A Response to a Feminist Discussion

[Original post can be found here.]

YES YES YES.

For one, I really truly get annoyed when people confuse biological sex and gender.  Because biological sex can’t be controlled, and gender can because gender is the one that’s a social construct.  Refusing medical treatment based on your biological sex because you don’t believe in gender shows a basic ignorance of what each of them actually are.

I love your definition of patriarchy and how it couples with andocentrism.  What a lot of feminists don’t seem to understand is that the andocentrism is the part that hurts men.  I especially liked “assumes that male norms operate throughout all social institutions and become the standard to which persons adhere.”  That right there shows just how the patriarchy hurts everyone, male and female alike, because it makes men feel like they need to live up to these standards that are set too high to begin with and these are the standards that are made to hurt women. Doesn’t matter if it makes these men uncomfortable, they need to do it to live up to societal standards.

I also love how you realize that society as a whole – not just males, not just white people, not just [insert group here] – has created the problems we have today.  Society is huge and complex and things didn’t just become the way they are by a huge group of people (ex: all the men) with a collective mindset enforcing them that way.

I love how you talk about where the real inequality is.  Yes, under the law, women enjoy a much more equal status now than ever before.  That doesn’t mean that inequality doesn’t exist.  No one went after erectile dysfunction medication and whether or not the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should provide for it.  But there were weeks and months of debate about whether birth control (a female only drug) should be provided for.  Yes, legally we have the freedom to access an abortion.  In reality, it’s nearly unaffordable without insurance and many insurance companies refuse to cover it.  Also, depending on your state and how strict the laws are, there may only be a handful of abortion providers for hundreds of thousands of people.  Does that sound like equality?

I also saw the inequality being pushed on us in that military thing.  So very many people didn’t realize that women did not enjoy the right to fight in a combat position in war.  It’s not that we never volunteered; it’s that we were not permitted to do so due to that prevailing point of view that women are too weak to do so.  I’m sure there are plenty of (not outright) discriminatory practices that are in place so that women aren’t allowed to work some of the dangerous jobs men do because of that prevailing mindset.

And I enjoy how you talk about the fact that it’s ourselves that are our worst enemies.  I actually do not see men doing half of the slut-shaming or judging of women that women do to themselves.  None of the men I have dated (and I can count about 7 actual boyfriends) have cared about whether I wore my hair up or down, wore makeup or not, wore perfume or not, shaved or didn’t (actually the only bitch I heard about that was that I needed to maintain it because the grow-in can be scratchy.)

Women, on the other hand, are the most critical of other women.  ”She dresses like a slut” “She’s so easy” “It gives men the idea we’re all like that”… when in fact, it doesn’t.  We’re just so paranoid.  [Which, by the way, is part and parcel of the inequality we’re fighting against and the patriarchy that does, in fact, exist.]

In particular, I think it’s these radfems who spout stuff like “all heterosexual sex is rape” that gives feminism a bad name and makes women (who I would consider feminists, even if they don’t use the term) afraid to be associated with the movement.  It gives misogynistic men the evidence to point to when they say “all feminists are crazy” and it gives women such a fright that they won’t say they’re feminists for fear that they’ll end up as forever alone cat ladies because men won’t wanna be near them.

My Feminism

[In response to this Tumblr post here.]

My feminism is sex-positive.  Sex is not the be-all, end-all of a woman and what she can do.  Who, when and how she has sex is nobody’s business but hers.  If you are safe, sane and consensual with whatever your kink is, then that kink is your own business.  Do what makes you feel good.  What you do in the bedroom doesn’t affect anyone else’s life – just yours and your partners.

My feminism believes that porn is fine, so long as it is between two consenting adults who are practicing their sexuality safely and sanely.  A woman has the right to do with her body what she wishes.  If she wants to accept money, goods or other services for sex then she should be able to – but only if she wants to.  Or hell, if you just get off on other people watching you fuck, that’s fine too.

[I firmly believe that making prostitution as safe and as legal as the porn industry could reduce a lot of problems and bring tax revenue to states – rather than costing taxpayers millions to arrest, prosecute and keep a man in jail just for wanting to pay someone to lay him.]

My feminism realizes that other factors are involved in oppression, and can result in people who are both simultaneously oppressed and privileged.

My feminism knows that gender is a social construct, but doesn’t mind if you’re a girl that likes pretty things or a boy that wants to play sports.  Embracing aspects of both gender roles, a single gender role or no gender roles is what makes us all unique and not mannequins.

My feminism knows that the current socialization of gender can be harmful to others, but that those with body dysmorphia are not only uncomfortable with their gender, but with their biological sex too.  And it’s okay to want to transition to the opposite sex.

My feminism knows that biological sex and gender are two different things, and one of them is constant while the other is a social construct.

My feminism also knows that acknowledging biological sex is not the same as “enforcing gender roles” and that each sex had different upkeeps and physical/medical things that go along with it.  Happy and safe and healthy includes getting the proper medical care for your biological sex, regardless of what gender you identify with.

My feminism believes gender should be abolished, but realizes that it is an idealistic/utopian goal that doesn’t necessarily work in the real world, and it doesn’t shame women who want to be feminine or men that want to be masculine.

