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a turnaround from yesterday

yay! i'm having a good day. maybe it's the sunlight. today's mom quote of the day, in the course of discussing hairstyles:

"you don't want it to look all dykey, right? ...
... or do you."

hearing my mother utter the word "dykey" will never grow old. at any rate, i did get my hair cut, and although i really enjoyed the experience because Autumn over at Bubbles in Arundel Mills is a really nice lady with alot of interesting things to say, she had a picture and she STILL wouldn't cut it as short as i wanted. i will give her another chance because she's so cool and she clearly has alot of stories to tell, having apparently lived in four different countries. the mall on a friday morning at 10am right after a snowstorm is an interesting place. i got two other things done while i was there: i got an exciting new down comforter, on SALE! woo! and i had lunch with traceracer who very kindly put up with me blather, blather, blathering at her during what was meant to be HER birthday brunch.

on a more serious note, i'd like to direct people to a post that zorah made which moved me greatly. "In American society, the woman's experience makes her the alien, the other." i have got to stop being afraid to express myself on this, and i must educate myself on it.

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
norabombay
Feb. 7th, 2003 01:53 pm (UTC)
Or do you ?

Is right up there with my favorite, "If you keep on hanging out with all those lesbians, people are going to think you are one, and you don't want that".

Um, um...

Apparently the "So What" is just not a Mom option.
snidegrrl
Feb. 8th, 2003 04:06 am (UTC)
With my mom, "so what" is a valid question as long as I don't mean it meanly. She and I have worked a long time to come to a peaceable place on the subject of my appearance since I was 12 and wanted her to buy me men's cologne instead of women's perfume because I thought it smelled better. :) Mom is really good at accepting me for who I am now, so I let her have her questions because while she does mean it, she understands it's not going to change anything. We have a mutual cross-generational respect going on... mostly. :)
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
Feb. 8th, 2003 04:26 am (UTC)
Re: i've found if you want short
i should have taken this advice a year ago! you're absolutely right, sometime soon i should treat myself, if for no other reason than to see my hair's potential.

and i hate to say this, but the best haircuts i have ever had have universally also been the most expensive ones.
judithiscariot
Feb. 7th, 2003 02:22 pm (UTC)
my mother once told me that my boots make me look like a dyke. it was all i could do to not snap at her, "no, the fact that im a DYKE is what makes me look like a dyke."

hee.
rob_donoghue
Feb. 7th, 2003 03:06 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I'm just going to post it here cuz the list is shorter.

Thank you for posting the link to Zorah's entry. It was an interesting read, but it also pretty clearly brought to light my absolute terror of such conversations. See, while I think it's definately well written and thought provoking, I feel obliged to question certain parts of it, for reasons that are mostly irrelvant. Now, Zorah seems like an intelligent, articulate, reasonable indivdual, exactly the sort whom I feel it would be nothing but productive.

However, I also feel that were I to raise these issues in any method other than the most apologetic, meek and well, frankly, touchy feely method possible, I would be launched into orbit by how quickly my ass would be set on fire by the audience at large.

That may sound like an unfair generalization, but really it's not. In _general_ I'm sure the responses would be well thought out, or at the very least, polite. It's the outside case that leeches the fun away. How big that outside case would be? I got my theory, but feel free to have your own. :)
snidegrrl
Feb. 8th, 2003 04:23 am (UTC)
Heh. Read the feminist community for a while. You're not wrong.

I understand it, though. Usually if you're a feminist or spouting egalitarian rhetoric or questioning deeply ingrained social mores, you're used to getting your ass set on fire every day. So you're a little defensive.

I always bring my issues to the table in the most touchy-feely way possible. It works.

However, sometimes I think I am too meek and apologetic, but I do prize the quality in other people. Particularly on internet forums.
snidegrrl
Feb. 8th, 2003 04:55 am (UTC)
So I guess what I am saying is, why not respond to her in a meek, touchy-feely way?
rob_donoghue
Feb. 8th, 2003 10:17 am (UTC)
Historically, It's what I'd do, but at some point along the line a switch got flipped, and I decided that If I can't treat my own opinions with respect, I can hardly expect others to do so. What's more, at that point, the argument becomes about whether or not people will like me, and if I want that discussion, I'll have it with myself. :)

Now, bear in mind, this is not me hopping on the bandwagon of brutality masking as honesty. I still strongly endorse being as polite, reasonable and friendly as one possibly can, and I think civil discourse is entirely feasable. But being civil is one thing, taking an apologetic, meek stance on something I feel requires neither apology nor meekness is doing a disservice to me, to the person I'm speaking to and to the topic being discussed.

