[Discussion] Feminism and social justice, plus FAQ!

This thread is for discussing feminist issues--from the narrow meaning (a movement for social justice in terms of gender equality) to the broader meaning (a movement for social justice, period), and from the scope of issues in gaming and geek culture to kyriarchy in general.

Basic questions are allowed here for now, we will split out a Q&A thread should it become necessary.

Wait, if 130 countries voted for it, I assume that includes countries where abortion is straight up illegal. WTF is our excuse?

sometimesdee wrote:

Wait, if 130 countries voted for it, I assume that includes countries where abortion is straight up illegal. WTF is out excuse?

Hypocrisy?

Jonman wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:

Wait, if 130 countries voted for it, I assume that includes countries where abortion is straight up illegal. WTF is out excuse?

Hypocrisy?

I asked for our excuse, not the real reason.

sometimesdee wrote:
Jonman wrote:
sometimesdee wrote:

Wait, if 130 countries voted for it, I assume that includes countries where abortion is straight up illegal. WTF is out excuse?

Hypocrisy?

I asked for our excuse, not the real reason.

We stopped paying lip service to plausible excuses about two years ago.

I don't know how many of you have been following the story about Eliza Dushku, CBS, Michael Weatherly, and the TV show Bull, but Dushku published her account of what happened in the Boston Globe. She was sexually harassed by her male co-star on set, and when she confronted him about it, she was fired from the show. Because much of the harassment was caught on tape, CBS settled with her for $9 million.

I saw a comment recently (and I unfortunately don't remember where) that said, roughly, that the actresses you remember from the early '00s who you don't see anymore were blacklisted for speaking out against powerful men. This is a good example of that same dynamic. At one point in that piece above, she quotes the showrunner for Bull who says that if she wants to quit the industry by suing CBS that she's welcome to do so. And he's right: Dushku has likely badly endangered, if not outright ended, her acting career by doing this.

There are other things worth thinking about here: that in an article chronicling her protracted harassment, she felt the need to shore up her bona fides for readers multiple times and goes out of her way to say that she likes compliments and has a sense of humor. It's ridiculous that as she's detailing her treatment she still feels the need to do that. Who knows if it's internalized shame from the experience, or if it's a preemptive defense against reader responses.

It's also worth pointing out that Weatherly's co-stars from NCIS stepped forward to defend him, and despite his treatment of Dushku being caught on film and CBS feeling there was enough truth to it to pay out multiple seasons worth of salary in private arbitration (where companies typically go to pay less, not more), those defenses are going to be pointed to as evidence of his innocence. I'll take those women at their words and believe that they didn't see anything untoward from Weatherly. That doesn't undo what he did. Treating some women or most women well doesn't mean that you can't mistreat one of them in bad ways, and it doesn't lessen the severity of that. But it will for many in the public.

It's just a reminder of the cost of coming forward. Yes, Dushku got $9 million. I think she'd rather have had the career she loved and not have been traumatized and bullied.

Yeah I have been following the Bull story because I have always been a Eliza Dushku fan and know of Mr. Weatherly from my mom's love of NCIS. The moment I read the account of what happened and that she got several seasons of payout it was pretty obvious this guy did something that was dirtbag quality.

I hope someone out there starts pulling these actresses abck in and supporting them because I'd hate to see all their good acting and passion go to waste.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I saw a comment recently (and I unfortunately don't remember where) that said, roughly, that the actresses you remember from the early '00s who you don't see anymore were blacklisted for speaking out against powerful men.

Here ya go:

https://twitter.com/AkilahObviously/...

sometimesdee wrote:

Wait, if 130 countries voted for it, I assume that includes countries where abortion is straight up illegal. WTF is our excuse?

I would lay money that the "sexual and reproductive health" line is the excuse.
According to that Reuters study earlier in the year the US is the world's 3rd most dangerous place for women in terms of sexual violence—tied with Syria. I think the US simply did not want to have to go to the cost and effort to comply with the resolution.

I know both that I'm not the demographic, and also that it's because of patriarchal systems and connections, but I'm astounded, confused, and infuriated that it's seen as worthwhile to pay out 9 million for the sake of this NCIS guy, who can't even be the big NCIS guy because isn't that Chris O'Donnell or LL Cool J? Good on Dushku, Faith was always my favorite Slayer.

STOP IT!!! YOU CAN STOP THE SEARCH!! (be forewarned, cishet centric article below - still hilarious though)
We have found it, scientists have found it! A contraceptive to top them all...

