Blaming women for the patriarchy

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 · 301 Comments »

Over at The Confluence, a storm has erupted as a result of what fans of I Blame The Patriarchy call “mis-blaming.” Mis-blaming is when you blame the wrong people for the sins of the patriarchy, the wrong people usually being those women who are in fact the casualties of the system.

I’m fond of myiq2xu and I usually like what he writes. I agree with him that it is appropriate to challenge women about their collusion with patriarchy (feminism does that all the time in-house). But what disturbs me about this post is the seeming lack of understanding about what patriarchy is and how it works. Dig it: patriarchy is not something we put on occasionally, like Dockers and polo shirts for Casual Fridays. It’s not a company we buy or sell shares in depending on the market. It’s an all-encompassing social system that brainwashes us from the time we’re born. It’s omnipresent. It’s the water, and we’re the fish.

Now I’m not saying that women are entirely without agency or unable to perceive and thus resist patriarchy. If they were, feminism wouldn’t exist. But I am saying that learning to taste the water is the single biggest hurdle every woman faces on the path to feminism. Actually it’s a series of hurdles, an ongoing project to deconstruct the messages that have soaked into our brains. It never stops. I should know: I’m 46 years old and I’ve been at it since I was 8.

Women and men are not equally situated in patriarchy, and women do not bear a full share of responsibility for their attempts to navigate, negotiate, or satisfy the monstrous demands patriarchy puts on us to bend ourselves into man-pleasing shape. If you’re having trouble understanding that, let me give you a few examples:

  • In the 1960s, many American housewives resisted feminism because they’d been taught all their lives that a woman’s job was to be an obedient helpmate to her husband. Were these women making a fully-informed free choice? Were they responsible for sustaining patriarchy and oppressing other women who wanted to be liberated?
  • In the 1970s, many American women (particularly religious women) opposed the ERA because they were persuaded that it would destroy what they had been brainwashed from birth to believe were the privileges and protections of virtuous womanhood. Were these women making a fully-informed free choice? Were they responsible for sustaining patriarchy and oppressing other women who wanted to be liberated?
  • In the 1980s, most American women distanced themselves from the “feminist” label because it had become toxic at worst, a joke at best. Young women who wanted to fall in love and get married were terrified of being associated with ugly, hairy feminazis (coinage courtesy of arch-patriarchy spokesman Rush Limbaugh). Were these women making a fully-informed free choice? Were they responsible for sustaining patriarchy and oppressing other women who wanted to be liberated?
  • In the 1990s, American women were blitzed with a new media product, “empowered feminism,” which involved wearing Wonder Bras and high heels and, if you were famous, posing for Playboy magazine. The cultural message they received — from every direction — was that real feminism meant being liberated enough to take off all your clothes. Were these women making a fully-informed free choice? Were they responsible for sustaining patriarchy and oppressing other women who wanted to be liberated?

Do you see the problem? At what point do we say the brainwashing magically stopped and American women became free agents, capable of making fully-informed, deliberate decisions to reject or accept the patriarchy?

Or let’s try it another way:

  • A five-year-old girl tells her mother she wants to wear a pink “slut” t-shirt because all the other girls are wearing them. Free agent?
  • A 12-year-old girl spends more time on her hair and makeup than her homework, and stops speaking up in class because she’s heard that boys don’t like smart girls. Free agent?
  • A 20-year-old actress poses for Playboy because, as she and her agent and everyone in L.A. knows, that’s a great way to jumpstart your career. Free agent?

Let me be clear: I do agree, emphatically, that feminism is incompatible with the patriarchal pornification of women that fills our airwaves, intertubes, and magazine racks. And I am not shy about trying to knock some consciousness-raising into the heads of the young women who are caught up in that mess — especially if they think what they’re doing is feminist. But I never forget that these patriarchy-colluding women are playing a game they didn’t choose, a game that was forced on all of us from the moment we were born and the doctor said, “It’s a girl.”

We are all fish and the water is everywhere.

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301 Responses to “Blaming women for the patriarchy”

  1. Lisa says:

    I have never heard it expressed so clearly. You are just so right on target every freaking time.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    But I never forget that these patriarchy-colluding women are playing a game they didn’t choose, a game that was forced on all of us from the moment we were born and the doctor said, “It’s a girl.”

    Do men choose the patriarchy? I was born into the system just like everyone else.

    There is a difference between condemning a women for expressing her sexuality and expressing disapproval for her participating in pornography. I’m not blaming women for pornography, but I’ve been getting flamed all day by women who assert that no woman should be criticized for her decision to pose in a porn magazine.

    Some say there’s nothing wrong with porn, while a few just seem pissed that I (as a man) dared to raise the subject in the first place.

    There is a tendency among some feminists to treat men as the enemy. We need to get past this “all men are evil, all women are victims” bullshit. Most men mean well but they have to decontruct the messages that they have soaked in their brains too.

    If you want to know what really pisses me off is I’m about as pro-feminist as a man can be and I’m the one catching hell.

  3. soopermouse says:

    So when does the free agency start? For how long do we use the “brainwashed” defense? Isn’t it sexist in and by itself to state that a 20 year old women doing something that advances her own career by way of self objectification has the same lack of agency as a 5 year old?

    Where does the buck stop?

  4. Violet says:

    Do men choose the patriarchy? I was born into the system just like everyone else.

    No, men don’t choose patriarchy. Men are born into it, as you say.

    There is a difference between “patriarchy” and “men.” Patriarchy is a system, not a collection of men.

    And it’s a system that privileges men over women, and that puts far greater burdens on women than on men. This is simply a fact. Like white privilege, which none of us chose but which exists nonetheless.

    There is a tendency among some feminists to treat men as the enemy. We need to get past this “all men are evil, all women are victims” bullshit.

    The feminists who do this are a vanishingly small minority. Really. In all my 38 years of feminism, I’ve met only a handful of women who really see men as the enemy.

    The enemy is patriarchy, and the confusion for some men comes from the fact that they don’t understand the difference between patriarchy — which is a system, like capitalism or Christianity — and individual men.

    If you want to know what really pisses me off is I’m about as pro-feminist as a man can be and I’m the one catching hell.

    If it’s any consolation, you’d be catching hell if you were a woman, too. This is a difficult subject, and many people are so enamored of empowerful feminism (the kind that involves posing for Playboy or Maxim) that they will pull out the “slut-shaming” card on anyone who criticizes it.

  5. Violet says:

    There is a difference between condemning a women for expressing her sexuality and expressing disapproval for her participating in pornography. I’m not blaming women for pornography, but I’ve been getting flamed all day by women who assert that no woman should be criticized for her decision to pose in a porn magazine.

    I can’t speak to what you’ve been getting in the way of flames, and I haven’t read the 400 zillion comments at The Confluence. But let me clarify what my issue was with your post.

    I do agree with you that pornification is incompatible with feminism, and if Whats-her-name is peddling herself as a feminist-in-lingerie, then I’d be happy to have a talk with her about that. I have a real problem with the empowerful brand of Third Wave feminism, since it’s basically just patriarchy in a pink package.

    My issue with your post was your assertion that the young woman in question was freely choosing to collude with patriarchy and thus oppress other women. It just doesn’t work that way. We are brainwashed with this stuff from birth, brainwashed into believing certain things about what is womanly and feminine and how we’re supposed to behave. That is why patriarchy keeps going and going like the Energizer bunny — not because young women are freely and consciously choosing it.

    It’s important because in order to deconstruct patriarchy, we have to understand how it works. It’s insidious shit.

  6. angie says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, as always, and you put this much better than I. Although, I *tried.* Next time I try to “argue” about this, I’m just going to link to you.

  7. riverdaughter says:

    I’m with myiq on this one, Violet. She knew what she was doing when she did it and probably didn’t think there was any harm in posing in her underwear in a men’s magazine. She’s a feminist, after all. Right? And this is the 20th century. It was all to make money for college, I’m guessing, not to jumpstart her career. She had a commodity and she was going to use it to generate income. I don’t think this was the case of some victim not knowing what she was getting into.
    The problems with the patriarchy come later and are the unintended consequences of actualy making it. Now she works at the WH. She probably attends meetings where she is one of the few women in the room. The minute she speaks or calls attention to herself, what are the other people in the room thinking about? Her presentation or her half nekkid body? It’s already difficult getting respect when you’re fully clothed and no one has ever seen you undressed. Men still feel free to interrupt you and make fun of what you say, Now, there is even LESS incentive to take you seriously. I’m not saying she shouldn’t have done it. It’s just that these decisions have consequences and we shouldn’t let her off the hook. If you want people to not just treat you like a piece of meat, you have to not act like one. Did she want a career in politics or show business? Ronald Reagan could get away with this, Ali Campoverdi can’t. No woman can do it until they command respect in the conference room *first*.
    But she’s not dumb, Violet. She had to have known this.

  8. AnotherKindofFeminist says:

    I agree with Riverdaughter and myiq2xu on this. What I disagree with Riverdaughter on is that Campoverdi did the Maxim spread to make money for college. This young woman is from a very privileged family. There are women who do this because they have no other choice, there are some who don’t have the money for reputable agents and are coerced into humiliating covershoots, and then there are some women who do these things as a means to become famous and desirable among millions of frat boys like Favreau. Examples of this are all over L.A. – Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are two examples of socialites who don’t need the money but still leak sex tapes and pose semi-nude to get their names in the paper. And yes, they should be blamed for willingly participating in an industry that makes millions objectifying women’s bodies. Campoverdi isn’t stupid – she has degrees at USC and Harvard and her father graduated from Stanford Law School. Dating a misogynist asshat like Favreau only solidifies myiqu2xu’s argument that Campoverdi isn’t an innocent victim in all of this. She might just be dating him for the attention that she is receiving now. Maybe she actually likes him (huh?) but whatever her reason is, she obviously doesn’t see these issues the way we do. She’s the new 21st century “feminist”. The kind that think porn is a neat-o thing and that posing nude for a “reputable”, “high class” men’s mag like Maxim is liberating. And so far, she’s been rewarded for her decision – fame, wealth, and a fan base. This only encourages other women who don’t have the ivy league degree and rich daddy to take off their clothes so that someday there might be even a small chance that they can have the opportunities Campoverdi has been given. Riverdaughter, these decisions DO have consequences but for Ali Campoverdi the consequences so far have been good ones.

  9. Pat J says:

    My opinion may not be as well formed as what has already been presented but let’s look at this from another angle.

    What is that picture supposed to convey? She is posing for strangers, a come hither look plastered on her face along with her hand offering a peek into her nether regions. The pose is supposed to imply “come f*ck me>.

    Perhaps I am wrong in my portrayal, but when a woman invites these fantasies from anonymous men, no matter what the circumstances, she continually feeds the right of the patriarchy to view her as nothing more than an object. This is not the feminism we had earlier envisioned nor is it a win in the empowerment arena.

    It is exhibitionism. And it again sends the message that it is perfectly acceptable to feed the patriarchy at the expense of the equality we fought to hard to attain.

  10. myiq2xu says:

    We are brainwashed with this stuff from birth, brainwashed into believing certain things about what is womanly and feminine and how we’re supposed to behave.

    My point was that we, as a society, should express disapproval – to convey that pornography IS NOT womanly and IS NOT feminine and IS NOT how we’re (men or women) supposed to behave.

    What I kept hearing yesterday was essentially “How dare you criticize a woman for particiapting in pornography!”

    But if we can’t criticize participating in it, how do we send the message that it’s wrong?

    Expressing disapproval and causing someone to feel shame and embarrassment is as mild as it gets. There is no actual punishment, no legal consequences.

    Participating in pornography – making it, performing in it, posing, publishing, paying for it, or looking at it – enables the patriarchy.

    How do you convince people to stop enabling the patriarchy if you can’t even express disapproval?

  11. gxm17 says:

    I agree with the points made that if we are all fish in the same tank then men aren’t choosing to collude with patriarchy either. Privilege or not, using your yardstick no one is at fault.

    I agree with you about cultural and social conditioning which creates what I call persistence of vision, but to liberate oneself from the script one must make a concentrated effort to even see it, and then to begin the hard job of figuring out who you want to be and what, if anything, you want to take from the cultural fish tank. For most folks, this takes a lot of time, a lifetime really.

    In the end, I agree with myiq. We won’t replace patriarchy with an egalitarian system until both men and women see and accept their responsibility in its perpetuation.

  12. Astraea says:

    I continue to be bewildered at the attitude of people claiming to be feminists that posing for Maxim should be held against a woman who changed her career, got more education, and went into politics 5 years after the fact.

    Great post, Violet Socks.

  13. RKMK says:

    I would just like riverdaughter and myiq2xu to have one moment of clarity – ONE – where they realize they’re demonizing/ridiculing this woman for posing for Maxim in the exact same way that Obots demonized/ridiculed Sarah Palin for participating in beauty pageants.

    The EXACT. SAME. WAY.

    Viciously Attacking the Other Side’s Women: it’s the American Way!

  14. tinfoilhattie says:

    Brava, Violet. Your post is dead-on.

    My objection comes not from debating whether it is feminist to pose in your underwear on the cover of a men’s magazine. I do not believe that is a feminist act. Big deal. Did Ms. Campoverdi pose because she was trying to show what a big feminist she is?

    My objection comes from the fact that Ms. Campoverdi was held up as an example of what is wrong with her boyfriend. I still don’t understand the connection implied by the title of the post at Confluence: “Why Am I Not Surprised?”

    That question hasn’t been answered yet. It’s been mixed up in “Women shouldn’t pose nude” and “Well she CHOSE to do this” and “She’s rich! Why should she have to pose like this!” and “You’re an OBAMABOT!” and “You probably called Sarah Palin a slut!”

    None of that answers my question: Why is the author of the post “not surprised” that Favreau is dating Campoverdi? What I inferred was: Because of COURSE he’d date a trampy, sleazy woman like this.

    And for what it’s worth, myiq, I thought you were a woman. I mostly read Riverdaughter’s posts at The Confluence, so I’m not familiar with the cast of characters.

    And your above point is excellent, because by expressing my disapproval over the implications of that post, I WAS doing my part to convince people to stop enabling the patriarchy.

    Patriarchy: I do not think that word means what you think it means. I’m serious when I recommend spending a lot of time poring through the archives of I Blame the Patriarchy. It’s a real eye-opener.

    You know, men rape women in staggering numbers, and men beat and murder women in staggering numbers, and they sexually harass women at work and on the street in staggering numbers, and when feminists try to point this out and to get to the root of why this is, somehow it always turns into “Bad feminists hate all men!” Why is that? IBTP.

  15. anna says:

    There will always be women willing to go the extra mile to conform to their culture’s beauty standards- in the case of America today, getting plastic surgery or posing in playboy, spending hours on their looks to keep themselves young and fuckable. Those women will have their choice of men. Women considered ugly will lead lives of lonely celibacy and public humiliation. Which would you choose?

  16. Anna Belle says:

    What disturbs me so much about the whole thing is that no one, not myiq, not RD, and surprisingly, not Dr. Socks, has even nailed the biggest problem here. It’s not her or her choices or her boyfriend or her ambition; it’s that this administration had a high-profile place for this woman and what that says about their values.

    Their values are that women aren’t really people, they’re something to be exploited, just like they were during the election season. It makes perfect sense that this girl, with her peculiar resume, would be offered the job she was within the administration, because women aren’t valuable unless they’re fuckable or otherwise manipulate-able. They (specifically the men currently in power) deserve far more of our ire and judgment than this lone woman does, despite her poor choices. Remember: bi-racial patriarchy; end of story.

  17. Anna Belle says:

    Modded again…

  18. tinfoilhattie says:

    Anna, I would choose a world where living alone and not having sex with men is not considered a fate worse than death. Because it’s not. We are just taught from birth that it is.

    And in patriarchy, probably the only thing worse than being a lonely, celibate woman is being a woman who has sex and intimate relationships with other women. Unless it’s being a man who has sex and intimate relationships with other men. Because, you know, what’s wrong with gay men is that they’re feminine, and they have sex with men, just like women do. Eeeyew. Can’t have that, can we?

    Violet is right: “We are all fish, and the water is everywhere.”

  19. Violet says:

    She’s the new 21st century “feminist”. The kind that think porn is a neat-o thing and that posing nude for a “reputable”, “high class” men’s mag like Maxim is liberating. And so far, she’s been rewarded for her decision – fame, wealth, and a fan base.

    Well, yes — but we can disagree with her and challenge her without losing sight of the fact that she herself is a 100% product of the patriarchy.

    Where do these young women get the idea that this is the right way to be a woman or even a feminist? They don’t dream it up all by themselves, for heaven’s sake. People are the product of their environment.

    Blaming this Ali person as if she’s a stone-cold mastermind of pornified pseudo-feminism is as bizarre to me as blaming those poor FLDS women for inventing polygamy, or blaming the women in Saudi Arabia who pipe up to say that they just love not being allowed to drive.

    It also should not escape our attention who is getting blamed and who is NOT getting blamed. I would like to see a blog firestorm over the outrageousness of young men buying porn. Seriously. When is that going to happen? Why is it always easier to blame the women?

  20. Lisa says:

    Yes, can’t we shame the behaviour without attacking the poor fool that falls for the oppression? We have ALL been that poor fool at one time or another, in one way or another. We have to be able to forgive women for their pitfalls while still pointing out that this kind of behaviour is NOT feminism.

    While it is easier in so many ways to be a pretty girl in this society, in so many other ways it is even harder. It is very difficult to turn your back on a system that rewards you at every turn for your submission.

    This poor girl doesn’t need to be called a slut, she needs to be seriously deprogrammed. What kind of hell do you imagine she lives in with Jon Favreau as a boyfriend? She has my sympathy.

  21. tinfoilhattie says:

    The minute she speaks or calls attention to herself, what are the other people in the room thinking about? Her presentation or her half nekkid body? It’s already difficult getting respect when you’re fully clothed and no one has ever seen you undressed. Men still feel free to interrupt you and make fun of what you say.

    Riverdaughter, this happens every day all over the world to women whom men have never seen naked, or scantily clad, or even outside a non-social setting. So how do we blame women for that one? Women shouldn’t exist? They should wear head-to-toe covering?

    No matter how you try to game the system as a woman, by being “good” and not exposing too much flesh, or by being demure and obedient, or by standing up to patriarchy, you never win. So picking women apart to figure out why THAT woman is “bad” or THIS woman deserves what happened to her? Just perpetuating patriarchy as much as posing nude is.

  22. Valhalla says:

    I think this thread, as the one at TC, is going in the direction of criticizing myiq for points he did not make. He was pushing back against the criticism that he was ‘slut-shaming’ (which he clearly wasn’t doing), and is asking if we can’t disapprove of willing her participation:

    You can’t have it both ways. If porn and the objectification of women is bad, then it should be condemned, along with the people (male and female) who willingly participate. By “condemned” I don’t mean punished, I mean that we should disapprove of the conduct.

    That isn’t really accusing her of being “a stone-cold mastermind of pornified pseudo-feminism.”

    Violet’s overall point, as I understand it, is not so much a contradiction as additional context in which to understand the whole problem: that is, ‘willingness’ can’t be used or discussed without understanding that the very idea is tainted with the overwhelming exploitation and sexual objectification that surrounds (suffocates) all women and affects all their choices, including Ali (and including all of us, men and women, for whom there really is no ‘opt-out’ button).

    It’s not either/or: we can expect all adults to take responsibility for their actions right up to the boundaries of whatever ‘willing’ means within the context of a society where ‘willing’ means far less than true free will but more than abject slavery. And conversely(?) providing more complete context for ‘willingness’ doesn’t mean giving a big free pass to everyone involved in contributing or (worse) actively perpetuating the system, regardless of gender.

    I agree with Annabelle, the focus should be more on the administration (and wider system) that rewards and glorifies women’s participation, including this particular woman’s. But that doesn’t mean the very question of responsibility, or even how to express some sort of negative reaction against soft-porn/Maxim can’t even be asked.

  23. myiq2xu says:

    What I kept hearing yesterday was essentially “How dare you criticize a woman for particiapting in pornography!”

    Astraea says:

    tinfoilhattie says:

    RKMK says:

  24. myiq2xu says:

    Where do these young women get the idea that this is the right way to be a woman or even a feminist? They don’t dream it up all by themselves, for heaven’s sake. People are the product of their environment.

    How do you change the environment? How to you express to young women that this is the wrong way?

  25. quixote says:

    People seem to get all hung up on the taking-her-clothes-off vs not-taking-her-clothes-off aspect.

    That is not the point.

    It’s not about what she can or can’t do and whether it’s okay to advance her career by any means necessary.

    It’s about labelling herself as somehow on the side of liberation after that.

    She’s not. It’s a point made repeatedly on this blog and the other few remaining ones with any sense. If you don’t advance fair treatment of women, you’re not a feminist.

    Not a feminist.

    You’re a shill. Just like the ones who put other shills on magazine covers, or are fine with the Middle Eastern treatment of women because they have a different idea of “privacy,” or some BS.

    The fact that the easiest way out for the powerless is being a collaborator doesn’t make it a defensible choice. It just makes it understandable.

  26. Anna Belle says:

    How do you change the environment? How do you express to men that consuming pornography is the wrong way?

    I bet you’re smart enough to figure this out, myiq, if you just thought about it for a second.

