First, a wonderful post from Fugitivus about what happens when you become a feminist and realize all your friends and acquaintances are sort of assholes. How does one deal with douchey friends, coworkers, etc. as a feminist?
For example, at my last job, my boss was sexist. He was sexist in a very chauvinistic sort of way – the kind of guy who makes the word “lady” sound like a blessed infirmity – and that was generally tolerable. It was tolerable because he didn’t make rape apologies, he didn’t actively bar women in the office from certain activities, and he didn’t bring it up every day. It was also tolerable because I was in a workplace that brooked little to no dissension, and I was at the target age for Doom Unemployment during a recession. I adjusted my expectations. I did not expect a workplace free of sexism. I did not expect to not be patted on the head, or treated as dumb sometimes. I did not expect fairness or an AfterSchool Special Moment. I did not expect that I had the strength or courage or conviction to make myself unemployed during a recession. I did not expect these things, and I stopped being a seething, boiling volcano of disappointment and rage every day. I found my current circumstances tolerable. Now I am in a new job. The culture here is very different. I can complain without retaliation. So I find myself saying things, to my higher-ups, like “I don’t think that’s fair; somebody could apply the same standard to you,” when one of them starts talking about what one celebrity wife or another deserves from her plainly abusive husband. I find keeping my mouth shut intolerable, because I expect to be given the freedom to open it. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to change my expectations to be able to tolerate some degree of abusiveness in my day-to-day life. But we don’t live in that perfect world – that’s why feminism exists as a concept, and why I identify as one – so in the meantime, I change my expectations when I need to survive.A commenter pointed out that part of this post really resonates with my open letter to ForeverGeek:
This, to me, is comparable to people making personal decisions by “not choosing sides.” What is perceived to be a third option is, in effect, only one of the two options; it’s just masked in a way that feels ethically, morally, or vindictively better. If I have told you that one of your friends raped me, and you tell me you are not taking sides, you have taken a side. Your decision was to support me or not support me. There was no third option. “Not taking sides” is “I don’t support you,” dressed up like morality and the higher ground.The moral of the post: look out for yourself. It's long, but worth it, though, so read it!
The worst is that AP clearly thinks it's being sensitive by ruling out "an illegal." Ugh.This explains why most of the mainstream media still uses the term "illegal immigrant." I find the term offensive and disrespectful, as do most immigration activists. People are not illegal, actions are. The advocate community uses the term "undocumented immigrant" which the Stylebook clearly disagrees with.
Then, Amanda Hess at The Sexist talks about the (sigh) case of Olivia Mann in the context of expecting women to be the gatekeepers of sex and sexism.
Sure, we want high-profile women to be allies to other women—and it stings extra hard when sexism is perpetuated through their public personas, instead of exclusively by dudes. But behind one Olivia Munn is a producer instructing Munn to “take it off reeeeeeally slow,” and a network president “standing on a speaker in the back, leaning over to get pictures,” and a team of photographers vying to catch an unauthorized glimpse of Munn’s nipple, and a male co-host who insists that he “violate [her] from behind” despite her protestations, and a whole audience full of fanboys screaming at Munn to put her mouth on something. Behind her is an entire industry making sure this happens.Finally, Ampersand at Alas, A Blog! talks about the sexiness of consent and its relevance to sex education:
Another expectation making girls’ lives hard? The equally sexist demand that women take full responsibility for these sexist expectations by always refusing to fulfill them. By faulting Munn for “flaunting it”—instead of taking a look at the demand side of the Hot Girl equation—we’re not only accusing Munn of being a bad feminist, but also a poor gatekeeper of sexism. An entertainment industry that’s built on arousing men by wearing women down until they acquiesce? That, we take for granted. Women, who have little power in this structure, are nevertheless expected to keep the industry’s libido under control—just as they’re expected to hold off sex, keep a sufficient amount of clothes on so as not to tempt men, and never “put themselves in situations” where sexual assailants may strike.
Okay, now let’s imagine that Alas University offers two sex-ed classes for first-year students. Class “A” teaches how to have sex based on Cathy’s principle — checking for consent during sex kills the moment. Class “B” teaches based on Clarisse’s principle — checking for consent helps keep sex hot. Randomly assign 50% of students to class “A,” and 50% to class “B.” Check back in a year and survey the students and their sexual partners.I love the example she gives in the post. Sexy sexy.
I’d bet a lot of money that the folks in class “B” — and their partners — wind up having hotter, better sex lives.
There’s a myth that communicating about sex ruins sex; and that by emphasizing consent, feminists are in effect opposed to hot sex. I don’t think either myth is true.
[TRIGGER WARNING: The comments include some content that may be triggering for survivors of rape or assault. Please proceed with caution.]