[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.

Eleima wrote:

It's the kind of surgery that's not even considered plastic surgery here

Meaning that in US terms, it would be cheaper (or free) and require less (or no) squabbling with doctors and fighting with insurance companies?

Eleima wrote:

The very fact that you felt the need to add that last line means you had some inkling that your post was superfluous and inappropriate.

You are correct and I regret posting that. I apologize.

Wow, I'm just so in awe (and even some tears) over this video. (Warning...blood...female stuff...)

Per the video description:

We tell girls a simple story:
Get your period around twelve.
Repeat every twenty-eight days.
Deal with some pain.
Have some babies.
Then more periods.
And then around fifty, your body is meant to politely retire.
But it’s never that simple.
And when we pretend that it is, we make every other experience feels less normal, less valid, less real.
Women's confidence and wellbeing suffer. Pain goes undiagnosed. Shame and embarrassment build. The silence about our bodies and experiences goes on.
Now more than ever, we need to tell all the unseen, unspoken stories of our periods, vulvas and wombs – our #wombstories - because none of them have gone
away.
They are real stories of love and hate,
Of pleasure and pain and pain so severe it’s a disease with a name, endometriosis,
It’s stories of longing and trying for babies.
And of never wanting children. Ever.
The joy of birth. The pain of birth.
And the silent devastation of miscarriage.
Stories of clockwork periods. And haywire ones.
Of awkward beginnings and roller-coaster peri-menopausal endings.
Good stories. Bad stories.
Mundane ones. Profound ones.
The bitter. And the sweet.
All our #wombstories need to be heard.
To know each other.
To help each other.
To see each other.
Thank you to all the women who shared their #wombstories with us and made this film possible.

I laughed aloud at it.
New underwear and sneeze I can really relate to!
I’m having occasional hot flashes as I hit perimenopause and crazy hormonal mood swings. I’m calling it second puberty and loathing it but looking forward to being done with the damn bleeding.

My bleeding finally stopped a couple of years ago and it's been GREAT! Only very mild hot flashes that are gone very quickly, but in hindsight, much of the heavy anxiety and depression I was feeling around that time was probably related to hormones going crazy. I think my current back/neck stiffness and muscle soreness is due to it as well since it suddenly happened during that same time. The weight gain is real too, but I think I'm finally getting that back under control and getting back to a better and more regular diet. (FINALLY!)

But when I first got the period, I was about 11 years old and kept running inside to change my underwear because I just thought I had an "accident" while outside playing. It wasn't until my mom found everything and called me in and asked about it that I realized what it was!

But that woman in the video who was rolling around on the floor in the bathroom? That was how I was every month during teens and 20's. It was AWFUL! It was still pretty bad after those years, but was more bearable as I got older.

I think my "crone" years will be my best yet!

I have been telling my husband I’m looking forward to being a crone

He’d better not call me one though!

Wow. Thanks for sharing that, it’s... a lot to take in.

Eleima wrote:

Wow. Thanks for sharing that, it’s... a lot to take in.

Isn't it? I'm still processing!

As am I! I had started sharing some stuff but it got too much, so I got rid of it all. But ... yeah.

Well. Let's face it, we all had a feeling something wasn't quite right with this guy for years, but more has come out.
Charisma Carpenter, Buffy cast members speak out against creator Joss Whedon (Polygon)

Hours after Carpenter posted her account to Twitter, costars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Benson, and Michelle Trachtenberg voiced their solidarity.

“Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel,” Carpenter wrote. “While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.”

Carpenter goes on to describe passive-aggressive comments made about her weight during a time when she was pregnant, and an incident in which Whedon asked her whether she was going to “keep it” in reference to her baby.

Whedon “manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me. He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth,” she wrote.

I'm not sure I have the heart to say much else that he is an absolute piece of trash excuse of a human being.

Sarah's statement is a joke. But at least Amber and Michelle backed her up.

Met Amber when I was in LA back in 2003. She was really wonderful to hang out with for a bit.