My feminism realizes that the patriarchy hurts men just as much as it can hurt women, and that men can be allies and not enemies.  Not all men are the vocal, hateful minority.  There are many good men out there who would like to see the same rights given to women that they have.

My feminism recognizes that the patriarchy hurts men by forcing them into masculine gender roles they’re not comfortable with either and that it silences male victims of traditionally female-victim crimes.

My feminism recognizes that, just as straight people can be allies for the LGBTQ community, men can be allies for the feminist cause.

My feminism doesn’t prioritize any woman over another, because to do so would cause oppression for the women you don’t prioritize.  All women are equal.  In fact, all humans are equal.  Non-white women are not more special than other women, and lesbians are not more special than heterosexuals.  We’re all in this together.

My feminism recognizes that, while trans people who were raised male might have some male privilege, that by being trans they are subject to a lot of hate and violence and that makes them allies to the cause.  Trans people have just as many struggles as the rest of us, and to ignore or marginalize them is what provokes anger from them – and rightfully so.

My feminism doesn’t marginalize you because of your biological sex or your gender identity.  If you’re trans and you go through the long and arduous process of reassigning you’re gender, you’re entitled to be treated as the new biological sex you are.

My feminism supports gender equality, because the moment you decide that one sex/gender is superior, you have bought into the patriarchal lie that someone has to be better than another.

My feminism understands that relationships between men and women in society are complicated and multi-faceted.  Women have experienced chronic oppression in history, but that not all history treats women badly.  There have been many kick-ass and famous strong women in history.  It is something to be proud of.

My feminism supports all other forms of feminism, so long as the individuals that are a part of it don’t promote hate and violence.  There are always going to be fringe people who spout hate and violence and crazy-talk, but they are not to be taken seriously and they are not the basis by which to judge all other feminists.

My feminism understands that completely breakdown and anarchy is not the way to fix the problems of the patriarchy.  That process is long and complicated and that sometimes that change that we seek will happen slowly – by teaching your children to be better than the society they’re born in.

Shopping Haul!

First post of the New Year and it’s about all the stuff I bought New Year’s Eve.

To clarify, I work in a mall.  And I work a lot, like 30-40 hours per week.  I have no car, and I work way too far away from where I live for walking or biking.  I could move closer, but I work in the suburbs and live in the city because frankly it’s cheaper to live in the city and there’s more stuff to do.  So my only real form of transportation is the public sort.  I walk about 10-15 minutes to my closest train station, I take the train (about 5-20 minutes depending on the wait) one stop up to it’s end where I catch the (literally) only bus that goes out to my mall.  The ride is 30-45 minutes long, beginning to end, and the bus leaves approximately every hour.  My travel time between work and home is at least an hour on a good day, two on a bad one.

Recently, I’ve been working more due to the holiday season.  And the holidays mean that the buses run reduced Saturday or Sunday schedules rather than slightly more active weekday schedules.  Even a shift that starts at like  10 in the morning and goes til like 4 pm can be a hassle.  That means I’m up at 7am, out the door at 8, catching that bus I need at 8:45 and am at the mall by about 9:20 so I can work at 10.  If I actually leave at 4 (and not more than 2 minutes later or I miss this bus and have to wait 45 minutes for the next one) I can catch the 4:12 and I’m home between 5:08 and 5:23pm.  The only computer (out of 6 in  my house) is my boyfriend’s.  If he’s home, I have no internet access.  So online shopping can be difficult for me (especially since I’m trying to get a new computer ordered and shipped to my house so we don’t have this problem.)  I also tend to leave for work before most local stores are open and arrive home as they are closing or decidedly after.  So area shopping is ridiculously difficult.  Especially because my days off are either on weekends when the stores aren’t open or have limited hours or I’m so busy trying to catch up with housecleaning and grocery shopping that I never do get to actually go pleasure shopping.

What I Got

Writer’s Block: Bless You! + Update

Cross-posted to LiveJournal

So I’m doing this on my boyfriend’s computer now because of the like…six computers in this house, only his still works.  It’s annoying, but my dad should be buying a new laptop for himself soon and I’m very soon to be getting back in school which means a new laptop for me as well.  But it does mean I’m a little bit behind in my writing as the only word processor I have is Google Docs and I can only use this computer when my boyfriend is either working or sleeping.

But I did get to do a Writer’s Block question today.  The question was:

What are you allergic to?

And that tends to be a long answer for me because sadly, I happen to be allergic to just about everything except food and medicine.  I have no known food allergies, nor am I allergic to any common medicines.  Most of my allergies are either sinus-affecting or skin-affecting.

The list of allergies

Nail Art

So, I kinda like nail art.  Every time some woman comes through my line with pretty acrylic nails and a gorgeous airbrush design I sigh in happiness.  I love pretty things and I think nails are as much an accessory to an outfit as makeup and jewelry are.

But, I never wanted to pay the money for those pretty nails.  I just bought cheap nail polish in pretty colors and painted them once a week.  The most inventive thing I did was put glitter over the color or do more than one color on a hand.

Then… My Nail Story