"In many ways, being a gay woman that is also a feminist feels like being the punchline to a bad joke. I am one of those hairy feminists. I am a lesbian: the sweater vest, sensible shoe, cat-loving kind; not the edgy-leather-and-studs-cool-haircut kind. You know, the one you trip over yourself to emphasise you’re not when the subject of your politics comes up, out of fear people think you’ve become a lavender menace. It’s sad that an ideology that concerns itself with the freedom of women from patriarchy is willing to engage in lesbophobia unashamedly."

ausfeminist:

really sick of how every 101 conversation or article about feminism is always trying to disprove stereotypes about feminists. If you want to challenge sexism, maybe you should start with asking yourself why you think its so awful to be associated with ‘unfeminine’ women and lesbians.

"

Most girls are relentlessly told that we will be treated how we demand to be treated. If we want respect, we must respect ourselves.

This does three things. Firstly, it gets men off the hook for being held accountable for how they treat women. And secondly, it makes women feel that the mistreatment and sometimes outright violence they face due to their gender is primarily their fault. And thirdly, it positions women to be unable to speak out against sexism because we are made to believe any sexism we experience would not have happened if we had done something differently.

I cannot demand a man to respect me. No more than I can demand that anybody do anything. I can ask men to be nice to me. But chances are if I even have to ask he does not care to be nice. I can express displeasure when I’m not being respected. But that doesn’t solve the issue that I was disrespected in the first place.

I can choose to not deal with a man once he proves to be disrespectful and/or sexist. But even that does not solve the initial problem of the fact that I had to experience being disrespected in the first place.

As a young girl, I wish that instead of being told that I needed to demand respect from men that I had been told that when I am not respected by men that it’s his fault and not mine. But that would require that we quit having numerous arbitrary standards for what it means to be a “respectable” woman. It would mean that I am not judged as deserving violence based on how I speak, what I wear, what I do, and who I am.

"
staff:

Tumblr Tuesday: Women’s History Month
Who Needs Feminism?All of us.
Equality for HERHealth Educational Rights (HER) has been celebrating WHM (Women’s History Month) with biographical snippets and minimalistic portraits of influential women past and present.
Women of Library HistoryName some badasses. “The Navy SEALS?” Sure. “B-613?” Maybe. “The Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association?” Fuck yes. Shout out to our Tumblarians.
Cool Chicks from HistoryChicks have been cool since forever.
Stop Telling Women to SmileAn art series letting you know that it’s not okay to tell women to smile.
Photo via Who Needs Feminism?

staff:

Tumblr Tuesday: Women’s History Month

Who Needs Feminism?
All of us.

Equality for HER
Health Educational Rights (HER) has been celebrating WHM (Women’s History Month) with biographical snippets and minimalistic portraits of influential women past and present.

Women of Library History
Name some badasses. “The Navy SEALS?” Sure. “B-613?” Maybe. “The Feminist Task Force of the American Library Association?” Fuck yes. Shout out to our Tumblarians.

Cool Chicks from History
Chicks have been cool since forever.

Stop Telling Women to Smile
An art series letting you know that it’s not okay to tell women to smile.

Photo via Who Needs Feminism?

"Collective movements for social justice do not gain traction through niceness. American women did not gain the right to vote by skipping down Pennsylvania Avenue while whistling cute songs about suffrage: they picketed, they marched, they yelled, they were arrested. Abusive partners and rapists will not be stopped by women having heart-to-hearts with their violators over coffee, because ghosts cannot talk and broken fingers cannot lift a latte. The patriarchy cannot be shattered by good vibes. In order to bring about change, old and oppressive structures must be destroyed. Destruction is not negative if what will grow from the rubble is something that will create a safer, healthier, stronger society."

Feminism is Not “The F Word” — Seventh Grove

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer said she doesn’t identify as a feminist because feminism is “too negative.” Here’s what I have to say about that…

(via wastelandbabe)

"Exploitation is real and identifiable, and fighting it makes you strong, not weak. Sexual violation is real, and it is intolerable, and fighting it makes you strong, not weak. Woman hating is real, and it’s systematized in pornography and in acts of sexual violence against women, and fighting it makes you strong, not weak."

Andrea Dworkin, “Woman-Hating Right and Left”. (via womentoadmire)

punch two men in the dicks

"

As women, when we’re children we’re taught to enter the world with big hearts. Blooming hearts. Hearts bigger than our damn fists. We are taught to forgive - constantly - as opposed to what young boys are taught: Revenge, to get ‘even.’ Our empathy is constantly made appeals to, often demanded for. If we refuse to show kindness, we are reprimanded. We are not good women if we do not crush our bones to make more space for the world, if we do not spread our entire skin over rocks for others to tread on, if we do not kill ourselves in every meaning of the word in the process of making it cozy for everyone else. It is the heat generated by the burning of our bodies with which the world keeps warm. We are taught to sacrifice so much for so little. This is the general principle all over the world.