Edit: Realized what thread I was in.

Up until this point I had dismissed the concerns about Joss. His ex-wife complained about him and Ray Fisher made some vague statements about nothing? Yeah, whatever. I rolled my eyes. This is obviously quite a bit different. Multiple people who worked with him for years all speaking up? Yeah, I'm on board now.

As for Sarah, I don't see any problem with her statement. She posted in support, but wants to stay out of the spotlight. She's always been a private person. She certainly didn't tell anyone to shut up.

Djinn wrote:

Up until this point I had dismissed the concerns about Joss. His ex-wife complained about him and Ray Fisher made some vague statements about nothing? Yeah, whatever. I rolled my eyes. This is obviously quite a bit different. Multiple people who worked with him for years all speaking up? Yeah, I'm on board now.

As an “ex wife”, I really wish people would listen to us more often instead of rolling their eyes. You have NO IDEA of what goes on behind closed doors and when we do have the courage to speak up, it’s usually only to talk about the tip of the iceberg. Less eye rolling, more believing please.
Listen. Believe.

I didn't mean to imply that I rolled my eyes at his ex-wife or Ray Fisher. What I meant was I rolled my eyes at the idea that I should condemn Whedon as easily as that. Believe women means taking their accusations seriously, but it doesn't mean treating everything they say as a fact. If we did things that way, Joe Biden would have stepped down over the Tara Reade allegations and Donald Trump would still be president. I listened to what his ex-wife said and I certainly didn't dismiss her comments, but it takes more than that for me to condemn someone. You're right that I have no idea what's going on behind closed doors and that's why I prefer not to rush to judgment.

These new allegations from Carpenter backed up by several other actors is different though. That's enough to convince me and condemn him.

I would say those thoughts aren't germane to this thread. Those are better for the men discussing feminism thread. Any suggestion of not immediately believing women should not be posted here.

IANAM, but those are my thoughts.

Djinn wrote:

Believe women means taking their accusations seriously, but it doesn't mean treating everything they say as a fact.

I suggest you take five good long minutes to reread that sentence several times and ponder how you could think it could possibly be appropriate the write this in the feminism thread. I was going to talk about my own experience, but I'm not sure I want to unpack a painful story full of trigger warnings only to have it casually dismissed. And my story is far from being an outlier.

Or maybe just take your ramblings to the Men talking to men about feminism thread, because they have no place here.
This is the reason why we hardly post here anymore.

Eleima wrote:
Djinn wrote:

Believe women means taking their accusations seriously, but it doesn't mean treating everything they say as a fact.

I suggest you take five good long minutes to reread that sentence several times and ponder how you could think it could possibly be appropriate the write this in the feminism thread. I was going to talk about my own experience, but I'm not sure I want to unpack a painful story full of trigger warnings only to have it casually dismissed. And my story is far from being an outlier.

Or maybe just take your ramblings to the Men talking to men about feminism thread, because they have no place here.

What now?

Isn't Djinn's assertion that got your back up is exactly how accusations should be treated?

I read the news on Joss Whedon, I saw this thread, and I gave my thoughts on it. I was questioned on why I didn't believe the accusations against Whedon earlier, so I answered. Would you prefer that I lied?

Jonman wrote:
Eleima wrote:
Djinn wrote:

Believe women means taking their accusations seriously, but it doesn't mean treating everything they say as a fact.

I suggest you take five good long minutes to reread that sentence several times and ponder how you could think it could possibly be appropriate the write this in the feminism thread. I was going to talk about my own experience, but I'm not sure I want to unpack a painful story full of trigger warnings only to have it casually dismissed. And my story is far from being an outlier.

Or maybe just take your ramblings to the Men talking to men about feminism thread, because they have no place here.

What now?

Isn't Djinn's assertion that got your back up is exactly how accusations should be treated?

In this tread we believe women and assume that their claims of what happened to them have merit.

