spz: Farley of Kimberley's Castle (Default)
[personal profile] spz

It's all damned-colonials fault. :P
Hers and the fault of the other people at the GeekFeminism blog, that made me revisit the 'feminism' issue again.

I don't agree with all that is written there, but I agree even less with "lalala, there are no problems". Most of the problems are not big bombs you can send a TV crew to cover, but one little personal slight after another, undermining self-esteem and trust in the decency of men.

So, is there sexism? of course there is, and it cuts men too, every time a guy wants to do something and gets mocked away from it because it's not 'manly' enough.

Is it all the mens fault? No, I don't think so, in fact I think one of the worst aspects of cultural sexism is that it gets wielded by women on women, too. I studied physics once upon a time; I never got told by my male fellow students, let alone my professors I wasn't a proper girl for doing that, but by quite a few women, both my age then and older. Just like men police men into their alotted gender role, so do women to women with the slogan "unfeminine".

I disagree on the common demand that women should be able to remain as they are (i.e. fully conforming to the current gender stereotype brainwashing) and get handed half of everything. I also disagree that rights get granted; they get claimed, together with their responsibilities tacked on, not the least of which is to defend them. You cannot sit on your butt and wait for men to bring you presents and not be a dependent. You cannot be Dad's spoiled little princess and an emancipated adult at the same time. Flipping don't pick up his socks, do something more important instead, he does; he'll remember to collect his socks himself eventually if you manage not to train him to laziness, he's likely an adult and won't die of the heavy lifting.

I think there is a sizable amount of women who had internalized the "be pretty and men will look after you, thinking is not sexy and hard work too" really well; so they were pretty and sexy and didn't bother with thinking a whole lot when they were teens and twens, and now they are forty-plus, and find that they can't make men jump through hoops any more, and all they became was a housewife, not rich, famous and glamorous, so now they are disillusioned, bitter, and complaining [1]. But the habit of not thinking is still going strong, and of course doing engineering is unthinkable for a woman to the point that women engineers on the net (even those with a feminist agenda) must be secretly men (or stupid girls writing down what their boyfriend dictates to them), especially if they speak out against treating men grossly unfair for the sin of being male, or tell them the world is not as they imagine and the laws of physics won't keel over because someone throws a tantrum, and things don't actually change just because someone gives them a different name.[2]

One thing I agree with is that there is a lack of visibility of just-ordinary-people technical women (i.e. the step between Marie Curie and Lise Meitner and Emmy Noether and the first year student without claim to first-rate genius, just 'good average'). I used to let people assume I was male online because I neither enjoyed the wannafucks (send pix! etc .. yes boy, I'm old enough to be your mother, now please settle down and let's keep to the topic of the channel, and that's not a/s/l) nor being treated as a technical idiot by a newbie with delusions of competence, only letting slip I was female when they knew I was competent (and enough of a member of whatever community to not be too stupidly importunate). I've decided to be more visible, and am quite smug to find members of 'my' pet project giving newbies that go "omgod there are GIRLS here!" a rap on the knuckles with the clue stick without any need for prompting, discussion or drama. I love being in the company of smart people. :-P

[1] Not saying here that housewives are stupid; it's not for me but if your calling is to have 8 children and bring them up well, more power to you. It's just that that may be a path to happiness, but rather rarely to glamor and riches.
[2] I guess one really needs to have read the German feminist magazine Emma at least once to understand what I'm referring to here.

Date: 2009-11-06 10:32 (UTC)
zebee: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zebee
I'm sorta torn.

I picked the "I'm not a girl" path really early on. The name helped I think, I could be "Zebee" and pick my own path. How many had that escape route?

I agree that those who consciously buy into the patriarchy's idea of what women are and do shouldn't complain when they find the downside, but then again how many did it consciously?

And many did the "give men what they want, and you get looked after" dance to find they'd been lied to. That has to hurt.

(not even that they leave... men die. A friend's mother was the princess type and when her husband died she was in her 70s and really wasn't able to comprehend what was happening. He fulfilled his half of the bargain, but he died.)

I have no idea how much of the feeling I get of being despised by the girly girls is in their heads and how much in mine.

After all, I can't really escape the cultural imperatives much as I'd like to.

Women can definitely be bitchy to each other, as men can be to each other. That's humanity.

I suppose I don't move in those circles any more.


Date: 2009-11-10 05:51 (UTC)
zebee: (Default)
From: [personal profile] zebee
I agree that the minute someone says "you must do X because you are female (or male even...) there's a problem. (Not every time, there are going to be exceptions, but it has to be looked at carefully.)

I suspect that my very early decision (as in 4 years old? 5?) that I wasn't a girl and didn't do girl things means that most people who say such things take one look at me and don't try.

That decision has made things tricky for me at times, but on the whole it has saved me a lot of that kind of brainwashing. It never went as far as transgender (although if I'd known that was an option in my early teen years I might well have gone that way) but I did definitely reject most of the "this is what women do". Unfortunately it was from a stance of "because it is icky and inferior" and I'm still trying to disentangle myself from that misogyny.

I suppose though that it might be why I haven't met anyone who has expressed those opinions to me. It's not a stance I've come across.

I have come across "girls should do the girl thing and not compete with men" but not "I should be on the board even though my only qualification is model wife".


spz: Farley of Kimberley's Castle (Default)

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