October 8, 2010

"Who Gets To Be a Feminist?"

DoubleX asked a bunch of people, including me.

49 comments:

Fen said...

Here's the debate I believe is genuinely worth having: What would full equality look like—and what do we have to do to get there?

How ironic. Full equality for women. None for men.

Sixty Grit said...

Fen, you stopped too soon - full equality for women they agree with. Will Palin ever be considered a woman, much less a feminist role model?

Diversity, except in political opinion.

Fen said...

I mean, she says she tries to sidestep debates that mark territory or delineate tribes, but she only promotes Equality for her own tribe.

How about we promote Equality for ALL people, not just the tribes we're part of?

traditionalguy said...

Damn! Your contribution was brillant in attitude, tone, brevity and insight. You need to have a talk show like your co-thinker Rush Limbaugh. See if you can get a guest host try out over at EIB. Bloggingheads is only the start.

AJ Lynch said...

She directs Brandeis University's Gender & Justice Institute. WTF does that do?

GMay said...

Sara Haji said: "If Sarah Palin isn't a feminist, it's less because she's pro-life and more because she insists on speaking for a female population that, by and large, does not share her set of experiences. She does not summarily and categorically understand American women, in their diversity, simply because she is one."

Projection at its absolute finest.

AA said: "but I have a feeling that most people are, like me, bored by struggles over words when nothing happens as a result of somebody acquiring possession of the word, and nobody's going to get possession of the word anyway."

This. x10

Well said.

Fen said...

Your contribution was brillant in attitude, tone, brevity and insight

Yup, Ann nailed it:

"equality and justice are more important than doggedly advancing the interests of your own kind"

And much precise than my own @ 4:16

I wish she would apply that to the DOJ's decisions to not prosecute civil right violations if the perps are black.

garage mahal said...

As always, feminism revolves around Bill Clinton's cock.

1jpb said...

"You need to have a talk show like your co-thinker Rush Limbaugh."

Stylistically she seems more like a Lawprof version of Terry Gross, w/ a little MoDo assumptiveness and self-certitude thrown in the mix.

Regarding POV, I'd wouldn't expect the Althouse Show to share the thinking of EIB Network. She'd be a non-crazy version of Beck, because she likes to connect things in unique ways. Rush usually relays whatever Drudge and Levin are pushing, but Rush does this with the style of a great improv entertainer that his sources (and Althouse) can't match.

Lawgiver said...

A female blood elf named Daisy just kicked my ass in World of Warcraft. Tell me about feminism. Cataclysm to be released in December, gird you loins.....

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sara Haji.....what a pretentious twit.

"Palin speaks about a feminism that ultimately pertains only to a small cross-section of American women—women of a certain income, class, education, and race (and by extension, of certain opportunities)."

Translation.. that small cross section of low class hillbilly trailer park women who couldn't possibly have any coherent thoughts since they are too busy popping out babies and standing barefoot in the kitchen.

Certainly not as elevated, educated and erudite as she. /Sniff. The nasty unwashed masses of lower class women have no right to be feminists in her narrow mind.

Feminist like Haji make me ill and are the main reason that I will never claim to be a feminist.

traditionalguy said...

Garage...LOL. The maypole of American baby boomer politics continues its influence.

GMay said...

"A twelve-year-old boy playing a female blood elf named Daisy just kicked my ass in World of Warcraft. Tell me about feminism."

FIFY

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cataclysm to be released in December, gird you loins.....


Ha ha.. You are probably a wimpy Ally. My troll huntress or blood elf pally can probably take you down too. /wink

Already reserving a name for my new Goblin female toon. Can't wait.

peter hoh said...

Who gets to determine who gets to ask which people to write about who gets to be a feminist?

AllenS said...

Who gets to be a feminist?

A woman who is pro abortion, but against capital punishment.

And something about Bill Clinton's cock.

peter hoh said...

Haven't read them all -- I'm out the door to work again, but so far, the shortest is the weakest.

Who knew that size mattered?

1jpb said...

Sully linked to this, but his excerpts were vortex-free.

Big Mike said...

In my book, my wife and Professor Althouse and Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman all get to be feminists. They got where they are at through their own hard work and initiative. Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi do not -- they got where they are at because they married rich husbands.T

Bruce Hayden said...

Sara Haji.....what a pretentious twit.

I love the fact that she includes the destruction of Israel as part of her definition of feminism. As if Palestinian women were somehow better treated and were more empowered than Israeli women.

She should concentrate on her own religion and its problems with women first. Until the Muslim "feminists" have cleaned up their own house, I think that they should stay home cleaning and not try to burn down the houses of women who have done so.

Youngblood said...

Who doesn't get to be a feminist?

Ewoks.

Especially if they're named Wickett.

c3 said...

Professor;
As befits you academic credentials you need to use more words/phrases like:

faux-populist, transnational, sustainable change,célèbre, Web-gen feminists, Global South, nuanced feminism, autonomous affinity and identity groups

And more accent marks too, both acute and grave.


