by scholars.As for the "bad"/"good" feminism you speak of, I'm going to kindly bow out of that, cuz as we've seen, this is becoming a hot tangled mess. At this point I don't know exactly what this 'bad feminism' that you speak of entail, it's had many definitions (expanding, contracting) attached to it by you throughout the course of our discussion, so I'm done trying to untangle and pinpoint exactly what you mean. And, I was countering a very different point of yours than your 'bad'/'good' feminism, which was the outlook of feminism itself held by you.
I meant that if a female (in American society) feels oppressed merely for being a female, then this "oppression" is what's all in her head, and this oppression is what can be fought by an empowering shift in her frame of mind. Obviously a woman who works three jobs and still can hardly feed her 5 starving children has problems that go beyond an unenlightened perspective, but these problems are still not due to the fact that society deems women inferior, and said woman would hopefully not think the essence of her problems are due to a society where women are deemed inherently inferior. If you still see a contradiction in that, let me know, and I should be able to clear it up (or perhaps there is some contradiction there that I'm not aware of?).If I can try to sum up your position, and without sarcasm, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:
You do not support this feminism that aims to put at the troubles experienced by women to be based solely on their gender. You believe that there are 'more important' social factors that contribute to the disparity and female oppression that we see, and we should target those social factors, like poverty, etc. (even though previously you said it was all in her mind and her will to change her fate, and then after a few prodding, you agreed about the social factors, but, we'll let that confusion/contradiction be).
If feminism, by your definition, is a sociological study of women, then cool. That's a very broad statement that I can't really argue with, and a definition that I was clearly not using in my argument here. I obviously don't think that gender isn't influenced by external factors, and I have no problem with the pursuit of knowledge in any realm whatsoever, including the study of how external factors affect gender. However, somebody who calls herself a "feminist" is not necessarily one who merely studies gender.Again, it's not really about 'bad'/'good' feminism, it's about what I've been telling you for a while now, and got a bit fed up with you missing the point, and went to sarcasm. It's about your understanding of feminism, good, bad, whatever. The good/bad are the hows of feminism, I'm challenging the what (is feminism) stance of yours.
I'll try once more to explain to you why I can't agree with this. Feminism is a lens of focus by which theorists study how gender influences/is influenced by social settings, and social, psychological and political factors.
Now I'm confused. Is your definition of feminism the study of the female gender, or is it the study of the female gender backed by a belief that females are still treated as inferiors in today's society? If it's the latter, then sure, there are societies which treat women as inferiors. I even mentioned a few of those many posts back. I simply stand by the claim that American ideology is no longer founded on any beliefs or notions that women are inherently inferior.Independent variable/Dependent Variable
(there's of course interactions between the dependent variables, leading to confounding or interaction effects)
Of course the way to tackle such things would be change the social, political and psychological aspects that affects how the gender's role is highlighted or diminished. We can't very well change their gender (independent variable), now can we?
I also alluded to the fact that I understand that feminism is not just about fighting for female equality on the American home front. I said that I engage in feminist activities by working at a shelter for victims of domestic violence and by being part of an organization whose aims are to raise sexual health awareness in Cambodia. How can I engage in such actions yet still find all of feminism in its entirety completely moot? Oh, that's right...I don't find all of feminism completely moot.
When it comes to the American treatment of women, there are indeed other more relevant issues to tackle outside of the notion that women are inherently inferior. When it comes to the way women are treated in Latin American cultures, the notion that women are inferior is still quite prevalent, and I agree that in these kinds of cultures, this notion should be fought against and eliminated. It's already been eliminated within American society, though.So, this whole argument of yours that 'it's cuz she's simply a woman is a weak argument', 'there's other more important issues to tackle these social barriers'...does, not, make, sense, if you understood what feminist theories as a whole is all about!
Yes, this is perhaps the broadest sense of "feminism", and I understand that. However, looking at this interplay can cause ill-conceived ideals in some [self-proclaimed] feminists, and those ideals are the ones with which I have a problem. I'm not sure how many times I have to type that kind of assertion in this discussion, but I'll do it as many times as necessary for you to understand where my views lie.Feminist theory is just about looking at one particular lens of the interplay of all these factors. WOMEN. I even tried to give the analogy of race, so I'll try once more.
I elaborated on it very very very early in this discussion so you'd understand that it wasn't a sweeping blanket statement. I said AMERICAN society! I said that over and over! How can you ask me WHAT society?So, your position of 'women not being overtly oppressed in society' is a sweeping blanket statement, cuz the natural question to ask is, 'women not being overly opressed in WHAT of society?' The what are the other social factors (dependent variables).
I also never said that no woman is overtly oppressed; I said that women in American society are not oppressed by American society simply for being female! Again, I even pointed out examples of women who are oppressed. How could I say that no women is oppressed while giving examples of women that are oppressed? Hopefully you don't think my Ti is that bad, for goodness sake...So, for you to say that women are not overtly opressed in society, you'd have had to argue that for these likely social factors, women are not being overtly opressed, and I gave you examples, early on, of certain segments of population, where this is not the case (a bit more complicated, as we're introducing more than just 1 dependent variable).
Yeah I don't get what you mean by this. Sorry. Care to elaborate, or have I said enough to make the point you were trying to make here irrelevant?You separated the two things, women different than the social factors. X irrelevant to Y. This as an equation does not make sense. This as a relationship does not make sense. "Simply because she's a woman" would translate to X's relationship with X. What???