Of course there's another caveat - The meek, apologetic approach is perfectly valid if it's the sharp point of a chisel, designed to open up discourse that won't otherwise occour. But more often, it's such a lossy signal that it can have a hard time passing as discourse.

I hope that doesn't sound harsh, cuz it's really not. it's just tired. :)
professorbooty
Feb. 7th, 2003 04:00 pm (UTC)
No offense intended...
"In American society, the ______'s experience makes them the alien, the other."

This statement can be filled in with any group that the author perceives to be apart from the most priviliged, accepted, or empowered portions of society. Here are some suggested answers which are all prefectly valid, dependent on the author's bias:

arab
youth
black
man
aryan
landowner
homosexual
wiccan

In my opinion, overidentification with a subgroup or a minority is part of the problem, not the solution. I am neither a feminist nor a masculinist, not a racist and not an agist... maybe I'm a humanist?
rob_donoghue
Feb. 7th, 2003 04:19 pm (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
God knows it's taken all the fun out of the _personal_ struggle for identity. :)
cheetahmaster
Feb. 7th, 2003 05:15 pm (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
Don't forget the

comic book fan
gamer
furry
alien
snidegrrl
Feb. 11th, 2003 04:08 am (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
I can't tell if this belittles my politics, but based on my knowledge of you I'm assuming that you were not intending to do so.
cheetahmaster
Feb. 11th, 2003 04:28 am (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
I assure you, it was not. I just wanted to make the alien joke.

"In American society, the alien's experience makes them the alien, the other."

Though, yeah, subculture identification, etc.
snidegrrl
Feb. 8th, 2003 04:15 am (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
I think that people have begun to think that women don't belong on that list anymore.

As far as overidentification with a subgroup, I see what you're getting at but I don't feel like I can unidentify with my subgroup, or back off from my strong identification with feminism. Not until the first statement is no longer true. Now, these are very few words to address a very complicated issue, but the fact is I don't disagree with you (I think) in theory.

I've explained it before that I'm a radical, and I color myself into that box, because I somehow feel that in the giant scale of life, I have to be heavy enough to balance some theoretical bigoted jerkus that's weighing down the other side of the scale.
rob_donoghue
Feb. 8th, 2003 10:24 am (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
Here's the rub - Identification with a subgroup is not automatically an alienating thing. It _can_ be, certainly, but it doesn't have to be.

All points of logic aside, if I were to generalize what I am uncomfortable with in Zorah's essay is that is is very much the language of the seperatist. MInd you, seperatism is a common, intellectually valid approach for any subset of th epopulation to take, and many have gone that route. However, I feel it's the sort of solution that makes things worse more often than it makes them better.

(now, seperatism and feminism is a fascinating intellectual consideration from sheer scale alone, but that's a somewhat seperate topic)

So I don't think the concerns with the argument really challenge the validity of calling yourself a feminist. Whether or nto you're a "radical" feminist is an interesting question, but I think it has little to do with your belifs. I'm just not sure peopel are allowed to lable themselves as radical. :)
snidegrrl
Feb. 11th, 2003 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
I use radical because people that generally have heard my more extreme beliefs have confirmed for me that they are, indeed, radical.
cheetahmaster
Feb. 11th, 2003 04:52 am (UTC)
Re: No offense intended...
This is where I am falling in, more often. I think people should say, how can we fix this problem as a whole. Saying 'us' instead of 'you.' But I'm a big hippie that way.
lacifer666
Feb. 7th, 2003 05:06 pm (UTC)
BTW, I want to change most of my votes from the other day.

I've spent too much time around guys. After talking to a certain one, I've decided there are more deeply seated issues than I had convinced myself over the years. I've grown to ignore the idiocy around me; I've even tried understanding it, but there's no understanding to it. Sad, sad, sad... I'm pissed off, too.
snidegrrl
Feb. 8th, 2003 04:57 am (UTC)
I am sorry you're feeling all negative about it; my only solution when I feel that way is to go on trying to raise people's conciousness to different points of view, and hope that they think about their words and decisions a little harder.
malkin
Feb. 7th, 2003 05:27 pm (UTC)
Of Hair and Feminism
Firstly, I want to comment on the hair thing: Believe it or not, I have to struggle just to get a couple of inches taken off, sometimes. Hairdressers don't believe me when I say "two inches." They always want me to show them. I guess they have a lot of trouble with people getting upset, after the hairdresser takes them too literally.

