QotD: “To speak of social treatment ‘as a woman’ is thus not to invoke any abstract essence or homogeneous generic or ideal type, not to posit anything, far less a universal anything, but to refer to this diverse and pervasive concrete material reality of social meanings and practices”
To speak of being treated “as a woman” is to make an empirical statement about reality, to describe the realities of women’s situation. In the USA, with parallels in other cultures, women’s situation combines unequal pay with allocation to disrespected work, sexual targeting for rape, domestic battering, sexual abuse as children, and systematic sexual harassment; depersonalization, demeaned physical characteristics, use in denigrating entertainment, deprivation of reproductive control, and forced prostitution. To see that these practices are done by men to women is to see these abuses as forming a system, a hierarchy of inequality. This situation has occurred in many places, in one form or another, for a very long time, often in a context characterized by disenfranchisement, preclusion from property ownership (women are more likely to be property than to own any), ownership and use as object, exclusion from public life, sex-based poverty, degraded sexuality, and a devaluation of women’s human worth and contributions throughout society. This subordination of women to men is socially institutionalized, cumulatively and systematically shaping access to human dignity, respect, resources, physical security, credibility, membership in community, speech and power. Comprised of all its variations, the group women can be seen to have a collective social history of disempowerment, exploitation and subordination extending to the present. To be treated “as a woman” in this sense is to be disadvantaged in these ways incident to being socially assigned to the female sex. To speak of social treatment “as a woman” is thus not to invoke any abstract essence or homogeneous generic or ideal type, not to posit anything, far less a universal anything, but to refer to this diverse and pervasive concrete material reality of social meanings and practices such that, in the words of Richard Rorty, “a woman is not yet the name of a way of being human …”
Catharine A. MacKinnon
Anonymous asked: i think a lot of “dfab” people ID as nonbinary because transwomen claim that womanhood is an innate feeling, and most girls don’t have some sort of “girl feeling” so they have to say they’re nonbinary to avoid being accused of transmisogyny. also they can’t be trans men because trans men are THE WORST misogynists apparently.
yep yep yep i agree completely. especially because i was totally there once, cause i kept seeing trans women who were like “i’m a woman because i ~feel like one!!” and i was like well shit, i don’t really… feel… like a woman? and i was this close to ~identifying~ as nonbinary lmao
the moral of the story is we mustn’t let males define womanhood
Holy shit, revelation. This makes so much sense. For a time I went around questioning whether I was “really a woman”, because always on Tumblr I see it said that it’s ~what you feel in your brain~. However in the back of my mind I knew always I was a woman? So this confusion Tumblr libfems put into my head was and is so directly harmful to us. We see males who want to co-opt womanhood tell us that it’s a feeling, and if we ourselves can’t get into forced femininity then we end up feeling like shit and degrade ourselves and try and take away our womanhood ourselves, no work involved on their part. This is just insidious.
Holy shit, same! When I was just getting into gender critical theory, I realised that I didn’t feel like anything. I just feel like me. I freaked out because we’re supposed to identify as a gender, right? But then I realised that I don’t have to identify as anything because I AM a female. That’s what I am.”>Holy shit, same! When I was just getting into gender critical theory, I realised that I didn’t feel like anything. I just feel like me. I freaked out because we’re supposed to identify as a gender, right? But then I realised that I don’t have to identify as anything because I AM a female. That’s what I am.
In less than 350 days, I talked to nearly 1500 Asian Women and none of them took time out of their day to say hello,” Shaw wrote on June 17 in a post called “Why I decided to leave earth.” “I became furious. I never agreed with violence, but I knew the only way I could overcome that sense of rejection-would start by assaulting the Women that carelessly rejected me.
QotD: “Never before in history have the claims of oppressed and oppressors turned out to be, on inspection, quite harmonious. It will not be true this time either”
The cliché that when women are liberated men will be liberated too shamelessly slides over the raw reality of male domination — as if this were an arrangement in fact arranged by nobody, which suits nobody, which works to nobody’s advantage. In fact, the very opposite is true. The domination of men over women is to the advantage of men; the liberation of women will be at the expense of male privilege. Perhaps afterwards, in some happy sense, men will be liberated too — liberated from the tiresome obligation to be ‘masculine.’ But allowing oppressors to lay down their psychological burdens is quite another, secondary sense of liberation. The first priority is to liberate the oppressed. Never before in history have the claims of oppressed and oppressors turned out to be, on inspection, quite harmonious. It will not be true this time either.
Susan Sontag, The Third World of Women
QotD: “the war that men wage against women is actually worse than the wars they wage against each other”
One group of people that get a lot of PTSD are soldiers who have been in combat. You know who gets more PTSD, has higher rates of PTSD? Women who have escaped prostitution. That tells me that the war that men wage against women is actually worse than the wars they wage against each other.
Sexual objectification always follows wins for women. It is an attempt to put women back in ‘their place’; that place being beneath men, individually collectively, metaphorically and literally. Commonplace sexual objectification sends powerful messages to women and children of course; but it also sends messages to men. It sends messages of assurance, messages that say no matter women’s gains towards equality in the workplace, in politics, in the home – women as a class can be, and are still, reduced to their sex alone: scrutinise-able, purchase-able and abuse-able.
When you fight porn you fight global capitalism. The venture capitalists, the banks, the credit card companies are all in this feeding chain. This is why you never see anti-porn stories. The media is implicated. It is financially in bed with these companies. Porn is part of this. Porn tells us we have nothing left as human beings – boundaries, integrity, desire, creativity and authenticity. Women are reduced to three orifices and two hands. Porn is woven into the corporate destruction of intimacy and connectedness, and this includes connectedness to the earth. If we were a society where we were whole, connected human beings in real communities, then we would not be able to look at porn. We would not be able to watch another human being tortured
Women fighting India’s “rape culture” have used the internet in highly creative ways – but is posting rape videos onto YouTube a step too far?
“I watched the video and to my utter shock, it was an untampered video of rape.” This is how Sunitha Krishnan, founder of anti-sex trafficking charity Prajwala, describes watching the first WhatsApp rape video she discovered back in February.
“It was absolutely nauseating and I just couldn’t continue. The whole thing was a young girl who was being gang raped by five people.”
“What was shocking was that these people were aware of a camera, they were getting it all recorded. They were laughing and there was this huge sense of gloating.”
The video was shown to her by a man who attended one of her public talks, and whose own cousin had shared it.
Krishnan realised it was one of many such videos doing the rounds in a shocking and perverted subculture which seems to have many adherents in India.
The “scene” is driven by rapists themselves who share the videos – and, shockingly, don’t bother to hide their own faces – using messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
She made the decision to edit it, to blob out the faces of the victims, and upload it to YouTube.
“I decided that enough is enough,” she told BBC Trending’s Anne Marie Tomchak, for a radio report you can listen to here.
“The very next day… I captured the pictures of these young men from these videos and exposed it to the world.”
In the weeks that have followed, Krishnan has posted more such videos on social media – and been sent even more by those who support her aims.
It’s provocative and certainly gained attention. But is it the right way to combat what some have called India’s “rape culture”?
One concern is that showing the faces of men who appear to be committing a crime, before they have been subject to criminal procedures, could encourage vigilante violence.
BBC Trending asked Krishnan if she was in effect taking the law into her own hands, she defended the practice.
“The offender is using this medium to shame somebody and to show their impunity,” she said.
“Why should I be so sensitive to their needs?”
After posting videos online, Krishnan says she does hand them over to India’s Central Bureau of Investigation. To date, she says, three people have been arrested.