  27. RKMK says:

    myiq2xu (which: I seriously doubt), it might be helpful if you included the time stamp and also what we actually said.

    For example:

    myiq2xu, on January 27th, 2009 at 7:43 pm Said:

    If there is nothing wrong with her posing for the picture then there is nothing wrong with me posting it here, looking at it, wanking off to it, whatever.

    myiq2xu is totally a “pro-feminist as a man can be” y’all.

  28. myiq2xu says:

    myiq2xu is totally a “pro-feminist as a man can be” y’all.

    Why don’t you include the ENTIRE quote, in context? Or is complete honesty not your style?

  29. RKMK says:

    I linked to it, nimrod. I provided far more context than you did, and really, it doesn’t need context.

  30. myiq2xu says:

    How do you change the environment? How do you express to men that consuming pornography is the wrong way?

    Where have I defended men consuming pornography???? Where have I defended pornography at all?

    I said this @ 9:03 am:

    Participating in pornography – making it, performing in it, posing, publishing, paying for it, or looking at it – enables the patriarchy.

    Do you have a problem with that statement?

  31. megankay says:

    Quixote: the issue isn’t whether or not AC is a feminist. The issue is whether it is appropriate for “feminists” to objectify her further.

  32. Astraea says:

    RKMK, I think myiq’s comment was an interesting way to virtually silence women who don’t agree with him. It’s certainly a new one.

  33. tinfoilhattie says:

    myiq, I am tired of trying to argue with you when it’s obvious you have no interest in feminism, patriarchy, or any worldview other than your own. What I don’t understand is why you want to keep arguing the same points, asserting your right to defend feminism and who is a good feminist and who is not a feminist, on someone else’s blog, because you closed the comments to your posts on your blog.

    You don’t get to define feminism, you don’t get to judge who is a good or bad woman, and you don’t get to make patriarchy be about the poor men who suffer under it. That is all.

  34. myiq2xu says:

    I linked to it, nimrod. I provided far more context than you did, and really, it doesn’t need context.

    Yes it does need context.

    BTW – Why do you find it necessary to make insults and call names?

    Do you have self-esteem issues?

  35. Violet says:

    Lisa said:

    Yes, can’t we shame the behaviour without attacking the poor fool that falls for the oppression? We have ALL been that poor fool at one time or another, in one way or another. We have to be able to forgive women for their pitfalls while still pointing out that this kind of behaviour is NOT feminism.

    Precisely. That is precisely the point.

    We have all been that fool. I have. I’ve been a feminist since childhood and I am (to quote Chris Cooper in Adaptation) “the smartest person I know.” But there’s a picture somewhere of my 20-something self in fishnet stockings posing like a goddamn fool. And the notion that my poor confused self was to BLAME for the shit-load ton of patriarchy bearing down on my head that was making me think I needed to do that — well, no. Just no.

    It’s about empathy. It’s about understanding how we get where we are.

  36. myiq2xu says:

    What I kept hearing yesterday was essentially “How dare you criticize a woman for particiapting in pornography!”

    Astraea says:

    tinfoilhattie says:

    RKMK says:

    Blah blah blah

  37. RKMK says:

    RKMK, I think myiq’s comment was an interesting way to virtually silence women who don’t agree with him. It’s certainly a new one.

    Snerk.

    Since myIQ2xu doesn’t want my words reiterated, I’ll do it for him:

    1. “There are several reasons that people MUST become sex workers!? Do tell….”

    Well, hell, I could tell you about my best friend, who (besides being beautiful and brilliant) was raped by her uncle, repeatedly, when she was all of 12 years old, had a permanently sexualized worldview from then on, fought intense bouts of depression, was constantly self-loathing and self-destructive, and eventually turned to sex work when she was trying to get through school, because in the process of her working through what had happened to her, she’d rationalized that being abused by men “wasn’t that bad” and at least she’d be getting paid for it this time.

    The patriarchy is a fucking vicious place, and we don’t need to be targetting other women with disdain and hatred for no goddamned reason. I have no doubt that Jon Favreau is a fratboy douchebag whose primary attraction to this woman is that she’s The Hawt and has posed in her underwear, but her degrees and other accomplishments are secondary to all that, but do we, generally, all have to sink to the same level? Aren’t we better than them?

    2. Is there something wrong with a woman posing in her underwear for the sexual gratification of the readers of Maxim?
    Is it a good or bad thing?

    The problem is that the question is too vague. “Is there something wrong with a woman posing in her underwear for a sexual gratification of the readers of Maxim?” Well, yes. In a broad societal context, the exploitation of women for men’s sexual gratification is a majorly bad thing, but I, personally, blame the patriarchy, not one woman.

    Apparently, this constitutes “getting flamed all day by women who assert that no woman should be criticized for her decision to pose in a porn magazine.”

  38. myiq2xu says:

    Yes, can’t we shame the behaviour without attacking the poor fool that falls for the oppression?

    How do you “shame the behaviour” without expressing some kind of disapproval towards the people engaged in it?

  39. Sis says:

    “Grassley launches porn inquiry” at the National Science Foundation where even senior officials computers were found with banks of hard core porn downloaded.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18070.html

    Go Grassley, but his point will be money wasted, not women-hatred, or the poisoned and abusive work atmosphere this creates for the few young women who do take their math-challenged brains into science careers.

    Who wants to work in this kind of atmosphere? It might be easier just to sign a contract with Maxim.

  40. Violet says:

    How do you “shame the behaviour” without expressing some kind of disapproval towards the people engaged in it?

    What I do when I take on this kind of thing is focus on how the pornified empowerful brand of “feminism” is nothing more than patriarchy in disguise. It’s another boondoggle. And the young women who’ve bought it are being played, as surely as our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers were played. My goal is to illuminate the situation, raise the consciousness of the young women who are in this trap.

  41. RKMK says:

    Astraea says:

    tinfoilhattie says:

    RKMK says:

    Blah blah blah

    You posted that already. It didn’t constitute an argument, evidence or a rebuttal then, and it doesn’t constitute an argument, evidence, or a rebuttal now.

    I meanwhile, have a comment in moderation quoting exactly what I said.

    (And, no, I do not have self-esteem issues. I suffer from a low bullshit tolerance and an abundance of snark, but thank you for your kind inquiry.)

  42. RKMK says:

    It’s about empathy. It’s about understanding how we get where we are.

    THANK YOU.

  43. myiq2xu says:

    Since myIQ2xu doesn’t want my words reiterated, I’ll do it for him:

    Where did I say that?

    Quote #1 had nothing to do with me or anything I said.

    Apparently, this constitutes “getting flamed all day by women who assert that no woman should be criticized for her decision to pose in a porn magazine.”

    Wow, that was one and only comment I received all day yesterday?? I could have sworn there were three threads (2 at TC and 1 at TGW) full of flaming comments.

  44. Sis says:

    This is a variation on “but what about the men?”

  45. octogalore says:

    Great post.

    Anna Belle said: “What disturbs me so much about the whole thing is that no one, not myiq, not RD, and surprisingly, not Dr. Socks, has even nailed the biggest problem here. It’s not her or her choices or her boyfriend or her ambition; it’s that this administration had a high-profile place for this woman and what that says about their values.”

    I disagree. To be an intern and then an aide does not require a huge resume. This woman’s position says more about social class — a family with legal connections. While Harvard’s Kennedy school has a lot of legacies, it typically also requires brains. Kennedy grads without financial need often take flashy intern spots. A number of my law school pals who, unlike me, didn’t live in the financial aid office, did that kind of thing during the summer, or had while in college. We can’t know whether looks played a role, any more so than they typically do in a job interview.

    As to the OP, I agree, with one caveat. I don’t think we pose in fishnet stockings like VS or do Maxim like Ms. Campoverdi solely because of “the patriarchy.” I think the patriarchy is why we are valued most for doing it (at a particular time). Even without patriarchy, both genders would still be valued for physicality and would likely enjoy displaying it. We’re humanoids, not celestial, purely cerebral beings.

    So I don’t think the answer is for people like AC to be castigated for capitalizing on both her body and mind. The way to topple patriarchy is not to avoid the former, but to do more of the latter.

    At root I think men are pretty simple. If women on average had equal economic power, we can pose however the hell we want and still be taken seriously. Moreover, men like my husband (and he can’t be alone in this) are jealous that women get more affirmation for sexuality and wouldn’t mind having more of that themselves. I don’t see the equilibrium as never posing in fishnets, but a situation in which men and women are equally valued for both physical and cerebral.

  46. Lisa says:

    Hey Violet, I can top you big time on the fishnet picture. I used to do Ms Fitness America competitions, and got “breast enhancement surgery” to help me win. Now I hate it and there is nothing I can do about it.

    I have such a great family though- my mom and sisters totally support my feminist projects and never judge me on my stupid past decisions.

    Can you imagine though if I wanted to run for a political office? I would be VILIFIED.

    We can’t make the game about having a perfect record of living your beliefs- that is impossible. We have to work on making sure that women see the error in their past thinking and not try to just defend it as the way feminism has evolved (choke choke).

  47. yttik says:

    What happened with some blogs yesterday, was that they posted the Maxim photo next to a photo of Favreau, with a message criticizing Favreau for his ongoing behavior. Treating women like two dimensional objects who only exist for his pleasure. Ali Campoverdi wasn’t the story, Favreau was. But immediately a bunch of faux-feminists and Obots descended upon the blogs, accusing feminists of “slut shaming”. In fact, attempting to really shame feminists for complaining about Favreau’s behavior.

    I’m not talking about some of the intelligent and valid points some people were making, I’m talking about those who came over from the bloggerboyz and immediately began trying to shame feminists for not rallying around Campoverdi’s right to take her clothes off.

    So, the whole discussion got crazy, it was, “you should be ashamed of yourself for shaming Campoverdi”. Shame, shame, shame. At the end of the day who escaped blame? Favreau, the culture at large, the white house that refused to take leadership against the sexism. Everybody rallied around Campoverdi as if she were a tragic victim of feminists.

    Oppression requires systemic power behind it. A few feminists on a blog may express some disapproval towards Campoverdi’s choices, but we are not capable of shaming her like the patriarchy does to women all the time. In fact, chances are good Campoverdi won’t be shamed at all because she doesn’t threaten the status quo.

    Campoverdi is not a victim of feminists.

  48. foxx says:

    Why does Hillary Clinton wear lipstick and makeup?

    Presumably because she thinks she has to or look too different. If she didn’t wear lipstick she’d be called a lesbian more than she already is.

    Lipstick is essentially about making one look sexually aroused, so it is on the continuum with posing for lingerie pix.

    We have a long way to go.

    A militant organized women’s movement is the only way. Mobilized young women who get it are the way to reach young women who don’t get it.

  49. anne says:

    MyIQ, do you use porn? From your stream of sexual comments about women at the Confluence I always thought you were that kind of a man, but maybe I was mistaken.

    If you don’t understand that feminism is about freeing women from male oppression, including the kind of oppression that brainwashes young girls into thinking that the highest thing they can aspire to is posing for sexee photos in Maxim magazine, then you are going to be no use to women. There has been a *huge* backlash against women’s freedom this past twenty years and part of that backlash has been persuading women that being “hot” is what makes them valuable as women. You can’t then blame women for falling for it. It’s not like the alternative feminist message ever gets an airing.

    Blaming women for their oppression is patriarchal, not feminist.

  50. quixote says:

    It occurred to me I was sloppy in my choice of words, and even though everyone has been kind enough not to call me on it, I wanted to clarify.

    It’s not even about her taking her clothes off. This isn’t a candid camera shot of her wanting sex with her dream guy. It’s about her taking her clothes off for pay so that some men can masturbate. Which, entirely by itself, also has nothing wrong with it. Only in our current society where that helps box in women, in our society it’s an anti-feminist activity.

    Labelling it feminist is the the actual crime because it’s a nastily Orwellian thing to do.

    Understandable, as Violet says. Less than admirable, as myiq2xu says. I get the strong feeling you’re both in the same sentence and arguing about whether to focus on the noun or the verb.

  51. AM says:

    Violet says:

    “It’s about empathy. It’s about understanding how we get where we are.”
    January 28th, 2009 at 12:08 pm EST

    Absolutely. Patriarchal control would melt away if people with empathy had more power over private and public decisions than they do now.

    I like to think there’s an Empathic Nervous System that we don’t know about. One might think that if there were an ENS researchers would have discovered it. Note, though, that until about forty years ago, with the exception of William James (who was Gertrude Stein’s teacher btw), it was believed that only one of the two brain hemispheres was doing anything, the other just lying there. They see what they want to.

    We need an empathy IQ test.

  52. purplefinn says:

    “…learning to taste the water is the single biggest hurdle every woman faces on the path to feminism.”

    I was disappointed and saddened to realize that I was discriminated against because of my gender. However, not knowing why it seems that you keep banging your head into a wall is not a good alternative.

    I think this post and comments (and those referred to) help in this awakening process and not just for women.

  53. megankay says:

    “What happened with some blogs yesterday, was that they posted the Maxim photo next to a photo of Favreau, with a message criticizing Favreau for his ongoing behavior. Treating women like two dimensional objects who only exist for his pleasure. Ali Campoverdi wasn’t the story, Favreau was. But immediately a bunch of faux-feminists and Obots descended upon the blogs, accusing feminists of “slut shaming”. In fact, attempting to really shame feminists for complaining about Favreau’s behavior.”

    If Favreau is the story, then why post a picture of his girlfriend, if not to malign the girlfriend? And what is his “continued behavior,” anyway? The intent of the post (to criticize JF) was executed in the wrong way (by making sexist assumptions about his girlfriend).

  54. RKMK says:

    Labelling it feminist is the the actual crime because it’s a nastily Orwellian thing to do.

    No one did. What they did say is that people attacking her for doing it – implying she’s morally bankrupt, that she’s stupid and only got where she is because she posed in her underwear, that Favreau dating such a slut is more yet more proof of his moral failings – and was decidedly not feminist.

  55. myiq2xu says:

    No one did. What they did say is that people attacking her for doing it – implying she’s morally bankrupt, that she’s stupid and only got where she is because she posed in her underwear, that Favreau dating such a slut is more yet more proof of his moral failings – and was decidedly not feminist.

    This is what’s known as a “Strawman” argument.

    First you put words in peoples’ mouths that they didn’t say. Then you criticize them for it.

  56. myiq2xu says:

    From your stream of sexual comments about women at the Confluence

    You want to back that up with some evidence?

  57. myiq2xu says:

    You can’t then blame women for falling for it.

    Are you saying that women aren’t capable of taking responsibility for themselves?

    I don’t agree.

  58. tinfoilhattie says:

    I don’t think we pose in fishnet stockings like VS or do Maxim like Ms. Campoverdi solely because of “the patriarchy.” I think the patriarchy is why we are valued most for doing it (at a particular time).

    octagalore, I submit that you can’t have women posing in fishnet stockings for the pleasure of men in the absence of patriarchy. When we all evolve into taqueaux, as Twisty says, there will be no need for women to try to “lure” men into sex, relationships, marriage, or any other kind of deal. Who would come up with wearing fishnet stockings on her own? In the absence of patriarchy, who would decide that women’s legs are “sexy” and look better in fishnet stockings? Who would criticize a Presidential candiate’s “cankles” if patriarchy didn’t exist?

  59. angie says:

    First of all what yttk says @ 1:07 (post 47) is actually what happened — and I note that people are attacking myiq here for little to no reason instead of addressing the point of Violet’s thread (which, as I said earlier, I agree with). What I am having trouble with understanding is this: I do not think that my saying (or believing) that Campoverdi has, wittingly OR unwittingly, allowed herself to be objectified as little more a “sex doll” is shaming her — it is a statement of fact How am I to make people aware that these actions are NOT feminism if I am not allowed to point out that she is objectifying herself. And I ask that because the defense by people is always “She has the right to do with her body what she wants. More power to her. She is empowering herself.” Because, while I certainly never argued against her “right” to do it, I do take issue with the wisdom of doing it.

  60. tinfoilhattie says:

    Actually, angie, there isn’t a woman on earth who has a right to do with her body what she wants.

    And the post in question did not tactfully and thoughtfully discuss whether this was a smart thing to do on Ms. Campoverdi’s part. The post in question painted Jon Favreau as a sexist asshole for dating a woman like her.

  61. Violet says:

    Two things:

    1. I’m not real happy about the back-and-forth sniping in the thread that seems to be a spillover from The Confluence. Let’s stick to a discussion of the issues.

    2. Tinfoilhattie and Octogalore, my belief is that in the absence of patriarchy, human beings would still be extremely interested in sex and in looking at each other’s bodies, but said interest wouldn’t take the form of Maxim or Playboy or women in fishnets. Who knows what it would look like? But the chances that our behavior sans patriarchy would be identical to this jobbed-up mess we got going now are nil.

  62. anne says:

    Do you want to answer my question? I got an impression of you reading at the Confluence. If that’s mistaken then fine, but I’d still like to know if you use porn.

    Of course women are capable of taking responsibility for ourselves. However the responsibility for the existence of Maxim or pornography in general lies at the feet of the men who produce it and the men who buy it. Whilst they exist there will always be a group of mainly very young women who are manipulated into appearing in it. Blaming women for appearing in pornography (soft-core or hard-core) is like blaming women who are being abused by their husbands for the existence of marriage, or slaves for the institution of slavery. This young woman did this FIVE WHOLE years ago yet for some reason you think it’s really important to blog about it now?

    Do you think men are capable of taking responsibility for yourselves and stopping buying, using or making pornography and standing up against the men who do it?

  63. angie says:

    RKMK — no one, and I repeat NO ONE called that woman a sl*t or morally bankrupt. You are making that up out of whole cloth.

  64. RKMK says:

    Let’s recap the original post, no?

    Why Am I Not Surprised?
    It seems that chief Obama speechwriter Jon “The Groper” Favreau has found a love connection with Ali Campoverdi, a former lingerie model for Maxim magazine. Where, you ask, did the frat-boy photo fondler meet such a hot babe with his busy schedule writing inspiring speeches for TelePrompter Jeebus? It appears to be an office romance…

    [description of Campoverdi's history with the entertainment industry, accompanied by a picture of her in her underwear.]

    And we were worried that President Obama wasn’t hiring enough women. I guess you just need to have the right assets.

    1. You implied, with the title, that you’re not surprised that Jon Favreau is dating a (former) lingerie model, indicating some sort of natural moral match between “groper” and “lingerie model.”

    2. You post a picture of her in her underwear and mockingly point to her attempt at a career at entertainment, without mentioning something like her degree from Harvard, painting a decidedly one-sided picture of who she was – objectifying her and painting her as a bad woman.

    3.The snotty “I guess you just need to have the right assets.” Implication: she got the job because she’s a hot lingerie model.

    Maybe the question should be, what exactly weren’t you “surprised” by?

  65. tinfoilhattie says:

    But the chances that our behavior sans patriarchy would be identical to this jobbed-up mess we got going now are nil.

    Exactly. It’s a fascinating question: what would humans find interesting, stimulating, beautiful, and sexually desirable in the absence of patriarchy? I have played that game in my mind, and it’s hard to come up with an answer. Especially because my worldview of sex has been so influenced by the man-puts-penis-in-woman’s-vagina definition.

  66. AnotherKindofFeminist says:

    Haven’t feminists disagreed on this issue for quite a while? Why are people here and on The Confluence attacking myiq2xu and calling him anti-feminist? I WISH there were more men who would speak out against pornography and magazines like Maxim. We’re all a 100% product of the patriarchy but there is a little thing called self-respect that keeps most attractive women from stripping our clothes off for attention. I don’t understand why those of us against Ms. Campoverdi’s decision allowed to not only criticize but analyze the problem going on with not only her decision but the decisions of her boyfriend Mr. Favreau and the decisions of the Obama administration and their staff. Some of you might choose to ignore this but all of these things are interconnected and says something about the people who currently represent the Obama administration and their views on women’s rights. STOP hating on myiq2xu and try to understand where he is coming from. Or are we now embracing men like Favreau who would love to see more women strip to their undies to entertain him and his buddies when they aren’t degrading female cardboard cutouts?

  67. angie says:

    tinfoilhattie — see? I ask & you answered me by saying “that isn’t what myiq’s post was about.” I’m not interested in what myiq’s post was about. I am asking how do we make women understand that posing for Maxim & participating in the pornificaiton of oneself as a women is not feminism if I cannot say posing for Maxim is something women should not do — I don’t think saying that is “shaming” her or calling her morally bankrupt or a sl*t — I actually think she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Her motives for doing it are not the particular point.

  68. RKMK says:

    I have a comment in moderation, but angie: that would be why I said “implying.” Read for comprehension, dear.

  69. yttik says:

    “The post in question painted Jon Favreau as a sexist asshole for dating a woman like her.”

    He was a sexist asshole before he dated her. It has nothing to do with her. He was a sexist asshole with a piece of cardboard before she even came into the picture. He is a sexist asshole all by himself and doesn’t even require a live, breathing, woman to express his asshattery.

    “If Favreau is the story, then why post a picture of his girlfriend, if not to malign the girlfriend?”

    We were maligning Favreau for subscribing to and promoting the stereotype of women that is portrayed in Maxim.