Mansplaining Now Tops Condoms as Most Effective Contraceptive (Alternative Science)

The new study from NIPPS indicates that while condoms remain an extremely effective method of preventing pregnancy — certainly still much higher than the first method created by those same cave people that involved stuffing peas or pebbles into the man’s penile opening — there is a new contraceptive method available that, when used properly, is 99.999999% effective against pregnancy.
“We can say with almost perfect certainty that mansplaning is the most effective form of birth control ever imagined,” Dr. Billy Williamson told reporters at a press conference today. Dr. Williamson is the chief researcher who helped NIPPS conduct the study, and he says the results are “so amazing” but that he expects it “could take years to make a woman understand them.” “What we found,” Dr. Williamson said, “is that when a man attempts to explain something to a woman like she’s an idiot and/or she doesn’t already know the very obvious thing he’s explaining to her, he is so highly unlikely to have sex that there is almost a statistical impossibility for a pregnancy to occur from that particular interaction.”

Extra context below:

Spoiler:

It's become a bit of a Christmas tradition for scientists and researchers from all backgrounds to release hilarious studies, and the BMJ even has a special Christmas edition, which has released papers on the survival time of chocolates on hospital wards, renal compensation for hypohydration in doctors, or the epidemiology, treatment and prevention of zombie infections. You can find a nice collection of similar BMJ papers over here.

Going to be permanently on alert about my neighbour (M) who came knocking on my door at 10pm asking to come over because he's a neighbour. I said no and then he asked if he can come over some other time and I said no, and of course immediately I panic and wonder if I should have hedged and said maybe some other time, whether I was too obviously patronising when I was asking if there was anything else so he would leave.

Wish I could feel ok and safe to tell him to 100% f*** off.

Oh wow, Mermaidpirate, that’s creepy as eff. Some dude coming over at 10pm with no prior warning and no prior interaction is freaking terrifying.
You should be able to tell this dude off and you owe him absolutely nothing. That’s the theory. In practice... we know how men are.
Just... stay safe. I wish I had good advice but all I can say is keep the police on speed dial.

Mermaidpirate wrote:

Going to be permanently on alert about my neighbour (M) who came knocking on my door at 10pm asking to come over because he's a neighbour. I said no and then he asked if he can come over some other time and I said no, and of course immediately I panic and wonder if I should have hedged and said maybe some other time, whether I was too obviously patronising when I was asking if there was anything else so he would leave.

Wish I could feel ok and safe to tell him to 100% f*** off.

Nope, your first instinct for saying "no" was right on the mark. No hedging necessary. The second-guessing about the "hedging" is our "women should always be nice" training kicking in.

Who the heck comes over to someone's house at 10pm anyway? That's ridiculous!

bekkilyn wrote:

Nope, your first instinct for saying "no" was right on the mark. No hedging necessary. The second-guessing about the "hedging" is our "women should always be nice" training kicking in.

Who the heck comes over to someone's house at 10pm anyway? That's ridiculous!

Agree 200%. Not only is it ridiculous, it’s suspect. Dude isn’t even using the Big Bad Wolf’s “can I borrow a cup of flour” excuse.
Call me paranoid, but it’s a no “eff’ing way” from me. Hope you’re safe, Mermaidpirate.

The only time a neighbor has knocked on my door between the hours of 9 pm - 7 am is the one time my neighbor was headed to work early and saw my car had been broken into. I’ve been over to their house of course during scheduled parties, but I’ve never just invited myself.

To be honest, showing up uninvited at 10 pm even to a close friend’s house is kind of a jerk move. It’s downright insulting and creepy from a neighbor.

I had a guy knock on my door at like 1am or 2am to ask me for for $50 because he and his wife just got home drunk, and they had to pay the babysitter. Then he said that he felt comfortable knocking on my door because he sees from my light being on that I stay up late regularly. I did not recognize this person, at all.

I said no, but, it freaked me out. I honestly had no cash (at least the dude didn't try what a homeless guy downtown did once, after I told him I had no cash, he told me there was an ATM around the corner ) Later, when telling this story to some other friends, I learned that it was becoming a thing, happening to a lot of people, and this it was just a grift. It's tough, because, what if the knocking on the door is a person in danger that actually needs help?

You guys do realize you’re posting in the feminism thread, right? On top of being stolen from, we also fear for our lives, and run the risk of being assaulted, raped. You’re aware of that, right?

