I just want to say I agree with everything you said Olympia. Good posts.
I just want to say I agree with everything you said Olympia. Good posts.
Wow am I glad I did not read Bluebonnet's absurd comments earlier in the day when my mood was worse. Too bad there's not a an emoticon employing a particular digit to sum up my response. Have we made no progress in the last 30 years? How many people have to suffer and die before people realize being gay is NOT a choice. That same sort of inane logic is being used in placed like Uganda and Iran punish gay men and women into leading "normal" lives. Choosing to deny that fact is what leads to unsafe actions, ruptured families, depression and suicide all over the world. For God's sake, we had a month long thread last year about the negative effects of bullying which has an outsized impact on gay teens who are made to feel that they are not normal.
As a gay man, I find the assertion that anyone would willingly choose to subject themselves to be legally fired in 29 states and denied housing in just as many, along with bullying, assault, being shunned by family, maligned by politicians and religious leaders etc. to utterly ridiculous. Now are there some people who are genuinely bisexual? Yes, but they should also be treated with respect and not subjected to casually tossed around stereotypes. Pick up a psychology journal one of these days and actually read it. It might enlighten you. This subject has been settled against your speculative opinion for decades.
All of this talk about going back to some mythical time when everyone was more genteel and women were ladies is just a little too precious and reactionary. The good old days were never as great as anyone would like to believe. It's just a lazy defense mechanism meant to react to changes in the contemporary world that are a too uncomfortable to face head on. It's the same thinking to leads to people to want to return to "strict constructionist" or "originalist" interpretations of the constitution. Well being black and gay and entirely incapable of keeping my opinion to myself, I certainly don't want to go back to 1789 thank you very much. I'd wager a guess that most other people, especially women, would agree with me if they actually stopped to think about what going backward would really mean.
One great thing about a site like this is that people get to encounter people who aren't like them. It has aspects of living in a city, or going to college. So many of one's tidy thoughts and views are thrown into disarray by the reality of actual people, their real nature or their experiences.
There were indeed a lot of good things in the good old days that are now lost. The problem was that not everyone got to partake of them. The things that were lost, like good manners, we can work to restore, and I believe we should. The things that have been gained should never be given up.
The question one needs to ask oneself is, "Could I live like that?" Would any of us choose, as jcoates says, to live in fear of losing one's job or being bullied? Would any of us choose to be completely financially dependent on another person, as women still are in many parts of the world and as we were in our own countries a hundred years ago? Then if it's not okay for thee and me, why is it okay for anyone else?
Let's let someone from those times speak for herself. I was thinking of Sojourner Truth's speech last night after I closed my computer. For those of you not familiar with American History, Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and a speaker for women's rights in the mid-1800s. She was born Isabella Baumfree, a slave, and gained her own freedom. In 1851, she gave a speech at a women's rights convention. Elements of the speech may not be exactly as delivered, because no one wrote it down right away, but her words must have been made of fire, because no one who heard her forgot their effect. Here's the bit that always gets to me:
"That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody helps me any best place. And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm. I have plowed, I have planted and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me. And ain't I a woman? I could work as much, and eat as much as man--when I could get it--and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain't I a woman?"
Last edited by Olympia; 01-04-2012 at 10:58 AM.
Easier said than done if authority figures, people in your daily life, random strangers make a point of telling you it is shameful, and in many times and places illegal to act on. Lucky heterosexual you, not to have to worry about all those negative messages about what and who you are.The point is- I don't care, because I see nothing shameful in what and who I am. You may try to do that too.
And to come back to the feminism issue, lucky girls in much of the world in the 21st century not to have to deal with as many messages about the inherent inferiority of women that permeated popular culture even when I was growing up.
It's easy to say "I want things to be the way they used to be" if you identify with people who benefitted by the way they used to be (and had more access to documenting their experience -- history is written by the winners after all). Great if you get to be a privileged lady. Not so great if you were one of the majority who'd be lucky to make a living washing the ladies' underthings.