    I have nothing but empathy for Campoverdi. I find it sad that a Harvard educated woman felt she needed to pose in her underwear in order to “promote herself.” (her words.) And the crappy prize at the end of this road, is Favreau in all his cardboard groping glory.

  70. tinfoilhattie says:

    RKMK — no one, and I repeat NO ONE called that woman a sl*t or morally bankrupt. You are making that up out of whole cloth.

    Actually, angie, that’s not quite true:

    As for Ali Whatever, the Paris HIlton Syndrome of being smart, craving attention, looking like a slut, and making lots of money seems to thrive in DC as well as Hollywood. I guess it adds some kind of trophy girlfriend cred to Jon & similar boys.

    So someone put together the idea of Ms. Campoverdi = slut = trophy girlfriend = Mr. Favreau is a misognyist.

    Remember the discussion on Obama, lipstick, pigs, and fish? Same connections being made here.

  71. gxm17 says:

    tinfoilhattie says:

    You know, men rape women in staggering numbers, and men beat and murder women in staggering numbers, and they sexually harass women at work and on the street in staggering numbers, and when feminists try to point this out and to get to the root of why this is, somehow it always turns into “Bad feminists hate all men!” Why is that? IBTP.

    Believe it or not I agree with you, but do want to point out that men rape men in staggering numbers too. Factoring in the prison rape, some “experts” have estimated that more men are raped in the US than women. Rape is a horrible crime that affects all of us. Which is why I am frustrated by the oft recited “I don’t work in the sex industry so it doesn’t affect me” attitude. Maybe not, but it sure as hell affects others. IMO that’s like saying I don’t have AIDS so why should I care that women and children in Africa are dying. Even if you’re not an activist, you should at least give a damn.

  72. Violet says:

    I WISH there were more men who would speak out against pornography and magazines like Maxim.

    I do too. I wish there were more women speaking out against it as well.

    And I await those posts. Every single day, why aren’t there posts about all the men buying all the porn mags and whacking off? It’s happening all the time. Plenty of blaming and shaming to go around. Bring on the posts.

    But somehow the blaming only seems to happen when a young woman with a famous or near-famous name appears in those mags. And then it’s all about her and her choices and how she’s setting a bad example.

    See the problem?

  73. gxm17 says:

    Anna Belle says:

    What disturbs me so much about the whole thing is that no one, not myiq, not RD, and surprisingly, not Dr. Socks, has even nailed the biggest problem here. It’s not her or her choices or her boyfriend or her ambition; it’s that this administration had a high-profile place for this woman and what that says about their values.

    I understand the point you’re making and have tried to make it myself but apparently no one wants to talk about the virulent sexism stewing in ObamaNation. Here’s a campaign, now an administration, that has engaged in unabashed sexism and misogyny. The attacks on Palin included accusations of “bimbo” and the fabrication of photos of her in a bikini and on the cover of Playboy magazine. They used these images and ideas to demean women with proven track records in politics. They are cynical hypocrites. And they are bald-faced liars. And they’re users. I honestly feel sorry for any woman who has to work around those pigs.

    And you’re not alone Anna Belle, for some reason I’m always in moderation on this board.

  74. tinfoilhattie says:

    I am asking how do we make women understand that posing for Maxim & participating in the pornificaiton of oneself as a women is not feminism if I cannot say posing for Maxim is something women should not do

    By attacking the problem at its core, which is the men who produce, sell, and use porn. The core of the problem does not lie with the women who participate in patriarchy. Is it a Pakistani woman’s fault when she is raped and her family stones her to death for her “sin”? Is it a burka-wearing woman’s fault when a stranger on the street raps her leg with a cane because he caught a flash of ankle?

    The problem is patriarchy, not the women who capitulate to it. Without patriarchy, there would be no reason to find judge women’s behavior. Men, not women, invented and benefit from patriarchy.

  75. tinfoilhattie says:

    Or, what Anne @62 said.

  76. megankay says:

    ““If Favreau is the story, then why post a picture of his girlfriend, if not to malign the girlfriend?”

    We were maligning Favreau for subscribing to and promoting the stereotype of women that is portrayed in Maxim.”

    How did the post do that? How do you know what he subscribes to and promotes? You were slut shaming AC and attempting to shame JF because of his connection to her. It’s pathetic, anti-feministic, and disgusting.

  77. AnotherKindofFeminist says:

    Myiq2xu has held men this year accountable. It’s the reason why he’s in the minority when it comes to liberal men who called out Obama and his staff for sexism in the election. I think myiq, who is snarky and sometimes rubs people the wrong way, was saying that Campoverdi and Favreau unsurprisingly make the perfect couple because both are not innocent when it comes to sexism and supporting the patriarchy. yttik is right: we knew Jon Favreau was an asshole before he started dating Campoverdi and it makes sense for a guy like Favreau to date a lingerie model. After all, does he seem like the type of guy who would date a woman who might be just as smart and interesting as Ms. Campoverdi on the inside but isn’t a size 2? myiq made some generalizations but it’s nothing that any of us haven’t said in passing when we see a prick like Favreau or a model like Campoverdi end up together.

  78. Astraea says:

    I find it sad that a Harvard educated woman felt she needed to pose in her underwear in order to “promote herself.”

    This discussion would be a lot better if people didn’t lie and distort facts to make their point.

    Campoverdi was educated at Harvard after she did the modeling gig. From the little that we’ve actually heard from her, she was trying to promote herself in show business, not politics, but then switched gears to pursue more education and politics and fight for a cause that seems to be dear to her because of her own family experience. That is something that should be congratulated! But all some people can do is tear her down for one decision she made in her life.

    Now if she comes out and actually talks about empowerful fun feminism, those views are perfectly open to criticism. I haven’t seen any actual quotes from her saying that.

  79. gxm17 says:

    megankay says:

    Quixote: the issue isn’t whether or not AC is a feminist. The issue is whether it is appropriate for “feminists” to objectify her further.

    From where I’m swimming in the fish tank, the only people objectifying the young women are the “slut-shaming” police. They are the folks who without reason (IMO) introduced the derogatory word into the dialog.

    And I think Maxim, who apparently are taking full advantage of this story are much more deserving of their wrath than fellow feminists.

    megankay says:

    If Favreau is the story, then why post a picture of his girlfriend, if not to malign the girlfriend?

    Because she was part of the story. The picture is proof that the story is true. I’m not quite sure how the photo would “malign” her. Embarrass, maybe. Has she expressed regret at the publication of the photo?

  80. angie says:

    RKMK says: Bless your heart, by I think the problem was with your reading comprehension, dear — no one was implying that that woman was a sl*t or morally bankrupt.

  81. myiq2xu says:

    [description of Campoverdi's history with the entertainment industry, accompanied by a picture of her in her underwear.]

    You do realize that the original article that I linked to and got my information from contained not one mention of her having attended Harvard or USC?

    All it contained was the information that she was a former underwear model and wannabe actress, and that she was now a WH aide and was rumored to be dating Favreau.

    That’s why I put “Why am I not surprised” as the title.

  82. myiq2xu says:

    Campoverdi was educated at Harvard after she did the modeling gig.

    That’s correct – she was only a graduate of the University of Southern California when she posed in her underwear.

  83. Astraea says:

    You do realize that the original article that I linked to and got my information from contained not one mention of her having attended Harvard or USC?

    Do you still fail to realize that that is the objectification that is a problem?

    As Dr. Socks said: “We are all fish and the water is everywhere.”

    This is part of it: the way women are talked about. That is what your post perpetuated by failing to look any deeper than a single article that contained a lot of sexism itself.

  84. angie says:

    Astraea — Camporvedi graduated from USC in 2001 — she posed for the pictures in 2004 — your nitpicking about Harvard not being until 2007 doesn’t address yttk’s point. It is sad that a college educated woman from an affluent upper middle class family felt she needed to pose in her underwear in order to “promote herself” or, quite frankly, for any reason. I agree with that statement — if you want to say I’m not a feminist for feeling that way, fine. I think it is sad that she doesn’t realize that she is worth more than being reduced to admired for nothing but her sex — is that the patriarchy’s fault? Yeah, but it is still sad.

  85. gxm17 says:

    Violet says:

    2. Tinfoilhattie and Octogalore, my belief is that in the absence of patriarchy, human beings would still be extremely interested in sex and in looking at each other’s bodies, but said interest wouldn’t take the form of Maxim or Playboy or women in fishnets. Who knows what it would look like? But the chances that our behavior sans patriarchy would be identical to this jobbed-up mess we got going now are nil.

    You are absolutely dead on. And it’s refreshing to see someone make this observation because so often the debate begins with the false premise that the sexual “role playing” within patriarchy is part of the natural order. It is not. It is anything but natural. This is a great topic that deserves further exploration.

  86. Astraea says:

    I think what’s sad right now is that five years later all certain people can talk about is how she posed in her underwear as if that’s all that matters about her life.

  87. CoolAunt says:

    I’ve not read all of the comments, so if this has already been commented on, then I apologize for the repetition.

    …it is appropriate to challenge women about their collusion with patriarchy (feminism does that all the time in-house).

    Challenging is not blaming. It’s one thing to ask ourselves and other women why we do things we do (wear makeup, shave our legs, marry, etc.). It’s another thing to say that because some women do those things, all women are oppressed. While it is true that participating in patriarchy does perpetuate it, to blame the oppressed for their oppression is wrong and it solves nothing.

    This is nothing you didn’t say in your post. I suppose I just want to point out the difference in challenging and blaming.

  88. myiq2xu says:

    That is what your post perpetuated by failing to look any deeper than a single article that contained a lot of sexism itself.

    Oh I am so sorry! Thank you for teaching me how to blog a reaction to an article I read at 3am while I was dealing with insomnia.

    I guess I should have waited until morning to call the WH and ask her for information.

    But since the main point of my post was the sexism of Obama and Favreau it didn’t seem that important. You did read the rest of the post didn’t you? I’m wondering because you never mention it.

    For two days now you and your friends have done nothing but bash me in 4 threads on three blogs. You don’t seem to care about any other issue. Could it be that YOUR real problem is MY gender?

  89. anne says:

    I’m going to take it as a yes that you do use pornography, myiq, since you first avoided and then ignored my question.

    I do hope I’m wrong.

  90. myiq2xu says:

    I’m going to take it as a yes that you do use pornography, myiq, since you first avoided and then ignored my question.

    You can take it anyway you want it but that won’t make it right. You’re basing your assumption on a nonexistent “stream of sexual comments about women at the Confluence”

  91. anne says:

    Politician’s answer. Just say you don’t and I’ll withdraw. I’m basing my assumption on my observations of the way you sometimes talk about women and sex and now your refusal to answer the question three times.

    The “Wah, women are as much to blame for sexism as men” stuff is really offensive.

  92. Astraea says:

    I haven’t attacked anyone. I’ve laid out my points over and over without saying anything about the people who posted at either The Confluence or TGW. The responses have not been in kind.

    It’s a shame that Dr. Socks’s very good post and a potential discussion is being disrupted by claims that we’re all just out to get myiq.

  93. octogalore says:

    Tinfoilhattie, re: “I submit that you can’t have women posing in fishnet stockings for the pleasure of men in the absence of patriarchy.”

    I disagree. I think both women and men would enjoy dressing up and flaunting sexuality for whatever gender to whom they’re attracted. Whether fishnets or possibly something more comfortable would be the vehicle, the idea that body parts are sexy isn’t purely patriarchal. The idea that women are the sex class is patriarchal. Henry the 8th wore tights and heeled shoes to show off his legs, and we’d see more of that from men post-patriarchy.

    I agree with you that there will be no need, post-patriarchy (I’ll get my pink goggles out) for women to try to lure men into marriage/relationships. But I think there are other reasons to enjoy displaying physicality that would apply to both genders, patriarchy or not.

    Violet, re: “but said interest wouldn’t take the form of Maxim or Playboy” – totally agree. Those fora are pure patriarchy.

  94. myiq2xu says:

    It’s a shame that Dr. Socks’s very good post and a potential discussion is being disrupted by claims that we’re all just out to get myiq.

    You and your two friends are the only ones who want to make this all about me.

  95. Honora says:

    I wish we could discuss this without all the rancor, but something keeps running through my head. Cool Aunt says that even though a woman’s participation in the patriarchy may further patriarchal goals, it is wrong to blame the ‘victim’ for her actions. (Hope I paraphrased this fairly.) Ok– but I have blamed Nancy Pelosi with abusing Clinton and the democratic process and for having a real hand in the election of Obama. However, as a woman Pelosi is a victim of the patriarchy and I have certainly seen a lot of sexism thrown her way. Can we criticize her actions?

  96. tinfoilhattie says:

    While it is true that participating in patriarchy does perpetuate it, to blame the oppressed for their oppression is wrong and it solves nothing.

    Absolutely, CoolAunt.

    And I second Astraea: I used no ad hominem attacks on anyone, yet for expressing my radical feminist point of view, I was called an Obamabot, a Sarah Palin hater, a misogynist, and all manner of other names.

    And for the last time, “slut shaming” is an ironic expression used to discuss people who use a woman’s actions, sexual in nature, to accuse her of being morally bankrupt, easy, sleazy, or, even worse — the kind of woman that Jon Favreau would date. This term is used on many, many feminist blogs, and for people to assign a different definition for their own convenience is disingenuous at best, and an excellent example of “straw” arguments, to boot.

  97. tinfoilhattie says:

    Can we criticize her actions?

    Absolutely, and we can do so constructively and in a way that does not attack or degrade her as a woman.

  98. octogalore says:

    A PS regarding Playboy:

    Last year I represented a female attorney, J, who had posed for Playboy to a national law firm. She was called back for another meeting, but passed on before the firm could make an offer.

    From what J had said, I inferred that the Playboy shoot had netted her between 250-500K. Unfortunately, with her current firm closing its local office, I could not find her a job with a firm that would overlook her shoot (which was easily google-able).

    So speaking from a purely practical view, I believe AC made the wrong choice if she’d known then (a big if) she wanted to get into politics. I think it hurt her chances of rising from the assistant-level position she’s in now to anything more meaningful. Granted, AC was wearing two more pieces of clothing in her shoot than was J.

    You may be interested to hear one further detail. The head of the department J was to join at the firm which had been about to make her an offer… had posed for Playgirl in his mid/late 20s (in the buff). He is currently making well north of seven figures.

  99. votermom says:

    I don’t know Campoverdi at all, but the early resume — Maxim photo, reality shows, etc. suggests either someone trying to get into show biz or attention-seeking / narcissistic (not necessarily exclusive). I’m bemused that she’s in politics now — does that just underline the similarity between showbiz and politics?

  100. Astraea says:

    Sexist statements and sexism are always open for criticism, regardless of whether it comes from a man or a woman. Pelosi’s statements are definitely fair game.

    That’s very different from criticizing, for example, Sarah Palin’s clothes because they are in line with patriarchal ideas of feminine.

    I would be first in line to criticize statements from Campovardi that posing in Maxim was empowerful or that it was a feminist thing to do. And I don’t think it’s especially problematic to say that it wasn’t feminist or that feminists wish women wouldn’t do that.

  101. purplefinn says:

    octogalore says: “You may be interested to hear one further detail. The head of the department J was to join at the firm which had been about to make her an offer… had posed for Playgirl in his mid/late 20s (in the buff). He is currently making well north of seven figures.”

    **********

    Bingo!

  102. gxm17 says:

    I think the expression “slut shaming” should be consigned to the garbage heap. It’s devoid of humor and, IMO, it’s mean spirited. Keep it simple, call it sexual humiliation. There was no good reason to introduce a derogatory term into the discussion. All that has done is sidetrack the debate. And, IMO, demeaning the “victims” one claims to support is absurdly disingenuous.

  103. tinfoilhattie says:

    I disagree. I think both women and men would enjoy dressing up and flaunting sexuality for whatever gender to whom they’re attracted.

    Yes, and my point is that under our current system of patriarchy, we have fishnet stockings because of patriarchy.

    Who knows what kinds of things human beings would find attractive? Draping ourselves in warm, wet spaghetti? Having sex in trees? Wearing fishnets?

    I think we’re agreeing and just talking around one another: Physical and sexual attraction does exist, and would exist in TacqueauLand, and maybe it would include bustiers and fishnet stockings and high heels, but because of patriarchy, we’ll never know if these things exist because women would have thought of it themselves, or because women’s sexuality is defined by men.

    I’ve heard tell of times past where women’s sexuality wasn’t defined by men, but even those discussions usually assert that “women chose whatever man they wanted to have sexual intercourse with,” so I remain skeptical.

  104. no pasaran says:

    Harvard-educated Campoverdi will be massacred if she ever decides to run for public office. Palin was vilified by the blogger boys for participating in beauty contests (when beauty contests were the only way for girls to earn sholarship money!). This is what the Patriarchy does: it restricts/impedes/sabotages women’s choices and then ridicules them for their lack of accomplishments. It is so sadistic it makes me ill. I don’t think Campoverdi needs to be judged for her indiscretion (don’t the boys get a pass every time?), the Patriarchy will unjustly catch-up with her. And Favreau will continue to be promoted and will be lauded for his “genius”.

  105. Astraea says:

    Cara at The Curvature has a “slut shaming” tag for posts on how rape victims are attacked, is she calling those victims sluts? Obviously not. You misunderstand the use of the phrase and that’s your problem, not ours. “Sexual humiliation” is not quite the same thing.

  106. Toonces says:

    Who says the word slut is bad? What concept is it meant to be contemptuous of? Why?

    Also:

    I don’t use porn.

    See how is that is?

    Just as a general statement that has nothing to do with anything really, it’s my opinion that men who blog about feminist issues need to have at least some acquaintance with Feminist Theory.

  107. Toonces says:

    Damn, I meant “See how EASY* that is”.

    *this term not meant to imply that anyone here has ever behaved in a non-demure manner in the company of gentlemen

  108. gxm17 says:

    Astraea, It’s not that I “misunderstand.” It’s that I think it’s a stupid term. Period. People can use whatever words they want. That doesn’t make the words any less mean spirited.

    Don’t switch the topic. Sexual humiliation was appropriate for the topic under discussion.

  109. tinfoilhattie says:

    Palin was vilified by the blogger boys for participating in beauty contests (when beauty contests were the only way for girls to earn sholarship money!).

    A man I know commented, “Barack Obama was editing Law Review while Sarah Palin was entering beauty contests.” I blistered his ear for that one.

  110. octogalore says:

    Tinfoil — yes, we do agree and are just parsing nuances at this point. I was thrown off by your earlier “you can’t have women posing in fishnet stockings” and am not suggesting fishnets are inevitable, just what you said more recently: we don’t know. Anyway, yeah, same page.

    I do think we can conclude at least one thing: that the amount of discomfort women adopt for purposes of sexual display is currently much greater to that which men adopt, and in a post-patriarchy, it would even out.

    I feel strongly that to make this happen, simply enforcing a rule that women reduce our expenditure of effort on display-related activites to the level men put forth is not going to be successful (even if it could be implemented, which is doubtful). Until women and men are equal economic players, we can be as streamlined in terms of physical presentation as it’s possible to be, and still be second class citizens.

  111. Toonces says:

    gxm17, how can you consider reclamation of terms “mean-spirited”. If I call myself a trampy-trampy whore-slut for having had non-patriarchy-approved sex, do you think I am being “mean” to myself? Do you not see how it is mocking a stupid, outdated, sexist, oppressive concept, rather than a person? Are you familiar with the use of satire by oppressed groups?

  112. octogalore says:

    Tinfoil re #108: yup. For one thing, being a law review editor is 98% administrative detail work and 2% creative work. Arguably, entering beauty contests is better preparation for politics.

    Next, being in law school plus doing either law review or moot court is for people who either are willing to take on massive loans (I was in this category) or people with scholarships or parents who paid the freight (I believe Obama was in this category). Anyone blaming Palin for self-financing her schooling in less resume-ready ways is severely overburdened with privilege denial.

  113. RKMK says:

    Astraea – Oooh, he certainly told you, din’t he? Snap!

    myiq2xu says:

    It’s a shame that Dr. Socks’s very good post and a potential discussion is being disrupted by claims that we’re all just out to get myiq.

    You and your two friends are the only ones who want to make this all about me.

    And see, here I thought this was all about my self-esteem issues.

    We’re not making this about you, personally. We’re arguing about a post you made, and would like you to engage in a little self-reflection about how it could come off as offensive and misogynist. You got defensive at the first sign of criticism and started of accusing everyone of personally persecuting you because they saw something problematic in how you framed a post.

    Suck it the fuck up, dude. Stop wildly swinging and imagining we’re Obamabots out to take you down, and read what we’re saying.

  114. gxm17 says:

    Toonces, mock yourself and call yourself whatever you want. But, I think it’s both mean and absurd to 1) call “victims” derogatory names and 2) introduce a derogatory term about this young woman and then accuse others of “implying” she’s a coarse, obnoxious, slovenly, sexually promiscuous prostitute. Because that’s what the word means. And the person who introduced the word is the one who is labeling the young woman in the photo.

  115. Cyn says:

    I am totally confused and I’m not even up to post #100 yet.

  116. Violet says:

    That’s because most of this thread isn’t even about my post.

  117. RKMK says:

    Gah. Sorry, Violet.

