1. Some have a difficult time with feminism. ‘Why not a human liberation movement?’ they say. The answer is that the power differences between the sexes, races, and classes are still so extreme that invoking humanism, at this time, dangerously denies that fact.
    — Loraine Hutchins and Lan Kaahumanu, Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out.
     


  2. I can’t answer that for you. Go out and learn it.

    Go into the city with a female friend. Walk 20 feet behind her and listen.

    Make an account on a social site. Use a female name and photo. Post something, anything.

    Go to a Take Back The Night march. Listen to the survivors speak out afterwards.

    Set a timer on your phone or watch for two minutes. When the alarm goes off, another woman in the United States has been sexually assaulted.

    Make an account on a dating site as a woman. Check your messages.

    Take a walk through a toy store. Look at which toys are “meant” for boys and which are “meant” for girls.

    Hang out with six of your female friends. Statistically, one of them has been raped. The chance that her rapist served any jail time for it is 3%.

    Watch a movie. Almost any movie will do. Who’s the hero? Who gets saved? Who speaks the most?

    Listen to other guys insult each other when they REALLY want to put each other down. “Pussy.” “Bitch.” “Sissy.” The worst thing for a man to be is like a woman.

    But most importantly, read. Read bell hooks, read Jessica Valenti, read Amanda Marcotte, read Gail Collins, read Julia Serano. Read blogs and essays. Read literature written by women. I bet they didn’t assign you much of that in high school English class.

    If I had unlimited time and energy to debate with you and patiently explain Why You Should Care About Feminism and counter each of your points with all the books and articles I’ve read, believe me, I would. But I don’t.

    So go out and learn.
     


  3. If we really cared about the rights of Islamic women, rather than just using them as a political football when it is expedient, we would listen to them, and respect their choices. Respecting someone’s rights means respecting their autonomy and treating them as they wish to be treated.
     


  4. What it means to be feminine or masculine has altered throughout history. This tends to be ignored in common-sense thinking, which imagines that there are long-standing traditional ways of being a woman or a man that reflect what is ‘natural’ and therefore should not be changed.
    — Mary Holmes, Learning and Doing Gender in Everyday Life.
     

  5. Preach it!

     


  6. Throughout history, religiously conservative males have had to confront one of the greatest sources of their moral failure: the male libido. The male libido—the fact that men are sluts—is a sore spot of any male community wanting to pursue purity and holiness. And what has happened, by and large, is that rather than admit that males struggle mightily in the sexual realm, males have externalized the blame and projected their libido onto women. Rather than blaming themselves for sexual sin males have, throughout history, blamed women for being temptresses. The Whore was created to be the scapegoat to preserve male self-righteousness. Rather than turning inward, in personal and collective repentance, men could blame women, blame the whores, for their sexual and moral failures. It’s not our fault, the men say, it’s the whore’s fault.
     


  7. Gender is not the study of what is evident, it is an analysis of how what is evident came to be.
     


  8. I believe we live in a culture where too few adult males assert the grown-up virtues of self-control, responsibility, and manifested empathy. Being “manly” is less about traditional machismo than it is about what the Apostle Paul calls the putting away of childish things. And one of those childish things adult men put away is the need to deflect, belittle, or exaggerate women’s anger.
     


  9. The Male Gaze

    The quote I just posted expresses what I feel to be the enactment of the male gaze on self-image. The concept of the male gaze, (initially explored and set out by Laura Mulvey in her 1975 essay ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’) when applied to film and advertising, poses that women are typically the objects of gaze rather than the possessors, as heterosexual men are seen to be the ‘default’ target audience across the board. This assumption plays out in a number of subtle ways, including, but not limited to:

    • Parts of women’s bodies being shown, (‘disembodied’ breasts, legs, etc.) often without heads/faces to attach them to - known as ‘fragmentation’. It should be clear that this is objectification, pure and simple. Our faces humanise us, and so to remove this individuality and identity is to make the fragmented woman faceless and thereby dehumanise her.
    • Advertising that sells women to men, and sells insecurity, negative comparisons and dissatisfaction to women. You either want the girl or you want to be her (again, the default audience here is a heterosexual man).
    • More examples here.

    We all have fantasies. We are all constrained by them, excited by them, limited by them, freed by them. To say that women are the only ones ‘run’ by them is untrue, but I am certain that, in comparison to men, our own self-gaze is far more heavily tinted by what we think men want or don’t want to see. This is what resonates with me in Atwood’s quote: we are our own voyeurs, and this is not down to a single factor or any personal weakness - ‘letting in’ or ‘inviting’ male appreciation does not automatically degrade us - nor is it that every man is a predator or a pervert, or that women don’t objectify men. To my mind, it is a system of gazes. 

    The result of this system is what a woman feels as she walks past a construction site, or when a guy leans out of a car to share his sentiments on whatever she’s wearing. I know I’m not alone when I say that sometimes it seems as if some men are really just standing around on a street or at a bar with the sole purpose of viewing or appraising girls as they walk past. I’m not lumping all men in with these particular types - I’m attempting to highlight the way the male gaze can sit next to you, follow you home, show you his ideal woman on TV, (even during the ad-breaks!), and then when you’re sitting in a pile of discarded potential outfits in the morning, crying and eating Nutella out of the jar, force you to realise that this is a fantasy you’ll never quite live up to. (Oh, but if you do, you’re probably a slut.)

    The bottom line is this: it’s all very well to say you are an equalist and not a feminist, and that to prioritise feminism is in some way erasing or disregarding sexism aimed at men. But my feeling is that equalism and feminism are not mutually exclusive forms of activism. These ‘activisms’ are entirely compatible and in my case, live happily alongside each other. I don’t believe in female world domination! After all, ”dismantling the patriarchy ALSO means dismantling the patriarchal definition of masculinity." (I would add ‘dismantling gender binaries’ to that.) Nor do I believe, however, that feminism as a movement can be absorbed by equalism whilst satisfactorily addressing the issues around the specific and continued issues of female-targeted marginalisation and misogyny which continue to permeate across the globe. There is still a place for feminism. It is not dead.

     


  10. The very fact that women and men can say that they feel more or less ‘like a woman’ or ‘like a man’ shows that the experience of a gendered cultural identity is an ‘earned’ achievement.
    — Judith Butler
     

  11. A powerful New Zealand anti-rape campaign. whoareyou.co.nz

     


  12. ‎Rape culture is a culture in which people who have survived a violent crime are asked to laugh about it because other people think it’s funny.
    — 
     

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  14. This is a beautiful sight.