I know, right? Maybe those heterosexual male able bodied old white guys will be able to achieve positions of power in our society some day.And on men: the tendency is- the most discriminated person in the modern north american society is a white heterosexual 30yo male without special needs.
And frankly, lots of women these days can't afford it either. I can't, when I am in the OR with two chauvinistic choleric surgeons I most certainly cannot afford to be sweet, soft and humble.
I am not even a diehard feminist. I don't care if someone calls me "darling" or "sweetheart" at work, makes immature jokes about women all the time - I absolutely don't care about superficial stuff, e.g. that everything has to include both genders à la he/she. And I think that girls should wear pink and purple if they want to (I love to wear it), play with dolls etc.
But I think we, as women, do ourselves a disservice if we really think that things went downhill after feminism struck. There was never a paradise populated with millions of ladies, who were elegant, soft-spoken, kind and modest. Throughout the centuries there were just a select few who were in a position where they could be ladies. The rest was fighting for survival. There was always abortion (with the difference that loads of women died during illegal abortions), there were always babies that were abandoned (the orphanages were full with children, children born out of wedlock etc.), and there have always been women complaining about their men and vice versa and there has always been prostitution.
I'm not saying that being a "privileged" lady doesn't have its benefits, but it also limits your growth by restricting your thoughts and actions to what is deemed appropriate by society. I cannot tell you the number of frightened women I've known in my lifetime because they had been trained to be dependent on someone other than themselves. Being old enough to have participated in the advent of "feminism", which for me meant being allowed to use my brain to support myself and others, I have found this thread interesting and enlightening. I just wanted to say that being told who you are supposed to be, in my experience, is not
a good thing.
A little bit off-topic, but there was an interesting report on TV last night about the "economic recovery" that the U.S. is going through. Unemployment is not quite as bad as it was, millions of new jobs have been created. etc., etc.
But the majority of the new jobs have gone to men, and of these, most are in fields previously dominated by female workers. As well-paying jobs in manufacturing and industry have dried up, more and more men are taking a pay cut to work in the areas of health care and services.
And on a less controversial note: Welcome to Golden Skate, solfan82.
Last edited by Mathman; 01-04-2012 at 01:14 PM.
None of these things are related to feminists ideas or ideals, but that that won't stop neanderthals for blaming feminists for every ill society faces.
^ I would be interested to hear more specifics on the employment data you refer to, MM. My impression has been that men have been hardest hit by the recession. The latest (I think) US BLS data do show a .5% decline in the male unemployment rate while women's has not changed - but men's is still higher than women's. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/mmls.toc.htm This is not true of Hispanics, though. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t03.htm
Your (MM's) comment on women's self-determination and the birth rate reminds me of another facet of feminism I dislike - the tendency to regard women's well-being and that of children in oppositional terms. The most famous examples of this are the arguments for abortion that liken pregnancy to kidnapping and the fetus to a powerful intruder who can only be stopped with deadly force.
So now I'm a neanderthal, Dragonlady? Well - no point in someone as stupid as I am trying to reason with a genius like you.
Last edited by Spun Silver; 01-04-2012 at 01:41 PM.
There are many different branches of "feminism": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminis...and_ideologies
There are disagreements and debates between and within these different branches.
The main thing that they share is belief in and promotion of rights of women. But which areas they focus on and which strategies they use to promote them will vary considerably.
Dismissing the whole movement because you don't like the priorities or strategies of one or more subbranches suggests that either you don't know very much about feminism or you don't believe women deserve rights to self-determination equal to men. I hope the former is the case.
I think the main point was that in the good old days there were always plenty of factory jobs available which paid a solid wage ($17-$25 per hour or so with full health and retirement benefits) and which did not require any particular education, skill or training. Those jobs now are long gone, and Michigan's economic tailspin was out of control for a year or two. (This is not related either to feminism or ice skating )
This segue should not deflect us from the fact at hand, however (IMHO). In countries where women have no choice in the matter, men tend to father large families, whether they can support them or not. When women have a voice they typically come to the point where they say, "Whoa, Jack!".Originally Posted by Spun Silver
Last edited by Mathman; 01-04-2012 at 02:17 PM.