  118. Toonces says:

    I think one of my comments got eaten by the spam-filter, so I’m trying again. Apologies if both go through.

    Obviously what I meant in my first comment was “See how easy* that is?”

    *the use of this term is not meant to imply that any woman reading it has ever behaved in an unpure or unsanctified way in the company of menfolk, (giving the poor helpless dears the impression that they can, nay must, have sex with her, used-up and worthless or not)

  119. Kiuku says:

    I wish people would speak out against Pornography and you can speak out against pornography by speaking out against a culture of rape and objectification of women. That’s what runs pornography. The fact that the consumers of pornography, largely men, funnel so much money into pornography, and pornographers clearly cater to and influence the need for more painful, humiliating, objectification of women, images of dominance of men over women, in the men of this country. The fact that a woman can make money doing this, while, because of discrimination, finds it much harder to make a decent living anywhere else, you will always have women willing and justified in their participation in pornography.

    It doesn’t help to single out women participating in pornography as the enemy. It’s just more of the bad woman/good woman dynamic that Feminists are tired of.

  120. megankay says:

    “It doesn’t help to single out women participating in pornography as the enemy. It’s just more of the bad woman/good woman dynamic that Feminists are tired of.”

    Yes. Women participating in pornography are not equally as culpable as the consumers and producers of the pornography, and the society that makes it so profitable.

  121. Toonces says:

    gxm17, I am mocking a concept, not myself. The concept is: having sex in a way that the patriarchy doesn’t approve of makes you a bad, dirty, “slovenly”, “obnoxious”, worthless, sub-human thing/woman. I do not find the words slut, whore, prostitute, tramp, promiscuous, (etc.) to be “bad”. I find the people who think those concepts are “bad” (not because they are worried about women being treated badly or the context of their choices but because they see women as chattel) to be misogynists who think women shouldn’t have or enjoy sex and I am mocking that. This is all part of seeing the giant system that is the patriarchy which shapes our thinking and framing. That is why feminists use the word in a different manner than those who participate in the oppression of women do.

  122. gxm17 says:

    octogalore says:

    I disagree. I think both women and men would enjoy dressing up and flaunting sexuality for whatever gender to whom they’re attracted. Whether fishnets or possibly something more comfortable would be the vehicle, the idea that body parts are sexy isn’t purely patriarchal. The idea that women are the sex class is patriarchal. Henry the 8th wore tights and heeled shoes to show off his legs, and we’d see more of that from men post-patriarchy.

    I’m not so sure. In an environment where men are not necessary for social or financial status, an environment where women are raised in the idea that these things are rightfully theirs, I think we’d see male preening greatly surpass that of women. The shift has already started to happen in response to the little gains we’ve made.

  123. yttik says:

    LOL, this issue sure sparks a lot of debate.

    Violet’s post is called “Blaming women for the Patriarchy”. I totally get that. My problem is that we’re now blaming women for the alleged patriarchal shaming of Campoverdi. A shaming that I haven’t even seen happen yet. More likely she’ll be praised in the media for her “empowering and fun feminism”.

    I completely agree with Violet’s post, men and women are not on equal footing in the patriarchy. If you do not have footing, than you do not have equal responsibility.

    My point is, if I don’t have equal footing in the patriarchy, how come I’m the one being held responsible for the alleged “slut shaming”? I don’t recall ever being invited to join the Board of Patriarchy that decided being perceived as a slut was something shameful.

  124. Sandra S. says:

    I have to post before my head explodes.

    First, Octogalore is my personal hero.
    Women’s sexuality (heterosexual or otherwise) is formed entirely in the context of the patriarchy. As Octo, Hattie, and Violet have mentioned, we have no idea what sexuality would look like outside of the patriarchy. My concern is that sexuality is hard to alter. Deconstruction of patriarchal memes and living as a feminist is an ongoing process, and one that doesn’t necessarily get much easier (God knows, I still uphold the patriarchy on an everyday basis without catching myself).

    Sexuality is close to the bone. It’s a particularly hard aspect of the individual to alter. Even if you consciously recognize that women have to jump through insane hoops to make themselves attractive to men (and in some cases to other women) and to themselves, that doesn’t make it any easier to stop finding exhibitionism in high heels sexy if that’s what gets you off (as a producer or as a consumer).

    Okay, this is not even remotely what I wanted to post and say, but my brain is leaking like a sieve right now. A full day of grad school means that there’s no room in there for coherent feminist discourse. I’ll be back.

  125. Violet says:

    Comment #104 from no parasan, which I reproduce in its entirety (I bolded my favorite part):

    Harvard-educated Campoverdi will be massacred if she ever decides to run for public office. Palin was vilified by the blogger boys for participating in beauty contests (when beauty contests were the only way for girls to earn sholarship money!). This is what the Patriarchy does: it restricts/impedes/sabotages women’s choices and then ridicules them for their lack of accomplishments. It is so sadistic it makes me ill. I don’t think Campoverdi needs to be judged for her indiscretion (don’t the boys get a pass every time?), the Patriarchy will unjustly catch-up with her. And Favreau will continue to be promoted and will be lauded for his “genius”.

    Read. Understand. If you don’t understand, read again. Repeat as necessary. Sleep on it if you need to.

  126. Cyn says:

    Can I interrupt? And I mean this in only the most non-confrontational way: There is no right way or wrong way to be a feminist.

    It’s not about education, makeup, sexy poses, job titles, boyfriends/husbands or bringing up children. It’s about being true to our own beliefs and being committed to supporting the chosen path of all women.

    It’s not about knocking a women for not having the same beliefs that you do. We are all different. We all find our own way.

    If we supported matriarchy, we wouldn’t need to bitch or worry about patriarchy. The ball is in our court.

  127. Sandra S. says:

    Cyn,

    I kept thinking that on the Confluence threads. I felt like everyone was discussing some feminist consensus, when there isn’t one as far as I can tell.

  128. RKMK says:

    Violet, I’m having issues posting, and I’m not sure if it’s my brower or what, but I’m not seeing my comment with the “you are awaiting moderation” notice, so I’m sorry if you just got bombarded with 4 or 5 comments saying the same thing.

  129. tinfoilhattie says:

    Until women and men are equal economic players, we can be as streamlined in terms of physical presentation as it’s possible to be, and still be second class citizens.

    Ramen to that.

    And double-ramen to nopasaran @104.

    I have to disagree that feminism is about women having all/any the choices they want, and other women supporting them in those choices. Women do not have choices in patriarchy. I can get on board with the idea that we not judge women who are battling patriarchy in ways that we ourselves would not, and that we try to smash patriarchy by educating people, not by finding ways to make other women “not as good” as us for some reason.

    And that we stop making women responsible for the way men behave.

  130. RKMK says:

    Trying again: http://punkassblog.com/2008/07/21/men-and-mankind-apparently-not-being-defined-to-include-ambulatory-wombs/.

  131. RKMK says:

    Aha! So, hit that link if you’re still having trouble understanding what Violet and no parasan are saying about restricting/impeding women’s choices above. Same concept, different issue.

  132. orlando says:

    Boy bloggers tend to have thin skins, don’t they?

  133. Lisa says:

    RKMK AWESOME ARTICLE LINK.

  134. bob coley jr says:

    Hiding in plain sight has a kin. Too many people stop looking after the obvious has been found so hiding in the obvious, many times, obscures the subtle. Thanks to Dr. Socks and all those that look beyond. I must admit, I skipped a few coments so I’m sorry if someone already made this point.

  135. Kiuku says:

    Look we all have to play the game. We all live in the Patriarchy and to lesser or greater degrees we have to feed ourselves, make a living, keep the roof over our heads and the heat on, provide for our families.

    That is why it is much easier to blog about Feminism, and why Feminism outside of the net is only safe in groups, and it is never appropriate to blame women, or individual woman shaming as somehow “ruining it for women” because this blaming keeps the misogyny machine going.

  136. Violet says:

    Attention: if you post the same comment five times in a row in an attempt to get around the filters, you are in fact marking yourself as a spammer in the eyes of Akismet (the external spam filter) and there’s not a goddamn thing I can do to help you now.

  137. Lisa says:

    Fear the Almighty Akismet! Incur the wrath and you are beyond help! (:

  138. RKMK says:

    Again – sorry Violet, I was sure (for the first three attempts, at least) that it was Firefox and my javascript blocker causing the problems, not Akismet. :(

    Lisa – glad you liked! Eez one of my faves.

  139. Violet says:

    Akismet is really fucking evil.

  140. Violet says:

    Violet, I’m having issues posting, and I’m not sure if it’s my brower or what, but I’m not seeing my comment with the “you are awaiting moderation” notice, so I’m sorry if you just got bombarded with 4 or 5 comments saying the same thing.

    RKMK, I am very sorry, I hadn’t seen this comment when I posted my hysterical screed about Akismet. Fortunately for the sake of my screed, there are others besides you (or really not you at all since it was your browser) who believe that the best way to get past the filters is to keep posting the same comment. Alas, no.

  141. Sis says:

    I’m having my own unique little problem here again.

    You
    rem
    emb
    er
    the
    one
    wh
    ere
    com
    ment
    s
    in
    quo
    tes
    look
    like
    this?

  142. Carmonn says:

    More than 100 posts later, I’m still waiting for someone to explain how mocking, belittling and dismissing someone for posing in maxim (or, fine, mocking, dismissing and belittling someone for dating someone who posed in Maxim) is one iota different than mocking, dismissing, and belittling someone for being a contestant in a beauty pageant.

  143. HeroesGetMade says:

    Having read much confusion on the very nature of oppression, which Violet addresses very well, I was reminded of some of the spinster aunt’s words on this subject:

    “When you’re already oppressed, it is, in fact, impossible to volunteer for oppression. A woman is a member of the sex class whether she “chooses” it or not. This pre-existing condition forms the backdrop to any fun feminist’s conclusion that her compliance with the patriarchal sexbot mandate is voluntary. She may believe otherwise, but her belief does not alter the fact that patriarchy — a social order predicated on an oppression to which she is already subject — is real and in effect and entirely beyond any unrestricted control she may wish to exert and only too glad to welcome her as a team player and sign her up for the rewards program.

    The fun feminist confuses “empowerment” with the decision to acquiesce. This is understandable; it’s the one actual choice she has in this game: surrender, or stand and fight. She doesn’t have to be Candida Royalle to recognize that if she chooses the latter all she’ll get for her trouble is ridicule, hostility, suspicion, and the threat of bodily harm.

    Whereas the rewards for surrender to male porn culture are not inconsiderable: social acceptance, male approval, little psuedo-privileges that accrue according to the degree of one’s conformity, and of course the enormous relief at not having to fight it anymore. The if-you-can’t-beatem-joinem gambit has enjoyed millennia of popularity for good reason. It gives the appearance of the shortest and easiest route to life’s rich pageant. Too bad that, once they get there, chicks are only eligible for the women’s auxiliary.”

    The entirety is here and highly recommended:
    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2007/04/28/reader-actually-asks-spinster-aunts-opinion/

  144. polly styrene says:

    I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read it yesterday. I can only put it down to food poisoning affecting my ability to think that it took so long. Basically the shit is this.

    If a woman defies male standards of ‘desirability’ she is vilified as a bitch and a ball breaker.(Clinton)

    If a woman conforms to male standards of ‘desirability’ she is vilified as a bimbo.(Palin).

    Either way she can’t win. And the threat of not being ‘desirable’ is a bigger threat for some women than others, and the reasons for that are not always apparent to an onlooker. Basically we don’t know this woman’s background. But I doubt she did what she did just for money. There are huge pressures at play on ALL women.

    This WILL ruin any political career she wants to undertake. But her boyfriend’s career won’t be affected at all.

    Yeah it’s that obvious. But somebody just put it brilliantly on my blog.

    “I’ve always said: just tell men “no” and see how far we’ve actually come with choice and power. Not so much.”

  145. slythwolf says:

    So when does the free agency start? For how long do we use the “brainwashed” defense? Isn’t it sexist in and by itself to state that a 20 year old women doing something that advances her own career by way of self objectification has the same lack of agency as a 5 year old?

    It doesn’t. Women never have full agency in a patriarchy.

  146. InsightAnalytical-GRL says:

    Couldn’t believe it when I saw it…,and it’s been buried, of course…I happened Monday…

    The Bush I-Clinton Roadshow Takes the Low Road in New Orleans at Guess Who’s Expense? (Hint: Women, of Course)

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/the-bush-i-clinton-roadshow-takes-the-low-road-in-new-orleans-at-guess-whos-expense-hint-women-of-course/

  147. samanthasmom says:

    There’s a difference between “criticize” and “blame”. If we are open to it, we benefit from constructive criticism. The feedback we get from others can help us learn and improve. “Blame” means putting the responsibility for doing something wrong on someone. I don’t “blame” this young woman, and others like her, for doing what she thought she had to do to get noticed. She’s being sent messages daily that this is what is expected of her, and she’s been rewarded for doing it. On the other hand, I do “criticize” her for allowing herself to be used this way and for not being self-confident and smart enough to recognize when the harm that is being done to her and to other women far outweighs the short term benefits to herself. Like I wouldn’t blame my daughter for being a rape victim because she went to a wild party dressed provocatively, and drank herself silly, but I might still be critical of that behavior. She might have to endure a “What the hell were you thinking?” from Mom at some point. Not her fault for being raped, that responsibility lies directly on the rapist, but lacking some critical thinking about being drunk at a party like that. Women didn’t create the patriarchy, but we are the ones who will have to dismantle it. To do that we might have to offer and accept a little constructive criticism from each other along the way. Blame, however, is not constructive.

  148. madamab says:

    Violet – Bless you for a wonderful post. It is a tough needle to thread – knowing that women have some agency, but that everything they do is in the context of the patriarchy.

    The topic of women, the patriarchy and sexuality is fascinating, and we will be discussing it next Wednesday on “The View from Under the Bus.”

  149. Sandra S. says:

    Thanks, Samanthasmom. It’s an important distinction to make. I’m still not fair that I agree about the content of the criticisms being leveled at her (and other women in her position), but I can understand the difference.

    On a similar note- free agency isn’t binary. Women don’t just either have it or not. It’s a continuum. So when Violet talks about brainwashing and uninformed choices, I can understand her point, but I can also understand why people bridle at the implications. Anything that determinist is dehumanizing, but at the same time, saying that women have this ultimate responsibility for their actions without recognizing the environment and context is just harsh and cruel and unrealistic. There’s a middle ground, wherein women are capable of a certain level of agency, but only with an awareness of the context and the limitations that entails.

  150. anne says:

    I think that’s a terrible distinction. Once again men are let off the hook whilst we decide whether or not we are “criticising” women or “blaming” women who have acted in exactly the way that patriarchy pushes so hard for us to do.

    This girl posed for this photography five whole years ago. She hasn’t done it since, which would suggest it’s not a course of action that she’s happy with. So do you know who I blame? I blame whichever males dug up this story for their own titillation and I blame myiq for posting the picture of her in her underwear TWICE on his website and trying to hold her responsible for her sexual objectification by men who had more power than her.

    Let’s talk about men’s agency and men’s choices. Let’s talk about the way men *choose* to treat women and the way they try to make it women’s fault. Feminism is a movement to liberate women from male oppression, until women face up to that fact and look at the protagonists in this whole sorry mess instead of going at the female victims of the patriarchy we are never going to move forward.

    I am so glad that you made this post Violet, because it appears that some people still haven’t made their way out of Feminism 101.

  151. samanthasmom says:

    So women are immune from criticism because everything we do is predetermined by the patriarchy? An important lesson that I have learned is that you cannot change other people; you can only change the way you react to them. If you hope to work our way out from under the patriarchy, anne, by insisting that men change while women continue to accept the roles that have been doled out to us, we’re stuck here forever. What motivation would the general male population have to turn over the keys to the city if women continue to accept our role as second class? It’s not “our fault” that we are in the position in society that we are in, but not teaching each other how to get out of it because it involves criticism and suggestions for changing our behavior is hardly an effective path to take. If “Feminism 101″ is about learning how to be a victim, then I think most women have passed with flying colors. I prefer to believe that women have the means to change the way that we react to the treatment given to us by the patriarchy, and we need to teach and support each other to make it happen. Otherwise, we are all engaging in collective hand-wringing. “Go ahead and take your clothes off in public because you have no control over your own body anyway?” I prefer to teach my daughters, “Exercise as much control over your own body as you can and work together to get more control.”

  152. anne says:

    What do you mean by immune? Why is it so important to you to “criticise” a rape victim or a young woman who did something five years ago that you’ve decided offends you now, samanthasmom?

    If you don’t think you can change other people or the world then really what are you doing in feminism? Feminism is about overthrowing the patriarchy and ending male oppression of women. It isn’t some mealy-mouthed self-improvement kick, with a bit of criticism towards our fellow women thrown in for good measure.

    If you want to give men a motivation to change, get in their faces about porn. Ask myiq why he felt the need to post that photograph of a very young women in her underwear not once but twice on his blog (note the fact that Violet managed to make this wonderful post without any illustration whatsoever), join the anti-porn movement, join the anti-rape movement. Write to the media when you see something you object to, but above all stop blaming the victims, because when you do that you are doing the work of the male supremacists.

  153. Cyn says:

    samanthasmom, I totally agree. We cannot change the way some men treat women, but we can change the way some women allow themselves to be treated by men. We need to educate, open up the conversation and connect with every woman. The battered wife stays with the abusive husband because she doesn’t know any other way. The younger woman knows if she’s sexy enough, she’ll have a date on Saturday night. And if we can help all women to recognize our true worth, the rest will be easy because no one will ever again put up with being treated like a piece of meat or less than equal.

  154. Keri says:

    Thank you Violet. That young woman showed then that she was part of the majority that can be brainwashed (Several famous psychological studies in the 1950′s and 60′s showed that only about 1/3 of us are able to resist brainwashing to some degree, and les than that can resist strongly. This is both men and women. Also note
    these test were only done for a limited time period, turn that into every single day and we are representattive of the small number of people able to recognize and fight brainwashing to whatever degree we can.

  155. tinfoilhattie says:

    …not teaching each other how to get out of it because it involves criticism and suggestions for changing our behavior is hardly an effective path to take.

    Because we can’t get out of it. No matter how much you’d like to think we can, women cannot “get out” of patriarchy without overthrowing it first. Blaming women for being caught up in it and not making the “right” choices will not overthrow patriarchy. It may make the person doing the blaming feel better about herself, and may let her fool herself into thinking she’s not a part of patriarchy, but it won’t change the fact that — well, yeah, she is.

    A woman can never make the right choice in patriarchy. Never. If you make the “right” choice in one area, patriarchy will be right there around the corner, waiting to pounce because there’s something else you’re not doing “right.”

  156. purplefinn says:

    This thread is extremely thought provoking. Thank you Violet and all.

    I am reminded of Alice Walker’s book “Possessing the Secret of Joy.” Resistance. Wherever we can, resisting the patriarchy may be our only free choice. Exposing the patriarchy our first step. Women and men are needed in our struggle. Vive la resistance.

  157. Sis says:

    I wanted to return to the sad story of myiq2xu: who, preened and fawned over on the feminist boards where he’s been scattering crumbs. Now comes here and those nasty RL posters want a fucking banquet!

    He, like other men who go onto feminist boards with the idea of showing us how it’s done, and being stroked for it, has developed a distorted sense of his importance. Has started telling us how to be feminists. When called out, becomes petulant, angry that some of us aren’t properly grateful.

    Women, stopping fawning over the bloggular equivalent of his doing the dishes and “babysitting”. myiq2xu, you got what you deserved. Most feminists hhere are well past the point of smiling indulgently at the bratty behaviour of snot-nosed demanding toddlers.

  158. Kiuku says:

    Women are fit into caricatures that dehumanize them. These simple ways of understanding women serve to put women into molds, something less than individual and there are types of women much more than there are types of anything else. The Bitch. The Diva. The Bimbo. The Bipolar woman. Men then use these caricatures to fit women into them, coerce women to fit themselves into them to take away their identities.

    Women who do not participate in Pornography because of the money are probably tricked into doing it. Though a lot of the times it fulfills men’s fantasies for the woman to say she is doing it because she wants to, loves to, etc…but they are paid to say that. Like a prostitute will tell a man she’s just a nympomaniac.

  159. Kiuku says:

    The fact of the matter is without a higher education women have -no- opportunities to speak of. Men will because a man will be seen as capable and experienced even if he does not have the necessary education. While this is not true of a lot of careers, women still need higher education and more of it than men and there is a large degree of sexism pushing women out of blue collar jobs. Women, for instance, get laughed out of mechanical jobs, construction jobs, etc, and pushed into clerical duties in those jobs, making far less money.

    Every woman realizes this at a young age. She needs an education. She needs at the least a masters. If she can’t afford it, where is the young enterprising woman going to go? The option against student loans is pornography. She’s not going to pay her way through college being a waitress.

    Unfortunately, anything women do seems to become devalued. Education is now devalued in this country because more women than men have higher education and successfully complete their educations.

    It just doesn’t matter like it used to when only the men were getting it.

    I think it really has to do with the realization that if women do what men do, they will do it better…so we better devalue it to keep the Patriarchy in tact.