I understand that other societal factors, on top of gender, interact with and influence a woman's position. When did I say that they didn't? I don't see gender as an isolated thing; I see inaccuracy and detachment from reality in the notion that gender as an isolated thing is the reason women are oppressed (again, in American society).This, as an understanding of the core of feminist theory, good, bad, or downright, ugly does not make sense to most informed feminists. It does to those, like yourself, who are seeing 'gender' as this isolated thing, to either use as a crutch to bitch about (the stereotyped "feminists" that you've seen), or to use as a target to mock (like you).
It's the feminism in its purest of forms, before it's inflated and inflamed by unrealistic notions and ideals. That's what I meant by "good" feminism.I'm not really even challenging your good/bad feminism (I hope now it makes sense why I quoted that exaggerated quote of yours as I did and called it TeslaSkewsFeminism) because you have a skewed idea of what feminism and feminist theory is, as a whole, at its core. And, when I tried to explain this (more than a few times before), you just glossed over in agreement and called it the 'good feminism'. (?!)
You don't understand that a distinction should be made between feminism at its fundamental core and many self-proclaimed feminists that operate on twisted interpretations of feminism? Really? How can you be a well-informed feminist and not see the distinction? Let me make it clear to you what I mean by "bad" feminism (even though I already brushed upon this in my post to Orangey):And, I kept telling you, again and again, that feminist theory looks at how gender influences or is influenced by the social setting, and social, psychological, political factors. And, you keep agreeing with this, and calling it the "good feminism", and calling some host of other stuff "bad feminism".....when I can't even understand this distinction to begin with.
"Feminists" who believe that American society treats women as inferiors, and that this treatment hinders them in pursuing and reaching their goals.
"Feminists" who correlate female sexuality with female objectification.
"Feminists" who claim that housewives are not living up to their full potential, and domesticity only serves to exacerbate a feminine stereotype.
"Feminists" who believe the solution to the gender gap is to force notions of female merit down our throats, regardless of how deserving of merit a particular female is.
"Feminists" who believe that porn should be illegal and rapists should face the death penalty.
"Feminists" who believe that there are no inherent differences between the male and female psyche and that any existing differences are due merely to how society treats the two genders.
"Feminists" who believe that most/all men, regardless of what's explicitly evident in a man's actions, are misogynistic assholes who will never view women as equals.
"Feminists" who, as SW so well summed it up, have caused an aspect of "feminism" to become.female supremacist misandry
These aspects of "feminism" are those which I attack. I am not under the ignorant assumption that these beliefs are the fundamental principles backing feminism in its entirety, but (once again) I do believe that there are a significant number of "feminists" out there who overtly yield to these beliefs, and I also think that (and this one is harder to prove, but we could discuss it, if you'd like) even many well-informed, prominent feminists are succumbing to these beliefs, perhaps unconsciously, inadvertently, or unknowingly.
Or you are just convinced that having an ill perception of some aspect of "feminism" (god I'm hesitant to even use that word now, as it may perpetuate your misunderstanding) precludes me from seeing the good things inherent in fundamental feminist principles? Or perhaps you think it precludes me from seeing the feminists who are doing good, who haven't inflated the theory in a negative way, and who have realistic perceptions of the female position in American society (and other societies/cultures)?I am sorry that I was completely sarcastic and facetious to you in my last post, and it's probably on me that I'm not able to explain exactly what my point with you is, but, I think I've tried (before, and this post, ignoring the previous one). And, it keeps going over your head.
How do you know (especially prior to this post) how I see the "overarching core of feminist theories"? Have I ever laid those perceptions out on the table? I don't think I have, and if I did, then I didn't define my perception as exclusively aligning with my ill perceptions of some aspects of feminism.But, what I keep saying is, the way you are understanding the overarching core of feminist theories is not what feminist theories is for the majority of people informed in it (all feminist theories, even before we get to parsing out good/bad in it).
Again, I don't really think I made any sweeping claims about feminism as a whole (at least not after we entered into a serious discussion on the matter). But yeah, you're right; perhaps we should have tackled those before moving on to the problems I have with some feminists and some aspects of feminism.Maybe I should have stopped picking at the little points of yours in regards to your 'bad feminism' and kept it strictly about one point: that of understanding the core of feminist theories in the first place. Once that was agreed between us, then, we should have tackled your good/bad assertions. But, I've been responding to both of these points of yours (feminism as a whole, your good/bad stuff) which may have added to the confusion.
Well I do understand that much. It's pretty obnoxious when you feel like you're saying the same thing over and over and the receiver just doesn't register your meaning. I can't blame you for the sarcasm, as it's something I'm prone to do as well, but hopefully you realize that it got us no where and served simply to set us back a notch. I'm pretty frustrated with you, too, but I'm going to refrain from the sarcasm at this point, and I'd respect it if you did the same.My frustration at you not getting what I meant manifested the last post the way it did (and a few parts in previous posts).
Just so we are clear hopefully: Let it be known that I understand that feminism is fundamentally the study of how a woman's role in society is influenced by a variety of external factors, feminist theory uses this study to figure out where the female gender is placed within society and if there are problems with the female gender's placement in society, feminists and feminist "waves", "movements", or "actions" seek to eliminate such problems. My problem is not with the study of the female gender; I don't think sociological studies are ever irrelevant, and I definitely recognize that studies of such nature are valuable on a number of levels. My problem is with how feminist theory (some times) unrealistically interprets such studies and creates inaccurate causal relationships between female gender and certain problems that many females face. My problem is with the unproductive, redundant, futile, and otherwise absurd solutions/actions which (some) feminists deem appropriate for tackling the problems they perceive. Whenever I say the word "feminism", the latter is what I refer to.