By the time we are young women, we are tired. Most of us are drained. Some of us enter a lock of silence because of that lethargy. Some of us lash out. When I think of that big, blooming heart we once had, it looks shriveled and worn out now. When I was teaching, I had a young student named Mariam. She was only 11 years old. Some boy pushed her around in class, called her names, broke her spirit for the day. We were sitting under a chestnut tree on a field trip and she asked me if a boy ever hurt me. I told her many did and I destroyed them one by one. I think that’s the first time she ever heard the word ‘destroyed.’ We rarely teach our girls to fight back for the right reasons.

Take up more space as a woman. Take up more time. Take your time. You are taught to hide, censor, move about without messing up decorum for a man’s comfort. Whether it’s said or not, you’re taught balance. Forget that. Displease. Disappoint. Destroy. Be loud, be righteous, be messy. Mess up and it’s fine – you are learning to unlearn. Do not see yourself like glass. Like you could get dirty and clean. You are flesh. You are not constant. You change. Society teaches women to maintain balance and that robs us of our volatility. Our mercurial hearts. Calm and chaos. Love only when needed; preserve otherwise.

Do not be a moth near the light; be the light itself. Do not let a man’s ocean-big ego swallow you up. Know what you want. Ask yourself first. Decide your own pace. Decide your own path. Be cruel when needed. Be gentle only when needed. Collapse and then re-construct. When someone says you are being obscene, say yes I am. When they say you are being wrong, say yes I am. When they say you are being selfish, say yes I am. Why shouldn’t I be? How do you expect a woman to stand on her two feet if you keep striking her at the ankles.

There are multiple lessons we must teach our young girls so that they render themselves their own pillars instead of keeping male approval as the focal point of their lives. It is so important to state your feelings of inconvenience as a woman. We are instructed to tailor ourselves and our discomfort - constantly told that we are ‘whining’ and ‘nagging’ and ‘complaining too much.’ That kind of silence is horribly violent, that kind of insistence upon uniformly nodding in agreement to your own despair, and smiling emptily so no man is ever uncomfortable around us. Male-entitlement dictates a woman’s silence. If we could see the mimetic model of the erasure of a woman’s voice, it would be an incredibly bloody sight.

On a breezy July night, my mother and I were sleeping under the open sky. Before dozing off, I told her that I think there is a special place in heaven where all wounded women bury their broken hearts and their hearts grow into trees that only give fruit to the good and poison to the bad. She smiled and said Ameen. Then she closed her eyes.

"
A Woman of War by Mehreen Kasana (via randomactsofchaos)
"

Advertising’s ritualistic display of the female body to communicate powerlessness is also accomplished when women stand with what Goffman labels “the bashful knee-bend.” He calls these “canting” postures - meaning the body is tilted – positions that take the body away from being upright and perpendicular and places people off - center. In fact, as with the other submissive positions, “the bashful knee-bend” projects a sense of the woman as ungrounded, less than fully prepared to react quickly and firmly to her surroundings. As Goffman writes: “Once again, one finds a posture that seems to presuppose the goodwill of anyone in the surround who could offer harm.”

This posture is ubiquitous across our media landscape, so much so that it seems to define a core aspect of femininity. And once again, the posture has also been sexualized in the process, reinforcing yet again the notion that female sexuality is equated with submission and deference.

Variations of this canting posture include the crossed leg position, which has the same effect of putting women into a defenseless posture, again presupposing that there is no danger in the surroundings. Similarly, women are posed holding their feet, or the heel of a shoe, once more leaving them off-balance, teetering, ungrounded, and precarious – as they stand on one leg, vulnerable and defenseless. And then there is the head cant, the head repeatedly leaning to one side, as women – rather than holding their heads up high, upright, and firm – are posed again and again with their heads in tilted and awkward positions, bent and angled – once again, off-balance and de-centered.

An extension of this has the torso of the body itself being twisted and bent away from the vertical. Goffman argues that all of these head and body canting configurations leave women in a position where they seem utterly defenseless and, in this way, can be read as both an expression and acceptance of subordination, of ingratiation, submissiveness, and appeasement.

The coy over-the-shoulder look, where the head is twisted to the side or sometimes behind, is also an extension of this body and head canting posture. At the same time, the pose is sexually suggestive, positioning women as the willing recipients of the look coming from someone else.

While the most unnatural, and sometimes even grotesquely contorted, poses struck by female models may make us wonder what is going on in the minds of the creative directors and photographers who position them in these ways, it is perhaps more revealing that, for the most part, we go about our business and don’t even notice these images as being especially strange. It is only when we see them adopted by unusual people – men – that we notice how normal looking are the conventions that link being a woman with powerlessness and submission.

And in perhaps its most extreme expression, the head is lifted upwards, exposing the neck in a vulnerable manner, calling to mind the positions that animals, like dogs, take up when signaling their submission to other aggressive creatures. Outside of the animal kingdom, in the actual human world women inhabit, it clearly signifies that the woman has surrendered her agency within the social world – and accepted her helplessness.

And if there is any doubt that such images carry meaning, consider that the reverse is the very picture of masculine power – the face down and the eyes trained upward from below, suggesting an animal stalking its prey. Once again, the key here is that none of this is biologically determined or predestined. This is simply a story that the culture tells us about how femininity and, by extension, masculinity are to be performed.