  160. qaz says:

    tinfoilhattie says: A woman can never make the right choice in patriarchy. Never. If you make the “right” choice in one area, patriarchy will be right there around the corner, waiting to pounce because there’s something else you’re not doing “right.”

    Something that I have noticed in business for years.
    Thanks for stating it.

  161. M. A. Liginter says:

    Hello Folks, I finally got around to linking to this excellent site today. (sorry it took so long!) And as i stopped by to copy the url, wow, what an excellent post and discussion. Violet has summarized the last half of the 20th century re feminist tudes very very aptly! A pleasure! to read. And the discussion is utterly worthy.

    It got me to thinking about a post i have in our “hold bin” re what folks wear to the Oscars/Golden Globes, SAG awards. So many of the women feel compelled to have their breasts on display, yet could one ever imagine a man taking to the stage with pants that had, say, a red patch or see-thru sequined gauze over his crotch to draw attention to his sexual characteristics. I don’t blame women for this, as i don’t blame men for this…YET, women might ponder this carefully for the fallout to society. Anyway, just my 2 cents to this useful discussion! I will try to post “Oscar Sex Talk” soon on FemiSex.com. best of best!
    M.A. Liginter

  162. Steven Mather says:

    Toute le monde,

    Can people create sexual artefacts for general experience that stand as archetypes for post-partiarchical values?

    To what extent does our individual experience-making with these artefacts determine their status in the realm of appropriate and inappropriate sexual artefacts?

    Can someone legitimately experience, and argue for, Ms. Campoverdi’s Maxim photos as examples of feminist appropriate, post-partiarchical sexual artefacts?

    Yours,
    SM

  163. gxm17 says:

    Here’s yet another way to look at it:

    - A 5-year old boy doesn’t like strawberry ice cream because it’s pink and “pink is for girls.” Free agent?

    - A 12-year old boy starts calling girls bitches and hoes because that’s how rappers talk. Free agent?

    - A young man celebrates his 21st birthday by going to a strip club with his friends because, as everyone knows, it’s a time-honored rite of passage. Free agent?

    If, as Keri suggests, there are only 1/3 of us who can see the tank water for what it is then we’re going to need all the help we can get, and that will mean including those 1/3ers with only one X chromosome.

  164. gxm17 says:

    Some great posts over at TNA that speak to some things we touched on during this discussion. I’m guessing many of you already check out that board but in case you missed these, here are the links.

    From “Thoughts About Respect”:
    When I hear a man or a woman disrespecting a woman, such as by calling her a hateful or disparaging name, request that they cease: It’s not so hard, especially if you practice. I tried it today on a colleague who referred to a woman we deal with as a bitch for no good reason at all. I asked him to stop. I didn’t ask him why he’s doing it, just asked him to stop, and he did. SourceLink

    And there’s another good post “Giving the Media’s Process A Name: SOB-ing.” Link

  165. anne says:

    As soon as your actions start hurting other people gxm17 you have to take responsibility for them – no excuses.

    I’m white. We live in a white supremacist world. It would be disgusting of me to try and blame people of colour for racism and say we were all equally culpable, or to insist that people of colour have to accept and be grateful for my “help” (racist or not) in the struggle to end racism and white supremacy.

    If men want to work on sexism and male supremacy they can start on themselves and one another and leave women the hell alone. Most so-called male feminists aren’t interested in that however, what they are interested in is invading women’s spaces and trying to make their voices the loudest and themselves the centre of attention. myiq’s sexist attack on that young woman was reprehensible and we don’t need to tolerate it in the name of some kind of fake alliance, which in reality is just an excuse for men to not be called on their sexism.

  166. gxm17 says:

    anne, the only people I saw “attack” the young woman were those who insinuated that she was a “slut” by introducing the word into the conversation. IMO, “slut shaming” sounds like it comes from the same sort of mind that produced “feminazi.” It sounds like a (not so) clever way to get away with using the s-word.

    Further, people of all colors joined the civil rights movement. And it was mostly white men who passed the legislation. So, yes, a diversified corps is effective and necessary to enact change.

    I don’t know why you dragged myiq into the discussion again. But my suggestion to those who wish to further castigate him is to take their bile to one of the PUMA hate sites. Their hostility is eerily similar and they’ll probably welcome you with open arms. But really, can we drop the myiq bashing on this thread. It’s unnecessary and distracting.

  167. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    gxm17, your concerns about teh menz are duly noted. Thanks for steering us back to what is really important here: how badly us oh-so-obvious Obots have hurt myiq’s feelings.

  168. tinfoilhattie says:

    gxm17: You really might be interested in examining your privilege. I just do not think you get any of this. Feminism is about women not being mean to myiq, and racism is about giving white people credit for doing the minimum to combat it after hundreds of years. Right.

    And really: beating the dead horse of “those MEAN FEMINISTS CALLED MS. CAMPOVERDI A SLUT! THEY DID!” — Is that all you’ve got? Because you’ve lost that one. Over and over and over.

    Anne, you hit the nail on the head.

  169. yttik says:

    I find it disturbing that there is so much attacking going on. Women can be really judgmental of every little thing. It’s another symptom of growing up in the patriarchy.

    So while we’re all eating our own, the patriarchy holds hands and slaps each other on the back in their usual show of unity. They will cross cultural lines, racial ones, political, they don’t care. Somebody tell a demeaning joke about women and you’ll even find Bill Clinton slapping Bush Sr on the back over it.

    Now Violet brought up some interesting points, but all people want to seem to do is castigate myiq, as if he single handedly created the patriarchy. We really need to figure out how to pick our enemies and stop criticizing our friends so harshly.

  170. Astraea says:

    gxm, you still don’t understand the origin of the concept of “Slut-shaming.” (Or you are deliberately pretending not to understand). It has primarily been used to describe the attitude of the religious right towards women. It’s used all the time by Cara of THe Curvature, Amanda Marcotte, Melissa McEwan, the contributors to Feministe, and on other feminist sites. It makes no sense to suggest that THEY are the ones calling women sluts. No, it’s being used to highlight an attitude.

  171. anne says:

    No they were defending her from myiq’s and others insinuation that she was a slut for posing in her underwear ergo defending her from “slut-shaming”. I’m sorry you don’t understand feminist concepts and argument but that’s your problem not mine. You also don’t seem to understand my point that white people didn’t lead the civil rights movement, nor did they try to castigate black people for racism because that would have been *stupid*. In the topsy turvy world of sexism and male supremacy, men (myiq is the latest example making this a teachable moment) feel quite comfortable in criticising and shaming women for our own oppression, for example posting a five year old picture of a very young woman in her underwear *twice* just to make sure everybody got his point and she got humiliated.

    Are you a man gxm? I have to ask. I usually only come up against this level of obtuseness from men defending sexism. I could be wrong of course.

  172. Sis says:

    Mwahtsis is really sayng, wtf? Here I am a bona fide nice guy feminist, on you SIDE, and all that, and she’s boffing him? That’s what this is all about folks. Don’t defend him don’t protect him. He’s a faque.

  173. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    Right, I only deserve to be treated with respect if I ask nicely and don’t hurt anyone’s fee-fees. I wouldn’t want to go alienating anyone who might, maybe, possibly, if they have time some day (when they’re not busy blathering on about what Good Women should and shouldn’t do and if I make it really easy and summarize everything for them) look into learning the basics of feminism.

    With friends like these….

  174. Carmonn says:

    Oh for goodness sake, yttik. myiq is getting criticized because of the way he acted in this thread. The first thing a pro-feminist man needs to understand is the concept of male privilege, ie what myiq spewed at women all over this thread. Several people have explained to him the problems involved in how he approached this, and all he chose to do was dismiss and caricature their positions and complain about his victimization. It’s hard to hear when one does not listen.

    If you want to be considered an ally, when someone calls you out, take it seriously. Getting defensive, falling back on stereotypes, and trying to make everything all about you does not an ally make. And if the price for having male allies is having to grit our teeth, giggle and pat them on the head when they do something unacceptable because we don’t want to make them mad–then it all seems pointless, doesn’t it?

    gxm, can I ask you one question? Okay. So no one ever implied anything about this woman until the mean old feminists started calling her a slut. So the point of showing those pictures of her in her underwear was what, exactly? Not to humiliate her. Not to demean her. Not to say she’s a slut. So, what? And what exactly was the point of saying “it figures” that a jerk like Favreau would be dating someone like Ms. Campanelli? Now if someone like that doesn’t indicate a slut or a bimbo then what exactly does it imply, especially accompanied by that photo? A brunette? A Gemini? A White House employee?

  175. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    I’m also curious what the proper Feminist-Male response would have been, according to myiq and gxm; if Favreau had refused to date Ms. Campanelli when he found out about the pictures, would that have been helping the cause somehow?

    And trust me, I am no fan of Favreau, as evidenced by my comments on USWeekly concerning Gropergate, but pretending like this was anything other than an attempt by myiq to tear Favreau down by-proxy using slut-shaming is completely dishonest. And further trying to turn this around on feminists who called BS is just pathetic.

  176. anne says:

    “I find it disturbing that there is so much attacking going on. Women can be really judgmental of every little thing. It’s another symptom of growing up in the patriarchy.”

    I dunno about that Yttik. I wasn’t judgemental of the young woman in the underwear shots. In fact I don’t judge any woman who appears in shots like that (well unless she’s calling it feminist and then all bets are off). And I certainly wouldn’t make two blog posts inviting other people to look at her in her underwear and judge her, and to judge her boyfriend for going out with her. Or is it OK when men do it? Or maybe they are just making judgements about the big things.

    I do judge men who behave in a sexist manner and then when it is pointed out to them, instead of backing down and apologising, start firing back. I don’t think it’s fair to characterise that as judging every little thing.

  177. tinfoilhattie says:

    Aaah, such awesome blaming from Anne & Sis & Carmonn & Toonces — balm for the weary feminist’s soul!

  178. gxm17 says:

    anne, astraea, tfh, et al,

    I understand that you insist using the word “slut” somehow “reclaims” it. But I don’t agree. And I’m going to take a page from the post I linked earlier and ask you to stop using it. Just. Stop. I really don’t care why you are doing it and no further “explanations” are needed.

    And your assumptions are dead wrong. Most people were commenting on how attractive the young woman is. But, oddly enough, even though that’s a part of the lie—a big part of the lie—that point doesn’t seem to interest the self-described feminist experts, the ones constantly screaming at me to “TAKE FEMINISM 101.” As inured as our society has become to the seemingly endless image parade of women in their underwear I doubt that many people thought of the s-word upon seeing that photo. Unless, that word was “smokin’.” But as far as I’m concerned the outfit the young woman is wearing in the photo is the American version of the burqa.

    As I’ve mentioned before, the reason for showing the photo is that she’s part of the story and the photo proves that the information in the story is true. It’s not like Maxim isn’t getting more hits than TC or TGW. Your wrath is so absurdly misdirected that it would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    No. I’m not a man. Wrong again.

    And “is that all I’ve got”? Go back and read my comments. I’ve brought up several points unrelated to myiq. But the only time you seem to respond to me is when I mention him. Obsessed much?

  179. Shane says:

    It’s an all-encompassing social system that brainwashes us from the time we’re born. It’s omnipresent. It’s the water, and we’re the fish.

    I like this metaphor. To try extending it, those people who try resisting patriarchy are those who somehow manage to break the surface. It can happen ever so briefly, but that broader view is time enough to realise that other possibilities exist, and that the system we live in is not natural for everyone. At the same time, its because so many people hold it as natural (they swim more comfortably) and are constantly told its the only way to live that those who resist it are seen as crazy. And its many forgotten victims drown.

  180. gxm17 says:

    I agree yttik, I was really disappointed in Clinton. Bush, I don’t expect much from. IMO, the way that women—talented women with proven political track records—were allowed to be humiliated and demeaned on a daily basis and through MSM is having terrible repercussions. It’s like we’ve crossed a line culturally and all the swill is pouring out.

  181. Kiuku says:

    Wow I didn’t know how offensive MyIQ’s post was until I read it:

    “Women must be held accountable for their conduct just like men. That’s part of the “equality” thingie. ”

    That’s very offensive.

    Now I didn’t really follow the poster..didn’t know he had a blog, but I do wonder when he became a flaming MRA.

  182. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    gxm17, I’m going to ask you to Just. Stop. Telling. Women. What. To. Do.

  183. Kiuku says:

    I’m convinced now that men cannot be Feminists. They are so soaked with privilege that it just pours out of them. Misogynist women can be saved but men will never get it. Just look at myiq’s post. It is filled with male privilege whining. Wah wah You can’t have it both ways. Wahhh. That’s part of the equality thingie wah.. She put it out there!! Voluntarily! I can do what I want with it! I can shame what I want! She put it out there why is she blameless she should be held accountable! hold the slut accountable !! waaaahhhh

    I just summed it up. That’s the short version for anybody not wanting to actually read the whole thing

  184. I. Moan Flow says:

    I do judge men who behave in a sexist manner and then when it is pointed out to them, instead of backing down and apologising, start firing back. I don’t think it’s fair to characterise that as judging every little thing.

    You judged this man by reading my mind and deciding what I “really” meant, then when I tried to set the record straight you called that “firing back.”

    Why should I apologize? I have done nothing to apologize for.

  185. Kiuku says:

    Dude this guy is one step away from Baumeister and one post away from “women are complicit in ‘their rapes’.”

  186. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    I thought these links might be helpful for anyone struggling with the concept that the meaning of words is dependent upon the context in which they are used:

    http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=context

    http://books.google.com/books?id=eS8YyRQD57EC&pg=PA87&lpg=PA87&dq=meaning+of+words+depending+on+context&source=web&ots=IueHUky0nL&sig=gEcZCQakrwtGoeS7fsynGwAxiH4&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result

    http://www.davidmontero.net/LgTeachingFiles/Traduction/semantics.pdf

    The last one is a PDF so I’ll quote a bit: “Words cannot be separated from their context. Words are not separate entities, they are given a particular meaning or twist depending on the context in which they are used.
    Variations in meaning of words offer a wide range of variations, which depend on the context. For instance: concrete vs. abstract meaning.”

  187. I. Moan Flow says:

    I wanted to return to the sad story of myiq2xu

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen misandry and misogyny coming from the same person before.

  188. Kiuku says:

    I guess misandry can be mistaken for Feminism sometimes. I’m taking the liberty to rename MyIq’s post to:

    “Why women should be held responsible for the things that they make men do.”

    or

    “A slut by any other name”

    or..

  189. myiq2xu says:

    Misogynist women can be saved but men will never get it.

    Misandry

    Let me know how it work out for you.

  190. Kiuku says:

    Oh my my poor victim.

    Look all of this seems to be the unfortunate result of the fact that the media; what the media decided to focus on was the fact that F’s new girlfriend posed in maxim. Nothing new there with regard to what the media decides to highlight. That doesn’t mean Feminists should focus on that. That doesn’t mean that what Favreau did somehow makes women culpable because a woman is dating him, and that is probably the MRA message the media wants to put out..that men only do this because women still have sex with them or that women somehow have this magic power to stop the Patriarchy and they are “Equally responsible”. There is nothing new about pitting women against women and which women are the good women and which women are the bad women. We all live in the Patriarchy.

    Valerie Solanas was a prostitute.

  191. Kiuku says:

    Yes this:

    ” Women can be really judgmental of every little thing”

    is a caricature of women created and produced in the misogyny factory. He/she is basically using the women are shrill harpies or nags who need to STFU already caricature.

  192. Kiuku says:

    The truth is that women aren’t “judgemental of every little thing” any more than men are, and perhaps even less because of oppression, but rather it is a perception that is wrong which is used to invalidate perfectly valid points and problems that a woman may have with something.

    Oh give it a rest!

  193. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    Valerie Solanas was a prostitute.

    And Arnold Schwarzenegger was a pornstar and a governer.

    And while we’re assessing whether this woman’s actions were up to our standards of innocence or not, thousands (and thousands) of hours of porn/women have been downloaded, consumed, and thrown away.

  194. Carmonn says:

    “As I’ve mentioned before, the reason for showing the photo is that she’s part of the story and the photo proves that the information in the story is true. It’s not like Maxim isn’t getting more hits than TC or TGW.”

    What “story”? There is absolutely no reason for a site like TC to be “covering” the fact that Jon Favreau has a girlfriend and that this girlfriend posed in Maxim. Who cares? Why do I need to know that? If the point is not to belittle and ridicule her, what is the point? Is this part one in a series keeping us informed about the personal lives of every member of Obama’s team? As far as I can tell from my reading comprehension skills, the point is “why am I not surprised” that someone as disgusting as Favreau would be dating someone who posed in Maxim, and that one needs “the right assets” to get a job. Now if you can explain to me how that’s not implying that this woman is both a slut and a bimbo, then I’ll give you a million dollars. I don’t recall any pictures of Palin in a bathing suit in a pageant at TC, even though that was “a story”–and the bathing suit photo would have been proof of this important and relevant story.

  195. Laurie says:

    I find a lot of spin in the way people are gratuitously shaming myiq and gxm (for defending him) on this site.

    It’s almost as if the foto was a fake, had been photoshopped, was a limited edition of a college rag.

    Did she or did she not pose for a foto for Maxim’s-
    a magazine notoriously used by men to masturbate off? A magazine furthermore that sells millions of copies.

    Does that make her an innocent young model in lingerie? or does it make her a a slut? No-it makes her an opportunist.
    And the point was that she is just another opportunist swimming in the (patriarchal)fishbowl that is the White House.

  196. Astraea says:

    Okay, now I know myiq is full of it, as is anyone who takes “misandry” seriously.

  197. Astraea says:

    And even if we take out the word “slut,” myiq and others were still shaming Ali Camopoverdi, and that is not feminist.

    No one has yet answered this question: why is it okay to shame Campoverdi for being an attractive woman who once posed in Maxim, but it’s recognized as sexist when people use Palin’s time in pageants and her attractiveness against her?

  198. tinfoilhattie says:

    Kiuku rocks. That is all.

  199. Dasiy P says:

    Well you know, first, you put the blame on the ones who suffer, (you know, like all good abusers), get the victims to internalise it, and hey presto, you can then start sexualising the depression and suicidal feelings (see link below) induced thereof (I believe Lily Allen has a song out which is a wry comment on expectations of girls now… out at the moment called “The Fear” which is a good comment on culture today – but Americans will not realise, in the lyrics when she says, “I look at the Sun, then look in the mirror” she is talking about the tabloid newspaper in the UK, which helped kick off the original sexualisation of culture by publishing a nearly naked, sexualised woman every day since the 60′s, exposing whole generations of little boys and girls to the non-verbal message it conveys).

    Google her song “The Fear lyrics Lily Allen”.

    But don’t blame the effectsof this on men and their insatiable desire to subjugate women with all the differnt methods in culture now, the obviousness of the sexualisation of females being one of the main ones. I’ll stop now before I blow up.

    http://www.asylum.co.uk/2009/01/16/suicide-girls-show-us-their-tats-in-new-book/

  200. yttik says:

    In order to accept the concept of slut shaming, I would have to subscribe to the whole patriarchal concept of sluts. I do not. I completely reject the whole concept.

    And yes indeed women learn to be hypercritical of each other under the patriarchy. Look at this thread, people are accusing one poster of being a man, another poster of not being a feminist, there are accusations of misandry, misogyny, and slut shaming.

    I’m curious, because I believe women are not equally responsible in the patriarchy because women do not have free and equal choices. So if that is true, why are we saying that women are the ones responsible for this alleged slut shaming? It makes no sense to me that Capoverdi is regarded as a victim of the patriarchy, however anybody that criticizes her is viewed as 100% responsible for any alleged slut shaming?

    So if I pose in my undies I’m just another casualty of the patriarchy. But if I complain that Favreau’s opinion of women appears to be two dimensional, from cardboard to magazine spreads, I’m suddenly responsible for his attitudes and any potential shame any of his victims may feel? Well, I reject that too.

  201. gxm17 says:

    Dismissing women who find the word “slut” offensive is a very sexist, patriarchally-correct thing to do.

  202. qaz says:

    “Women must be held accountable for their conduct just like men. That’s part of the “equality” thingie. ”

    Often women are held accountable for their own actions as well as men’s bad behavior.

  203. Astraea says:

    In order to accept the concept of slut shaming, I would have to subscribe to the whole patriarchal concept of sluts.

    Um, no. You would have to acknowledge that there is a patriarchal concept of sluts, which we are trying to ridicule, not subscribe to.

  204. RKMK says:

    What “story”? There is absolutely no reason for a site like TC to be “covering” the fact that Jon Favreau has a girlfriend and that this girlfriend posed in Maxim. Who cares?

    Exactly. It was gossip – mean-spirited vacuous gossip – not a post of any real political substance. myiq2xu was grasping at straws for any reason – any reason at all – to talk about how awful Obama and Favreau are, and Campoverdi and her underwear merely served as an opportunity to do so.

    Aaah, such awesome blaming from Anne & Sis & Carmonn & Toonces — balm for the weary feminist’s soul!/i>

    For serious, I’m swooning over here.

  205. gxm17 says:

    yttik, my previous comment (199) was not directed at you. Just want to clarify that since it came right after your comment and might be misconstrued as a response to you.

  206. tinfoilhattie says:

    Daisy P, yours is not the only feminist head exploding here. If that’s any comfort.

