[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.

Another tweet from Emrazz (seriously, you should all just follow her, she's always on point).

Emrazz wrote:

The term “toxic masculinity” is a litmus test. If it makes you angry, you failed.

I might even take it one step further. Assuming you're somehow unfamiliar, or "untested", if it engenders any emotion other than curiosity, you failed.

Luckily, any man should feel free to take it again. Try harder this time.

Removed - Certis

*mod*

RnRClown wrote:

(This encapsulates feminism. The title of this thread. It also follows the flow of recent comments. Discussion being the scope of this thread. I shouldn't feel the need to get out in front of any potential backlash, but there it is. Hoping for goodwill. Preparing for negativity.)

(Why not the "Men Talking to Men" iteration of the feminism discussion. These articles are authored by women, and may most benefit from any for or against by the women within our community. I'll bow out from further input on this here. I wanted to share and I have. I'll lurk and take in anything for or against with regard to these pieces.)

The defensiveness of this post and the feeling like you need such a disclaimer tells me that sitting back and listening exclusively is for the best. Going forward, please do not participate in feminism-related threads. If you're serious about learning then being quiet, actually listening and not letting your reactivity and defensiveness run the show is a good first step. Any further posts in this or other feminism threads on GWJ will result in stronger action from the mod team. PM me if you have any questions.

Removed replies to that post no longer relevant.

Edit: The post this was responding to has been removed, however I've seen "toxic femininity" raised in online discussions often enough that I feel comfortable leaving it. I'm happy to remove it if anyone finds it objectionable.

There are issues in our culture with how women are raised to behave. Some negative behaviors are adaptive responses to misogyny; passive aggression, for example, is sometimes the only avenue left for anger, frustration, and hurt when displays of overtly negative emotion are denied to you. Some are internalized misogyny. Some are unconscious, unexamined acceptance of social norms. And yes, some women do take advantage of these misogynist social constructs.

But setting up "toxic femininity" as an equal and opposite force to "toxic masculinity" is a false equivalence. It misunderstands the scale of the problem, and it misunderstands who in society has the power and authority to influence who is allowed to do what. Toxic masculinity is a pervasive problem that destroys lives far more than shirking pest control duties or blaming hormones ever will. And while men continue to largely dictate the terms by which society views the roles of men and women, "toxic femininity" is still defined and encouraged by men. It is a male construct of femininity imposed on women.

"Toxic femininity" is the "reverse racism" of gender. It's an identification of a small problem that attempts to equate it with a significantly larger problem while also utterly failing to address the root causes of that problem and the power imbalances behind it.

In my view, "toxic femininity" is when women choose to defend patriarchy and "toxic masculinity". Obviously not the intended definition by those who came up with it.

bekkilyn wrote:

In my view, "toxic femininity" is when women choose to defend patriarchy and "toxic masculinity". Obviously not the intended definition by those who came up with it. :)

I can’t click “Like” enough!

bekkilyn wrote:

In my view, "toxic femininity" is when women choose to defend patriarchy and "toxic masculinity".

I would also include something that you may be including in that, but I see as subtly different; women and girls who participate in toxic masculinity by buying into ideas like "girls aren't good at math" etc. I remember working in a hardware store where a customer who was a young woman probably about 18 +/- asked a female coworker of mine "don't you get confused working around all these tools" as if the mere presence of "man things" might cause her brain to malfunction. I consider that toxic femininity, and more than simply defending patriarchy/toxic masculinity.

bekkilyn wrote:

Obviously not the intended definition by those who came up with it. :)

this still very much applies.

Reaper81 wrote:

I can’t click “Like” enough!

as does this.

ElectricPi wrote:

I remember working in a hardware store where a customer who was a young woman probably about 18 +/- asked a female coworker of mine "don't you get confused working around all these tools" as if the mere presence of "man things" might cause her brain to malfunction. I consider that toxic femininity, and more than simply defending patriarchy/toxic masculinity.

No, that’s internalized misogyny.

Again:

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Edit: The post this was responding to has been removed, however I've seen "toxic femininity" raised in online discussions often enough that I feel comfortable leaving it. I'm happy to remove it if anyone finds it objectionable.