(This is why I hated my "Social and culture aspects of Public Health" course so much.)

Bruce Hayden said...

I think some of the women in that article are right. The reason that Palin is so despised by real feminists is that she speaks for the middle class and working class women who do make the decision to have families in the traditional ways. and still can find happiness and success.

One of the feminist tenets is that women should have choices in their lives. But implicit in this is that they could chose a more traditional family role, and, yes, have more than 1.5 children. The assumption is that no real woman would want to make that choice. But, the reality is, of course, that millions of women do. And Sarah Palin makes them feel proud of that decision, instead of embarrassed.

The reality is that many, if not a majority, of women in this country do not really have the background, financial resources, interest, etc. to even be able to delay marriage, if not indefinitely, at least into their late twenties so that they can get professional degrees. And, while the "feminists" pretend to speak for these women, they really are only speaking for themselves.

And, yes, I agree with Ann, that women who gave Slick Willie a pass have a hard time claiming the mantle of feminism in speaking for other women, and, in particular, all the women in this country who are the subject of sexual harassment or assault.

edutcher said...

Considering those who call themselves feminists have sold out a couple of generations of women to the Democrat Party and the Welfare State, I can't imagine why any, sane, intelligent, self-respecting woman would want to be called one.

That said, kudos, Madame, as several others have noted, for reminding the feminists what they were supposed to be.

And aren't.

E.M. Davis said...

While I love the profile profile photo, you might want to think of something slightly more um, inviting?, for posts in which you are asked to give a POV or opinion.

Just sayin'

E.M. Davis said...

If Sarah Palin isn't a feminist, it's less because she's pro-life and more because she insists on speaking for a female population that, by and large, does not share her set of experiences.

Middle-to-upper class rural white family women have zero fem cred.

damikesc said...

So, to Sara --- as to WAY too many Lefty feminists --- a feminist is a woman who agrees with them.

This nonsense is why so few women under 30 I happen to know have any respect for feminism whatsoever...because they've been told that THEY do not matter.

Apparently, if you don't think abortion is a great idea, you are required to hand over your vagina or something.

Synova said...

Not bad. "I refuse to play!"

We need more refusers in the world. ;-)

I notice no one mentioned the "a feminist is someone who, despite all evidence, believes that American women are oppressed" definition.

More seriously... the first lady pointed out how far there was to go in some respects. I dispute her assumption of the most "rewarding" positions being denied women because "rewarding" is so subjective as to be meaningless. But the rest of it... I think that it probably is more than the fact that people make choices (even though that's the biggest thing) but also that feminists limit themselves by definition. They deliberately narrow their focus and what that means is they've marginalized *themselves*. If you've chosen to play in your own little ballpark, it's illegitimate to complain that the people playing in the big ballpark missed your turn at bat.

Which brings us to Sarah.

I couldn't read the second lady... OMGAWD. The first thing she wrote was "Sarah". "Sarah" defines her world far more than Sarah defines mine... and I'm a fan. So what does that mean about her?

I just about emitted an unladylike snort when she went on about how Sarah claims to speak for women who don't share her life experiences.

Srsly.

I'm sure that's the first time *that* has ever happened. If I don't snort something out my nose I'm going to sprain my eyeballs from rolling them.

But anyway, back to my point. The idea that Palin promotes repressive political policies is just another way of saying that she isn't playing on that special little ball field off to the side. She hasn't marginalized herself and her reach. She doesn't play by the girl-rules. Dislike her politics, lots of people do, but she is doing what any *man* would and could do. (Yeah, she's pretty. So are most male politicians.)

Condi is another good example.

Fen said...

women who gave Slick Willie a pass have a hard time claiming the mantle of feminism in speaking for other women

Yup. That leaves the Virginia Chapter of NOW as the only feminist org with credibility (they were the ones who broke ranks to call out Clinton's sexual predation in the workplace).

E.M. Davis said...

What a way to disguise another 'hit' piece on Palin.

Thank you Professor, for giving us an honest answer.

bagoh20 said...

E.J. Graff's answer was the worn out standards, with the balancing inequalities for men conveniently left out like a balance sheet with no assets included.

Sara Haji's answer was incomprehensible to me. I'm not sure who's fault that is. I just couldn't follow any of it. It sounded like grad school lorem ipsum or a Ritmo comment, which is the same thing. Does that stuff really make sense to people. My stupidity on this front is wonderfully reassuring to me.

On the other hand, Althouse nailed it. Perfect, and an angle I had never considered. I knew I didn't care who gets to be a feminist, but now I know why I don't care.

In short, feminism is as feminism does.

Fen said...

Haji: this more nuanced feminism means working to end the [Israeli] occupation so that women's rights can be codified

Right. Thats why Pali women are stoned to death. Because the Jews is standing in the way of reform.

What an idiot.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. And unborn babies are not.

Deborah said...

"mom-awakening"?