  207. Joanelle says:

    I was recently involved in a stituation at work that is a fine example of how the attitude of Toonces, Carmonne, Anne, etc. hurts women – what you’ve been putting out there is the belief that women are not complicit in antifeminist sexism or misogyny – two young women were complaining in our office about the fact that their salaries are less than their male counterparts but were unwilling to acknowledge that there is, in actuality, a “marble” ceiling not the glass one we thought we could break through. When we pointed out to them that we needed to support each other and call it what it is, they were unwilling, saying it would sound too negative and other women might not like it.
    So our only conclusion was that they were perfectly willing to continue to “swim” in the patriarchal environment, and not educate other women or men.
    Myiq’s comments are on the money – and clearly you can’t see the forest for the trees – we all make decisions every day – and we have to live with the consequences of those decisions.
    A “victim” is someone who didn’t make the decision but had it made for him/her. Clearly Ms. Campoverdi decided to “look sexy.”
    There no doubt are many other women more qualified than she is, but if you really deny that the picture had something to do with her being hired you are delusional and not living a reality-based life.
    Somewhere along the way she decided to use her body – what people think of her is part of the society we live in and as long as we support the patriarchy there will be little boys and girls, men and women making decisions they think will make those in power happy.
    We are talking about an incredible shift being necessary – this year’s election was a great example of that – even with all the hate exhibited that we have seen throughout the years towards African Americans the MSM and people in general were more willing to elect an African American than a woman. Two experienced women were vilified and ridiculed in the public eye – you didn’t have to like either of them to recognize that it was “women” they didn’t want. So we ended up with a president with little experience when compared to both of those women – apparently his race didn’t matter anymore because he is a man and that is still the bottom line.

  208. anne says:

    Funny how you blame those young women rather than the men who decided to pay you less than your male counterparts, Joanelle. Why don’t you think about that for a while before you start talking about who is hurting women because I’d say the men who *choose* to pay you less are doing a lot more damage than young women who may not feel brave enough to stand up to them given that their livelihoods would be on the line.

    myiq’s comments were standard sexism from a man who is completely unaware of his privilege and gets very angry when it is pointed out to him. I can’t believe the number of women willing to rally round him.

  209. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    What attitude of mine, exactly?

    When was the last time I wore make-up? When was the last time I had sex? How old am I? What are my views on pornography? What is my profession? Have I ever worked in the sex-industry?When was the last time I was willing to let sexism just float-by unchecked, especially by the man I’ve been criticizing for the past 6+ months (and being called a racist for doing so) for riding the misogyny train all the way to the White House?

    If you cannot answer any of these questions, for the sake of all of us and feminism’s future, please re-think your assumptions, thanks.

    P.S. What if Ms. Campoverdi had just been a cheerleader in college? Do we know if Mr. Favreau dated any? How about strippers? That would probably make him look even worse, y’all!

  210. Kiuku says:

    I completely disagree that it was her picture that got her hired. This is sexism. This is dismissing a woman’s achievements and merits. This is not unlike what happened to Palin. She’s only Governor because she’s so hawt.

    It must be her picture in Maxim that had something to do with her being an aide in the White House and not, for instance, graduating from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Modeling may have spring boarded her career in film, but I doubt her being a finalist on the apprentice and her master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School of Government had anything to do with her current employment.

    If anything she is underemployed. This kind of thing, posing in a men’s magazine, rarely helps a woman in positions of respect, and will be something she has to move away from, but not necessarily denounce. There is no reason it should preclude her from anything.

    And even if it did “have something to do with” her getting hired, you can’t blame her for getting employed in the Patriarchy.

  211. anne says:

    I’ve been an anti-pornography feminist for about 15 years now and have taken a huge amount of flack for it over that time. I really resent someone jumping on that bandwagon in order that he can have a pop at a man he is opposed to without bothering to think what being against pornography actually means. If myiq was opposed to pornography there is no way he’d have posted that picture twice or even once for that matter and he certainly wouldn’t have invited people to judge her the way he did. He’d understand the effect it would have on that young woman being put on public display like that, and on the other women seeing it and yet again being reminded that our place in the patriarchy is as objects to be ogled and judged by men. There are many men who are quite happy to get their kicks from porn whilst simultaneously decrying the women who appear in it as sluts – in fact that’s the whole point of the exercise, to degrade women in every way possible. I even saw someone (a woman unfortunately) claiming that this young woman “objectified herself” as if the men who photographed her, the men who published her and the men who consumed her picture had absolutely nothing to do with the process.

    I wish everybody who doesn’t understand these dynamics would read Violet’s post again. Maybe it will sink in better a second time around.

  212. Joanelle says:

    you’ve totally missed the point

  213. Astraea says:

    There no doubt are many other women more qualified than she is, but if you really deny that the picture had something to do with her being hired you are delusional and not living a reality-based life.

    Do you know all of her qualifications? Can you cite any the in-depth profiles which discuss anything about her other than focusing on her modeling with an aside about her education? Where have we heard from her other than quotes from a 5 year old Maxim profile?

    It is sexist to suggest that that is all there is to her.

  214. RKMK says:

    No, Joanelle. You have.

  215. sister of ye says:

    When we pointed out to them that we needed to support each other and call it what it is, they were unwilling, saying it would sound too negative and other women might not like it.

    Of course, a good response could be something like, “We know it’s hard to buck the system and sometimes other women aren’t the help you wish they were. But we’ll stand behind you if you want to fight the situation. Here’s some ideas on how you can approach your supervisors. And we’ll catch your back if others start getting down on you.”

    (My apologies if you actually did say something like that, but it didn’t come across that way in what you related.)

    Wish I had a dollar for every time someone gave me advice (i.e., a lecture) on How To Straighten Out My Life without any sort of offer to help. It’s like giving someone who’s drowning a list of places they can learn to swim instead of a damn life preserver.

  216. anne says:

    If the point is Violet’s original blog post, which I guess is what this thread should be about then it’s you who has missed it Joanelle. Can I suggest politely that you read it again.

    Arguing that a woman who has graduated from the Kennedy School of Government (very, very prestigious) and was politically active in a circle that has just taken up residence in the corridors of power, could only have got her job because of an old photograph taken of her taken five years ago is sexist and disrespectful to her accomplishments. This idea that women use their bodies to climb the greasy pole is bizarre given how ineffective it appears to be. If it was an effective tool then she should be Obama’s speechwriter, not the assistant to a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Whitehouse. She’s hardly in with the big boys in that position.

    I’m pretty sure Favreau got his job because he’s pretty however, although that’s probably a side issue. Maybe that’s what everybody is subconsciously thinking when they decry Ms Campoverdi. She’s the token woman getting it in the neck so that people can avoid noticing what is blindingly obvious -. that Favreau is seriously underqualified for his position and his speeches were at best mediocre. Asking why he got his job is probably a taboo question though.

  217. gxm17 says:

    And what do you do when someone who is drowning won’t accept the life preserver… and tries to drown you along with them when you jump in to save them?

    How far are you willing to take this line of logic ? Are the women who perform female genital mutilation innocent victims of the patriarchy too? Are we not allowed to question and denounce their behavior?

  218. Kiuku says:

    All that b.s in the pink media about women being “too meager” to ask for more money and that is why they are paid less is B.S. The women I know in my field are paid about 20k less a year than the men. They do negotiate. They do ask for more, but they are told that that is the limit and it doesn’t budge. Take it or leave it.

    Joan the truth is that the women have a very good reason not to make waves. It gets you fired. Things that make you unpopular at work get you fired eventually. You can’t very well all ban together and demand more money. You can individually go to court, but unfortunately up until now the courts have not been favorable to women in pay discrimination suits.

    They are right.

    So you can’t blame the women for not doing what you think will remedy the situation but in reality will get you fired. I hope that we can pass more fair pay legislations because that is the only thing that is going to stop this, not women being more assertive or getting the man genes! (not a reference to your post but to Evolutionary Psychology’s blaming of women for earning less)

    They are right to be wary.

  219. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    Joanelle, the point is not whether you think this woman’s actions are okay in the context of a woman-hating, porn-saturated society or not. The point is why/how do we even know about them? The point is that by focusing on her to smear Jon, what does that make us? Where does it get us?

    Hillary never took the bait and put-down Sarah Palin, despite pressure from so-called progressives. Any woman living in this world knows why (at least on some level) — because she could be or has been in the position of the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Woman for being who she is or choices she has made that don’t fit someone else’s idea of what the right type of woman-bot should do, or in fact for no reason at all.

    Understanding of feminist theory is important for the figureheads of feminism, even on blogs, because it seeks to blame the system rather than the victims. It says women shouldn’t be painted as bad for being human, for doing things men can get away with, for living their lives as if they are their own to live.

    Again, by focusing on Ms. Campaverdi rather than the pornconomy, or the fact that men are never taken to task for buying these mags we’re shooting ourselves, and her, in the foot. There are so many other, much more important things feminists (of all stripes) could be talking about, like the generation of young men who have been trained since before puberty to only know sex as being like what they see in hardcore/violent porn.

    By using and dehumanizing this latest Scandalous Woman to “prove” that Obama’s administration is sexist in its hiring practices, we’re still disappearing her humanity and her accomplishments, just like Maxim seeks to do.

  220. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    Dismissing women who find the word “slut” offensive is a very sexist, patriarchally-correct thing to do.

    gxm17, I’m sorry you find irony and sarcasm difficult to understand. Do you think it’s fair to ask that everyone in the world stop using it to accommodate you?

  221. gxm17 says:

    Toonces, and I’m sorry that you don’t understand that insults disguised as “support” are offensive.

    Here’s the link I posted earlier. I guess it’s easier to get men to drop the derogatory language than women.

    ThoughtsAboutRespect

    From the linked article:
    How does one get respect if they don’t get it automatically by having status, power, or money? This is what I try to do in my life:
    1. Respect myself: People learn how to treat us based on how they see us treating ourselves. If we disrespect ourselves, people learn that it’s okay if they disrespect us.
    2. Expect respect from others: We all deserve to be treated with a basic level of respect and dignity, simply for being.
    3. When disrespected, ask for respect: Sometimes we have to interrupt people’s bad habits, even reeducate, and it’s hard to do, but most of the time, people comply and they may even have more respect for you. Of course be respectful, and long explanations are not necessary. In fact, no explanation is necessary. Just ask for the behavior to stop.
    4. Respect the women in my life: Treat other women the way you want to be treated.
    5. When I hear a man or a woman disrespecting a woman, such as by calling her a hateful or disparaging name, request that they cease: It’s not so hard, especially if you practice. I tried it today on a colleague who referred to a woman we deal with as a bitch for no good reason at all. I asked him to stop. I didn’t ask him why he’s doing it, just asked him to stop, and he did.

  222. tinfoilhattie says:

    gxm17, what you refuse to see or believe is that nobody you’re scolding so vigorously is calling Ms. Campoverdi a slut.

    If I wrote about a Rush Limbaugh screed in which he blasted women for being strong, having jobs, refusing to back down from men, and I labeled it “feminazi bashing,” would you insist that it was I, and not Limbaugh, who was painting the women as “feminazis”? Because if you would, you really don’t understand irony and how it’s applied. Plaase stop telling other people how to use a literary device that you don’t understand, or that you refuse to acknowledge, and insisting that said literary device is the cause of feminism’s downfall.

    Attack the argument. Explain how posting a photo of a woman dressed in her underwear and captioning the accompanying article “Why Am I Not Surprised,” with this as part of the post: “It seems that chief Obama speechwriter Jon ‘The Groper’ Favreau has found a love connection with Ali Campoverdi, a former lingerie model for Maxim magazine” and “And we were worried that President Obama wasn’t hiring enough women. I guess you just need to have the right assets”

    is NOT implying that this woman is a cheap, trampy type of woman that Jon Favreau, misogynist asshole extraordinaire, would of course have for a girlfriend.

  223. Astraea says:

    We have not insulted Campoverdi. Just because you keep saying it doesn’t make it true.

    5. When I hear a man or a woman disrespecting a woman, such as by calling her a hateful or disparaging name, request that they cease:

    This is exactly what we did. We thought myiq was disrespecting Ms. Campoverdi and we asked him to stop. Great feminist that he is, he refused to listen.

  224. RKMK says:

    OMFG. gxm17, you really seem to be having trouble grasping this concept. “Slut-shaming” is a term feminists use to describe how sexists and misogynists shame women for exercising their sexuality.

    For example: http://thecurvature.com/2008/09/08/purity-rings-because-not-everyone-wants-to-be-a-slut/

    Hmm. Maybe a better response would have been something about how it’s not bad to wear promise rings because . . . I don’t know, everyone gets to make their own choices? Sexual choices are personal and we all have a right to them? Because the Jonas Brothers (to the best of my knowledge) aren’t trying to push their beliefs on anyone else? Or maybe even something more witty like “Russell, leave the Jonas Brothers’ purity rings alone, and I’m sure that they won’t pass comment on that haircut.”

    I don’t know. It might have been a better, more mature, less puritanical and more feminist defense than “oh yeah, well at least I’m not a slut.” Especially because regardless of how much she qualifies her statement by adding “guys” in there, “slut” is still a highly misogynistic term. And our goal shouldn’t be to make it an equal opportunity sexual insult.

    This is, of course, the real problem with purity rings. It’s not the personal commitment to virginity. It’s that instead of being some kind of personal reminder to that commitment, as they are supposed to be, purity rings tend to be more of an “I’m better than you” social statement. You see, I haven’t got the slightest problem whatsoever with virginity and celibacy when made as a free and personal choice, until that is people who are virgins and/or celibate try to rub their choices in the faces of the rest of us as proof of how very evolved they are, and how the rest of us are all sex addicts with no self respect, humping each other on a one-way train to hell.

    (And honestly, I have difficulty holding it personally against 18-year-old Sparks when she probably went through abstinence-only education that compares not vowing virginity until marriage to being a used piece of tape. I hold it against the authority figures who feed this stuff to teenagers, and will only really hold it against Sparks personally if she’s still spouting this crap after living a few years in the adult world and being exposed to different ideas.)

    This is all very simple, but clearly it bears repeating: Not wearing a purity ring does not make one a “slut.” Having sex does not make one a “slut.” And “slut” is a term that we should abolish anyway, because it serves no purpose other than shaming people — particularly women — for their sexual choices. Condemning other people’s sexual choices in order to defend your own is always in bad taste — no matter what those sexual choices are.

    Do you really think Cara was calling anyone a slut there?

  225. Lisa says:

    you mean myegox10?

  226. AM says:

    The tenor of this, for RL, lengthy discussion brings up for me conversions taking place at 3 am after two days and nights on speed. Other than that, I have nothing to say.

  227. Lisa says:

    yeah… I feel like we are all just kinda hangin out on the front steps waiting for Violet to throw us something new. (:

    (not pushing, you take your time Violet, just being silly)

  228. Carmonn says:

    “There no doubt are many other women more qualified than she is”

    Uh huh. That could be said of anyone, you know? It’s likely that I am not the absolute most qualified person to hold my job. If we scoured the entire world, we could probably find many more qualified people. That pretty much applies to everyone, seeing as how we don’t live on Pure Meritocracy Planet. But we seem to be assuming she’s not qualified at all for a pretty low level position (ever watched the West Wing? She would pretty much be Donna, not exactly on track for much of anything), even with the extremely low bar set by the Obama administration. And why is that? Because she doesn’t share the basic qualifications of others who have held her position? No, she has a degree from the John F. Kennedy school of government at Harvard University. Because we can see she’s performing poorly when compared to her colleagues? No. It’s because we looked at her photo from 5 years ago when she was on a different career path and decided with no evidence whatsoever that she absolutely must be a moron, bimbo, and slut who uses sex to get what she wants.

    I mean, I guess I have to congratulate you on your honesty, Joanelle, because you at least came right out and said what everybody else tried to deny and deny–but still, THAT’s women being complicit in antifeminist sexism and misogyny, and that’s holding us back. Sarah Palin was villified for the exact same reason this woman is being villified, because she’s a woman and therefore we have to assume that she’s a completely unqualified bimbo and slut, and McCain picked her because they’re having an affair, she got elected Governor because she showed some cleavage, whatever. It’s always the same. I’m pretty sure Ms. C presented her resume with her Harvard creds at her job interview rather than offering the interviewer a lap dance, but it doesn’t matter, somehow this 5 year old picture explains how she has a job. Every woman who’s ever accomplished anything is surrounded by rumors that she was only promoted because she slept with the boss. So let’s keep telling ourselves that flinging completely unecessary and gratuitous sexist crap at other women and backing up men when they do it is feminism, and with all the crooks and incompetents Obama’s filling his administration with, let’s find some low level female flunky and make an issue out of her credentials, because THAT’s the story. Geightner never posed in his undies.

  229. CoolAunt says:

    - A 5-year old boy doesn’t like strawberry ice cream because it’s pink and “pink is for girls.” Free agent?

    - A 12-year old boy starts calling girls bitches and hoes because that’s how rappers talk. Free agent?

    - A young man celebrates his 21st birthday by going to a strip club with his friends because, as everyone knows, it’s a time-honored rite of passage. Free agent?

    So, the male avoids the shameful-because-it’s-for-girls (and being a girl is the worst thing to be) pink, verbally abuses females by calling them hos and bitches, and then graduate to sexually exploiting females who are put on display for the pleasure that demeaning women brings them by other woman-hating males.

    The female, on the other hand, will always be the shameful creature called “girl,” will, without her consent, be insulted by verbally abusive males who insist it’s their right to call her a bitch and a ho because that’s what she is, and will sexually exploit her (or at least her kind) because it’s their right of passage to do so (and continue to do so until death, if they choose).

    Then, to top it all off, she’ll be expected to empathize with and feel sorry for males because the patriarchy requires that the poor guys despise, insult, and exploit her from cradle to grave.

    sarcasm on/ Yeah, you guys are the real victims, the truly oppressed under the patriarchy. /sarcasm off

    If, upon reflection, you don’t regret posting such a stupidly misogynist message, feminism really doesn’t need you.

  230. CoolAunt says:

    gxm17 says:

    And your assumptions are dead wrong. Most people were commenting on how attractive the young woman is. But, oddly enough, even though that’s a part of the lie—a big part of the lie—that point doesn’t seem to interest the self-described feminist experts, the ones constantly screaming at me to “TAKE FEMINISM 101.” As inured as our society has become to the seemingly endless image parade of women in their underwear I doubt that many people thought of the s-word upon seeing that photo. Unless, that word was “smokin’.” But as far as I’m concerned the outfit the young woman is wearing in the photo is the American version of the burqa.

    So, most judged her favorably. The point is that she was put upon display for men to judge and rate on the scale of fuckability. This is what men do to women in the patriarchy, usually individually on the streets and sometimes, like this time, in large numbers via the media.

    Whether women rate her to be fuckable to men or not, neither Maxim nor men care, just so long as women judge her to be a good or bad woman for having posed. That keeps our focus on one another and therefore off of men and the right granted to them by the patriarchy to judge and rate women on the fuckability scale. Most likely without realizing it, you just shared your ratings of fuckable and good woman with us. It’s hard to buck the patriarchy and its teachings.

  231. yttik says:

    Have you ever heard anybody in the patriarchy say, you’re stupid and the patriarchy doesn’t need you? Nope, many men grow up learning gender loyalty.

    If women continue to attack each other we’re going to remain divided and powerless.

  232. Dasiy P says:

    With feminism, it’s best to keep it simple…the concept of feminism is not complicated.

    As for “free agency”, I would like to make a simple analogy.

    Say you are a prisoner in a concentration or a prisoner of war camp, or even a mental health facility, through no fault of your own, just for being in the wrong place or the wrong time, or both, or for the other obvious reasons.

    So, you knuckle down, follow the rules, keep your head down,and pretend you are being a good prisoner in order to not set yourself up for any shit (which may just happen anyway if the guards are feeling in the mood).

    Why, if you are there long enough, you might even start believing that it’s safer there. You lose track of what it’s like to be free. You may convince yourself that, well, you have made friends, there is a sort of mateyness amongst the other inmates, a bonding.

    But….Initially, you may have colluded like fury to get out, to escape, all the time pretending to play their game.

    But disagreements arise as to the best way forward…some just are resigned, fights happen, and the authorities that rule the group just love it because all the fighting uses up so much energy, that the prisoners forget the basic original focus of escape. Some even become tired of fighting about the best way to escape, and give up. The authorities have it all sewn up…divide and conquer. Divide and Conquer. Remember that.

    Eventually, you may give up, go into denial, and call it security, as you know nothing else.

    This is not a precise comparison, but we are at the point where, there are feminists old enough to know that being naked and sexualised is not empowering, and the ones young enough to have bought the bullshit that it is. The older ones, and even some of the more enlightened younger ones who have not had a lifetime of misogyny to draw on, nor seen the evolution of just how degenerated women’s place in the world has become, and yet can still see what is going on, will just have to keep the fires burning of the original SIMPLE basics of feminism.

    So, there will be a transition period, but there does have to be a point where the women who know nothing else, haved lived no other way than to be objectified and oppressed, will be made aware of what freedom from this oppression might feel like, and then they can see the reasoning and have their eyes opened.