There are issues in our culture with how women are raised to behave. Some negative behaviors are adaptive responses to misogyny; passive aggression, for example, is sometimes the only avenue left for anger, frustration, and hurt when displays of overtly negative emotion are denied to you. Some are internalized misogyny. Some are unconscious, unexamined acceptance of social norms. And yes, some women do take advantage of these misogynist social constructs.

But setting up "toxic femininity" as an equal and opposite force to "toxic masculinity" is a false equivalence. It misunderstands the scale of the problem, and it misunderstands who in society has the power and authority to influence who is allowed to do what. Toxic masculinity is a pervasive problem that destroys lives far more than shirking pest control duties or blaming hormones ever will. And while men continue to largely dictate the terms by which society views the roles of men and women, "toxic femininity" is still defined and encouraged by men. It is a male construct of femininity imposed on women.

"Toxic femininity" is the "reverse racism" of gender. It's an identification of a small problem that attempts to equate it with a significantly larger problem while also utterly failing to address the root causes of that problem and the power imbalances behind it.

Toxic femininity just isn’t a thing.

Here is some extra reading on the matter.

Toxic masculinity is a result of living in a corrupt patriarchy. It is the result of imbalance. Toxic femininity does not exist because we do not live in a corrupt matriarchy and we do not have an imbalance in that direction. You might as well ask why a peach isn’t an orange. Because it’s not. It’s such a foreign concept in fact, I can’t even imagine what attributes might make up “toxic femininity.”

Perhaps there is some hope yet.
Aziz Ansari Finally Addresses Allegations of Sexual Misconduct (The Mary Sue)

Speaking about the last year, Ansari told his audience, “There were times I felt really upset and humiliated and embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible this person felt this way.” Vulture says that at this point, his voice was “wavering.”

“But you know, after a year, how I feel about it is, I hope it was a step forward. It made me think about a lot, and I hope I’ve become a better person,” he said, going on to describe a conversation he had with a male friend who, in turn, went on to rethink his own dating history and reconsider how the women he’d dated might have felt differently about their shared experiences.

Apparently, they're going to "give Ghostbusters back to the fans"... I'm so pissed, it's not even funny.
Giving Ghostbusters “Back to the Fans” Makes It Seem like Women Can’t Be Ghostbusters Fans (The Mary Sue)

As someone who grew up watching the Ghostbusters movies, I would say very confidently that I am a fan of Egon, Peter, Ray, and Winston. So, to hear that Jason Reitman, who is directing the new film, plans to give it “back to the fans,” I honestly have to laugh. If someone like myself and my older brother (who was the one to show me the original Ghostbusters) can enjoy the Paul Feig version, what right does Jason Reitman have to say that he’s giving the new film back to fans?

I’m sorry, but maybe I’m confused. Does it make me less of a fan that I liked Ghostbusters: Answer the Call? Or am I less of a fan because I’m a woman? Which one is it there, Jason Reitman? As Pajiba reports, Reitman is supposedly letting the “original” fans have their time again, meaning they cried enough on Twitter about the female Ghostbusters that now the crybabies will have their male-centric comedy right back where it started!

Meanwhile, angry cry babies are tanking Captain Marvel reviews before it's even out...
Angry Men Flood Rotten Tomatoes to Bash Captain Marvel Ahead of Release (The Mary Sue)

Men are shouting from basements all across the land about Brie Larson, her feminism and liberal politics, how Captain Marvel is an SJW film, and ARG WOMEN I HATE THEM WHY WON’T THEY LOVE ME!? Sidebar: I still don’t get how “social justice warrior” is an insult? Like, those are all good qualities and it’s basically a superhero name. If anyone needs someone to write a Social Justice Warrior origin story, call me.

The point of this kind of review bombing campaign is to drag down the average audience rating to discourage folks from seeing the film. In some instances it works, like with 2016’s Ghostbusters, which suffered from massive downvoting of the trailer on YouTube, as well as a rush of one star IMDb reviews. The film even added a scene featuring the Ghostbusters reading nasty internet comments about themselves in a moment of meta-awareness.

User reviews of things like movies and games are such pointless garbage, I don't even know why sites have them. Brigading is all they seem to be used for.