Historically women's claims have been "taken seriously" in a way that translates to assuming that she exaggerated the claim, assuming she was hiding some personal/nefarious scheme or she fabricated the claim. This is the where slut shaming and victim blaming find their roots.

If a man wants to debate the merit of a claim made by a woman (even this one) it belongs in the Men talking to men about feminism thread.

Djinn wrote:

I didn't mean to imply that I rolled my eyes at his ex-wife or Ray Fisher. What I meant was I rolled my eyes at the idea that I should condemn Whedon as easily as that. Believe women means taking their accusations seriously, but it doesn't mean treating everything they say as a fact. If we did things that way, Joe Biden would have stepped down over the Tara Reade allegations and Donald Trump would still be president. I listened to what his ex-wife said and I certainly didn't dismiss her comments, but it takes more than that for me to condemn someone. You're right that I have no idea what's going on behind closed doors and that's why I prefer not to rush to judgment.

That's some bullsh*t. If we believed the TWENTY-SIX women who have credibly accused Trump of sexual assault, then that mother f*cker would never have been president to start with.

He'd be in jail where he belongs, and 400,000+ Americans would be alive.

RedJen wrote:
Djinn wrote:

Believe women means taking their accusations seriously, but it doesn't mean treating everything they say as a fact.

In this tread we believe women and assume that their claims of what happened to them have merit.

I'm squinting real hard, and can barely see any light between those two statements.

You're both saying "treat the allegation as preliminarily true", with the followup going unspoken (i.e. investigate to establish the facts, and respond appropriately to those facts).

~mod~

I just want to point out that, once again, men are taking over the feminism thread. If men want to discuss how women should be dealing with abusive situations, I recommend the following:

1 - Don't.
2 - Don't.
3 - If you find it truly, honestly necessary to mansplain how women should be dealing with abusive situations, or tell them they are doing it wrong, go to the Men talking to men about Feminism thread

I'm just going to make one more post here.

When I made my comment here I did not know that this thread was intended for women to discuss social issues without being talked over by men. I've been registered to this site for a while now, but I don't use it that often, especially this subforum. I simply didn't know. I just saw a topic that was discussing Whedon, so I added my thoughts. I apologize for invading this thread. I am rather angry about this myself, but I'm moving discussion of that over to the other thread.

CW: sexual assault, suicide, abuse.

So I've been doing of thinking and reading and researching to kinda outline what's wrong with this picture. I'm mostly going to talk about rape, because that's where the data and the research is, but I can easily imagine that this would translate to domestic violence and sexual assault. I'm going to be using she/her a lot, because statistically, women compose a vast majority of victims, but wish to state from the getgo that assault, rape and abuse also happens to men and NB folks. If anything, it's harder from them to get help and be believed, and that's saying something, but I'm getting ahead of myself. All that gets compounded if you look at factors beyond gender, such as race, sexual orientation and disability.

Let's face it here, the underlying question here is "do women lie about rape?" (sexual assault, domestic abuse) And the overwhelming answer, from social studies, statistics from the justice system, and yes, groups that advocate for victims, is no, they don't not, or at least not more so than any other person in any other instance. And those numbers are conservative numbers, because it's generally accepted that these are underreported because of the way we as a society treat victims when they come forward. Men are belittled for not being manly men but "wimps", and women are considered to be "lying sluts." (NB folks aren't even on the radar for these people) Let's take a closer look at what happens when victims come forward. People flock to the accused's defense, saying his life will be "ruined" (see Brock Turner case), and victims, even when they're minors and below the age of consent, have their house burned down and have to move away. I don't even want to say their names, those poor girls were put through the ringer and ultimately ended up taking their own lives. But you know what I'm talking about, yeah, they made that Netflix documentary.
Frankly, it's a miracle when we come forward, because we know EXACTLY what happens to those who though. We're scrutinized beyond anything any other person experiences: what was she wearing? was she drinking?