    How bad does it have to get before this happens? It’s already so bad that the truth is harder and harder to face, and in direct proportion, the denial becomes greater, and the bigger the problem, and more difficult to deal with, the more fearful it becomes to address it. And, bearing in mind just how badly the male-dominated world came down on fems in the 60′s-70′s, no wonder women are afraid,

    A smaller comparison would be a woman in an abusive relationship. She’s too afraid to fight back, as the man is always stronger.

    But at some point, personal responsibility will have to be an issue, and the fact is, that ultimately, someone is either part of the problem, or part of the solution.

    There are no easy answers, just have to keep shouting the truth and trying to change the cultural shit that women have to deal with every day.

    I really am going to explode soon.

  233. anne says:

    Agree with everything Carmonn said in no. 228. Also women better qualified than Ms Campoverdi would probably be applying for more senior jobs than lowly assistant, or maybe assistant is what all us ladies really aspire to. There are probably lots of women better qualified than Jon Favreau too, but again he’s not getting villified for being a pretty boy, he *must* have got his job on merit not his looks, musn’t he?

  234. Dasiy P says:

    ps….I do include men in that above…especially so.

    You know, men could have changed their mind set years ago if they wanted. They just haven’t because they don’t have to, and it suits them just fine to not do it.

    Most men I’ve known know exactly how to manipulate a female, they know exactly which buttons to push, and how to play on her insecurities, which have been put in place by their patriarchal rules in the first place.

    Women who believe that feminism is male-defined are deluded, as are men who think they can re-define feminism and sell it back to us. Bollox

  235. Kiuku says:

    Here’s a question:

    To what extent does the male’s inability to recognize or see through his privilege deprive him of agency in the Patriarchy?

    Men cannot see their privilege in the Patriarchy. That is why they often think women, in their oppression, have it better than men somehow. It fuels their hatred for women. How do they think they are the victim and oppressed like a well-dressed rich kid crying on the floor in a tantrum?

    I don’t think this deprives a man of his agency in the Patriarchy because I think the determiner of free agency is having choices. The only thing a man could argue that would take away agency is fear of social repercussions. If he doesn’t go to the strip club, revel in the oppression of women, and dehumanize women the other men will call him a gay and he won’t be popular or he might get physically assaulted by the men.

    At 12 years old does the male realize that he is the center of attention and that he is going to grow up to be a “man” and that women should be inferior to him in the natural order of things as told to him by the patriarchy? Yes.

    At 12 years old is anyone a free agent? No.

    But once a male reaches adult hood he is a free agent by virtue of having choices. Women, as a group, do not have choices. Some women by virtue of economic standing independent of men can have choices. But women’s choices are taken away from them by men. Men may experience social pressures but that by no means deprives them of the liberty that they enjoy. To the extent that Patriarchal brainwashing spoils men into an intellectual oblivion is entirely beside the point. It’s just so difficult to be an oppressor.

    Men have proven that they cannot handle government. Men cannot handle economy. Men are oppressors. White men oppress spanish men. Black men oppress spanish men. White men oppress black men. All men oppress all women. When money gets into the hands of a man it is spent on drugs and oppressing women and prostitution vacations to exploit young children. Men spend roughly 20%- 40% of their paychecks on leisure activities which exploit others. Men’s economy, what men do with money, fosters oppression, destructiveness, destroying the environment, killing, war, kidnapping slavery. Every single man is responsible for this. Often times do not support families. Women on the other hand use their economy, which is always less than men, to support themselves, their families and to create a better world for people.

  236. AM says:

    Kiuku says at 235:

    “Men have proven that they cannot handle government.”

    Yes, over and over and over again. Might makes right under patriarchy.

    It occurred to me a couple of nights ago while drifting off to sleep that we need a public presence of the concept ‘matriarchy’ which is as fulsome as the public presence of the concept ‘patriarchy’.

    I mean lets crow loud and long about the benefits of the matriarchal way, more woman centered than male centered. Full bore advertising campaign. It’ll be fun. We can spin along like mad, beat them at their own game.

    Never mind that we will be bashed from all sides, we are now anyway. The thing is, we will be taking important steps toward the kind of visualization that necessarily precedes actualization.

  237. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    Obviously the word slut is painful for women. That’s the whole point. Why is it so painful? What (unwritten and often contradictory) rules does the person using it seek to enforce? Did I agree to having those rules being placed on me? Do I agree to feel shame about not following said rules or not following all of them well enough? Do I think women’s sexuality is a bad thing? Have I been brainwashed to view sexual (or poor, or minority-race, or blonde, or tall, or loud, or quiet, or confident, or ambitious, or friendly, or pretty, etc. etc. etc.) women in a certain way? Has there ever existed a woman who was good enough to escape the hurtful labels? Do I think of myself as fully human? What about the other words used against me, like bitch, cunt, nag, witch, bimbo, cold, selfish, etc? Are they ever used in “good faith” or are they used to control me? Why?

    See, I don’t know how one can be a feminist and not question those things, which is why I think we all need to learn about the way the system works and where it came from to be able to change it, even if (like me) you’re just getting a Googleducation on the subject.

    Not too long ago women were property, and it’s kind of like when you buy something nice for yourself, say, a new sports car — you don’t want anyone else driving it, do you? This is where the restrictions on women’s sexuality come from. For thousands and thousands of years we have just been objects men use, for sex, for ego- or status-boosting, for cleaning, for cooking, for giving birth and raising children (we’ve been slaves, basically).

    We have been extensions of people, not fully autonomous human beings, allowed to live and make decisions for ourselves (narcissists often treat others as extensions of themselves and even today 80% of narcissists are men, just FYI).

    It is absolutely core to feminism to attempt to liberate women into being allowed to be human beings. We’re not all going to do it the same way, but we had better all try to be thoughtful and be willing to learn (especially about the system and our history) and be challenged.

    And I just want to say one last thing: if we don’t try to stop the casual sexism that is always present around us, if we don’t call people on it, if we laugh at the “funny” jokes and excuse “mistakes”, we are going to see the exact same situation (or worse) the next time a woman runs for V/POTUSA. If we don’t get the soil ready, no tree is ever going to grow here.

    When myiq posts “didya see her tits??? here, let me show you!! now we know how she got the job, eh? hahaha… assets!!” and we don’t call him on it just because we might believe he’s a feminist male or because we don’t like the woman he’s talking about, we are setting it up to be okay to use the same sexism against the next woman who runs. What if she’s pretty and has big breasts? Chris Matthews will have a whole show about whether they’re too big for her to sit at the president’s desk or whether she’s too distracting for world leaders to take her seriously and therefore should be banned from the race.

    That’s why, if we’re feminists who care about getting women elected, we have to speak up when we can and make this type of thing socially unacceptable, just like the African American and anti-racist communities did.

  238. gxm17 says:

    As I’ve stated, my personal opinion is that no one is a free agent. As pointed out earlier by another commenter, only about 1/3 of the population is able to see through the patriarchal acculturation. Should we really expect someone to reach adulthood waking up on his or her 21st birthday to a cultural epiphany? If a young woman who participates in soft porn isn’t “hurting” anybody then what is the young man who views it guilty of since no one was “hurt” and the activity is legal?

    It’s interesting that no one appears to have addressed my question about women who perform FGM. Are these women, who hold young girls down and mutilate them, innocent victims of the patriarchy too? Is the woman who sold and mutilated Long Pross innocent as well?

  239. alikatze says:

    Thanks, Violet, for clarifying what so many, many people just don’t get. I wish you’d write a book so that I could dog-ear all the pages with great quotes on them.

    Anyhoo, after reading this post and some of these comments, I feel like I should just go join one of those rigid, women-only residential utopias (big article in the NYT yesterday about one in Alabama) and banish interaction with men (& Third Wavers!) for the rest of my life.

  240. CoolAunt says:

    I apologize for posting to gxm17 that feminism doesn’t need her. I got the names/genders in this very long comments section mixed up. In my first comment to gxm17, I thought she was one of the self-described male feminists commenting here based upon the content and message of her posted comment that I was responding to. In my response to another of her comments, I knew by her comment that I was addressing another woman.

    gxm17, I apologize to you for saying that feminism doesn’t need you. I was wrong to say that and I’m sorry.

  241. Kiuku says:

    AM Good idea!

    When men view porn they realize they enjoy it because it is humiliating and degrading to women. Soft porn is also an issue since it also depicts various psychological coercion and humiliation which men get off too. Men may not realize their privilege but they do realize that they relish in the oppression of women.

    Then there is the discussion of choice in the Patriarchy which men have and women do not by virtue of their access to Economy. There is a difference between a woman’s decision to participate in pornography because she is burdened with children that in a matriarchy would be taken care of by fellow women, and she cannot find a well paying job even though she is indebted to school. The Patriarchy then ushers women into the sex class this way, by causing poverty and then providing the “escape”. This decision is much different than the mans CHOICE to buy the porn and thus pay the woman for her compliance to fulfill his enjoyment of humiliating and degrading women.

  242. CoolAunt says:

    Kiuku says:

    I don’t think this deprives a man of his agency in the Patriarchy because I think the determiner of free agency is having choices. The only thing a man could argue that would take away agency is fear of social repercussions. If he doesn’t go to the strip club, revel in the oppression of women, and dehumanize women the other men will call him a gay and he won’t be popular or he might get physically assaulted by the men.

    I don’t think for a moment that you’re implying otherwise, Kiuku, because I know that you know this, yet still I want to point out that women face more and greater social repercussions and fear of social repercussions than men do. Many times, there are repercussions whichever decision we make. For example, it’s becoming more and more common for women to be expected to go along with men, particularly their male significant others, to strip clubs. Women who won’t do this are typically labeled “prudes,” accused of being jealous, of being sexually inhibited, of being insecure in their relationships, etc. Women who go to the strip clubs are either accused of being doormats who hate going but go anyway as desperate attempt to hang onto their men or of being sexually indiscriminate sluts who love going to strip clubs. There’s also a double standard for women who work at strip clubs and women who don’t; whichever side of that divide a woman’s on, it’s indicative of her status as slut or prude, fuckable or unfuckable, etc.

    The patriarchy has it set up so that men who make the patriarchy-approved choices for men can avoid social repercussions and ridicule. But no matter what choices women make, we made the wrong choice and will face the repercussions. At the very lease, we will be ridiculed for our decisions. We’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t.

  243. Kiuku says:

    CoolAunt,

    Exactly. This set up makes women easy and always available to blame. No matter what a woman does, she is wrong and therefore there is always a reason to mock, ridicule, or blame her. The idea of blaming men is so distasteful in the Patriarchy that even women will put on their super hero costumes to defend them. They will get a few cookies and a pat on the back but then back to business as usual. A few cookies and a pat on the back is like breath for these women in oppression. \\

    The truth is women are blameless.

    Men are responsible.

  244. Kiuku says:

    My comment 241 which is in moderation further clarifies (I hope) what I think being a free agent means (not being unbrainwashed/enlightened but having choices, which requires equal access to economy and power) Men have agency.

    Even further which Coolaunt points out is the fact that women face more social restrictions in their movement/individuality. Women are not allowed individuality.

    While everyone faces social reprocussions and brainwashing, this doesn’t mean that no one has Agency. Men do.

  245. m Andrea says:

    I’ve been getting flamed all day by women who assert that no woman should be criticized for her decision to pose in a porn magazine.

    Criticism is allowed, your’s and their’s. What’s the actual assertion under dispute? Has anyone identified it clearly, yet?

    Patriarchy is a system, not a collection of men.

    Au contraire. Logic sez that an ideology, just like the flying sky god, cannot create itself. In order to blame the original cause, one must first find the original cause. Because a patriarchal ideology can not create itself, it must have been created by human beings.

    NOW we found the original cause.

    Young women who wanted to fall in love and get married were terrified of being associated with ugly, hairy feminazis

    For the record, I am drop dead fucking gorgeous. Also very logical.

  246. Sis says:

    It’s interesting that no one appears to have addressed my question about women who perform FGM. Are these women, who hold young girls down and mutilate them, innocent victims of the patriarchy too?

    ##

    Probably no one’s answered you because it’s such a no-brainer. Yes. The choices are FGM for your daughter, or death. And her death (and yours) will be slow and agonizing.

  247. Kiuku says:

    Yea there is nothing to criticize about it because there is nothing wrong with it. There is nothing wrong with her decision to pose in a men’s magazine. Men pay her to pose with money from men who buy the porn. Men tell other men that when women for instance spread’s her legs its a sign of their dominance. So they pay women to spread their legs.

    Holding women responsible for not stopping men, for refusing to be paid for pornography, or refusing to sleep with men is all the same argument and it is ridiculous.

  248. CoolAunt says:

    It’s interesting that no one appears to have addressed my question about women who perform FGM. Are these women, who hold young girls down and mutilate them, innocent victims of the patriarchy too? Is the woman who sold and mutilated Long Pross innocent as well?

    No, it’s not interesting, at least not to those of us who’ve been around feminism and the feminist blogosphere for a while. Your question is almost identical to a million other questions asked by a million MRAs who naively believe they’ve come up with something so brilliant and unique that it must surely stump the feminazis and set us on the course to rehabilitation from our man-hating ways. The truth is, however, that your question indicates that you still don’t get it.

    Firstly, we are all victims of the patriarchy. This “we” includes mothers who perform FGM on their daughters in third world countries and western mothers who put their daughters in “training” bras, teach them to walk in high heels, and purchase breast implants for them as high school graduation gifts.

    Secondly, no one here has said that victimhood is synonymous with innocence. That you have made that leap of (il)logic renders your question irrelevant, which is another reason nobody wanted to bother with it.

    Thirdly, as feminists, we’re more concerned with addressing and changing the rules of the patriarchy which dictate to third world mothers that they must perform FGM on their daughters to make them worthy of marriage, the only livelihood for women in their culture, than beating up on the mothers who live in those cultures.

    Rather than focus on the cruelty of one Cambodian woman*, we’re more concerned that pimps and johns in Cambodia have, under the patriarchy, created a local market for men who want to rape virgins and that market, due to the large customer base, can’t supply that demand without kidnapping little girls to be sold in their flesh trade. Rather than get bogged down by the fact that most of the brothels are run by women, we’re more concerned that those women were, more likely than not, once the little girls who were bought and sold into that flesh trade and who now, far, far from their virginity and girlhood, and so immersed and indoctrinated in the flesh-for-sale environment/culture, know no other way to live under the rules of patriarchy in their part of the world.

    That you so much want to prove that we should be slagging on these women just says that you still don’t get it.

    *For every woman who performs such a cruel act against another female, I can point you to ten men who did similar against women. In fact, cruelty to women by men is so common that it’s just not newsworthy anymore. Cruel women, otoh, are just rare enough to make headlines.

  249. CoolAunt says:

    Secondly, no one here has said that victimhood is synonymous with innocence. That you have made that leap of (il)logic renders your question irrelevant, which is another reason nobody wanted to bother with it.

    Let me correct myself by saying that others have, indeed, said that. That I disagree with them really doesn’t matter in this discussion about how it’s not productive to slag other women.

  250. Kiuku says:

    Anyone who proposes a version of the “hold women accountable for not stopping men”, which includes the above, is living in a fairy tale that I’m about to crack for them.

    Women only have anything to do with men for Economy. With few exceptions, women put up with their husbands for a paycheck. Men: women do not like you. You, with your dominance and acting out pornography are a bore in bed. You are a tyrant in the household and your constant criticisms, lack of interest in your female mate as anything other than a body and a servant, lack of interest in keeping up yourself make you loathesome to women. Women only put up with you because you hoard the money and the power in society.

    This isn’t because Evolution made you this way. Patriarchy made you this way. Your inability to allow women equality made you this way.

    There is no difference between the prostitute, the woman getting paid to strip, and every single woman in the Patriarchy.

  251. m Andrea says:

    Ok, the main argument appears to be whether or not it is appropiate to criticise women. The reason given for ‘no criticism’ is that females lack full agency and full choice.

    Limited agency and limited choice would seem to suggest that limited criticism and limited responsibility be appropriate.

    To assert that ‘limited’ be interpreted as ‘zero’ needs a different argument, one that disregards normal logic.

    white chocolate and raspberry truffle, yum

  252. CoolAunt says:

    mAndrea, the entire world outside of the much smaller feminist sphere takes great pleasure in criticizing women. There’s either no need for criticism of women, fully or limited, within feminism, or there’s no need for feminism.

  253. m Andrea says:

    I think myiq2xu comes across as blaming the victim, even if that’s not his intention, much like what would happen if a white person took a minority to task for the continuance of racism.

    He’s ashamed of racist pigs, so in solidarity he wants to join the anti-racist clubhouse, but he will always be an outsider peering in from the oppressor’s side. It just doesn’t sound right, when a white person criticises minorities for perpetuating racist sterotypes, and it doesn’t sound right when a man tries to criticise females in the same way.

    It’s assuming we’re achieved a level of post-racial equality where this kind of critique would merely be post-game analysis and clean-up, which is inherently insulting to all the people who are still dealing with the very damaging effects of racism. It minimizes racism.

    Apologies for being flippant earlier, I couldn’t believe it would require so many comments to find a concensus.

  254. Daisy P says:

    http://news.aol.co.uk/working-women-damaging-children/article/20090202023531172035127

    Not sure if this link will be up indefinitely…more woman blaming. I will leave you all to, probably without much effort, deconstruct the “rock/hard place” issue this article, without even meaning to, highlights. And I will leave it to you to see just how much of a conspiracy there is against the female gender by reporting such as this.

    So, women, being independent of men, is what is wrong with society and it’s children?

    Don’t blame a system which is set up to keep women, despite their heroic struggles to try anyway, economically disadvantaged. And, when they try to be independent of the men, who are mostly the reason they want to be independent, and to struggle within a system which tries it’s best to hold women down, it’s still women’s fault for trying to break free of the system, and the men who uphold it, but not blaming the men or the system, or the economics.

    To me, it has long since reached a point where the power imbalances are just so fucking obvious, and the blame being put so obviously on the wrong gender, and not being put on the system, that you just know it’s a downright conspiracy. It is amazing how others seem not to see, not to mention frustrating and infuriating.

    As for Obama, on the other thread, it’s all Dude-ocracy as usual people. Sorry, I posted a long one over on the Obama thread, and it got lost when I clicked submit. Will copy before I submit in future as this seems to happen a lot.

  255. gxm17 says:

    Sis, that’s not true. In many places where FGM has been outlawed, they’ve gone underground.

    As reported in WIN NEWS, immigrants from Africa/Middle East continue to perform the mutilations on their daughters in Europe, North America or wherever they go; in France several little girls from West Africa died as a result of mutilations done in Paris.

    SourceLink

    Here are some more links about FGM that do not mention the threat of death as a reason for performing it.

    Unicef

    WHO

    And that still doesn’t address Long Pross. There is absolutely no evidence the woman who kidnapped her or the woman who sold her as a prostitute were under the threat of death. And even if they were, isn’t there a point where we should expect women as well as men to stand up for their daughters and fight back instead of mutilating them? No, these women are not innocent victims of the patriarchy, they’re major players in it. They, literally, have blood on their hands.

    IMO, anyone who finds these women free of guilt in the horrid abuse of young girls but says a man who views soft porn (which is so ubiquitous no one can escape it) is guilty of oppression is extremely prejudiced.

    FWIW, there are many men who view male circumcision as mutilation. Which begs the question, why in a patriarchy are we mutilating infant boys? But that question opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms.

  256. votermom says:

    I’m not well-read in feminism, I only know what I’ve lived through. It makes me sad to think that my daughters might be growing up in a world where the path to a political career is through posing in their undies. (It’s already the path to a career in film, ugh).
    There’s a big need for women (and men) mentoring women, so they don’t have to volunteer to be exploited to get a break.
    (Another reason I am so happy about Paterson picking Gillibrand, and if HRC pushed for her, triply happy).

  257. anne says:

    The path to a political career is through the Kennedy School of Government and being active within a political party that has just won the election.

    It is *extraordinarily* sexist to argue that this young woman got her job because of a five year old photograph. Are you seriously arguing that she attached it to her CV when she applied for her assistant’s job votermum? I’m just astonished to hear people describing themselves as feminists doing this.

    There are plenty of sexist liars who will claim that women never achieve power on their own merits but through using their bodies. It isn’t true and there is no reason why feminists should be promoting these kind of myths.

  258. votermom says:

    No, I’m saying I worry that she is at the leading edge of a trend that pressures women to undress to get their break in their career in public service.

  259. CoolAunt says:

    gxm17 says:

    FWIW, there are many men who view male circumcision as mutilation. Which begs the question, why in a patriarchy are we mutilating infant boys? But that question opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms.

    But what about THE MENZ!?

  260. Sandra S. says:

    Votermom,

    A trend implies more than one data point. Do we have any record of multiple women posing with the intention of breaking into politics? Do we have any evidence that this woman’s big political break came as a result of her posing, rather than simply occurring Subsequent to her posing?

  261. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    Can anyone point me to all the comments claiming that doing porn or posing for men’s mags is empowering for women? Because I can’t find a damn one and I am completely lost by all the discussion in reply to these ghost comments. Maybe it’s a problem with my browser.

    Also, does anyone have a link to Campoverdi claiming that she’s a feminist or posed for feminist/empowering reasons? I can’t seem to find that either.

