Feminism Friday – The Blog

Reflections of a young feminist… and much more!

Mad Minutes: Sonia Sotomayor June 5, 2009

This is really starting to piss me off…. why is it okay for white men to allow their experiences and beliefs to influence the way they do their job, but if anyone else does the same they are being “reverse racists”? WTF!? is right! There is no such thing as being reverse racists – you cannot be racist against white people, because we have privilege.

I am so sick of this crap! I think Sotomayor is going to use her experience to benefit all women especially women of colour, however, I do not think it will be direct. Sonia will be a responsible and professional person in the role I am sure.

I think this is a good moment to request that everyone examine their own racist baggage and white privilege. If you have no idea what I am talking about please visit this site.

 

Does Feminism Still Matter? May 22, 2009

I found this great list of the top reasons why we still need feminism in 2009. Thanks to the Blog Against Sexism Day site, which was March 8th aka International Women’s Day.

  • Women are still underpaid. Women earn only 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. (Former MA democratic Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy is doing great things to shake this up…check out www.womenaregettingeven.org) Also, can 1 million women against WalMart be hallucinating? This is serious!
  • Women are still massively underrepresented in the sciences. Despite substantial gains in the number of women pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences, women currently earn only 20% of all PhDs in computer science, less than 27% in physics, and only 17% in engineering. Studies show that women in science experience discrimination and double standards (sorry Larry Summers, but its really true.)
  • There are too few female tenured professors. Despite the fact that women have been at least half of all college undergraduates since 1978, women represent only 36% of all tenured faculty nationwide, and only 13% of doctoral granting universities boast women presidents. Many women in academic settings report discrimination.
  • Women are underrepresented in corporate leadership. Women have made up more than 40% of the workforce since 1977, and are currently almost 50%, yet only 9 women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
  • Too few women lawyers make partner. Women have been 40% of all law school students since 1995, and over half since 2001, but are only 15% of partners in law firms nationwide. Many female lawyers attest to double standards and discrimination.
  • Media: Stereotypes Abound!
  • Men still dominate the airwaves, music industry, film industry, etc, and are most decision makers and critics (often with a silent or not so silent male perspective.) Women make up only 11% of the national experts on Sunday morning political talk shows, and only 6% to 7% of the repeat guests. No major record label is headed by a woman. Most major film studios are headed by men, and nine out of ten music videos are produced by men. For the most part, women need to be sex objects and to be young to be successful in music and to some extent, films, TV. (Men,not so much…can you say Sean Connery? Harrison Ford? Woody Allen? David Letterman? Larry King?.) Women are chosen/allowed to direct only 5 – 7 % of major Hollywood films, and rarely are nominated for or win major awards for directing (despite some very talented female directors out there.) This is not just Hollywood insanity….it’s workplace discrimination.
  • Women are poorer. Women constitute about 70% of the world’s absolute poor – those living on less than a dollar a day. In the United States in 2004, there were 20.1 million women living below the poverty level. Worldwide, women’s access to resources and education still lags behind boys/men due to double standards.
  • Slavery still exists! Women and girls are the majority of the 800,000 to nearly 4 million people trafficked (bought and sold as property) internationally every year.
 

Mad Minutes: Anti-Choice Feminists May 14, 2009

I would like to take a quick minute to get something off of my chest… Anti-choice feminists do not exist! In fact, they CANNOT exist.

Feminism is about one thing; choice! True choice that is informed and free of barriers to access. If you believe that one possible and legal choice is no longer valid for women or for all people then you do not believe in choice. If you do not believe in choice, you cannot be a feminist.

In my personal experience, those feminists who claim to be “pro-life” are actually “pro-choice” they are just adamant about their own refusal to ever have an abortion, while still respecting the decision of other women to undergo the procedure. Remember the Daily Show’s Samantha Bee video at the RNC with all the use of the word decision to refer to Palin’s daughter’s “choice” to keep the baby. I think you get the point!

Choice is the main thing that separates feminists from non-feminists. Are you in or out?

(Considering starting a new sub-heading called Mad Minutes – for stuff that is short and easy to post/discuss but is currently getting me fired up! What do you think?)

 

The Patriarchy Exists May 13, 2009

Okay… I know, this is not exactly news! And it likely, is not news to you either, especially since you are reading a blog about Feminism. But sometimes you meet specific people or hear a short conversation that really blows your mind. The discussions are always a bit different but generally filled with the same kind of crap they all are.

*** After writing this entry, I realized that this is mostly a rant. Enjoy! ***

As an example, the other day I was chilling in the basement of my (soon to be) fiancee’s basement. I happened to be watching “Iron Jawed Angels” which I had been trying to catch since Courtney at Feministing linked to about 6 months ago, but every time I saw it on it was in the last 10-30 minutes. I live in a small town and neither movie rental store had a copy. When the movie started I was alone, as I would have needed to be to choose such a movie. Not that my partner would object necessarily, but his entourage of dude friends certainly would.

Needless to say one of the aforementioned friends joined me and started to ask what the movie was about. He assumed the depression. When I told him that it was actually about the Suffragettes and the fight for the vote early on in the feminist movement, he actually responded by saying; “Sometimes I really wish it was like it was back then, but I guess women have brains and their own thoughts you know.” Yeah buddy, I fucking know, cause in case you forgot, you are talking to a WOMYN!!!

He continued on to say that it would be really nice if his pregnant girlfriend just stayed at home to take care of the kids all day, as well as cook and clean. I should clarify by saying that at this time, she is on maternity leave and that since I have known this man, he has not been gainfully employed. So I suppose he would have someone to cook the food he couldn’t pay for or clean the apartment where has is in rental arrears.

I still cannot get over the type of crap this guy spews. Thankfully even my “fiancee” is only friends with this person out of pitty and can barely do it for that reason any longer. This is the same person who told us that his girlfriend “is due in August and has only gained 4lbs.” Now maybe it is just me, but dieting while pregnant is probably not awesome for the baby, however, I can totally understand how she may have internalized his comments or attitudes and be afraid to gain some baby weight.

If there was ever a person I wish I could direct to Derailing for Dummies, this would be the person. He always knows better than you do, about life, experiences, racism (he is white), sexism, and generally any topic that comes up in conversation.

It would be impossible to list all of the ridiculous things this person has said in my company, but given the work that I do I cannot leave out the fact that like most “Men’s Rights Activists” he insists that he knows many, many physically abused men – a what about them mentality. The answer is simple, the services exist in their current format because 98% of the time violence is perpetrated by men either on women or on other men. If you really want to know where the services for men are, perhaps you should be asking why women are taught to prevent violent attacks on themselves while men are not being taught how to not attack women in the first place!

“If 98% of all sexual assaults are committed by men, why is it still considered a women’s issue?”