Monday, August 06, 2012

New page for talking about the thing Alex wants to discuss.

So. Shoot.

7 comments:

Alex said...

Hey, cheers.

So, a while ago we were talking about how there's a growing group of (especially younger) women who say they're anti-feminist and older feminists getting portrayed (sometimes deservedly) as ogres and what modern feminists should be doing specifically (as opposed to a broad philosophical mission statement). Anyway, I came across a story the other day that I've been turning around in my brain and not coming up with much. I will sacrifice some details (and possibly accuracy) for brevity here:

So there's a geek feminist movement that promotes getting women interested in techy stuff and getting them taken seriously and respected and not treated like some sort of exotic novelty and stuff (It's a heavily male dominated field, so, awesome, right?)

There's also this young lady who calls herself NixiePixel who's had her own (quite popular) internet video show for the past few years where she talks about open source software. It's not incredibly advanced/in-depth stuff, but it's at least on par with most comparable shows going around. (Also awesome.)

Like most females who post videos of themselves on the web, a lot of the comments she gets are along the lines of, "Hey nice titts! You should totaly show them of moar!lol1". (Not so awesome, right?)

However, her reactions have generally been along the lines of "Hey, I'm really flattered that so many people like my tits so much. Here's some pictures of me showing them off more." (Okay, fair enough.)

So anyway, some of the geek feminists have been like "Hey, stop doing that! If you encourage that kind of behaviour, the rest of us, who don't want "show us your tits" comments when we're trying to be taken seriously end up copping it. You're undermining us here". (Hmmm)

It all came to a head a few weeks ago when some of them confronted her at a convention and were apparently quite rude about it.

So, anyway, my instinct is to say that women have the right to do what they want and self-proclaimed feminists shouldn't be running around trying to police that; but on the other hand, I see where the the other side is coming from too. The fact that I'm so conflicted over this bugs me. Any thoughts?

Melba said...

Interesting. I think what we have here is what I like to call 'there really are two sides and I see both of them.'

Sometimes I find myself thinking about an issue, and there might be polar opposite views, each rendered very articulately by the various postion-holders. When I hear/read one side, I find myself agreeing with them. When I hear the opposite side, I find myself seeing their point of view. It's fucking annoying and basically I think it just means that I am unable (on some issues) to have a black and white view.

I agree. She should be able to show her tits if she wants. Free world, all that sort of thing. But I can also see how some women who want to be taken seriously and not get asked to show their boobs are really annoyed. The fundamental problem, though, is that both can't happen and this is possibly connected to some sort of fundamental inequity with the female position in society. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. What I am sure of, though, is that while women are in-fighting, men are just sitting there a) unaware and uncaring b) laughing c) rubbing their hands together d) thinking what idiots e) thinking 'I wish they'd all show their boobs f) I don't like tits g) I wanna see pussy

So, really they are doing their thing quite happily and no one is saying show us your balls.

I think this conflict that you are feeling, and I have felt it, is normal. Just own it and accept that some things just cannot be pinned in place satisfactorily.

Melba said...

I've just gone had a quick look at her. I guess I wouldn't care if she chose to do that. I think the other women should STFU and leave her alone. Probably. And she should just ignore them and each should just keep out of each other's way. There could be all sorts of issues here, like territory and the fact that she is quite good looking. Women are the worst when it comes to bagging other women, especially if they don't 'behave.'

Alex said...

So, really they are doing their thing quite happily and no one is saying show us your balls. ...this is possibly connected to some sort of fundamental inequity with the female position in society

This is really the crux here isn't it? I mean, when a bloke talks about advancements in file systems, people either go "Hey, that's interesting" or "Bullshit, you don't know what you're talking about" but not "Oh yeah, file systems and stuff. Balls! Balls! Balls!"

And to take the side of the feminists for a second; they're in the position where they're trying to get across the point that women generally don't appreciate being treated like that. But it only takes one or two high-profile examples to the contrary and people start saying "Well, why would I listen to you? Who are you people to speak for other women? That woman over there doesn't mind being treated like that. Maybe you're just a bunch of sexless, fun hating, fuddey-duddies."

But, on the other hand, I totally abhor that idea of getting other women to "behave".

Fucking diabolical.

Melba said...

It is Alex. But don't forget for every woman that seems to 'spoil' it for other women who want to be 'taken seriously' (I'm using quote marks to show that I am not giving MY opinion here, but that of others')there are the same numbers of men fucking it up for other men. (No quote marks there because I DO believe this.)

These are the men who are rapists, violent partner-beaters and child molesters and killers etc. The ones who make it feel unsafe for women to walk in the streets.

When you look at both sides, men who fuck it up for other men who are nice guys and women who show their tits and therefore make it harder for other women who don't want to show their tits, it's clear which is the more serious and probably which requires the most attention and hard response.

I've always been the type of feminist that believes that it's about choice, and individual choice. So if someone wants to show their tits AND talk about open source software, well really, why not. Women tecchies who are annoyed by this should just focus on their own choices. Perhaps this is the answer... Live and let live because isn't true feminism about choice? Wearing lipstick but also saying no to having children. Wearing lipstick but also wanting to have sex with other women. Wearing no makeup and having hairy legs. Getting a boob job and not shaving your armpits. Wearing a short skirt and no undies and being a brain surgeon. These are all choices and what really shits me is when someone else (usually one brand of feminists) tells me that I should be doing things a certain way, and that I can't be a feminist if I don't do or say this or that.

Mix and match, I say, mix and match.

And fuck you, I say, to anyone (male or female) who tries to control me.

Alex said...

Thanks Melbs. The thing about brain surgeons without undies really slotted it home for me. If a feminist agenda is harmed by women exercising choice or expressing themselves, then it's the agenda, not the women, that's in need of adjustment.

I don't know why I couldn't come to this conclusion myself. Standing too close? Looking at the trees instead of the forest? Gawd, I hope I'm not getting conservative as I get older.

Melba said...

No wuckers. And I think that's it, adjust the agenda not the individuals, if their choices/expressions harms the agenda. Politicising something like feminism makes it all about solidarity, staying with the group, not going outside what the group has decided when really, true feminism should be about the individual.

Maybe. It's so easy to let doubt sneak in because it's complex, really complex.