    As far as I’m concerned Campoverdi didn’t fail feminism, feminism failed/is failing Campoverdi.

  262. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    How pervasive is the phenomenon of men’s rights activists posing as feminists? J/W out loud.

  263. anne says:

    She’s not at the leading edge of any trend.

    Where is your evidence that they gave her the job because she posed for Maxim or whatever it was, votermum? Have all the other assistants in the White House got similar photographs on their resumes? If that’s the case then maybe you have a point.

    Why do you find it so difficult to believe that she got the job because of her degree and her political activism in the Obama campaign? If all she had on her resume was being photographed then you might (just might) have a point but what she has are education and experience that *qualify* her for being employed in the White House.

    It’s just such a fatuous claim and a sexist one.

  264. octogalore says:

    Kiuku said: “There is no difference between the prostitute, the woman getting paid to strip, and every single woman in the Patriarchy.”

    Disagree. Precision is important. We all have to compromise. But having checked two out of three boxes on your list above, there are substantive differences. We all have common experiences, but if we haven’t walked a mile in each other’s shoes, let’s not claim our situations are exactly the same.

  265. TheOtherDelphyne says:

    “Which begs the question, why in a patriarchy are we mutilating infant boys?”

    Well, the infant’s only relationship is with his mother – it’s powerful. She feeds him, clothes him, nurtures him and protects him. IMO, if a male wanted to break this powerful relationship, he might take up the feeding, clothing, nurturing and protection of the infant.

    But, if brutality is the name of the game, as I believe it is with patriarchy, then the bond would be broken by violence; sexual domination or mutilation of the child is violent. The mother has not protected the child, the child has less trust in the mother and is damaged psychologically and physically. And yes, I do believe infants are capable of feeling not only the physical pain, but the psychological one as well.

    Again, my opinion only and I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist.

  266. sam says:

    Since some women consider being paid to give handjobs prostitution and other women consider it part of being a stripper, perhaps it’s more educational to step back and see that men consider both women to be whores so the differences aren’t substantive from the POV of the people with the power to make their worldview The Worldview.

    This thread is about getting over the understandable psychological defenses that individual women employ to separate themselves from “those” women over there. We are all “those” women according to men, and that’s the perspective with more useful substance to it than drawing imaginary lines between women on the spectrum of sex class subservience.

  267. Sis says:

    Yes, what I said is true. Those women do not want their daughters to be rejected for marriage, which in their culture would be a fate worse than death.

  268. Sis says:

    If a young woman in one of the countries that has outlawed it, or in one of the counties which has not, refuses it, she will not have: marriage/husband/food/. She will be the village prostitute and raped, bludgeoned, stoned and spat upon. No man will marry her. She will die of AIDS or her injuries or starvation.

    In Canada, she will still not escape this easily, because here, the men will demand it even more, and so the women will comply. Even if she has a PhD, she will most likely have been infibulated, want a boy child. She, and her parents, most certainly do not want your brother for her husband. It will take generations. Because culture came in the luggage. Because every generation of immigrants and even into the third or fourth generation, becomes MORE of what they were at home.

    And you know what, your precious prog lefty men who are cheering you on here with your ignorance on their behest, will support Sharia and FGM and all other manner of women hating. Because women aren’t humans to them, and they are all over sympathetic to the men of those cultures.

  269. Sis says:

    Anne. Yes, this woman got her job because of her looks. Her degree was secondary. No woman gets hired only on merit, unless they’re filling some kind of quota. Sorry, that only happens with men. It has to be said, there is no good-looking woman who does not know how this goes. And it takes a lot of guts, resolve, determination, ethics and willingness to live in poverty not to use it.

  270. Sis says:

    Sorry for the peripatetic posts. I also happen to be eating peanuts!

    I meant to say: it is only men who don’t need looks to get a job, they get it on connections, sometimes coupled with basic merit.

  271. anne says:

    I disagree Sis. This is only an assistant’s job. She has connections, she has a good degree, she was in the right place at the right time, she has everything it would take to get the job yet people are saying she’s unqualified and can only have got it for the way she looks and a photograph taken five years ago (that really was a tremendous bit of foresight knowing it would help her out five years down the line – if she’s that good at telling the future they should put her in an executive position). It’s just another way of putting a woman down.

    It would probably take more guts for her not to use her degree from the Kennedy School of Government and her connections in the Obama adminstration.

    Do you think that Favreau traded on his clean-cut good looks because I do. I don’t think he got that job from a bunch of middle-aged men whose sexuality remains somewhat unclear because of his brilliant writing skills (that don’t exist). It was something else that got him that job and if he hadn’t used it he would also be employed at the level of his skills and experience the same as his girlfriend – as an assistant.

  272. Sis says:

    I haven’t said she got it because of the photo. I said she got it, in spite of her education and connections, because of her looks. I will guarandamtee there were at least 100 other applicants for the job. Minimum. They will even hire someone as lovely she she is, who has no qualifications. But I didn’t say she doesn’t. I just said, it was her looks got her the job.

    Favreau can write. I’m not saying he’s brilliant, but he’s an adequate hack. I’d hire him, and turf him for any of 100 just like him the minute he missed a deadline, or for something I wanted to be rea; not just hopey. Obama wanted someone who grew up in the ad/tv generation. One of the porny prog lefties. That’s why Favreau got it.

  273. Sis says:

    Awww no leading edge about it votermom. It was ever thus.

  274. gxm17 says:

    Sis, the women who perform FGM “surgery” do not do it out of the kindness of their hearts. They are full-fledged partners in the crime, not innocent bystanders and they have blood on their hands.

    And you still haven’t addressed the enslavement, prostitution and mutilation of young Long Pross. Look at her and tell me the woman who did these things to her is innocent.

    This entire “women can only be victims” sounds exactly like the patriarchal idea that women are helpless, mindless creatures who can’t make any decisions for themselves. Deciding one is going to mutilate or prostitute a young girl puts one in the guilty category. And no amount of IBTP will change that. These women are not only supporting “women-hating” they are performing it in a most brutal way.

    True liberation is owning one’s sins. They are, after all, one of the few things we ever truly own.

  275. CoolAunt says:

    gxm17 says:

    Sis, the women who perform FGM “surgery” do not do it out of the kindness of their hearts. They are full-fledged partners in the crime, not innocent bystanders and they have blood on their hands.

    Yes.They.Do.

    You’ve addressed Sis but too bad. I’ll risk speaking for Sis to tell you that you’ve become a bore. This has already been explained to you repeatedly as has the Pross thing. Let it go or continue to look more and more like an MRA ass with every message you post.

  276. Sis says:

    Oh our MRA is becoming very entertaining.

    “True liberation is owning one’s sins. They are, after all, one of the few things we ever truly own.”

    I see this on one of those kacky posters above a call-centre desk.

  277. octogalore says:

    Sam — this thread is about blaming women for choices made under the patriarchy. It’s not about claiming women must view ourselves as identically situated just because patriarchs do. There’s a difference between interpreting behavior through a cultural lens and appropriation.

  278. votermom says:

    Understand that I’m not blaming this kid (and she was a kid, imo) for posing in her undies. I’m in despair that this was so acceptable an option to her, that there are rags like Maxim that make such exploitation “classy”, that it’s no big deal, honestly, honey, it will just let everyone know how hawt you are. I hate that this is what my daughters are growing up in.

  279. gxm17 says:

    Actually CoolAunt, the boring people are the ones who make ad hominem attacks and consider themselves clever while consistently avoiding the topic(s) under discussion.

    I’m sorry if presenting examples of abuse perpetrated and perpetuated by women doesn’t fit into your narrow lens of the world. But, hey, that’s life.

  280. sam says:

    “It’s not about claiming women must view ourselves as identically situated just because patriarchs do.”

    I think it’s exactly about how women are more identically situated under men’s boots than they can admit, but if your feminism needs the prostitute/stripper forward slash to be a clearly demarcated line then go with what works for you; men will still appropriate all feminized beings into the global whorehouse without caring what the bitch jerking him off calls herself.

  281. CoolAunt says:

    gxm17, you’re so clever.

    Now, scurry on back to MRA land.

  282. Sis says:

    The whine is so predictable. Let it now die a natural death; ignore it.

    CoolAunt would you mosey on over to The New Agenda, and read that list?

  283. Sandra S. says:

    Why do these discussions always seem to preclude nuance?

    Toonces, I don’t think that I’ve seen any of those citations you’re looking for either. I certainly haven’t made any comments about sex work being empowering or feminist.

    However, I do really wish we could acknowledge that women in the sex industry are not necessarily either opportunistic traitors or brainwashed victims. Research has shown that the vast majority of women in the sex industry in North America are there by choice, and chose it because they can make good money doing it.

    There are not only us and them. There are not only the good women who have accepted my particular brand of feminism and those poor ignorant women out there still drowning in the patriarchy. Similarly, there are not only women who have harmed other women through willful opportunistic collusion with the patriarchy and women who are simply unaware of the patriarchy.

    In my experience, most women have some idea of the secondary status of women in our society and of the injustice of that, and try to balance that against the other things they want: relationships, family, friends, career, acceptance, safety. In my experience, most feminists have strong convictions on some issues and are ambivalent on others. In my experience, most feminists try hard to stand up for women, but can’t help but collude with the patriarchy a lot of the time. It is not some binary situation where women have either no autonomy or complete responsibility for their actions.

    Nearly everyone in this conversation understands nuance and context and gray areas. There are a lot of highly intelligent and articulate people here. I’d really like to see the understanding of nuance expressed a bit more in the discussion.

  284. CoolAunt says:

    Sis, I’m surprised about some of those sites on the list. Many of them aren’t feminist sites at all, IMO.

  285. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    I think myiq should stop blogging about feminism.

  286. Sis says:

    The name means nothing! Feminism–whatever you want it to be. Just say “I’m a feminist” and whatever you are, that’s it. There is nothing quite as versatile and empty, because it is for women, about women.

  287. HeroesGetMade says:

    Toonces – when did he start blogging about feminism? In order to start, one has to understand that oppression, by its very nature, cannot be chosen. Those born burdened with gender privilege have a choice about becoming oppressors, the oppressed do not. The first step is overcoming the obliviousness to basic realities, and it might serve him well on his journey to start out with a new moniker since this discussion has rendered it way beyond ironic.

  288. Sis says:

    “Research has shown that the vast majority of women in the sex industry in North America are there by choice, and chose it because they can make good money doing it.”

    Show me that research SandraS.

    As for nuance. Oh I’ve heard of that. I used to call it that long ago. Now I call it “lies”.

  289. anne says:

    Nuance wins you fifty points on liberal bingo.

  290. anne says:

    Funny how gxm is obsessed by the women who perform FGM but completely ignores the men (who hold all the power in those societies) who refuse to marry a woman if she hasn’t been mutilated.

    Now I can understand the reasoning for doing this to your daughter if the alternatives are what are what has been spelt out already (because there isn’t a supply of men who are happy to marry non-mutilated women), but what kind of man deliberately chooses to only have sex with or marry women whose genitals have been mutilated? Now that really is a choice. The western version would be all those boyfriends who pay for breast enlargement for their girlfriends.

    “True liberation is owning one’s sins.”

    Ew guilt trip. Icky. I notice you aren’t off preaching that to a bunch of MRA assholes who you can find on almost any other part of the web but instead are trying to manipulate feminists. I suggest if you want to use that line you pop over to Amptoons and mention it to him with regards to his porn advertising, or maybe a certain Xtian blogger needs reminding that getting married four times is not a feminist act.

    True liberation for women, as you seem to need it spelling out for you, is overthrowing the patriarchy and freeing ourselves from male oppression. Hope that helps!

  291. Sandra S. says:

    Sis,

    I’ve got to head to school, but I’ll look up the citation for you. I’m certain it was from a peer-reviewed journal, though, if that helps at all.

    Sis & Anne,

    Why is nuance such a terrible thing, which must be likened to lies and buzzwords? Is the mere suggestion that women’s experiences are not homogeneous so appalling? Is it somehow totally disingenuous to point out that women who collude with the patriarchy are generally neither guileless victims nor vicious traitors? I don’t quite see my mistake here. Please enlighten me as to where I’ve gone wrong by suggesting that the conversation might benefit from slightly less binary thinking.

  292. Sis says:

    Find me that link that tells us just how much women love to be sucking stranger’s dicks or waving their cervices in innumerable men’s faces (and thinking that’s art) or being the jerk-off fantasy for men who make you want to puke. Please do. In the meantime, here’s some reading for you. http://tinyurl.com/begglm

  293. T.I. says:

    Sandra S. claimed in #comment-23995:
    “Research has shown that the vast majority of women in the sex industry in North America are there by choice, and chose it because they can make good money doing it.”

    Sandra S. and her “research” are a pair of no-shows!

    Sis, be it ever so humble, your request will get no honest answer from Sandra S., because the “sex industry” is really a worldwide drug and slavery cartel**. They can buy, sell, control and kill a lot of girls and women.

    But Sis, they can’t stop us all. So let’s give credit to every reputable researcher who refuses to be funded by and beholden to those criminals, and who has to move mountains to gather mounds of empirical evidence from the real world in which our sisters work and live, as slaves, with precious little “good money” in their own hands, much less any real choice and consent.

    For starters, check out the Genderberg site, linked in Violet’s “Non-Blogroll” list on the left side of the page. In Genderberg’s Prostitution FAQ, “Choice” is in the very first Q&A!

    [begin quote from
    http://www.genderberg.com/phpNuke/modules.php?name=FAQ&myfaq=yes&id_cat=2&categories=Prostitution+FAQ
    "A. When prostituted women are asked if they want to leave prostitution... a recent study of street prostitutes in Toronto found that about 90% wanted to leave but could not, and a 5-country study found 92% wanted out of prostitution. [...] If prostitution were a choice there would no billion-dollar black market trade in coerced, tricked, kidnapped and enslaved people known as human trafficking.”
    [end quote]

    You’ve got a choice on what to call it. Is it really prostitution? Is it trafficking?

    SLAVERY is exactly what it looks and sounds like.

    **
    {Note}: My mere mention of the c-a-r-t-e-l is probably enough to get me ‘n’ my mouth gagged by the Ministry of Truth.

  294. anne says:

    And accusations of “binary thinking” score another twenty-five points. I’ve always thought binary thinking = bad was a good example of the concept.

    If you’re using cliched arguments Sandra in order to prevent thinking, observation and empathy rather than encouraging them, people will notice.

  295. m Andrea says:

    Sandra, when 92% of a group are going in one direction, and 8% are going in the opposite direction, that 8% is not “the middle ground”. A couple more percentage points, and we could call it an outlier. The middle ground would be a prostitute who has 100% free agency and is ambivilent about her job — which describes a group so small that it IS an outlier.

    It’s interesting that no one appears to have addressed my question about women who perform FGM. Are these women, who hold young girls down and mutilate them, innocent victims of the patriarchy too? Is the woman who sold and mutilated Long Pross innocent as well?

    gxm17, that’s because the underlying principle is identical to to the examples Violet provided and addressed in her post. A man will only marry a girlchild who has been mutilated, and men do not allow females enough opportunity to provide for themselves without a husband. Men created and enforce the system; women are merely complicit.

    The individual or group with the most agency is the one who deserves the most responsibility and blame — which would be men.

  296. gxm17 says:

    Anne, actually that argument is one I developed as an attack against patriarchy and the fallacy of ownership. Granted, it’s a very stripped down version of it. But the point being that the only thing we can leave behind are the results of our actions. If we want to take credit for the beauty we leave behind then we have to accept responsibility for the ugly we leave behind. It is either right or wrong to mutilate a child. The truth exists within and without patriarchy. And it is the person holding the razor who has the power. She can either put the razor down or she can use it to harm a child. The woman involved in the “Pross thing” had a choice. And it was her decision to enslave, prostitute and ultimately mutilate a child.

    Are the men who pay to rape a child culpable? Of course. Guilty as hell. But so is the woman who chose to sell the child. IMO that’s not something anyone gets a pass on, ever. My only reason for bringing up these horrific acts was to get away from the porn debate and see just how far some would take the idea that women are not responsible for the actions they take within a patriarchal system. It was never meant as a defense of patriarchy, quite the opposite. As I’ve said before, I find the idea that women are helpless, mindless creatures to be a very patriarchal way of thinking.

  297. Toonces The WonderSlut says:

    Isn’t it ironic that the person who can’t stand irony has become the most ironic thing about this thread?

    Women also pick up misogynistic attitudes along with men because they, too, live in a misogynistic society (that they are not in charge of and are not in the position of power to change directly) as you are so clearly demonstrating (if we are to take you at your word that you’re a woman who just can’t get over how bad feminists have made the world for men). People doing horrible things for survival is not the same thing as oppressing people so as to force them to do horrible things for survival. You clearly cannot understand the nuance of “Yes that is bad and wrong but let’s look at the bigger picture, the systemic causes of why it is happening and who is in power making reality what it is, so we can change it.”

    You’re an MRA troll whether you realize it or not, gxm17.

  298. T.I. says:

    Several days ago, I tried twice to post this with no success. Maybe the list of links I had included were too much for the spam filter. I took them out and edited the post.

    [presumably re. my Feb 4th comment #24038 on
    Genderberg's cite of Toronto prostitution study]

    m Andrea says in comment #24106 :
    “Sandra, when 92% of a group are going in one
    direction, and 8% are going in the opposite
    direction, that 8% is not “the middle ground”.“

    Whatever direction the 8% are going in, they aren’t taking it based on our notions of full consent and real choices. We’re in no position to characterize it as “opposite” to the 92% group.

    The only middle ground here is the shaky kind. Options in life for both groups fall into a narrow rut going from bad to worse.

    Similarly, to women and girls facing slavery and/or mutilation at this very moment, our debates over consent, blame and responsibility may have philosophical meaning for us but little practical use for them.

    I asked myself, if I were standing face to face with a woman who works as a cutter, what would I be able to say or do to lead her to a different decision? I would find myself on shaky ground again! I could use force or or persuasion to stop her from cutting the next girl on today’s menu, but a long-term change has to be made from within– from within her, within her peers, and within her culture.

    I’m willing to use force, when practical, in situations where women’s lives are at immediate daily risk, such as in Sudan. But there too, the long-term solution is to enable Dinka and other women to defend themselves, and yes, that means with force.

    To wrap up my seemingly disparate examples– prostitution, FGM, rape in different places– I’m recognizing force is used and justified by men for their control over oil, land, water & of course, women. We’re at a time in history when we can and should begin to use force of our own to free women and girls from the ruts of prostitution, slavery, mutilation, rape and murder. At the very least, we could be training able women in defensive tactics to provide protection to those sisters in need.

    It’s really a statement of the obvious.

  299. gxm17 says:

    Long Pross’s abuser did not need to pluck out a child’s eye for “survival.” Some people engage in horrible acts of abuse, whether they’re lacking an X chromosome or not.

    I understand and agree that effecting cultural change is important and necessary. But there is also a personal responsibility that exists within the cultural environment. You can be the woman who choses to take part in the worst abuses of your society, or you can be the woman who stands against them, or even the woman who just keeps her mouth shut and looks the other way. IMO, people who do not understand “nuances” are those who can not see the difference between the degrees of participation and perpetuation an individual choses to engage in.

    One way to “change directly” the abuses of society is to not participate in those abuses. People who participate in the sexual and physical abuse of children, male and female alike, are personally responsible for their actions regardless of the cultural fish tank.

    And please stop with the misinformation. There is nowhere that I’ve said “how bad feminists have made the world for men.” Those are your words, not mine. I have never once said that men are exempt from responsibility. My argument is that no one is exempt.

    From where I’m standing, the “slut shaming” brand of feminism (as presented in this debate across three boards) is completely swathed in patriarchal trappings. Now there’s some irony for you.

  300. gxm17 says:

    T.I., you make a very compelling argument.

    At the very least, people need to care about the lives of the women and girls who are in imminent danger, but sadly that is not the case. The idea that women’s rights are human rights is not catching on. Again and again, the notion that cultural “tradition” outweighs women’s rights allows the majority of people to look the other way.

    And we don’t even need to look outside the U.S. The acceptance of violence against women as part of the natural order is a global infection.

  301. T.I. says:

    gxm17, dare I ask which one of several points struck you as compelling?

    WRT traditions and women in my example of Sudan, the biggest “Cultural Imperialist” type of mistake would be to forget–

    1. the area’s indigenous peoples (Dinka being the largest) have unique and ancient cultures, which should be preserved and which the women and men, themselves, are struggling to maintain despite attacks by foreign imperialists

    2. the indigenous cultures pre-date Arab as well as British and other European invasions & occupations

    3. the indigenous peoples did not agree to or even draw the borders of the nation called “Sudan” which have been imposed upon them by the foreigners

    4. war crimes, including genocide, by the foreign government in Khartoum represent a clear and imminent threat to the stability of the indigenous societies and their entire region

    IOW, the indigenous rights movement is also part of this particular picture, and women have been key figures in that worldwide effort.

    gxm17 claims,
    “And we don’t even need to look outside the U.S.
    The acceptance of violence against women as part
    of the natural order is a global infection.”

    Decisions, decisions. Shall it be a global and/or internal look?

    You don’t give any specific examples. That’s OK. I’ve seen the planet already. Time to fly back home.