"

Professor Sut Jhally informing of symbolic interactionism’s relevance to the kinesic construction of gender ritualizing male dominance and female subordination through media advertising in the documentary The Codes of Gender (2009).(via gynocraticgrrl)

"I would say that I’m a feminist theorist before I’m a queer theorist or a gay and lesbian theorist. My commitments to feminism are probably my primary commitments. Gender Trouble was a critique of compulsory heterosexuality within feminism, and it was feminists that were my intended audience. At the time I wrote the text there was no gay and lesbian studies, as I understood it. When the book came out, the Second Annual Conference of Lesbian and Gay Studies was taking place in the USA, and it got taken up in a way that I could never have anticipated. I remember sitting next to someone at a dinner party, and he said that he was working on queer theory. And I said: What’s queer theory? He looked at me like I was crazy, because he evidently thought that I was a part of this thing called queer theory. But all I knew was that Teresa de Lauretis had published an issue of the journal Differences called “Queer Theory”. I thought it was something she had put together. It certainly never occurred to me that I was a part of queer theory. I have some problems here, because I think there’s some anti-feminism in queer theory. Also, insofar as some people in queer theory want to claim that the analysis of sexuality can be radically separated from the analysis of gender, I’m very much opposed to them."
Judith Butler (via gaynotqueer)

gynocraticgrrl:

They talk about pornography as a form of fantasy. They actually talk about prostitution as if it were an exercise in fantasy. And it is a part of the pornographers’ effort to hide what they really do in real life, to encourage the use of the word fantasy in place of actual behaviors that really happen, in the real world.

A fantasy is something that happens in your head. It doesn’t go past your head. Once you have somebody acting out whatever that scenario might be in your head, it is an act in the world, it is real. It is real behavior with real consequences to real people.

And so it has been a very brilliant part of the pornographers’ propaganda campaign to protect pornography to characterize the industry as an industry of fantasy…It has nothing whatsoever to do with fantasy, it has to do with a human being actually having happen to them what we see as happen[ing] to them.

And I think it’s just the most extraordinary insult to the human conscience to continue to characterize these real acts to real people as if they only exist in the head of the male consumer. And what that means is his head, his psychology, is more important than her life.

"They call it fantasy," - Andrea Dworkin

"Most women in our culture, then, are disordered when it comes to issues of self-worth, self-entitlement, self-nourishment, and comfort with their own bodies; eating disorders, far from being ‘bizarre’ and anomalous, are utterly continuous with a dominant element of the experience of being female in this culture."
Susan Bordo 
"It’s the curse of the teenage girl, isn’t it? Ridiculed at every corner. God forbid a teenage girl could have a passion for anything. God forbid a teenage girl could know what she wants.
It’s a fucking curse. You fall in love, it’s bullshit. You’re talented, it’s bullshit. You love something, bullshit. You care about something, bullshit. You destroy something bullshit. Something kills you, bullshit!
We’re all so trivial. Nothing we say has any weight, any precedence. Because we don’t know shit.
What do we like? Who cares. What do we love? Who fucking cares. We hate ourselves and we’re called dramatic and self-obsessed. We love ourselves and we’re called dramatic and self-obsessed. Since when was loving yourself a character flaw? Fuck. I think it’s astounding. Why wouldn’t you want to raise a generation of strong, proud girls? I know why, because you’re fucking scared, and you don’t even realise it. Somewhere, in the back of your head, past all the patriarchal bullshit, you know what we’re capable of. And don’t look at me like that, I know what the patriarchy is, and that’s exactly my fucking point. You underestimate us, you reduce us down to silly little girls.
In the back of your head, you’re scared for us to have voices, you don’t want us to have power. Because then, then we’ll speak up about the shit you put us through. And you know what? If you don’t educate us, if you refuse to educate us, we’ll educate ourselves.
I am so, so sick of this biased crazy bitch-teenager idea. Being passionate doesn’t make us crazy. And even if we are crazy, so fucking what? It’s you who made us like this.
You, who raised your daughter to keep her voice down. You, who taught her it’s better to be meek. You, who told her she just drunk too much, helped her throw out her ripped underwear, and never thought to ask questions. You, who told her sex was an obligation. And you, for telling her it’s a bargaining tool. Her desires aren’t natural. Don’t act, don’t speak. Repress, repress, repress. Repent, repent, repent. Be ashamed. Shut your mouth.
You shut it for her though.
Every lesson, every time you ignored her need, you plucked out another vocal chord. And you kept going and you kept teaching until her throat was empty, and you stole her words and threw her voice box down a fucking well so no one would ever hear her speak again. And you think we’re the crazy ones? You’re draining the life from you daughter so you can stick it in a glass vial and give it to your son in law.
You want us to be meek? You want us to be quiet. We’re fucking monsters. You made us, you’ve silenced us, and now we’re going to scream and scream until you notice."
The curse of the teenage girl - J.M (script extract)