Eleima wrote:

You guys do realize you’re posting in the feminism thread, right? On top of being stolen from, we also fear for our lives, and run the risk of being assaulted, raped. You’re aware of that, right?

Didn’t mean to derail. Just wanted to offer support and reinforce that it’s not normal behavior. Dude is definitely creeping.

Merpirate. Good luck, glad your ok and hope this creep doesn't bother you anymore.

This Twitter thread is absolutely perfect. By Keith of 2 Swords @pleasetryharder

Quick chat to my feminist ally men

Jumping in feminist threads to cheer women on is great, and we all need to support each other.

That said, take some time to speak independently. Draw fire on your own. Men created the problems that feminists fight every day. If we’re truly interested in being a part of the change, then it’s on us to turn to the men and demand better.

All of the little nuances sexism creeps up when men feel the need to pile on and start talking over women or presume they need our approval. They don’t.

They deserve our support, and that starts with listening, learning, and making changes within the patriarchy.

We’re on the inside of the problem, and that’s where we can make changes. If you want to drag a guy on a fem thread, drag them onto your TL and do it.

If you’re only piling on for back pats and approval cookies, you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

We can do better. Get out of your comfort zone. Clean your side of the street. Make changes where you live.

Sorry.

So neighbour followed me out to the recycling and asked to socialise again. From the way he talks I am guessing he has a mental incapacity of some kind for lack of a better term. I can appreciate he's probably lonely but I am not the solution to that. I just pray this won't be an ongoing issue.

Not going to turn this thread into me vs this guy going forward. Just a bit scared and looking to vent.

(Hugs)

If there's a third time, it might be good to check in with local police.
Growing up, we had a halfway house on our street. If he is in a similar situation, I'd think the police would know and could talk with a caregiver.

I'm sorry.

This is old news, but it showed up in my feed once again, and I started wondering if this had been mentioned previously in the thread.
Researchers Built a Smart Dress to Show How Often Women Are Groped at Clubs (Quartzy)

For the project, titled “The Dress for Respect,” researchers built a dress embedded with sensor technology that tracked touch and pressure. The information was then relayed to a visual system so that researchers could essentially track harassment in real time.

To test the dress, researchers sent three women to a party wearing it. Throughout the night, we see a heat-map version of it steadily light up in the areas where the women are being grabbed: mostly the lower back, backside, and arms. The visual is imposed over footage of the women brushing off the men and asking not to be touched.

In just under four hours, the women are touched a combined 157 times.

Now this will probably not be a surprise to many of us. More often than not, some guys see a low cut or a short dress, and think it's an invitation. It's not. And yet, it happens all - the - damn - time. I hadn't been to a night club in years and a colleague dragged me to one this summer. Yeah. Never again.

Yes, sponsored by Schwepps which doesn't have the best track record when it comes to objectifying women to sell its products. And the experiment took place in Brazil. Not that it matters. You'd get similar results in Paris, London or NYC.

From an old Linnea Dunne piece:

Let’s talk about objectivity and non-partisanship. Because of what the world looks like, and because of how women’s experiences are routinely silenced and invisibilised, we have developed a skewed perception of gender equality. As the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media found, crowd scenes on screen tend to be made up of about 17% women – and we’ve gotten used to it as the new (old?) normal. Men experiencing said crowd in a room tend to estimate that it consists of about 50/50 men and women. Increase the number of women to 33% and men will say that there are more women than men.

Sady Doyle writes in In These Times that:

… men “consistently perceive more gender parity” in their workplaces than women do. For example, when asked whether their workplaces recruited the same number of men and women, 72 percent of male managers answered “yes.” Only 42 percent of female managers agreed. And, while there’s a persistent stereotype that women are the more talkative gender, women actually tend to talk less than men in classroom discussions, professional contexts and even romantic relationships; one study found that a mixed-gender group needed to be between 60 and 80 percent female before women and men occupied equal time in the conversation. However, the stereotype would seem to have its roots in that same perception gap: “[In] seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that [women] are getting more than their fair share.”

Our perception is so severely twisted we wouldn’t know merit if it slapped us in the face. Since we perceive women and men differently, we can’t hold them to the same standards, no matter how hard we try.

Emphasis added.

Eleima wrote:

This is old news, but it showed up in my feed once again, and I started wondering if this had been mentioned previously in the thread.
Researchers Built a Smart Dress to Show How Often Women Are Groped at Clubs (Quartzy)

What a great idea. Hadn't heard of it, thanks for sharing.