So what does the research say? Well, depending on the country, the time frame, and just good old statistical variation due to random sample size, the percentage of false accusations is between 2% and 6%, give or take, and there is no statistical difference with the percentage of false accusation in other felonies. And yet, victims are treated as these vengeful harridans out to ruin those poor guys' lives.

Here’s the truth about false accusations of sexual violence (The Open University)

The evidence on false allegations fails to support public anxiety that untrue reporting is common. While the statistics on false allegations vary – and refer most often to rape and sexual assault – they are invariably and consistently low. Research for the Home Office suggests that only 4% of cases of sexual violence reported to the UK police are found or suspected to be false. Studies carried out in Europe and in the US indicate rates of between 2% and 6%.
(...)
What is also infrequently talked about is that the rates for false allegations of sexual violence are no higher than those reported in other categories of crime. Even so, it’s fair to say that victims of other crimes (such as theft or burglary) are not so routinely treated with suspicion as are the victims of sexual violence.

I really like this piece because it does touch on the reasons why at the end:

The weight and importance given to the issue of false allegation is surprising given how prevalent sexual violence is. For example, a recent large-scale study surveying 42,000 women found that up to 21% of women in the EU had experienced sexual harassment in the preceding 12 months. Estimates for the UK were higher at 25%. It’s likely that these figures are an underestimate given that research also suggests women often choose not to call their experiences “sexual harassment”.
This has also been found to be the case with other kinds of sexual violence. Indeed, women choose not to label their experiences using the language of sexual violence, even when their responses on questionnaires clearly marry with official definitions of it.
The reasons for this are complex and varied. Some women see their experiences as a normal part of everyday life – something that they have they simply have to deal with. Others worry about the repercussions if they do report incidents. This includes the potential impact on their professional standing, their ability to get work, their relationships and their personal reputation.
The importance given to the issue of false allegations diverts attention away from questions that are ultimately more instructive for preventing sexual violence. And in fact, asking why reports of sexual harassment and violence are treated with suspicion may bring us closer to understanding what we can do to lift the barriers to reporting and seeking successful redress. It will also ultimately bring us closer to understanding the conditions in which sexual harassment and violence are enabled.

Isn't that the real issue here? A lot of us think that this is NORMAL. I talk to me mother, my aunts, my grandmothers, and ALL of them experienced some form of gender violence to some extent and none of them recognize it as such. Or rather, they think it's unavoidable, part of being a women, that you just have to bear down and get through it and forget, because that's how it's always been and that's how it'll always be. I was also in that mindset for many years of my marriage.
Isn't THAT a lot more worth being angry about?
And honestly, anyone who says, "yeah, none of my female friends/family members have this kind of story" is either not paying attention, or someone that can't be trusted with such a story.

But just how underreported? Turns out, about 77% of rape cases go unreported (source: RAINN). Those that are reported (see above) hardly even go to trial. And those that do go to trial rarely get a conviction.
IMAGE(https://www.rainn.org/sites/default/files/Out_Of_1000_SexualAssaults_053019.png)

Some parting words from Mansplaining, explained in one simple chart (BBC):

Plenty of evidence supports the idea that communication behaviours are often gendered in multiple ways. In school, boys are encouraged to take more air time. Adult men then talk much more in groups, which adds to their perceived influence. Women are interrupted more than men, by both men and women, but women rarely interrupt men. Women in senior positions may learn to interrupt, but are likely to be seen as both more rude and less intelligent. Assertive women are called “abrasive” in performance reviews.

Although there may be consequences for women who adopt stereotypically masculine communication behaviours, studies show men are rewarded more when they adopt certain “female” behaviors at work. Given that, I think it is fair to ask: if men also find mansplaining counterproductive, why, exactly, should any of us accept it as the norm?

Mansplaining may seem like a trivial issue in isolation, but how we communicate tells other people how much or little they are valued. And in my experience, humans feel better, work more effectively, and behave better when we feel valued ourselves.

Thank you, Eleima!