A little more pretention, please. Also, a side of elitism and supersize that side order of snobbery.

Hold the intelligence and anything that vaguely resembles common sense.

bagoh20 said...

"faux-populist, transnational, sustainable change,célèbre, Web-gen feminists, Global South, nuanced feminism, autonomous affinity and identity groups "

Yea, does she realize what the purpose is of writing something? Maybe she does, and it's just everyone else who gets nothing out of her efforts. It's like she is trying to impress someone stupid, but I'm stupid and I'm not impressed.

Wikitorix said...

Is "Who gets to be a feminist?" really the question that was asked? It seems to me that all of the respondents were answering the question "Is Sarah Palin a feminist?"

Fen said...

It seems to me that all of the respondents were answering the question "Is Sarah Palin a feminist?"

And yet we're expected to believe they find her insignificant...

...even though they cant stop attacking her.

dbp said...

"""Who Gets To Be a Feminist?"""

Anyone who wants to call themselves a feminist is one as far as I am concerned, but then my view is irrelevant to most self-described feminists.

A related and interesting (to me anyway)question: Who gets to decide who gets to be a feminist? And how did they gain this exalted position?

chr1 said...

Haji said:

"Today's budding feminism recognizes transnational and intersecting identities..."

Someone's been to the English dept/grad studies/feminism mill!

Translation: All I got for my $100K are these lousy theories and a shot at some chic lit book deal.

Mostly, it's only the Slatists who will publish such drivel, perhaps in order to include a Muslim in their big tent/little ballfield.

Thanks for your contribution Ann, and for getting where you got without involving yourself in most of this bs.

Wanting to be an artist, natural intelligence, independence of mind, skepticism, a lot of hard work and a law degree can get you somewhere.

You know, like feminism ought to be.

AST said...

Full equality with whom, and by what measure? Too often, the feminists I've seen were characterized primarily by their anger and hatred of men.

The Crack Emcee said...

Here's the debate I believe is genuinely worth having: What would full equality look like—and what do we have to do to get there?

Amazing - that's precisely where I stopped reading.

AST said...

After I thought about this a little more, I wondered who decides. Is there a Feminist Authority who decides this? Is there an admission exam? Who governs this organization, and assuming that it's a board of directrices, who gets to vote? Does it obey equal opportunity laws in employment? Does it sponsor any golf tournaments?

Are men allowed as members?
Would Christine O'Donnell be admitted?

You're right, Ann. This sounds like a high school clique.

paul a'barge said...

Wow, that was Dang spectacular!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What would full equality look like—and what do we have to do to get there?

Well, for starters, it would look like when you walk into divorce court you would have a 50% chance of losing custody of your children and have to pay child support for the next 18 years, plus the possibility of alimony for the rest of your life.

To get there, you need to start taking responsibility for your choices. If you want to be a single mom, fine. Don't expect the rest of us to arrange your childcare. If you're taking maternity leave and sick days for your children and leaving the office right at 5:00 don't expect to make as much money or climb the ladder as quick as the guy who doesn't. There's a phrase for this sort of taking responsibility.

You need to man up.

Bill said...

You are living in a dream world if you seriously believe that "everyone" " believes in the equality of the sexes". Seriously, this is not a majority view point even in the US, whatever people might ,i>say,/i>. Look at the evidence, look at how the economy functions. People say a lot of things, but I'd be very surprised if even a substantial majority say that they are feminist in outlook.

Bruce Hayden said...

Talking about feminism, did anyone else notice that the day after Jerry Brown called his female opponent a "whore", he was endorsed by the LA chapter of NOW?

Frankly, who is the better feminist, Whitman or Brown? And who is the more misogynistic?

Kirby Olson said...

Truculence toward men is what defines feminism. In short, it's misandry reframed as policy. It's persecution of men disguised as a remedy for persecution of women.

It's Madonna (the old model) and Lady Gaga (the new model). When Lady Gaga kills the men in the cafe, using the feminist film as model, it's found its truest goal. The murder of men, as policy, and ultimate political goal.

TJ said...

To listen to the permanent feminist noise machine is like a parent listening to their adult stay at home kids pontificating about something they learned in college.

Talk your bullshit, but it don't exist without my support.

And so it is with feminism. It only exists as long as men are willing to enforce it.

Usually feminism is used like racism, trying to either get money out of some entity, or to bludgeon someone that the fems want silenced.

I'd like to see Dahlia Lithwick take this BS feminism on the road to, say, Afghanistan. We could probably stamp her passport one way.

The Crack Emcee said...

I have a feeling that most people are, like me, bored by struggles over words when nothing happens as a result of somebody acquiring possession of the word, and nobody's going to get possession of the word anyway.

Except when it comes to the word "nigger" - it's yours, and those sympathetic to your point of view, to do with as you please. For it, you'll insist on making the meaning your simplistic plaything, no matter how many ways I, and those who share my point of view, choose to use it. My take:

Feminists are niggers.