I went to my first live performance in a long time on Sunday, and I was fortunate not to experience any of that. I did leave as it was getting crowded (I only found out it was on last minute and unfortunately I had an 8am shift the next day, fml). I know it happens in Melbourne though.

I was taking a break and stumbled on this relatively recent article (orginially from 2017, recently reposted last October). It's seven parts long, so I do recommend reading the whole thing.
It’s Time To Embrace Feminism’s Anger (Bitch Media)
This particular excerpt is long, but it's so true, it cuts deep:

The terrible irony of female anger is that the systems that have molded and incited and taunted it are the same ones that demand that it be denied. Women are told in a million small ways that anger, along with other strong emotions, is an inappropriate response to things that by their definitions should provoke anger: discrimination, disenfranchisement, degradation, abuse. We are told that the neutral detachment of “rational” and “objective” white men is the golden mean, and that outrage and anger undermine our ability to be heard and understood by those neutral, self-appointed judges. The history of women’s rage is not a coiled rattlesnake, but an ouroboros.

And of course the taboo of anger is stronger for some women than for others. Women of all races and classes tend to be socialized to believe that anger is not for girls; it’s “unladylike,” it’s “unbecoming,” it’s “off-putting”—all of which, of course, are warnings to not make others, particularly male others, uncomfortable. But for Black women, for instance, anger is presumed even in cases where none exists, whether it’s in a Twitter reply or an interaction with police or the role of First Lady. (How many times was Michelle Obama headlined as “angry” simply because she refused to paste on a smile and suffer fools?) Male reaction to white women’s anger is often to brush off or minimize it, as though a line like “You’re cute when you’re angry” will defuse its potential; Black women’s anger is viewed as scary from the jump, inflated by those it confronts to reliably tragic conclusions. But one thing all women’s anger have in common is that the first response is not to “understand” it, but to make it stop by any means necessary: tamp it down, snuff it out, bury it deep so no one else has to deal with it, literally kill it dead.

Having been semiprofessionally Mad on the Internet for the past couple of years, I've had a lot of opportunity to see just how many women and femmes have become progressively angrier, funnier, and more outspoken. They were angry and funny and outspoken before, but 2017 has opened up so many more channels in which to rage and rant and simply be honest about how much rage has lay dormant just under the surface. Feminism has historically been a movement whose chief PR strategy involves making sure that its catalyzing anger can be prettied up and intentionally contained so it doesn't contaminate its own potential for even minor successes. And for the many, many women who have internalized the fear of female anger—that it’s irrational or disqualifying or even just embarrassing—even admitting that anger is an appropriate response to the events of the last year seems like a big deal. The old cliché that “if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” seems like it needs an update. At this point, if you’re not outraged and committed to fighting patriarchy, racism, kleptocracy, and more, you’re not only not paying attention, you need to step the hell aside.

This rings so true to me. I can't articulate words, though, but the whole thing just resonates.

We are told that the neutral detachment of “rational” and “objective” white men is the golden mean, and that outrage and anger undermine our ability to be heard and understood by those neutral, self-appointed judges.

Now where have I seen this conversation before?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
We are told that the neutral detachment of “rational” and “objective” white men is the golden mean, and that outrage and anger undermine our ability to be heard and understood by those neutral, self-appointed judges.

Now where have I seen this conversation before?

LOL

It's a whole lot easier to be academically "rational" and "objective" when one isn't the subject of discrimination and abuse.

It's a whole lot easier to fancy oneself as "objective", at least...

I've spent a lot of time (and $$) in therapy but I'm really only now figuring out how to be angry about things... well, much of anything of importance, without being self-destructive. I'm not an "acting-out" sort, but in some ways it's worse because it feels like parts of me were (are?) being eaten away inside. Clichéd, but with good reason.

It's even changed the media I consume and the entertainment I go looking for, especially this past year. I've found hobby communities that are almost entirely women and femmes. Most of the podcasts I listen to are highly collaborative and/or pretty self-aware about their biases. I'm reading/listening to works I didn't have much use for before, and skipping a lot of things that I have less interest in now because the voices in them can only hear themselves.

Unfortunately it's also meant I've all but stopped participating here, but frankly my quality of life has vastly improved as I've put increasingly tight boundaries around what content I consume that's generated by men.

I absolutely understand needing to leave or give space to something that takes more energy or causes more harm than it is worth.
That said, please know that this community loves and respects you, and deeply thanks you for everything you have done for it.