Next, I'm going to comment on zorah's post (here, because I'm more interested in discussing it with snidegrrl, than a bunch of folks I don't know). I felt that zorah has some fine points (especially regarding the childbearing and breastfeeding issues, which are ones I feel strongly about, even though I am not a mother). However, I felt that it was somewhat disorganized, and very bold in stating problems, without any real recommendations for how to fix them. She wants a society free of standards, but what in the world does that mean, in practical terms?

Yes, I really want an answer to that question. People can't just throw a statement like, "there can be no norms or standards" on the table, as some panacea for all the injustices towards women in the world, without something more concrete to go on. Norms or standards for what? Everything? Are we supposed to throw out the standards for what makes a good computer programmer, just because it's a male-dominated field?

In the United States (and in many, but not all, countries), there are more women than men. We are the majority. In the United States, there are currently more women enrolled in college than men, and that may cause some dramatic shifts in the economic landscape of the future. We don't have to be the "other" sex. We are allowing this to happen. I would bet good money that there were just as many (or more) women showing disapproval towards zorah's breastfeeding activities as there were men.

Some of this (again) ties back to my constant railing on the self-esteem issue. Zorah's actions required courage, and courage requires self-esteem. She believed that she was right with such conviction that she was willing to confront a public who disagreed. Right now, I feel that most of us women don't seem to have the courage to claim or sufficiently exploit our majority. Most of us are pretty complacent.

However, I still claim to be an egalitarian, and I am still cautious about my use of the word "feminism." The reason for this is that A.) I don't want there to be any "second sex," whether that be male or female (a clearly egalitarian sentiment), and B.) I want us to be very careful to avoid creating situations which only serve to further marginalize us. I feel that at this point in history, seeking unequal advantages will only serve to lower everyone's respect for our abilities, and will lower our self-esteem, regardless of whether or not these advantages exist with respect to a male-defined scale. For example, I don't believe that in the military, women should be held to different entry requirements from men, ever. (But then, I'm also opposed to the notion that only men can be drafted into the military, too!)
malkin
Feb. 7th, 2003 07:24 pm (UTC)
Because I had more to say...
Thinking about it more on the car ride home (aren't you glad you're making me think about this stuff so much?), I have this to say:

I really think that gender equality is a train we've got to get everyone onto, or it's just going to keep going in circles. What do I mean by this? I mean that we can't leave anyone behind. It's not just about women. Men need to be permitted to have weaknesses. We need to accept that it's okay for a man to make less money. It should be okay for a man not to be strong. It should be okay for him to wear pink. It should be okay for him to stay home with the kids.

I can wear pants, but if a man wears a dress, he's lucky if he doesn't get the shit kicked out of him. What the hell is up with that?

We can never achieve equality while men are still enslaved by their gender roles, and are accused of being sexists if they so much as exhibit enough gender identity to even engage in discourse on the matter. Ultimately, this hurts both sexes, for a number of reasons -- not the least of which the fact that the traditional male gender role plays a part in some of the very problems that women face, today. The fight for equality is for all of us. When we leave people behind, nothing ever balances out.
snidegrrl
Feb. 8th, 2003 05:00 am (UTC)
Re: Because I had more to say...
My brand of feminism ABSOLUTELY includes everything you've described in this post. I suppose that's why some people want to call it humanism, but I call it feminism.
frankensteela
Feb. 9th, 2003 01:24 am (UTC)
I'm genderfucked. I don't really identify overwhelmingly with either men or women because I experience both sides of the fence. Being a big scary 'I-could-really-give-a-fuck' girl helps. Most people just keep their distance. I've had guys see the tits, then had them rear back when they realized that I was on an equal par with them, and more than ready to take their measure and run with it. Also, having been a stripper has presented me with another somewhat unique view of things.

I thought zorah's essay was excellent, and very well said, but I do have to agree with dayv. If everybody got out of their little enclaves and started doing the humanist thing, it might just turn around. Unfortunately, society isn't anywhere near ready to do this yet. If anything, people and communities are becoming more insular, more 'us against them'. Granted, I do my best to see everybody as an individual, but I still run up against my prejudices about suits, girly-girls and Christians, and it kicks me in the boo boo.

Ah, how I do hate my own hypocrisy.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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